Thursday, April 28, 2011

Extreme testing for rotor blades

Only when you are standing beside a wind turbine can you appreciate the immense size of the wind turbine and its rotor blades. The largest wind turbines operating in the world today have rotor blades over 60 meters long – roughly equivalent to three truck-and-trailer units end-to-end. Within the next ten years, manufacturers of high-output wind turbines for offshore wind farms plan to produce blades up to 90 meters long. The prototypes of these new blades have to be tested and certified before they can go into production, and that requires equally as large testing facilities. The Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) in Bremerhaven is preparing for these outsized rotor blades. In early summer IWES will be inaugurating a new facility with the capability of testing rotor blades up to 90 meters long. The central feature of the new test facility will be a tiltable 1000 metric tons steel and reinforced concrete mounting block. Hydraulic cylinders used to tilt the block and additional cylinders to load the blade will allow the IWES engineers to bend a rotor blade as easily as a finger to a blade of grass. Preparations for testing begin by firmly mounting the flange of the rotor blade to the tilt block while the tip of the rotor blade projects upwards at a slight angle. Loading cables are attached at various locations along the blade and to hydraulic cylinders mounted on the floor. When all the cables and hydraulic cylinders are in place, the loading and tilting are initiated. As the tilt block is rotated and the tip of the blade begins to move upward, the rotor blade bends as its upward movement is counteracted by the loading cables pulling downwards. This unique testing setup allows for the blade tip of 90 meter blades to be bent through a distance of 25 meters.

The IWES researchers and engineers will be building upon their prior rotor blade testing experience with the new 90 meter testing facility. A test facility for rotor blades up to 70 meters long was opened at IWES in Bremerhaven in 2009, but it is not equipped with a tiltable mounting block. "The big advantage of the hydraulic tiltable mounting block is that it allows us to set up the ideal configuration for conducting tests with high precision in a minimum amount of time," says Falko Bürkner, who leads the rotor-blade testing team at IWES. This is especially important when testing the blades under extreme conditions, which involves subjecting the blades to the maximum theoretical loading it has been designed to withstand, i.e. 100% of the design load. This is always an anxious moment for the manufacturer: are our calculations accurate, is the structure robust enough?

The new test facility is not solely devoted to extreme load testing, but is also outfitted to simulate the cyclic forces acting on the rotor blades as they rotate due to the force of the wind. The wind and in turn rotation of the turbine causes constantly changing forces to act on the carbon or glass fiber reinforced materials of the rotor blades. "There is no other engineered rotating system in which the materials must support so many changes in the load parameters," says Bürkner. This fatigue loading is simulated in the new facility by a hydraulic cylinder which alternately pushes and pulls on the blade, causing it to vibrate at its horizontal and/or vertical resonant frequencies. A full series of extreme load and endurance tests takes around four months to complete. During this time, the blade is subjected to the same loads that it would normally have to withstand in 20 years of operation. Bürkner is confident that the new facilities will enable the institute to continue its mission well into the future. "We have a full schedule for the next twelve months – and that is even before the new test hall opens on June 9, 2011." IWES experts will be present at the Hannover Messe on April 4-8, 2011 (Hall 27, Stand H 24) to present a 3-D film of their biaxial rotor-blade testing and provide information for other new testing options. An open day for members of the public will be held at the new rotor-blade test center on June 11, 2011.

TRMM Satellite sees massive thunderstorms in severe weather system

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite again flew over severe thunderstorms that were spawning tornadoes over the eastern United States on April 28 and detected massive thunderstorms and very heavy rainfall. TRMM, a satellite managed by both NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, captured the rainfall rates occurring in the line of thunderstorms associated with a powerful cold front moving through the eastern U.S. on April 28. TRMM flew over the strong cold front and captured data at 0652 UTC (2:52 AM EDT) on April 28, 2011. Most of the rainfall was occurring at moderate rates however, there were pockets of very heavy rainfall in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama where rain was falling at a rate of 2 inches (50 millimeters) per hour.

Tornadoes associated with this extremely unstable weather caused the deaths of at least 128 people in Alabama and 15 in Georgia.

TRMM data was also used to generate a 3-D look at the storm. TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) data was used by Hal Pierce of SSAI at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. to create a 3-D structure of those storms. The image Pierce created is a TRMM radar vertical cross section that shows some of these violent storms reached to incredible heights of almost 17 km (~10.6 miles).

Fish livers contain beneficial fatty acids

The fishing industry usually discards fish livers, but a team of researchers from the University of Almeria (Spain) has confirmed that they are a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial to health. Anchovies are one of the fish whose livers contain the highest levels of these substances. Fish livers have hardly been used to date, with exceptions such as cod livers, which are used to produce the well-known medicinal oil. In general, fishermen tend to throw fish entrails away into the sea, and if they make it to processing plants they are one of the first fish body parts to be discarded.

However, these organs contain compounds that are beneficial to health, according to a new study by scientists from the University of Almeria, which has been published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis.

"The livers of edible fish are a good source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA), especially those in the omega 3 family, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)", José Luis Guil-Guerrero, lead author of the study, tells SINC.

These fatty acids are used to prevent and treat various complaints, such as some kinds of cancer, depression, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, behavioural problems and cardiovascular diseases.

The study focused on 12 kinds of fish that are commonly eaten in south eastern Spain, such as hake, shortfin mako and European pilchard. The livers of the great weever (Trachinus draco) and the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) were those that showed up the highest levels of LCPUFA (51.4% and 47.9% out of the total fatty acids, respectively).

In addition, all the species had a combination of omega-3/omega-6 acids that was "beneficial for human consumption", especially in the case of the liver of the blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou).

"Unfortunately, discarding these livers means that all their nutritional properties are missed", says Guil-Guerrero, "and if they were used this would also reduce the environmental pollution caused by throwing innards into the water, which is an inherent problem in the fish product processing industry in coastal areas".

