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India shoots down satellite with A-SAT, enters space powers’ club

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India shoots down satellite with A-SAT, enters space powers’ club

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Prime Minister Narendra Modi today (Wednesday, March 27) announced announced India’s entry into the elite club of space powers with the shooting down of a low earth orbit satellite with an anti-satellite missile or A-SAT.

India is the fourth country to have tested such an anti-satellite weapon after the US, Russia and China, Modi said, addressing the nation on the success of what he called “Mission Shakti”. Modi asserted that India’s action was not directed against any country and said it was a test of India’s capability to shoot down low orbit satellites.

Modi said India has entered its name as an elite space power with an entirely indigenously manufactured anti-satellite weapon, A-SAT, successfully targeting a live satellite on a low earth orbit.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1553687519732{border-top-width: 10px !important;border-right-width: 10px !important;border-bottom-width: 10px !important;border-left-width: 10px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #cecece !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]India’s ASAT programme was first mentioned in 2012 with the test of an Agni V missile and is subsumed under its Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme, responsible for intercepting and destroying ballistic missiles before they threaten Indian territories or assets.

The BMD has two broadly defined target tiers, called endo-atmospheric and exo-atmospheric. Mission Shakti falls in the exo-atmospheric category.

Shortly after testing the Agni V, DRDO’s then chief VK Saraswat had acknowledged that the missile could be modified for use as an ASAT weapon.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The A-SAT missile shot down the Low Earth Orbit satellite within “three minutes of launch”, with remarkable precision and technical capability, PM Modi said.

“This is a big moment for India, something all of us should be proud of. We are not just capable to defend on land, water and air, but now also in space. I congratulate all scientists who have made this possible and made India a much stronger nation,” PM Modi said in his address.

“Mission Shakti was a highly complex one, conducted at extremely high speed with remarkable precision. It shows the remarkable dexterity of India’s outstanding scientists and the success of our space programme,” PM Modi said on Twitter.

“Today, we have enough satellites that are contributing in various segments such as agriculture, disaster management, communication, weather, navigation etc.,” he said.

He asserted: “Today’s Mission Shakti aimed at strengthening India’s overall security” and India’s action was not directed against any country.

“India has always been against the presence of weapons in the space and this development will not change our stand,” he said.

Explaining why Mission Shakti is special, PM Modi tweeted, “India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised and modern capability. The entire effort is indigenous. India stands tall as a space power. It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony.”

Before India, only the United States, Russia and China had conducted an anti-satellite missile test. The US first tested ASAT technology in 1958, the USSR followed in 1964 and China in 2007. In 2015, Russia tested its PL-19 Nudol missile and followed it up with other tests.

Modi also noted in his speech that through Mission Shakti, India had not violated any international law. The most overarching agreement in this context is the Outer Space Treaty, and while it stresses on the peaceful use of outer space, it doesn’t ban exo-atmospheric ASAT missiles either.

Also Read: ‘Mission Shakti’ makes India fourth space super power after US, Russia and China: PM Modi

ASAT weapons have yet to be used in war. In fact, all countries that have tested them have claimed thus far that they were developing ASAT technology to protect against dysfunctional satellites in uncontrollable descent.

Political reactions

Modi’s announcement was followed by a barrage of tweets by ministers and other top leaders of the ruling BJP, with the hashtag “NamumkinAbMumkinHai”.

The opposition parties have slammed the announcement in the middle of the campaign for next month’s national election, when a code of conduct is in place.

They questioned the timing of the PM’s announcement or indeed, whether it was necessary for him to make the announcement instead of the country’s top space scientists.

Some parties have appealed to the Election Commission, but sources in the top poll body have said that “no permission of poll panel is needed for security related issues being announced.”

Congress congratulates govt, ISRO for Mission Shakti

Congratulating the government and the scientists at ISRO for ‘Mission Shakti’, the Congress said, “We congratulate ISRO and the government on the latest achievement for India. The Indian Space Programme established in 1961 by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru & the Indian Space Research Organisation set up under Smt. Indira Gandhi has always made India proud with its ground-breaking achievements.”

Samajwadi party Akhilesh Yadav tweeted: “Today @narendramodi got himself an hour of free TV & divert nation’s attention away from issues on ground – #Unemployment #RuralCrisis & #WomensSecurity – by pointing at the sky. Congratulations @drdo_india & @isro – this success belongs to you. Thank you for making India safer.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Gujarat Jain couple donate Rs 200 crore wealth, renounce world

The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners.

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A Gujarat-based businessman and his wife have donated their lifetime earnings of Rs 200 crore and have taken the decision to renounce all materialistic desires to become Jain monks. In February this year, Bhavesh Bhandari and his wife donated all their wealth during a ceremony. The Bhandari family, which hails from Himmatnagar, has been in the construction business. The family decided to follow in the footsteps of their 16-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, who adopted monkhood in 2022.

