U.S., India, China Step-Up Moon Exploration

NASA scientists have plans to visit the Earth-Moon Lagrangian point, or EML-2, about 37,000 miles above the far side of the Moon, where the gravitational pull of two separate bodies creates “parking places” or stable areas to land orbiting spacecraft. There is no clear timeline to this plan yet. China plans to land on the far side of the Moon some time this year. And this summer, India plans a tricky, soft landing on an ancient high plain of the Moon, where scientists think the rock may be 4 billion years old, some 370 miles from the lunar south pole. A landing so far from the lunar equator will be a first of its kind.

India’s ISRO the state-owned Space Research Organization is in the last phase of testing its Chandrayaan-2 mission (in Hindi, chandra means Moon, and yaan means vehicle). Chandrayaan-2 is an unmanned mission with three components: orbiter, lander, and rover, which will represent the country’s second visit to the moon. In particular, ISRO wants to to ascertain the Moon’s temperature near its poles; record moonquakes; gather data about charged particles in its atmosphere; and determine how water circulates on it. (The new mission’s predecessor, Chandrayaan-1 carried an American instrument which found the first evidence that there was water ice on the moon.)

Chandrayaan 1 Lift Off

So far, no country has been able to land on the far side of the moon, or near its shadowy poles. India wants to tackle both those firsts this year.

February 12, 2018   No Comments

Liebherr Invests $75 Million in Refrigerator Factory in India

Germany-based manufacturer of refrigeration and cooling appliances, Liebherr, invested $75 million  to set up a manufacturing unit in Aurangabad, India, and plans to roll out a new line of refrigerators in May. The Libherr group evaluated other countries including Europe, Brazil, China and Russia before finalizing its India launch. According to Steffen Nagel, the company’s managing director for sales, India’s rising household income, improving living standards, and product penetration for cooling appliances which is at around 35% are all factors that make the group confident about success in this country.

refigerator by Liebherr

Roman Schafer, Liebherr Appliances Business Development executive said, “Our first phase of production is designed to have a production of 500,000 units, and this is going to happen in next five years.” He added, “Everything will be locally produced. We have a local sourcing strategy and only those components will be imported which are not available here.” Schafer disclosed that in the second phase of development Liebherr will export some of its products to neighboring countries.

February 10, 2018   No Comments

India Ranks 3rd among Top 10 Countries for LEED Green Buildings

With more than 752 LEED-certified projects totaling over 20 million square meters of space, India ranks third on the US Green Building Councils (USGBC) annual ranking of the top 10 countries for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings.

Rank Nation Number of Projects Gross Square Meters
1. China 1,211 47.16 million
2. Canada 2,970 40.77 million
3. India 752 20.28 million

The top 10 list highlights countries outside of the U.S. that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation. The other countries are  Brazil, Germany, Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Mexico and the UAE. The U.S., remains the world’s largest market for LEED with 30,669 LEED certified projects totaling 385.65 million square meters.

“LEED is a full-scale global movement and plays a key role in helping cities, communities and countries manage their built environment,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, CEO of  USGBC and Green Business Certification Inc., the global certifying body for LEED projects. “When we prioritize green buildings we are committing to creating spaces that perform at the highest levels, conserving resources and enhancing human health. The work being done in each of these markets is raising the bar for the global market,” he added.

January 27, 2018   No Comments

Juster: India Can Be ‘Alternative Investment Hub’ for U.S. Firms

At his first policy speech since taking over as Ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster, Washington’s envoy to New Delhi said that a number of U.S. companies have reported increasing difficulties in conducting business in the largest market in the region, China. “Accordingly, some companies are downgrading their operations there, while others are looking with great interest at alternative markets. India can seize the strategic opportunity – through trade and investment – to become an alternative hub for U.S. business in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.

Flags of US and India

Observing that ‘America First‘ and ‘Make in India‘ are not incompatible, he added that investing in each other’s markets will be mutually beneficial. He noted that accelerating the economic and regulatory reform process already begun by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help ensure that India is seen as an increasingly efficient, transparent and well-regulated market. “This will further promote growth and development. Continued reforms and trade liberalization will also enable Indian products to more readily become part of the global supply chain, thereby accelerating job creation,” Juster stated.

January 16, 2018   No Comments

Arms Trade Arrangement Admits India

In a significant development for India, export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) admitted the country as its 42nd member of the organization. Admission into the WA is an affirmation of India’s position as a responsible nation in the arena of dual-use goods and technology, besides transfer of conventional arms. This step will raise New Delhi’s stature in the field of non-proliferation and also help it to acquire critical technologies for its defense and space programs. With the exception of China, all the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are signatories of the WA, which is headquartered in Vienna.

Per the Wassenar website, the goal of the Arrangement is to “promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.” Participants are required to “ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine the goal.” The aim, according to WA, is also to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists.

Flag of India

 

In June last year, India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), another key export control regime, as a full member.

Since its civil nuclear deal with the U.S., India has been trying to get into export control regimes such as the NSG, the MTCR, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement that regulate the conventional, nuclear, biological and chemicals weapons and technologies, reports the Financial Express.

France‘s Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler congratulated India on ‘joining” the Wassenaar Arrangement. “One more recognition, after MTCR, of the growing role India plays in today’s world,” he said.

December 9, 2017   No Comments