Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief S Somanath

All Rehearsal Completed For The Launch: ISRO chief On Aditya-L1 Mission

After the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon, India is gearing up for its Sun mission ‘Aditya-L1’. Indian Space Research Organisation chief S Somnath has said that the ISRO team has completed rehearsal for the launch. 

Speaking to the media, ISRO Chief said, “We are just getting ready for the launch. The rocket and satellite are ready, we have completed the rehearsal for the launch. Tomorrow we have to start the countdown for the launch, the day after tomorrow.”

Aditya-L1 would be the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun.

Earlier on August 14, ISRO informed about mission Aditya-L1, the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun and said that it is getting ready for the launch.

“PSLV-C57/Aditya-L1 Mission: Aditya-L1, the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun, is getting ready for the launch. The satellite realised at the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru has arrived at SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota,” ISRO said in a post on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter).

According to an ISRO statement, the Aditya L1 spacecraft carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun (the corona) using electromagnetic particle and magnetic field detectors. Using the special vantage point L1, four payloads directly view the Sun and the remaining three payloads carry out in-situ studies of particles and fields at the Lagrange point L1, thus providing important scientific studies of the propagatory effect of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.

The suits of Aditya L1 payloads are expected to provide the most crucial information to understand the problem of coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and flare activities and their characteristics, dynamics of space weather, propagation of particles and fields, the statement said. (ANI)

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C-295 Transport Aircraft

IAF To Carry Out Exercise Trishul Along China, Pak Borders

The Indian Air Force is going to carry out a major training exercise codenamed Trishul in the northern sector along the borders with both China and Pakistan, IAF officials told ANI here.

“All major fleets of fighter aircraft including the Rafale, Mirage 2000 and the Su-30MKIs will be participating in the drills along with heavy-lift transport aircraft and choppers including the Chinooks and Apache,” they said.

The Garud Special Forces are also part of the drills where all elements of air power are likely to be exercised in the exercise to be held from September 4 to 14 in the northern sector including Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.

The Indian Air Force is also putting all its assets on high alert for the G-20 summit to be held on September 9 and 10 where all major global leaders are going to be in the national capital.

The Indian Air Force has also started activating and moving its surface-to-air defence weapon systems including the Akash missile systems to tackle any possible aerial threat.

The security agencies have also activated their counter-drone systems where they can jam any small drones or if required, can take them out using other options. (ANI)

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Hindu American

Georgia Declares October As ‘Hindu Heritage Month’

In a significant development, the US state of Georgia has declared the month of October as ‘Hindu Heritage Month’ citing the contribution of the ‘vibrant’ ‘Hindu American’ community in the state’s progress.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp made the proclamation and stated that the month of October will be collectively celebrated focusing on the Hindu culture and the diverse spiritual traditions rooted in India.

Notably, October is a significant month for Hinduism, as it contains major Hindu festivals like Navaratri and Diwali.

“The Hindu heritage, culture, traditions, and values provide their followers invaluable solutions to many of life’s problems and often serve as a source of inspiration, reflection, and contemplation for the millions of individuals who look to the teachings of Hinduism for guidance,” the proclamation by Georgia Governor stated.

The proclamation added that Hinduism is the third-largest religion in the world with one billion devotees worldwide and approximately three million in the US.

“The vibrant Hindu American community has contributed tremendously to the vitality of the State of Georgia by enriching the lives of its citizens,” the proclamation stated.

It added, “During the month of October 2023, the Hindu community across the State of Georgia and across our great nation will collectively celebrate its heritage by focusing on its culture and the diverse spiritual traditions rooted in India”.

The Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA), a Hindu advocacy group in the US, has welcomed the move and thanked Governor Kemp for recognising the contribution of the Hindu community.

“Georgia proclaims October as Hindu Heritage Month. Our thanks to Governor @BrianKempGA for this recognition. This was made possible by the untiring dedication of our friends at the Hindus of Georgia PAC. Hinduism has contributed greatly to the cultural milieu of America. It is gratifying to see Georgia recognize the contribution of Hindu Americans and Hinduism at the same time that California is targeting us with #SB403,” the group said on X (formerly Twitter).

Notably, Georgia Assembly, earlier this year, had passed the first-ever resolution condemning “Hinduphobia” making it the first-ever US State to do so.

