New Delhi: Indian Navy’s contingent during the 66th Republic Day Celebration at Rajpath in New Delhi on Monday. (File Photo)
The Indian Navy is set to open the doors soon for increased role of women on its rolls but has made it clear that there will be no combat positions yet.

The move comes on the heels of the government announcing last week its decision to induct women as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force.

The navy will also challenge a recent order of the Delhi High Court which had reprimanded it over the issue of permanent commission for women in the force.

“Except where an aircraft is required to be stationed on the ship overnight, like aircraft carrier, rest of flying areas will be open to the women,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said after his closed-door address at the ongoing Naval Commanders’ Conference here.

He said an announcement is likely to be made to this effect in the next few days.

The navy has mooted a proposal to the Defence Ministry for induction of women as pilots for its fleet of maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

Parrikar stressed that one should not confuse the decision of the navy to open its doors for women with the recent order of the Delhi High Court.

In a major relief for women naval officers, the Delhi High Court had on September 4 allowed a batch of petitions seeking permanent commission for them in the force, saying “sexist bias and service bias” would not be allowed to block progress of women.

The court, while granting their plea, said the “women are here to stay” and since they “work shoulder-to-shoulder” with their male counterparts, it would “frown upon any endeavour to restrain the progress of women”.

Parrikar said that in 2008, the navy had opened its doors in Short Service Commission (SSC) for granting permanent commission to women along with men.

He said that permanent commission for SSC was not an option for men also prior to 2008.

“There is no gender bias…It was equal to both men and women. In 2008, the navy granted SSC to be changed to permanent commission to women in three streams — education, law and naval constructions. The other areas have some logistics and infrastructure problems as those are executive branches.

“And therefore the HC order has 2-3 issues for which we are approaching the Supreme Court because we want to give almost equal status to women in all areas wherever possible, subject to training limitations and logistics and infrastructure capabilities. So we will be approaching the apex court because that judgement is based on the pre-assumption that there was a gender bias, which is not there,” he said.


Boeing chairman James McNerney said on Friday that his company will be happy to make its fighter jet F/A-18 Super Hornet in India if the Indian Air Force (IAF) were to buy it.

McNerney, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, believes this to be the best government he has seen in India in 35 years. Enthused, he wants Boeing, the defence and aerospace giant that earned $91 billion in revenues last year, to play a part in taking Indian manufacturing to global standards.

The IAF has a depleted fleet and is looking for a twin-engine fighter aircraft as well as a single-engine one. The F/A-18 is a twin-engine, supersonic, multi-role and all-weather fighter.

“…it is obvious to me there is active interest in more fighters… however it shapes up, Boeing will have a fighter that can meet the requirement. What is different is our commitment to indigenise the manufacture of this fighter,” McNerney, on a quick visit to the country, said in an exclusive interview to HT.

Boeing’s proposal, he said, would involve both a state-of-the-art fighter as well as transfer of a significant amount of the production system to India, which will have a broad-based effect, not just in defence but also in other industries.

Asked if the Boeing chairman was inclined to make the F/A-18 in India, McNerney said: “I think whichever system we offer, Make in India will be an important part of it. If F/A-18 were our offer, a significant Make in India part of the proposal will be there.”

McNerney, basking in the orders just placed by India for two of its helicopter models, Chinook, which is used for heavy lifting, and Apache, an attack aircraft, said Boeing would increasingly use partnerships around the world to make and design in other countries. “In India I see the single biggest opportunity to do that.”

He likes the change in the way the Indian government and bureaucracy respond. “I think what makes Prime Minister Modi special is that he is both a visionary and has his feet firmly on the ground… He understands how hard it is to do the little things as well as how important it is to do the big things.”

McNerney cited the dialogue on the offset obligation as a fine example of the change in the bureaucracy’s approach.
“They have listened to people like us, and made some improvements. There is a dialogue. There never used to be dialogue, there used to be take-it-or-leave-it.”

