June 8, 1979, Forty Years Ago: Bhaskara Launched
India’s second satellite — Bhaskara — was hurled into space at 4 pm from a Soviet cosmodrome. The satellite, named after the ancient Indian astronomer, is functioning normally, according to telemetry data received at ground stations in Sriharikota, Ahmedabad and Bangalore in India and Bears Lake, near Moscow, shortly after the successful launching. The 444-kg experimental satellite, designed and built ISRO contains sophisticated instruments for carrying out remote-sensing experiments over India using TV camera and microwave radiometers. The launching of Bhaskara has been hailed by Indian and Soviet leaders as another important milestone in Indo-USSR cooperation in space research.
No Second Appeal
Responding to the prime minister’s letter to the chief justice of India on the arrears of court cases running into hundreds of thousands, the judiciary has come out with the specific suggestion that there should be only one appeal in any suit or proceeding. The letter, written before the recent chief justices’ conference, said: “The number of appeals should be reduced to the minimum and the hearings should be so regulated that adjournments are cut down as much as possible.”
Farmers’ Lobby Wins
The hundred-day-old Banarasi Das ministry managed to survive today in the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha by surrendering to the farmers’ lobby, which threatened to vote it down on the demands for grant of the transport ministry if the tractor-trolly tax was not abolished. For 45 minutes, the fate of the ministry hung in the balance as it faced certain defeat with the farmers’ lobby, constituted mostly of the BLD members, refusing to pass the demands. In the absence of Das, Rama Shankar Kaushik, minister for health and excise, and Madhukar Dighe, minister for finance and parliamentary affairs, tried to quell the revolt.