SpaceX waves off space station cargo delivery for day

SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship, loaded with nearly 5,500lb (2,500kg) of cargo and experiments, aborted an approach to the International Space Station on Wednesday after encountering a problem in its GPS navigation system, Spaceflight Now reported. The solar-powered spacecraft was about 365 meters, from the space station when it automatically bailed out of the rendezvous. Another approach was set up for Thursday. NASA said SpaceX’s mission director at the Dragon control center in Hawthorne, California, reported the aborted rendezvous at 3:25am EST (08:25 GMT) when the spacecraft ran into trouble processing GPS navigation data.

Pakistan launches Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad

: Pakistan Army on Wednesday launched a nationwide operation dubbed Radd-ul-Fasaad.

According to the Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) wing of the Pakistan Army, the operation aims include elimination of residual and latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made so far and ensuring security of Pakistan’s borders.

The Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Civil Armed Forces as well as other security and law enforcement agencies will continue to actively participate and support the efforts of the Pakistan Army to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country.

Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad will entail conduct of broad spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country and focus on more effective border security management.

The operation will also include a countrywide deweponization and explosive control as additional cardinals of the effort.

The hallmark of this operation will be pursuance of the National Action Plan.Geo news

Colloquium: Travel Literature in French and Francophone Literature Banaras Hindu University

Colloquium: Travel Literature in French and Francophone Literature
Banaras Hindu University
23-25 February 2017

20th February 2017


The Embassy of France in India gives prime importance to strengthening cultural relations between India and France through the promotion of French culture and French language in India.


As part of this initiative, the Embassy of France and Institut français India will support the international French-language symposium on the theme of “Travel in French and Francophone Literature“ (Le récit de voyage dans la littérature française et francophone). The colloquium is organised by the French Department at Banaras Hindu University.


Colloquium : Travel Literature in French and Francophone Literature
Banaras Hindu University
23-25 February 2017


Travel narrative is one of the oldest literary genres. Numerous authors – including Jean de Léry, Nerval, Gautier, P. Loti, Segalen, Morand, A. Gide, Kessel, Cendrars, Lévi Strauss, Michaux, Leiris, Butor, Le Clézio, Lacarrière, Réda, Bouvier and others – have tried this nomadic literary genre in which they share their experiences during a journey. The link between travel and literature is as old as history and literature, but the two are far from being of the same nature. Although this relationship between travel and literature exists since the origins of literature, it gained even more significance during the 20th Century. What could this passion be attributed to? What does one look for in these initiatory peregrinations and in these ritualised shifts? What does one discover in oneself and what representations of ‘the other’ emerge out of it? With the rise of globalisation and pluralism what clarity do travel stories bring out regarding the questions of alterity and cultural identity? What kind of relationships emerge when differences come together? And especially, what are the forms of conciliation and adaptation that emerge? Such are the problematics addressed by the symposium.


Alongside of a rich panorama of authors and university scholars from India and Francophone countries, The Embassy of France has invited Mr. Nicolas Deleau, writer, painter, traveller, author of Les rois d’ailleurs and recipient of a prize in the category of travel literature at the festival of Amazing Travellers (Etonnants Voyageurs) at Saint Malo, France. Deleau shall be presenting a paper on “Narrating the world: a few issues in writing”.

Pope appeals for South Sudan Help Famine

Pope Francis called on Wednesday for urgent humanitarian aid for the starving people of South Sudan, saying millions risked being “condemned to death” by a famine in parts of the war-ravaged country. “Now more than ever there should be a commitment by everyone to not just talk but contribute food aid and allow it to reach suffering populations,” he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly audience. Since 2013 South Sudan has been mired in civil war, which the pope called “fratricidal”. President Salva Kiir, whose government declared a famine on Monday, has promised aid agencies safe access to hunger-stricken civilians.

