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India adds GSAT-17 to its communication satellite fleet

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Chennai, June 29: India on Thursday added GSAT-17 to its fleet of communication satellites after it was launched into orbit by heavy lift rocket Ariane 5 from Kourou in French Guiana, said European Space Agency Arianespace.

In a statement, Arianespace said the GSAT-17 with a mass at liftoff of 3,476 kg would expand the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) current fleet of 17 telecommunicaiton satellites.

“It is to provide continuity of Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) in Normal C and Upper Extended C bands, as well as Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) in S-band and Data Relay and Search and Rescue services in UHF band – operating from a final orbital position of 93.5 degrees East,” Arianespace said.

Arianespace said it has launched 21 satellites for ISRO extending a relationship that dates back to 1981 with the launch of APPLE experimental satellite.

In a statement, ISRO said its Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-17 immediately after its separation from the rocket.

Preliminary health checks of the satellite revealed its normal functioning.

In the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvres would be performed to place the GSAT-17 satellite in the Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) by using the satellite’s propulsion system in steps.

During the final stages of its orbit raising operations, the two solar arrays and both the antenna reflectors of GSAT-17 would be deployed.

Following this, the satellite would be put in its final orbital configuration.

According to ISRO, GSAT-17 would be positioned at its designated orbital slot in the geostationary orbit and would be co-located with some of the Indian operational geostationary satellites.

“Later, it is planned to turn on the communication payloads of the satellite. After the successful completion of all the in-orbit tests, GSAT-17 will be ready for operational use,” ISRO said.

IANS

India

OP Rawat takes charge as new Chief Election Commissioner

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New Delhi, Jan 26: Om Prakash Rawat on Tuesday took charge as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), succeeding Achal Kumar Jyoti to the post.

Rawat will serve a tenure of almost a year till his retirement in December 2018.

He has previously held various key portfolios at the Central government and in the states. He was also deputed to South Africa in May 1994 as the United Nations’ election observer to chalk out the first post-apartheid elections there.

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Karni Sena threats force cancellation of ‘Padmaavat’ bookings in Bihar

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Padmaavat

Patna, Jan 23: Shree Rajput Karni Sena activists have forced cinema halls to stop advance bookings for “Padmaavat”, officials on Tuesday said.

In Patna, online bookings for the movie were stopped following protest and threat by Karni Sena’s activists.

“Fear of Karni Sena is such that Cinepolis has not only stopped online booking of ‘Padmaavat’. It cancelled 50 bookings after a group of Karni Sena activists protested and threatened the staff members,” an official of district administration said.

Three other cinema halls, set to screen the controversial movie, have so far not informed people about advance booking for the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial.

In Gaya district, all cinema hall owners have decided not to show “Padmaavat” fearing violence by Karni Sena supporters.

In Bhagalpur and Purnea districts also cinema halls have decided not to screen the film.

Karni Sena’s state president Dhirender Singh said cinema halls should not to show “Padmaavat”, respecting the sentiments of the people.

In the last 10 day, activists of the Rajput organisation, which has been at the forefront of anti-“Padmaavat” protest, have staged demonstrations across the state.

Last week, some activists attacked a cinema hall in Muzaffarpur district, tore posters of “Padmaavat” and threatened to set ablaze the hall if the film is screened, police said.

The police is, however, yet to act against those who indulged in the vandalism.

According to district officials, the police would scan the CCTV footage.

The JD(U)-BJP government led by Nitish Kumar has so far not decided whether the movie will release in the state.

IANS

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No ban on ‘Padmaavat’, Supreme Court clears pan-India Jan 25 release

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Padmaavat

New Delhi, Jan 23: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked all states to comply with its order not to stand in the way of the release of controversial film “Padmaavat” as it dismissed last ditch efforts by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments to block its January 25 release.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: “People must understand that the Supreme Court has passed an order and it must be complied with.”

“Our order is to be complied with by one and all. A few hundred people come on the street and create a law and order situation demanding ban. That can’t be accepted,” Misra said.

“You can advise them not to watch the movie if they don’t like it. We will not modify our order,” the Chief Justice told Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who tried to flag the law and order situation as a ground for blocking release of the film.

The court also dismissed a plea by Akhil Bharatiya Karni Mahasangh, saying: “We are not inclined to modify order” — clearing the decks for the release of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial.

Admitting that maintaining law and order was the state’s obligation, Mehta appearing for the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments urged the court to appreciate the ground situation and threat to breach of peace.

“You can’t make virtue of creating trouble. You can’t first create trouble and then make a virtue of it,” said Justice Chandrachud.

Seeking clarification, Mehta said a situation could arise where after the release of the film, there could be trouble in some parts.

“Let the state honour this order. Rest we will deal with when it comes to it,” Justice Khanwilkar said.

IANS

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