Orbit of Chandrayaan-2’s lander lowered, one step closer to Moon landing

Agencies
September 3,2019

New Delhi, Sept 3: The orbit of Chandrayaan-2's landing module 'Vikram' was successfully lowered for the first time on Tuesday and one final manoeuvre remained for India to pull off a historic soft-landing on the moon in the early hours of Saturday.

The 4-second de-orbiting operation was undertaken a day after the indigenously developed lander was separated from Chandrayaan-2's orbiter in a major milestone pushing India's second lunar mission into its last and most crucial leg--a controlled, soft-landing on the Moon.

The propulsion system on-board the lander was fired for the first time to lower its orbit after it started orbiting the moon independently, said the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO).

So far, all operations in the journey to the moon were carried out by the main orbiter of the 3,840-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft that was launched into the earth's orbit on July 22 by the country's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV MkIII-M1.

The ISRO will perform one more de-orbiting manoeuvre on Wednesday, before the powered descent of 'Vikram' on September 7 for its landing in the lunar south pole.

A successful landing will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to achieve a soft landing on the moon. But it will be the first to launch a mission to the unexplored south pole of the Moon.

"The first de-orbiting manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today (September 03, 2019) beginning at 0850 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of the manoeuvre was 4 seconds," the ISRO said giving the latest update on the Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 mission.

"The orbit of 'Vikram' Lander is 104 km x 128 km. Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter continues to orbit the Moon in the existing orbit and both the Orbiter and Lander are healthy," it said, adding that the second and final manoeuvre to further lower the orbit is scheduled on September 4 between 3.30 and 4.30 am IST.

'Vikram' (with rover 'Pragyan' housed inside) is expected to touch down on the surface of the moon on September 7, between 1.30 and 2.30 am.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan has said the proposed soft-landing on the Moon is going to be a "terrifying" moment as it is something the space agency has not done before while the Lunar Orbit Insertion(LOI)manoeuvre was successfully carried out during the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission.

Following the landing, the rover 'Pragyan' will roll out from the lander between 5.30 and 6.30 am on September 7, and carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of one lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days.

The mission life of the lander is also one lunar day, while the orbiter will continue its mission for a year.

Chandrayaan-2 satellite had began its journey towards the moon leaving the earth's orbit in the dark hours on August 14, after a crucial manoeuvre called Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) that was carried out by ISRO to place the spacecraft on "Lunar Transfer Trajectory." In a major milestone, the spacecraft had successfully entered the lunar orbit on August 20 by performing the LOI operation.

The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru, the space agency has said.

The orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and studying the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon while the lander carries three scientific payloads to conduct surface and subsurface science experiments.

The rover carries two payloads to enhance the understanding of the lunar surface.

According to the ISRO, the objective of the mission is to develop and demonstrate the key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on the lunar surface.

On the science front, this mission aims to further expand knowledge about the moon through a detailed study of its topography, mineralogy, surface chemical composition, thermo-physical characteristics and atmosphere, leading to a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the moon, the space agency had said.

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Congress corporator’s husband among over 200 arrested in Bengaluru violence

News Network
August 14,2020

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Bengaluru, Aug 14: Sixty more people have been arrested in connection with violence in Bengaluru over a derogatory social media post earlier this week, said Sandeep Patil, Bengaluru Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime).

Among those who were arrested include Kaleem Pasha, the husband of Congress corporator Irshad Begum, who represents Nagwara in Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

Kaleem Pasha is said to be a close aide of former Karnataka minister and Congress leader KJ George.

The police have arrested 206 people so far in connection with the violence, Patil said.

Three people were killed and several others suffered injuries after violence erupted in the eastern part of the city on Tuesday night over a social media post made allegedly by Congress MLA Srinivas Murthy's nephew Naveen. Accused Naveen has also been arrested now.

Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that a district magistrate will hold an inquiry into the violence.

Four teams have also been formed to investigate Bengaluru violence which resulted in the death of three civilians in police firing.

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India’s Composite Culture and Muslim Stalwarts

author
Ram Puniyani
August 9,2020

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Contrary to present impression that Muslims are separatists due to whom the partition of India took place, the truth is that Muslims contributed to freedom movement and upheld India’s composite culture in equal measure. The partition process, mainly due to British policy of ‘divide and rule’ well assisted by Hindu and Muslim communalists is being hidden from the popular vision in India and Muslims in general are held responsible for the same. Not only that the communal historiography introduced by British to pursue their policies has become the bedrock of communal politics and worsening of the perceptions about Muslims is in progress in India.

Yet another example of this has been a series of tweets by the bureaucrat, who is close to retirement, K. Nageshwar Rao. Contrary to the service rules he has made statements, through his tweets which are appreciative of RSS-BJP and demonise the stalwarts Muslim leaders who not only contributed to the freedom movement but also later gave valuable service in laying the foundation of Independent India. As per Rao, his tweets he accuses Maulana Azad and the other Muslim Education ministers of “deracination of Hindus”. After naming “Maulana Abul Kalam Azad — 11 years (1947-58)”; “Humayun Kabir, M C Chagla & Fakruddin Ali Ahmed — 4 years (1963-67)”; and, “Nurul Hassan — 5 years (1972-77)”, he posts: “Remaining 10 years other Leftists like VKRV Rao.”

