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February - March 2004

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India's President combines his love for plants along with scientific research
Indian President Dr. APL Abdul Kalam is particularly interested in the Mughal Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan, especially in the medicinal and religious plants. He combines this interest with his commitment to scientific research and development and advance in defence requirements.

When Mr. H P Kanoria, President, Agrihorticulture Society of India along with Mr. Sitaram Sharma, Consul General of Belarus in Kolkata met him in New Delhi recently, he demonstrated his keenness. Mr. Kanoria presented two unique plants from the Agrihorticultural Society and requested him to visit the Agri-horticulture Garden during his proposed trip to Kolkata in February. Dr Kalam desired that these plants could also be planted in the Mughal Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhawan. The President showed Mr. Kanoria and Mr. Sharma on his personal monitor different sections of the Mughal Gardens, particularly those with herbal and religious plants. Mr. Kanoria who also happens to he the Editor-in-chief of Business Economics presented a copy of the paper to the president of India.

Mr. Sitaram Sharma, Consul General for Belarus mentioned to the President that he was highly respected in Belarus as a scientist.The President said that he has many friends in Belarus and that as Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Defence and later to the Prime Minister, he had visited Belarus a number of times. Mr. Sharma said that during his visit to Minx, capital of Belarus, he learned that senior ministry officials of Belarus were looking forward to a state visit of the Indian President. They hope that ties in scientific research and development and development in defence between the two countries will be further strengthened by President Kalam's visit.
India Will Be Top Ten In Telecom - Claims Ambani
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries, beaming with confidence, said at the Pravasi Bhartiya conference, "We will be among the top ten by 2006 as far as telecom sector is concerned, from our present rank of 46th." His group recently made a big quake in the telecom services industry by introducing 40 paise a call on mobile phone. Ambani emphasised that for India to grow fast in telecom and other industries, the developed world must life barriers to exports of Indian products and services to their markets.

Compliment the government of India for its telecom policies, which resulted in achievement of the targeted tele-density of seven per cent ahead of schedule, Ambani said such policies were also needed in electricity, civil aviation and other sectors.Reliance Infocomm, a flagship company of Rs. 650 million Reliance Group has invested over Rs1800 million in telecom sector. It claims to have created a subscribver base of over 50 million within nine months.
Queen 's Honours List
Ranjit Singh, a prominent Sikh leader and community worker, receives OBE for his services to race and community relations.

Prof. Monder Ram, professor of Small Business, De Montfort University, Leicester, receives OBE for service to black and ethnic minority businesses.

Mel Sim Lal receives OBE for services to equal opportunities

The following get MBE. Mr. Amratlal Ghelabbhai Desai, Amarjit Singh Dhillon, Manilal Iccharam Mistry, Amrita Singh and Chaudhry Asif Yaqub, Subathira Arunachalam, Anjali Dey, Heeranand Lachiram Kirpalani, Jayantilal Sojar, Gosar Shah and Captain Amarjit Singh Gill of Berkshire Army Cadet Force.

Nihal Vijaya Devadas Kaviratne, Chairman, Unilever Indonesia has been awarded CBE.

Britiish ambassador to India, Michael Anthony Arthur has beenconferred with the Order of the Knight Commander of St Michael and St George.

Prince Karim Aga Khan IV has been awarded the Knight Bachelor of the British Empire
Scientists of Indian Origin Lead Mars Exploration
Probe the current spate of news on planetary exploration a little deeper andit emerges that scientists of Indian origin have been entrusted with key roles. That's true on both sides of the Atlantic. As the lead engineer for the current Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Lprasun N. Desai was one of three engineers from NASA who joined the large team overseeing the mission from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena during the Mars landing on Jan.3.
As the spacecraft approached Mars, Desai and his colleagues began work at about 9am that Sasturday morning in the EDL War Room.

The initials stand for 'entry, descent and landing', the crucial steps for changing the spacecraft Spirit from an interplanetary space cruiser to a six-wheeled robot equipped to roll over Martian terrain in search for signs of life and water. Well before the historic event, Desai admitted that the success or failure of the mission would boil down to the last six minutes, the period when Spirit's parachutes would be deployed and its rockets fired to slow it down for landing on Mars."Three and a half years of work comes down to the last six minutes," said Desai, who watched the landing from mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab.

(Courtesy Francis C. Assisi, India West)

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