January 11, 2014

US diplomat told to go back had helped nanny’s family leave

Wayne May
Wayne May,ExpelledUS Diplomat

Written by Manu Pubby | New Delhi | January 11, 2014 06:42
 Indian Foreign Service officer Devyani Khobragade was seen off at the New York airport by an official of the US State Department, who told  Devyani "Ma'am, I am sorry, and it was wrong".

To this, Devyani Khobragade replied: "You have lost a good friend. It is unfortunate. In return, you got a maid and a drunken driver. They are in, and we are out."


And, read what the expelled US embassy diplomat Wayne May wrote about his posting in India, from 2010 till yesterday:  "Challenges include unhealthy living conditions like air and water pollution, the threat of disease and sickness, bad traffic and everything else that one would associate with a developing country with a population of over 1.2 billion. Professional challenges involve the threat of terrorism, both domestic and transnational, and high crime levels."

The senior US diplomat expelled by India Friday allegedly played a central role in the case against IFS officer Devyani Khobragade in New York as well as the evacuation of her domestic help’s family to the US last month.Regional security officer Wayne May, who has been asked to leave India, was the coordination officer of the India-US anti-terrorism assistance programme and a special agent of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the division of the US State Department that is also the complainant against Khobragade in the New York case.

New Delhi believes May and his wife, Alicia Muller May, who too is a diplomat and is posted at the US Embassy as a Community Liaison Officer, were central to the entire issue of evacuating domestic help Sangeeta Richard’s family and the action against Khobragade.

Wayne, who has put in over 27 years of service in the US government and managed the more than 420 security staff and investigative officers at the mission in New Delhi, was the main liaison to Indian police agencies for high profile visits from the US and was the coordinator from the American side to the anti-terrorism assistance programme.

The expulsion, sources said, was ordered as India had “reasons to believe the diplomat is closely involved in the processes relating to the case and the subsequent unilateral action by the US”.

As an officer of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Wayne was also allegedly coordinating with his counterparts in New York who had filed the official complaint of trafficking against Khobragade.

Sources said India had initially thought of taking action against Alicia, a diplomat of the first secretary rank, as she had allegedly used her privileges to buy tax-exempted air tickets for the husband and children of Richard who left on trafficking visas.

This, sources said, was illegal as only diplomats and their families are eligible for the tax exemption.
However, New Delhi subsequently decided that “reciprocal action” should be taken against a diplomat of the same rank as Khobragade, resulting in the notice to the US to withdraw Wayne, who is a consular level officer.
Wayne, who has served in the Diplomatic Security Bureau since 1988, has worked in Thailand, Colombia, Niger, Singapore and Greece before being posted to India in 2010. He was in charge of the entire security and investigation team in India that included a “deputy regional security officer for investigations, four assistant regional security officers, two office management specialists, one residential security coordinator, six foreign service national investigators, 10 marine security guards and 400 local guard personnel”. In an interview to an international publication, Wayne had described that the challenges of his posting in India include “unhealthy living conditions like air and water pollution, the threat of disease and sickness, bad traffic and everything else that one would associate with a developing country with a population of over 1.2 billion”. Sources said the last time India expelled a US diplomat was in September 1981 when political counselor George Griffin was asked to leave. -

- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/us-diplomat-told-to-go-back-had-helped-nannys-family-leave/#sthash.fugNEEMg.dpuf

Documents and statements from US officials reveal a dizzying 24 hours in which the State Department granted Khobragade diplomatic immunity, unsuccessfully asked India to waive that immunity and ordered her to leave the country immediately.
The US mission sent a letter to Khobragade on Wednesday granting her diplomatic status as of 5.47 pm that day.
Following that, the Indian mission to the United Nations rejected the State Department's request that Devyani's immunity be waived.
Then in a diplomatic note, the US mission requested Devyani's immediate departure from the United States and said it would take steps to prevent her from obtaining a visa in the future.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2537415/Devyani-arrives-home-US-embassy-staffer-evacuated-Sangeetas-family-given-48-hours-leave.html#ixzz2q9uEZmgb
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January 10, 2014

Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade leaves US under immunity

Jason Burke in Delhi and Dan Roberts in Washington
theguardian.com, Friday 10 January 2014 08.20 GMT
A serious row between Washington and India appeared to move towards conclusion on Thursday after a high-tension drama resulted in the effective expulsion of a diplomat from the US hours after she was granted immunity from charges of visa fraud and underpaying her maid.

