Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ginger: Ginger contains an active constituent gingerol, which is responsible for its hot, pungent taste, as well as its stimulating and healing properties. Ginger is often used as a therapeutic spice, working on the digestive system by encouraging secretion of digestive enzymes.

Fennel: (SAUNF) Fennel contains anethole, which stimulates secretion of digestive and gastric juices. Fennel also contains aspartic acid, which acts as an anti-flatulent.
It is no wonder, many of us are in the habit of chewing fennel seeds after meals. Fennel is a digestive herb with many medicinal and culinary uses. It acts as a popular "after mint".

Yoghurt : Yoghurt contains probiotics which are responsible for several activities in the gut; such as producing lactase; killing harmful bacteria and improving digestive tract function.

Fenugreek: (METHI) I Fenugreek leaves and seeds assist digestion, help relieve constipation and help overcome flatulence.
Tip: You can soak fenugreek seedsovernight and eat them next morning tohelp relieve you from digestive disorders.

Mint: Mint is used as a treatment for indigestion, colic, heartburn and flatulence. It also can stimulate the appetite and cure nausea and headaches.

Peppermint tea can help soothe a dry throat.

Bay leaf: Bay leaves are used to treat migraines, stressand anxiety. They also improve digestion and help detoxifythe system.

(Inputs from Mumbai-based lifestyle management expert Namita Jain)

Read more: Superfoods for the stomach - The Times of India

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fastest Aircrafts and Their Specifications

Let's take a look at some of the best fighter aircraft around the world today.Air power is an indispensable aspect in any nation's security apparatus. Countries like India are today aggressively pushing forward with plans to build a robust air force, arming themselves with tech-loaded aircraft.

F - 22 Raptor
As the world's only operational fifth-generation fighter, the F-22 Raptor is, and will remain, unprecedented in its total integration of stealth and advanced avionics
Primary Function: Air dominance, multi-role fighterContractor: Lockheed-Martin, BoeingPower Plant: Two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners and two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles.Crew: OneFuel Capacity: Internal: 18,000 pounds (8,200 kilograms); with 2 external wing fuel tanks: 26,000 pounds (11,900 kilograms)
Speed: Mach 2 class with supercruise capabilityRange: More than 1,850 miles ferry range with 2 external wing fuel tanks (1,600 nautical miles)
Ceiling: Above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)
Armament: One M61A2 20-millimeter cannon with 480 rounds, internal side weapon bays carriage of two AIM-9 infrared (heat seeking) air-to-air missiles and internal main weapon bays carriage of six AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-air loadout) or two 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAMs and two AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-ground loadout)
Unit Cost: $143 million (about Rs 643 crore)
Eurofighter Tycoon
The Eurofighter is the product of a consortium of British Aerospace, Deutsche Aerospace (Germany), Alenia (Italy), and CASA (Spain), with the United Kingdom and Germany providing technological leadershipFunction: Multi-role fighter Crew: 1
Engines: 2 Eurojet EJ200 afterburning turbofans, 60 kN dry, 93 kN with afterburnerMaximum speed: Mach 2.0+ (2390 km/h at high altitude)

Supercruise speed: Mach 1.3+ at altitude with typical air-to-air armament
Service ceiling: 18,290 m (60,000 ft)Range: 1390 kmArmament: The Eurofighter carries NATO's best weapons. It has a high load Capacity with flexible missile configurations. It has thirteen carriage points, three of which are capable of holding external fuel tanks. The maximum fuel or weapons payload is 6,500 kg (14,330 lb.).

A mixture of at least 10 ASRAAMs (advanced short range air-to-air missiles) and AMRAAM (advanced medium range air-to-air missiles) can be carried with four of the AMRAAMs housed in low drag, low observability fuselage stations. A wide variety of air-to-surface weapons can be carried on seven stations, including avionics stores such as laser designators.
F/A - 18 Hornet
The F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets (F/A for Fighter/Attack).
Contractor: Boeing [McDonnell Douglas Aerospace] and Northrop Grumman (Airframe), General Electric (Engines), and Hughes (Radar)Power Plant: Two F404-GE-402 afterburning engines, each in the 18,000 pound thrust class, which results in a combat thrust-to-weight ratio greater than 1-to-1. Depending on the mission and loading, combat radius is greater than 500 nautical milesMission and Capabilities: The F/A-18 Hornet can perform both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. Cockpit displays and mission avionics are thoroughly integrated to enhance crew situational awareness and mission capability in high threat, adverse weather/night environments. Cockpits are night vision goggle compatible. Multi-sensor Integration and advanced data link capabilities further enhance situational awareness.
Seating capacity/crew options: Model F/A-18C: one-seat (pilot-only); Model F/A-18D: two-seats (one for the pilot and one for the weapons/sensor officer [WSO])