080329-N-0640K-101 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 29, 2008) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the "Fighting Redcocks" of Striker Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, lands on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is conducting composite training unit exercise preparing for an upcoming deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jennifer S. Kimball (Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 29, 2008) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the “Fighting Redcocks” of Striker Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, lands on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is conducting composite training unit exercise preparing for an upcoming deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jennifer S. Kimball (Released)



Engineers at Oregon State University have developed a new “sustainable development methodology” to help address a social and regulatory demand for manufacturing processes that more effectively consider their economic, environmental and social impacts

The work was recently published in the Journal of Cleaner Production. It outlines a way to help designers and manufacturing engineers carefully consider all the ramifications of their design decisions, and to evaluate the possible different ways that a product could be built – before it ever hits the assembly line.

“There’s a lot of demand by consumers, workers and companies who want to make progress on the sustainability of products and manufacturing processes,” said Karl Haapala, an associate professor in the OSU College of Engineering.

“There’s usually more than one way to build a part or product,” he said. “With careful analysis we can identify ways to determine which approach may have the least environmental impact, lowest cost, least waste, or other advantages that make it preferable to a different approach.”

This movement, researchers say, evolved more than 20 years ago from an international discussion at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which raised concerns about the growing scarcity of water, depletion of non-renewable sources of energy, human health problems in the workplace, and other issues that can be linked to unsustainable production patterns in industry.

The challenge, experts say, is how to consider the well-being of employees, customers, and the community, all while producing a quality product and staying economically competitive. It isn’t easy, and comprehensive models that assess all aspects of sustainability are almost nonexistent.



NEW DELHI: Slovenian firm Pipistrel, which has signed a deal with the Defence Ministry here for 194 micro-light aircraft, may set up a manufacturing unit here if its gets the follow-on order or more business in the private sector.

“We don’t have any offset in this contract but are open to the idea of setting up a manufacturing unit in India if we get the follow-on order or more business opportunities,” Pipistrel’s CEO, Ivo Boscarol said.

The contract signed yesterday has an option clause whereby 100 more aircraft can be bought under the same terms and conditions if needed.

The Indian version of Pipistrel’s ‘Virus FW80’ will be known as ‘Garur’. The deal is valued at Rs 105.5 crore, defence sources said.

India had first issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the micro-light aircraft in 2011. The aircraft is a two- seater trainer, capable of take-off and landing on prepared as well as semi-prepared surfaces.

Made of advanced carbon fiber material, it is capable of carrying two crew members and their equipment.

They added that while 110 of the machines are meant for NCC, Air Force will receive 72 of these aircraft.

IAF needs these aircraft for carrying out bird reconnaissance of air fields and their arrival is expected to give a big boost to flight safety.

Navy, too, will devote these aircrafts for the same purpose while NCCBSE 0.12 % will use them for training its cadets, defence sources said.

Pipistrel will begin with the deliveries to more than 100 locations all over India in 8-month time. All 194 aircraft must be delivered within a period of thirty months after the first delivery.

To ensure smooth and uninterrupted operation of the “GARUDs”, Pipistrel will equip IAF, Navy and NCC with spare engines, ground support equipment and tools, special multi-year spare parts packs, extended 10-year product support, as well as train a large number of aircrew, instructors and technical staff.



Due to rogue Pakistan’s and not-so-trustable China’s possession of ballistic missiles, India was forced to initiate a Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Programme to protect herself by developing Anti-Ballistic Missiles (ABMs), and after one and a half decade of tiresome research and extensive tests, India developed a Two-tier BMD, a one-of-a-kind in the world which consists of two exo-atmospheric / high altitude interceptor Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV), Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) and one endo-atmospheric / low altitude interceptor Advanced Air Defence (AAD) which can destroy incoming ballistic missiles upto 5000km, 2000km away and 200km respectively.