Foul play in Delhi's health department

MiD DAY had raised the issue in August last year. After Delhi police arresting two pharmacists in the Capital, among others, on Thursday for smuggling of medicines from a government hospital, it would appear that some diseases are incurable. This correspondent found that a large number of pharmacists are working in the hospitals by violating the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

As per the ministry's directive to all government hospitals, no pharmacist can continue in the same post in a hospital (or by moving to a different hospital) for more that two years. Despite this, there are a number of people working as pharmacists in government hospitals as well as in Directorate of Health Services (DHS) for more than ten years. Even if they change their job, they manage to get the same position in other hospitals allegedly by bribing members of the health department. According to officials, this is the only reason why such scams happen, as these people form strong connections in a particular area with smuggler, suppliers and persons within the department, and then carry out this illegal trade.

All's not well
In one such case, AK Wadhwa, who has been working as the Pharmacist in-charge, Purchase, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, has been in the same post for the last 15 years. Another person from the same hospital is Rakesh Sharma, who has also been holding onto the same position for more than ten years.

"He has earlier worked in Lok Nayak and Deen Dayal Hospital in the same post. Why is he being given special treatment? These people are solely responsible for this menace. If the government has made some rules, they must have thought about it, but these pharmacists completely ignore such rules and guidelines," said a senior official from the health department on the condition of anonymity.

Ill-gotten gains
Sources pointed out that there is a full-fledged racket functioning from these hospitals. According to them, Narendra Kumar Sharma, who was arrested yesterday, was also a part of the same racket. Before, Hedgewar Hospital, he was working with Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital in the same post. Similarly, another pharmacist arrested, Dharmendra, was working with Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital.

"Interestingly, you will find these pharmacists moving through the same chain of hospitals, including  LBS Hospital, Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Aruna Asif Ali Hospital," said an official from DHS who did not wish to be named.

Some other pharmacists who have been in the same post for more than ten years are Anil Kumar from Aruna Asif Ali and Malkiata Singh working in the Central Store of DHS. Health department sources also allege that instead of purchasing medicines and other drugs through Central Procurement Agency (CPA), these pharmacists buy the medicines from their own group of traders.

"They do not follow the guideline which says that medicines and drugs should be purchased by the CPA. Instead they give the tender to the local traders and supply the same medicines to other hospitals," added a health department official.

'Not our problem'
Meanwhile, the DHS completely brushed off the issue saying that the transfer and promotion of pharmacists is not a matter of their concern."These cases don't come under me. The DHS is only responsible for the internal posting in the dispensaries, but we do keep on changing the posts. These posts are managed by Secretariat," said Dr Kamath, Director, DHS.

Despite repeated calls and messages, Rajendra Kumar, Secretary, DHS did not reply to us. MiD DAY had earlier too tried to speak to him over the same issue, without success. "I will definitely inquire into the matter. We will find out all the details about all such pharmacists who have been violating the guidelines of the ministry," said Dr AK Walia, Minister of Health, Delhi Government.

Unholy nexus
In Thursday's raid, medicines worth Rs 60 lakh were recovered from the arrested persons identified as Ashwani Sharma (35), Pyare Ali (35), Hakim Singh (45), Dharmender Kumar (40) and Narender Kumar Sharma (56). Narender is the head pharmacist of Hedgewar Hospital while Kumar works under him, Sanjay Kumar Jain, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East), said.

"We have exposed the unholy nexus between hospital staff and medicine supplier and the systematic siphoning of the government procured medicine meant for poor patients. Ashwani and Narender were the main kingpins who were operating the gang for the last one year," Jain said.

The arrests came after police received information about illegal sale of government medicine. Following investigations, Jain said, a raid was conducted at the house of Ashwani. "The raid parties were shocked to see the huge stocks of medicine at his house where he had a godown to store them. All the medicines were bearing specific marking of 'Supply for Government of NCT of Delhi, Not for sale' and on some medicine marking of 'MCD supply, Not for Sale' was imprinted," Jain said.

Medicines of 28 types mostly costly antibiotics, ointments and inhalers, including Amoxycillin 500mg, Roxythromycin 150mg, Ampicllin 500mg, Asthalin, Ciprorin 200mg and 500mg, Metrogyl 400mg, Cephalaxin 500mg etc were recovered.

Last-ditch contract negotiations at Children's Hospital Oakland

Registered nurses at Children's Hospital Oakland are in negotiations today with the hospital's management in hopes of averting a five-day strike scheduled for May 5-10.

This would be the second walkout in the same negotiations cycle. The nurses held a three-day strike in October after talks stalled.

The major sticking point has continued to be health care benefits, with the nurses objecting to a plan that would require them to pay more for family coverage. The hospital also has offered two less expensive options that would fully be paid for by the employer.

Children's Hospital's 700 nurses registered nurses are represented by the California Nurses Association. The union members authorized a strike on Friday.

Liz Jacobs, a spokeswoman for the nurses' union, said today she wasn't optimistic the two sides would reach an agreement that would avoid a walkout.

Mumbai fire chief no more

Chief Fire Officer Uday Tatkare (55) died at KEM Hospital last evening. At around 7 pm yesterday, Tatkare's driver Govind Sutar and attendant Ananta Dore rushed him to the casualty ward of KEM Hospital. The casualty doctors on duty swung into action, anxious at not being able to detect his pulse. Senior doctors were summoned to the spot, including the hospital dean Sanjay Oak. Within minutes, Tatkare was shifted to the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) on the second floor of the hospital and put on life support systems. A team of doctors, under the supervision of Oak made several attempts to revive Tatkare. But all their efforts were in vain.

A worried Sutar, who was standing outside the MICU, told MiDDAY, "Sir had attended a meeting at the BMC headquarters. We were returning to his official residence in Chembur. Around 7 pm, my colleague Ananta and I heard sir's mobile ringing. Noticing that he did not answer the phone, we turned round to discover him unconscious. Fearing the worst, we rushed him to KEM Hospital." Soon the news spread like wildfire. Firemen and officers from nearby fire stations flocked to the hospital. His wife Darshana and daughter Hargauri were informed about his hospitalisation.

