Indian Space Pioneer Udupi Ramachandra Rao Passes Away at 85

Udupi Ramachandra Rao served as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for 10 years from 1984-1994.

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Bengaluru: Eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away in Bengaluru in the wee hours on Monday due to age related ailments.

He was 85.

Who is U R Rao?

– Space scientist U R Rao was the former Isro chief (1984-1994)

– He succeeded Satish Dhawan as Isro chief

– He was serving as chairman of governing council of Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad

– He was chancellor of Indian Institute of Science and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram

– He has won 10 international awards

– He worked on a gamut of space missions — from Aryabhatta to Mars Orbiter

– May 2016: He became the first Indian to be given the ‘Hall of Fame’ award by International Astronautical Federation, or IAF

– He was conferred on Padma Vibhushan in January, 2017

– He is recipient of D.Sc degree from over 25 universities

– He was conferred on D.Sc by University of Bologna, the oldest University in Europe.

Born in Adamaru area of Karnataka’s Udupi district, Rao as involved in all ISRO missions till date in one capacity or the other. He is credited for contributions to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources.

He was currently serving as the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and the chancellor of the Indian institute of science and technology in Thiruvananthapuram.

Rao served as the chairman of ISRO for 10 years from 1984-1994.

After taking charge as chairman of the space commission and secretary, department of space in 1984, he accelerated the development of rocket technology which led to the successful launch of ASLV rocket and the operational PSLV launch vehicle, which can launch 2.0 ton class of satellites into polar orbit, his profile on the space agency’s website reads.

He also initiated the development of the Geo Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.

Rao was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2017 for his contribution to Indian space technology.

He has published over 350 scientific and technical papers covering cosmic rays, interplanetary physics, high energy astronomy, space applications, satellite and rocket technology and authored many books.

Rao also became the first Indian space scientist to be inducted into the prestigious ‘Satellite Hall of Fame’ in Washington DC on March 19, 2013, and the ‘IAF Hall of Fame’ in Mexico’s Guadalajara.

Pentagon asked to work with India in cyber and space operating domain

WASHINGTON: Expressing concern over the growing gap between the overarching goals of the bilateral Indo-US defence relationship, a powerful Senate Committee has asked Pentagon to work with New Delhi in cyber and space operating domain.

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The key body in the Department of Defense implementing and coordinating defense cooperation with India is the 2012 Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

“Looking ahead to the future of the US Major Defense Partnership with India, the committee encourages the Department to work closely with India in the cyber and space operating domains at appropriate strategic, operational, and tactical levels,” the Senate Armed Services Committee said in its report to the Senate as it passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2018.

“As a rising economic power and key security partner, it is the committee’s judgement that India deserves a seat at the table as the US works with our other key allies and partners to increase resiliency, strengthen deterrence, and secure superiority in both operating domains,” said the Senate Armed Services Committee in its voluminous report running into more than 600 pages.

India Is The One Country That Loves Spider-Man Even More Than America Does

There’s no denying that the world loves Spider-Man. The Marvel web-slinging superhero has been a sensation in comic books, comic strips, games, TV and movies pretty much everywhere from the very beginning, when Stan Lee and Steve Ditko first introduced the orphaned teenage crime-fighter Peter Parker in their Amazing Fantasy #15 comic book in August, 1962. Spider Man 3 (2007) is the world’s 45th highest-grossing movie ever, with an $890 million worldwide box office total, and four additional Spidey movies rank among the world’s top 100.

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But there can be only one country that loves Spider-Man more than all others. You might think that would be the United States of America, where Peter Parker was born. Americans love Spider-Man so much that they’ve placed three of his movies among the top 50 highest-grossing Hollywood films in their domestic box office history.

But that’s mere puppy love compared to the infatuation Indians have shown for the radioactively empowered wall crawler. By several measures, India has demonstrated a far greater passion for Spider-Man than America has.

For starters, Indians can scoff at the box office rankings Spider-Man has earned in the USA. In India, they have showered Spidey’s movies with so much box office love that his films account for three of the top ten highest grossing Hollywood movies in the country’s history, with Spider-Man 3 at number 7, The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) at number 9, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) at number 10. No other movie superhero has even a single solo film in the top 10. It took a whole host of superheroes teaming up in one movie, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, to out-gross Spidey in India (the 2015 film ranks 6th among Hollywood movies there).

How the President of India is elected

If you haven’t decided whom to vote for in the upcoming election for the next President of India – to be held on July 17 – don’t worry. Unless you’re an MP or an MLA, you don’t get to vote.

Unlike most of India’s elected representatives, who must battle it out for citizens’ votes, the President of India is instead chosen by an electoral college. The electoral college comprises the elected members of the Parliament (MPs) and state legislative assemblies (MLAs). Nominated members are, like the rest of us, unable to vote.

There are 4,986 electors in the electoral college: 4,120 MLAs and 776 MPs.

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In normal elections, everyone’s vote is counted equally. In a presidential election, however, electors’ votes are worth more or less depending upon their job titles. In general, MPs’ votes are worth more than MLAs’, and MLAs from bigger states count more than those from smaller ones.

The total value adds to10,98,903

The Constitution of India lays out the process for calculating each elector’s worth. There are two guiding principles.