Destroying Pakistani Ballistic Missiles wouldn’t be difficult for Indian ABMs. Most potent missile in Pakistan’s Missile Arsenal is Shaheen II which is basically a Chinese M18, first revealed in 1987 Beijing Air show and Shaheen III is under test which is an improvised Shaheen II and have an extra 250km range than Shaheen II. Chinese M18 is now retired from China’s missile arsenal.

However, the new generation of Ballistic Missiles are more smarter and lethal than before. Such new generation of ballistic missiles have maneuverable thrusters to avoid being destroyed by ABMs, releases Multiple Independently targettable Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs) or simply multiple warheads, decoys to confuse the ABMs, even the warheads are maneuverable and goes by the name of Maneuverable reentry Vehicles (MARVs) and still very accurate (Russian Topol-M ICBM and Chinese DF41 ICBM is such an example). This makes current ABMs extremely difficult to perform its job, which is obviously to destroy the enemy’s ballistic missiles.

So how can India achieve a solid Ballistic Missile Defence?

The idea is quite simple, upgrade the two-tier BMD to four-tier BMD to make sure the warhead never touches Indian soil. Now the question arises what are the two new things included in four-tier BMD? Its none other than much hyped KALI and the new Aditya. Both are Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) but still different from each other. So now I am gonna explain by portraying a highly possible realistic scene when an enemy fires a sophisticated ballistic missile against India and how these two new weapons and ABMs together can help india achieve a foolproof BMD. Before starting, you must know that a ballistic missile have three phases :-

1. Boost Phase (Ascending)
2. Mid-course
3. Terminal Phase (Descending)

Scene 1 – The enemy fires a Ballistic Missile with MIRVs targeting several Indian cities.

Scene 2 – Knowing ballistic missiles at Boost Phase travels at an altitude of 300 km or more and thousands of kilometers away towards Indian cities, the BMDs are useless because it can intercept Ballistic Missiles at Terminal Phase i.e. only when the ballistic missiles come down to 150 km altitude or less. The Indian Command Center fires KALI 5000 DEW that emits powerful electron beams as high as 650 km altitude and fries the guidance computer inside the missile, making the missile go haywire or malfunction. But it still doesn’t stops Ballistic Missile Warhead from hitting India.

Scene 3 – As the Ballistic Missile reaches closer to India and gains speed at its mid course, a high altitude interceptor missile (PDV or PAD) is launched. Since the KALI 5000 already fried the computer inside missile, the Ballistic Missile couldn’t perform its evasive functions i.e use thrusters, decoys etc and completely delaying the release of MIRVs, even the MaRVs become as dumb as MIRVs since they are controlled by guidance computers which is fried by KALI 5000, making it easier for the interceptor to hit & destroy the enemy’s incoming missile. If for some reasons the interceptor failed to hit the missile’s payload, but hit the missile’s body instead [ It’s truly difficult to have a pinpoint accuracy i.e. hit missiles’s payload travelling at Mach 20+ ], the payload enters into a free fall.

Scene 4 – As the PDV / PAD destroys ballistic missile’s body…
*Sub situation A – The impact made the missile’s payload enter into a free fall, prompting the missile command centre launch a low altitude interceptor (AAD) to destroy the payload.
*Sub situation B – The impact made the MIRVs inside the payload get separated and enters to a free fall to various Indian cities, prompting the command centre to launch a salvo of AADs to destroy all MIRVs. Let’s just assume here one of the MIRVs slipped past the AAD which is less likely.

Scene 5 – As the last of the MIRVs enters below 20km altitude, the command centre uses the last weapon in the Four-tier BMD which is Aditya Laser DEW to explode the MIRV instantly by heating up the MIRVs skin to several hundred degrees, leading to detonation of explosives inside MIRV’s payload.

In this way, the Four-tier BMD defence can help India protect from even the most advanced Ballistic Missile.