According to a senior BMC official, "Tatkare was in a meeting at the BMC Head Office to sort out an issue related to the fire department. He had recently been to Finland to inspect the 27 metre snorkel ladder that was to be acquired by the Mumbai Fire Brigade, The new snorkel was to arrive in two months." Waiting outside the MICU was Tatkare's nephew, Sanjay Tatkare, with whom he had had lunch hours before the incident. "I will see you on Saturday," were his last words to his nephew.

According to Sanjay, Tatkare was a vegetarian and a teetotaler, who had never experienced any cardiac problems. A fitness freak, he was very disciplined about his daily morning walk. Sanjay also reiterated that his uncle had nerves of steel, and never buckled under pressure. Sources revealed that Tatkare's daughter Hargauri has just appeared for her Std X examinations. Tatkare, Hargauri and Darshana formed a closely knit family. He had preferred to stay in the official quarters in Chembur until his retirement.

Shiv Sena leader Dagdu Sakpal, who was the first to reach the hospital said, "I was in office in Parel when I was heard that the fire chief had been brought to KEM. Upon reaching the hospital, the doctors informed me that he was no more. It is unfortunate. I knew him as a good fire officer, who would lead the team from the front." A senior police officer from Bhoiwada police station said, "We have registered a case under section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The exact cause of death will be determined only after the autopsy is done on Friday."  Mayor Shraddha Jadhav visited the hospital late last night.

Tatkare had recently initiated the process of recruitment of women fire-fighters and women life-guards. It was under his supervision, that the Mumbai fire officials pointed out the violation of fire safety norms at the Wankhede stadium, leading to an uproar just before the World Cup matches were held at the venue.

Salman Khan traditional 'Sherwani' look from Ready

A lot has been said and done in the past few weeks about Salman Khan's upcoming film Ready . Yes, we know it's the most awaited film of the season. Therefore, Bollywood Hungama got an exclusive sneak peek of Sallu bhai's new look, only for you.

Seen here in the above image, Salman is all decked up in a traditional Sherwani, which is his look in one of the songs in the film.

The music launch of Ready will be happening today evening and Sallu being the man that he is has decided to launch the music at Film City along with the staff workers of the studio. It's his way of giving back to the people, who he feels have stood by him for past 21 years of his career in Bollywood. He will also be having dinner with the workers post the music launch.

Ready, which is being directed by Anees Bazmee, stars Salman Khan and Asin. The film tells a comic tale of love and the game played to safeguard it.

Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Ready is slated for release on June 3.

Kiss and Yell

The idea of announcing a Relationship Status itself is fairly new in our society. But suddenly we are surrounded by places where this is done with ample display of affection. I-am-in-a-relationship is a buzzy place to be in these days especially if you are in the cricket stadia. At least that’s what the celebs are doing.

For pointers, watch the extra innings between Liz Hurley and Shane Warne. Hurley, currently enjoying her Indian holiday with beau Warne — who captains Rajasthan Royals — is clearly enjoying herself. Warne and the 45-year-old Hollywood actor are joined at the hip, arriving at hotels and travelling together in the team bus. In the stadium, Hurley, who recently admitted she “wasn’t into cricket before” hasn’t shied away from her very public display of affection (PDA). The two even went to seal The Royals win in Jaipur over Kochi Tuskers with a celebratory kiss. “She has eyes only for Warne. They surely seem to be making the most of their time together and are not at all conscious of shutterbugs or the fact that Warne’s children Jackson, Brooke and Summer along with Hurley’s nine-year-old son Damien are always around,” remarked a source from the Rajasthan Royals camp during the team’s outing in Chandigarh. Warne and Hurley were booked in Hotel Mountview in Chandigarh with their families in rooms signed in as ‘Warne family 1&2’. Hurley, it seems, has a history of PDA. Samantha Brett, a columnist with The Sydney Morning Herald remarked in her recent column how Hurley is “little too lovey-dovey...publicly, that is”.

Sealing cricketing wins with a kiss seems to be the done thing this IPL season. The Deepika Padukone-Siddhartha Mallya hug-and-kiss routine has been viewed on YouTube over 84,000 times in the last five days overshadowing Chris Gayle’s bludgeoning knock at the Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers match. The fans are loving every bit of the action off the field as well. “This IPL, there’s so much non-cricket action in the stands, it makes for a good game. It’s good to see Deepika come out in the open,” says Chandigarh-based model Sonia Dhiman, who has bought box tickets for Kings XI Punjab’s next match in Dharamsala with a purpose. “That’s the best place to get noticed,” she quips.

Box seats at stadia are perhaps the most coveted places and not without reason. Apart from the loud cheering and the opportunity to rub shoulders with the celebrities, one’s privy to a lot of PDA moments, dutifully recorded by cameras who know where to focus. For the blockbuster India-Pakistan World Cup match at Mohali last month, Aamir Khan flew in with wife Kiran Rao. The two cheered the team together and those who shared space in the box recall Rao holding on to her hubby each time the ball crossed the fence. “She kept calling Aamir ‘My Love’ and the two would whisper into each other’s ears as the cameras zoomed in. The young crowd below the stands kept looking up and taking pictures,” says a journalist who was present for the match.

Celebrities in stands aren’t new to Indian cricket, their PDA is. “Times have changed both on and off the field. I see nothing wrong so long as the players aren’t doing it on the field,” feels veteran cricketer Kapil Dev, who says in the same breath, “Cricket and cricketers are now seen as glamourous, so women want to be associated with them. Also the media likes to highlight such opportunities, which were earlier rare.”

Referring to recent PDA news splashes, Punjab’s well-known psychologist Rajshree Sarda makes a point. “Indians are no longer as prudish. Celebrities are conscious of their acts. If somebody lesser-known was hugging a non-celebrity, there would not be much talk about it,” says Sarda, who agrees that it’s the upper crust that is more comfortable with displaying relationship intimacy. “In the pre-IPL era, cricket stadia never boasted of so much glamour. Also, the adrenaline rush seems to be making people express lot physically,” she says. We aren’t complaining. (With inputs from Shalini Gupta)

'Raavan' was a stepping stone for me in B-town: Nikhil

Actor Nikhil Dwivedi, who is looking forward to his upcoming movie 'Shor in the City' feels it is filmmaker Mani Ratnam's 'Raavan' that opened doors for him in Bollywood.

