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ISRO successfully launches PSLV-C21 rocket 
space mission a milestone, says PM

Sriharikota (AP): India on Sunday successfully launched its 100th space mission with the indigenous PSLV-C21 rocket putting in orbit two foreign satellites. 

In a copybook launch, witnessed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ISRO’s workhorse PSLV placed in orbit France’s SPOT-6 satellite and Japanese spacecraft PROTIERES, some 18 minutes after a perfect lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here. 

The launch, scheduled for 9.51 a.m., was delayed by two minutes at the end of the 51-hour countdown. 

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), on its 22nd flight, soared into an overcast sky at 9.53 a.m. carrying the 720 kg French satellite, the heaviest satellite to be launched by India for a foreign client. 

The mission was described as “a spectacular success” and a milestone by Manmohan Singh, who keenly watched the entire launch sequence and applauded each stage separation culminating in the placing of the two satellites in orbit. 

The launch was a landmark for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which began its space odyssey on a humble note when it launched the indigenous ‘Aryabhatta’ on board a Russian rocket on April 19, 1975. 

The launch has yet again demonstrated the versatility and robustness of PSLV with the rocket completing its 21st successful mission in a row since its first failed flight in September 1993. 

No Indian satellite was onboard today’s flight which is the third wholly commercial launch undertaken by ISRO for foreign clients. 

SPOT-6 is the biggest commercial lift so far since India forayed into the money spinning commercial satellite launch services after 350 kg Agile of Italy put in orbit in 2007 by PSLV. Twelve other foreign commercial satellites launched by ISRO weighed below 300 kg. 

Significantly, France’s five earlier SPOT satellites were launched by European Araine rocket. 

SPOT-6, built by ASTRIUM SAS, a subsidiary of EADS, France, is an earth observation satellite, while the micro satellite PROITERES, developed by students and faculty of Osaka Institute of Technology, will study Kansai region of Japanese island of Honshu. — PTI




Father of White Revolution Verghese Kurien passes away

Anand (Gujarat): The father of India’s ‘White Revolution’ Dr Verghese Kurien passed away early on Sunday morning at Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital in neighbouring Nadiad town due to age-related problems, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) sources said. 

He was 90 years old and is survived by wife and daughter. 

Dr Kurien, who took India from being a milk-deficient country to the world’s largest milk producer, is recognized as the father of White Revolution and the man who started ’Operation Flood’, besides making the Amul dairy brand a household name. 

GCMMF chairman M S Sodhi had reached the hospital, sources said. 

Dr Kurien’s 90th birthday was celebrated in a big way at his residence in Anand by the GCMMF on November 26 last year. — PTI




Leaders condole Kurien's death

NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday condoled the death of Dr Verghese Kurien, the father of India’s ‘White Revolution’ 

Mukherjee hailed Dr Kurien as one who ushered in the White Revolution and had made enormous contributions to the fields of agriculture, rural development and dairying. 

Dr Kurien, 90, who took India from being a milk-deficient country to the world’s largest milk producer, passed away early this morning in Gujarat due to age-related problems. 

Vice-President M Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday condoled the death of Verghese Kurien, the founder of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation. 

In his condolence message, Ansari said Dr Kurien is credited with being the architect of the largest diary development programme in the world — ‘Operation Flood’. 

“He engineered the White Revolution in India and made India the largest milk producer of the world. He is recognised as the man behind the success of the Amul brand,” the Vice-President said. 

Condoling the sad demise of Dr Kurien, Singh described him as an icon of India’s cooperative movement and the dairy industry. 

In his condolence message to Dr Kurien’s wife, Molly Kurien, the Prime Minister said, Dr Kurien was an outstanding and innovative manager and an exceptional human being. 

“His contribution to the welfare of the farmer and agricultural production and development of the country is immeasurable. Kurien was an icon of India’s cooperative movement and the dairy industry,” Singh said.

In his long and illustrious career, Dr Kurien set up the Anand model of cooperative dairy development, engineered the ‘White Revolution’, and made India the largest milk producer in the world, the Prime Minister said. 