Bhavesh Bhandari, who belongs to a Jain family, had been a part of construction business in Ahmedabad and Sabarkantha and was accustomed to a life of luxury and prosperity from a young age. The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners. A short video clip from the event shows the couple wearing regal attire on top of a chariot and making donations. Adorned in rich attire and jewellery, they stood atop a truck adorned to resemble a chariot, tossing garments and banknotes to the people standing below,

After the couple made their pledge on April 22 to adopt monkhood, the couple is going to break all familial relations and renounce any material possessions and desires. Afterwards, they will begin a barefoot journey across India and will sustain themselves solely on alms.

According to reports the couple will be allowed to own two white garments, an alms bowl, and a rajoharan, a white broom used by Jain monks to clear insects from an area before sitting — a symbol of the non-violent path which they follow. In a similar incident in January, the 8-year-old daughter of a Gujarati diamond merchant renounced material comforts and worldly desires to embrace monkhood. Devanshi Sanghv had participated in a grand procession with camels, elephants, horses and great fanfare before embracing a life of monkhood.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: BJP releases 12th list of candidates, Udayanraje Bhonsle to contest from Satara

The BJP on Tuesday released its 12th list of seven candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections

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The 12th list of seven candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, which are scheduled to start on Friday, was announced by the BJP on Tuesday. Among the seven candidates is Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale, the 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who will contest from Satara, Maharashtra, and Abhijit Das Bobby, who represents Diamond Harbour in West Bengal.

The current MP for the Trinamool Congress, Abhishek Banerjee, has been paired against Abhijit Das Bobby, who contested unsuccessfully for the Diamond Harbour seat in the general elections of 2009 and 2014.

Abhishek Banerjee won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with 40.31 percent of the vote, while Abhijit Das secured 15.92 percent of the vote to finish third. Dr. Abul Hasnat of CPI(M), who received 34.66% of the vote, came in second.

With 7,91,127 votes, the leader of the Trinamool Congress party was able to hold onto the seat in 2019. Nilanjan Roy of the BJP received 4,70,533 votes, while Fuad Halim of the CPI(M) secured third place with 93,941 votes.

The 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale, is another prominent figure on the list. He is contesting for the Satara Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra as a member of the BJP.

In the 2019 by-election, Bhosale—a former leader of the NCP who joined the BJP in 2022—lost the seat. There has been a back-and-forth in the seat on the Lok Sabha election candidate between the BJP and NCP.

Shashikant Shinde has received his ticket from the NCP (SP).

Shashank Mani Tripathi from Deoria and Thakur Vishwadeep Singh from Firozabad are the final candidates on the BJP’s 12th list.

In Uttar Pradesh, there are two seats.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Som Prakash’s wife Anita Som Prakash, who is a resident of Punjab, will contest for the Hoshiarpur seat in lieu of her husband.

Manjeet Singh Manna Miawind from Khadoor Sahib and Parampal Kaur Sidhu from Bathinda are the other two candidates, both of whom are from Punjab.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says RJD is responsible for destroying Bihar, slams Lalu’s party over various corruption cases

The prime minister made a scathing attack at the opposition and said Ghamandia Gathbandhan has no vision or trust. He said when INDIA bloc alliance goes out asking for votes, then they do so on the basis of the work done by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that India and Bihar are moving forward to return to their ancient glory and added the upcoming Lok Sabha elections is an election to take a resolve for developed India and developed Bihar. PM Modi was addressing an election rally in Bihar’s Gaya, where he said that the public support that has gathered on the land of Gaya clearly shows enthusiasm of the people once again for the Modi government.

The prime minister spoke on BJP’s manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and said that it is for the first time that a Sankalp Patra of any party is being called a guarantee card as in the last 10 years, people have seen Modi’s guarantee for fulfillment of a guarantee.

PM Modi said for the next five years, Modi’s guarantee card has been updated. He promised 3 crore houses will be made for the poor, the poor will get free ration for the next 5 years and those above 70 years of age will receive free treatment upto Rs 5 lakhs He said the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi yojana will be continued and all of these are Modi’s guarantees.

The prime minister made a scathing attack at the opposition and said Ghamandia Gathbandhan has no vision or trust. He said when INDIA bloc alliance goes out asking for votes, then they do so on the basis of the work done by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. PM Modi said the people of Bihar know why they try and take credit for the work done by Nitish and the central government.

The prime minister said RJD is responsible for destroying Bihar and slammed Lalu’s party over various corruption cases including land for jobs scam, fodder scam. Speaking about BJP’s manifesto PM Modi said, there is a roadmap for every section and sector of the society.

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