[N.B. – This article is a pure suggestion and explains how Indian BMD can evolve in coming years. There is no Four-tier BMD currently with India nor any plans to induct it. There are some challenges to overcome, if all goes well, India will sure get a Four-tier BMD-like defence by 2020. ABMs, KALI 5000 needs few more tests and if DRDO really does well with a 100 Kilowatts Aditya Laser DEW, things would go very positively.]



Welding fume is clearly recognised as a contributor of respiratory issues and long-term lung disease

The good news is that welding fume can be easily captured and removed from the workplace to protect the operators breathing zone and prevent fume spreading throughout the working environment.

“The most successful method of extracting any dust or fume is at the point of source,” says Cameron Prestidge from Egmont Air. “It sounds simple, but the challenge is a design that achieves this without interfering or restricting the process of work in operation.”

It is important that the correct airflows and capture designs are specified. In this way the toxic or nuisance pollutants are removed to protect the operators without creating nuisance draughts that cause porosity and poor weld quality.

Capturing toxic particles ‘at source’ also offers other benefits in terms of workshop cleanliness, clean-air compliance and employee well-being, to create a workplace that provides a more productive environment.

Egmont Air offers many devices such as articulating arms, fume cupboards, down-draught benches, air-cleaners, centralised vacuum systems, specialised hoods and other proprietary equipment so that a solution can be specified for each individual application.

A huge range of filtration and dust collectors allows the correct type of dust collector to be matched for each pollutant. High-efficiency filtration provides clean-air discharge to exceed environmental regulations, in some cases allowing purified air to be returned to the working environment.

Automatic cleaning by a reverse-pulse of compressed air maintains the filters in optimum working condition and reduces the level of maintenance and monitoring required, compared to other types of cleaning.

A range of small and large dust collectors are available off-the-shelf to suit single machine extraction for individual saws and grinders, or large multiple-station systems are available that can be connected to a centralised ducting network for plasma cutting, welding, batch mixing, screening and other similar processes.


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A lot of attention has been given to the differences between the quantum and classical worlds. For example, quantum entanglement, superposition, and teleportation are purely quantum phenomena with no classical counterparts. However, when it comes to certain areas of thermodynamics—specifically, thermal engines and refrigerators—quantum and classical systems so far appear to be nearly identical. It seems that the same thermodynamic laws that govern the engines in our vehicles may also accurately describe the tiniest quantum engines consisting of just a single particle

In a new study, physicists Raam Uzdin, Amikam Levy, and Ronnie Kosloff at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have investigated whether there is anything distinctly quantum about thermodynamics at the quantum level, or if “quantum” thermodynamics is really the same as classical thermodynamics.

For the first time, they have shown a difference in the thermodynamics of heat machines on the quantum scale: in part of the quantum regime, the three main engine types (two-stroke, four-stroke, and continuous) are thermodynamically equivalent. This means that, despite operating in different ways, all three types of engines exhibit all of the same thermodynamic properties, including generating the same amounts of power and heat, and doing so at the same efficiency. This new “thermodynamical equivalence principle” is purely quantum, as it depends on quantum effects, and does not occur at the classical level.

The scientists also showed that, in this quantum regime where all engines are thermodynamically equivalent, it’s possible to extract a quantum-thermodynamic signature that further confirms the presence of quantum effects. They did this by calculating an upper limit on the work output of a classical engine, so that any engine that surpasses this bound must be using a quantum effect—namely, quantum coherence—to generate the additional work. In this study, quantum coherence, which accounts for the wave-like properties of quantum particles, is shown to be critical for power generation at very fast engine cycles.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time [that a difference between quantum and classical thermodynamics has been shown] in heat machines,” Uzdin told “What has been surprising [in the past] is that the classical description has still held at the quantum level, as many authors have shown. The reasons are now understood, and in the face of this classicality, people have started to stray to other types of research, as it was believed that nothing quantum can pop up. Thus, it was very difficult to isolate a generic effect, not just a numerical simulation of a specific case, with a complementing theory that manages to avoid the classicality and demonstrate quantum effects in thermodynamic quantities, such as work and heat.”

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