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ISRO successfully launches GPS satellite IRNSS-1G from Sriharikota

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday launched PSLV-C33 to place India's seventh and final navigation satellite IRNSS-1G in the orbit from Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota island today.

The launch of the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) took place at 12:50PM from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The 54-hour countdown for the launch of the ISRO work horse began at 9.20AM on Tuesday. The satellite, with a design life span of 12 years, has two payloads for navigation and ranging.

Kanhaiya, Umar, Anirban lead JNU hunger strike against students' punishment

A group of JNU students led by Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya began an indefinite hunger strike on Wednesday night, declaring that they rejected the recommendations of a high level inquiry panel looking into the events of 9 February, and demanding that the university withdraw the punishment against them.

Kumar, Khalid and Bhattacharya were accused of raising anti-national slogans at the 9 February event commemorating Afzal Guru, according to NDTV. They were charged with sedition, jailed and released on bail.

The university authorities on Monday fined Kumar Rs 10,000, and suspended Umar Khalid and two other students. 

AAP adds 7 women, 5 members from Punjab to its national executive

Seven women and five members from Punjab have been included in a rejig of the Aam Aadmi Party's national executive and political affairs committee on Wednesday, neither of which had a woman member earlier.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was re-elected the AAP's party convener, and former Royal Bank of Scotland India chairperson Meera Sanyal, adviser to the education minister Atishi Marlena, and MLAs Bhawna Gaur and Rakhi Birla were elected to the executive.

Five members were inducted from Punjab, where the AAP hopes to win seats in the assembly elections next year, according to the Hindustan Times.

Duvvada SEZ fire still blazes, may not be doused till this evening

A fire at a biofuel plant at Duvvada Special Economic Zone near Visakhapatnam has been raging for more than 24 hours since 7.30 pm on Tuesday evening, and could burn till this evening, say fire officials.

So far, 40 fire engines, including 20 from the Navy, have been working to control the blaze.

Twelve out of the 18 tanks that store biofuel at the Biomax company plant went up in flames on Tuesday evening for reasons still unknown, and firemen say the blaze cannot be controlled till all the fuel has burned out, according to NDTV.

Director Kabir Khan mobbed at Karachi airport for his 'anti-Pakistan' films

Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Phantom director Kabir Khan was met with a small mob of angry men shouting anti-India slogans at Karachi airport when he was on his way to Lahore.

The men, one of whom was brandishing a shoe, were protesting against Khan's 'anti-Pakistan movies', according to ABPLive.

Khan did not respond to the men at the time, but tweeted afterwards: "To media on both sides: 12 screaming lunatics with a mobile phone camera is not news. Please don't give them the attention they want. Ignore."

Bajrang Dal, MP police, stop church wedding on unlawful conversion grounds

A police team accompanied by Bajrang Dal activists entered a church in Satna, Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday, and stopped a wedding after the Bajrang Dal complained that the bride and the groom had been unlawfully converted to Christianity.

 The police arrested 10 people, including the pastor and the groom's parents.

The police said the bride was underage since she was 10 days short of turning 18, and both the bride and groom had converted to Christianity four years ago but failed to inform the district authorities, which is a crime under the state's anti-conversion laws, reports The Indian Express.

Indian environment ministry set to clamp down on lead paint

In a piece of good news, the environment ministry has come out with a proposal to ban "manufacture, trade, import and export" of all kinds of household/decorative paints that have metallic lead in them that's more than 90 parts per million (ppm). Till now, there was just a voluntary standard set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) that recommended lead levels to be kept under 90 ppm.

A tentative draft - Regulation on Lead contents in Household and Decorative Paints Rules, 2016 - has been put online by the Ministry for comments/ suggestions of all stakeholders involved, for a period of 60 days.

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, lead exposure results in approximately 143,000 deaths per year and most of those deaths are from developing nations.

Malaysia proposes amendment that'll help curb forest fires

Forest fires are a major problem in a country like Malaysia, and the government there has taken significant steps recently to address the issue. It's come out with a tentative proposal to amend an act that'll allow the government to take control of land where big fires are discovered. The move is part of a long-term plan by the Malaysian government to reduce haze that results from slash-and-burn forest clearing techniques - something which is usually employed by palm oil plantations. Both Indonesia and Malaysia have been criticised in the past for its suspect land-clearing methods. Under the new amendment, "it will not matter if the land is owned by smallholders or plantation giants, as long as there is a substantial fire the government will take control of the land," said Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the country's natural resources and environment minister.

Docs on strike for first time in UK

For the first time ever, junior doctors of England's National Health Service (NHS) have gone on strike. It is supposedly the first time a strike of this nature has taken place which has affected most facets of British healthcare - emergency rooms, intensive care, and maternity wards, as well as routine check-ups. The bone of contention in this case is a proposed working contract floated by the UK government and Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

The contract has a clause about a change in 'standard' working hours to cover 7am to 10pm Saturdays and 7am to 10pm on weekdays. As of now the work hours cover 7am to 7pm on weekdays, and any hours  outside of these slots are paid extra. The government says increased work hours will mean more access to treatment by patients; the medical community says the change will create more workload and hence, overworked doctors. Pay rise will also not matter because of reduction in overtime pay overall.