Top speed: Mach 1.8Combat radius: 500+ nm (900+ km)Armament: F/A-18C/D can carry up to 13,700 pounds of external ordnance. Weapon stations include two wingtip stations for Sidewinders, two outboard wing stations for air-to-air or air-to-ground weapons, two inboard wing stations for fuel tanks, air-to-air, or air-to-ground weapons, two nacelle fuselage stations for AMRAAMs, Sparrows, or sensor pods; and one centreline station for fuel or air-to-ground weapons.Unit cost: $39.5 million (about Rs 180 crore)
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light-weight single engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. The aircraft is in service with the Swedish Air Force, the Czech Air Force, the Hungarian Air Force and the South African Air Force, and has been ordered by the Royal Thai Air Force.


Role: Fighter/attack/reconaissanceCrew: 1

Wingspan (including Launchers): 8.4m
Ceiling: 50,000ftMaximum Speed: Supersonic at all altitudesEngine: The RM12engine, supplied by Volvo Aero, is a development of the GE F404 engine from General Electric. A digital engine control system automatically monitors the engine parameters and automatically switches on the back-up systems if required. A condition monitoring system registers the flight data.Armament: The Gripen has seven external hardpoints for carrying payloads -- one at each wingtip, two under each wing and one on the fuselage centreline. The Sidewinder, mounted on the wingtips, is an all-aspect attack, short-range missile for enhanced dogfight capability. Air-to-surface missiles include the radar-guided Saab RBS15F anti-ship missile and Raytheon Maverick missile. The internally mounted 27mm Mauser high-energy gun can operate in an automatic radar-guided aiming mode. The stand-off dispenser is the DWF39 from EADS (formerly DaimlerChrysler Aerospace) and Bofors.
Unit cost: $40.61 million (about Rs 182 crore)

Dassault Rafale

The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engined delta-wing agile multi-role 4.5-generation jet fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault AviationPrimary Function: Multi-role fighter / reconnaisance

Crew: Single or twin seaterPowerplant: Two SNECMA M88-3 turbofans each rated at 19,555 lb (86.98 kN) with afterburningSpeed: Maximum level speed 'clean' at 36,090 ft (11000 m) 1,321 mph (1,147 kt / 2125 km/h)Ceiling: 60,000 ftRange: 1000 nautical milesArmament: Cannon: 1 30mm DEFA 554; Mica missile, R 550 Magic 2 missile, BGL 400 (French counterpart to the American Paveway laser guided bombs)Unit Cost: $82.3 million (about Rs 384 crore)
Su - 30 MKI
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a variant of the Sukhoi Su-30 jointly-developed by Russia's Sukhoi Corporation and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force. It is a heavy class, long-range air superiority fighter which can also act as a multirole, strike fighter aircraft.

Crew: Two seaterEngines: The Su-30MKI is powered by the two AL-31FP turbofans, employing AL-100 vectoring nozzleCeiling: 17,500 m (57,415 ft)Endurance: 10 hoursMax Range: 3,000 km (1,620 nm)Top Speed: 664 mps (Mach 2)Armament: Main gun is 30 mm caliber. The combat load is mounted on 12 stations. The maximum advertised combat load is 8000 kg. Over 70 versions of guided and unguided weapon stores, including air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, may be employed which allows the aircraft to fly the most diverse tactical missions.Unit Cost: $36.55 million (about Rs 164 crore)
F - 15 Eagle
The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat.Primary Function: Tactical fighterCrew: One (F-15A/C), two (F-15B/D/E)Powerplant: Two P&W F100 turbofan engines in 29,000 lb (13,154 kg) thrust class with afterburningSpeed: 1,875 mph (Mach 2.5 plus)

