prime minister

PM Modi Extends His Best Wishes To Falguni Shah For Winning Grammy

New Delhi [India], April 5 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his best wishes to Indian-American singer Falguni Shah for winning her first-ever Grammy.

“Congratulations to Falguni Shah on winning the award for the Best Children’s Music Album at the Grammys. Wishing her the very best for her future endeavours. @FaluMusic,” Modi tweeted.

Falguni, who uses the stage name “Falu” won the Best Children’s Music Album Grammy for ‘A Colourful World’ on Sunday.

For the unversed, Falguni moved to the US in 2000, toured with her Boston-based husband Gaurav Shah on the fusion band Karyshma (Hindi for Miracle), and released a self-titled solo album in the US in 2007, blending elements of folk from across the south-east Asia with Western music. She has even performed and collaborated with music maestro AR Rahman.

She is the only Indian-origin woman to be nominated in the Best Children’s Music Album category at the Grammys twice.

We’ve set target to build a new India before 100th year of independence: PM Modi

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi after unveiling the hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate on Sunday evening, said that the government has a target to build a new India before the 100th year of independence.
“Netaji used to say ‘Never lose faith in the dream of independent India. There is no power in the world that can shake India’,” PM Modi said while addressing the event today. The Prime Minister said, “Today we have a goal to fulfil the dreams of an independent India. We have a target to build a new India before the 100th year of independence, 2047.”
Paying tribute to security personnel who lost their lives while serving the nation, PM Modi stated, “It was my good fortune that our government got the opportunity to declassify files related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Today, I pay tribute to all NDRF and SDRF personnel who lost their lives while serving the nation.”
The Prime Minister also advised people to move ahead in their lives by taking inspiration from the ‘Can Do, Will Do’ spirit of Netaji as he refused to bow before the British.
“Nothing could stop Netaji if he intended to do something. We also need to move further in our lives by taking inspiration from his ‘Can Do, Will Do’ spirit,” he said.
PM Modi shared his experience of a visit to the ancestral home of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Kolkata.
“It was an honour for me to visit Netaji’s ancestral home last year on his birth anniversary in Kolkata. I cannot explain in words the feeling to see his car in which he left Kolkata, his room where he used to study, etc,” the Prime Minister added.
The freedom struggle involved the sacrifices of many countrymen, but efforts were made not to mention the contribution of all of them in history, he said.
“But today, the country is correcting those mistakes after decades of Independence,” the Prime Minister said.
He said that Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav aims at reviving India’s identity and inspirations.
“It was unfortunate that efforts were made to erase the contribution of many great personalities in India after independence,” PM Modi stated.
Speaking about disaster management in India, the Prime Minister said that for the first time, India has started the tradition of Joint Drill for Disaster Management.
He said that the disaster management was handled by the agricultural department earlier and international agencies hailed the initiatives in the disaster management sector.
“Earlier disaster management was handled by the agricultural department. Our government strengthened NDRF. International agencies hailed our initiatives in the disaster management sector,” the Prime Minister added.
He said that the Central government has laid emphasis on reform as well as an emphasis on relief, rescue and rehabilitation.
“We modernized NDRF, expanded it across the country. Space technology and other best possible practices have also been adopted for planning and management,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi unveiled the hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate today on the occasion of his 125th birth anniversary.
He said that the grand statue of Netaji will inspire democratic values and future generations.
The Prime Minister also said that the grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is being installed in digital form near India Gate and soon this hologram statue will be replaced by a big granite statue.
After unveiling the hologram statue, PM Modi also conferred the Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskars, for the years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The award is announced every year on January 23. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 51 lakh and a certificate in case of an institution and Rs 5 lakh and a certificate in case of an individual.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister who was also present on the occasion said that PM Modi has taken a historic decision on Parakram Diwas to honour Netaji’s contribution to India’s freedom struggle.
The statue of Netaji at India Gate is to honour his contribution to India’s freedom struggle, Shah said at the event today.
“This is not just a granite statue but a befitting tribute to the legendary Netaji, who gave up everything for India’s freedom”, he said.
It has been the constant endeavour of the Prime Minister to honour the freedom fighters in a befitting manner and the special focus of these efforts has been on the legendary freedom fighter and visionary leader, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Several steps have been taken in this regard, including the announcement that his birth anniversary will be celebrated as Parakram Diwas every year. In this spirit, Republic Day celebrations will begin a day early, from January 23. (Image source: Instagram)

Mumbai residential building fire: PM Modi announces ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for next of kin of deceased, Rs 50,000 for injured

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the Mumbai residential building fire in Tardeo and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that six people died in the fire that broke out inside the 20 storey Kamala building in Mumbai on Saturday morning. The civic body further informed that 16 injured people are admitted to the various hospitals while seven have been treated and discharged. “An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the building fire in Tardeo, Mumbai. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000 each,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting the Prime Minister.
“Saddened by the building fire at Tardeo in Mumbai. Condolences to the bereaved families and prayers with the injured for the speedy recovery,” the PMO tweeted.
A level 3 fire had broken out in the residential building. DCP Saurabh Tripathi had said that 21 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse out the fire.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray and Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited the fire site. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Modi calls for direct, emotional connect between administration, public to ensure better governance

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Recalling NITI Aayog’s ‘Aspirational Districts’ programme that is essentially aimed at localizing sustainable development goals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for direct, emotional connect between administration and public to ensure ‘top to bottom’ as well as ‘bottom to top’ governance flow.
“For development in aspirational districts, a direct connect between the administration and the public, an emotional connection, is very important. A ‘top to bottom’ and ‘bottom to top’ flow of governance is needed. And the important aspect of this campaign is technology and innovation,” said the Prime Minister while interacting with the district magistrates of various districts on the implementation of key government schemes. As per the NITI Aayog bulletin, the Aspirational Districts Programme essentially is aimed at localizing Sustainable Development Goals, leading to the progress of the nation.
Speaking further, PM Modi said, “Convergence has proved to be a major reason for the success of the Aspirational Districts Programme. All resources are same, the government machinery is same, officials are same but the result is different.”
The Prime Minister also said, “On the one hand, earlier, the budget kept increasing, plans kept on making, economic development also kept happening in the figures, but even after 75 years of independence, many districts in the country remained behind. Over time these districts were tagged with backward districts.”
“But, times are changing now,” he added.
The Prime Minister took direct feedback about the progress and present status of implementation of government schemes and programmes in the districts. It is aimed at achieving saturation of various schemes by various departments in the districts in mission mode, in convergence with all stakeholders.
Under the leadership of PM Modi, the Government has continuously taken several steps to overcome the asymmetry in growth and development across the country. This is in line with the commitment of the Government towards raising the living standards of all citizens and ensuring inclusive growth for all. (Image source: Instagram)

Nepal PM Deuba assures three-tier elections within a year

Kathmandu [Nepal] (ANI): Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has assured to hold three-tier elections within a year asking the electoral body of the Himalayan nation to start preparing for it.
Addressing the nation on completion of six months in power after being elected for the fifth term, Deuba claimed that his leadership is committed to hold the elections on time and asked the Election Commission to prepare for it accordingly. Referring to obstruction in house by the opposition and stalled amendment bills in the lower house Prime Minister Deuba also promised to resolve all the issues beforehand.
“Having dialogue and talks with all the political parties present in parliament, the deadlock of the lower house would be brought to an end and all the topics under discussion will be concluded accordingly. The government owns the responsibility to hold three-tier elections, I request all concerned authorities to carry on the preparatory works for the polls,” Deuba said in a televised address.
Though Prime Minister Deuba reiterated to hold the elections on time he didn’t mention when it would be held or of which area would be held first.
“Responsibility of holding the three-tier election within one year, the government has been carrying out preparatory works for it,” the Prime Minister reiterated.
The ruling coalition has been debating over holding elections of local or federal levels first which increases speculation about the government’s motive. (Image source: Instagram)

Ashutosh Gowariker On Meeting PM Narendra Modi: ‘Truly Inspired By Your Thoughts’

New Delhi [India], January 20 (ANI): Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the capital.

Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Ashutosh shared a glimpse of his meeting with Modi. In the images, the two can be seen posing with each other.

Ashutosh also penned a sweet note for Modi, saying he is truly inspired by his thoughts.

“It was an absolute honour, privilege and a pleasure to have had a meeting with you, Hon’ble PM @narendramodi ji. Your forthrightness and passion to achieve your vision for the country is incredible! Truly inspired by your clear thoughts and visionary ideas during our meeting,” Ashutosh wrote.

However, it’s not known why and when the two exactly met.

Our progress lies in progress of nation, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the progress of the people lies in the progress of the nation itself.
“Today crores of Indians are putting the foundation stone of Swarnim Bharat. Our dreams and the country’s dreams are not different. Our personal and country’s achievements are not different. Our progress lies in the progress of the nation,” the Prime Minister said while virtually delivering the keynote address at the national launch ceremony of ‘Azadi Ke Amrit Mahotsav se Swarnim Bharat Ke Ore’. Speaking at the event the Prime Minister further said, “The nation exists from us, and we exist from the nation. This realization is becoming the biggest strength of Indians in the making of a new India.”
The Prime Minister also said that with ‘Azadi Ke Amrit Mahotsav Se Swarnim Bharat Ke Ore’, today we are starting a very important event for the country.
The program unveiled yearlong initiatives dedicated to Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav by the Brahma Kumaris, which include more than 30 campaigns and over 15000 programs and events.
During the event, Prime Minister flagged off seven initiatives of Brahma Kumaris. These include My India Healthy India, Aatmanirbhar Bharat: Self Reliant Farmers, Women: Flag Bearers of India, Power of Peace Bus Campaign, Andekha Bharat Cycle Rally, United India Motor Bike Campaign and green initiatives under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Brahma Kumaris is a worldwide spiritual movement dedicated to personal transformation and world renewal. Founded in India in 1937, Brahma Kumaris has spread to over 130 countries. The event is being held on the occasion of the 53rd Ascension Anniversary of Pitashree Prajapita Brahma, Founding Father of Brahma Kumaris. (Image source: Instagram)

Bilawal flays Imran khan over religious article, says trying to hide ‘economic failures’

Islamabad [Pakistan] (ANI): After Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s religious article on lessons to learn from Madina got published in leading newspapers, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Tuesday said that Khan repeatedly speaks of Riyasat-e-Madina to “draw the people’s attention away” from the government’s “economic failures”.
He gave the example of war-torn Afghanistan where a strict interpretation of Islam is being enforced and rebuked Imran khan. He said that the “talk of religion will be ramped up to divert the people’s attention”. Bilawal made the remark during a press conference alongside Leader of Opposition in the Senate Yousuf Raza Gilani after Khan’s article was published, reported The News International.
“Here too, as our economy witnesses a downturn, the Prime Minister speaks of Riyasat-e-Madina to draw the people’s attention away,” he said.
“Those who attempt to divert people’s attention can say their prayers, can keep their fasts and can make arrangements for their eternal abode in heaven. We, too, will continue in our struggle,” Bilawal added.
Bilawal also attacked the Imran khan government on passing the Supplementary Finance Bill and said, that the government “forcibly passed the anti-people mini-budget”.
He said such an “attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty had never before taken place in the history of Pakistan”.
Speaking of the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2021, he said that the central bank “will no longer be answerable” to Parliament, judiciary or the people, and will “operate under dictation” from foreign institutions. (Image source: Instagram)

US President Biden, Japanese PM Kishida to meet virtually on Jan 21, to discuss Quad

Washington [US] (ANI): Amid China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, US President Joe Biden will meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida virtually on Friday (January 21) to discuss issues pertaining to the Quad (an alliance of US, Australia, Japan and India).
“President Joseph R Biden, Jr will meet virtually with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan on Friday, January 21 to further deepen ties between our governments, economies, and our people,” read a statement by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. The two countries seek to further deepen their ties and the meeting will highlight the strength of the US-Japan Alliance, which is the cornerstone of peace, security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.
“President Biden looks forward to working with Prime Minister Kishida to advance our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, and to expand our close cooperation on critical issues like combatting COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, and partnering on new and emerging technologies, including through the Quad,” added the statement. (Image source: Instagram)

Karnataka will play major role in realising PM Modi’s dream of making India USD 5 trillion economy: CM Bommai

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): Stating that Karnataka through startups would make a significant contribution to the country’s economy, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said that the state will play a major role in realising Prime Minister Modi’s dream of making India a USD 5 Trillion economy.
The Chief Minister in his online message on the occasion of ‘National Startup Day’ said that the idea of New Karnataka for New India would be made a reality. “Karnataka will play a major role in realising Prime Minister Modi dream of making India a USD 5 Trillion economy. Through startups a New Karnataka would make a significant contribution to the economy of New India,” said Bommai and congratulated the Prime Minister for encouraging the youth to inculcate scientific thinking to face new challenges.
“Karnataka is set to play a big role in the nation’s economy in the future. It is a matter of pride that out of 54,000 Startups in the country 13,000 are in Karnataka. Karnataka government has taken a slew of measures to encourage setting up of Startups,” said the Karnataka Chief Minister.
He further said that guidance and scientific support is being provided by the government, adding that in accordance with the Prime Minister’s wish, Startup Day was celebrated in a meaningful manner in the state.
In the coming days the state government would provide a big boost for startups, innovation, scientific thinking and entrepreneurship, he said.
“Thanks to the long term vision of the Prime Minister, the number of startups which was around 500, has crossed the 54000 mark now. He has given a big push for innovation and startups by setting up a forum to help them and freeing them from the restrictions of the government. The Prime Minister has been the inspiration for the highest growth of startups in the state,” said Bommai.
“Karnataka is in the number one spot in IT BT sector in the country. The first software company in Karnataka was started in 1980. It has seen rapid growth since then and the state has the maximum share in IT BT exports,” he said.
The Chief Minister further said that financial assistance is being provided through programmes like Elevate 100, Elevate Unnati for setting up startups by SC and ST communities. Under the Amrit Startup programme financial help is being provided for 75 startups by OBC and minority community members. Similarly, 25 startups from women are being provided assistance. About Rs 120 crore has been granted for 482 startups in the state, he said.
“State government is mulling to take startups to various districts of the state under its ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ project. A new Research and Development Policy would be unveiled to encourage setting up startups from a small garage to big scientific research and industrial units,” said the Karnataka Chief Minister.
He further said that it has been decided to encourage scientific thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship by including them as subjects in the school syllabus.
“About 150 ITIs have been upgraded. It has been decided to upgrade Diploma colleges. The state government would bring an ambitious programme to lay a strong foundation in schools and colleges for scientific thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.
There are over 180 science and research institutions in various fields in Bengaluru. Government is keen to see more startups coming in agriculture, horticulture and sericulture which generate more employment, he added.
Bommai wished more startups to come forward with social responsibility towards education, health, social welfare and women’s empowerment. (Image source: Instagram)

