Cartosat-2 launch tomorrow: Countdown for Isro’s ‘eye in the sky’ begins

When Indian Army soldiers conducted surgical strikes, they had help from an ‘eye in the sky’

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The 28-hour countdown operation of the PSLV-C38/Cartosat-2 series satellite mission started on Thursday at 05:29 hours IST.

This comes after the Mission Readiness Review Committee and Launch Authorisation Board cleared the countdown on Wednesday.

Current Affairs : The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is gearing up to launch its Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation along with 30 co-passenger satellites.

Isro’s workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its 40th flight (PSLV-C38), will carry these satellites into orbit. The rocket is scheduled to take off from the Sriharikota space port near Chennai at 9.29 am on Friday.

The rocket will carry the 712 Kg Cartosat-2 series satellite and 30 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 243 Kg at lift-off, into a 505 Km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.

Also Read : Isro to launch Cartosat-2 along with 30 smaller satellites on Friday

The PSLV-C38 will be launched from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. This will be the seventeenth flight of the PSLV in its ‘XL’ configuration (with the use of solid strap-on motors).

The primary Cartosat-2 series satellite is a remote sensing satellite. The imagery sent by the satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features, and various other land information systems, as well as for geographical information system (GIS) applications.

The co-passenger satellites comprise 30 nano satellites from India and 14 other countries — Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, United Kingdom, and the United States of America. The total weight of all the satellites carried onboard PSLV-C38 is about 955 Kg.

The 30 international customer nano satellites are being launched as part of commercial arrangements with Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), Isro’s commercial arm.

What does the Cartosat satellite do?

ICC Champions Trophy: Pakistan army mocks India after victory

Pakistan won the Champions Trophy cricket final on Sunday by defeating India by 180 runs

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Current Affairs : Pakistan Army has mocked India after the country’s resounding victory in the Champions Trophy cricket final, sharing photos of celebrations in restive Balochistan with a caption “To whom it may concern’. Lay off”.

After posting photos of Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa with victory sign and soldiers dancing over Pakistani triumph over India at the Oval, military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor shared pictures from Balochistan where people were celebrating the victory.

“And this is Our Balochistan. ‘To whom it may concern’. Lay off,” he wrote along with photos.

The pictures were apparently in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech last year in which he had raised the issue Pakistan’s atrocities on people of Baluchistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Ghafoor also posted a video showing people in Srinagar purportedly celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India.

“And this is………Srinagar!!” he wrote.

In another tweet, he said, “Valiant soldiers of Pakistan congrat Team Pak & Nation. United we shall defend Pak against all threats our enemies hatch.”

Pakistan won the Champions Trophy cricket final on Sunday by defeating India by 180 runs.

Where is no sex in booklet? AYUSH min slams reports on ‘lust guidelines’ for pregnancy

AYUSH said media paid selective attention to the suggestions on page 14 of the booklet

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Current Affairs : The Ministry of AYUSH on Wednesday termed the reports incorrect that said that an AYUSH booklet stated that pregnant women should control lust, hang “beautiful” pictures on the wall and shun non-vegetarian food to deliver a healthy baby.

In a statement, the AYUSH said, “Some reports have appeared in the print and electronic media since June 13, 2017 concerning the publication ‘Mother and Child Care’ of Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN), an autonomous body under the Ministry of AYUSH. Unfortunately, many of these reports are seen to be inaccurate, and some are even seen to misrepresent facts.”

The Ministry said that nowhere in the booklet ‘no sex’ has been mentioned.

“Some news reports carry an assertion that the booklet puts forward the ‘prescription’ that ‘pregnant women in India’ should ‘say no to sex after conception’. This is far from the truth. In fact, the words ‘no sex’ do not feature at all in the booklet,” it added.

The AYUSH Ministry statement said that the media paid selective attention to the suggestions on page 14 of the booklet.

“The suggestion on page 14 of the booklet regarding avoiding certain types of food like tea, coffee, white flour products, fried and oily items and non-veg during pregnancy, is seen to have received selective attention. The suggestion that non-vegetarian food may be avoided (as Yoga & Naturopathy don’t advocate non-vegetarian food in its practice) has been singled out for high-lighting in some reports, omitting the mention of white flour products, fried and oily items etc,” it added.

The Ministry also termed the media claims ‘incorrect’ that the report that it was released by the Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH in the recent past.

“This publication has been in distribution through the units of the erstwhile Department of AYUSH and CCRYN since 2013. The report that it was released by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH in the recent past is incorrect,” said the AYUSH in a statement. ReadMore

Intense hate campaign against me by media knows no bounds: Vijay Mallya

Former Indian politician and billionaire businessman Vijay Mallya, centre, arrives for his extradition hearing arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London.

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After mocking India saying “keep dreaming about a billion pounds”, fugitive loan defaulter Vijay Mallya took on the media for running an “intense hate campaign” against him.

“Intense hate campaign by Indian media against me knows no bounds. The GOI (Government of India) has filed a case which is before a UK court. Wait for verdict,” he tweeted.

The Twitter post came after a London court pushed back the date of a hearing to decide whether he should be extradited to India.

Intense hate campaign by Indian media against me knows no bounds. The GOI has filed a case which is before a U.K. court. Wait for verdict.

— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) June 14, 2017

Current Affairs : Mallya has had run-ins with the media previously as well. After his brazen appearance at a Champions Trophy cricket match, he had on June 4 tweeted: “Wide sensational media coverage on my attendance at the India vs Pakistan match at Edgbaston. I intend to attend all games to cheer the Indian team.”

On Tuesday, the 61-year-old liquor baron had claimed he has “enough evidence” to plead his case in the Rs 9,000 crore loan default case and taunted India saying, “you can keep dreaming about a billion pounds”.