“His greatest contribution was to give a position of pre-eminence to the farmer and his or her interests rather than those of middlemen,” Singh said. 

The Prime Minister said he personally had a rewarding association with Dr Kurien and benefited from his sagacity and vision. 

“He has left behind a void that would be very difficult to fill. Kurien will always be widely respected and admired for his ability to inspire and bring out the best from ordinary people,” he said. — PTI




Zardari has taken Sarabjit’s case very seriously: Krishna

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has taken “very seriously” the case of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who has been in a jail for two decades, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said.

Krishna raised 49-year-old Sarabjit’s case with Zardari during a meeting in Islamabad on Friday.

“The President has taken it very seriously and he instructed his office to look into the details,” Krishna told Indian reporters during an interaction here on Saturday evening.

“Our approach is on a humanitarian basis, especially the fact that he has spent almost 20 years in a Pakistani jail,” he said.

The Pakistan government will have to consider factors like Sarabjit’s age and health while deciding on the issue, Krishna said.

Sarabjit was convicted for alleged involvement in a string of bombings in 1990 that killed 14 persons. His family says he is a farmer and the victim of mistaken identity.

Sarabjit’s relatives said he strayed into Pakistan in an inebriated state three months after the bombings.

Following the intervention of the Pakistan People’s Party-led government, Sarabjit’s execution was put off indefinitely.

He is currently being held at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore and recently submitted a fresh mercy petition to President Zardari. — PTI




Pak minister Rehman Malik likely to visit India

Islamabad: Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik is likely to visit India on an invitation from the visiting Indian external affairs minister SM Krishna, a media report said on Sunday.

Krishna, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, invited the interior minister to New Delhi. The invitation has been accepted and it is believed that Malik is likely to visit India in November, reported the Dawn.

A pact on liberalising the visa regime was signed by Krishna and Malik in Islamabad on Saturday.

Krishna also met his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar on Saturday. His visit ends on Sunday. — IANS




Indian IT companies among 10 worst paymasters in world

NEW DELHI: Indian companies are among the world's 10 lowest paying employers in the IT space, with their mid-to-senior level staff getting an average salary of $38,767 (about Rs 21.5 lakh) per annum — less than one-fourth of the IT pay package at globally top-paying Swiss firms. Salaries in the IT sector of Switzerland are the highest in the world at an average of $168,211 (about Rs 93 lakh) per annum, as per a study titled 'World wide IT Salary 2012'.

The study, conducted by global recruitment service provider MyHiringClub.com, has ranked India at eighth spot among 10 worst IT paymasters globally.

On the other hand, Switzerland stands at the top spot among the top-paying nations in the IT sector.

The study, which was conducted in August this year, took into account the average salaries for people with four and more years of experience for the Indian and other companies.

The report compared the total annual cash compensation and total remuneration information for IT staff in more than 6,000 companies across 40 different countries and found that employers in western Europe are the best paymasters.

It also found that compensation in developed countries focus more on variable factors, such as bonus schemes, to attract staff. At the same time, the emphasis remains on cash compensation in the lower-paying countries.

"Experienced IT managers are highly sought-after in India and there is strong competition to attract and retain skilled employees. MNCs rely heavily on Indian IT managers, so they need to ensure their pay is competitive.

"Although pay in Asia and Eastern Europe tends to be much lower, it would be difficult for firms to outsource the IT manager role to these regions. Instead, we may see a migration of IT skills from lower paying nations to places in Western Europe and North America," MyHiringClub.com CEO Rajesh Kumar said.

Interestingly, IT managers in India fare better than their counterparts in neighbouring China, where the average annual compensation package were lower at $38,624.

In addition, IT employees in India, scored better than their peers in Bulgaria, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia, where the average annual salaries were even lower at $23,745, $29,831, $33,768, $33,965, $34,107 and $36,790 respectively.

Among the best IT salaries paying countries Belgium bagged the second position with an average salary of $144,980, followed by Denmark ($136,542), the US ($128,632) and the UK ($127,890). — PTI




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