Citizens' Issues
ISRO: A year of commercial launches

During the year, the Indian space agency launched 17 foreign satellites as against three Indian ones from its rocket port in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh

 

The year 2015 could be termed as one of commercial launches for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), while steps have been taken to spread the usage of space technology within India.
 
During the year, the Indian space agency launched 17 foreign satellites as against three Indian ones from its rocket port in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
 
Last month, India also launched its GSAT-15 communication satellite using the Ariane rocket of the European space agency, taking the total number of satellite launches in 2015 to 21 (17 foreign, four Indian).
 
India will send aloft two telecommunication satellites - GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 - on the Ariane 5 rocket in 2016 and 2017.
 
However, it terms of the foreign tonnage, ISRO had transported around 2,148 kg, which is much below the GSAT-15's three tonne weight.
 
According to space agency officials, India has contracted to launch over 20 satellites - a mix of nano, micro and normal sized ones -over the next three years.
 
According to ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar, the immediate focus is on completing the second vehicle (rocket) assembly line that would enable increasing the launch frequency.
 
In terms of rockets used, 19 satellites were launched with the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) and one communication satellite - the GSAT-6 - with a geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV).
 
During the year, India joined a select group of nations - the US, Japan and Russia, as also Europe - with the successful launch of the Astrostat space observatory. India also moved a step forward towards its own satellite navigation systems by launching the IRNSS-1D in March.
 
On July 13, India launched its satellite-based air navigation services GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation Satellite System) and in the process joined a select group of the US and Japan, as also the European Union (EU) that have a similar system.
 
GAGAN is meant to provide accurate navigation services over the Bay of Bengal, southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Middle East and African region.
 
In another plus, the space agency successfully tested the restarting of the PSLV rocket after its engine was cut off during the mission to launch six Singaporean satellites on December 16. This would enable ISRO to launch multiple satellites in different orbits with a single rocket.
 
And, to increase the usage of Indian space technology a meeting of central government ministries were held in New Delhi during the year where ISRO showcased its products and services and their uses.
 
Besides, with the launch of the GAGAN and IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) projects, ISRO and the Airports Authority of India organised a user-meet in Bengaluru for these services.
 
The year 2015 also saw the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court (ICC) tribunal deciding against ISRO's commercial arm Antrix Corporation for cancelling a $300 million (Rs.2,000 crore) deal with Bengaluru based Devas Multimedia Ltd. This ivnolved a 12-year lease of 90 percent of transponder space on two satellites, G-SAT6 and G-SAT6A that were yet to go aloft at the time.
 
The ICC awarded $672 million (Rs.4,434 crore) in damages to Devas Multimedia and ISRO said it would contest the award.
 
Highlights:
 
* India's Mars Orbiter completed 100 days of its Martian orbit on the New Year's Day 2015.
 
* Distinguished scientist A.S. Kiran Kumar was appointed secretary, department of space and ISRO chairman.
 
* The year ending was the 40th year after the launch India's first satellite, Aryabhata, with a Russian rocket.
 
* Till date, 50 rockets - not including sounding rockets - have been launched from Sriharikota.
 
* Indian Railways initiated discussions with ISRO on the possibility of using GPS-Aided Geo-Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) for safety at unmanned railway crossings.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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COMMENTS

Anand Vaidya

2 years ago

ISRO is one bright spot in the bleak space (pun intended) of Indian Science & Technology.

Respect and Best wishes to ISRO for even audacious goals...

Kirti Azad alleges bungling in DDCA, AAP government to probe

While Azad refrained from naming anyone for the alleged bungling, Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) again sought the sacking of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who for years headed the DDCA

 

Former India player Kirti Azad on Sunday alleged massive financial irregularities in Delhi's cricket board even as the city government said it had ordered a probe into the DDCA's working.
 
Addressing the media with former player Bishan Singh Bedi, Azad sought an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate into the working of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
 
While Azad refrained from naming anyone for the alleged bungling, Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) again sought the sacking of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who for years headed the DDCA.
 
Simultaneously, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium would head a commission to probe the functioning of the DDCA.
 
Jaitley has denied the corruption charges hurled against him, and dubbed Azad, a leader - like him - of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a "Trojan Horse".
 
Azad repeatedly underlined that he was not targeting any individual and that he had nothing to do with the attacks on Jaitley by the AAP, which he said "was born the other day" and was only echoing what he had been saying for eight long years.
 
He alleged that the DDCA gave contracts to fake companies, paying them crores of rupees in cash and had fudged the audit of accounts.
 
He played a video produced by WikiLeaks4India which claimed that some of the companies favoured by the DDCA had given fictitious addresses. 
 
"If the companies were fake, surely the bank accounts into which the money was paid must also be fake," he said.
 
He alleged that the DDCA hired office and other equipment at vastly inflated prices. Laptops and printers were hired at Rs.17,000 and Rs.3,000 a day, respectively.
 
"I just want to expose corruption... I repeat this is not (a) personal (issue) or (directed) against one person. It is against corruption," Azad said.
 
A member of the Indian team that won the World Cup in 1983, Azad refuted Jaitley's charge that he (Azad) had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to target the finance minister. 
 
"If someone is pointing a finger at me, he must know that three fingers will point back at him," he said.
 
Azad's comments came a day after the BJP leadership reportedly tried to gag him on the cricketing issue because of the embarrassment being caused to the party. 
 
On his part, Azad said he was a "fan" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
 
Jaitley, who headed the DDCA for 13 years till 2013, has also been accused of corruption by the Congress and the AAP.
 
Soon after Azad detailed what he said was the financial wrongdoing in the DDCA, the AAP asked Modi to sack Jaitley from the government.
 
"Jaitley is the Suresh Kalmadi of BJP," AAP leader Ashutosh told the media, referring to the former Congress MP who was linked to the alleged corruption in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. "He should be immediately sacked." 
 
Another AAP leader, Kumar Vishwas, wanted to know if Modi would continue to retain Jaitley in his cabinet even after knowing the details of the corruption charges.
 
He said the real reason the CBI raided Kejriwal's office on December 15 in the name of targeting his principal secretary Rajendra Kumar was to study the file which had the report of a three-member team which - on Kejriwal's orders - probed the alleged financial wrongdoing in the DDCA.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation has denied searching Kejriwal's office.
 
"Kirti Azad has made it clear that Jaitley is the head of the (DDCA) scam. He should be removed," said Sanjay Singh, another AAP leader. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 
 

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Sonia, Rahul appear in court, granted bail

They appeared before Metropolitan Magistrate Loveleen in the Patiala House courts complex

 

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi were granted bail in the National Herald case on Saturday by a trial court.
 
They appeared before Metropolitan Magistrate Loveleen in the Patiala House courts complex.
 
Kapil Sibal, who appeared on their behalf, told reporters that the court rejected petitioner Subramanian Swamy's plea to impose restrictions on their travel abroad.
 
The court fixed February 20, 2016 at 2 p.m. for the next hearing. 
 
Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi left the court complex immediately thereafter.
 
On June 26 last year, the trial court issued summons to the Congress leaders on Swamy's complaint about "cheating" in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd., which published the National Herald newspaper, by Young India Ltd., "a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi each own a 38 percent stake".
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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COMMENTS

Nilesh KAMERKAR

2 years ago

The article nowhere mentions Gandhis as 'Accused'.

Did they visit the court for a 'Field Trip'?

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