Despite the debacle of 'Raavan' Nikhil seems to have benefitted the most from the film. "'Raavan' was a stepping stone for me in Bollywod..It opened the doors more for me in the film industry. Now filmmakers are willing to invest in me. I feel they consider me as a bankable star. The journey has begun," said Nikhil in an interview.

Nikhil debuted with Shah Rukh Khan Production's 'My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves' in 2008, but it was 'Raavan' starring Abhishek Bachchan, Vikram and Aishwarya that got him noticed. "After 'Raavan' I wanted to raise the bar. Doing a small film with a meaty role is much important than doing a big film with a small role. This is just the beginning and it feels great," the 29-year-old actor said.

Nikhil started off playing the lover boy in 'My Name.. ', then moved on to very strict Inspector Hemant in 'Raavan'. Now he will be seen in a new avatar in 'Shor..'. "I am open to anything be it small or a big banner. Whether its a substantial role or a small role...the size of the role doesn't matter to me as long as the script and character is good. I am ready for supporting roles," he said.

In 'Shor...'Nikhil will be seen alongside Tusshar Kapoor, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Pitobash Tripathi, Preeti Desai and Radhika Apte among others.

About his character, Nikhil said, "I play the role of Ramesh who is a rowdy and petty criminal who wants to make quick money. The movie is a gritty satirical drama set in the midst of a metropolitan city."

Directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, the film releasing on April 29, revolves around three stories in the Mumbai noise. Nikhil will be seen next in the contemporary remake of Sunny Deol-starrer hit film, 'Arjun'.

Q&A on Playstation Network security breach

Q: What is the PlayStation Network, and what happened to it?

A: The PlayStation Network (PSN) is a proprietary network for owners of Sony's PlayStation 3 consoles to play online games with others. PSN also offers movies and TV episodes for rent or purchase, as well as downloadable games and game demos. "The idea is you create a profile and put your credit card number in and information about yourself, so when you want to get online it verifies your identity," says Chet Wisniewski, senior security adviser at network security firm Sophos. "If you decide to buy or rent anything, they have your credit card on record and can automatically bill you."

Sony shut down PSN on April 20 after discovering that sometime April 17 to 19, an illegal breach occurred. On Tuesday, Sony announced that users' personal data was compromised, including possible credit card information.

Q: How many people are affected?

A: Sony has sold about 50 million PS3 systems and has said that it has 77 million registered accounts in 59 countries. Customers don't have to enter credit card information; they can use prepaid PSN cards sold at retail.

Q: What can users now do to protect themselves?

A: Users should replace any credit card that was on file with PSN, change passwords on any other accounts that used the same password as PSN and subscribe to an identity theft monitoring service, says Paul Judge, chief research officer for security firm Barracuda Networks.

Q: Was Sony quick enough to inform users about the theft of their data?

Sony has not managed this crisis appropriately so far, by not taking immediate and full responsibility for the problem, says Susan Fournier, an associate professor of marketing at Boston University's School of Management. "Their statements to the press actually seek to deflect blame and indicate no ownership of what has happened."

Q: What price might Sony pay in lost trust and lost customers? Should it compensate users?

Still to be seen is whether Sony "has stored enough trust reserves to get it through this crisis," Fournier says. "It is hard to come out of this and feel that the company cares about me."

The PSN relationship with users is not a simple one. "I think Sony has what we would call a communal relationship based in trust and reciprocity," she says. "The 'appropriate compensation' here is more likely attention, caring, empathy (and) specific actions that fix the problem and prevent it from happening again."

In real world costs, Sony could be on the hook for millions. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach in 2010 increased to $7.2 million, with an average cost of $214 per compromised record.

Windows 7 helps Microsoft boost OS share to 78.6 percent

Microsoft's Windows accounted for 78.6% of worldwide operating system revenue in 2010, up nearly a full percentage point, despite growth in Linux servers and Mac desktops, according to Gartner.

Gartner's new analysis adds up the revenue for both server and desktop operating systems worldwide, comparing Microsoft to IBM, HP, Oracle, Red Hat and Apple.

Windows has long dominated the desktop market, but has had a tougher fight on the server side. Adding the two segments together shows Windows grabbing $23.8 billion in 2010 revenue, up from 2009 when Windows accounted for $21.9 billion and 77.9% of the market by revenue share.

IBM, maker of Unix and mainframe operating systems, came in second place in 2010 with $2.3 billion revenue and 7.5% market share. Although Red Hat, the top Linux vendor, accounted for only 2% of share and Apple's Mac OS 1.7%, Gartner said Linux servers and Mac desktops are on the rise.

"Linux (server) and Mac OS were the fastest-growing subsegments in the server and client OS segments, respectively, while Microsoft maintained its leading position in the overall OS market," Gartner said.

Microsoft growth was "driven by positive Windows 7 adoption and [the] PC refreshment cycle."

Windows desktops accounted for $17.7 billion of OS revenue, and 96.6% of worldwide desktop share, followed by Mac OS at 2.8% and Linux at 0.6%.

Counting by revenue, rather than unit share, seems to help Microsoft's cause. Usage tracker Net Applications gives Windows 89.6% of share by number of users, while StatCounter gives Windows 91.6% of users with the rest going mostly to Mac and Linux.

On the server side, Windows earned $6.2 billion in revenue, for just over 51% of the market. HP's Unix systems took in 8.6%, IBM's Unix 8.5%, Linux on the whole took 8.4% and IBM's mainframe, 7.8%.

The small cost of servers running open source Linux naturally results in a revenue share that is much lower than its unit share.

An ongoing survey of the top million websites by W3Techs gives Linux and other Unix-like systems 64.1% of Web server operating system unit share, compared to 35.9% for Windows and nearly zero for Mac OS. Numbers like these have led people like Linux Foundation chief Jim Zemlin to brag that Linux powers the majority of Internet traffic despite its small revenue share.

The overall operating system market grew 7.8% to 30.4 billion in revenue in 2010, according to Gartner, with desktop systems leading the way.

