With the launch of Brazil’s Amazonia-1 satellite last week from Sriharikota, a new chapter has begun in India’s space history. The satellite, a 637-kilogram entity, was the first dedicated commercial mission of  NewSpace India Limited, a two-year-old commercial arm of the Department of Space. This is not the first time that NSIL has organised a launch of foreign satellites aboard an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launch vehicle. The organisation has had launches last November as well as in December 2019. However, the primary satellites aboard both these missions were Indian satellites — the RISAT-2BRI and the EOS-01 — with smaller satellites from several other countries, as well as India, piggybacking on them. The Amazonia mission also saw 18 other satellites being launched and was the first fully commercial mission. India has so far launched 342 foreign satellites from 34 countries using its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle platform and many of them have involved ISRO’s

As elections approach, drama and excitement will be a constant feature in the conduct of politics. In December last, it was veteran actor Rajinikanth who provided the theatrics to the political situation in Tamil Nadu by announcing his entry, and then his exit. Now, with the Assembly election hardly a month away, V.K. Sasikala, former interim general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and aide of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, surprised many by declaring that she would step aside from politics. After mobilising her supporters and making a political show of her return to the State on serving out her jail term in Bengaluru, she issued an appeal to the “true followers” of Jayalalithaa to “remain united, act wisely and work hard” during the Assembly election to prevent the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) from capturing power again. There is no clarity over what prompted her to make such an announcement when it was expected that she would play an active
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