Nepal PM likely to make televised address to the nation this week

Kathmandu [Nepal] (ANI): Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who has completed six months in his latest term in office, is likely to make a televised address to the nation this week, an official said.
According to Nepal PM’s personal secretary Bhanu Deuba, the Prime Minister is likely to make a televised address in a day or two. “The date and time of PM’s address are yet to be fixed but the Prime Minister is likely to address the nation on Tuesday or Wednesday,” Deuba told ANI over phone.
PM Deuba, who became the country’s prime minister for the fifth time, has not addressed the nation since he was appointed Prime Minister on July 13, 2021. He addressed the parliament after securing the vote of confidence.
Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said PM Deuba is likely to highlight the achievements of the government in the past six months. (Image source: Instagram)

North Macedonia’s Parliament elects new Prime Minister

Skopje [North Macedonia], January 17 (ANI/Sputnik): Members of North Macedonian Parliament late Sunday voted for a new coalition government, with Dimitar Kovacevski, leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), elected as a new prime minister, national media reported on Monday.
On December 30, North Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski nominated Kovacevski as a prime minister, giving him a mandate to form a new cabinet. According to Macedonian Information Agency, the new coalition cabinet headed by Kovacevski was supported by 62 lawmakers of the 120-member Macedonian parliament, with 46 lawmakers voting against.
Kovacevski previously stated that the key objective of his government will be to achieve “higher and more sustainable economic growth.”
He also pledged to address the country’s energy crisis and bring North Macedonia closer to the European Union.
Kovacevski, appointed as deputy minister of finance after the 2020 parliamentary elections, succeeded Zoran Zaev, who resigned as prime minister on December 13, following the SDSM party’s defeat in municipal elections. The leadership of the party then passed to 47-year-old Kovacevski. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Narendra Modi Grieves Death Of Pandit Birju Maharaj

New Delhi [India], January 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over the sudden death of Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj.

In his tweet, Modi acknowledged Pandit Birju Maharaj’s remarkable contribution to the Indian dance form. “Extremely saddened after learning about the demise of Pandit Birju Maharaj, who gave Indian art a special recognition across the globe. It’s an irreparable loss to the entire art world. My heartfelt condolences to his family and fans. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.

Maharaj-ji, as he was popularly known, died surrounded by his family on Monday after suffering breathlessness. He was 83.

Reportedly, the Kathak exponent had been suffering from a kidney ailment and was under treatment for the past one month.

PM Modi to deliver ‘State of the World’ special address at WEF’s Davos Agenda

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the ‘State of the World’ special address at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Davos Agenda on Monday, said Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday.
PM Modi will address the WEF at 8:30 PM IST via video conference on Tuesday, the office said in a press release. The virtual event will be held from January 17-21. Several heads of state will address the event including Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and EU Commission’s chief Ursua von der Leyen.
The event will also witness the participation of top industry leaders, international organisations and civil society, who will deliberate on critical challenges being faced by the world today and discuss how to address them. (Image source: Instagram)

Somali Prime Minister condemns terror attack on government spokesperson

Mogadishu [Somalia] (ANI/Sputnik): Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble condemned the terrorist attack targeting a car with the Federal Government Spokesperson Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, the Office of the Prime Minister said on Sunday.
Earlier on Sunday, Somalian news portal Garowe Online reported that a suicide bomber attacked a vehicle with the Federal Government Spokesperson in the Somalian capital city of Mogadishu, which resulted in the latter being injured. “The PM H.E Mohamed Roble strongly condemns the odious terrorist attack targeting Government Spokesman, Mr Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu who sustained injuries today but is in stable condition. The PM wishes Mr Moalimuu a quick recovery,” the office tweeted.
According to Garowe Online, the radical Islamist al-Shabaab movement, affiliated with al-Qaeda (terror group banned in Russia), has claimed the responsibility for the attack, threatening to carry another attack next week.
The Al-Shabaab group is engaged in an armed conflict against the central government of Somalia and prevents UN humanitarian activities in the country.
Somalia collapsed as a unified nation in 1991 with the downfall of Siad Barre’s dictatorship. The international community recognized the federal government as the only legitimate authority in the country, which controls the capital Mogadishu and several other areas. The rest of Somalia is controlled by unrecognized state entities or self-governed, including the unrecognized Republic of Somaliland in the north and the autonomous Puntland region in the east. (Image source: Instagram)

COVID vaccination drive added strength to fight against infection, saved lives: PM Modi

New Delhi [India] (ANI): As India marks one year of the COVID vaccination drive on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the vaccination programme added great strength to the fight against the COVID-19.
The Prime Minister said that the vaccination drive led to saving lives and protecting livelihood. “Today we mark one year of Vaccine Drive. I salute each and every individual who is associated with the vaccination drive. Our vaccination programme has added great strength to the fight against COVID-19. It has led to saving lives and thus protecting livelihoods,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had called the COVID vaccination drive the “most successful” in the world.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “Today the world’s largest vaccination campaign completes one year. Started under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, with everyone’s efforts, today, it is the most successful vaccination campaign in the world. I congratulate all the health workers, scientists and countrymen.”
“Due to the unity of people and commitment of PM Modi, India not only manufactured the vaccination against COVID-19 but also vaccinated a large part of the population. The one year of the COVID vaccination drive represents willpower of the country,” Mandaviya tweeted in Hindi.
India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 156.76 crore in a span of an year.
India commenced its nationwide COVID vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. Starting initially by inoculating vaccines to healthcare workers, it was then expanded to frontline workers, followed by people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with comorbidities. Later it was also expanded to all above 45 years of age and then those above 18 years of age.
The vaccination drive for those between the age group 15-18 was started on January 3, 2022 and for administering the precautionary doses to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and sixty plus individuals then commenced on January 10 this year.
As per Union Health Ministry, 1,56,76,15,454 vaccine doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries, as per provisional reports till 7 am on Sunday. In the last 24 hours, more than 66 lakh vaccine doses were administered. (Image source: Instagram)

India is proud of stellar contribution of Army: PM Modi extends greetings on Army Day

New Delhi [India] (ANI): As India is celebrating Indian Army Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India is proud of the stellar contribution of the Army in Peacekeeping Missions overseas.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that Indian Army personnel serve in hostile terrains and are at the forefront of helping fellow citizens during a humanitarian crisis. “Indian Army personnel serve in hostile terrains and are at the forefront of helping fellow citizens during humanitarian crisis, including natural disasters. India is proud of the stellar contribution of the Army in Peacekeeping Missions overseas as well,” PM Modi tweeted.
Army Day is observed every year on January 15 to celebrate the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army – Field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa.
The position was taken over on January 15, 1949, from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India. (Image source: Instagram)

Tamil Nadu CM thanks PM Modi for inaugurating 11 medical colleges in state, says M Karunanidhi’s dream come true

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India] (ANI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for virtually inaugurating 11 medical colleges in the state and the new campus of Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai.
Addressing the event today, the Chief Minister said, “I thank PM Modi for participating in this event. This was a dream of former CM M Karunanidhi to bring medical colleges in all the districts of Tamil Nadu.” “Today, Karunanidhi’s dream has come true. I thank the central government for these new colleges,” Stalin said.
Further, Stalin appealed to the central government to give NEET exemption for Tamil Nadu. “I appeal Union government to consider the plea to give the NEET exemption to Tamil Nadu,” he added.
These medical colleges have been inaugurated in districts including Virudhunagar, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Thiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Ariyalur, Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), MBBS seats have been increased by 79.60 per cent (from 51,348 seats to 92,222 seats) and the number of PG seats increased by 80.70 per cent (from 31,185 seats to 56,374 seats) during the last seven years.
So, the total medical seats before 2014 were around 82,500. And in the last seven years, a jump of around 80 per cent or 66,000 seats has taken place.
The total number of medical colleges (both government and private) has increased from 387 to 596, a jump of around 54 per cent, the PMO informed. (Image source: Instagram)