The resolution passed by the Georgia legislature citing ‘Understanding HinduphobiaInitiative’ described Hinduphobia as “a set of antagonistic, destructive, and derogatory attitudes and behaviours towards Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Hindus that may manifest as prejudice, fear, or hatred.” (ANI)

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Jawan srk

Jawan Trailer: Film Packed With Jaw-dropping Action

Finally, the long wait for ‘Jawan’ trailer has come to an end.

Thursday became special for Shah Rukh Khan’s fans as the actor unveiled nearly 3-minute-long video showcasing him in a never-seen-before character.

The trailer showed SRK hijacking a train and operating a team of six women as they pulled off different heists around the country. Seems like SRK is playing a double role in the film as he was spotted acing different avatars.

Nayanthara plays a cop tasked with tracking down the vigilante. In the trailer, we can also see her romancing SRK. Clearly, the makers have kept plot details under wraps.

Antagonist Vijay Sethupathi’s glimpses in the trailer amped up the audience’s curiosity for sure. Deepika Padukone, Sanya Malhotra, Sunil Grover and Ridhi Dogra are also featured in the trailer which is packed with some jaw-dropping action scenes.

The trailer promises a mass entertainer with seeti-maar dialogues. “Bete ko haath lagane se pehle baap se baat kar (Before touching the son, talk to his father),” this dialogue of SRK in trailer sure gave a hint at what amazing filmy surprise SRK has in store for moviegoers.

Sharing the trailer’s link, SRK took to Instagram and wrote, “Of Justice & A Jawan. Of Women & their Vengeance. Of a Mother & A Son. And of course, a lot of Fun!!! Ready Ahhh!!! #JawanTrailer out now! #Jawan releasing worldwide on 7th September, 2023 in Hindi, Tamil & Telugu.”

With SRK, Vijay Sethupathi and Nayanthara’s stellar acting skills, the Atlee directorial ‘Jawan’ is bound to leave audience holding on to their seats and erupting in loud cheers. So, mark your calendars and get ready to witness SRK in a totally massy role in theatres near you from September 7 onwards. (ANI)

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Saving Hills Is A Shared Responsibility

Saving Hills From Human Influx Is A Shared Responsibility

Dr Sudhanshu Joshi, an associate professor at the School of Management, Doon University, Uttarakhand, says unchecked highland tourism can result in a cascade of adverse outcomes. His views:

With their awe-inspiring landscapes, rich biodiversity, and distinct ecosystems, hills are natural treasures that require utmost care and protection. In addition to regulating water flow, sustaining diverse flora and fauna, and even acting as carbon sinks, they provide essential ecological services. However, the rapid influx of tourists, frequently motivated by economic interests, can threaten the very attractiveness and integrity that attracts tourists in the first place.

Unchecked highland tourism can result in a cascade of adverse outcomes. Trampling and habitat devastation can upset the delicate equilibrium of an ecosystem. Foot traffic, unregulated camping, and infrastructure construction can degrade soil, harm plant life, and disrupt animal habitats. This can lead to biodiversity loss, with species being driven to the brink of extinction due to human disturbances.

In addition, the unregulated development of hotels, resorts, and other facilities can result in deforestation, land degradation, and habitat fragmentation. These impacts impair the environment and diminish the hills’ distinctive qualities that attract tourists. In addition to contributing to air and noise pollution, the influx of vehicles disturbs fauna and alters natural soundscapes.

To secure the hills and preserve their individuality, a comprehensive strategy is required:

1. Carrying Capacity Evaluation: It is essential to determine the number of visitors a hill area can accommodate without suffering irreparable damage. This involves comprehending the ecological boundaries of the environment and establishing visitor restrictions accordingly.

2. Sustainable Infrastructure: Any hillside development should adhere to stringent sustainability guidelines. Low-impact designs, using locally sourced materials, and eco-friendly building techniques can help reduce environmental footprint.

3. Waste Management: Establishing efficient waste management systems is essential. This includes encouraging visitors to take their trash, promoting responsible refuse disposal, and implementing recycling programs.

ALSO READ: Not Just Joshimath, Entire Uttarakhand Is Sitting On Powderkeg

4. Community Involvement: It is essential to involve local communities. They possess beneficial environmental knowledge and play a crucial role in managing and preserving their surroundings.

5. Education and Awareness: It is essential to educate both tourists and locals on the significance of preserving the highlands. The fragility of these environments can be brought to light through interpretive centers, informative signage, and guided excursions. Media and films can also be used as an effective medium to increase awareness about the grim result of excessive pressure on hills.