One category Gartner did not include in its analysis is the mobile operating system. Usage of Android and Apple's iOS still account for a small portion of total OS use, but it is growing quickly due to proliferation of smartphones and tablets.

Net Applications, which lumps desktop and mobile operating systems together, found that Apple's iOS rose from 0.81% to 1.87% in the past year, while Windows dropped from 91.3% to 89.6%.

Windows 7 seems to be on fire, selling 350 million licenses and becoming the fastest selling operating system in history, according to Microsoft. A PC World analysis, while not definitive, suggests that the 350 million licenses may actually be a step back for Microsoft, representing only about two-thirds of total PC sales, much lower than Microsoft's typical desktop share.

However, current usage patterns as tracked by Net Applications shows Windows share dropping only slightly, and that is largely due to gains made by mobile operating systems.  

iOS, which powers iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, is actually more widely used than Linux desktops, according to Net Applications. IOS share is nearly double that of desktop Linux and more than three times higher than Android's.

Apple denies iPhone tracking claims

Apple has admitted that a bug in its software has allowed iPhones and iPads to collect data related to their location even when users turn off permission to collect it – but says it will soon remedy this oversight.

The admission follows a storm of controversy after the Guardian's exclusive revelation last week that the devices stored a file containing details from which a user's movements could be reconstructed.

In a statement on its website, the company says that: "Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans ever to do so."

It says that the file discovered by researchers and described in the Guardian is not used for tracking of the phone or its owner. "The location data that researchers are seeing on the iPhone is not the past or present location of the iPhone, but rather the locations of Wi-Fi hotspots and [mobile network] cell towers surrounding the iPhone's location, which can be more than 100 miles away from the iPhone." It adds: "We plan to cease backing up this cache in a software update coming soon."

That will cut the amount of data stored from as much as a year's worth of location information to just seven days, the company says. That is likely to be roughly comparable with the store used on Android phones, which record the past 50 cell towers and 200 Wi-Fi networks that the phone has "seen".

That data is uploaded to Apple in an "encrypted and anonymous" form, it says.

It admits that a software fault means that if users turn off Location Services – which should prevent the upload – the data is still sent. "It shouldn't. This is a bug, which we plan to fix shortly," the company says.

Future versions of the file will be encrypted on the phone. That will allay fears that law enforcement and security services could copy the file and analyse it without a valid warrant.

Apple accepts some of the blame for the concern over the revelations, which have seen it threatened with lawsuits and put under focus from US lawmakers and potentially by European governments. "Providing mobile users with fast and accurate location information while preserving their security and privacy has raised some very complex technical issues which are hard to communicate in a soundbite. Users are confused, partly because the creators of this new technology (including Apple) have not provided enough education about these issues to date," the company says in its statement.

The data is stored because it helps the iPhone to calculate its location, Apple says. "Calculating a phone's location using just GPS satellite data can take up to several minutes. iPhone can reduce this time to just a few seconds by using Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data to quickly find GPS satellites, and even triangulate its location using just Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data when GPS is not available (such as indoors or in basements). These calculations are performed live on the iPhone using a crowd-sourced database of Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data that is generated by tens of millions of iPhones sending the geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple."

Apple also insists that it cannot identify individuals from the data because the data about networks and Wi-Fi – which is reported to the company's servers – is anonymised and encrypted.

The Guardian approached Apple ahead of publication last week of its article detailing the findings by the researchers, but the company declined to comment at the time. Repeated requests for comment received no response until now.

Since then Apple has found itself under fire, with the US Democratic senator Al Franken writing directly to Apple chief executive Steve Jobs demanding to know why the phones retained the data, and attempts to file a class action lawsuit against the company.

Jobs himself was curtly emphatic in an email earlier this week in which he insisted "we don't track anyone" and that "the info circulating around is false".

Food inflation rises marginally to 8.76%

Food inflation inched up marginally to 8.76 per cent for the week ended April 16 on the back of rising prices of fruits, protein-based items and onions.

Food inflation stood at 8.74 per cent in the previous week. This is the second consecutive week when the rate of price rise of food items has gone up after a period of moderation in February and March.

The latest rise, although marginal, will put more pressure on the government, which has described inflation as one of the major challenges facing the economy.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed concern about rising prices, especially of food items, and said the country needs to do more for ensuring the food security of its citizens.

During the week under review, fruits became dearer by 28.43 per cent year-on-year, while egg, meat and fish prices went up 12.14 per cent.

Onions became more expensive by 10.96 per cent on an annual basis. Milk also became dearer by 5.10 per cent. Similarly, cereal prices went up 4.49 per cent, while rice and wheat became dearer by 2.08 per cent and 0.48 per cent, respectively.

However, pulses bucked the trend and witnessed a decline of 6.49 per cent in their wholesale prices. Overall, vegetable prices were down 0.21 per cent and potatoes by 1.61 per cent.

Meanwhile, during the week under review, prices of non-food articles were up 26.48 per cent year-on-year. Fuel and power became dearer by 13.53 per cent, while petrol was up 21.81 per cent.

Food inflation stayed in high numbers for most of 2010 and early 2011 and was the major contributor to headline inflation, which has been above 8 per cent since February 2010.

Headline inflation stood at 8.98 per cent in March, way above the government's projection of 8 per cent.

The government and the Reserve Bank of India have exuded confidence that with a record harvest of wheat and pulses, the trend of increase in prices of food items would be reversed.

However, after the slight moderation of February and March, food inflation numbers have again started moving upward and experts say this could be a major issue for the government at a time when non-food core inflation has also shown signs of going up.

Mahindra Satyam to hire 18,000 employees

IT firm Mahindra Satyam on Thursday said it plans to hire about 18,000 people during this fiscal.

"We have plans of hiring about 18,000 people this year (FY'12). Over 5,000 are from campuses and the rest are from lateral hiring or recruitment of experienced hands," Mahindra Satyam Head Recruitment and Media Sridhar Maturi said.

At the end of the third quarter (October-December period), Mahindra Satyam's headcount stood at 28,832, an increase of 764 personnel from 28,068 employees on September 30, 2010.

