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India’s PSLV rocket successfully puts into orbit two UK satellites

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Indian rocket Polar Satellite

Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), India on Sunday night successfully put into orbit two British earth observation satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4, in copy book style.

Two satellites aboard the Indian rocket – Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) – belonged to Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd (SSTL), UK.

The satellites were put into sun synchronous orbit under commercial arrangement with Antrix Corp Ltd, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Indian space agency.

The total lift off weight of the two satellites was 889 kg.

NovaSAR weighing 445 kg is a S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite intended for forest mapping, land use and ice cover monitoring, flood and disaster monitoring.

S1-4 weighing 444 kg is a high resolution Optical Earth Observation Satellite, used for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management and for disaster monitoring.

After the successful launch, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said: “The PSLV rocket preciously placed two of our customer satellites in 583 km orbit. The success will give added energy for industry to make PSLV.”

At 10.08 p.m. the four staged/engine PSLV-CA rocket, standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 230.4 tonnes, blasted off from the first launch pad.

With the fierce orange flame at its tail lighting up the night skies here, the rocket slowly gained speed and went up and up enthralling the people at the rocketport while the rocket’s engine noise like a rolling thunder adding to the thrill.

Just under 18 minutes into the flight, the rocket slung NovaSAR and S1-4 into the orbit.

Answering a question raised in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, said in August: “In the last four years more than 200 foreign customer satellites have been launched. Considering the future launch demand for increased number of nano and small satellites, there are plans to increase the number of PSLV launches and also develop dedicated small launcher to cater to this high market demand.”

According to him, as on August 9, 237 foreign satellites belonging to international customers from 29 countries have been successfully launched using PSLV.

With the successful launch of two British satellites on Sunday, the total number of foreign satellites launched by India goes up to 239.

“We have an order book of Rs 980 crore, with Rs 500-600 crore contracts in pipeline for launch services in this fiscal (2018-19) and next fiscal (2019-2020),” S. Rakesh, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Antrix Corp, said in a recent interaction with IANS.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])

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VVIP Chopper case: Delhi Court extends 5-day remand of Michel

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New Delhi, Dec 10 :As Delhi court on Monday extended by another five days the CBI custody of British national Christian Michel, the middleman accused in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Michel’s counsel Anjos said she would be visiting India in the coming days.

Anjos from Milan said that the Indian court has permitted to meet Michel once she is present in the court on the next date of hearing.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to quiz the middleman till December 15. The CBI had sought nine days custody of Michel.

Special Public Prosecutor D.P. Singh told the court that documents have been received from five countries pursuant to the Letter of Rogatory sent to these countries and there was incriminating material which the CBI needed to confront him with.

The prosecutor added that the agency needed to confront him with some witnesses to identify his accomplices including IAF officers, bureaucrats and politicians.

Michel was presented in the court after a five-day CBI custody. He was extradited to India on December 4 from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Michel’s defence counsel Aljo K. Joseph and Vishnu Sankar opposed the CBI plea and said there was no incriminating material against the accused and that the Italian court had found nothing wrong against him.

The counsel also told the court that his lawyer in Italy, Santrolli Rosemary Patrizi Dos Anjos, wanted to meet him.

 

The CBI also filed an application seeking direction to Michel for giving his specimen signatures. This will be heard by the court on Tuesday.

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Urijit Patel’s “forced” exit blot on India’s banking system: Ahmed Patel

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Ahmed Patel
Ahmed Patel , File Photo

New Delhi, Dec 10: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Monday said that the forced exit of RBI governor Urjit Patel is a blot on India’s monetary and banking system.

“The manner in which RBI governor has been forced to quit is a blot on India’s monetary & banking system. BJP Govt has unleashed a defacto financial emergency. The country’s reputation&credibility is now at stake”, the Congress leader tweeted.

“Every institution carefully built & nurtured over the last 70 years is being trampled upon with complete impunity”, he said in another tweet.

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London’s Westminster Court orders extradition of Vijay Mallya to India

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Vijay Mallya

London, Dec 10: London’s Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday ordered the extradition of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India.

Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot has found prima facie a case against Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

The matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India has been referred to the Secretary of State.

The Central Bureau of Investigation welcomed the UK court orders.

Reacting to the verdict, the CBI spokesperson said that “We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process”.

The Court announced the verdict following a prolonged litigation involving Mallya, who fled India in March 2016.

The development took place came six days after British national and alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Christian Michael, was extradited to India from Dubai.

Mallya has repeatedly denied fleeing from India and said he was ready to pay back the money he owed to Indian banks.

Proceedings are on in the Mumbai Special Court against the businessman under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Last year, India filed extradition proceedings against Mallya which he has contested. He is currently on bail in London.

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