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Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry

May 1, 2007


Kalam suggests Indo-European missions to reinforce strategic partnership

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has called for a three-pronged "Indo-European missions" that would contribute to global peace and prosperity and reinforce the strategic partnership between the two.

In an address titled "Dynamics of Unity of Nations" at the European Parliament (EP), Strasbourg in France on April 25, the first time an Indian president was doing so, Kalam said there was a need for confluence of religions, cultures and civilizations, reminding that India "has had this advantage of integration of minds for thousands of years".

Dwelling upon relations between the European Union and India, the President said: "The depth and vitality of inter-connectedness, by language, by culture, by ancient beliefs, ideologies and the movement of people have stood the test of time."

"This has matured into a very strong bondage through a sustained trade and intellectually satisfying collaboration in many areas of science and technology," he said.

Reflecting on India's unity in diversity, he said: "India... has over the years learnt to evolve and maintain a unique unity amongst diversity." On the contribution of European Union, the President said that it has "demonstrated to the world, that it is possible to build a strong union of nations without compromising national identities". "It has become an inspirational model and an example to emulate for every region in the world."

Kalam further said: "The European Union and India support a social form of economic development and encourage a model of growth with equity.

"Both are conscious of the need for growth to respect the environment and make it sustainable for future generations. With this valuable experience of centuries behind India and European Union, we can bring together a doctrine of global cooperation built over the foundation of regional collaborations and core competencies of nations."


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India launches Italian satellite, joins elite club

India launches Italian satellite, joins elite club India has joined an elite club of nations with capabilities to launch commercial satellites when it put an Italian astronomical satellite into orbit from the space centre in Sriharikota. The white and magenta polar satellite launch vehicle PSLV-C8 lifted off into the clear blue sky from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 3.30 p.m. local time on April 23.

Shortly thereafter, it placed the 352-kg AGILE satellite from Italy into orbit to catapult the country into an elite group of just six nations that have the ability to launch commercial satellites.

What was also significant about the launch was that a European nation had picked the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the launch ahead of more experienced players like France and Russia that between them have launched over 800 space missions. The U.S., China and Japan are the other nations with similar capabilities.

ISRO chief G. Madhavan Nair described the launch a "very dutiful, perfect and accurate." He said: "This is a historic moment not only for us but also for the European scientific community because the satellite will uncover the secrets of the universe."

"The launch is also cost-effective and on time. This is also a remarkable entry for us in the commercial field," Nair said.

Giovanni Dignami, president of the Italian space agency ASI, said: "It is an extremely important achievement for our country and the entire space community. I am proud to be standing here. This marks a new beginning of a new era of collaboration among Italy, Europe and India."

AGILE will conduct x-ray and gamma-ray astronomical tests in an effort to decode the secrets of the universe. This is a first for not only Italy but also for India, which has hitherto only launched weather or remote sensing satellites.

India's prehistoric mathematical astronomers had mapped space as early as 7 B.C. without the aid of telescopes, rockets and space vehicles. While most of these texts are yet to be juxtaposed with the modern space idiom, it would be interesting to see as to how the Italian scientists fare with modern implements.

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PCI to go up 4-fold

Goldman Sachs, a global investment and banking firm, has said the per capita income of India is expected to increase four-fold by 2020.

The consumption of cars is expected to go up five times, crude oil by three times and the housing, real estate and urban infrastructure expected to multiply manifold. Tushar Poddar, economist, Goldman Sachs, said: "The combined demand of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) will increase four-fold by 2010. The annual increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of BRIC countries will reach $521 billion by 2010 as compared with the G-6 countries' annual increase of $471 billion."



India Asia's largest DTH market

India looks all set to overtake Japan as Asia's largest satellite direct-to-home market by next year, says a top Malaysian research house.

The researchers, Aseambankers, also noted that India was also targeted to be Asia's leading cable market by 2010 and the most lucrative pay-TV market by 2015.

Aseambankers, in its report, was also optimistic about Malaysian pay TV operator Astro All Asia Networks' prospects in India. It said, based on the profile of joint venture partner Sun Direct, Astro should be looking at a target market of 250 million viewers.

"However, prospects are promising given that the southern Indian states are relatively more prosperous based on the average per capita income, which is 10 percent higher than the national average," Aseambank claimed in its recent report.


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BrahMos testfired successfully

Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, jointly developed by India and Russia, was successfully testfired on April 22 from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea, about 10 km from Balasore in Orissa. The 14th test flight of BrahMos was in the Army configuration. It travelled a distance of 290 km in 290 seconds.

highlight was a manoeuvre by the missile in its terminal stage. The manoeuvring was important from the operational point of view because the missile would deviate from its path and strike the enemy tangentially. Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace Limited said that it was a perfect flight and that it was a 100 percent success. He added: "Today, BrahMos is supreme with its operational capability and high manoeuvring trajectory. It is the only supersonic cruise missile in the world, which can surprise the enemy with its speed, power and precision. It has no equivalent."

The launch was witnessed by Lt. Gen. B.S. Pawar, Commandant, School of Artillery, Deolali; Maj.Gen.V.K. Chaturvedi, Deputy Director General of Artillery, and several top Army officers.


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