India and Iran have signed nine agreements, including one on connectivity related to strategic Chabahar port and on double taxation avoidance. These agreements were signed after bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The bilateral talks focused to boost cooperation in key areas of security, trade and energy.
It was Hassan Rouhani’s first official state visit to India after he was elected Iran’s President in 2013. He had started his three-day visit from Hyderabad as the city has a long history of cultural and religious ties with Iran. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his statement, said that the relations between two countries have strengthened in Rouhani’s regime. Extending his support to regional connectivity, India will help Iran in developing its rail network.
- India and Iran, on the third day of President Hassan Rouhani‘s visit, signed 9 crucial agreements in the fields of trade and investment, energy, connectivity, defence and security.India further emphasised that it will be supporting Iran to fully utilize the potential of the Chabahar Port. “With a view to fully utilize the potential of the Chabahar Port and its connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia, India conveyed its readiness to support the development of Chabahar- Zahedan Rail line.
- Prime Minister Modi and President Ruhani also witnessed the exchange of the documents. Signed Agreements are: 1. Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income. 2. MoU on Exemption from Visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic Passport. 3. Instrument of Ratification of Extradition Treaty. 4. MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine. 5. MoU on the establishment of an Expert Group on Trade Remedy Measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest. 6. MoU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors. 7. MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine. 8. MoU on Postal Cooperation. 9. Lease Contract for ShahidBeheshti Port-Phase 1 of Chabahar during Interim Period between Port and Maritime Organization (PMO), Iran and India Ports Global Limited (IPGL).
- Both leaders, Modi and Rouhani, also emphasised that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism.” They (Modi and Rouhani) stressed that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or ethnic group.
- IRCON, India and CDTIC, Iran who are engaged in discussions, were tasked to finalise the technical parameters and financing options for the project in a time-bound manner.
Scientists have confirmed discovery of nearly 100 new exoplanets outside our solar system based on data from second mission of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope (K2 mission) released in 2014. With this total number of exoplanets found using NASA’s K2 mission has reached almost 300.This research has been underway since the first K2 data release in 2014.
The discovery had started out by analysing 275 candidates of which 149 were validated as real exoplanets. In turn, 95 of these planets have proved to be new discoveries. One of planets detected was orbiting a very bright star called HD 212657 with 10-day orbit period. HD 212657, is now the brightest star found by either the Kepler or K2 missions to host validated planet.
NASA had launched Kepler spacecraft in 2009 to hunt for exoplanets in single patch of sky. The spacecraft had crippled the telescope in 2013 due to mechanical failure. However, by changing its field of view periodically, astronomers and engineers had then devised way to repurpose and save the space telescope which had paved way for K2 mission. The telescope hunts exoplanet transits by registering dips in light caused by shadow after it crosses in front of its host star.
Key points:K2 mission
- Scientists have confirmed nearly 100 new planets outside our solar system, bringing the total number of exoplanets found using NASA’s K2 mission to almost 300.
- Exoplanets are very exciting field of space science. This discovery will help astronomers to develop much better picture of nature of exoplanets which in turn will allow us to place our own solar system into galactic context. Discovery of planets around bright stars will help astronomers to learn about them from ground-based observatories.
- The Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009 to hunt for exoplanets in a single patch of sky, but in 2013, a mechanical failure crippled the telescope. However, astronomers and engineers devised a way to repurpose and save the space telescope by changing its field of view periodically.
- Mayo and his colleagues analysed hundreds of signals of potential exoplanets to determine which signals were created by exoplanets and which were caused by other sources.
They found that some of the signals were caused by multiple star systems or noise from the spacecraft.
- The first planet orbiting a star similar to our own sun was detected in 1995. Today some 3,600 exoplanets have been found, ranging from rocky Earth-sized planets to large gas giants like Jupiter.