He points out that their policies were meant to “1. Deny Hindus their knowledge, 2. Vilify Hinduism as collection of superstitions, 3. Abrahamise Education, 4. Abrahamise Media & Entertainment, 5. Shame Hindus about their identity!  and 6. Bereft of the glue of Hinduism Hindu society dies.”

Then he goes on to praise RSS-BJP for bringing the glory back to Hindus. These statements of his on one hand promote the Hate and on the other tantamount to political statement, which civil servants should not by making. CPM politburo member Brinda Karat has written a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah to take suitable action against the erring bureaucrat.

Rao begins with Maulana Abul kalam Azad. Surely Azad was one of the major leaders of freedom movement, who was also the youngest President of INC, in 1923 and later between 1940 to 1945. He opposed the partition process tooth and nail till the very last. As the Congress President in 1923 he wrote a remarkable Para, symbolizing the urge for Hindu Muslim unity, “If an angel descends from heaven and offers me Swaraj in 24 hours on condition that I give up Hindu Muslim Unity, I will refuse. Swaraj we will get sooner or later; its delay will be a loss for India, but loss of Hindu Muslim unity will be a loss for human kind”. His biographer Syeda Hamid points out “He spoke without an iota of doubt about how debacle of Indian Muslims has been the result of the colossal mistakes committed by Muslim League’s misguided leadership. He exhorted Muslims to make common cause with their Hindu, Sikh, Christian fellow countrymen.” He was the one who promoted the translation of Hindu scriptures Ramayan and Mahabharat in to Persian.

Surely Mr. Rao, neither has read Azad or read about him nor knows his contributions to making of Modern India. While today, the ideological formation to which Mr. Rao seems to be pledging his commitment is critical of all that happened during Nehru era, it was during this period when as education minister Azad was shepherding the formations of IITs, Academies of Science, Lalit kala Academies. It was during this period that the efforts to promote Indian composite culture were undertaken through various steps.

The other stalwarts who are under the hammer have been outstanding scholars and giants in their own field of education. Humayun Kabir, Nurul Hasan, Dr.Zakir Husssain gave matchless ideas and practical contributions in different fields of education. One can say that contrary to the accusations, India could match up to the Computer era, software and associate things, due to creation of large manpower in these areas mainly due to these foundations which were laid down particularly in the field of education during this period.

The charge that these ‘Muslim’ education ministers white washed the bloody Islamic rule is a blind repetition of the offshoot of communal historiography introduced by British. While Kings were ruling for power and wealth, their courts had Hindus and Muslim both officers. The jaundiced vision sees this as a bloody Islamic rule but as a matter of fact the syncretic culture and traditions developed precisely this period. It was during this period that Bhakti Traidtion with Kabir, Tukaram, Namdeo, Tulsidas flourished. It was during this period that humane values of Sufi saints reached far and wide. It was during this period that poets like Rahim and Raskhan produced their classic literature n praise of Hindu Gods.

We also need to remind ourselves that large number of Muslims participated in the freedom Movement. Two scholars Shamsul Islam and Nasir Ahmad have come out with books on the myriad such freedom fighters, to recall just a few names. Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Zakir Hussain, Syed Mohammad Sharfuddin Kadri, Bakht Khan, Muzzafar Ahmad, Mohammad Abdir Rahman,, Abbas Ali, Asaf Ali, Yusuf Mehrali, Maulana Mazahrul Hague.

These are just a few of the names. The movement, led by Gandhi, definitely laid the foundations where composite Indian culture and respect for all religions, others’ religion was paramount and this is what created Indian fraternity, one of the values which finds its place in the preamble of Indian Constitution.

This blaming of Education ministers who were Muslims is an add-on to the process of Islamophobia in India. So for there have been many actions of Muslim kings which are selectively presented as being bloody, now the post Independent History, where glorious contributions have been made by Muslim leaders are being used to further deepen the divisive process. We need to pay respects to builders of modern India, irrespective of their religion.

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5 including child burnt alive, 30 injured as bus catches fire in Karnataka

News Network
August 12,2020

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Chitradurga, Aug 12: At least five people were burnt alive and over 30 passengers were injured when a moving bus caught fire on National Highway-4 at Kasturi Rangappanahalli Gate in Hiriyur taluk, Chitradurga district of Karnataka today. 

The dead were identified as Sheela (33), Sparsha (8), Samrudha (5), Kavitha (29) and Nischitha (3). According to police, all victims were moving from Vijayapura to Bengaluru and the bus caught fire at 3: 45 AM. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

The mishap occurred when a private bus was running from Vijayapura to Bengaluru. Preliminary reports said that bus was carrying over 35 passengers. The injured were sent to government hospitals in Hiriyur and Chitradurga.

This is the third incident of a bus catching fire in Hiriyur taluk limits. The bus ferrying passengers regularly from Vijayapura set its journey at 9 PM and was supposed to reach Bengaluru at 6: 30 AM having 32 passengers on board. A passenger who survived the accident said that except for a small break at 11 PM, the bus was moving non-stop.

As the fire started near the engine, the driver of the bus along with the cleaner stopped the bus and jumped out. Basavaraj Kodihal a BMTC staff who was travelling back to Bengaluru for joining duty post-COVID-19 said that the thirst which occurred helped him to save a life.

Police have rushed to the spot and clearing the jam occurred after tragedy on the highway. This is the third incident of a bus catching fire in Hiriyur taluk limits.

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