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Chennai: Construction of four India designed 700 MW pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR) are progressing at a quick pace and the first one is expected to go on stream end 2016 or early 2017, said senior officials of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).
The NPCIL is building two 700 MW atomic power plants each at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat and Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS).
For NPCIL that has been building 220 MW and 540 MW pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs), it is a major jump to go in for 700 MW PHWRs.
“It is the first of its kind reactor in the country,” Lokesh Kumar, project director for the third and fourth units at KAPS told IANS over phone from Kakrapar in Gujarat on Monday.
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), the sectoral regulator, is carefully poring over the reports submitted by the units before according its sanction.
NPCIL has two units of 220 MW each at KAPS which are operating successfully.
It is the third unit at KAPS with a capacity of 700 MW that is expected to go operational first out of the four under construction.
“We are the torch bearers for this kind of reactor in the country now. Once the first unit goes on stream, it will be easy for other three,” Kumar said.
Queried about the project status, he said: “We are in a crucial stage. The construction work is at its peak. We have energised the start-up transformer. The power system is ready for the unit that would go on stream.”
According to him, work on commissioning of the other systems have begun while the civil construction work is nearing completion.
“This week we will start the installation of the reactor coolant channel. The coolant channel installation work will be over in two months time. Nuclear piping work has begun in the two units,” Kumar said.
He said stator installation work on the turbine will begin this week.
“We plan to start unit 3 by the end of 2016 or early 2017. Then commissioning of unit 4 would happen,” Kumar said.
Concrete was first poured in November 2010 for the 3rd unit at KAPS and in March 2011 for the fourth unit.
Though the first unit was expected to go on stream in 2015, owing to erratic supply of components the progress of work got delayed, Kumar said.
As to the percentage of physical progress, Kumar said the third unit is 75 percent complete and the fourth unit is 65 percent.
“The overall project cost for the two units is around Rs.11,459 crore. The project would be completed within the budget. There will be no cost escalation,” he added.
At RAPS where the other two 700 MW reactors are built at an outlay of Rs.12,300 crore, the preparatory work to install the coolant channels are on for the seventh unit under construction.
“Welding of end shield and calandria is over. Preparation work for core components – coolant channels – has started. It will take six months to complete,” B.C. Pathak, project director for 7th and 8th units at RAPS, told IANS.
He said the seventh unit was expected to go on stream sometime in 2017-18 and almost 57 percent of the physical work had been completed.
The NPCIL already has six units at RAPS, with a total capacity of 1,180 MW (4×220 MW and one each of 100 MW and 200 MW).
Ruling out any cost escalation, Pathak added: “We expect to complete the project within the budget. The softening of steel prices has resulted in lower escalation in costs.”
As for the eighth unit, the overall physical progress was around 40 percent.
“All the tenders have been finalised and contracts issued. There is no major tender that needs to be processed,” he added.
The senior NPCIL official said both the upcoming units will share many common facilities like the switchyard, control building and others.
The other first of its kind reactor in India located at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu is expected to restart power generation on October 30.
The unit has been jumping restart deadlines.
The first 1,000 MW unit at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) was shut down this June for annual maintenance.
The unit was connected to the southern grid in December 2014. The unit was operating at 60 percent capacity for some time before it was shut down for annual maintenance.
At the time of its shut down in June, NPCIL said the unit will restart after 60 days post annual maintenance and refuelling.
The NPCIL is setting up two units at KNPP with Russian equipment. The second unit on which work has been completed to the extent of 98.50 percent is expected to start the fission process in December 2015.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan, IANS)
Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.
The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.
Yakshi idol in Veroor, Sri Dharamashastha temple Image source: wikimedia commons
The Yakshi is believed to live in a palm tree which can appear like a palace. Victims are taken here before they are killed. Travellers on highways are often advised not to stop near heavily forested areas, or speak to anyone who closely resembles a Yakshi. Some believe she can change form, while other hold to the belief that she doesn't. after securing her victim, the only trace left behind is body parts like hair, nails, and teeth.
They say, like other ghosts, a Yakshi's feet will not touch the ground. This is something to look out for. Mysterious deaths have been reported across the rural areas in Kerala, and all these have been attributed to the legend.
Keywords: Legends, Yakshi, Urban legend, Ghost, Kerala, Myth, Vampire
The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.