PM directs Central Ministries, departments to formulate document for ‘Vision India@2047’ to identify long-term goals

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed all the Central Ministries and Departments to formulate documents for “Vision India@2047” to identify the long-term goals and corresponding outcomes for this decade with timelines and milestones.
In order to suggest the structural and institutional reforms necessary to attain the envisaged “Vision India@2047” on governance, the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) will convene a meeting with sectoral experts, academics and the scientific community on Saturday. In this regard, Union Minister Jitendra Singh is slated to chair DARPG’s first “Vision India@2047” meeting with Sectoral Experts on governance issues on Saturday, said Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Key issues pertaining to improving efficiency in decision making in the Central Secretariat, reducing pendency, rationalizing working of ministries and departments, ethics, transparency and accountability in public service, creation of effective executive agencies, core principles of reforms in the government, benchmarking governance in states, management practices in 21st-century governance, citizen-centric governance, reforms in state secretariats, district collectorates, use of technology in governance and creation of institutions of excellence would be discussed in the meeting.
Fifteen sector specialists who would be participating in the discussions comprise former Cabinet Secretaries, former Secretaries of Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), directors of select IITs and IIMs, ASCI and Capacity Building Commission.
Secretary DARPG V Srinivas and Director General IIPA Dr SN Tripathi would be attending the meeting.
“Following the consultative meetings with Sectoral Experts, the DARPG’s Vision India@2047 would be formulated,” the Ministry said. (Image source: Instagram)

Imran Khan to attend Beijing Olympics opening ceremony despite West’s Boycott

Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Islamabad [Pakistan] (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will attend the scheduled Beijing Winter Olympic ceremony next month despite the West’s Boycott.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit China next month to attend the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Olympics and hold discussions on bilateral ties between the two countries, according to News International. The announcement that PM Imran Khan will attend the event follows a boycott announced by Western countries.
The US, Britain, Australia, and Canada have announced a diplomatic boycott of the event, while North Korea was the latest country to pull out, citing the pandemic.
Though athletes from around the world will travel to compete in the four-yearly event, no dignitaries from these western countries are expected to watch the games.
Western countries ranging from the US have boycotted the Beijing Olympics citing China’s poor human rights record in the recent past ranging from actions against Uyghurs and Tibetians.
The Prime Minister will arrive in Beijing for a three-day official visit — from February 3 to 5 — at the invitation of the Chinese leadership. During his visit, he will hold important meetings with China’s top leadership, said the spokesperson during his weekly news briefing in the federal capital, according to News International. (Image source: Instagram)

Omicron spreading rapidly, stay alert, avoid panic: PM Modi on COVID-19 situation

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly as compared to other variants adding that there is a need to stay alert but also ensure that panic is not created.
“Compared to previous variants Omicron is rapidly spreading…it’s more transmissible…Our health experts are assessing the situation. It’s clear that we have to stay alert, but also ensure to avoid panic,” the Prime Minister said during the virtual meeting with Chief Minsters of the states over COVID-19 situation. To contain the spread of the virus, the Prime Minister said the “pre-emptive, pro-active and collective approach” adopted by the central and state governments is the “mantra of victory” this time as well.
India has reported a surge in COVID-19 cases in the recent past.
India on Thursday reported 2,47,417 fresh COVID-19 cases. The new cases reported on Thursday are about 27 per cent higher as compared to yesterday’s figures. On Wednesday, the country had seen 1,94,720 new COVID-19 cases. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Modi assures support of over Rs 3,000 cr in next 5 years to Tamil Nadu for developing health infrastructure

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said Tamil Nadu will get the support of more than Rs 3,000 crore in the next five years for developing health infrastructure.
“The PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission aims to address the critical gap in health infrastructure and health research especially at the district level. A support of over Rs 3,000 crore will be provided to Tamil Nadu in the next five years. This will help in establishing urban health and wellness centres, district public health labs and critical care blocks across the state. The benefits of this for the people of Tamil Nadu will be immense,” the Prime Minister said. PM Modi on Wednesday virtually inaugurated 11 medical colleges in Tamil Nadu and the new campus of Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai.
These medical colleges have been inaugurated in districts including Virudhunagar, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Thiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Ariyalur, Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri.
In his virtual address, the Prime Minister said, “This would be the first time that 11 medical colleges are being inaugurated at one stroke located in any one state.”
In October last year, the Prime Minister had inaugurated nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh in the districts of Siddharthnagar, Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Jaunpur.
“I am getting to break my own record,” the Prime Minister said. (Image source: Instagram)

Raising women’s marriage age to 21 will enable girls to build career, become self reliant, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the purpose for raising the age of marriage for girls from 18 to 21 years has been proposed to empower ‘desh ki beti’ so that they get enough time to complete education and build their careers and become ‘Aatmanirbhar.’
“We believe that sons and daughters are equal. By increasing the marriage age of women from 18 to 21, the government wants to enable ‘desh ki beti’ to build a career for herself and become Aatmanirbhar,” the Prime Minister said as he inaugurated the Technology Centre of the MSME Ministry and Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Manimandapam in Puducherry through video conference. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed faith in the youth of the nation said that the ‘compete and conquer’ is the mantra of new India and the youth of the country has a ‘can do’ spirit which is a source of inspiration for every generation.
“India is entering the golden age of the startup ecosystem boasting over 50,000 startups, out of which more than 10,000 startups were set up in the past 6-7 months amid the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic…’compete and conquer’ is the mantra of new India,” the Prime Minister said after inaugurating Technology Centre of the MSME Ministry and Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Manimandapam in Puducherry through video conference.
“Today’s youth have a can do spirit which is a source of inspiration for every generation. It is the strength of the youth that India has marched much ahead in digital payments. Today, the youth of India is writing code of global prosperity,” he said.
PM Modi said that it is the government’s effort to give youth, the platform and infrastructure to develop the nation.
“We want our youth to pursue their dreams without any barriers and apprehensions. We have reduced our government compliances. Schemes like Mudra Yojana, Startup India, Stand Up India, Skill India, Atal Innovation Mission and NEP are aiding their dreams,” he said.
“I have full faith in the youth of the nation and I am sure that they will take us to heights we haven’t even dreamed of,” he added.
PM Modi inaugurated a Technology Centre of the MSME Ministry and Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Manimandapam – an auditorium with open-air theatre in Puducherry, through video conference.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Technology Centre of the MSME Ministry is established at Puducherry with an investment of about Rs 122 crore. With the focus on the Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Sector, this Technology Centre will be equipped with the latest technology.
Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani, last month, introduced the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to raise the age of marriage of women from 18 years to 21 years.
A bill that was introduced in Lok Sabha in the winter session to increase the age of age”marriage for women to 21 years across all religions has been sent to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny and discussion with stake-holders.
The parliamentary panel is headed by BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, to which the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill seeks to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 has been referred to, will start its deliberations soon. The 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports has lone woman Rajya Sabha MP from All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) Sushmita Dev. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Modi speaks to Bihar CM, singer Lata Mangeshkar who tested COVID-19 positive

