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S-400 defence missile systems will be delivered to India within 18-19 months: Russia


By Asian News International

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Sakhalin island), [Russia]: Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov on Sunday said S-400 air defence missile systems will be delivered to India in strict accordance with the schedule.

"The advance payment has been received and everything will be delivered in strict accordance with the schedule, within about 18-19 months," Borisov told state-owned broadcaster Rossiya-1. Last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was in Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss ways to further advance bilateral cooperation.

India had signed a USD 5.43-billion deal with Russia for the purchase of five S-400 systems during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi on October 5 last year for long-term security needs.

 
 
 



Obstacles on lunar surface may have been stopping lander from receiving signals: Chandrayaan-1 Director


Chennai (Tamil Nadu): The obstacles on the lunar surface may have been stopping the lander from receiving the signals, Chandrayaan-1 Director Mylswamy Annadurai said on Sunday.

"As we have located the lander on the lunar surface, we now have to establish contact with it. The place, where the lander alighted is expected to be not conducive enough for the lander to soft-land. There may be some obstacles, which could have been stopping us from establishing the connection," Annadurai told ANI. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost contact with the Vikram Lander, one of three components of the Chandrayaan-2, minutes before its touchdown on the lunar surface in the early hours on Saturday.

The same orbiter which located the lander has also been provided with a communication channel, which envisages such eventuality, he said, adding that a same line of side-channel can be used to establish the communication with the lander. "In the past, the Chandrayaan's orbiter had beamed the signals towards the lander to establish signals, but in the present case, it has to be seen whether the latter receives it or not," the director added.

"There is always a two-way communication between the orbiter and lander, but we can attempt to communicate through one way." He, however, asserted that the communication will not be for more than 5-10 minutes. "It is a tricky situation but our scientists are capable enough to handle it," he added. The lander was 2.1-km above the moon's surface when it lost the connection with the ground station at ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru.

Earlier today, ISRO chairman K Sivan had told ANI that the agency has found the location of Lander through a thermal image clicked by the Orbiter, which is already in the intended orbit around the Moon. Sivan, however, maintained that no communication has been established with the Lander and that the agency will try to establish it in the next 14 days. Chandrayaan-2 was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22.

After revolving around the earth's orbit, the spacecraft began its journey to the moon on August 14 and all manoeuvres were carried out to perfection until the last few minutes of descent. The incident saw all of India uniting in showing their support to the space agency and its scientists, who have said that moon mission has accomplished at least 90 to 95 per cent of its objectives despite the severance of communication with the Lander.

 
 
 



91 per cent of Kashmir Valley free from any day-time restrictions: Official sources


Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): The situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is turning back to normal as the majority of areas continue to function peacefully without any day-time restrictions, said official sources in the government of India.

"91 per cent of Kashmir valley is free from any day time restrictions, while all of Jammu and Ladakh regions are free from any day-time restrictions," said sources. Adding that telephone and mobile communications have been restarted in the majority of the regions, the sources added, "All landlines are functional. Mobile facility restored in all districts of Jammu and Ladakh division and in Kupwara district of Kashmir." The administration is also going to launch the biggest ever recruitment drive in the two Union territories to fill up close to 50,000 positions lying vacant in the government sector.

The information has come almost a month after the Central government scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution, which conferred special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre, in August, had also bifurcated the state into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The sources also added that there were hardly any instances of violence reported from the Valley region and the minuscule number of protests which took place were handled by the police without any significant damage to life and property.

"The situation has remained peaceful across the Kashmir valley. There has been no incident of major violence. Not even a single live bullet has been fired. There has been no loss of life. Some protests have been handled by local police while exercising full restraint," the government sources said. All primary, middle and high schools are running with improved performance while the banks and ATMs are functioning normally in the region.

They also said that the administration has set up a media centre to enable both the local and national media houses to cover events in the region. A media centre has also been set up in Jammu and Kashmir to enable the media to cover events in the region. While regular press briefings are being held, over 400 press passes have been issued, the majority to local journalists. "All mainstream newspapers are being printed. Satellite channels and cable TV networks are operational," the sources said.

"The full focus is on returning the situation to normalcy. Some remaining restrictions on the communications and preventive detentions remain with a view to maintaining public law and order. These restrictions are being reviewed continuously and being eased by local administration based on the ground situation," they added.