The arrest of Khobragade, who was India's deputy consul general in New York, caused outrage in her home country and prompted a range of retaliatory measures in Delhi against US diplomats in the Indian capital.

Though John Kerry, the US secretary of state, expressed regret shortly after the incident, this fell short of the apology demanded by Indians.

Khobragade's father, Uttam Khobragade, a retired bureaucrat, said: "Devyani today left the US with full diplomatic immunity, vindicating the stand that whatever dispute being raised in the US is a prerogative of [the] sovereign country, India, and only can be adjudicated by Indian courts."

With the always complex relationship between Washington and Delhi under serious strain, senior US officials have postponed trips to India while Indian officials have continued to express their “deep disappointment” against a background of continuing public anger.

However hours after a grand jury in New York indicted Khobragade for visa fraud and making multiple false statements, and with a court appearance due next week, a series of dramatic last-minute developments saw the US first grant a crucial visa confirming full immunity to the diplomat, then ask India to waive that immunity and finally ask the 39-year-old to leave the country.

Indian official sources said they had applied for the visa, normally a formality, about three weeks ago. Khobragade flew out of the US on Thursday night, according to her lawyer, with “her head held high”.

"She looks forward to assuring that the truth is known," the lawyer said. An Indian official in Delhi said: "We will take this one day at a time. Today we are focused on bringing her back and then we will decide. But we have a relationship with the US which is broad."

Officials in India have not directly denied US prosecutors' claims that she lied to visa officials about the salary she would pay her maid, who had been flown over from India, but say the charges are a "grey area open to interpretation".

The indictment claims she said she would pay her Indian maid $4,500 per month but actually gave her far less than the US minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

“The worst that can be said about her is that she did not comply with the amount that was supposed to be paid under the law,” Salman Khurshid, India’s foreign minister, told the Guardian last month.

If found guilty she would have faced up to a 10-year jail sentence.

Indian authorities had shifted Khobragade to their mission at the UN after her arrest, a move that should have guaranteed full diplomatic immunity rather than the limited immunity that comes with a consular post. However without the crucial visa from US authorities the possibility remained that Khobragade could still have been open to prosecution.

One sticking point in the deal, according to Indian officials, was Devyani's own demand that she be allowed to return to the US in the future. Her husband is a US citizen. It does not appear that this demand has been met.

"Upon her departure a warrant may be issued for her arrest and should she seek to enter the United States she could be arrested," said a diplomatic note issued by the US mission to the UN.

While both New Delhi and Washington stressed the importance of their bilateral relationship during the crisis, it took weeks of complex wrangling to find a workable solution both sides could live with.

Earlier this week Indian authorities ordered the US embassy to close a club for expatriate Americans there. Security barriers outside the embassy were removed in the days after the arrest of Khobragade in “a spirit of strict recipocity", said one Indian official with direct knowledge of the case.

A trip to India next week by the US energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, was postponed around the same time. The US assistant secretary of state for south Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, delayed her first visit to the country to avoid the trip becoming embroiled in the dispute.

Khobragade's departure would remove the focus of current friction between New Delhi and Washington but it is unclear how long it will take the anger to subside in the run-up to national elections in India in May.

The outrage in India has been fuelled by politicians' unwillingness to seem out of step with public mood. The treatment of Khobragade – who was briefly detained with other criminal defendants and strip-searched – caused particular anger.

"We have the support of the entire Indian society on this. We are a country of a billion people with a reputation for being independent in our world view but we believe in our relationship with the US and that is why we are genuinely shocked," one Indian official said earlier this week.

Relations between the US and India have long been rocky, though steadily improving since a nadir in the 1970s. Barack Obama received a warm welcome on his visit in 2010 when he described the two countries shared interests as the foundations of "a defining partnership for the 21st century". However there remains deep suspicion of Washington in Delhi, and in India more generally, and many US officials see India as a difficult partner.

Critics accuse Obama of failing to pay sufficient attention to ties with a country viewed as a key strategic counterbalance to China and an engine to boost the US economy, while American hopes of building a more robust business relationship with India have run into bureaucratic hurdles.