6. Implementing and enforcing regulations that regulate tourism activities can help prevent the hills from becoming overburdened. This may entail entry permits, restrictions on particular activities, and compliance monitoring.

7. Encouragement of Sustainable Practices: Encouraging responsible tourism practices, such as minimal-impact trekking, wildlife observation, and respect for local cultures, can reduce damage while allowing people to appreciate the hills.

Thus, protecting hills from the adverse effects of tourism is a shared responsibility among government entities, local communities, businesses, and visitors. By employing a comprehensive strategy that incorporates carrying capacity assessments, sustainable infrastructure, waste management, community engagement, education, regulations, and promoting sustainable practices, we can ensure that the character of hills is preserved for future generations.

The narrator teaches Supply Chain Management with a focus on sustainability and climate change. He is also the regional coordinator of the PM Gati Shakti National Plan

As told to Deepa Gupta

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Zoya Akhtar

Zoya Shares Special Post For Archies Gang

Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, who is all set to make everyone nostalgic with her upcoming film ‘The Archies’ on Saturday penned a sweet note for the cast as their first hoarding goes up the Mumbai streets.

The film marks the debut of Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan’s daughter Suhana, Boney Kapoor and late Sridevi’s daughter Khushi Kapoor and megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson Agastya.The film also stars Aditi Saigal, Vedang Raina and Mihir Ahuja. Recently, the gang of the Archies, took to the streets of Mumbai to make the announcement of the release date.

Zoya Akhtar took to Instagram and shared a snap of the whole cast and penned a sweet note.

br />She wrote, “Your first hoarding is up kiddos. May there be many more. May you never stop working hard and forever remain wide eyed. I wish you the world.”

As soon as Zoya uploaded the post, her fans and industry friends chimed in the comment section.

Khushi Kapoor, who is playing Betty Cooper in the film wrote, “Love you.”

Suhana Khan also commented, “Loove u Zoya.”

‘The Archies’ is all set to release on the OTT platform Netflix on December 7.

‘The Archies’, a coming-of-age musical, follows the lives of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Reggie, Ethel and Dilton who will take audiences to the fictional hilly town of Riverdale.

The film explores friendship, freedom love, heartbreak and rebellion.

Makers announced the date of launch with a live billboard on Mumbai’s Western Express Highway.

The Indian adaptation of the beloved comics will see Dot play Ethel Muggs, Agastya Nanda as the charming and talented Archie Andrews, Khushi Kapoor take on the role of Betty Cooper, Mihir Ahuja as the always hungry Jughead Jones, Veronica Lodge portrayed by Suhana Khan, Heartthrob Reggie Mantle will be showcased by Vedang Raina and Yuvraj Menda will play Dilton Doiley.

Zoya recently unveiled the film’s teaser revealing that the film is set in 1964 in Riverdale, described on a railway sign as a “hill station,” a term dating back to colonial times that refers to a town located at a higher elevation than the nearby plain.

One of the transport links servicing the hill stations are small mountain railway trains running on narrow gauge tracks, known affectionately as “toy trains”, and the teaser opens with a shot of the top train puffing into Riverdale station. The Archies gang play music and dance at parties and classrooms while also enjoying their time outdoors. (ANI)

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Trump Vivek Ramaswamy

Trump Calls Vivek Ramaswamy ‘Very Good’

In an interesting turn of events in the presidential poll campaign, former US President Donald Trump heaped praises on  entrepreneur and rival Vivek Ramaswamy, signalling that would be open to having him as his running mate, New York Post reported on Wednesday.

Trump, 77, lavished praise on his 38-year-old Indian-American rival on Tuesday, hailing his renegade politics and willingness to commend the 45th president’s administration.

“Well, I think he’s great. Look, anybody that said I’m the best president in a generation…I have to like a guy like that,” the New York Post quoted Trump as saying to Blaze TV’s Glenn Beck.

Notably, Ramaswamy dubbed Trump “the best president of the 21st century” during last week’s Republican primary debate and has characterized his candidacy as a bid to take the former president’s policies “to the next level.”

Throughout his campaign, Ramaswamy has been one of Trump’s staunchest defenders against the four indictments levelled against him — even vowing to pardon the former president on his first day in office if elected, New York Post reported.

“He’s a smart guy. He’s a young guy. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s a very, very, very intelligent person,” Trump added.

“He’s got good energy, and he could be in some form of something. I tell you, I think he’d be very good. I think he’s really distinguished himself,” New York Post quoted Trump as saying.