 
 
 



Measures will be taken to ensure illegal immigrants do not find place in NRC: Amit Shah


Guwahati: BJP national president Amit Shah on Sunday assured the Assam unit of the party that measures will be taken to ensure that no illegal immigrant finds a place in the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

After submitting a memorandum to Shah, who is also the Union Home Minister, at the venue of the 68th Plenary Session of the North East Council (NEC) here, the party's state unit president Ranjit Dass told reporters that they had discussed "anomalies in the contentious NRC" with the party national president. "Shah assured us that the BJP's commitment to not allow even one illegal migrant in India remains unchanged," Dass said.

The party national president told the state unit that there was nothing to worry in this regard, Dass said. "He also assured us that necessary protection will be given to all those who came to India prior to 1971," Dass said. Shah, who is the chairman of the NEC, had said earlier in the day that the Centre will not allow a single illegal immigrant to stay in the country.

"Questions are being raised about the NRC by different sections but today I just want to say this that the BJP-led government is committed to ensure that not a single illegal immigrant enters the region," he said.

 
 
 



'India is with you. You are exceptional': PM Modi boosts morale of ISRO scientists after contact with lander lost


Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed the scientists of ISRO, hours after the much-anticipated Vikram lander lost signal moments before its moon landing. Boosting the morale of Team Chandrayaan-2, he inspired them to march on, saying: "You came as close as you could. Stay steady and look ahead."

He said every person was aware of the amount of disappointment they were feeling following the setback. Modi said if a poet was to write about this, he would mention: "Chandrayaan rushed towards Chandra Maa to hug her..." which drew a loud applause from the audience.

Minutes later, the Prime Minister was seen hugging and consoling ISRO Chairman K. Sivan, who literally burst into tears as Modi was about to leave. Addressing the scientists as "exceptional professionals" whom the nation and the world at large stands by, Modi said: "True to your nature you ventured into a a place where no one has gone before.

"To our scientists, I want to say 'India is with you'. You are exceptional professionals who have made an incredible contribution to the nation's progress. You have given your best always, and will give us several more opportunities to smile about," Modi said.

"Our determination to get closer to Moon today, has just got stronger," the Prime Minister said. Modi said the entire nation was awake in solidarity because the scientists had embarked on one of the most ambitious missions of the space programme. "We came very close but we will need to cover more ground in the times to come", he said.

 

"Every Indian is filled with pride as well as confidence. We are proud of our space programme and scientists... their hard work and determination," he added. "Resilience and tenacity are central to India's ethos. In our glorious history of thousands of years, we have bounced back again and again and gone on to do spectacular things. This is the why our civilization stands tall," Modi said.

"When it comes to our space programmes, the best is yet to come," again drawing a loud applause. Modi said there are new frontiers to discover and new places to go. "We will rise to the occasion and scale new heights of success."

He once again reiterated the pride the nation felt at Indian Space Research Organisation's ambitious attempt to make the Chandrayaan-2 mission a success. Following the Rs 978-crore-rupees Chandrayaan-2 mission's apparent temporary setback with the Vikram lander losing communication minutes before touching down on the lunar surface, Modi said: "I could read your disappointment when you lost signal with the lander."

Modi, who was present at the ISTRAC here in the early hours of Saturday, interacted with the ISRO scientists after the mood in the control room became all gloomy as soon as signals stopped arriving from Vikram. Patting Sivan's back, the Prime Minister said: "Whatever you all have done today is no mean feat. I am with you. Be courageous."

Communication with moon lander Vikram was lost as it was descending towards the Moon earlier in the day. The link was lost as the lander was at an altitude of 2.1 km over the moon's South Pole where it was due to land, Sivan said.

 
 



Chandrayaan-2 orbiter healthy in lunar orbit: ISRO official


Bengaluru: The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is healthy and safe in the Lunar orbit, an ISRO official said after the Vikram lander lost contact with ground stations minutes before the touchdown on Moon's surface early on Saturday.

