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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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Kerala Rape Case: Sister of complainant nun files plea alleging life threats

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New Delhi, Sep 24: Sister of Kerala nun rape case’s victim on Monday filed a petition to the state Director general of police, Kottayam SP, and Kalady circle inspector, stating that she and her family are receiving life threats.

In her plea, She said due to hatred, brothers of rape accused Franco Mulakkal filed fake complaints against me.

“Thomas Chittuparamban, a relative of Franco threatened to cause danger to my son & brother. One of his relative named Unni took a photo of me protesting and later threatened me, she alleged.

Earlier in a day, the magisterial court sentenced two weeks judicial custody to former Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was arrested on charges of raping a nun.

Mulakkal, who headed the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar, has refuted the charges of sexual misconduct.

A 44-year-old Kerala based Nun has alleged that she was raped several times between 2014 to 2016.

Later, she filed an FIR against the bishop on June 27 this year.

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Rs 5,000 crore bank fraud: Nitin Sandesara fled to Nigeria with family?

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CBI

New Delhi, Sep 24: After reports emerged Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara is in Nigeria, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday said it has input on fugitive’s whereabouts from UAE or Nigeria.

Sandesara is a director of a Gujarat-based pharmaceutical firm Sterling Biotech, which is being probed in a Rs 5,000 crore bank fraud case.

Earlier in a day, several sections of media reported that Sandesara may have fled to Nigeria. While, last month it was that he has been arrested from Dubai.

In June this year,  after taking cognisance of CBI FIR, the Enforcement Directorate had attached properties worth Rs 4,700 crore in a Rs 5,000-crore bank fraud case involving Gujarat-based pharma company.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has booked Sterling Biotech, its directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, Chartered Accountant Hemant Hathi, Anup Prakash Garg and some unidentified persons over the alleged bank fraud.

According to CBI FIR, Sterling Biotech had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium of banks led by Andhra Bank which had turned into non-performing assets. Total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

In connection with alleged  Gujarat’s Sandesara Group Scam, the ED arrested a Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan in November 2017 and  former director of Andhra Bank, Anup Prakash Garg so far.

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Delhi HC bans slaughter in Ghazipur Murga Mandi

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New Delhi, Sep 24 In an interim direction, the Delhi High Court on Monday banned the slaughter of poultry at the Ghazipur Murga Mandi here till further orders.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao, however, allowed sale of live chicken at the market and listed the matter for further hearing on October 29.

The court asked the authorities to file an affidavit indicating a plan to set up a designated slaughter house in the area.

The order came on a report filed by the Delhi Pollution Control Board which has raised violation of animal welfare laws at the Mandi and sought its closure.

The court turned down the plea.

“We are concerned with the larger issue of pollution in the area,” the judges said.

The court was hearing a plea filed by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi, who alleged that there was indiscriminate violation of animal rights and blatant abuse of animal welfare laws at the Mandi.

Maulekhi said the poultry were openly slaughtered in the Ghazipur market without obtaining any licence.

The petitioner requested the court to direct the Commissioner of the Food Safety Department to stop illegal slaughter of poultry in the national capital and that all such slaughter should be done in compliance with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Licence and Registration Regulation.

The counsel also sought a committee for weekly inspections at the Mandi to ensure that there was no violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

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