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Electronics Manufacturing Clusters Scheme to provide world-class infrastructure

The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal to offer financial support for the development of Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) as these EMCs would aid the growth of the Electronics Systems Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector, help development of entrepreneurial ecosystem, ...

Export Stood at US $ 25.68 Billion in May 2012 Trade Deficit Contracts in May

India’s exports for the month of May 2012 registered a decline of (-) 4.16%, at US $ 25.68 billion compared to May 2011 when it stood at US $ 26.79 billion. During May 2012, the imports were US $ 41.9 ...

Increasing Industrial Package for Industries in Assam

Operational From 1st April,Government of Assam has requested for extending industrial package to food processing industries. ...

Share of States in Development of Textile Industry/Sector

The Union Government collects textiles statistics on the production of cloth and yarn State-wise in the country. Andhra Pradesh with 164 Cotton/Man-made Fibre Mills is the 3rd largest textiles manufacturing State in the country after Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra ...

India, China may face economic downturn in coming months: OECD

India and China, besides some developed countries, may face economic downturn in the coming months, according to an analysis by OECD – a grouping of mostly advanced nations.It also said the global economic growth is slowing down. The latest reading ...

Reverse Exodus

In March, Dhananjay Datar, promoter of the $50 million United Arab Emirates-based Al Adil Trading Co., celebrated the 25th anniversary of his business. He hired a Boeing 737 and circled Dubai for several hours as 50 guests popped champagne and ...

In March, Dhananjay Datar, promoter of the $50 million United Arab Emirates-based Al Adil Trading Co., celebrated the 25th anniversary of his business. He hired a Boeing 737 and circled Dubai for several hours as 50 guests popped champagne and ate cake. After touchdown, he presented his wife, Vandana, with a $2 million Rolls Royce Phantom.

Around the same time, other Boeing 737s were ferrying laid-off Indian workers back from Dubai to Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Kochi, principal cities in the southern Indian state of Kerala. They hope to return, but at the moment it doesn’t seem likely.


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Some 200,000 to 500,000 Keralites working in the Gulf are likely to return home by midyear, state finance minister T.M. Thomas Isaac told the State Assembly recently. This is a considerable chunk of the estimated two million-plus Keralites working abroad, nearly 90% of them in the Gulf. The 2001 census put Kerala’s population at 31.8 million. Non-resident Keralites (NRKs) send back close to $8 billion in remittances annually, more than double the state’s tax revenues. The impact of the reverse exodus — both economically and socially — could be devastating, according to experts.

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Nasscom says IT growth wave expected in Gujarat

State of Gujarat may see a boom in the IT sector in coming years, this was stated by Mr Som Mittal President of Nasscom in the IT-summit-2010 held at ahmedabad in gujarat. There is a higher probability of few big ...

End tax breaks to stop overseas hiring: Obama

US President Barack Obama is renewing his call for Congress to close tax breaks that reward some U.S. companies with overseas subsidiaries, a proposal that has raised concerns among some lawmakers in the president's own party.In his weekly radio and ...

Obama India visit: Indian jet deal may create 27,000 jobs in US

WASHINGTON: The Obama Administration is eyeing on the lucrative multi-billion dollar tender for medium multi-role combat aircraft of Indian Air Force as this has the potential to create a whooping 27,000 jobs in the US.At a time, when unemployment rate ...
"These common values and our increasingly convergent interests have driven an unprecedented transformation in Indo-US relations in just one decade.

After the Cold War, President Bill Clinton seized upon India's rapid economic emergence and liberalisation to lay the foundation for this transformation through his iconic five-day trip to India in the year 2000," Blake said.

"The Bush Administration built upon the Clinton legacy, with the US-India Civil Nuclear Deal - a landmark achievement for both of our countries.

Today, the wide scope and the intensity of our bilateral engagement is unprecedented and yet still growing," he said.

"President Obama had called India our "indispensable" partner for the 21st century.

That's why the President and Secretary Clinton are now forging a new strategic partnership with India that will help shape the 21st century," Blake said.

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Architects beginning to think big

Britain's homes have long had the smallest rooms in Europe, now a new generation of town planners and architects is urging us to rethink the way we use our shrinking urban space. Oliver Bennett reports ...
It's time to return to the Parker Morris standards, repealed 30 years ago, says Roberts-Hughes. Formulated in 1961, this diktat laid down new minimum standards for public housing in terms of space, heating and other factors – reflecting the white-hot optimism of the times.