"The orbiter is healthy, intact, functioning normally and safely in the Lunar orbit," the official told PTI. The mission life of the 2,379-kg orbiter is one year. The orbiter payloads will conduct remote-sensing observations from a 100 km orbit. Chandrayaan-2, a follow-on mission to the Chandrayaan-1 mission undertaken more than a decade ago, comprises an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan).

The orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon. ISRO on September two successfully carried out the separation of lander Vikram (with rover Pragyan housed inside) from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.

In the early hours of Saturday, communication from 'Vikram' lander to ground stations was lost during its powered descent to the Lunar surface, and ISRO said data is being analysed. "Vikram lander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, the communication from lander to groundstations was lost," ISRO Chairman K Sivan said.

 
 
 



Chandrayaan-2: Setback to moon mission as link with lander lost just 2 km off


Bengaluru: In a last stage snag, communications between India's moon lander Vikram and the orbiter got snapped as the former was only 2.1 km away from its designated landing spot on the moon's South Pole early on Saturday, throwing suspense over the fate of Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 mission.

Announcing loss of the communication link, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan said that the performance of the lander was as per the plan till it was at an altitude of 2.1 km from the moon surface. The communication link got snapped after that, he added. All was going well with the 1,471 kg Vikram that began its descent at about 1.38 a.m. from an altitude of 30 km at a velocity of 1,680 metres per second. The lander was smoothly coming down with ISRO officials applauding at regular intervals and their faces beaming with pride.

The lander successfully completed its rough braking phase with its descent speed going down well. It was then communication was lost, throwing a pall of gloom at the ISRO centre where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and students from across the country had gathered. On the screen it was seen that Vikram slightly changed from its planned path and then the link got snapped. Meanwhile, the 2,379 kg Chandrayaan-2 orbiter continues to fly around the moon. Its mission life is one year.

Officials at the space agency's telemetry, tracking and command network (Istrac) were checking out the problem and the data was being analysed. While an ISRO scientist said it was possible that the communications got snapped as the lander crash-landed, after losing control when its thrusters were switched off during its descent, another said that all is not lost as far as the mission is concerned. "Only 5 per cent of the mission has been lost - Vikram the lander and Pragyan the rover - while the remaining 95 per cent - that is the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter - is orbiting the moon successfully," an ISRO official told IANS who did not want to be identified.

While the ISRO officials were crestfallen, Prime Minister Modi told them: "Be courageous." Interacting with the gloomy-faced scientists at the control room of the ISTRAC, he said: "Whatever you have done till now is no mean feat." "The the nation is proud of you. You all have served the nation and done a great service to science and mankind. Move ahead with lots of courage. I am with you, hope for the best," he said, patting ISRO Chairman K. Sivan on the back.

Expressing appreciation for their efforts, he said: "We are learning a lot and would continue doing so in future. This journey would continue... Move ahead with courage. President Ram Nath Kovind, in a tweet, also praised the "exemplary courage and commitment" of ISRO and said that the country was proud of it. Other leaders also praised the ISRO and urged its scientists not to lose heart.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the ISRO's attempts in getting the Chandrayaan-2 close to the moon's surface has made every Indian proud. "India stands with our committed and hard working scientists at ISRO. "My best wishes for future endeavours," he tweeted. The Congress said that the entire country stands with the ISRO.

"The nation stands by the entire team of ISRO as we wait in these tense times. Your hard work and commitment has made our nation proud. Jai Hind," the party tweeted. Senior party leader and former President Rahul Gandhi also congratulated the ISRO for their "incredible" work which was an "inspiration to every Indian". Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the ISRO scientists have done a great job on the Chandrayaan-2 Moon mission.

"We are proud of our scientists. They have created history. No need to lose heart. Our scientists have done a great job. Jai Hind!" the Aam Aadmi Party convenor tweeted. Chandrayaan-2 was launched into the space on July 22 by India's heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a text book style. The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft comprised three segments - the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), 'Vikram' (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover 'Pragyan' (27 kg, two payloads).

After five earth bound orbit raising activities, Chandrayaan-2 was inserted into lunar orbit. The lander Vikram carrying the rover Pragyan separated from Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft on September 2, in its journey towards the moon.

 
 
 



Rafael Nadal advances to his fifth US Open final against Daniil Medvedev


New York: Three-time champion Rafael Nadal advanced to his fifth US Open final with a convincing win over 24th seed Italian challenger Matteo Berrettini at the Flushing Meadows.