Frustration has grown among the US corporate lobby. Indian sourcing rules for retail, information technology, medicine and clean energy products are contentious and US firms complain about "unfair" imports from India of everything from shrimp to steel pipes. In June more than 170 US lawmakers signed a letter to Obama about Indian policies they said threatened American jobs.

Earlier this week Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, cited a 2008 deal with the US on civil nuclear power as one of the major achievements of his nine-year tenure. However implementation of the deal was blocked when Indian lawmakers passed crucial legislation affecting the liability of overseas firms investing in nuclear power in the south Asian country.

The arrest of Khobragade touches a range of sensitivities in India. Almost all middle-class households in India employ at least one, and often several, members of staff who will undertake tasks from cleaning and cooking to childcare and driving.

With few Indian diplomats paid wages that would allow them to legally employ local staff to perform such functions in postings in the west, the practice has long been for Indian workers to be flown out and paid rates that, if illegal in the US and elsewhere, would be generous at home.

Preet Bharara, the prosecutor in Khobragade's case, said last month: "In fact the Indian government itself has been aware of this legal issue and that its diplomats and consular officers were at risk of violating the law. The question then may be asked: is it for US prosecutors to look the other way, ignore the law and the civil rights of victims … or is it the responsibility of the diplomats and consular officers and their government to make sure the law is observed?"

There have been several previous incidents involving senior Indian diplomats in the US and domestic staff brought from India. In 2011 the Indian consul general, Prabhu Dayal, was accused by his maid of forced labour and sexual harassment, charges he called "complete nonsense" and that were later dropped.

A year earlier a US judge recommended that an Indian diplomat and her husband pay a maid nearly $1.5m in compensation for being forced to work without pay and suffering "barbaric treatment" in their luxury Manhattan apartment.

The US attorney handling the case, Preet Bharara, made the highly unusual move of issuing a lengthy statement addressing the arrest and issues not in a criminal complaint. He said Khobragade was afforded courtesies most Americans would not get, such as being allowed to make phone calls for two hours to arrange childcare and sort out personal matters, after she was arrested by state department agents outside the school that her children attend in Manhattan.

Bharara, who was born in India but moved with his family to New Jersey, defended his case. "One wonders whether any government would not take action regarding false documents being submitted to it in order to bring immigrants into the country," he said. "And one wonders why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim and her spouse?"

Khobragade will now take up a post in Delhi, a statement from the Indian ministry of external affairs said.

"At the time of her departure for India, Counsellor Khobragade reiterated her innocence on charges filed against her. She affirmed her gratitude to the government of India, in particular to the external affairs minister, and the people of India, as also the media, for their strong and sustained support during this period," it said.

Kazakhstan Biological Laboratory: What Does Pentagon Need it For?

Dmitry POPOV | 09.01.2014 | 00:00


The US Department of Defense (DOD) is building an extremely expensive dual purpose biological laboratory in Kazakhstan. These kinds of facilities are built by the Pentagon along the Russian border creating a potential threat for the Russian Federation and the states of Central Asia. The construction of Central reference-laboratory on the basis of former Soviet anti-plague research institute in Almaty was started in 2010 with funds provided by the US Defense Department. It is to become operational in 2015. A new decease detection early warning station situated in the populated area of Otar (supposedly on the basis of agricultural research institute – DNISHI) will add to its capability. The station is slated to start functioning in April 2014; the US has allocated $5, 6 for the purpose.

Formally the Almaty Central laboratory is to provide for the safety of especially dangerous pathogens left as remnants of Soviet biological program. It is to study the ways to provide protection against them, as well as to create jobs for former military experts on biological warfare. There are some signs confirming the fact that the laboratory may be used for military research conducted by the USA. The program is overseen by Richard Lugar, the Senator who is known to have close ties to military establishment. He had dealt with dismantling former Soviet nuclear facilities in Kazakhstan and other states of CIS switching later to tackling the issue of biological weapons, in particular in Ukraine and Georgia (the latter had no biological weapons in the times of the Soviet Union, but the laboratory named after Richard Lugar has been built there in our days)…

The practice of using such facilities in other countries shows they operate outside of national control, the secrecy is tight and quite often the laboratories are managed by former military or special services officials (former head of Georgian foreign intelligence branch Anna Zhvania is assigned to head the laboratory in Alekseevka near Tbilisi). Here are many foreigners among the personnel, including those who enjoy diplomatic immunity; the local health authorities have no direct access to the facilities.