Maturi further added, "The campus hiring will be predominantly in India and the lateral hiring is from across the world."

The company has its development and delivery centres in the US, Canada, Brazil, the UK, Hungary, Egypt, UAE, India, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia by which the company serves numerous clients, including several Fortune 500 companies.

Mahindra Satyam, formerly Satyam Computer Services, in September last year had announced its first audited financial results for 2009-10 after its founder B Ramalinga Raju admitted to multi-crore accounting fraud in January 2009.

In November 2010, it announced its first quarterly result for the April-June quarter, the first time after disclosure of its July-September 2008 quarter earnings.

The company's former chairman and founder Ramalinga Raju had in January 2009 confessed to the about Rs 14,000 crore scam wherein the company's profits were overstated and its assets falsified.

Tech Mahindra bought Satyam in April 2009, which since then is operating as an independent company.

Shares of Mahindra Satyam today closed at Rs 74.20 on the BSE, up 1.44 per cent from the previous close.

Food inflation inches up to 8.76 %

Food inflation inched up a tad to 8.76 per cent for the week ended April 16 from 8.74 per cent in the previous week which, analysts feel, has sealed the prospects of yet another hike in key short-term lending and borrowing rates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its annual credit and monetary policy review next week on May 3.

With rising inflationary pressures persisting, the customary consultations that the RBI Governor has with the Finance Ministry to review the economic scenario prior to announcing the credit policy assumes greater significance this time round in view of a discernible slowdown in growth in the wake of high headline and food inflation.

Commenting on the wholesale price index (WPI) inflation data on primary articles which call for a delicate calibration of monetary policy measures, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee maintained that the latest figures on food inflation were in line with the upward trend witnessed earlier.

“We will talk with the Governor of RBI [D. Subbarao] before he announces the monetary policy. We will have a discussion. I think he is coming tomorrow [Friday]... as far as April 16 [WPI data] is concerned, it has been on the same lines. There has been some marginal variation. More or less, the trend that was noticed on April 9... the same trend is being maintained,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

Economic analysts, however, point out that apart from food prices which are expected to decline in the coming weeks, it is the rising commodity prices, including crude oil, which is exerting additional pressure on headline inflation.

Hinting at the need for some strong measures to get a hold on the price situation, KASSA Director Siddharth Shankar said: “Inflation numbers released today are indicative that the inflation is not getting under control and somehow simple policy initiatives will be of no help”.

Even as a hike in short-term lending (repo) and borrowing (reverse repo) rates by at least 25 basis points is on the cards, the industry has warned that any harsh measure to suck out liquidity and render funds unduly expensive would further impact industrial and overall growth which has already shown a decelerating trend in recent months. However, this is despite the fact that the RBI has already raised its key policy rates eight times since March last year in its bid to suck out excess liquidity and thereby rein in inflation but the steps have not yielded results at the level desired.

Kate Spends Night In London Hotel With Sister, Mother

London  : After a final rehearsal at Westminster Abbey, Kate Middleton arrived on Thursday  evening at the Goring Hotel, where her family are staying ahead of her marriage to Prince William on Friday, reports Daily Mail, London.

Wearing a polka-dot dress, the bride-to-be, accompanied by her sister Pippa and mother Carole, waved to the huge crowd which has gathered outside the hotel in Belgravia.

A beaming Kate showed no sign of nerves as she prepares to spend her final night as a single woman - and a commoner. And royal fans had an extra treat  as her husband-to-be greeted well-wishers along The Mall.

Prince William, accompanied by his brother Harry, shook hands and chatted with the crowd near Clarence House. Earlier today, Kate was greeted by cheers at the abbey as she was joined by best man Prince Harry - as well as the bridesmaids and pageboys and members of her family - for one last run-through of the big day which will be watched by 2billion people round the globe.

The practice took place as it was revealed Miss Middleton will not promise to 'obey' Prince William in her vows.

Thousands of royal fans had set up tents outside the Abbey where there was a carnival atmosphere.

As Kate arrived, a huge cheer went up from the royal fans who have been arriving from round the globe.

Waving their Union flags, the crowds greeted the passing Household Cavalry this morning before the bride-to-be arrived for a last run-through. It is the last time Miss Middleton or a member of the Royal Family will be at the abbey before the service gets under way tomorrow, St James's Palace said.

Later on, the Duchess of Cornwall went out onto the Mall to meet well-wishers and those camping out ahead of tomorrow’s event during an impromptu walkabout.

When asked how she was feeling ahead of the big day, the duchess said: 'We’re all ready for tomorrow - it’s wonderful and all very exciting!

'There’s a great atmosphere out here and it’s so nice to meet people and see how the celebrations are getting underway.'

Today the journalist who carried out the couple's engagement interview said they were attempting to 'block out the terror of having two billion people' watching them tomorrow. In a personal message to well-wishers, the couple said they were 'incredibly moved' by the affection shown to them since their engagement in the official wedding programme.  On Friday  modern-thinking Miss Middleton will pledge to 'love, comfort, honour and keep' William.

The soon-to-be royal is following in the footsteps of the Prince's mother Diana who also opted not to 'obey' the Prince of Wales during their wedding ceremony in 1981. The Queen, Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal all said they would obey their husbands.

William and his fiancee have selected the Series One Book of Common Prayer ceremony, from 1966, which allows the bride to drop 'obey him' and 'serve him' from the religious proceedings. With William choosing not to wear a wedding ring, only the prince will say 'With this ring I thee wed' as he places the golden band on Kate's finger.

The task of writing a message at the start of the official programme usually falls to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The wrote that they were deeply touched by people's reactions as they prepare for 'one of the happiest days of our lives', they said.

A St James's Palace spokesman said: 'The couple felt that they wanted to put in a message from themselves.'

The signatures 'William' and 'Catherine' can be seen underneath the heartfelt message.

The programme also contains a hand-drawn colour map of the carriage procession route, as well as the history of the abbey and details of William and Kate's coats of arms.

It includes a brief history of past Royal Weddings at the abbey, where William the Conqueror was crowned in 1066.

It declares: 'More than a millennium after the first William made his solemn oath, the abbey hosts another William and his bride for a further moment of great solemnity, but one of great joy as well.'