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to enquire about his health condition after the latter tested COVID-19 positive.
PM Modi wished him a speedy recovery from the coronavirus infection over the conversation. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday and went under home isolation on the doctor’s advice, the CMO informed.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also enquired about the health of veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar who was hospitalised after testing positive for COVID.
The veteran singer was admitted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy hospital on Monday. (Image source: Instagram)

Amit Shah recalls former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri’s ‘selfless patriotism’ on his 56th death anniversary

New Delhi [India] (ANI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday remembered former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his 56th death anniversary, saying the leader “instilled a sense of unity from soldiers to farmers in challenging time and set an excellent ideal of how selfless patriotism can protect the country”.
Taking to Twitter, the Home Minister said, “Former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji, through his firm leadership in a challenging time, instilled a sense of unity from soldiers to farmers and set an excellent ideal of how selfless patriotism can protect the country and serve the public”. “Salute to such a great patriot,” Shah tweeted in Hindi.
January 11 marks the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who passed away on this day in 1966, in Tashkent, in present-day Uzbekistan.
The country’s second Prime Minister, who succeeded Jawaharlal Nehru, was known for his simplicity and honesty and was posthumously honoured with the Bharat Ratna, becoming its first posthumous recipient.
Born on October 2, 1904, in Uttar Pradesh’s Mughalsarai, Shastri promoted the White Revolution – a national campaign to increase the production and supply of milk – by supporting the Amul milk cooperative of Anand, Gujarat and creating the National Dairy Development Board.
Hailing from a simple family, Shastri became an avid follower of Mahatma Gandhi and went on to hold important portfolios during his political career.
A famous anecdote from the former PM’s life is when, on two occasions, he resigned as railway minister, taking moral responsibility for two separate train accidents which took place during his tenure. Also a former Home Minister, he took over as Prime Minister on June 9, 1964, in the wake of Jawaharlal Nehru’s demise. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Modi sends 100 pairs of jute footwear for Kashi Vishwanath Dham workers

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent 100 pairs of jute footwear for those working at Kashi Vishwanath Dham in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, sources in the government informed on Monday.
According to governments sources, PM Modi has been deeply involved with Kashi Vishwanath Dham and keeps a tab on all issues and developments in Varanasi.
They stated that the Prime Minister recently found out that most people working at Kashi Vishwanath Dham had to work barefoot because it is forbidden to wear footwear made with leather or rubber in the temple premises.
These include priests, people performing Seva, security guards, sanitation workers and other workers in the temple. (Image source: Instagram)

Chinese Foreign Minister held talks with Sri Lankan Prime Minister

Beijing [China]: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday held talks with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and discussed several issues including tourism, investments, and fight against the COVID-19 to mark the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two nations.
Wang arrived in Colombo on Saturday from the Maldives where he reached on Friday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations of China and the Maldives. Taking to Twitter, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister also announced that he had a “very pleasant meeting” with Wang Yi.
“Had a very pleasant meeting with the Foreign Minister of China. Discussions centred around the logistics of facilitating the return of the many lka med students to China. Also discussed were a host of issues including Tourism, investments, COVID-19, SL relief & post-Covid preparedness,” Mahinda Rajapaksa tweeted.
“I thanked #China and her people for the continued support to #lka. As both our nations celebrate 65 years of bilateral relations, I am hopeful that this relationship we share will only grow & be strengthened in the years to come,” he added.
As per Chinese media outlet, Global Times reported that Colombo will be the last stop of his first foreign visit in the new year.

PM Modi wishes Indian diaspora on Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his wishes to the Indian diaspora on the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas and said that they have distinguished themselves all over the world and have excelled in different spheres.
“Greetings to everyone, especially the Indian diaspora on Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas. Our diaspora has distinguished itself all over the world and has excelled in different spheres,” said PM Modi in a tweet on Sunday. He also appreciated the Indian diaspora that they have remained connected to their roots. “We are proud of their accomplishments,” PM Modi added.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of the Overseas Indian community to the development of India.
January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

PM Modi’s security breach 100 per cent administrative failure, the country narrowly escaped murder of its top executive: Kiran Bedi

New Delhi [India]: Former Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday termed the security breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy near Punjab’s Ferozepur as “100 per cent administrative failure” and a pre-planned conspiracy, adding that the country narrowly escaped the assassination of its Prime Minister.
Speaking to ANI, the Former Puducherry LG said, “Plan to ambush the Prime Minister did not succeed. This is 100 per cent administrative failure. The prime minister of this country survived a horrific attack. The state is near the Pakistan border. There could have been a bomb under the bridge. I think this country narrowly escaped the murder of its number one executive.” She slammed the absdence of senior officials, including DGP, Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and District Magistrate at the time of the incident.
“All senior officials look for such opportunities to meet the Prime Minister. I think they have to answer why they were absent. This is criminal negligence. You ran away from your duty. It is a protocol that when the Prime Minister comes DGP, Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and District Magistrate receive him,” Bedi told ANI.
She stated that Chief Minister and the state Home Minister are accountable for the answer to the incident.
“Do not associate this incident with Punjabiyat. Punjabis served the people during the COVID pandemic. We will be who we are. But, do not do such an act which affects the country’s reputation,” she said.
She demanded the dismissal of the DGP and the Chief Secretary.
“It is criminal negligence. They have to be dismissed out of the service… no pension, nothing. A criminal case should be registered against them,” she added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy was stuck for 15-20 minutes due to a road blockade in Punjab’s Ferozepur. The Prime Minister, who was travelling by road, had to call off his event in Ferozepur on Wednesday.
PM Modi, who had to return to Bathinda airport on Wednesday due to a security breach during his visit is learned to have told state government officials at the airport, “Apne CM ko thanks Kehna, ki mein Bhatinda airport tak zinda laut paaya”.
Following the incident, BJP alleged that the Congress government in Punjab had deliberately created a scenario to harm Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PM Modi inaugurates second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in Kolkata

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday virtually inaugurated the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) in West Bengal’s Kolkata.
“The second campus of CNCI has been built in line with the Prime Minister’s vision to expand and upgrade the health facilities in all parts of the country. CNCI was facing a heavy load of cancer patients and a need for expansion was being felt for some time. This need will be fulfilled through the second campus,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said. The second campus of CNCI has been built at a cost of over Rs 530 crore, out of which around Rs 400 crores have been provided by the Union government and the rest by the West Bengal government, in the ratio of 75:25. The campus is a 460 bedded comprehensive cancer centre unit with cutting-edge infrastructure for cancer diagnosis, staging, treatment, and care.
The campus is equipped with modern facilities like Nuclear Medicine (PET), 3.0 Tesla MRI, 128 slice CT scanner, Radionuclide therapy unit, endoscopy suite, modern brachytherapy units, etc. The campus will also work as an advanced cancer research facility and will provide comprehensive care to cancer patients especially those from Eastern and North-Eastern parts of the country.