Decisions taken by the Union Cabinet

Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Greece
Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Greece. The Agreement has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries bringing it in tune with the developments in the civil aviation sector. It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.
The essential features of the ASA are as follows:
i. Both countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline.
ii. The designated airlines of either country shall have the right to establish offices in the territory of the other country for the promotion end sale of air services.
iii. The designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes.
iv. The designated Airline of each party can enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of same party, other party and third country,
v. As per the Route Schedule, the Indian carriers can operate to Athens, Thessaloniki, HerakIion and any 3 points to be specified later in Greece from points in India, whereas the carriers of Hellenic Republic can establish direct operation to 6 metros viz. New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennal. Any points shall be available as intermediate and beyond point for the designated carriers of India as well as the designated carriers of Greece.
At present there is no ASA between India and Greece. The delegations of two sides met in New Delhi on 6-7th September, 2016 and finalized the text of ASA. The agreement is as per latest International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) template keeping in view the latest developments in civil aviation sector and with an objective to improve the air connectivity between the two countries.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security. The MoU will provide an opportunity to Indian aviation security authorities to share the expertise of their Australian counterparts and enhance the overall aviation security environment in India. The MoU will provide compliance of international obligation as well as enhance promotion in the area of security cooperation between the two countries.
Cabinet approves signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors. The agreement covers various activities in the field of agriculture and allied sector including exchange of information on the current situation in agriculture, the phytosanitary conditions of crops, threats posed by harmful organisms and the threats posed by animal infectious diseases. It also covers the participation in fairs, exhibitions, seminars and conferences related to agriculture and agri-food processing; undertaking and developing joint economic initiatives including the support or agrifood trade between the states of the Contracting Parties.
The Agreement provides for constitution of a Joint Wording Group (JWG) comprising of representatives from both countries. The JWG will prepare plans of cooperation and to provide solutions to the problems arising during the implementation of the Agreement.
Cabinet approves the investment proposal for generation component of Arun-3 Hydro Electric Project in Nepal by SJVN Limited, a Central Public Sector Enterprises of Government of India
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved:
(i)Investment for generation component of Arun-3 HEP (900 MW) for an estimated cost of Rs. 5723.72 crore at May 2015 Price Level.
(ii)Completion period of the project shall be 60 months from the date of financial closure which is planned for September this year.
(iii)Ex-post facto approval for the existing implementing agency, already incorporated in the name of SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company (P) Limited (SAPDC) registered in Nepal as a 100% subsidiary of SJVN Limited for implementing the project.
(iv)Any component of work already or being made by the Nepalese authorities shall be so certified by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and shall be accordingly deducted from the project cost requirements,
The project is located on Arun River in Sankhuwasabha District of Eastern Nepal. The Run-of-River scheme envisages about 70 mtr. high concrete gravity dam and Head Race Tunnel (HRT) of 11.74 Km. with underground Power House containing four generating units of 225 MW each on Left Bank.
SJVN limited bagged the project through International Competitive Bidding. An MoU was signed between Government of Nepal and SJVN Limited for the project in March, 2008 for execution on Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of 30 years including five years of construction period. The Project Development Agreement (PDA) signed on 25.11.2014, which provides 21.9% free power to Nepal for the entire concession period of 25 years. Employment generation of around 3000 persons is envisaged in construction of the project from both India and Nepal.
The project will provide surplus power to India strengthening power availability in the country and will also strengthening economic linkages with Nepal. The power from the project shall be exported from Dhalkebar in Nepal to Muzaffarpur in India.
Cabinet approves enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects. The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country. Smaller parks in Himalayan and other hilly States where contiguous land may be difficult to acquire in view of the difficult terrain, will also be considered under the scheme. The capacity of the solar park scheme has been enhanced after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the States.
The Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects will be set up by 2019-20 with Central Government financial support of Rs.8100 crore. The total capacity when operational will generate 64 billion units of electricity per year which will lead to abatement of around 55 million tonnes of CO2 per year over its life cycle.
It would also contribute to long term energy security of the country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by reduction in carbon emissions and carbon footprint, as well as generate large direct & indirect employment opportunities in solar and allied industries like glass, metals, heavy industrial equipment etc. The solar parks will also provide productive use of abundant uncultivable lands which in turn facilitate development of the surrounding areas.
All the States and UTs are eligible for benefits under the scheme. The State Government will first nominate the Solar Power Park Developer (SPPD) and also identify the land for the proposed solar park. It will then send a proposal to MNRE for approval along with the name of the SPPD. The SPPD will then be sanctioned a grant of upto Rs.25 Lakh for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Solar Park. Thereafter, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of up to Rs. 20 lakhs/MW or 30 percent of the project cost including Grid-connectivity cost, whichever is lower, will be released as per the milestones prescribed in the scheme. Solar Energy Corporation India (SECI) will administer the scheme under the direction of MNRE. The approved grant will be released by SECI.
The solar parks will be developed in collaboration with State Governments/UTs. The State Governments/UTs are required to select the SPPD for developing and maintaining the solar parks. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is already implementing a scheme for development of at least 25 solar parks with an aggregate capacity of 20,000 MW, which was launched in December 2014. As on date, 34 solar parks of aggregate capacity 20,000 MW have been approved which are at various stages of development.

