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Rocket blasts off with India’s first space observatory



By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh): A rocket, carrying seven satellites, including India’s first space observatory, blasted off from here on Monday.

Exactly at 10 a.m. the 44.4 metres tall weighing around 320 ton polar satellite launch vehicle’s XL variant (PSLV-XL) blasted off the first launch pad at the rocket port here, around 80 km from Chennai.

Besides ASTROSAT, the rocket carries six other foreign satellites.


EC announce Bihar Assembly Elections date, from Oct 28 to Nov 7 held in 3 phases; counting on Nov 10.



The Election Commission of India on Friday announced the dates for the highly-anticipated Bihar Assembly elections, which will be conducted in three phases in October and November. The results will be announced on November 10.

As per the schedule, 28 districts will have single-phase elections and 10 districts will have two phases of elections, such as Patna and Bhagalpur.

Bihar Assembly elections 2020 – Full Schedule:

Particulars Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Constituencies 71 94 78
Issue of notification October 1 October 9 October 13
Last date of nomination October 8 October 16 October 20
Date of scrutiny October 9 October 17 October 21
Last date of withdrawal October 12 October 19 October 23
Date of Polling October 28 November 3 November 7
Date of counting/Results November 10 November 10 November 10
  • Social media platforms have been asked to put forth adequate arrangements to safeguard against misuse of their platforms and set up strict protocols to handle such issues as and when they arise.
  • Anyone who makes mischievous use of social media to foment unruly actus shall have to face consequences.
  • Model Code of Conduct brought into force with immediate effect. “The Commission has already made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of MCC guidelines,” Arora said.
  • Roadshows have been allowed, but they are subject to the convoys being broken after every 5 vehicles. There is a propaganda doing rounds that only virtual campaigning will be allowed. It is untrue.
  • Covid-infected patients who are quarantined will be able to cast their vote on the last day of the polls at their respective polling stations under the supervision of health authorities. This is besides the option of postal facility that has already been extended to them.
  • Large gatherings during campaigns and nominations which increase human to human contact have been prohibited. The ECI is exploring options for in-person voting and the ‘absentee voters’ concept was introduced for those who are aged 80 and above. “We wanted those 65 and above to also be included. Political parties also had views but because manpower was so stretched we decided to stick to 80 years age this time,” the CEC said.
  • Polling time has been increased by one hour. Voters can cast their ballot from 7 am to 6 pm. However, this rule will not be applicable to Left-wing affected areas.
  • The Election Commission has allocated over 7 lakh hand sanitizer units, about 46 lakh masks, 6 lakh PPE kits, 6.7 lakh units of faces-shields, 23 lakh (pairs of) hand gloves for the polls. Specifically for voters, about 7.2 crore single-use hand gloves have been arranged.
  • Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has said that as days and months passed by and the Covid-19 pandemic did not show any signs of slowing down, “it was realized that we would have to find some way to balance the democratic rights of citizens and protecting health of citizens”.
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