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Chandrayaan 2 Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit August 20, 2019 14:11

The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft successfully entered lunar orbit on August 20, ISRO announced. According to Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuvre was accomplished at 0902 (9 a.m.) hours as planned, using the craft's onboard propulsion system. "The duration of the maneuvre was 1,738 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a lunar orbit," Isro said.Following this, a series of orbit maneuvers will be carried out, in order to enable the spacecraft to get into its final orbit, passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the Moon's surface. Subsequently, the lander will be apart from the orbiter and get into a 100 km X 30 km orbit around the Moon. It will then carry out a series of complex braking maneuvres to soft-land in the south polar region of the Moon on September 7.The robustness of the spacecraft is being monitored around-the-clock from the Mission Operations Complex at Isro's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bengaluru, with the support of Indian Deep Space Network antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru. The next lunar-bound orbit maneuvre is scheduled on August 21, between 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm.                        (Image source from: The News Minute)“This mission will help us gain a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon by conducting detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and a host of other experiments on the lunar surface. [...] While there, we will also explore discoveries made by Chandrayaan 1, such as the presence of water molecules on the Moon and new rock types with unique chemical composition,” a statement from ISRO said. The Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22 by a GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle and had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on 14 August. According to ISRO, Chandrayaan 2, which comprises an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyaan), will also emphasize on till now unexplored sections of the Moon's South Polar region. The mission life of the orbiter will be one year, whereas the mission life of the lander and rover will be one lunar day, equivalent to fourteen earth days.By Sowmya Sangam

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Arun Jaitley's Condition 'Critical': Sources August 17, 2019 11:12

Former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who was admitted to AIIMS in New Delhi on August 9 after complaining of breathlessness and restlessness, is in a critical stage and multidisciplinary unit of doctors is supervising his treatment. To inquire about the health condition of Jaitley, 66, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited AIIMS on Friday. Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind had also visited AIIMS to pay Jaitley a visit.                        (Image source from: Livemint)The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has not issued any bulletin on Jaitley's health condition since August 10. A lawyer by profession, Jaitley, had been an important part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet in the Bharatiya Janata Party government's first term. He held the finance and defense portfolios. Because of his ill health, Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election. He had undergone a renal transplant on May 14 early this year at AIIMS with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal replacing for him in the finance ministry at that time. Jaitley refrained from attending office since early April last year and was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018. In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to set right the weight he had gained owing to a long-standing diabetic condition.By Sowmya Sangam

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Former President Pranab Mukherjee Awarded Bharat Ratna August 08, 2019 18:52

India’s 13th President Pranab Mukherjee was awarded Bharat Ratna on Thursday evening at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Apart from Pranab Mukherjee, one of the founding members of Bharatiya Jan Sangh and social activist Nanaji Deshmukh too was awarded Bharat Ratna, posthumously. Renowned singer Bhupen Hazarika was also honored with Bharat Ratna. Mukherjee was presented with the award by President Ram Nath Kovind. He had been selected for India's highest civilian award in January of 2019. The announcement had been made in a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already congratulated Mukherjee for his decades of service to the country. "Pranab Da is an outstanding statesman of our times. He has served the nation selflessly and tirelessly for decades, leaving a strong imprint on the nation’s growth trajectory. His wisdom and intellect have few parallels. Delighted that he has been conferred the Bharat Ratna," he had tweeted.Mukherjee served as the President of the country between 2012 and 2017.Born on December 11, 1935, to a Bengali family in Mirati, a village in Birbhum district in West Bengal, Mukherjee completed his History and LLB Degree and Masters in Political Science from University of Calcutta. In his five decades political career, Mukherjee held various key posts in the Indian National Congress as well as in the governments led by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao, and Manmohan Singh.By Sowmya Sangam

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Sushma Swaraj Death: Hundreds Bid Adieu to ‘People’s Minister’, Daughter Bansuri Performs Last Rites August 07, 2019 17:04

Sushma Swaraj, former external affairs minister and people’s minister was cremated with full state honors at new Delhi’s Lodhi Road crematorium on Wednesday evening. The final rites was performed by Sushma Swaraj’s diaghter Bansuri. Hundreds of people bid a tearful adieu to Swaraj. Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch LK Advani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, BJP working president JP Nadda were among prominent leaders who attended the final rites. Swaraj passed away on Tuesday evening after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. She was 67.  In his message, Advani, 91, said that Swaraj’s death is an irreparable loss and he will miss her presence immensely. “The nation has lost a remarkable leader. To me, it is an irreparable loss and I will miss Sushmaji’s presence immensely. May her soul rest in peace. My heartfelt condolences to Swaraj ji, Bansuri & all members of her family. Om Shanti,” he said.The United States Embassy in Delhi grieved for the death of Swaraj and said that she was viewed as the representative of Indians.By Sowmya Sangam

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Communist Party of India-Marxist Announces All-India Protest on Aug 7 Against Scrapping of Article 370 August 05, 2019 18:34