The cost of Almaty laboratory is $108 million exceeding by far the standard expenditure for the objects of this type, it makes one believe that the dual purpose equipment is installed there. The emergence of costly closed military facilities on the territory of the Collective Security Treaty Organization evokes questions, to say the least. On July 19 the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed serious concern over the biological activities of US Department of Defense in the vicinity of Russian border. According to Russian experts, the chain of facilities poses a threat for Russia and allows the United States to carry out a number of unfriendly missions at once.

First, it makes possible to conduct biological research (including field tests) outside the national territory without facing a problem of protests staged by Americans.

Second, it allows getting around the international agreements, including the 1972 biological convention. Let me remember the fact that Americans consistently shy away from working out verification mechanisms for checking the convention compliance (for instance, they refuse to join the protocol to the convention prepared upon Moscow’s initiative in 2001). Russian representatives are refused to visit the facilities used by Americans abroad.

Third, pathogenic microorganisms may be created to strike a genotype, a type of animals or the population of some territory. In the summer of 2013 then Russia's chief sanitary inspector Gennady Onishchenko publicly declared that a US laboratory in Georgia is involved in programs of offensive character targeted at Russia. Iran may also be a target of US military efforts. Fourth, Americans may conduct tests of biological agents in violation of international ban to determine their virulence, lethality, the ways to deliver to the target and other parameters and characteristics. The experts of Russian defense research institute of microbiology find it possible that biological samples could have been delivered from the territory of Georgia on purpose. In 2013 there have been flare-ups of deceases in the Russian South, for instance: a break of highly contagious meningitis among children in the Rostov region, African hog cholera and foot-and-mouth decease stroke the Kuban region and Northern Caucasus. The Pentagon has acquired access to the Soviet military biological research programs giving clues to the state of Russian contemporary biological potential and the ways to counter it. According to media reports, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan turned a deaf ear to the concern voiced by Russia and transferred their biological potentials to the United States in exchange for aid. In 2005 Azerbaijan transferred 60 samples of the most dangerous bacteria to the US Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Senator Richard Lugar and Barack Obama, would-be President of the United States, acted as go-betweens in the deal. Having become Chief Executive, Mr. Obama continued to allocate funds for the corresponding defense programs. During the recent ten years the United States deployed a string of dual use laboratories across the world (Europe, Africa, and South-East Africa). Large facilities have come into function in the post-Soviet space – in Ukraine and Georgia, smaller biological stations are upgraded in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. Supposedly, the laboratory being built in Kazakhstan is to become part of a system called «bio missile defense». If the concern about hostile intentions on the part of the United States raised by experts is justified, then the threat posed by the Almaty facility will increase due to free exchange of goods within the framework of Customs Union, labor immigrants coming from Central Asia and the fact the sources of contagion are situated so close (there are three natural pestholes in Kyrgyzstan, in August plague killed a juvenile there for the first time since 1981). The forbidden activities related to the use of toxic agents will turn against and strike Kazakhstan and its people first. Along with that, there is a simple way to do away with the concern caused by the US-run laboratory in Almaty by guaranteeing transparency of the process at all phases, including the construction and following research. Will the Pentagon agree to place the program under international and civilian control, something US State Department officials like to talk so much about?

Dmitry Popov is the head of Ural branch of Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (Yekaterinburg)

Khobragade Fallout: India Expels Senior US Diplomat

New Delhi | Jan 10, 2014


Indo-US diplomatic ties suffered another blow today with India expelling a senior US diplomat in retaliation for the expulsion of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade hours earlier after she had been indicted by a jury in New York in a visa fraud case.

An unnamed Director-rank American diplomat from the US Embassy was given "a little more than 48 hours" to leave India even as Khobragade was on a flight home nearly a month after she was arrested and strip searched for allegedly underpaying her maid, Sangeeta Richard.

Arrest of Khobragade had led to tense diplomatic stand- off between the two countries which saw the US finally approving her accreditation to the UN on Wednesday which gave her full immunity against partial immunity she had in her position as Deputy Consul General at the time of her arrest.

