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Uproar in LS over Farooq’s detention

  • A united Opposition in the Lok Sabha on Monday attacked the Narendra Modi government over the detention of National Conference (NC) leader and Lok Sabha member Farooq Abdullah, calling it “illegal” and demanded his immediate release so that he could attend the winter session.
  • On the first day of the new session, Opposition leaders also raised the issue of MPs not being allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir after the removal of its special status under Article 370, while a delegation of European Union (EU) lawmakers was allowed.
  • Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s description of the delegation as one that was “hired on rent” invited strong protests from the Treasury benches, with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi urging the Speaker to remove the Hindi expression.

 

Bhutan to levy charges on tourists from India

  • In a major shift in policy, Bhutan plans to levy charges on tourists from regional countries, including India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, who at present are exempted from any charges.
  • The new draft tourism policy, which is likely to be finalised by the Bhutanese Cabinet next month, was among issues to be discussed by visiting Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar at meetings in New Delhi on Monday. The sharp increase in the number of tourists from the region was cited for the move.
  • “The essence of our “High Value, Low Impact” policy (also called the “High value, low volume” policy) is that we will monitor our tourist arrivals depending on our capacity to cater to them,” Director-General of Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) Dorji Dhradhul told The Hindu in a recent interview. “Over the last few years the number of tourists has been increasing at a really rapid rate, growing about 10 times in the past decade, and this policy was under threat.”

 

ISRO gets set for launch of Cartosat-3 next week

  • Cartosat-3, an advanced earth imaging and mapping satellite, will be flown on November 25 on the PSLV-C47 vehicle, subject to weather conditions, the space agency announced on Monday.
  • The 1,560 kg satellite will have 13 small U.S. customer satellites riding as secondary passengers. They will be placed in a polar orbit.
  • Although ISRO sent up Chandrayaan 2, the lunar orbiter probe, in July, its previous functional satellite was RISAT-2B, launched in May.
  • Cartosat-3, with an ISRO-best resolution of 25 cm, will be the first of a series of high resolution, third generation satellites planned for observing the Earth.
  • The satellite will be able to pick up objects of that size (25 cm) from its orbital perch about 509 km away. This will make Cartosat-3 among the few sharpest, if not the best, civil earth imagers worldwide.

 

Vodafone Idea, Airtel to raise tariffs

  • Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel on Monday announced that they would increase tariffs from December. The telcos, however, did not specify the quantum of increase.
  • While Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) has decided to increase the tariff from December 1, 2019, owing to the acute financial stress in the telecom sector, Airtel said it would “appropriately increase” price offerings in the month beginning December. Both companies posted losses for the second quarter — Vodafone Idea’s the highest ever in India Inc. — at Rs. 50,921 crore.