Launch:Pro health Asia world -class physiotherapy & Rehab center in Delhi


Pro health Asia launched its world class,specialized in high end Pro Health Asia Physiotherapy and rehab center in Defence colony, New Delhi is modeled on Pro health Asia’s successful clinics in Hong Kong for over two decades.



ProHealth Asia world-class physiotherapy and rehab center launched in Delhi


Delhi, February 22 2017: ProHealth Asia launched its world-class, specialized high-end ProHealth Asia Physiotherapy and Rehab center in New Delhi today.  Spread over 4200sq. ft. in the plush Defence Colony area of the capital, the new facility is modeled on ProHealth Asia’s successful clinics in Hong Kong for over two decades. ProHealth Asia provides high-end, modern and well-appointed clinics for patients to relax in a private environment to evaluate and assess symptoms prior to treatment.

ProHealth Asia Physiotherapy and Rehab Centre in New Delhi, specializes in a wide range of problems from chronic neck and back pain to acute sports injuries and a wide range of condition from post-surgery rehabilitation, postural workstation ergonomics and women’s healthcare for both pre-natal and post-natalprograms. The hands-on treatments are unique and patients can expect thorough assessments, expert analysis and evaluation, matched with a specially designed treatment plan and expert care.Private consultations begin with an initial assessment, expert evaluation and initial treatment followed by a customized therapy plan to set goals and get you back on living life to the fullest. The therapy plans often include manual therapy techniques, acupuncture/ dry needling, self-directed exercise programs and strategies that look into your lifestyle.

People think about physiotherapy only when they are in pain and even then, it’s often done as random or ad-hoc sessions. At ProHealth Asia Physiotherapy & Rehab Centre, our approach is different, but simple. We use the traditional concepts of physiotherapy, mainly in the form of manual manipulation, complemented by unique techniques that help “speed” up your body’s healing process. And match this with a rather specially designed recovery plan that’s right for you. We don’t just treat you to relief pain temporarily, our service promise is to lead you onto the road to full recovery and to care for you at every step of the way”, said Abhinav Gorawara, Managing Partner, ProHealth Asia.

World-renowned physiotherapist, Ms. Philippa Stewart, Director and Physiotherapist currently managing SPI ProHealth Asia Ltd based in Hong Kongand equipped with over two decadesof expertise in this field, is spearheading the team in India and the ProHealth Physiotherapy Academy that is also specially set up in India. The goal of the academy is to train and build the existing knowledge of Physiotherapists and to enable them to effectively treat any musculosketal condition with best practice solution from around the world. The curriculum of the academy is centered around 5 core Areas-Sports Medicine, Pilates Rehab; Dry Needling & soft tissue technique, Spinal mobilization & management, Patient management & customer service.

Renowned physiotherapists from the industry form the panel of experts at ProHeath Asia Physiotherapy & Rehab center in New Delhi.  Mr. Shrikant Iyengar a well-known name in the field and former chief physiotherapist of the Indian Hockey Team since a decade along with Mr. Saurabh Mathur, renowned physiotherapist from Gangaram Hospital, Delhi along with a well-qualifiedteam of eight additional physiotherapists promise to provide patients the absolute best in assessment, diagnosis and treatment. A major part of the treatment focus is to provide real, easy to understand explanations of each patient’s problems and a treatment plan that leads to full recovery.

Using a unique blend of knowledge and handling skills to speed up the body’s natural healing processes and prevent further injuries, ProHealth Asia help promote good health by assisting patients in a more elaborate treatment plan that prevents further pain and injury.

