Abhishek kumar aashish jindal

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India among countries exempted from Iranian oil sanctions by the US

December 2, 2013

As stated by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, India is once again among a small list of countries that qualifies for an exemption from unilateral sanctions imposed by the US on countries importing oil from Iran.

Under Section 1245 of the U.S.’ 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), the exception granted to India, along with China, South KoreaMalaysia, South AfricaSingaporeSri LankaTurkey and Taiwan, was based on India’s additional significant reductions in the volume of their purchases of Iranian crude oil.  It is the fourth time when India has qualified for a NDAA exception.
Though, a major breakthrough interim deal was struck during the recent talks between P5+1 and Iran on limiting Iran’s nuclear programme but the US has cautioned that this would not offer relief from sanctions with respect to any increases in Iranian crude oil purchases by existing customers or any purchases by new customers, and the sanctions will continue to be enforced over the next six months.

MOM enters Mars trajectory: ISRO

December 2, 2013

In a historic development, India’s first Mars mission- the Mars Orbiter Mission’s (MOM) spacecraft’s was propelled into the Mars Transfer Trajectory freeing it from the influence of Earth’s gravity. ISRO successfully conducted the Trans Mars Injection (TMI) operations to put MOM on course to the Red Planet with the help of spacecraft’s 440 Newton liquid engine which was fired for about 22 minutes providing a velocity increment of 648 metres/second to the spacecraft. With this, the Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft ended and is now on path to Mars.

The spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennae at Byalalu.

About India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) ‘Mangalyan’:

  • The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has been named ‘Mangalyan

  • Launched onboard PSLV C25 on November 5, 2013 at 14:38 hours from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre atSriharikota.

  • India’s first interplanetary mission to planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit.

  • It will reach Martian transfer trajectory in September 2014. Subsequently, it is planned to enter into a 372 km by 80000 km elliptical orbit around Mars.

Objectives of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) ‘Mangalyan’:

  • To showcase India’s technological prowess to send a satellite to orbit around Mars and conduct important experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the red planet and study Martian environment.

  • To develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.

  • Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion or capture.

  • Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.

  • Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.

  • Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.

Key Payloads on PSLV C25:

  1. Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP)

  2. Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM)

  3. Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA)

  4. Mars Colour Camera (MCC)

  5. Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometre (TIS)

India successfully test-fired nuke-capable Prithvi II missile

December 5, 2013

India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) successfully test-fired nuclear capable Prithvi II missile as part of a regular training exercise. The indigenously developed ballistic missile with a maximum range of 350 km was fired fromIntegrated Test Range at Chandipur in Balasore district, about 230 km from Bhubaneswar.


  • First missile developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP)

  • Medium: Surface-to-surface

  • Fuel Type: Single-stage liquid fuelled

  • Payload capacity: 500 to 1000 kg

  • Range: 350km

  • Variants: Prithvi I for Army, Prithvi II for Air Force and;  Dhanush for the Navy

  • Inducted into the SFC in 2003

India at 94th spot on Corruption Perception Index: Transparency International

December 5, 2013

According to a survey by corruption watchdog Transparency InternationalIndiais positioned at 94th place on corruption index which ranked 177 countries.Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are viewed as the world’s most corrupt countries while Denmark and New Zealand have scored the best.

As per Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2013:

  • India, with a score of 36 out of 100, ranked 94 on the index, abovePakistan at rank 127 but below China which stood at the 80th position.

  • Globally, almost 70% of countries are found to have a “serious problem” with public servants on the take, and none of the 177 countries surveyed this year achieved a perfect score.

  • Performance of countries like SyriaLibya and Mali which are ridden with war and conflicts deteriorated the most on the index.

  • Bhutan ranked 31st, Sri Lanka 91, Nepal 116, Pakistan 127 andBangladesh 136.

  • In 2012, Bhutan was ranked 33rd, Sri Lanka at 79, Nepal 139, Pakistan 139 and Bangladesh 144.

  • India remained stagnant at the same 94th spot both in 2013 and 2012.

  • Among BRICS group, India is behind China (80th), South Africa andBrazil (both 72nd). It is, however, better than Russia (127th).

  • Denmark and New Zealand have scored the best on the index.

  • Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are categorized as the world’s most corrupt.
Top 10 least corrupt countries in the world, according to the CPI 2013: 

  1. Denmark 

  2. New Zealand (tied with Denmark for No. 1) 

  3. Finland 

  4. Sweden (tied with Finland for No. 3) 

  5. Norway 

  6. Singapore (tied with Norway for No. 5) 

  7. Switzerland 

  8. Netherlands 

  9. Australia 

  10. Canada (tied with Australia for No. 9) 

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