Thought for the day

"We do not at present educate people to think but, rather, to have opinions." -- Louis L'Amour

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India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) may have finally reached the end of its operations after eight years spent orbiting the Red Planet.

Ground stations operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have lost communication with the spacecraft. The precise cause isn't yet clear; the orbiter may have run out of propellant, MOM's battery may drained beyond the safe operating limit, or an automated maneuver may have cut communications, according to media reports. 

The Durbar of 1903 was held in Delhi to celebrate the succession of the British monarch King Edward VII (the great-grandfather of the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II) as the Emperor of India.

The Delhi Durbar was organized by Lord Curzon, India’s viceroy at the time. The original plan was for Edward himself to come to India for a special coronation ceremony, but when the King refused (he was conspicuously less interested in India than Victoria had been), Curzon decided to stage a massive spectacle instead.

Russia has come out in support of India’s bid to become one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – the all-powerful global body which is responsible for taking key decisions about maintaining peace and security in the world.

At present, it comprises the United States, France, Russia, China, and Great Britain.

During his speech at the UNGA, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov called for wider representation of Asian, African, and Latin American countries in the Security Council, making particular mention of New Delhi and Brazil.

China and India have called for a negotiated end to the Ukraine war, stopping short of robust support for traditional ally Russia.

After a week of pressure at the United Nations general assembly, Russia’s foreign minister took the general assembly rostrum to deliver a fiery rebuke to western nations for what he termed a “grotesque” campaign against Russians.

The Bombay High Court has issued a notice to tech giant and Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine promoter Bill Gates, along with others, after a petition was filed by the father of a woman who allegedly died after getting vaccinated.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says “all hell will break loose” if his flood-ravaged country is not provided with debt relief by rich nations.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Friday morning, Sharif sought a moratorium on Pakistan’s debt repayment from the Paris Club (a group of rich creditor countries) and others, saying there is a “yawning gap” between what is being asked for and what is available.

Pakistan has a young and growing entrepreneurial population, with English as the main language for business, but inflation, as well as the recent political turmoil and devastating floods, are making it difficult for industries to flourish.

Tension among Pakistan’s business community is on the rise following unprecedented inflation caused by multiple factors, including COVID-19, monsoon floods and political instability.

Saudi Arabia ranked as India’s fourth biggest trading partner in the previous financial year, as the bilateral trade exceeded $42 billion. Riyadh also re-emerged as New Delhi’s second biggest oil supplier last month, after its position was briefly challenged by Moscow which has ramped up its energy exports to India this year.

India and Saudi Arabia are negotiating the “feasibility” of carrying out bilateral trade in national currencies, a statement from the Indian Commerce Ministry said.

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