In The Headlines: South Asia Satellite launched successfully

The ₹235-crore satellite, funded entirely by India, is expected to improve disaster and telecommunication links between six South Asian countries

PTI Photo by R Senthil Kumar   
PTI Photo by R Senthil Kumar


India on Friday successfully launched the South Asia Communication Satellite—ISRO’s GSLV-F09, carrying the South Asia Satellite (GSAT-9)—from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 4.57 pm. Fully funded by India, the satellite is touted as an "invaluable gift" to its South Asian neighbours, that would provide communication and disaster support to the nations of the region. “Successful launch of South Asian Satellite is a historic moment. It opens up new horizons of engagement. This will also greatly benefit South Asia and our region’s progress," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The GSLV-F09 mission is the 11th flight of the GSLV.

With a lift off mass of 2,230 kg, GSAT-9 is a Geostationary Communication Satellite providing various communication applications in Ku-band with coverage over South Asian countries. The satellite will enable a full range of services to neighbours including the areas of telecommunication, television, direct-to-home, VSATs, tele-education and telemedicine.

More powers to RBI for dealing with bad loans

The Centre on Friday gave wide-ranging legislative powers to the Reserve Bank of India to issue directions to lenders to initiate insolvency proceedings for the recovery of bad loans. Non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of public sector banks (PSBs) have reached "unacceptably high levels" of over ₹6 lakh crore, the bulk of which are in sectors such as power, steel, road infrastructure and textiles. The much-awaited Ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act was promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee last night. RBI has been equipped with powers to specify one or more authorities to advise banks for dealing with the problem of NPAs.

Mulayam to head secular front: Shivpal

Rebel Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav said on Friday his brother Mulayam Singh Yadav will head a secular front to be formed by him, days after he asked Akhilesh Yadav to hand over the reins of the party back to his father. "For social justice, a secular front will be formed. Netaji (Mulayam) will be its National President," Shivpal told reporters in Etawah, the bastion of the Yadav clan. The warring uncle of Akhilesh made the announcement after a meeting with Mulayam at a relative's house in Etawah. He, however, did not explain what the new front would do — whether it would contest polls against the SP or strengthen it by bringing socialists under one roof.

Sensex takes 267-pt hit as oil slides

Equities on Friday sank the most in six weeks as the Sensex crashed 267 points to settle below 30,000 while the Nifty climbed down from an all-time high after global weakness due to a renewed slide in crude prices. The index had risen 231.41 points in the previous session on the back of optimism that the new NPA framework will give more teeth to the RBI to tackle the burgeoning bad loans. The market also welcomed reforms in the infrastructure space in the form of the New Steel Policy as announced by the Cabinet. On a weekly basis, both — the Sensex and the Nifty — logged losses of 59.60 points, or 0.19 %, and 18.75 points, or 0.2%, respectively, for the first week of May.

N Korea accuses CIA of plot to kill its leader

In a statement carried by state-run media, the North Korea's Ministry of State Security alleged that the United States’ CIA and South Korea’s intelligence services have “hatched a vicious plot” involving unspecified “biochemical substances” to kill North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un during public ceremonial events in Pyongyang, The statement further said, “Assassination by use of biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance is the best method that does not require access to the target.”

With inputs from NH Web Desk

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