Hearing begins in SC on plea seeking probe into security lapses during PM Modi’s Punjab visit

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court has started the hearing on the plea seeking an urgent judicial probe into the breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security during his visit to Punjab’s Ferozepur on Wednesday.
The plea alleges that PM’s security breach was a deliberate lapse on part of the State government and stern action should be taken against “erring” officials of Punjab government. Senior advocate Maninder Singh mentioned the matter on Thursday before the top court while terming it a serious lapse and sought a probe.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant, and Hima Kohli asked Singh, who was appearing for an organization, Lawyer’s Voice, which has filed the plea, to also serve a copy of the petition to the Punjab government.
Singh had said that it was a serious lapse on the part of the Punjab government to allow the PM’s cavalcade to be stranded on the road causing an unacceptable security breach.
CJI Ramana asked Singh about what he expected from the court and whether the alleged security lapse happened in Bathinda or Ferozepur.
Singh said the Prime Minister was scheduled to address a meeting in Ferozepur but the security lapse happened in Bathinda.
“Given the situation in Punjab, there should be a fair probe into the lapse and accountability be fixed so that such a situation does not arise again in future,” Singh told the apex court.
“The overall responsibility for ensuring the safety of the Prime Minster rests with the State government and the responsibility for providing proximate security will rest with the Special Protection Group (SPG) as per the SPG Act 1988. On the contrary, what was shocking and alarming on many levels was that local Police personnel on the spot were seen to be participating with the hooligans who jeopardized the security of the Prime Minister,” the plea stated.
It alleged that private persons were given access to the PM’s route, and others were instigated to join the blockade, which represents a serious and unpardonable breach of national security by the State apparatus and the political establishment of Punjab.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister, who was on his way for an election rally, was stopped on a flyover after his convoy was blocked.

PM’s security breach: Punjab govt constitutes high-level committee to probe matter, report in 3 days

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: The Punjab government has constituted a high-level committee to probe the security lapses that occurred during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ferozepur. The committee will submit its report in three days.
An official spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office on Thursday said that the committee would comprise Justice (Retd) Mehtab Singh Gill and Principal Secretary, Home Affairs and Justice Anurag Verma. “The committee shall submit its report within three days,” added the spokesperson.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit Ferozepur on Wednesday to lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore.
The Home Ministry said in a statement that PM Modi landed at Bathinda on Wednesday morning from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out.
The statement said that when the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Martyrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. The Prime Minister proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police.
Around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the Prime Minister’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protesters.
The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes.”This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister’s schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready,” the statement said. “Also in view of the contingency plan, the Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed. After this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda Airport,” it added.
It said only Punjab police knew the precise route of the PM and “never has such police behaviour been witnessed”.The Home Ministry has taken cognizance of the “serious security lapse” and has sought a detailed report from the Punjab government. The state government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigns

Khartoum [Sudan]: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced his resignation on Sunday, in an address broadcast by state television.
“I announce my resignation from the post of prime minister. I leave this position to other sons and daughters of my homeland so that they can continue to govern the dear homeland and live out with it what remains of the transitional period toward a civil, democratic state,” the prime minister said. On October 25, Hamdok was arrested by the Sudanese military led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan. He was reinstated on November 21 after signing a deal that seeks to install a civilian cabinet that will be subject to military oversight.

Pakistan’s ‘mini budget’ fails to solve economic woos under PM Imran Khan

Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan’s ‘mini budget’ or the Finance Supplementary Bill, 2021 was introduced on Thursday in the National Assembly but fails to solve the increasing problems of the people due to high inflation under Imran Khan’s regime.
Though Pakistan’s Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has dismissed every suggestion of the new taxation measures being inflationary in nature, the withdrawal of the tax exemptions and the increase in the sales tax rate on a large number of goods ranging from iodised salt to pharmaceutical ingredients to baby formula milk to cars and more is going to push up headline prices going forward, according to Dawn. However, it is argued that the inflationary impact will be somewhat milder than what was generally being anticipated.
Moreover, these fiscal actions were also required to support the recent actions taken by the State Bank in order to contain money supply in the market to rein in inflation.
Also, the passage of the bill along with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Bill is one of the key conditions for the resumption of the USD 6 billion IMF funding programme that the government had ditched in April last year in order to pursue rapid growth and in the hope of the world coming to its aid after the American withdrawal from neighbouring Afghanistan, according to Dawn.
Earlier, the SBP role was first defined in the State Bank of Pakistan Act 1956. Since then, the SBP Act has been amended several times to reflect changes to economic thought globally, including advocating for an independent role of central banks. Major revisions in the SBP Act came in 1994, 1997, 2012 and 2015.
Pakistan’s return to the IMF programme will open up other avenues of multilateral dollars besides leading to the immediate release of the USD 1billion tranche from the IMF and assist the country in raising funds from the international bond market to meet its foreign payment obligations in the next six months and beyond.
However, both bills have been introduced in parliament amid strong pledges from the opposition parties which have termed them anti-people and as undermining national sovereignty to resist their passage, according to Dawn.

Australia to rename Island to honor Queen Elizabeth on platinum jubilee: PM Scott Morrison

Canberra [Australia]: Australia will rename Aspen Island in Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin as part of June 2022 national and community events to celebrate 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the British throne, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday.
“Seventy years of service is a truly immense achievement, and we are proud to join with other Commonwealth nations to celebrate this milestone… Aspen Island in Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin, the home of the National Carillon, will be renamed Queen Elizabeth II Island during a special event in June 2022,” Morrison said in a statement published on his website. According to Morrison, celebrations will include opening of new Queen Elizabeth Water Gardens, the lighting of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon in Canberra, the release of commemorative stamps and coins, as well as illuminating monuments all around Australia.
In six weeks’ time, on 6 February 2022, Elizabeth II will have reigned for 70 years. In her Christmas message, the Queen said she looked forward becoming the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee – 70 years on the throne – in 2022.

PM Modi releases 10th instalment of financial benefit under PM-KISAN scheme

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday released the 10th installment of financial benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme via video conferencing in the national capital.
During the event, the Prime Minister also released an equity grant of more than Rs 14 crores to about 351 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), which will benefit more than 1.24 lakh farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the 10th instalment of financial benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme on Saturday via video conferencing.
As per an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, this is in line with the government’s continued commitment and resolve to empower grassroots-level farmers.
This will enable the transfer of an amount of more than Rs 20,000 crore to more than 10 crore beneficiary farmer families, said PMO.
Meanwhile, addressing the event, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “Under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, effective from 1st December 2018, the Central Government has so far sent more than Rs 1.61 lakh crore to more than 11.5 beneficiary farmer families in the accounts of farmer families.”
“In the current financial year 2021-22, an amount of more than Rs 65,800 crore has been transferred to the beneficiary farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi PM Kisan Yojana,” added Tomar.
Under the PM-KISAN scheme, a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to the eligible beneficiary farmer families, payable in three equal four-monthly installments of Rs 2,000 each. The fund is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. In this scheme, Samman Rashi of over Rs 1.6 lakh crore has been transferred to farmer families so far.

PM Modi shares glimpse of events he took part in year 2021

New Delhi [India]: As 2021 comes to end, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday shared some highlights of the landmark events he took part in throughout the year.
PM Modi meets Young friends in his Office.

A young girl greets PM Modi during his visit to West.

PM Modi with a Divyang in Varanasi.

PM Modi interacting with External Affairs Minister and National Security Advisor at his residence in Lok Kalyan Marg.

PM Modi presiding over a late night meeting at his residence.

PM Modi taking notes during a Council of Ministers meeting.

PM Modi sitting in the last row during a ‘Chintan Satra’ with his Council of Ministers at Sushma Swaraj Bhavan.

PM Modi at Rashtrapati Bhawan to attend a programme.

Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj, spiritual leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan blessing PM Modi.

PM Modi during his visit to Varanasi.

PM Modi with Padma Shri Tulasi Gowda in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

PM Modi during the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath Dham in Varanasi.

PM Modi taking blessing from 105 year old farmer and Padma Shri awardee Pappammal ji in Coimbatore.