Meanwhile, Ramaswamy drew widespread attention and became one of the most-searched 2024 Republican contenders after the debate at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum.

What makes Trump’s comments significant is the fact that the former President is famous for “rhetorically carpet-bombing” his rivals, particularly those gaining momentum or encroaching on his time in the limelight, as per New York Post.

However, Trump also posed a word of caution for Ramaswamy, who has stumbled into controversy over his policy prescriptions for Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine.

“He’s starting to get out there a little bit. He’s getting a little bit controversial,” Trump said. “I got to tell him: ‘Be a little bit careful. Some things you have to hold in just a little bit, right?’” Trump stated, according to New York Post.

Meanwhile, Ramaswamy had shot up sharply in GOP primary polls, standing tied with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at the second position. However, both candidates lag hugely behind former President Donald Trump who leads with 56 per cent, as per The Hill.

In another poll by RealClearPolitics, Trump is far out in front of the 2024 GOP race with 53.6 per cent support, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 13.5 per cent, and Ramaswamy at 7.3 per cent.

The next US presidential election is scheduled to be held on November 5, 2024. (ANI)

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Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar

Only Solution To Cauvery Water Is Mekedatu Project: DK Shivakumar

Amid the tussle between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over Cauvery water, Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar on Thursday said that the Mekedatu project is the only solution to the water sharing issue between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in connection with Cauvery dispute.

DK Shivakumar held a consultation with legal experts and officials at Karnataka Bhavan in Delhi regarding the Cauvery River water-sharing dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

“The only solution is the Mekedatu project. We will request the authorities to visit the sites in Karnataka and see the problems being faced by the state,” Shivakumar told ANI.

The Mekedatu project is a multipurpose project involving the construction of a balancing reservoir near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district, Karnataka. Its objectives are to provide drinking water to Bengaluru and neighboring areas

Terming the order of releasing 5000 cusecs of water as a big pain, Shivkumar said that Karnataka is in a very grave situation since there is no rain and no water.

“Today, we had a meeting with all our legal experts. Now, the entire team is on the way to meet our senior advocate who is representing Karnataka. We have been given an order to release 5,000 cusecs of water. It is a big pain to Karnataka because there is no water due to no rain. I hope they will respect the sentiments of the farmers of Karnataka. We also respect the farmers of Tamil Nadu. But still, Karnataka is in a very grave situation. We are appealing to the authorities to visit the sites and know the problems Karnataka is suffering,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the farmer’s associations in Karnataka staged a fresh protest near Krishna Raja Sagar(KRS) reservoir in Mandya district against the release of 5,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of Cauvery water to the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. 

Complying with the direction of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), Karnataka on Wednesday started releasing water from its reservoirs to Tamil Nadu.

CWMA on Tuesday had directed Karnataka to ensure 5,000 cusecs of Cauvery water at Billigundulu on the Tamil Nadu- Karnataka boundary every day up to September 12.

CWMA’s direction came after the Cauvery Water Regulation Committe (CWRC) recommended Karnataka release 5,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Though Karnataka made a protest at CWRC’s recommendation CWMA upheld it.

After the Karnataka government started complying with CWMA’s direction farmers started protesting saying that the Cauvery basin was facing severe drought and water storage in the reservoirs was barely enough to meet the drinking water needs of the region.

The Cauvery water issue has been a controversial issue between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for decades, and they have been locked in a battle over the sharing of water from the Cauvery River, which is a major source of irrigation and drinking water for millions of people in the region. (ANI)

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Viacom 18 BCCI

BCCI Announces Acquisition Of Media Rights By Viacom 18

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah announced on Thursday that Viacom 18 has won the BCCI Media Rights in Television and Digital media, for the next five years.

He took to Twitter to make the announcement. Now, the home international matches of India will be shown on the channels/platform owned by Viacom 18. 

“Congratulations @viacom18for winning the @BCCI Media Rights for both linear and digital for the next 5 years. India Cricket will continue to grow in both spaces as after @IPL, and @wplt20, we extend the partnership @BCCI Media Rights as well. Together we will continue to capture the imagination of cricket fans,” he tweeted. 

He also thanked the previous right holders, Disney Star and Disney+Hotstar for their support over the years and for helping Indian cricket reach its fans all over the world. 

“Also a big thank you to @starindia @DisneyPlusHS for your support over the years. You played a key role in making India Cricket reach its fans across the globe,” he added in a tweet. 

