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Chandrayaan-2, India’s Ambitious Expedition to Moon’s South Pole, Make Headlines Globally

The partial failure of the Chandrayaan-2 mission - an orbiter remains in operation - would delay the country's bid to join an elite club of nations

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Chandrayaan 2, India, Moon
While India may not have stuck the landing on its first try, its attempt highlighted how its engineering prowess and decades of space development have combined with its global ambitions. Pixabay

Chandrayaan-2, India’s ambitious expedition to the moon’s south pole, made headlines globally even as Vikram, the lander of the mission, lost contact with the orbiter moments before its scheduled soft landing on Saturday. Here’s how the foreign media covered the event.

The New York Times lauded India’s “engineering prowess and decades of space development combined with its global ambitions”.

“While India may not have stuck the landing on its first try, its attempt highlighted how its engineering prowess and decades of space development have combined with its global ambitions,” it said.

“The partial failure of the Chandrayaan-2 mission – an orbiter remains in operation – would delay the country’s bid to join an elite club of nations that have landed in one piece on the moon’s surface,” it added.

Chandrayaan 2, India, Moon
Chandrayaan-2, India’s ambitious expedition to the moon’s south pole, made headlines globally even as Vikram, the lander of the mission, lost contact with the orbiter. Pixabay

American magazine Wired called the Chandrayaan-2 mission India’s “most ambitious” space mission yet.

All is not lost for the mission — said the online edition of Wired on Chandrayaan-2 lander’s “deviation from its expected trajectory”.

“The loss of the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover it was carrying to the lunar surface would be a big blow for India’s space programme …But all is not lost for the mission,” it reported.

Saying, “India loses contact with its lander as it attempted to land on the moon”, the Washington Post said that the incident could “now set back India’s growing space ambitions, seen as a reflection of the aspirations of its young population”.

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“Social media erupted in support of the space agency and its scientists despite the setback… The incident could now set back India’s growing space ambitions, seen as a reflection of the aspirations of its young population”.

“One of the successes of India’s space programme has been its cost effectiveness. Chandrayaan-2 cost $141 million, a small fraction of what the US spent on its historic Apollo moon mission,” the daily said.

CNN reported on the space mission with a headline saying: “India’s historic landing on moon’s polar surface may have failed”.

According to the BBC, the mission made global headlines because it was “so cheap”.

Chandrayaan 2, India, Moon
The New York Times lauded India’s “engineering prowess and decades of space development combined with its global ambitions”. Pixabay

“The budget for Avengers: Endgame, for instance, was more than double at an estimated $356 million. But this isn’t the first time ISRO has been hailed for its thrift. Its 2014 Mars mission cost $74 million, a tenth of the budget for the American Maven orbiter,” it said.

In an article titled — India’s moon landing suffers last-minute communications loss — the Guardian newspaper quoted Mathieu Weiss, a representative in India for France’s space agency CNES, as saying: “India is going where probably the future settlements of humans will be in 20 years, in 50 years, 100 years.”

French daily Le Monde, reporting on the mission, called it “A broken dream” and said that the Indian newspapers “were quick to titrate their websites, after announcing the worse scenario that could expect the Indian Space Research Organization…”

The daily mentioned the success rate of soft landing on the moon, but in percentage. “So far, scientists point out, only 45 per cent of missions aimed at alleviating have been successful,” it said.

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In a last stage snag, communications between Vikram lander 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, leading to suspense over the fate of Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 mission.

Following the setback, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the scientists of ISRO and inspired them to march on, saying: “You came as close as you could. Stay steady and look ahead.” (IANS)

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Most Hated Task by Professionals in India is Data Entry: Report

88% Indians believe bots should be used for admin work

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India bots
Eighty-eight per cent of people in India believe that humans shouldn't be carrying out repetitive admin tasks if they can be done by bots. Pixabay

Eighty-eight per cent of people in India believe that humans shouldn’t be carrying out repetitive admin tasks if they can be automated and this could be a better way to make use of technology, a new report said on Tuesday.

The Automation Anywhere — a global leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) surveyed more than 10,000 office workers and revealed that on an average they spend more than three hours a day on manual, repetitive computer tasks which are not part of their primary job.

The research, conducted by OnePoll, investigated the time spent on and attitudes towards manual, repetitive digital administration tasks in the modern enterprise.

India bots
Workers in India can focus on higher value tasks if the mundane repetitive tasks can be automated and be completed by bots. Pixabay

“As per the report, the most hated task for Indian professionals is Data Entry. Close to 80 per cent of the participants in India believe that admin work is an obstacle for them to do their main job,” said Milan Sheth, Executive Vice President India, Middle East and Africa, Automation Anywhere.

“Workers can focus on higher value tasks if the mundane repetitive tasks can be automated,” Sheth added.

New data shows that nearly half of workers surveyed who expressed an opinion find digital administration boring (47 per cent) and a poor use of their skills (48 per cent), while the majority say it gets in the way of doing their main job (51 per cent overall, rising to 80 per cent in India) and reduces their overall productivity (64 per cent).

According to the survey, Over half (52 per cent) of millennial respondents felt that they could be more productive if they had less administrative tasks to complete, slightly higher than the average at 48 per cent.

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The study also revealed that nearly half (49 per cent) of those surveyed say that simple digital administrative tasks often prevent them from leaving the office on time, 60 per cent of the Indian participants believe the same, indicating it’s impacting their personal lives. (IANS)