PM Modi at ‘Parakram Diwas’ celebrations to commemorate the 125th Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, at Victoria Memorial

PM Modi with members of Armed forces on his Diwali visit at Nowshera, Rajouri border post, Line of Control.

PM Modi with members of Women Hockey team during an interaction organised at his residence in Lok Kalyan Marg.

PM meeting with CEOs from PE/VC industry.

PM Modi being welcomed by Pope Francis in Vatican City.

People greeting PM Modi during his visit to Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

A touching moment during PM Modi’s interaction with beneficiaries of Government schemes at Kanpur.

A beautiful moment during PM Modi’s interaction with beneficiaries of various government schemes at Prayagraj.

Mohamed bin Zayed receives Prime Minister of Morocco

Abu Dhabi [UAE]: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has received Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco, Aziz Akhannouch, who is currently on a working visit to the UAE.
During the meeting, His Highness welcomed the Moroccan premier, wishing him a successful visit and a pleasant stay in the UAE. The Moroccan prime minister conveyed the greetings of King Mohammed VI, to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohamed, wishing continued progress and prosperity to the UAE and its people.
Sheikh Mohamed conveyed his warmest regards to King Mohammed VI, wishing him continued good health and progress and development for the Kingdom of Morocco and its people under his wise leadership.
His Highness also congratulated the Moroccan Prime Minister on King of Morocco’s trust in him to head the Moroccan Government, wishing him success in his duties to serve his country and achieve the aspirations of his people for development and prosperity.
The two sides discussed, during the meeting, which was attended by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the prospects of further consolidating the fraternal relations between the two nations and the various aspects of cooperation, especially in areas of investment and economy, with a view to spurring the development drive in the two countries for the higher good of their peoples.
They also reviewed the latest developments in the Arab region and exchanged views over a number of regional and international issues of common interest.
The discussions touched on the now-running Expo 2020 Dubai and the importance of the Arab countries’ participation therein to share the latest innovations and solutions with various participating countries in areas of sustainability for the common good of humanity at large and the wellbeing of all world peoples.
The meeting was also attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Special Affairs Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, and Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology. Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates also attended the meeting from the Moroccan side.

Resolve of cleanliness will be fulfilled only with discipline, awareness, dedication, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: With an aim to encourage people to follow the ‘Swachh Bharat’ initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the resolve of cleanliness will be fulfilled only with discipline, awareness and dedication.
In his Mann Ki Baat program today, PM Modi cited an example of ‘Puneet Sagar’ campaign undertaken by cadets for cleanliness in which more than 30 thousand NCC cadets participated. “These cadets cleaned the beaches, removed plastic waste from there and collected it for recycling. Our beaches, our mountains are worth visiting only when there is cleanliness at the place,” the Prime Minister said.
He said that it is the responsibility of every countryman that the places which give us so much joy, should not be made dirty by us.
Further, he mentioned a start-up named ‘Saafwater’ which has been started by some youth to give information related to the purity and quality of water in their area to people with the help of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet.
“This is just the next step of cleanliness. In view of the importance of this start-up for the clean and healthy future of the people, it has also received a Global Award,” he added.
Speaking about ‘Ek qadam swachhata ki ore’ effort, PM Modi said, “Special campaigns are also being run in ministries and departments to remove the old and pending material. Some very interesting things have happened through this campaign.”
“When this cleanliness drive was started in the Department of Post, the junkyard there became completely empty. Now this junkyard has been turned into a courtyard and cafeteria. Another junkyard has been converted into a parking space for two wheelers,” he said.
He informed that the Ministry of Environment has also converted its vacant junkyard into a wellness centre and the Ministry of Urban Affairs has installed a Swachh ATM too.
“Departments under the Civil Aviation Ministry have started making organic compost from dry leaves falling from trees and organic waste. This department is also working to make stationery from waste paper,” PM Modi stated.

After defeat in KP local body polls, Imran Khan announces new organisational structure for PTI

Islamabad [Pakistan]: After facing defeat in the local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has formed a new organisational structure for the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), a day after dissolving all previous bodies within his party.
According to Dawn newspaper, the announcement was made by the country’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry through his official Twitter account today. He said that Planning Minister Asad Umar had been chosen as the secretary-general.
Apart from it, several others had been named as the presidents for various provincial divisions. These include — Defence Minister Pervez Khattak for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi for Sindh, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri for Balochistan, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood for Punjab and Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar for South Punjab.
On Friday, Chaudhry said that the ruling party has decided to dissolve its organisational structure.
“Since party tickets were distributed on the basis of nepotism as against the principles of fairness and merit, Prime minister Imran Khan is very upset,” Geo tv quoting Fawad reported as saying, adding that in the light of the situation, the party has decided to dissolve its organisational structure across Pakistan.
The Minister for Information and Broadcasting was addressing a press conference in Islamabad in which he said that the party has decided to form a new constitutional committee to devise a strategy for the second phase of the local bodies election in the province, the media outlet said.
Speaking about the outcome of the polls, the minister said that he has received complaints that the tickets for the recently held LG polls in the province were distributed among families of party members.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) has won elections in 10 tehsil councils, PTI in 9, ANP in 5, PML-N, and Jamaat-e-Islami have bagged one seat each, The News International reported citing the unofficial and unconfirmed results of 31 out of 64 tehsil councils in 17 districts.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan will give the chief minister guidelines to devise an effective strategy for the next phase of the local body elections in the province scheduled next month.
Earlier, the Pakistan premier, who is not happy with the PTI’s performance in KP, had summoned KP’s Mahmood Khan to Islamabad.

President Kovind, PM Modi pay tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birth anniversary

New Delhi [India]: On the occasion of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth anniversary, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid floral tribute at ‘Sadaiv Atal’ Samadhi in the national capital.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and others also paid floral tribute at ‘Sadaiv Atal’ on the occasion.

Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Modi said, “Tributes to respected Atal ji on his birth anniversary. Remembering Atal Ji on his Jayanti. We are inspired by his rich service to the nation. He devoted his life towards making India strong and developed. His development initiatives positively impacted millions of Indians.”

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday is celebrated as the ‘Good Governance Day’.
Vajpayee, who led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government from 1998-2004, was the first-ever leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to have become the nation’s Prime Minister. He served as Prime Minister thrice — briefly in 1996, and then for two terms between 1998 and 2004.
One of the prominent leaders of the country and founder members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vajpayee died on August 16, 2018, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after a prolonged illness. He was 93.
The late leader was conferred Bharat Ratna in 2015. He had also been awarded Pt Govind Ballabh Pant Award for Best Parliamentarian in 1994.

PM Modi chairs meeting on COVID-19 situation, says people should be ‘satark’, ‘saavdhan’ in view of Omicron variant

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Thursday to review the efforts to combat COVID-19 and Omicron strain and emphasised the need to be “satark” and “saavdhan” in view of the new variant.
He said the fight against the pandemic is not over and the need for continued adherence to COVID safe behaviour is of paramount importance even today. “In view of the new variant, we should be ‘satark’ (alert) and ‘saavdhan’ (cautious),” the Prime Minister said.
He directed officials to ensure that the health systems in the states, beginning from the district level, are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant.
The Prime Minister said that states need to ensure that the eligible population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to proceed to meet the target in a saturation mode.
It is important for states to ensure that the oxygen supply equipments are installed and fully functional, he told officials.
He gave directions for sending a good number of positive samples for genome sequencing to INSACOG Labs in a prompt manner.
PM Modi also gave directions for accelerating the testing to ensure quick identification of cases for timely containment and treatment.
Focus should also be on effective contact tracing for curbing spread of the transmission, he said and directed officials that the Central Government should send teams to states with low vaccination, rising cases, insufficient health infrastructure to assist them improve the situation.
The Prime Minister reviewed public health response measures for containment and management of COVID-19, strengthening of health infrastructure including availability of drugs, oxygen cylinders and concentrators, ventilators, PSA plants, ICU/oxygen supported beds, human resources, IT interventions and status of vaccination.
Officials briefed PM about the emerging scenario globally driven by the new variant, with an overview of surge in cases in countries having high vaccination coverage and presence of Omicron Variant.
After the presentations, PM directed the the officials for maintaining a high level of vigil and alertness at all levels.