But the question is, "was India always against homosexuality"? Has the concept of homosexuality being unnatural existed forever? No, in Indian history and Hinduism homosexuality has never been an offense, in fact in several instances it has been depicted how people embraced their identity, be it sexual identity or gender identity. Section 377 was brought to India by the British in 1862, while India was colonized. Even after the Independence, it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled it as irrational and illogical.
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Homosexuality in Ancient India
When Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in India, there was an uproar about it being a western ideology and liberalism. But in reality, homosexuality has existed since the time of the Vedas. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) researched and discovered that it was around 3102 B.C. (during the Vedic Age) that homosexuality or non-normative sexual identity was recognized as "Tritiya Prakriti", or the third nature. Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.
Hinduism is the most vastly followed religion in India. Hinduism does not explicitly mention homosexuality however it does contain a homosexual theme and characters in its text. There have been various instances in our scriptures and texts that have introduced us to LGBT+ characters such as the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati Ardhanariswara meaning "the half-female lord". One of the most popular and ancient texts on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment of life, "Kamasutra" has a complete chapter dedicated to homosexuality and homosexual sex. Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities.
Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities. Facebook
Our Mughals were Queer
Mughals are often seen under the light of cruelty, rigid ethics, nobility, and polygamy. Simultaneously, Mughals are also the ones credited for the emergence of Sufism, abolished jizya tax, love beyond religion, classes, and gender.
In the Baburnama written in memoirs of our very first Mughal ruler Muhammad Babur, several instances documented Babur's infatuation and affection towards a teenage boy named Baburi. We also have multiple Persian couplets as evidence of Babur's affection for Baburi. Mughals engaged in homosexuality and pederasty, and they believed that later was a form of "pure love".
But as time passed homosexuality was suppressed more and more though people practiced it in secret if revealed they were punished. According to the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri Sharia-based text of the Mughal Empire, there is a common set of punishments for homosexuality, which could include 50 lashes for a slave, 100 for a free infidel, or death by stoning for a Muslim.
British Raj and Independence of India
In 1862, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexual sex came into force. Even after Independence in 1947, the section remained a part of the Indian Constitution. There were protests all over the country to give people of the LGBT+ community basic human rights but it was not until 2018 that The Supreme Court of India ruled the portion of Section 377 has unconstitutional and struck it off. One judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future.". With Section 377 gone are LGBT+ people allowed to fall in love freely? No, people are still afraid to love because of the stigma in our society when it comes to homosexuality; they are seen as lesser humans.
ALSO READ: Significant Support for Rights for LGBTQ+
Although the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexual activities, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the country. Homophobia is still prevalent in India, and homosexual children would rather commit suicide than come out to society with their true identity, that's how harsh of a world we live in. Lacking support from family, society, or police, many gay rape victims do not report the crimes. In 1977, writer and Indian mathematician Shakuntla Devi published "The World of Homosexuals". It was the first study in the Indian context; the book contains interviews with homosexual men set in the years of Emergency. She wrote, "rather than pretending that homosexuals don't exist it is time we face the facts squarely in the eye and find room for homosexual people." We've had small victories in our fight against homophobia and getting LGBT+ community the rights they deserve as humans, but we still have a long and exhausting fight ahead of us.
The Mysore kingdom became a popular tourist destination after India became an independent country. The Wodeyar dynasty who succeeded Tipu Sultan are still royalty, but they do not rule the state. Their heritage and culture have become what Karnataka is famous for.
Among the many things that Mysore offers to the state of Karnataka, the Mysore Peta is one. In north India, various cultures have their own headgears. They wear their traditional outfits on the days of festivities and ceremonies. Likewise, in the south, especially in Karnataka, the Mysore Peta is worn.
Made of the traditional Mysore silk, the Peta is usually a white turban decorated with a gold silk thread. It is worn by the Maharaja of Mysore during Dasara, or any other public appearance. This tradition has been preserved and is used all over the state by prominent leaders.
Politicians who want to appease older, more experienced politicians, offer a peta as a sign of honour. International guests are welcomed into the city with a peta and silk shawl. In universities, the peta is worn as a replacement to the black caps, as a sign of graduation and scholarship.
Even today, in the court of Mysore, petas are worn and given out as tokens of honour. The peta of the king varies from the ones a courtier wears, and even among them, there is a difference according to status. Petas are made by a particular family and passed down from generation to generation.
Keywords: Mysore kingdom, peta, silk, Wodeyar