“I deny all allegations that have been made and I will continue to deny them,” he said after appearing before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court for the hearing of an extradition case against him.

Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot granted him bail until December 4. The next hearing has been set for July 6.

He denied media reports that he was booed by Indian cricket fans when he arrived to watch the India vs South Africa cricket match at The Oval on Sunday, saying only a “couple of drunk” people had chanted “chor, chor” (thief, thief) but there were several others who came up to him and wished him well.

Petrol pumps not to buy fuel from OMCs starting June 16, may go dry

Move comes in protest of daily change in petrol, diesel prices effective from June 16

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Current Affairs : Petrol pump owners in India have decided not to purchase fuel starting from June 16, protesting against the “unilateral” decision by the government to roll-out the daily revision of fuel prices nationally.

Though the associations are not terming it as a strike, they claim that “no-purchase” from June 16 onwards means petrol pumps are likely to go dry from the day their stock gets over. “It is not a strike, but there will be no purchase of petrol or diesel, starting from June 16,” Ajay Bansal, president of All India Petroleum Dealers’ Association, told Business Standard. According to industry figures, India has about 57,000 fuel retail outlets, out of which state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) have a combined network of close to 53,000 outlets.

Currently, IOC, BPCL and HPCL review retail fuel prices every fortnight taking into account of the global crude oil prices. The announcement of daily price revision of petrol and diesel came after a successful trial run starting from May 1 in five locations — Pondicherry, Chandigarh, Jamshedpur, Udaipur and Vishakhapatnam. Even private fuel retailers like Essar Oil and Reliance Industries too followed the system in these cities.

ALSO READ: Diesel, petrol prices to change daily from June 16; dealers raise concerns

The dealers were worried because of the declining stock value and were demanding an increase in dealer commission, which is between two-three per cent now. According to sources, oil marketing companies are likely to take a call on dealer commission by June 30.

“Daily price revisions of petrol and diesel will make the retail prices more reflective of the current market conditions, minimising the volatility in the retail selling price. Further, it will lead to increased transparency in the system. This will also enable smoother flow of products from refinery and depots to retail outlets,” IOC had said in a statement last week.

 

Virat Kohli only Indian in Forbes highest paid athletes list, earns $22 mn

Cristiano Ronaldo topped the list with a total pay of $93 mn; Serena Williams sole woman listed

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Current Affairs : Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli is the sole sportsperson from the country to feature among the world’s 100 highest paid athletes in the latest Forbes list topped by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kohli, 28, has been ranked 89th on the 2017 Virat Kohli In Forbes List of ‘The World’s highest paid athletes’ with a total pay of $22 million, which includes $3 million from salary and winnings and another $19 million from endorsements.

Describing Kohli as the “Indian cricket phenom”, Forbes said the sports star has “for good reason” already drawn comparisons to all-time great Sachin Tendulkar.

It added that Kohli has continuously shattered batting records and in 2015 was named the captain of the Indian national team, making him one of the youngest players to ever hold the job.

It noted that last year, Kohli made nearly $1 million in salary and match fees from his national team play, and he’s also among the Indian Premier League’s highest-paid players thanks to a $2.3 million salary from Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“The vast majority of his income, however, comes from one of the sports world’s most impressive sponsorships portfolios,” Forbes said.

The list has been topped by Ronaldo with a total pay of $93 million. American basketball star LeBron James comes in at the second spot with $86.2 million, followed by Argentine footballer Lionel Messi (3) with $80 million, tennis star Roger Federer (4) with $64 million and American basketball player Kevin Durant. Read Full Story >>>

Flights to Doha longer as Indian carriers skip UAE; take Pak, Iran routes

Flights from Mumbai and Kerala will also have to transit through these routes due torestrictions

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Current Affairs : Fliers from India will now spend an additional half hour on their flights to Doha, with the worsening crisis in the Persian Gulf prompting carriers to skip airspace over the UAE.

Air India Express, IndiGo and Jet Airways operate flights between Indian cities and Doha. Flights out of Delhi fly over Pakistan and Iran to reach the Qatari capital. Those from Mumbai and Kerala used to fly over Oman and the UAE. These will now also fly over Pakistan and Iran.

On Monday, Saudi Qatar Rift , the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. They also suspended air, sea and land transport.

The UAE also asked all foreign airlines to obtain prior clearance to use its airspace for Doha flights. The situation worsened on Tuesday, with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia revoking the licence of Qatar Airways to operate in their territory.

With tension high, India airlines are preparing to deal with the crisis.

“All scheduled flights to and from Doha will operate on the alternative northern routes via Iran, avoiding the UAE airspace,” said a Jet Airways spokesperson. “As a result, flights will be 10 to 40 minutes longer.”

He added the airline was planning to augment its crew to deal with the additional flying time.

Jet is also trying to get clearance from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the UAE to fly over the country. “Our schedules have been provided to the GCAA. Once approved, we will be able to resume operating on the normal routes,” the airline said.

Last year, around 1.6 million passengers travelled between India and Doha, making it the fifth-busiest destination in the Gulf for travellers from here, after Dubai, Muscat, Kuwait and Jeddah. This figure does not include onward traffic.

Qatar Airways flies to 14 cities in India; 70-80 per cent of its passengers travel onward.

Aviation sources said Qatar Airways might drop fares to sustain its bookings. “Qatar relies on traffic from its neighbouring countries. Now, the airline will depend more on India and other such nations to fill up its flights to Europe and the US.”

Air traffic to the Gulf is thin during Ramzan, but domestic airways have experienced an increase in booking. This is because those who had booked one-stop flights, through Dubai or Sharjah, are now buying tickets on other flights, a sector executive said. Read More