Khobragade was told by the US to leave that country immediately after India refused to waive her diplomatic immunity to face trial. She boarded a flight to India last night.

In fast retaliation, New Delhi ordered the expulsion of an American diplomat of similar rank who was involved in arranging for the "evacuation" of three members of the maid's family from India two days before Khobragade was arrested.

Refraining from using the term "expulsion", official sources said here that the US Embassy has been asked to "withdraw" one of its diplomats.

Government has "reasons to believe that the diplomat is closely involved in the processes relating to the Khobragade case and subsequent unilateral action by the US", the sources said without divulging the name of the American diplomat.

The diplomat was understood to be closely involved in the "evacuation" of the family of Sangeeta, whose husband and two children were flown to the US with tickets issued by the official travel agency of the US Embassy. The diplomat is believed to have also signed the tax exemption for the air tickets using his diplomatic card.

India's tit-for-tat action is only the second instance of a US diplomat being expelled, the first instance being expulsion of George Griffin, then political Counsellor, 33 years ago. That was in retaliation against similar action being taken by the US against Prabhakar Menon, an Indian diplomat.

It is understood that it was always the effort of the government to bring back Khobragade, who had surrendered her passport after the arrest and was out on a bail of USD 250,000, through G-1 visa route which would have given her full immunity.

Meanwhile, the charges against Khobragae will remain pending until such time as she can be brought to Court to face the charges, either through a waiver of immunity or her return to the US in a non-immune status which were make her liable to arrest.

Saudi FM al-Faisal in Pakistan to Prop up the two Sides of Triangle of Terror

Confirms Retreat of US Military Power and hegemony

The writer has consistently stated that the bane of most of the greater Middle East, south west and south Asia has been the unholy triangle of Washington, Riyadh and Islamabad. This triangle when expanded includes some of the western countries led by UK and Israel in the background with Jewish control over the US Congress.

Also see www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16041.htm

This began soon after the Khomeini led revolution in Iran, which exiled the Shah-in-Shah, US gendarme in the Middle East .Almost all Muslim countries, led by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies, European countries and others joined hands with Gen Ziaulhaq of Pakistan to create nurseries of terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan against the Soviet troops invited to strengthen the leftist regime in Kabul in 1980s. Media reports suggest that Saudi Arabia has contributed over USD 300 billion of petrodollars towards promoting Islamic extremism by providing funds for Qurans , mosques, madarsas , arms and training, this latter being provided by US special forces, CIA and Pakistan ISI . Pakistan has been condemned with shortsighted leaders since its creation by the British to keep India away from Central Asia and West Asia. In the latter were located the oil wells of Western companies .The crucial importance of petroleum in economy and for wars was fully illustrated during the World War II. Pakistan was inherently an unstable state since unlike India, there was very little social of ground level movement for independence. It was created by the British to divide the continent.

After the defeat of Soviet arms in Afghanistan, Washington withdrew its support and arms. I am quite sure that the West knew that the thousands of Jihadis in the form of Taleban and Al Qaeda will be a constant source of trouble to the Soviet central Asia and even China with its Uighur Xinjiang province... On the other hand, the Muslim jihadis believed that they had themselves defeated one superpower, and if they continued their jihad they will also bring down the other one ie USA, a thought promoted by Al Qaeda's founder and leader Osama bin laden.

After terror attacks in East Africa on American missions came 911 attacks on US symbols of economic and military power. It is generally believed that it was a false flag operation to give an excuse to USA to invade Afghanistan and establish bases in that country, apart from Pakistan and Central Asian states to control this region and its resources, the Soviet Union having collapsed in 1991 and then Yeltsin destroyed the mighty Russian state.

A project to invade Iraq for its resources and to control Middle East, with its rich oil resources and also to remove US troops from Saudi Arabia, which were planted there after 1990 to expel Saddam Hussein troops from Kuwait, was planned even before the elections, which brought George Bush to power in a contested election when the Supreme Court of America failed in its duty.

Hubris laded US leadership with its history of genocide of red Indians and inhuman and barbaric treatment of blacks and others in its DNA, its illegal and criminal actions in Iraq after the 2003 invasion of Iraq and brutal occupation was only to be expected. It led to the breakup of a flourishing state of Iraq and turmoil in the region, except that instead of strengthening Israel, it only strengthened its enemy, Iran, whose sympathizers and supporters the Shia parties are now ruling in Baghdad.  But violence in Iraq remains unabated.