Notably, Team India is currently playing the Asia Cup, which started on August 30. Men in Blue will kickstart their campaign against Pakistan on Saturday. 

Indian Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna. (ANI)

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BRICS Expansion Geopolitics And India

BRICS Expansion, Geopolitics And India

BRICS concluded its 15th Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa last week. India is a key partner in the original BRICS and has been participant in the key highlight of the summit, the announcement of expansion of the group from January 1, 2024. The newly inducted members are as disparate as the original group. They comprise the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Republic of Iran from West Asia, two Nile riparian countries of Egypt and Ethiopia from Africa and Argentina from South America.

If the inclusion of major oil producers from West Asia provides political heft and clout to the group, Egypt and Ethiopia represent African aspirations of representation in the global fora. Argentina, being an economic and financial struggler may be looking for revival through loans with less stringent conditions from BRICS’ New Development Bank.

The location of the BRICS countries and the new members is interesting, in terms of geopolitical reach. Egypt and Saudi Arabia also have been major beneficiaries of their strong linkages with the United States of America during Cold War and after. They facilitated US in West Asia and the Arab World. Now, it seems the tables have turned, perhaps, with the onset of a new Cold War. The second pole, however, this time comprises the formidable Russia-China alliance. Does BRICS expansion signal the return of the proverbial Chessboard vis-à-vis NATO? Or the BRICS is just an economic power bloc enhancing its energy prospects and geographical extent? What are the implications for India of the expanded membership? The article seeks to answer these questions.

BRICS’s fundamental aims since its conception have concentrated upon creating a new financial architecture in the international system. Gradually, however, it is acquiring a political character and has been concerned specifically with security issues in the international system. This is reflected in consecutive Summit Statements of recent years and political and security cooperation forms the most important pillar of collaboration in BRICS.

Owing to Russia-Ukraine war, this year’s summit acquires tremendous significance as none of the BRICS members have been openly critical of Russian actions. Russia intends to overcome the sanctions imposed by the United States and the West and thereby supports the expansion of BRICS. China benefits in its effort to shape a new international order wherein Beijing holds the leadership. With its economic strength and increasing military numbers, it is well placed to work on alternative financial and economic mechanisms which may be acceptable to many countries, visible in the interest in the membership of the BRICS.

ALSO READ: Does India Have A Meaningful Future in BRICS?

Regionally, inclusion of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iran shows that the West Asian ‘Arc of Instability’ now has a range of actors and a different set of stakeholders. Saudi Arabia being the largest exporter of oil and China, the largest importer, the partnership will grow and will have implications for the international energy scenario. Traditionally, the US has been a trusted partner of the Saudis and such change may be considered a blow to US interests in West Asia.

Furthermore, Iran with it’s expanding nuclear programme and resulting sanctions have been at loggerheads with the US and the West. An important regional arena through which the US established its military and geopolitical credentials now seems to be sliding out of its grip. US withdrawal from Afghanistan two years ago perhaps was the commencement of this process. The process may be hastened with BRICS membership for Saudi Arabia and Iran, whereas the major beneficiary is China with its ambitions of global geopolitical dominance. Moreover, China, is the leading trading partner of most countries in the region and beyond in Central Asia and South Asia.

For India, inclusion of six new members into the BRICS has several implications. Initially, during the Johannesburg summit, Brazil and India were skeptical of expansion and were keen on the modalities and criteria for inclusion of new members. The inclusion, however, reflects rising Chinese influence in the international system as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are primarily led by Beijing. The membership of both comprises of major regional actors in their respective regions and they cover Eurasian landmass in the case of SCO and BRICS has membership from all the continents except for North America.

China and India have major differences on a range of issues, the foremost being the contentious Line of Actual Control where they blame each other for massive deployment of troops in the Himalayas since 2020. Therefore, rising Chinese influence in any sphere is inherently not a favourable situation for India.

India, on the other hand, in the recent past has drifted towards the US, the other pole of the emerging Cold War. For New Delhi to feature in two major organizations led by China and at this critical juncture in the international scenario may be a balancing act, but it will have long term ramifications.

It may be argued that India with the current dispensation asserts its strategic and national interests but agreeing to a Chinese agenda may not create that impression. Also, the illusion that BRICS and SCO are representatives of the Global South and thereby India agrees to be a part of them, now comes under scrutiny. With the membership of Iran and Saudi Arabia, BRICS is now a geopolitical group aimed at the US and the West. India must find it hard to negotiate with the two antithetical arrays in global geopolitics.

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