India Mars Mission

India Event Diary – 4th August 2012, Saturday

India’s Mars Mission got cabinet clearance

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s mission to Mars which is scheduled for next year, has finally got clearance from the Union Cabinet on Friday. This mission aims at putting a spacecraft in the red planet’s orbit in order to study its atmosphere. It will be launched with the help of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in November next year, as the planet will be closest to earth that time. And the next such opportunity will come as late as in summer of 2018.

The spacecraft will have a scientific payload of 25 kg will probably be placed in an orbit of 500×80,000 km around Mars.

By initiating this mission, which will cost about Rs.450 crore, India has joined the league of the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and China in undertaking such space mission.

Minimum reserve price for 2G spectrum fixed

A minimum reserve price of Rs. 14,000 crore for 5 MHz of pan-India 2G spectrum in the 1800-MHz GSM band was fixed by the Union Cabinet on Friday. It is for the auctioning of spectrum which will be vacated by companies whose 122 licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

There will be only two slots of 5 MHz though multiple blocks of 1.25 MHz will be available for bidding. Also, the current slabs for spectrum usage charge have been retained, which ranges from 2 to 8 percent, depending upon the quantum of spectrum held by the operator.

Shinde to be next Lok Sabha speaker

On Friday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to the Parliamentary Affaris Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, for the nomination of Sushil Kumar Shinde as the next Leader of the Lok Sabha. Shinde was recently elevated to head the Ministry of Home Affairs, and he will now be the first Dalit to hold the office of Lok Sabha speaker.

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