Washington ruled by military industrial complex and energy and financial lobbies and controllers would not stop and after destroying Libya started interfering in Syria. This was fully supported by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States because the destruction of Iraq strengthened the Shias in West Asia, with Iran, Shia Iraq, and Alewife ruled Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, thus creating a Shia arc going right up to the Mediterranean as warned King Hussein of Jordan.

How and when would the expected moment of the end of the US led Western hegemony become official? When U.S.-led military armada was face to face with Russian forces and slunk away.

There is now a very much scared ruling gerontocracy of thousands of princes in Saudi Arabia, who live lavishly against the tenets of Islam. It is quite clear that Saudi Arabia would like Muslims to remain backward, ignorant and superstitions, so that it can rule over them because of being the guardians of the holy places of Islam in Mecca and Medina.

It may be recalled that at the time of the Syrian crisis, spy chief Prince Bandar had tried to bribe and at the same time threaten Putin, but the letter literally shoed him away and went ahead with his plans and confrontation against Obama in Syria. Saudi Arabia is now in a state of quandary and like a drowning man looking around for some support and assistance. The visit of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal to Pakistan should be looked at in that perspective. Compared to Prince Bandar Prince Faisal is sophisticated and a capable diplomat.

 With increased cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, more money and arms flowing into would further destabilize Pakistan and Afghanistan .It should also worry Indians.

As regards Saudi Arabia demanding some of Pakistani nuclear bombs, it must be remembered that Saudi Arabia gave tens of billions of dollars to Pakistan and financed what the Muslim world calls Islamic nuclear bomb. Many years ago there were reports in reliable German media in Hamburg that Riyadh already possessed some a few nuclear bomb manufactured in Pakistan. It is quite possible and credible.

K.Gajendra Singh 10 Jan 2014.

Saudi strategy includes alliance with Pakistan

During his Jan. 6 visit to Pakistan, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal celebrated the "deep-rooted historic relations between the two Islamic countries" and promised regular consultation meetings on regional and international issues of mutual concern. The promise of Saudi investment, together with remittances of around 1.5 million Pakistani workers in Saudi Arabia are much needed in Pakistan.

 Saudi Arabia considers Pakistan a pivotal ally, both to contain Iran and to further Riyadh’s leadership bid in the Arab world.
Author Madawi Al-RasheedPosted January 8, 2014

January 05, 2014

India successfully launches indigenous cryogenic engine-powered GSLV-D5

SRIHARIKOTA: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Sunday successfully launched GSLV-D5 rocket, which is powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

Seventeen minutes after liftoff at 4.18pm, the rocket successfully injected GSAT-14 communication satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan declared the mission a success. He said, "This shows the maturity of the team. We dedicate the proud moment for the country."

"The launch has been so precise that the satellite was put just 40 metres within the 179km perigee and only 50km of the 36,000km apogee," mission director K Sivan said.

Isro achieved the feat after two failures earlier. While India has mastered the PSLV range of rockets with a string of 25 consecutive successes, GSLV, which can carry heavier payloads including humans to space, has remained a challenge.

In April 2010, Isro tested its first indigenous cryogenic engine, but it failed a little less than a second after the cryogenic stage ignited. A refurbished GSLV-D5 was to be launched in August 2013, but a leak in the liquid fuel tank forced the mission to be aborted two hours before the rocket was to lift off.

India had got seven cryogenic engines from Russia, and Isro has used six of them. With no affordable supply coming from abroad, India felt the necessity to develop its own cryogenic engine, which uses liquid hydrogen as fuel and liquid oxygen and oxidizer.

Cryogenics, the science of extremely low temperatures, has posed a challenge to rocket scientists across the world.

