Connect with us

SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY

Fast Against Nuclear Plant in Tamil Nadu Called Off

The 11-day-old fast by locals demanding the scrapping of the Koodankulam nuclear power project was called off on Wednesday after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa agreed for a cabinet resolution to request the Centre to halt the project.

"The Chief Minister has requested us to call off the fast and we are doing it now," S P Udhaya Kumar, Convenor of People's Movement against Atomic Power, spearheading the stir told reporters after his delegation met Jayalalithaa in Chennai.

Published

on

The 11-day-old fast by locals demanding the scrapping of the Koodankulam nuclear power project was called off on Wednesday after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa agreed for a cabinet resolution to request the Centre to halt the project.

"The Chief Minister has requested us to call off the fast and we are doing it now," S P Udhaya Kumar, Convenor of People's Movement against Atomic Power, spearheading the stir told reporters after his delegation met Jayalalithaa in Chennai.

The breakthrough came after Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy called on Jayalalithaaa to brief her on his visit to the protest site on Tuesday after being rushed as the Prime Minister's emissary in the wake of a strongly-worded letter by her demanding halting of the project work.

Narayanasamy said Jayalalithaa conveyed "certain message to the Prime Minister which I will convey to him."

He also said he had conveyed to Jayalalithaa the message from Singh who will take a final decision.

Kumar said the Chief Minister assured them that a cabinet meeting would be convened on Thursday to request the Centre to halt the project and the state Government would seek an appointment with the Prime Minister for a meeting on the issue.

He said though the protestors promised to withdraw their indefinite fast, they will "continue to keep up the pressure on the government" to scrap the project, set to be commissioned in December, a decade after the work on it began.

"The committee will continue with the struggle in consultation with the AIADMK Government and the blessings of Amma (Jayalalithaa)," Kumar said.

"We do not have any problem with the state government. But, we will continue to keep our pressure against the Centre," he said, adding the meeting was 'very cordial'.

Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy arrived in Chennai on Tuesday en route to Koodankulam and assured of safety measures at the proposed nuclear plant there.

Narayanasamy has been deputed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit Koodankulam to talk to the people agitating against the project.

Singh's action came after he spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday seeking her guidance to resolve the issue after she wrote a letter to him.

Jayalalithaa had written to the Prime Minister, asking him to halt the project till the issue is settled.

The agitation against the project has intensified since late last month after the authorities announced that the first of the two 1×1000 MWe reactors set up at the coastal village of Koodankulam would be commissioned in December.

Continue Reading
Comments

SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY

India to host World Environment Day 2018

Published

on

India will host the global World Environment Day celebrations on 5 June 2018, the government and the UN jointly announced today.

“India will be a great global host of 2018’s World Environment Day celebrations,” said Erik Solheim, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Head, UN Environment at the announcement on Monday.

The government has also committed to organizing and promoting the World Environment Day celebrations through a series of engaging activities and events generating strong public interest and participation.

From pan India plastic clean-up drives in public areas, national reserves and forests to simultaneous beach clean-up activities – India will lead the initiative by setting an example.

“India is excited to host the World Environment Day this year on June 5. Indian philosophy and lifestyle have long been rooted in the concept of co-existence with nature. We are committed towards making Planet Earth a cleaner and greener place”, said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

“Beat Plastic Pollution”, the theme for World Environment 2018, urges governments, industry, communities and individuals to come together and explore sustainable alternatives and urgently reduce the production and excessive use of single-use plastic that is polluting our oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health.

India is emerging as a leader given it has one of the highest recycling rates in the world. It can be instrumental in combating plastic pollution. By hosting World Environment Day 2018, the Indian government is accelerating its leadership on an issue of tremendous magnitude.

World Environment Day is a UN Environment-led global event, the single largest celebration of our environment each year, which takes place on June 5 and is celebrated by thousands of communities worldwide.

Continue Reading

SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY

India’s Lunar Mission Chandrayaan-2 to Aim for Moon’s South Pole

Published

on

Chandrayaan-2, the lunar mission under which the ISRO will for the first time attempt to land a rover on the moon’s south pole, will be launched in April, Jitendra Singh, in-charge of the Department of Space said.

The rover of India’s second lunar mission, costing nearly Rs 800 crore, will be made to land near the yet-unexplored south pole, ISRO’s newly-appointed chairman K Sivan said.

“India is going to launch Chandrayaan-2 in April. It is under Chandrayaan-1 mission that the ISRO spotted water on the moon. Chandrayaan-2 is a further extension of the project and it is as good as landing a man on the moon,” the minister said.

Chandrayaan-2 will be ISRO’s first inter-planetary mission to land a rover on any celestial body.

“The targeted date is April. In case we miss the April date, we will launch it in November,” Sivan added.

Citing the reason behind landing the rover near the south pole, Sivan said it is a “very tricky area” with rocks formed a million years ago. “It has very old rocks. This could possibly help us understand the origin of the universe,” he said.

Continue Reading

ECONOMY-DEVELOPMENT

WhatsApp Payment is Beta Test with Only 10 Lakh User Base

Published

on

Amid deep concerns raised by Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has clarified that it has allowed WhatsApp to beta test its payments service with a limited user base of 10 lakhs and a low transaction limit.

WhatsApp payment service will rival the likes of Paytm, whose founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has been critical of the Facebook-owned company and has even alleged that the US firm was getting unfair advantage.

“Currently, NPCI has given its consent to roll out WhatsApp BHIM UPI beta launch with limited user base of one million and low per transaction limit. Four banks will join the multi-bank BHIM UPI model in phases (in the coming weeks) and full feature product shall be released after the beta test is successful,” NPCI said in a statement.

It added that multi-bank model offers advantages such as transaction load distribution between banks and helps to integrate popular apps easily with BHIM UPI.

NPCI said its broad principles for inter-operability include ability to send and receive money through any BHIM UPI ID, intent and collect call and, read and generate BHIM/Bharat QR code that are required in final BHIM UPI app.

“BHIM UPI enabled app which fulfils such principles only will be permissible for full scale-public launch,” it emphasised.

NPCI — an umbrella organisation for all retail payments in India — asserted that it follows “well-defined guidelines” for BHIM UPI services with the objective of making its platforms “inter-operable and based on open standards, convenient and secure”.

Paytm’s Sharma had raised a storm after Facebook-owned WhatsApp started testing payments through its platform. He alleged that WhatsApp’s UPI payment platform has security risks for consumers and is not in compliance with the guidelines.

Alleging Facebook of having “arm-twisted” UPI to derive benefits, Sharma had said Facebook was “killing beautiful open UPI system with its custom close garden implementation.”
Emails sent to WhatsApp for their response remained unanswered.

Paytm spokesperson said NPCI statement addresses the concerns of interoperability violation that it had raised and also clarifies that the trial has been restricted to 1 million users.

Continue Reading

Also In The News