"Thirty years since the Parker Morris standards were removed, there has been one major change to homes," says Roberts-Hughes. "They have shrunk." And we have grown out of them, with children staying at home for longer, smaller spaces accommodating more people, and a bizarre service industry of ring-road sheds to store possessions.

The reasons for the shrinking of the British home are manifold, according to a report from the Policy Exchange think tank.

"The rise in land prices, and the consequent high cost of housing, choke off the demand for larger houses, at all income levels, which would otherwise occur as incomes increase," it says. In short, "Because housing has become more expensive, people are forced to buy less."

Not a happy scenario, then. But this autumn, attention has turned back to space standards, and how they may be enhanced. The London Development Agency has published the new London Housing Design Guide, setting out Mayor of London Boris Johnson's aspirations. The new guidelines, dubbed the "Parker Boris" standards, in reference to their historic antecedents, have kicked off with the Olympic housing masterplan being cut from 10,000 homes to 8,000, with a greater preponderance of larger family houses. "Parker Morris plus 10 per cent" is the new mantra: a corrective to "Rabbit hutch Britain" – as last year's Cabe report dubbed our small dwellings. That report attached special "name and shame" stigma to Barratt Homes's "Manhattan pods" in Harlow, Essex. They boast 365 sq ft of space, with living rooms measuring 3.6m by 3m. And now the new Parker Boris standards, which have been adopted by the Homes and Communities Agency, set the minimum size for a one-bed flat in affordable housing at 550 sq ft. Two bedroom flats must be no smaller than 770 sq ft.

The House Building Federation, representing private housebuilders, though argues that private housing should be treated differently.

"We don't think [space standards] are suitable or applicable to private housing," says a spokesman. "The end user and the market define the size of the home. Housebuilders provide dwellings that people can afford." And Grant Shapps, Minister for Housing and Local Government, said in a speech this week that he wants to reduce the "burden of regulation" to drive down unnecessary costs house builders.

The Lifetime Homes Standard, devised in 1991 and updated this year, was supposed to pick up where Parker Morris left off, and includes recommendations on space. But the perfect property storm of expensive land and a booming buy-to-let investment market appears to have left smallness the industry standard across the country – a situation that appears unlikely to change.

There is a similar trend in the US, but interestingly – and in line with the American spirit of turning a problem into an opportunity – small houses have become something of a cult for the Toyota Prius-owning classes.

A survey by the American Institute of Architects reveals that 57 per cent of architecture firms reported a decrease in the square footage of their residential projects in 2010, up from 13 per cent back in 2005. The architectural bookshelves pullulate with books about the wonders of diminutive houses, and there's a raft of architect-designed small houses bearing cool names: the itHouse, the Roho, the weeHouse and the Tumbleweed Tiny House – whose designer and builder, Jay Shafer, gained a publicity coup by tethering it to his car.

These small houses – they are American small, that is, less than 750 sq ft – pitch into the post-recessionary, eco-coolness of "small".

In a slightly different fashion, architects in Britain have been working hard to find solutions for the space deficit. Richard Horden, of Horden Cherry Lee Architects, in London, developed the micro-compact home, known as m-ch, in 2005.

A 2.65m aluminium cube, it is a lightweight transportable living space. "Since 2005 we've built 15," says Horden. "There's a village of seven near Munich, part of an O2 campus, and none as yet in Britain."

Horden and his colleagues have now bought the unit cost down to €18,000-€26,000, and he emphasises that his bothy is ahead of the times: "It couldn't have happened until recently, because it fits with flat-screen televisions, laptops and other technologies." We shouldn't think of such innovations as small spaces, he counsels, more as smart spaces. The public, he says, should think of a m-ch home more as they would a first-class airline seat or a Smart car – an ergonomic response to a wider problem, and one that will help decondition us from the desire for size.

Architects have become adept at building in tight sites. Take architect Graham Bizley's north-east London home (pictured), designed to fit into an awkward infill space. With a change in planning policy in 1999, notes Bizley, of Prewett Bizley Architects, "people became able to build on small sites: garages, ends of gardens, infill sites". Bizley bought his rhomboidal plot for £30,000 in 1999, when such places were still relatively plentiful in London. They are now far harder to find, and considerably more expensive.

The idea that architecture will become smaller, industrialised and modular has long antecedents. "It's a conversation that has roots in the 1930s, and architects have long said that they want to make housing more like the car industry," says Bizley. "The trouble is that people like to express individuality." Like Horden, he urges the house-hunting public to look at quality rather than quantity: "If you've got a good architect, a small space isn't such an issue."

Space standards or not, it seems that we all have to address the possibility of living smaller and smarter.

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