Speaking on the efficacy and need of such a Physiotherapy & Rehab Centre in India, Mr. Jyoti Randhawa, eminent Golfer and Partner, ProHealth Asia said, “People who are avid sportsmen, require high-level performance and an added demand is placed upon their body, which stresses their muscles, joints and bones.  Sports physiotherapists help athletes recover from sporting injuries, and provide education and resources to prevent problems. I am delighted to now have partnered with the ‘Pro’s’ at sports physiotherapy, Pro Health Asia, here in India. Philippa and team have helped me on several occasions to be on top of my performance in my career and continue to help me. I am delighted that many more Indian sportsmen can now benefit from their experience, knowledge, skilled assessment and diagnosis of sports injuries, and use effective ‘hands-on’ management techniques and exercise protocols to assist recovery and prevent injury.

About ProHealth Asia

ProHealth Asia operates high-end healthcare services within a network of specialist centers. Specializing in personalized treatments for adults and children of all ages, the clinics offer physiotherapy, pediatric physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, family counseling and grief counseling.  Alongside ProHealth’s long-standing physical operations, we invest and acquire well-established medical practices in the Asia Pacific region. At ProHealth Asia, they develop healthcare products that match their patients’ needs in order to deliver on-time healthcare services with optimal results. Their healthcare clinics have over two decades of operational and specialty experience.

A major part of the value-add for ProHealth’s Physiotherapy Clinics in India will be a comprehensive training programme for the physiotherapists. It will enable the staff to deliver a world-class service, modelled on ProHealth’s successful clinics in Hong Kong and the service we provide for elite athletes through SPI ProHealth.

Gender and Public Transport in India:

CPR and CSH are pleased to invite you to a workshop on
Gender and Public Transport in India: How do we move from women’s safety to gender equity?Tuesday, 28 February 2017, 3:45 p.m.
Sonal Shah
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
Image: ITDP India

The increased policy attention to gender in public transport in India has focused on women and is largely circumscribed by technological and project level interventions aimed at addressing and preventing gruesome incidents of violence. The accounts of sexual violence in the public sphere and Nirbhaya’s death in December 2012 galvanized action by civil society and different levels of government in creating safer public transportation systems.

However, public transport planning remains gender blind as city mobility plans rarely collect gender disaggregated data, investigate gendered trip chaining patterns, the mobility of care, inequities such as daily harassment, time poverty, forced mobility and forced immobility, lack of access to non-motorized vehicles and employment and growth in public transport organizations.

This is compounded by fragmented information on existing initiatives undertaken by public transportation authorities. For example, bus-based authorities have created toilets for transgender persons at city bus stands (Mysore), installed GPS devices and CCTV cameras, provided segregated seats and women only doors, conducted gender sensitization trainings, created Women Safety Committees (e.g. Bangalore) and reserved jobs for women drivers and conductors (e.g. Karnataka). Some of these were initiated prior to 2012, often on political requests or on receiving complaints. The implementation challenges, impact of these actions or the extent to which gender equity is rooted within the transport organization’s vision and goals has not been explored. Thus a wide area of research themes on gender and mobility in India remain uninvestigated.

This paper situates women’s security within a broader goal of gender equity; and identifies research gaps in moving the policy discourse towards gender equitable public transport systems. The research focuses on city bus services as they form the back bone of urban India’s public transportation system. The research was conducted at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and was first presented at the conference on “Urban Planning, Governance and Design for Reducing Urban Conflicts and Violence: Critical Learnings and Possibilities”, March 2-4, 2016, Ahmedabad.

Sonal Shah is Senior Manager at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, where she coordinates urban planning projects, policy and research. She has 12 years’ experience in over a dozen cities in India, on city-scale to neighbourhood plans, transit oriented development and station accessibility planning to street design, historic precinct conservation, gender, urban redevelopment and housing policy research.

She wears dual hats as a practitioner and educator. In addition to co-teaching undergraduate urban design studios and graduate history and theory of planning courses, she has conducted capacity building sessions and workshops with professionals, government officials and practitioners. She has presented in numerous conferences such as Safe and Inclusive Cities Conference (Ahmedabad), Transed (Delhi), Walk 21 (Munich), Eco-mobility Conference (Changwon), Talking Transit (Bhopal) and ConnectKaro (Bangalore and Mumbai).

Sonal previously worked with reputed organizations such as the Indian Institute of Human Settlements, World Resources Institute and with the late Charles Correa at the Urban Design Research Institute. She completed a B.Arch from KRVIA, Mumbai University and MSc Urban Planning from Columbia University.

This is the eighty fifth in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Christine Ithurbide at , Partha Mukhopadhyay at or Marie-Hélène Zerah at