`Money to be spent on Groskhkov akin to price of same warships`
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 20:04
New Delhi: Government on Thursday said the USD 1,783 million to be spent for refurbishing and repairing the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier "compares well" with the price of similar warships built in other countries.

"The repair and refurbishing cost of about USD 1,783 million (USD 1.78 billion) of the ship compares well with the cost of other aircraft carriers of similar capabilities being built elsewhere in the world," Defence Minister A K Antony said in written reply to a Rajya Sabha query.

India and Russia recently signed a fresh deal worth USD 2.33 billion dollars for the Gorshkov, which was originally to be procured at a cost of USD 974 millions under a 2004 agreement.

Pointing out the reasons behind procuring the Russian-built aircraft carrier, he said, "requirement of two operational aircraft carriers for the Navy has been considered essential to perform its mandated tasks. Further, aircraft carriers are not easily available."

Antony added, after taking these aspects into consideration, the induction of the aircraft carrier was finalised to enhance the combat capability of the Navy.

Meanwhile, answering another query, the Minister said in last four years only one accident had taken place during the aerial display of defence aerobatic teams.

A Kiran Mk II aircraft of the Navy had crashed on March 3 this year at Hyderabad at an air show. While two defence services personnel died in the accident, two civilians were injured."


New Delhi: India, which is struggling to cope with high Infant Mortality Rates, can reduce the deaths of children by three to four per cent by protecting women from malaria during pregnancy.

Henri van den Homberg, Chief of Health of UNICEF, said that malaria infection during pregnancy has the greatest impact on the health of the baby and is one of the biggest risk factors for their death.

"If a mother gets infected by malaria during the second half of pregnancy, the baby has a high tendency to be born with low birth weight which is one of the biggest factors for deaths in the first weeks of life," Henri told reporters.

If the placenta of a pregnant woman gets infected by malaria, the child has a high risk of being born with low weight which can lead to deaths, he said.

He regretted that India does not have any national data on pregnant women with malaria.

The UNICEF official also talked about many cost effective treatments and prevention for malaria among pregnant women particularly of the use of nets.

"Global research shows that use of bed nets can reduce malarial parasite in the blood by 38 per cent. More than a quarter of low birth weight can be prevented through use of nets," he said.

Pregnant women are entitled to free mosquito nets in the country but doubt whether this information has reached them, he said.


First Published: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 20:04

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