New Delhi: India is “verifying” reports about the presence of Chinese troops in the Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, saying it would be a matter of “serious concern” if this turns out to be true, said foreign ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash.
He was responding to questions from reporters about a New York Times report over the weekend that said 7,000 to 11,000 Chinese People’s Liberation Army personnel were in the strategic region.
“If true, it would be a matter of serious concern and we would do all that is necessary to ensure safety and security of the nation,” he said. The NYT report said China wants a grip on the strategic area to ensure unfettered road and rail access to the Gulf through Pakistan.
Chandrayaan-2 mission by 2013: Isro
Bangalore: India has selected seven instruments for its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, including devices that will mine the moon’s surface and help find a landing spot for a future manned mission.
It will also carry instruments to analyze further the presence of water, crucial for human habitat, on the moon, after the first mission found water molecules in large scale.
Chandrayaan-2 will carry a 1,400kg satellite that will hover over the moon, as well as a lander and a rover to collect and analyze samples from the moon’s surface.
The mission is expected by 2013, the Indian Space Research Agency (Isro) said in a statement on Monday.
A national panel of experts headed by U.R. Rao, chairman of the advisory committee on space sciences, or ADCOS, selected the seven instruments for the mission.
Kerala High Court limits lottery business
Kochi: The Kerala High Court, in two separate directives on Monday, intervened in lottery business in the state, limiting them to once-a-week draws, and six bumper draws annually. It also directed the state government to take action against single-digit and unauthorized lotteries and asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate whether state lotteries such as those of Sikkim and Bhutan were adhering to Union government rules.
Two weeks earlier, the state government filed a criminal case against Megha Distributors, the sole operator for the lotteries conducted by the Sikkim and Bhutan governments, for operating two series of lotteries after the Sikkim government had discontinued them. It also refused to accept advance sales tax for lotteries of the two state governments, following which the distributor moved court. The bench of P.R. Ramachandra Menon ruled on Monday that the Kerala government should accept the tax.
Hearing two other public interest petitions seeking a ban on other states’ lotteries, a bench comprising C.N. Ramachandran Nair and Surendra Mohan issued notices to the state home and law secretaries to look into the issue of banned single digit lotteries functioning in the state and take necessary action. It also issued a notice to CBI suggesting that the agency look into whether Sikkim and Bhutan lotteries in Kerala were adhering to Union government rules.