The Communist Party of India-Marxist on Monday called for an all-India protest on August 21 against scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution and dismantling the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The party also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government of striking "a big blow" at democracy and the Constitution. In a statement, the party said that Kashmir had acceded to India in the face of invaders from Pakistan and a solemn commitment had been made to them by the Indian State to provide them with special status and autonomy, which was embodied in Article 370. "The Modi government has betrayed the people of Jammu and Kashmir by going back on this commitment," the party said, adding that the unilateral step will only deepen the alienation."This is harmful to the unity and integrity of India," it said."The BJP-RSS rulers cannot tolerate any diversity and the federal principle. They are treating Jammu and Kashmir as occupied territory. Trampling on the Constitution, they are converting Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh as two centrally-ruled Union Territories. This is the biggest attack on national unity and the concept of India as a Union of States," it said.The CPI-M said strengthening of the bonds of people of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India should have been through the process of political dialogue with all stakeholders, as promised by the government three years ago."The CPI-M denounces these measures taken by the Modi government. They are illegal and unconstitutional. The CPI-M calls upon all democratic-minded people to join the all-India protest day called by the Left parties on August 7," the party said.By Sowmya Sangam

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BS Yeddyurappa to Take Oath as Karnataka Chief Minister July 26, 2019 13:22

After days of political drama in Karnataka, Governor Vajubhai Vala has given a nod to Bharatiya Janata Party’s BS Yeddyurappa to take oath as the Karnataka Chief Minister.On Friday morning, BS Yeddyurappa met the Governor to stake claim to form the government as the BJP had become the single largest party in the assembly. He had told reporters, “I will meet Governor now and stake claim to a form government. I will request Governor to hold the oath-taking ceremony today itself.”After meeting the Governor, BS Yeddyurappa said that the Governor had accepted his request and he would take oath at 6 p.m.In a letter to the Governor, Yeddyurappa had said, "I intend to state that after the present government headed by Shri HD Kumaraswamy has lost the vote of confidence in the legislative assembly and consequently, he resigned to the post of the chief minister. [...] I submit that I am the leader of BJP Legislature Party and also the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly. At present, the strength of the BJP MLAs is 105 and the single largest party in the Assembly. Therefore I request Your Excellency, I may be invited to form alternate government today itself and I will take oath as Chief Minister of Karnataka at Raj Bhavan between 6 pm and 6.15 pm."Governor Vajubhai Vala has given Yeddyurappa a week to prove his majority in the House after he is sworn in. The Karnataka political crisis had been going on after 15 of its Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) tendered their resignations. What followed was days of delay in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly where the Congress-JD(S) coalition which was previously in power in the state tried to delay the trust vote.The trust vote, which finally happened on Tuesday, saw the Congress-JD(S) government lose by 7 votes as there were 98 votes for the government and 105 against.By Sowmya Sangam

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Monsoon Session of Parliament Extended till August 7: Reports July 25, 2019 18:25

The ongoing monsoon session of parliament will be extended till August 7, said reports. This means that the Parliament will be extended for two weeks than the original schedule as the rule says that if the session is extended by 10 sittings, then it will be extended by two weeks.Reportedly few selected Members of Parliament (MPs) of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were made privy to this piece of information on Tuesday by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The ministers were informed about the development in the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Parliamentary Party meeting, reported news agency PTI.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, talking to the reporters after the meeting said that "There is a possibility of this. You will be officially conveyed when a decision is taken." He was replying to questions about the possibility of an extended Parliamentary session.The rule says that if the session is extended by 10 sittings, then it will be extended by two weeks. The government's push for an extended session of the parliament comes as it plans to pass several important bills like the Triple Talaq Bill, the RTI Amendment Bill 2019 in the Rajya Sabha.By Sowmya Sangam

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HD Kumaraswamy Likely to Resign as Karnataka Chief Minister Soon: Reports July 23, 2019 18:40

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy is likely to step down from his post if the Congress-JD(S) combine fails to prove majority in the Karnataka assembly during the trust vote. The Karnataka political drama in the Vidhana Soudha extended for more than a week, as the HD Kumaraswamy government, living on a water-thin majority, try to prove their strength in the floor test.  As per several news reports, Karnataka political drama tweeted about the possibility of HD Kumaraswamy resigning from his post. The political crisis for the Congress-JD(S) combine began after 15 rebel Members of Legislation (MLAs) resigned from the assembly. #Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy arrives at Secretariat. Speaker has order to wind up the discussion by 4 pm and complete #KarnatakaTrustVote. Sources say #HDKumaraswamy might deliver an emotional speech and resign today — Mugilan Chandrakumar (@Mugilan__C) July 23, 2019 Earlier, Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh ordered the MLAs to finish up the floor test by 4 p.m. on Monday, which is imminent since almost a week.Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala had also ordered the completion of the trust vote on multiple occasions. However, that could not pass off and the proceedings were shifted to Monday.According to sources, HD Kumaraswamy may resign after an emotional speech and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit chief BS Yeddyurappa may become the next chief minister of Karnataka.The Karnataka assembly has 224 members. The majority mark is 113, excluding the Speaker who casts his vote only in the event of a tie. Before 15 legislators' resignation, Congress had 80 members (including speaker + nominated member) and JD(S) 37. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 105 legislators.Two independents (H Nagesh and R Shankar) and a BSP leader are also members of the House.After the resignations, the strength of the Karnataka Assembly has come down to 210, with the majority mark standing at 106. In the present scenario, Congress has 68 members and JD(S) 34. After the two independents decided not to support, the JDS-Congress strength has come down to 103 with support of lone BSP MLA. This makes it absolutely necessary for the JDS-Congress government to get the vote of the rebel MLAs, otherwise, they lose the majority and HD Kumaraswamy his chief minister's seat.By Sowmya Sangam

