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India Planning to Launch 32 Space Missions This Year

ISRO has also tied up with the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide technical support for establishing an integrated control room for emergency management, Sivan stated

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ISRO has also tied up with the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide technical support for establishing an integrated control room for emergency management, Sivan stated. VOA

India is planning to launch 32 space missions in 2019, a top space official said here.

“The year 2019 promises to be challenging to the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) community with 32 planned missions,” its chairman K. Sivan said in a message to his employees on New Year on Tuesday.

The missions include the second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 to land on the moon with lander and rover.

The Rs 800-crore lunar mission will the 25th from the second launch pad of the space port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90km northeast of Chennai.

India’s maiden human space mission in 2021-22, Gaganyaan, will also be pursued this year, Sivan said in a first-of-its-kind New Year message from the space agency top executive to its staff.

“Gaganyaan activities will go in full steam to accomplish the various development and qualification milestones,” the Chairman said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of Gaganyaan on August 15 last year has allowed the space agency to fulfill its dream of undertaking a human spaceflight programme, Sivan said.

The pad abort test held on July 5, 2018 to test the escape system of the crew module has given ISRO confidence to pursue the human space mission, he added.

The space agency is also aiming to re-instate its microwave remote sensing capability through the Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) series and hopes to attain geo-imaging capability through Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT) series.

“The country will meet the high throughput bandwidth requirement of Digital India and also in-flight connectivity with the launch of GSAT-20,” Sivan said.

Sriharikota: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s communication satellite GSAT-9 on-board GSLV-F09 lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed the satellite as India’s “space gift for South Asia”. PTI

The space agency will enhance remote sensing data for crop production estimation to cover 10 additional crops and provide inputs for water and energy security.

“It is planned to improve the payload capability of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and its variants,” he added.

Marking the birth centenary of the founding father of India’s space programme, Vikram Sarabhai, ISRO will host a year-long celebration from August 12, with national and international events such as fellowships, scholarships at universities.
Recounting the year gone by, Sivan said 2018 had many firsts for ISRO, which undertook 16 missions, of which seven were accomplished in 35 days.

“The national confidence in ISRO is reflected in the highest ever allocation of about Rs 30,000-crore for 23 new and continuation programmes in a single year,” Sivan said.

Among the space agency’s achievements in 2018 were launch of the heaviest satellite GSAT-29 (3,423 kg) on November 14 and building the heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 (5,854 kg), launched on December 5 onboard the Arianespace space agency’s rocket from French Guiana on the north Atlantic coast of South America.

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ISRO has received approval for the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), along with a dedicated launch pad, and is working on reusable launch vehicle development, Sivan noted.

“The approval of 30 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and 10 GSLV Mk-III operational flights, along with development of semicryogenic stage, uprated cryogenic stage and all-electric spacecraft propulsion will accelerate ISRO towards new capabilities, Sivan added.

The space agency has been working on national programmes for the socio-economic security and sustainable development, including that of national geo-spatial energy information system, enhanced earth observational capabilities, real-time disaster management like during floods in Kerala and north eastern states last year.

ISRO has also tied up with the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide technical support for establishing an integrated control room for emergency management, Sivan stated.

The space agency is working to step up its launch capacity through a second vehicle assembly building for the second launch pad, which has been completed and is constructing a PSLV integration facility for the first launch pad.  (IANS)

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India: Sugar Mills, Distilleries under The Scanner of Special Task Force of UP Police for Links with Hooch Syndicates

Industrial alcohol allegedly used in hooch is distilled ethanol

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India, Sugar Mills, Distilleries
A few sugar mills and distilleries have come under the scanner of the Special Task Force of the UP police. Pixabay

As more than a hundred people died in ‘poisonous hooch’ tragedies in Uttar Pradesh during the past one year, a few sugar mills and distilleries have come under the scanner of the Special Task Force of the UP police. Working round the clock to bust ‘killer syndicates’ supplying cheap industrial alcohol to bootleggers and gangs involved in manufacturing of illicit liquor, STF has seized more than 10,000 litres of rectified spirit in raids across the state in the past one month.

Industrial alcohol allegedly used in hooch is distilled ethanol and is usually used in manufacturing of paints, fragrance, printing ink and coating. As it is cheaper, the liquor syndicates get it smuggled from distilled ethanol manufacturing units. On June 16, STF seized 5,750 litres of rectified spirit (high concentration alcohol) from the possession of a big time crime syndicate active in Lucknow and Kanpur.

The STF rounded up the kingpin, Suraj Lal Yadav, along with six other members of the gang. During interrogation it was discovered that Yadav was well-connected with some distilleries in Haryana. Large quantities of industrial alcohol was smuggled out of Haryana and pushed into hooch manufacturing dens in UP.

Concerned about frequents deaths in UP due to consumption of poisonous hooch, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched a statewide crackdown on illicit liquor manufacturing gangs after 21 people died in a hooch tragedy in Barabanki two months ago. The STF, considered the state’s premiere crime busting agency, subsequently geared up to intercept scores of tankers and private vehicles being pushed into UP from Delhi and Haryana.

India, Sugar Mills, Distilleries
A few sugar mills and distilleries have come under the scanner of the Special Task Force of the UP police. Pixabay

“The syndicate involved in smuggling of rectified spirit has spread its tentacles in the state. Even murders have taken place in disputes relating to the smuggling. But our raiding parties are determined to bust the gangs. Innumerable cases have been registered by us in the past one-and-a-half years,” said Amitabh Yash, Inspector General(IG) of STF.

Even though the STF, after rounding up the accused handed over the investigation of the case to the district police, the agency is said to have the most precise data on organised crime in North India.

“We seldom investigate the cases as it involves prolonged court work, so our main aim is focused on cracking heinous crimes, particularly organised by crime syndicates. At the moment, gangs involved in illicit trade of hooch are our target,” said Amitabh Yash, known for his skills in dealing with underworld operations and syndicate crimes. When asked whether a few officials of the excise department and a couple of distilleries could be linked with smugglers of rectified spirit, the IG said a report was given in this connection to the government.

While high excise duty makes liquor expensive, hooch, on the other hand, is available for less than Rs 20 per bottle. At places the rates are less than even Rs 10 per liter. A report, in connection with the Saharanpur hooch tragedy in February 2019 which took the lives of over 50 people, reveals that the quantity of rectified spirit mixed in the drink was so high that it had the effect of poison.

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The report says that rectified spirit was smuggled by criminal gangs which were hand-in-glove with local authorities.

“The gangs have links in distilleries and chemical factories from where industrial alcohol is smuggled out at a very cheap price. It is later re-packed in drums and transported to hideouts of manufacturers (of illicit liquor),” said a source in the police.

With widespread sale of hooch across UP, CM Yogi Adityanath has instructed DGP O.P. Singh to take stringent measures against the culprits and ensure that police secures conviction of those accused who are put on trial in cases of hooch smuggling or hooch-related deaths. (IANS)