The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Satellite launch boost to TV, telecom

Bangalore (PTI): India’s advanced communication satellite Insat-3E was successfully launched by an European rocket from the spaceport of Kourou, French Guyana, early on Sunday, giving a boost to telecom and television services.

The spacecraft will provide telecommunications and TV transmission services for the subcontinent.

It is also targeting a programme for tele-education for the poor, as well as tele-medicine services from the metros to villages and remote areas.

The European consortium, Arianespace’s Ariane 5 launcher, lifted a trio of payloads — Insat-3E, E-bird for Europe’s Eutelsat and Smart-1 for the European Space Agency — in an intricate multi-sequence mission.

The fourth satellite in the Insat series, the spacecraft is equipped with 24 normal C-band and 12 extended C-band transponders, adding to the 95 transponders in the five already operational Insat satellites.

The 2,775-kg Insat-3E has an operational lifetime of 15 years. The Insat system is the mainstay for communication and broadcasting in the country.

“It’s a proud moment for me from the Indian side to witness this great event. It (Ariane 5) has proven its strength and precision. It has put the spacecraft into precise orbit,” the beaming new chairman of city-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation, G. Madhavan Nair, said.

Soon after Insat-3E was put into the geosynchronous transfer orbit, Isro’s master control facility at Hassan in Karnataka acquired the spacecraft. “The performance of the satellite is normal,” Isro said.

Mild beer permit in Maharashtra

Mumbai (PTI): Beer guzzlers across Maharashtra can rejoice. The Democratic Front government is making available the milder version of the beverage in departmental stores.

The government has issued a notification under which mild beer could be made available in departmental stores and permits would be given to shops for exclusively storing mild beer, excise minister Anil Deshmukh has said.

With this decision, Maharashtra has probably become the only state where mild beer would be available in departmental stores.

A similar move in Karnataka some time ago had to be rescinded following a public outcry.

Deshmukh, however, clarified that the government, in an attempt to discourage consumption of strong beer, has decided to levy more excise duty on it.

With this, there will be a difference of Rs 10-12 between strong and mild beer,” the minister said. Claiming that the government’s move to hike the price of strong beer has a social aspect, Deshmukh said the ratio of sale of strong and mild beer is 7:3.

Shah stops play after gatecrash

Dehra Dun (PTI): A fracas forced actor Naseeruddin Shah to stop his play midway on Saturday night.

A large number of people jostled to gatecrash into the ONGC auditorium, where Shah and his wife, Ratna Pathak, were performing in Ismat Aapa Ke Naam, their first performance here. As soon as the play began, the glasses of the main door came crashing down after the organisers tried to push newspersons inside the auditorium. The organisers then threw open the gates much to the annoyance of Shah. He then came on stage and announced that he was stopping the play due to noisy scenes.

Cops in bribe net

Ahmednagar (PTI): Two police constables from Dhule district were arrested by the anti-corruption bureau on Saturday for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a hotel owner. Bureau sources said police had caught a truck carrying gutkha on September 9. Its driver told them the consignment was booked by some hotel owners in Ahmednagar. The constables later demanded Rs 10,000 from one of the hotel owners to delete his name from the complaint filed against them.

Taj petitioner

Lucknow (PTI): The Uttar Pradesh government has provided Z-category security to Supreme Court lawyer Ajay Agarwal, a petitioner in the Taj heritage corridor case, in view of intelligence inputs about threat perception to him, a police official said. Agarwal, a former state government counsel in the case, had later charged former chief minister Mayavati with amassing huge wealth.

Death on flight

Chennai (PTI): A Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Kuala Lumpur made an unscheduled landing here on Sunday after a 65-year-old passenger died, airport sources said. Doctors at the airport declared the passenger, a Malaysian woman, dead.

Car collision kills 3

New Delhi (PTI): Three persons were killed on the spot and one seriously injured when their car hit the Ganga-Jamuna Express at a level crossing in north Delhi. The victims were identified as Yogesh Verma, Mohammed Alam, and Nikoo.


Ramanand Sagar’s serial, Ramayan, has scored a hatrick of world records. According to the Limca Book of World Records, Ramayan has been adjudged the world’s most viewed mythological serial and Sagar cited the most awarded director and producer.

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