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Chandrayaan-2 Launch by ISRO: 'Baahubali' Rocket Takes off July 22, 2019 15:04

India Chandrayaan-2 mission was launched successfully on Monday at 2:45 p.m. The takeoff of GSLV-Mk III rocket with Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was at the beginning scheduled on July 15, but then the flight was postponed after a technical snag was detected an hour before the rocket lift-off.The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) later rectified the fault in its 44-meter Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III). GSLV-Mk III rocket, weighing about 640-tonne, is nicknamed 'Bahubali' after the hero of a successful film of the same name.Similar to the protagonist of the film lifted a heavy Lingam in one of its scenes, the rocket will carry the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft.About 16-minutes into its flight, the Rs375-crore GSLV-Mk III rocket is expected to sling the Rs603-crore Chandrayaan-2 into its 170x39,120-km orbit.ISRO has sent up three GSLV-Mk III rockets so far. The first carried Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment in December 2014. The second and third GSLV-Mk III carried communication satellites GSAT-19 and GSAT-29 in February 2017 and November 2018 respectively.GSLV-Mk III will also be used for India's manned space mission in 2022.By Sowmya Sangam

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Sheila Dikshit, 3-Time Delhi Chief Minister, Dies at 81 July 20, 2019 16:38

Three-time Delhi Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit breathed her last on Saturday in New Delhi. She was 81. Shiela Dikshit had been ill for a long time. She was admitted at around 10.30 a.m. today and died at 3.30 p.m. at a city hospital.Shiela Dikshit was the senior-most Indian National Congress leader in its Delhi unit. She served as Delhi's chief minister for 15 years. She was also very close to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.In a tweet, the Congress said it regrets the death of Sheila Dikshit. The party said as chief minister, she transformed the face of Delhi in her 15-year tenure."We regret to hear of the passing of Smt Sheila Dikshit. Lifelong congresswoman and as three time CM of Delhi she transformed the face of Delhi. Our condolences to her family and friends. Hope they find strength in this time of grief," the Congress said.Sheila Dikshit had served as Delhi's chief minister for three consecutive terms between 1998 and 2013. She was succeeded by Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal.Kejriwal tweeted to say Dikshit's contribution to Delhi will always be remembered. "It is a huge loss for Delhi and her contribution will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to her family members. May her soul rest in peace," he said.President Ram Nath Kovind also offered his condolences. "Her term in office was a period of momentous transformation for the capital for which she will be remembered. Condolences to her family and associates," he tweeted.Sheila Dikshit was credited for Delhi's thriving infrastructure as well as roads and flyovers, a less polluted city, better public transport system as well as development on the health and educational fronts.Sheila Dikshit, after her stint as Delhi chief minister, was sworn in as Kerala's Governor in 2004 but stepped down in just six months.She had started off as a reluctant politician, and cut her political teeth assisting her father-in-law, a veteran Uttar Pradesh Congress leader Uma Shankar Dikshit, who was a minster in Indira Gandhi's cabinet.Born in Punjab's Kapurthala, Dikshit was credited with numerous people-friendly programs.By Sowmya Sangam

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Karnataka Governor Sets Fresh Deadline For HD Kumaraswamy July 19, 2019 16:34

Karnataka's Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition has received a new deadline from the governor to prove majority by the end of the day after it ignored the first deadline of 1:30 p.m. The coalition government said it was bound to follow only the Speaker, who adjourned the house for lunch after a debate. Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, in a long speech replete with allegations against the opposition BJP, accused the party of offering "Rs. 40-50 crore" to lawmakers to switch sides. On a complaint from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the governor had on Thursday written to the Chief Minister: "You have lost the confidence of the house." The BJP has alleged delaying tactics by the coalition, which appears to be in a minority after losing the support of 18 lawmakers over the past two weeks.By Sowmya Sangam

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Illegal Immigrants and Infiltrators Living in 'Every Inch of India' Will Be Identified & Deported: Amit Shah July 17, 2019 16:26

Union Minister Amit Shah, in a bid to resolve the infiltration issue, today in Rajya Sabha reiterated his strong views against all illegal immigrants of this country. According to an ANI update, he has been quoted as saying, "We will identify all the illegal immigrants and infiltrators living on every inch of this country and deport them as per the international law." Earlier in April, Shah referred to illegal migrants from Bangladesh as 'termites' and had opened threatened them saying that his party will throw them out after coming to power at the Centre for a second consecutive term.By Sowmya Sangam

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