Ceiling: 65,000 feetRange: 3,450 miles ferry range with conformal fuel tanks and three external fuel tanksArmament: One internally mounted M-61A1 20mm 20-mm, six-barrel cannon with 940 rounds of ammunition; four AIM-9L/M Sidewinder and four AIM-7F/M Sparrow air-to-air missiles, or eight AIM-120 AMRAAMs, carried externally.Unit Cost: A/B models $27.9 million (about Rs 126 crore), C/D models $29.9 million (about Rs 135 crore)
F - 16
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.Primary Function: Multirole fighterCrew: One (F-16C) / Two (F-16D)Powerplant: F-16C/D: one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or one General Electric F110-GE-100/129

Speed: 1,500 mph (Mach 2 at altitude)Ceiling: Above 50,000 feetRange: Over 2,100 nautical milesArmament: One M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon with 500 rounds; external stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles, conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions and electronic countermeasure podsUnit Cost: F-16A/B: $14.6 million (about Rs 65.7 crore), F-16C/D: $18.8 million (about Rs 84.6 crore)
Mig - 29 Fulcrum
The MiG-29 Fulcrum is Russia's most important tactical fighter. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other nations, including India.

Primary Function: Multi-role fighterCrew: OnePowerplant: Two Klimov/Sarkisov RD-33 turbofans at 18,298 afterburning pounds of thrust eachSpeed: Mach 2.3 (1,520 mph)Ceiling: 55,775 ft (17,000 m)Range: 932 miles (810 nm/1500 km) with internal fuelArmament: One 30mm GSh-301 cannon with 150 rounds, Six AAMs, including a mix of SARH and AA-8 Aphid (R60), AA-10 Alamo (R27T), AA-11 Archer, (R73), FAB 500-M62, FAB-1000, TN-100, ECM Pods, S-24, AS-12, AS-14Unit Cost: $29 million (about Rs 130.5 crore).
J - 10(Chinese)
The J-10 is a fourth-generation multi-role fighter, produced by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Co. (CAC). The secretive Chinese programme started in the late 1980s, and is reportedly based on the Israeli Lavi fighter, Israels attempt to develop its own F-16.Primary Function: Multi-role fighterCrew: 1

Powerplant: 1x Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FN turbofan, rated at 79.43 kN dry, 122.58 kN with afterburning (17,857 lbf, 27,557 lbf)Maximum speed: Mach 1.2 at sea level; Mach 2.0 at altitudeCombat radius: 550 km (300 nm, 340 mi)Maximum range: 1,850 km (1,000 nm, 1,150 mi)Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,055 ft)Armament: Guns: 1 23 mm internal cannon; Hardpoints: 11 -- 3 under each wing and 5 under the fuselage;Missiles: air-to-air (PL-8, PL-11, PL-12, R-73, R-77), air-to-surface (YJ-9, YJ-9K); Bombs: laser-guided and unguided bombsUnit Cost: 190m yuan ($27.84m or about Rs 125 crore)

Monday, November 15, 2010

In Gujarat, e-literate paanwala googles NREGS, stumbles on Rs 1-crore scam

A newly e-literate village paanwala's obsession with Google has blown the lid off a unique NREGS scam in Porbandar. The motley bunch of beneficiaries include affluent NRIs, doctors, government officials, teachers and well-off farmers — all shown as unemployed village labourers holding NREGS job cards. So far, the money siphoned off comes to nearly Rs 1 crore.

On paper, there are 963 NREGS job cardholders at Kotda village in Kutiyana taluka of Porbandar district. Records show they have been paid over Rs 95 lakh for their 'labour' over the past three years. In reality though, none of them have ever dug wells or built roads in their lives or actually received any money for the same under NREGS or otherwise.

The scam came to light after Aslam Khokhar (37), a Class X dropout and a paan shop owner in Kutiyana learnt how to use computers and searched NREGS on Google. "I was thrilled to find every detail of NREGS work in our area on the website. But I then came across the job card of a friend, who is a government employee.

I searched and found there are doctors, teachers and NRIs I personally know in the village, listed as 'labourers' on the site," said Khokar.

Veja Modedara, an independent councillor at Kutiyana taluka panchayat, and Congress worker like Bhanukant Odedara soon joined hands with Khokhar. The trio conducted door-to-door meetings with villagers named in the website and found they had neither worked on any NREGS site nor received any wages.

Several like Bharat Ganga (23), who has been to Muscat for the past three years, were shocked to learn that they were named as NREGS employees on record and have been even paid for their work. "How can this be? I moved out of India three years ago," Ganga told The Indian Express.

