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For The Gain of the Many and For the Welfare of the Many-Uttar Pradesh renews demand for SPG cover for Mayawati-Faster and cheaper air travel soon!-Animation firm DQ will now produce for Indian market
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Uttar Pradesh renews demand for SPG cover for Mayawati

From correspondents in Uttar Pradesh, India, 11:32 PM IST

The Uttar Pradesh government Thursday wrote a letter to the central government renewing demand for a Special Protection Group (SPG) security cover for Chief Minister Mayawati.

This is the third such letter the state government has written to the centre, urging it to give in to Mayawati’s demand.

Sources have said that Union Minister of State for Home Shree Prakash Jaiswal, while turning down the demand on the grounds that no chief minister is entitled to SPG cover, has said that best that could be done is to increase the number of National Security Guards (NSG) attached to her.

Mayawati currently has 36 NSG guards at her service as part of her entitlement to Z-plus security.

Undeterred by the centre’s repeated refusal to oblige, the state government in its latest letter has said, ‘She (Mayawati) is a frequent traveller to different states of the country to campaign for her party.’

‘Since SPG’s jurisdiction cuts across the boundaries of states, it would be in the fitness of things to ensure a SPG cover to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.’

‘The security threat to her also necessitates that she be allowed to drive right up to her aircraft at all airports of the country,’ it said.

It was the recovery of a roughly drawn map of the road leading to the chief minister’s residence Dec 28 from two suspected terrorists that prompted the state cabinet secretary to write to the union home ministry demanding SPG cover for her.

The next letter was on Jan 10 with the plea that a review of the chief minister’s security had confirmed the need for qualitative and quantitative enhancement of her protection

Faster and cheaper air travel soon!

Air travel in India would be faster, and possibly cheaper, as soon as the civil aviation and defence ministries work out ways for civilian aircraft to fly over the country’s restricted airspace.

Aircraft would then be able to fly at higher altitudes, resulting in faster travel and lower fuel consumption. Air is thinner at higher altitudes, offering lower resistance to a plane’s passage, thus increasing its speed.

‘We have already initiated a pilot project in southern India called the Chennai Flights Information Region. We will soon extend this project in other regions. Once complete, we can fly civilian aircraft at higher altitudes,’ civil aviation secretary Ashok Chawla told IANS.

The civil aviation and defence ministries are working on ways to jointly manage airspace in the country.

‘This will be worked out soon and civilian aircraft will be allowed to use restricted airspace,’ Chawla said.

Currently, the defence ministry and the Indian Air Force (IAF) control more than 50 percent of India’s airspace. They have been strongly opposing the move to allow civilian aircraft into this space.

The civil aviation ministry, on the other hand, has been pitching for freeing more airspace for the smoother movement of civilian aircraft.

‘The draft of the civil aviation policy had clearly stated that the Airport Authority of India would take care of the civilian air space and the defence ministry would control the restricted airspace,’ he pointed out.

‘The security and control of restricted airspace would still be retained by the defence ministry and the IAF,’ he added.

Earlier, major differences had emerged between the IAF and the civil aviation ministry on the proposed civil aviation policy. The IAF had publicly expressed its displeasure at not being consulted at the drafting stage of the policy.

The defence ministry had also raised several objections to the proposed civil aviation policy, including a move to release more airspace meant exclusively for the IAF.

But the civil aviation ministry had said the policy should be converted to a ‘national aviation policy’ rather than be restricted only to the civil aviation sector.

Animation firm DQ will now produce for Indian market

DQ Entertainment Ltd, a Hyderabad-based animation, visual effects and gaming solutions company that produces content for Walt Disney Television Animation, now plans to target Indian users.

‘Our productions have so far catered to the overseas markets. However, DQ will now produce content for the Indian market which is thirsting for home-grown content that viewers can identify with,’ Tapas Chakravarti, the managing director and chief executive officer of DQ, told IANS.

Some of the games and animations that the company is proud of are - The Large Family, Skyland, Pet Pals 2 and amp;3, And Yet It Moves, Leonardo, Todd World 2 and Making Fiends. ‘Also, a brand for Walt Disney Television Animation,’ added Chakravarti.

Virtually all the content so far has been for the foreign market. Recently the company was ranked among the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Companies for the second time.

‘The games industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry and it is the fastest growing segment in the animation industry. Game developers and publishers are spending more money to develop the market and distribute games than ever before. And as the market grows, so too does the consumer’s level of sophistication for advanced graphics, game play and interactivity,’ he added.

Chakravarti gives credit to digital technology for making animation and gaming industry a flourishing business.

He said: ‘Digital technology is certainly bringing about a revolution in the animation and gaming industry. New game consoles are hitting the market - Sony Playstation3, Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo’s Wii, to name a few.

‘These systems give games the cinematic quality of movies with real-time capabilities and are more powerful than the super computers of the past and have tremendous graphics complexities. Use of technology is fulfilling the ever increasing creative needs across the platforms of distribution and the bar to innovate is being pushed higher.’

To keep pace with its growth, DQ plans to increase its workforce to 8,500 this year. Its total workforce in 2007 was 2,500.

The company has been growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 47 percent with the company’s current order book estimated at $94.6 million.’

How much does it cost to develop a new game and make an animation film? ‘It costs about $10-40 million to make an animation film,’ said Chakravarti.

The company plans to develop a technology and knowledge campus to house the entire work force for Animation, VFX and Gaming Production in a sprawling Campus at Hyderabad’s Hi-Tech City.

The ‘DQ Film School’ will also be part of this magnificent campus. The company has decided to raise $100 million soon for expansion.

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