The successful launch of this rocket was crucial for India as this is the first step towards building rockets that can carry heavier payloads.
Today’s launch was the first mission of the GSLV after two such rockets failed in 2010 and last August launch was aborted at the last minute as the fuel started leaking from its second stage or engine.
Isro said that the second stage was replaced with a new one built with a different metal and some of the critical components were also replaced in the four strap-on motors of the first stage as a matter of precaution, according to an Isro official.
One of the GSLV rockets was fitted with the Indian cryogenic engine and the other with a Russian engine.
The GSLV is a three-stage/engine rocket. The first stage is fired with solid fuel, the second is the liquid fuel and the third is the cryogenic engine.
Several design changes were incorporated into the rocket for a safe blast-off and design changes were also made in the lower shroud/cover that protects the cryogenic engine during the atmospheric flight; wire tunnel of the cryogenic stage to withstand larger forces during the flight; and the revised aerodynamic characterisation of the entire rocket.
The 49.13-metre tall rocket, weighing 414.75 tonnes was launched today and the GSLV safely delivered GSAT-14 to augment the Indian transponder - receivers and transmitters of signals - capacity.
GSLV is capable of launching 2000 kg class satellites into GTO. GSLV Mark-III, to place 4000 kg class satellites in GTO, is under development.
India has developed and commissioned Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle.
PSLV can launch 1850 kg class remote sensing satellites into a 480 km polar Orbit. It can also place a satellite weighing about 1150 kg in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or a 3500 kg class satellite in Low Earth Orbit.
Out of the 68 launches by Isro from April 1975, 26 launches were carried out from locations outside India.
Quick rewind:
December 26
GSAT 14 Communication Satellite integration with the refurbished GSLV D5 completed successfully.
December 28
* The Mission Readiness Review (MRR) team and the Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) have cleared the GSLV-D5/GSAT 14 launch
* The vehicle is moved from the vehicle assembly building to the umbilical tower (the launch pad) in the morning
December 30
GSLV D5 being moved from Vehicle Assembly Building to Second Launch Pad
January 4
A 29-hour countdown commenced at 11.00 hrs (IST)
January 5
GSLV-D5 successfully launched

The successful launch of India's heavier rocket - the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle-D5 (GSLV-D5) - Sunday not only means the indigenous cryogenic engine is performing well but also would pave way for sizeable savings, the space agency's chief said Saturday. 

"When GSLV-D5 succeeds in its mission Sunday, it means the Indian cryogenic stage/engine is performing well. It is a culmination of major indigenous technology development," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K.Radhakrishnan.
In addition, the mission's success would not only pave way for ISRO to save launch costs paid to foreign space agencies but also to launch more communication satellites augmenting the transponder capacity to earn more revenue, he added. 

Radhakrishnan said the country pays around $85-90 million or around Rs.500 crore as launch fee for sending up a 3.5 tonne communication satellites whereas the GSLV rocket costs around Rs.220 crore and the GSAT-14 that would go up Sunday evening costs around Rs.145 crore. 

The ISRO can send smaller communication satellites - weighing around two tonnes - till such time it gets ready an advanced GSLV variant that can lug satellites weighing around four tonnes.

While that is for the future, Radhakrishnan said ISRO has lined up several satellite launches for the current GSLV rocket version. 

"We will be launching satellites GSAT-6, 7A, 9 using GSLV. We will also be using this rocket for our second Chandrayaan mission and for the launch of GISAT," he said. 

According to him, another communication satellite GSAT-15 will be launched using the Ariane rocket. 

Other than the flight testing of cryogenic engine, 2014 will be an important year for ISRO. 

Radhakrishnan noted that in September, the Mars Orbiter will be injected into the Mars orbit while the test flight of GSLV-Mark III version will also include a crew module for characterisation of re-entry from the space. 

"The GSLV-Mark III experimental mission will be in April this year. The rocket will have a passive cryogenic stage/engine. The main purpose of the mission is to study the aerodynamics and stability of the rocket," he said.

He said the cryogenic engine for the next GSLV version will take around three years for being flight ready. 

According to him, the next fiscal (April 2014-March 2015) would see ISRO launching three IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System) satellites taking the total to four and be ready for usage. 

He said ISRO will also launch French satellite SPOT-7 along with four small satellites using its other rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). 

Radhakrishnan said ISRO plans to induct around 96 transponders (receivers and transmitters of signals),next fiscal. Currently it has 195 transponders.

Queried about the Mars Orbiter that was launched last year, he said the satellite health is good and it is around 8.5 million kilometer from earth. 

"The next orbit maneuver (course correction) will be in April," he said.