On Friday, Nadal wore down the first-time semifinalist 7-6, 6-4, 6-1 under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium and sprinted into the final on Sunday where he will be facing No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev in what will be a match-up of two of the hottest hard-court players in the world.

The No. 2 seed Spaniard has been in devastating form in this edition of the Grand Slam, losing just one set in his six victories, and that came in the fourth round against Marin Cilic. "The first set was a little frustrating because I had a lot of break points before the tie-break and he didn't have any.

In the tie-break I was a little lucky because he had 5/2 and 4/0. But I survived at that moment and I finally got the break in the second and then the match completely changed," Nadal was quoted as saying by the ATP Tour website.

"I started to play with more calm and aggression. I'm super happy to be back in the final of the US Open." Earlier in the day, Medvedev held off Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 to enter his first Grand Slam final. The 23-year-old Russian is just the third player in the Open era to reach the Washington, Canada, Cincinnati and US Open finals in the same season, joining Ivan Lendl (1982) and Andre Agassi (1995).

 
 
 



Inflation rate hasn't increased since 2014, it is under control: Nirmala Sitharaman


Kolkata (West Bengal): At a time when the government is at the centre of Opposition's attack after the GDP which slumped to six-year low, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said inflation rate has not increased since 2014 while adding that it is absolutely "under control".

"Inflation rate has not increased since 2014, if you want to raise the issue then you must see the inflation index between 2008-2016. No one can raise questions at our government when it comes to inflation. It is absolutely under control," she told reporters here. Earlier, the finance minister had said that the UPA government led the country in corruption and ran the economy with double-digit inflation through 10 years of their regime. According to government data, the economic growth slowed to a seven-year low to 5 per cent in April to June quarter from 8 per cent a year ago.

 
 
 



India over the moon! All you need to know about Chandrayaan 2 and its significance


New Delhi: As India and the world await Chandrayaan-2's soft-landing on the moon, the significance of landmark space mission has been a point of discussion among the scientist community and social media alike.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that the soft landing of Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander on the lunar surface is scheduled between 1:30 am to 2:30 am on Saturday, followed by the Rover (Pragyan) roll out between 5:30 am to 6:30 am.

A total number of 38 soft landing attempts on the moon have been made by the space agencies so far with a success rate of 52 per cent. Chandrayaan-2 is India's first attempt at soft-landing on the surface of the moon. This mission will make India the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to conduct a soft landing on the moon.

Here is how Chandrayaan-2 is different from Chandrayaan-1 - Earlier, India had conducted a moon mission in 2008 with Chandrayaan-1.

According to ISRO website, Chandrayaan-1 was launched by India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C11 on October 22, 2008, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota. The spacecraft made more than 3400 orbits around the moon. Chandrayaan-1 was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009.

The lift-off mass of Chandrayaan-1 was 1380 kg while Chandrayaan-2 weighs 3850 kg.

Chandrayaan-1 conclusively discovered traces of water on the moon. This was a path-breaking discovery. Chandrayaan-1 also discovered water ice in the North polar region of the Moon.

It also detected Magnesium, Aluminium and Silicon on the lunar surface. Global imaging of the moon was another achievement of this mission.

On the other hand, the Chandryaan-2 is different from the earlier moon mission because it will attempt to soft-land its Vikram module on the lunar surface and deploy a six-wheeled Rover, Pragyaan on the moon to carry out several scientific experiments.

Chandrayaan-2 aims to widen the scientific objectives of Chandrayaan-1 by way of soft landing on the Moon and deploying a rover to study the lunar surface.

The mission life of Orbiter will be one year whereas the mission life of lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan) will be one Lunar day which is equal to fourteen earth days.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at the ISRO today around midnight to watch the event. Over 60 high school students across the country who cleared an online space quiz last month will watch the soft landing of the mission with the Prime Minister.

After revolving around the Earth's orbit for nearly 23 days, the craft began its journey to the moon on August 14. The mission took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22.

India's second mission to the moon was approved by the cabinet in September 2008, just before the launch of Chandrayaan 1. If the mission is successful, it will be yet another feather in the cap for ISRO whose reputation in this field has grown exponentially.

 
 
 




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