Some 150,000 copies of the A5 booklet, costing £2 each, will be made available along the processional route on the wedding day by a team of military cadets and Explorer Scouts.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen would hear a number of speeches at the lunchtime canapes reception for 650 guests, including family, friends, foreign royals, dignitaries and charity workers. She will see the bride and groom cutting their lavish multi-tiered wedding cake. A message from the royal couple in the souvenir programme says: 'We are both so delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives.

Royal Wedding : Ceremonial Timings

London, Apr 29: Following are the ceremonial timings for the Royal Wedding  today:

Start Time: -  0600 GMT (1130 IST)

0715-0845 GMT (1245 to 1415 IST) :  The general congregation will arrive at the Great North Door of Westminster Abbey.

(Starting time 0850 GMT (1420 IST)  - Governors-General and Prime Ministers of Realm Countries, the Diplomatic Corps, and other distinguished guests arrive at the Abbey.

0910 GMT - The Bridegroom and Prince Henry of Wales leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0915g (IST 02.40 PM TO 02.45 PM)

0920GMT (1450 IST) - Members of Foreign Royal Families arrive at Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace.

0920 GMT - Mrs. Michael (Carole) Middleton and Mr. James Middleton leave the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0927g.

0925 GMT - Members of the Royal Family (except those listed below) leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0930g.

0935 GMT - The following Members of the Royal Family leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0940g.

The Duke of York
Princess Beatrice of York
Princess Eugenie or York
The Earl and Countess of Wessex
The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence.

0938GMT - Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0942g.

0940 GMT - The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0945g.

0948 GMT - The Bridesmaids and Pages leave the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey at 0955g.

0951 GMT - The Bride, accompanied by Mr. Michael Middleton, leaves the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey.

1000 GMT (1530 IST)- The Marriage Service begins. The Marriage Service will be relayed by audio speakers along the Route.

1115 GMT - The Carriage Procession of the Bride and Bridegroom with a Captain’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, followed by The Queen’s Procession with a Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, leaves Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace.

1130 GMT - The Bride’s Carriage Procession arrives at Buckingham Palace.

1140 GMT - Members of the Royal Family and Members of Foreign Royal Families arrive at Buckingham Palace.

From 1140 GMT - Other guests for the Reception arrive at Buckingham Palace.

1225 GMT - The Queen and the Bride and Bridegroom, together with their Families, appear on the Balcony.

 1230 GMT - Fly Past by the Royal Air Force and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

14 Killed In Blast In Morocco Cafe

Marrakesh, Morocco :  An explosion killed 14 people, including foreigners, on Thursday in a busy cafe in the Moroccan tourist destination of Marrakesh, and authorities said the initial signs were that it was a criminal act.

The blast ripped through the second storey of a cafe overlooking Marrakesh's Jamaa el-Fnaa square, a spot that is usually bustling with foreign tourists and local vendors.

Officials did not say if they suspected the involvement of Islamist militants. The militants' last big attack was a series of suicide bombings in Morocco's commercial capital, Casablanca, in 2003 in which more than 45 people were killed.

Two people in Marrakesh said the explosion was the work of a suicide bomber, but there was no immediate confirmation of this.

"I heard a massive blast. The first and second floors of the building were destroyed," said one local woman, who did not want to be identified. "Some witnesses said they have seen a man carrying a bag entering the cafe before the blast occurred."

"People are panicking. This is a terrorist act and it will affect the economy and tarnish the country's image. Local investors are selling," said a trader on the stock exchange.

A  photographer at the scene of the blast said he saw rescue workers pulling dismembered bodies from the wreckage of the Argana cafe.

The roof over the restaurant's upstairs terrace had been ripped off by the force of the explosion and pieces of plaster and electrical wires hung from the ceiling.

"I heard a very loud blast in the square. It occurred inside Argana cafe. When I approached the scene, I saw shredded bodies being pulled out of the cafe," the photographer said.

"The first floor bore the brunt of the damage while the ground floor was almost intact ... There are a lot of police who, with forensics, are sifting through the debris."

The Interior Ministry issued a statement saying the explosion killed 14 people, including an undisclosed number of foreigners, and injured another 20 people.

"Early evidence collected at the site (of the explosion) indicates that it was a criminal act," the ministry said in the statement carried by the official MAP news agency.

An official source had earlier told Reuters it appeared the blast was caused by gas canisters in the cafe catching fire.

The official news agency said an investigation was under way to determine the cause of the explosion.

The blast is likely to hurt Morocco's tourism trade -- a major source of revenue -- which is already struggling to recover from the effects of the global downturn.

"Marrakesh is the main tourist destination in Morocco and Argana Cafe has been one of the most popular cafes in the square," said a Frenchman who owns a restaurant in the city.

"You can't find a more emblematic target than Jamaa el-Fna square ... With this attack and amid the worrying unrest in the region, tourism will hit the doldrums for some time," said the businessman, who did not want his name published.

BJP Backs Joshi, Accuses Govt Of Stalling Probe Into 2G Scam

New Delhi : Standing firmly behind PAC Chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi against the onslaught by Congress and DMK members, the BJP today alleged that these were “calculated, deliberate and sponsored” attacks by the ruling coalition to stall the investigation into 2G scam.

“The BJP strongly condemns the attacks on the PAC chairperson. These are calculated, deliberate, concerted and sponsored attacks,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Joshi had faced stiff opposition from Congress and DMK members in the PAC meeting today, when they alleged that he was trying to destabilise the government. They opposed the draft report and said it had been outsourced.

Supporting its senior leader and former president against these barbs, the BJP alleged that when the probe reached the top levels of power like PMO and Finance Minister this “sponsored campaign” started.

“There is a design behind this attack,” Prasad said, adding that the attempt was to forestall the report.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier said Joshi is a seasoned politician and a senior parliamentarian. He had also offered to appear before the PAC. The Congress members had also praised the PAC earlier,” Prasad said.

He recalled that during the April 4 meeting of the PAC, the panel had unanimously decided that it should submit its report on 2G spectrum issue by April 30.

