Today Current Affairs In Hindi
News of the Day : ISRO, French space agency seal agreement on maritime security
- March 7, 2019
- Posted by: Shivam
- Category: NEWS Worth To Read
News of the Day
Rafale contract documents stolen from Defence Ministry, Attorney General Venugopal tells SC
The Union government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the documents related to Rafale fighter aircraft deal have been stolen from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and the petitioners seeking a review of the verdict dismissing all pleas against the purchase of the jets relied upon those papers.
A three-judge Bench, comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph, began the open court hearing of the Rafale case, during which former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had jointly filed the petition, alleged that the Central government suppressed crucial facts when the apex court decided to dismiss the batch of PIL (public interest litigation) petitions against the Rafale deal in December.
When Mr. Bhushan referred to an article written by The Hindu’s N. Ram, Attorney General (AG) K.K. Venugopal opposed it, saying that the articles were based on stolen documents and an investigation into the matter was on.
Mr. Venugopal said the first article by the senior journalist appeared in The Hindu on February 8. The Hindu report on March 6 was aimed at influencing the proceedings and that amounted to contempt of court, he added.
While Mr. Venugopal was seeking dismissal of the review petitions and raising objections to Bhushan’s arguments based on the articles published in The Hindu, the Bench sought to know from the Centre what had it done when it was alleging that the stories were based on stolen material.
The AG submitted that the documents relied on by the petitioners were marked secret and classified, and therefore, are in violation of the Official Secrets Act.
Advancing his arguments on behalf of Mr. Sinha, Mr. Shourie and himself, Mr. Bhushan said critical facts on the Rafale deal were suppressed when the petition for an FIR and investigation were filed.
‘Suppression of facts’
He said that the top court would not have dismissed the plea for FIR and probe into Rafale deal had there not been suppression of facts.
However, Mr. Venugopal said the documents relied upon by Mr. Bhushan were stolen from the Defence Ministry and an investigation into the matter was on.
At this point, the CJI said that hearing Mr. Bhushan did not mean that the court was also taking on record the documents.
The Bench rose for the lunch break, Mr. asking Venugopal to apprise it in the post lunch session the whole development related to the stealing of the documents and the investigation by the Centre.
ISRO, French space agency seal agreement on maritime security
National space agency ISRO and its French counterpart CNES on Wednesday sealed an agreement to set up a joint maritime surveillance system in the country in May.
The two nations will explore putting up a constellation of low-Earth orbiting satellites that will identify and track movement of ships globally – and in particular those moving in the Indian Ocean region where France has its Reunion Islands.
Before that, they will initially share data from their present space systems and develop new algorithms to analyse them, according to the Paris based National Centre for Space Studies.
The agreement comes a year after the broad collaboration plan the two governments initiated during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit in March last 2018.
K.Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES of France, signed the agreement in Bengaluru. “The CNES-ISRO agreement [intends] to supply an operational system for detecting, identifying and tracking ships in the Indian Ocean. [It] provides for a maritime surveillance centre to be set up in India in May this year; sharing of capacity to process existing satellite data and joint development of associated algorithms,” the CNES statement said.
“For the next phase of the programme, studies for an orbital infrastructure to be operated jointly by the two countries are ongoing. CNES is working with its industry partners and with ISRO to devise the most appropriate technical solution.”
The two agencies have put up two climate and ocean weather monitoring satellites Megha-Tropiques (of 2011) and SARAL-AltiKa (2013) that are considered a model.
“This fleet will be augmented with the launch of Oceansat-3-Argos mission in 2020 and a future joint infrared Earth-observation satellite under ,” CNES said.
Source – The Hindu