First, in order to uphold the principle of federalism, neither the Union government nor the state assemblies, taken together, should be able to overrule each other. So, the combined value of all the MPs’ votes is roughly equal to the combined value of all the MLAs’.

Each MP’s vote contributes 708 points to the pool, but the value of MLAs’ votes depend on their state. That’s because of the second guiding principle: the value of each MLA’s vote should be proportional to the number of citizens he or she represents.

More populous states have a greater stake
Value of each state assembly
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For instance, Mamata Banerjee’s vote as an MLA from West Bengal is worth 151 points, nearly three times as much as Arvind Kejriwal’s in Delhi, which is worth 58 points. Why is Banerjee’s vote worth more than Kejriwal’s? Because he represents more people. If you want to get technical, the value of each MLA’s vote is calculated by dividing the population of the state by the number of MLAs, and then multiplying that figure by 1000.

Let’s compare an MP, an MLA from Uttar Pradesh, whose vote is worth the most, and one from Sikkim, whose vote is worth the least.

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Voting to elect India’s 14th President will take place on July 17, and counting will be held on July 20.

To win, NDA’s (BJP and allies) candidate Ram Nath Kovind must secure more than half of the value of all valid votes. So far, the NDA have confirmed 48%of the vote on their side. The opposition has 35%. Other parties are yet to decide their preferences.

One in six older adults abused globally, one in five in India, says WHO

A WHO-supported study found that close to 16% of people aged 60 years and older are psychologically abused, financially exploited, neglected, physically hurt or sexually abused.

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Around one in six older people experience some form of abuse, a number predicted to rise as the global population of people above 60 years more than doubles from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050, said the World Health Organisation. The national estimate for India is one in five people.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Close to 16% of people aged 60 years and older are psychologically abused, financially exploited, neglected, physically hurt or sexually abused, found a WHO-supported study published in the Lancet Global Health that draws data from 52 studies in 28 countries, including India.

The national estimates of past-year abuse prevalence rate varied widely, from between 43.7 in Egypt, 36.2% in China, 29.3% in Spain and 20.8% in India to 2.6% in the UK.

The rates of abuse are higher for older people living in institutions than in the community.

“The abuse of older people is on the rise; for the 141 million older persons worldwide this has serious individual and societal costs,” says Alana Officer, senior health adviser, department of ageing and life course, WHO Geneva.

“Despite the frequency and the serious health consequences, elder abuse remains one of the least investigated types of violence in national surveys, and one of the least addressed in national plans to prevent violence.”

ELDER ABUSE
  • Close to one in six persons over age 60 years are abused.
  • Elder abuse may cause physical injuries ranging from minor scratches and bruises to broken bones and head injuries leading to disability to long-lasting depression and anxiety.
  • Psychological abuse: 11.6%
  • Financial abuse: 6.8%
  • Neglect: 4.2%
  • Physical abuse: 2.6%
  • Sexual abuse: 0.9%

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s death anniversary today, PM Modi pays tributes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, on his 53rd death anniversary on Saturday. Modi tweeted, “Tributes to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his death anniversary”.

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Born on November 14, 1889 in Allahabad, Pandit Nehru played a vital role in the freedom struggle of the nation. He joined the Indian National Congress in the year 1919 and was part of the independence movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi.

Pandit Nehru who became the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee in September 1923, was one of the signatories to the Nehru Report which demanded dominion status for India which meant the Indians would partially govern themselves. The Nehru report was  proposed at the All-Party Conference in 1928, chaired by Pandit Nehru’s father Motilal Nehru after whom the report was named.

Jawaharlal Nehru later went on to become the president of the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress which demanded that the moderate idea of dominion status be replaced by a demand for Poorna Swaraj or complete independence. He was also part of the independence movements called by Mahatma Gandhi and was jailed several times during 1930-35.

The day he was born, November 14, is celebrated as Children’s Day as his love for children was immense and popularly known. On August 15, 1947, when India got its independence from the colonial rule of the British empire, Pandit Nehru was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of the country. He served as the Prime Minister of independent India until his death on May 27, 1964. Remaining in power for 17 years, he is till date the longest-serving prime minister.

Ransomware 5th most common attack this year

HYDERABAD: Days after the Centre sounded an alert about the accounts of senior government officials being vulnerable to cyber attacks, experts said ransomware attacks could get bigger with most government offices still being very susceptible.
According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report 2017, ransomware has moved from the 22nd most common variety of malware in 2014 to the fifth most common this year.

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From now on every zero day vulnerability which is discovered will be used to develop a ransomware. Ransomware attacks are inevitable and this will get bigger and bigger,” said Zaki Qureshey, chief executive officer, E2 Labs, a cyber security company. A zero-day vulnerability is an computersoftware vulnerability that hackers can exploit.

Any machine or gadget – mobiles, laptops, tabs, desktop which is not patched is susceptible to such attacks, Qureshey said, adding that most of the attacks are `targeted’ which makes things worse.
An alert in this regard sounded by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) had pointed out that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as well as key organisations in banking and finance, power, defence, telecom, income tax, and central and state governments will be on the target list of such attacks.
`Groups with key info hunted’
Warning orgnaisations that are vulnerable, a senior official said, “attacks are usually launched against organisations or people holding critical information.Anyone in possession of crucial financial information, especially of large number of people, are being hunted.”