QBullet: GSLV Mk-III Launched; India in a Spot Over Qatar Crisis

The Quint’s roundup of headlines from national dailies.

6 min read
The GSLV Mk III-D1/GSAT-19 (Photo: Twitter/<a href="">@isro</a>)

1) Arab Nations Cut Ties With Qatar Over ‘Terror Links’, MEA Worried About 6.5 Lakh Indians Living There

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE severed ties with Qatar on Monday and moved to cut off land, sea and air routes to the energy-rich nation, accusing it of supporting regional terror groups and Iran.

Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government and the Maldives joined the ban later, plunging the international travel hub into chaos and igniting the biggest diplomatic crisis in the Gulf since the 1991 war against Iraq.

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said India didn't foresee any problems for its own relations in the Gulf as it "is an internal matter of Gulf Coordination Council".

Our only concern is about Indians there. We are trying to find out if any Indians are stuck there.

At last count there are over 6,50,000 Indian nationals living and working in Qatar. India takes over 90 per cent of its natural gas import from Qatar. In addition, Qatar is in the process of building a domestic airline in India. That itself puts India in a unique place.

2) 'Baahubali' Rocket GSLV Mk-III Has Perfect Launch

The country took another step towards establishing itself in the global heavy payload market, successfully launching its most powerful rocket, GSLV Mk III, on Monday .

After the rocket, nicknamed “Fat Boy”, fired by a high-thrust indigenous cryogenic engine, lifted off at 5.28pm from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, a fourtonne communications satellite, GSAT 19, the country’s heaviest, was placed in geosynchronous transfer orbit.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has now demonstrated its mastery in developing a cryogenic engine, a technology denied to it years ago.

The launch also proves the homegrown launch vehicle's capability of hurling up to four payloads into higher orbits. ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar said:

The GSLV Mk III needs just one more developmental flight, planned in a year, before it can be declared operational.

3) Editors Guild Condemns Attempts to “Muzzle Media” After NDTV Raid

The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against NDTV co-founders Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy, a private company, and others, for allegedly causing losses to a private bank.

On Monday, searches were carried out at least at four locations in New Delhi and Dehradun, including Roy’s residence in the national capital.

The FIR registered on 2 June also states that ICICI bank allegedly committed fraud by entering into a conspiracy with promoters of NDTV "in facilitating transfer of ownership” of a news broadcasting company to a "shell company" in violating of Banking Regulation Act, SEBI Act, MIB Regulations and MHA security norms for news media companies.

Entry of police and other agencies into the media offices is a serious matter...While the Editors Guild maintains that no individual or institution is above the law, the Guild condemns any attempt to muzzle the media and calls upon the CBI to follow the due process of law and ensure there is no interference in the free functioning of news operations.
Editors Guild

Read the full story on The Quint.


4) Sushma Swaraj Rubbishes Trump's Claim, Says India Didn't Sign Paris Climate Deal for Money

Asserting that there is no change in India-US relationship despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate deal, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Monday said that the relationship between the two countries is progressing as it did during Barack Obama’s presidency.

Swaraj however, admitted that the new H-1B visa rule is a matter of concern for India.

Sushma Swaraj also dismissed the allegations of Trump that India signed the Paris pact to get “billions and billions and billions” of dollars from developed nations.

This is completely false. India signed the Paris agreement, not because of any pressure or out of greed. We are committed to the environment and this commitment is 5,000 years old. We worship nature. It is in Indian ethos. I dismiss both accusations.

5) IMD to Give Malaria, Chikungunya Alerts

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is working on a forecasting system to give 15-day warnings on the likelihood of a malaria or chikungunya outbreak, over different regions.

IMD Director-General KJ Ramesh said such a service was part of a larger initiative by the department to provide custom, weather-related information to cope with challenges of a global warming and its associated impact of weather.

Extreme rainfall events were on the rise, said Ramesh and this could also mean more instances of humid conditions and waterlogging that could precipitate vector-borne disease outbreaks.

We have teamed up with the Medical Council of India and the Red Cross Society and are customising our dynamical model (that simulates weather and forecasts, using supercomputers) for generating this information.

Source: The Hindu


6) Attack on Bandipora CRPF Camp Thwarted, 4 Terrorists Killed

Four militants were killed on Monday in retaliatory fire by security forces as they attempted to attack a CRPF camp at Sumbal in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The heavily armed militants tried to enter the camp of 45 Battalion CRPF at Sumbal in Bandipora at around 4:10 am by opening fire at the sentry post, a police official said.

He said the firing was retaliated by the guards even as police reinforcement was rushed to the scene of gun battle.

Read the full story on The Quint.


7) Take Care of Stray Cattle, Nitish Kumar Tells Gau Rakshaks

Taking a jibe at self-proclaimed cow vigilantes, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said they should try to take care of stray cattle and that he is against use of the cow slaughter issue to divert attention from pressing matters.

Responding to a question on the cow protection drive by BJP and groups linked to it after the Lok Samvad programme here, Nitish said:

While a few stray cattle can be seen on Bihar roads, one can see cattle in large numbers on the roads of UP. Gau rakshaks should try to take care of and feed stray cattle, as most of them die of consuming polythene or in road accidents. There is a need to show sensitivity towards animals.

The CM further told reporters that there was already a law in Bihar that prohibits cow slaughter (barring the slaughter of diseased cows, bulls or calves or those aged 15 years or more).


8) North Indian Cities Fare Poorly on Sanitation, Blame It on Staff Shortage

If you were wondering why north Indian cities fare poorly on sanitation vis-a-vis their southern counterparts, ground-level data shared by 434 municipalities with the Union urban development ministry can shed some light.

A shortage of staff seems to have impacted sanitation services in these states, data suggests. Some 60 cities, a majority of them in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, have a more than 40 percent shortfall in sanitation staff as against the sanctioned strength.

Of the 434 cities that were included in a nationwide cleanliness survey, 227 have less than 10 percent shortfall in sanitation staff. In Delhi, all the three municipalities have the required staff.

North Indian cities fared poorly on all sanitation parameters. Four of the bottom 10 cities were from UP, two each from Bihar and Punjab. Indore in Madhya Pradesh was declared India’s cleanest city.


9) WhatsApp Chats Land Three Law Students of Sonepat Univ in Prison for Rape

Detailed and explicit WhatsApp conversations between a rape victim and three law students proved crucial evidence for their conviction by a trial court.

The three former students of OP Jindal Global University in Sonepat, Haryana were sentenced on 24 May – main accused Hardik Sikri and Karan Chhabra for 20 years each for gangraping and blackmailing a junior management student for about two years. The third, Vikas Garg, was handed a seven-year jail term.

The WhatsApp chats running into pages is so abusive and vulgar that the extracts of the same cannot be put into the judgment and what only can be concluded is that the victim was totally under control and dominance of the accused, Hardik.
Sunita Grover, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) 

The convicts, all from Delhi, are in jail since April 2015 when the girl accused the three final-year law students of raping her from the time she joined the university in August 2013.

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