A fitting finale

The inaugural IPL tournament will come to an end today and you got to say that the two finalists deserve to be there. The Rajasthan Royals have played together as a unit under their skipper Warne and if the youngsters in the team manage to hold their nerves the Trophy will be theirs. On the other hand the Chennai team have oscillated up and down and have reached the final with some spirited performances from their players. Both the teams are of equal strength and they match player to player. The team which starts of well and carries the momentum forward will win. This is where the captaincy skills of both Warne and Dhoni will be tested. Also atleast one player in any of the teams has to put his hand up and come up with a match winning performance. No matter what happens IPL has been a huge hit and the world is taken aback by its success.

Hogenakkal Project to go ahead

Pushing aside speculations the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu has clarified to one and all that the Hogenakkal project is going on as per schedule and there is no need to consult either the Karnataka government or the Central government on this issue. The project will benefit the Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts of Tamilnadu who are suffering from fluorosis. The CM has also made it clear that the project was slowed down just to prevent any clash between the people of Tamilnadu and karnataka and also keeping in mind the elections of Karnataka. Now that elections are over and Karnataka is having a stable government the project will go ahead as per schedule. The state BJP has also come up in support of Tamilnadu for this project. The Tamilnadu government will soon select a project management consultant to finish this project successfully.

Soft Skills to be made Elective

A choice based credit system will be implemented in all colleges and universities of Tamilnadu from this academic year. The education minister Ponmudy has urged these institutions to provide soft skills to students as an elective and also to increase the quality of their language training labs. The focus will be not only on English fluency but also on personality development, confidence building, inter-personal skills and presentation skills. This effort couldn't have come at the right time where IT companies are looking for people with good soft skills augmenting their technical skills. The vice chancellors of various universities across the state have agreed to this new proposal by the government and are confident of building a better infrastructure for soft skills development.

Critical Breakthrough in HIV research

Scientists believe that they are getting closer in finding the medicine for AIDS. In a landmark achievement the scientists have discovered a protein which could defend HIV virus. CAML or Calcium Modulating Cyclopilin is the name of the protein which restrains the release of HIV particles. It was told that CAML is an inborn defense mechanism against the virus. Some researchers have observed for the first time a huge number of molecules uniting in a living cell to form a single particle of HIV. This will go along way in finding out possible treatment mechanisms against the disease. CAML works by hindering a very late step in the lifecycle of the virus which results in the retention of HIV particles on the surface membrane of the cell.

Phoenix lands

Nasa's phoenix space craft has landed comfortably at the north of planet Mars at 4.53pm PDT. The Phoenix was not using airbags for landing rather used a jetpack for lowering to the surface and unfold its legs to land. The journey across the galaxy had been long taking about 10 months to travel 681 million kilometres. The mission was a complete success and has started sending photographs of the surface of Mars. The Phoenix has onboard a meteorological station, Robotic arm, gas analyzer and Microscopy, electroscopy and conductivity analyzer. It is estimated that mars has ice under the soil surface covered by a landscape with pebbles and showing polygonal cracking. The Robotic arm will dig into the icy layers and scoop out some for research. The search for life on Mars is strengthened by the Phoenix mission.

Bullet Trains may soon hit India

Bullet Trains may become a reality in India in the near future. The Railways have ordered a feasibility study on this issue. A special panel has been formed to overview this process and a private firm will be employed to study the technical aspects in the implementation of this system.

The study will determine whether these trains could be operated in India and whether it should be operated overhead or on the ground. If it is possible to operate them on the surface then the compatibility with the existing system for their coexistence has to be checked. This will require tremendous amount of study and research. It is estimated that speeds close to 300Kmph can be achieved in India. This will greatly reduce the travel period and is highly suitable for a country like India with overflowing population. The Railways are confident of the project which might take a long time to implement but at least it is a step in the right direction.

Metallic fuel for Reactors

India's future fast breeder reactors will run on metallic fuel from 2020 onwards. Fast breeder reactors have self sustaining capability and the rate at which extra plutonium can be generated is more with metallic fuel than the carbide fuel which is presently used. By 2017 the core of the fast breeder test reactor (FBTR) will be completely converted to metallic fuel. The reprocessing system of metallic fuel is highly complex and difficult and the IGCAR will setup this facility and make it operational by 2014. India has already created a world record by achieving a burn-up of 1,55,00 Mwdays/tonne and is looking forward to the metallic fuel technology. Higher burn-up will reduce the fuel cycle cost. Despite all these developments the prototype fast breeder reactors (PFBR) are not compatible with the metallic fuel technology.