Varu Karsan Uka (38), an official with the Pashcim Gujarat Vij Company Limited for 15 years also holds the job card number GJ-21-005-030-001/726. Even his wife has been also named as a card holding labourer. According to the records, the couple had built roads and dug wells for 60 days and received Rs 6,000 for their work. "How can I possibly get an NREGS job card when I am a state government official ?" said Uka.

Dr Dayaram Babhania (58), a well-known physician in Kutiyana too holds a job card (number GJ-21-005-030-001/526), though he admits never to have lifted a pickaxe in his entire life.

Other like him on the list are Range Forest Officer Jesa Odedara, Forest Guard Arshi Bhattu, Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) employees Meru Odedara and Arjan Odedara, teacher Leela Dasa, Ex-serviceman Kunti Rama and NRIs Haja Modha, who have long left the village and settled in Israel. On paper, all are 'labourers' and many have been paid too.

Kutiyana Sub-Inspector I Damor said the police probe will take a while since details of all the 963 accounts need to be verified.

Kutiyana Taluka Development Officer J Gamit said, "Preliminary investigation by the department has revealed that at least 73 cardholders are government employees, professionals or NRIs."

District Development Officer K D Bhatt said: "We will begin a door-to-door survey to find the exact scale of the scam."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Leadership skills

What makes a successful chief information officer? Leaders must have the right leadership skills in place to deliver on heightened expectations, according to Gartner, Inc. and Korn/Ferry.

"Focusing on leadership and people skills - the 'soft' things that many Leaders tend to minimise in their quest to keep up with their day-to-day responsibilities of managing IT - is in fact the biggest determinate of their success, or failure," says Graham Waller, vice president of Gartner Executive Programs.

IT executives who have the best relationships and can earn 'followership', not only with their employees, but more importantly with their business partners within and outside the organisation, tend to make the most effective business technology executives.

In the recently published book 'The CIO Edge Seven Leadership Skills You Need To Drive Results', Graham Waller; George Hallenbeck director, Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting; and Karen Rubenstrunk, formerly with Korn/Ferry's Leader practice, examine the key skills Leaders need and how to develop them.

1. Commit to leadership first and everything else second

Gartner and Korn/Ferry's research reveals that the highest performing CIOs are effective because they embrace the idea that everything they need to accomplish will be achieved through people, by people, and with people.

They don't pay lip service to that idea. They live it. They lead.

2. Lead differently than you think

A high-performing CIO is an incredibly complex and creative thinker.

Yet when the time comes to lead, they don't rely on their superior 'smarts' and analytical skills to come up with the best possible solution.

They act collaboratively.

3. Embrace your softer side

Effective CIOs manage the paradox of gaining more influence by letting go of control and allowing themselves to be vulnerable.

In turn, that vulnerability enables them to create deep, personal connections - connections that provide the ability to inspire people both inside and outside their organisation.

4. Forge the right relationships to drive the right results

This skill may not be surprising.

High performing CIOs spend a greater percentage of their time and energy managing relationships that exist sideways: with internal peers, external suppliers, and customers.

They purposely invest in horizontal relationships which form the foundation to drive extraordinary results.

5. Master communication

The best CIOs know that their colleagues - especially the people who work for them - are always watching.

These executives understand they are always on stage.

They take advantage of that situation by constantly reiterating core messages and values.

Through their focus on clarity, consistency, authenticity, and passion, they make sure their message is not only understood but also felt.

They want to communicate a feeling that compels people to take the right actions.

6. Inspire others

In exchange for a regular paycheck, most people will give an adequate performance.

But they will only give their best work if they believe they are involved in something greater than themselves.

The best CIOs provide a compelling vision that connects people to how their enterprise wins in the marketplace and that their contributions are meaningful and valued.

7. Build people, not systems

By developing people all around them, these CIOs increase their capability and capacity to deliver results.

They also know that leaving behind the next generation of leaders is the best thing they can do for the organisation it will be their lasting legacy.

The three authors warned CIOs that mastering soft skills can never be a replacement for the key management aspects of the job.

It is instead a powerful enabler and an amplifying force that allows individuals to exceed expectations and maximise the value from IT.

"All CIOs must deliver results. What distinguishes the best is how they do it: through people, by people, and with people," Mr Waller said.