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India celebrates Makar Sankranti

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New Delhi: Makar Sankranti, an Indian festival was celebrated in many parts of India and Nepal. It is a harvest festival which is basically celebrated in the Hindu communities. In India, the states of Bihar, Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu celebrate the festival with great fervor and zeal.

In Tamil Nadu the festival is known as Pongal, in Assam as Bhogali Bihu, in Punjab, as Lohiri, in Gujarat and Rajasthan, as Uttararayan.

Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the sun into the zodiacal sign of Makara (Capricon). It is that one day when the duration of the day and night are of equal durations and after this day, the days become longer and the nights shorter. It also marks the arrival of spring in India. It is one of the few festivals which falls on the same Georgian calendar date every year i.e. 14 January, with few exceptions when it comes on 15 January 2016 being one of them.

Makar Sankranti is a blissful festival celebrated by Hindus. All enthusiasts step out of their houses and enjoy flying kites. Colourful kites fill the sky on the auspicious day of Sankranti. The significance of Makar Sankranti is greater in Maharashtra. People send greeting cards to their friends and relatives. The day is started by offering prayers to various deities. People visit temples to bow their heads in front of supreme power.(Inputs from Purti Kalra)(Image-makarsankranti.co)

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India successfully test fires n-capable Agni-V ballistic missile

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

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Nirbhay
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said the Nirbhay missile test was "successful".(Representative image) VOA
  • India successfully tests the Agni-V ballistic missile on Thursday
  • This was the fifth test that missile underwent
  • With this success India is now in ranks with US, UK, China and Russia

India on Thursday successfully test fired its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V — the most potent and with the longest range in the Agni series – that can reach targets as far as Beijing.

The test took place at the Abdul Kalam Island facility off the Odisha coast. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted about its success, congratulating its makers DRDO, the armed forces and the defence industry.

You may also like : Ballistic missile Agni-IV test fired as part of user trial

India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons
India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons

She said the successful test of the 5,000-km-range missile that can carry a one-tonne warhead, was “a major boost to the defence capabilities of our country”.

“The Made in India canistered missile, having three stages of propulsion, was successfully test fired,” she tweeted.

Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Agni-V is the most advanced version of the Agni series, part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that started in the 1960s.

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

This was the fifth test of the missile and likely to be its first user trial, though there was no official word on it.

India is developing new technologies everyday to strengthen its defence.
India is developing new technologies everyday to strengthen its defence.

Thursday’s test brings the missile closer to its induction in the tri-service Strategic Forces Command.

The missile has a much longer shelf life, with its container being made of special steel that absorbs the blast of the takeoff.

In the canisterised launch, a gas generator inside ejects the missile up to a height of about 30 metres. A motor is then ignited to fire the missile.

Also Read : Nikki Haley says North Korea Could Face Stronger Sanctions due to its 7th Missile test in 2017 .

With this missile, India joins the super-exclusive club of ICBM (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500 km) capable countries of the US, Russia, the UK, France and China. IANS

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