The BJP objected to the manner in which some Congress members of PAC commented in the press against Joshi.

“We want to ask the Congress a question that when the Prime Minister had praised Joshi how has he now been painted as a villian?” Prasad said.

The main opposition also charged the UPA government with attacking government institutions one by one.

“First Kapil Sibal attacked the CAG, then the others also attacked him. Then came the appointment of a person (with a tainted record) as CVC. Now a Parliamentary committee is being attacked,” Prasad said.

The Rajya Sabha MP alleged that Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal had visited some PAC members from other parties to influence them.

“The government does not want the PAC report. It had no objection when industrialists or editors were called. The whole hungama started when officials from the PMO and the Attorney General were called,” Prasad alleged.

“Regardless of repeated rebuffs from the media and the judiciary, the government has shown dogged determination to stall a fair investigation (into 2G scam),” Prasad said. PTI

10 Workers Charred To Death In Delhi Factory Fire

New Delhi : Ten workers were charred to death in a massive fire at a shoe factory in west Delhi’s Peeragarhi industrial area, officials said Thursday.

Around 80 people were working in the three-storey building at the time of fire and many more casualties are feared.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has ordered a probe into the incident and a case has been registered by the police.

The factory is in Udyog Nagar in Peeragarhi area in west Delhi. The fire broke out at 7.10 p.m. Wednesday.

‘Ten bodies have been pulled out of the debris so far. We fear there will be many more people buried under the debris,’ a fire brigade official said.

‘It took almost 12 hours for firefighters to douse the flames. Twenty-five fire tenders were rushed to douse the flames. The fire was brought under control this morning, at around 7.50 a.m.,’ said the official.

However, fire brigade officials had to wait for the blazing hot debris to cool before they could begin rescue operations. They began rescue work at 2 p.m. Thursday.

‘We have registered a case and are investigating whose negligence it was. We have a list of ten missing persons and ten bodies have been recovered so far which have been sent to the hospital. However, it is still not clear whether they are the same people as on the list,’ Additional Commissioner of Police V. Renganathan said late Thursday evening.

‘We will interrogate all concerned and take the statement of the workers. Investigation is on. The fire brigade team is still there,’ he added.

Most of the workers were migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Peeragarhi is a residential-cum-indutrial area, with several factories and also some residential houses.

The list of missing persons are Rajkumar, Bittoo, Manoj, Ajay, Ravi, Mohammad Faizad, Mohammad Sattar, Sunil, Chandrashekhar and Anil, officials said.

According to officials, the fire began on the third floor of the building, which was an open space, before it spread. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

There were 60-80 people working in the factory, of whom 22 were on the rolls while the rest were employed through contractors on daily wage basis. The factory owner has been identified as Narender Singla, said police.

According to fire officials, the factory had not obtained a No-objection Certificate (NOC).

‘Prima facie it appears that the building stored too many cartons and all the exits and escape routes were blocked as a result. There is a wire mesh on the walls that did not allow those trapped inside to jump. The windows were also blocked. The cause of fire can only be ascertained after the rescue operation is over,’ Director of Delhi Fire Service A.K. Sharma said.

‘There should have been a few more openings of the factory. The fire fighting equipment seems to have been in place but were dysfunctional,’ a senior fire department official working on the spot said.

The chief minister has meanwhile directed Deputy Commissioner G.S. Meena to conduct an enquiry into the incident and submit his report within 15 days.

A grieving relative of one of the victims blamed the authorities for delay in the rescue operation. ‘The rescue work began very late. We had suggested that they should break the wall to rescue those trapped but the authorities took a long to take a decision and by that time it was too late,’ she cried.

‘Five of my friends were working there, all are missing. The police are not letting us in, I don’t know what to do,’ 42-year old Rravikant Rajput said.

Rajput, who worked in the factory a few years back said the building had small gates. He also said that fire incidents had occurred in the factory several times earlier, but no one died.

Ram Nath, another witness, said he saw only one boy escaping.

‘I was here till 1.30 a.m. and saw only one boy escaping, I don’t know what happened to the others,’ he said.

This is the fourth incident of fire in Peeragarhi in three months. On Feb 15, 2011, a polyvinyl chloride factory caught fire but no one died in the incident. Just ten days later on Feb 26 another fire broke out in a shoe factory, killing four including a child. On March 13, a fire was reported yet again from another shoe factory but no loss of life was reported.

PAC Ruckus A 'Black Day' In Indian Democracy: Gadkari

New Delhi : BJP President Nitin Gadkari tonight said the ruckus at the meeting of the PAC on the 2G spectrum scam represented a “black day” for the country’s democracy and alleged that whatever happened there was done at the “direction” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Addressing a hurriedly convened news conference, Gadkari also said that four Union Ministers were “controlling” and “monitoring” all activities relating to the stormy meeting presided by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

Gadkari, who did not identify the ministers, accused the Congress leadership of “masterminding” the happenings at the PAC meet in Parliament House.

“Whatever happened today was done at the direction of the Prime Minister,” Gadkari said.

The BJP chief said, “four union ministers were sitting in Parliament controlling all activities, monitoring it.” Gadkari claimed whenever UPA faces allegations of corruption, it resorts to such things.

“Whatever happened today was childish behaviour on part of the UPA...after the meeting was adjourned by Joshi ji, a Rajya Sabha member was elected as the chairman by UPA members,” the BJP president said.

Joshi, who was targeted at the PAC meet, was appreciated by the Prime Minister himself for his good work. “And the Prime Minister himself had offered to appear before the PAC,” he said.

Gadkari claimed till the time PAC was quizzing corporate honchos and journalists, the work of the panel was going on smoothly.

“But when they realised that the PM, the Congress party and top officials would be questioned (in the 2G spectrum scam probe), they started creating problems...they did this when they realised that they could face tough questions,” he said.He slammed the UPA for trying to cover up cases of corruption at a time when people were demanding greater transparency and legislations like Lokpal.

The BJP leader also slammed BSP and SP for supporting Congress whenever it faces crisis.“During the 2008 trust vote, they helped bail out the UPA,” he said. PTI

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