India successfully launches ASTROSAT
- The Indian space agency, ISRO today launched Rs 180 crore ASTROSAT, India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory that will help in understanding the universe, and six other foreign satellites.
- The successful launch of ASTROSAT, has catapulted India in the group of select nations like US, Japan, Russia and Europe which have their own space observatories.
- ASTROSAT, will observe the universe through optical, ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray components of the electromagnetic spectrum, whereas most other scientific satellites are capable of observing through a narrow wavelength band.
- The 44.4 metres, 320 ton polar satellite launch vehicle’s XL variant (PSLV-XL) carrying seven satellites cumulatively weighing 1,631 kg was launched at 10am September 28.
- ASTROSAT with a five year life span weighed 1,513 kg, the six foreign satellites (four from the US and one each from Indonesia and Canada) together weighed 118 kg.
- According to an official of Antrix Corporation – the commercial arm of India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) – a deal has been signed to put into orbit nine American nano/micro satellites by the end of 2016.
- It is the third time a PSLV rocket has launched seven satellites in a single mission. In 2008, ISRO had launched 10 satellites in one go, including India’s Cartosate-2A satellite.
- This is the first time that an Indian rocket launched satellites from the US.
- Till date, India has launched 45 foreign satellites for a fee.
MHA okays visa-free biz trips to 15 nations
- The Home Ministry gave in-principle approval to visa free short business trips to leading businessmen from India and 15 other countries, including China and Japan, to make visa-free short business trips to each other’s territory to boost commercial ties.
- The member countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed mega trade agreement, will discuss the matter at its next meeting scheduled to be held in Busan, South Korea, from October 12 to 16.
- Sixteen-member RCEP comprises 10 ASEAN member states and their trading partners — India, South Korea, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand.
- Under the proposal, a special business travel card, modelled on that of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), will be issued to leading businessmen of RCEP member countries for uninterrupted, visa-free short business trips to each other’s territory.
Modi in Silicon Valley: 21st Century Belongs to India
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ended his two day whirlwind trip to West Coast with the following quote “[India] has moved on from scriptures to satellites, The world has started to believe that the 21st century belongs to India.”
- Prime Minister met the world’s top tech chiefs, including India-born Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai, and shared his plans for digital India in a massive event at Silicon Valley, followed by dinner with 350 business leaders.
- On Sunday, he answered questions from the audience at a Townhall at the Facebook headquarters and took a tour of the Google headquarters with CEO Sundar Pichai. The Prime Minister also spoke about the role of social media in governance, and the effect it has had on his personal life.
- He made a strong pitch for his pet Digital India initiative with the titans of the IT world, promising to make governance more accountable and transparent while assuring data privacy and security.
- The PM said his government was working on deregulation and ensuring ‘ease of doing business’ as he aimed to convert the country’s economy from 8 trillion dollars to 20 trillion dollars.
- Google will soon help set up base for free Wi-Fi at 500 railway stations
- Microsoft will bring in low-cost broadband connectivity to 5 lakh villages
- Microsoft will announce cloud computing systems from data centres in the country this week.
- Leading chipmaker Qualcomm will invest $150 million for mobile and Internet-of-everything start-ups in the country
- Apple’s largest manufacturer Foxconn will set up a manufacturing base in India
France launches first air strikes against IS in Syria.
- France said on Sunday it had launched its first air strikes against Islamic State in Syria in an act of “self-defence” to stop to the militant group from carrying out attacks inside France.
- “We are hitting Daesh because this terrorist organisation prepares its attacks against France from Syria. We are acting in self-defense,” Valls said, using an Arabic name for Islamic State.
- French President François Hollande said on Sunday six French jets had struck an Islamic State training camp in Syria, destroying their targets, and warned of more strikes in coming weeks.
- Islamist militants carried out a number of attacks in France this year, including one on the Paris office of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people died. A source in the presidency said the strikes were carried out early on Sunday morning.
- The United States is leading a coalition carrying out air strikes in Iraq and Syria. France had so far only taken part in strikes in Iraq, fearing such action against the group in Syria could strengthen Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
London Games – Bindra shoots gold, Narang 4th.
- Beijing Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra clinched the gold medal while London Games bronze medallist Gagan Narang failed to finish on the podium in the 10m Air Rifle event of the Asian Air Gun Championships.
- The 32-year-old shooter from Chandigarh shot 208.3 to bag the top prize ahead of Kazakhstan’s world No. 8 Yurkov Yuriy (206.6) and Korea’s Yu Jaechul (185.3) on the first day of the competition at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.
- Narang finished fourth with a score of 164.5 while Chain Singh finished seventh after notching up 122.7.
- India also won the gold medal in the 10m air rifle team event. Bindra, Narang and Singh shot a total of 1868.6.
GK QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
1. G4 nations are four countries which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
Which of the following countries is not a member of G4?
C) South Korea
2. Who is the CEO of Tesla and Space X?
A) Richard Branson
B) Tim Cook
C) Elon Musk
D) Sundar Pichai
3. Who is the Chief Minister of Jharkhand?
A) Tarun Gogoi
B) Raghuwar Das
C) Sukhbir Singh Badal
D) Sanwant Kumar
4. Dr Syed Ahmad , who recently passed away was the Governer of which state?
D) Uttar Pradesh