According to an official release, he asked the central ministries to work in close coordination with the states to support their efforts of public health measures of containment and management under the ‘Whole of Government’ approach.
“The strategy of the Centre for proactive, focussed, collaborative and cooperative fight against the pandemic should guide all our future actions,” PM Modi told officials.
He directed them to work with the states on a regular basis and review the status of preparedness of various components of health infrastructure including training and capacity building of human resources, timely availability of ambulances, readiness of states to operationalise COVID facilities for institutional quarantining, and effective and supervised monitoring of those in home isolation. He also directed officials for effective use of IT tools for tele-medicine and tele-consultation.
The Prime Minister said that heightened and close monitoring of emerging clusters and hotspots through and active, prompt and effective surveillance should continue.
The Prime Minister was also apprised of the technical brief and priority actions recommended by WHO in the context of Omicron.
A snapshot of the status of COVID-19 and Omicron in the country, including states reporting a higher number of cases, districts reporting higher positivity, and higher number of clusters was presented to Prime Minister. The details of the Omicron cases reported in the country, including their travel history, vaccination status, and recovered status was also presented.
The Prime Minister was briefed of the various actions taken since November 25 this year when the first advisory of the Union Health Ministry was shared with the states.
He was also briefed about the revised travel advisory for international passengers, review meetings with states/UTs on COVID-19 public health response measures, ramping up vaccination and installation of oxygen supply equipment.
The PM was apprised of the progress in vaccination across the country. He was apprised that more than 88 per cent of the eligible population has been administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and more than 60 per cent of the eligible population has received the second dose.
Officials said that the door-to-door ‘Har Ghar Dastak vaccination campaign’ to mobilise and vaccinate people has been able to motivate people to take the COVID 19 vaccine and has shown encouraging results in boosting vaccine coverage.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary and senior officials from Niti Aayog, ICMR and several minstries including Home Ministry and Health Ministry.

Sri Lankan PM Rajapaksa offers prayer at Venkateswara Swamy temple in Andhra Pradesh

Tirumala (Andhra Pradesh) [India]: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa along with his spouse Shiranthi Rajapaksa, who is on a pilgrimage to India, on Friday offered prayers in the famous hill shrine of Venkateswara Swamy at Tirumala.
Earlier on his arrival at Mahadwaram of the temple, he was accorded a warm welcome by the Joint Executive Officer (JEO) of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Veerabrahmam and Chief Vigilance and Security Officer (CVSO) Gopinath Jatti. After Darshan, he was rendered Vedaseervachanam by Vedic Pundits at Ranganayakula Mandapam. The JEO offered Theertha Prasadams and a laminated photo of Srivaru to the foreign dignitary.
The Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Narayana Swamy was also present during the Lankan PM’s Tirumala temple visit.
Tirupati Urban SP Venkatappala Naidu, Tirumala Temple DyEO Sri Ramesh Babu and others were also present.

Ensure health systems in States are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by Omicron: PM directs officials

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of COVID-19 and Omicron variant and directed officials to ensure that the health systems in the states are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant.
The Prime Minister passed the necessary direction with regards to COVID-19 and Omicron after chairing a high-level review meeting on the issue. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, PM Modi directed the officials to ensure that the health systems in the states, beginning from the district level, are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant.
“It is important for States to ensure that the Oxygen supply equipments are installed and fully functional,” said PM Modi
“He directed the officials to work with the states on a regular basis and review the status of preparedness of various components of health infrastructure including training and capacity building of human resources, timely availability of ambulances, readiness of states to operationalise COVID facilities for institutional quarantining, and effective and supervised monitoring of those in home isolation,” reads the official statement.
PM Modi directed for sending a good number of positive samples for genome sequencing to INSACOG Labs in a prompt manner. He also directed for accelerating the testing to ensure quick identification of cases for timely containment and treatment. The focus should also be on effective contact tracing for curbing spread of the transmission, he stated.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Dr. V.K.Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, A K Bhalla, Home Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (MoHFW), Secretary (Pharmaceuticals); Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary (Biotechnology); Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR; Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary (AYUSH); Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary (Urban Development); R.S. Sharma CEO NHA; Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan (Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt. of India) along with other senior officials.

There will be no ‘state security’ agents in government, says Bulgarian Prime Minister Petkov

Sofia [Bulgaria]: I thank our colleagues from “There Is Such a People” and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for taking swift measures and people with files of a past in ‘State Security’ that have been announced in the media will not be appointed or will be released if they have already been appointed. This was stated today by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov in response to a journalist’s question about the possible appointments of people in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who turn out to be connected with State Security structures.
According to the coalition agreement, each minister has the right to propose his team, but then in a coalition format we discuss and decide together whether our requirements for these people coincide with these proposals, Petkov commented and stressed that in this case there are no people to be appointed. According to the Prime Minister, the appointments are made on the basis of some type of expertise, then additional information is obtained and the final decision is made. There will be no compromise in this case, the prime minister stressed.
Petkov also disagreed with the statement of his former chief of staff and current Minister of Defense Stefan Yanev, who said yesterday that it is not necessary to deploy additional NATO troops in our country.
“This topic has not been discussed at the Council of Ministers, nor has it been discussed with any of our partners. The reports on this topic were the personal opinion of the Minister, but this is by no means a formal position of our government,” he said.
He recalled that he had already declared that “we are and will be an active member of the EU and NATO”.
“This type of decision will be coordinated with our active role. At the same time, I would like to emphasize that we truly believe that the best way to continue EU and NATO policy on our eastern border is to maximize the use of diplomacy and peace funds “, pointed out Kiril Petkov.
“I hope there will be expert analysis, to see the pros and cons, to talk to our partners. The less the focus is on military potential and the more on diplomatic potential, the better for Bulgaria,” he added.

PM to visit Prayagraj today, transfer Rs 1,000 cr to SHGs benefitting around 16 lakh women

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj today and will transfer around Rs 1,000 crore in the bank accounts of Self Help Groups (SHGs), benefitting around 16 lakh women members of the SHGs.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), this transfer is being done under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), with 80,000 SHGs receiving Community Investment Fund (CIF) of Rs 1.10 lakh per SHG and 60,000 SHGs receiving Revolving Fund of Rs 15,000 per SHG. “PM Modi will visit Prayagraj on December 21 and participate in a one of its kind programme that will be attended by over two lakh women, at around 1 PM,” reads the release.
The programme is being held as per the vision of the Prime Minister to empower women, especially at the grassroots level, by providing them with the necessary skills, incentives and resources.
The programme will also witness the Prime Minister encouraging Business Correspondent-Sakhis (BC-Sakhis), by transferring Rs 4,000 as the first month’s stipend in the account of 20,000 BC-Sakhis.
When B.C.-Sakhis commence their work as providers of doorstep financial services at the grassroot level, they are paid a stipend of Rs 4,000 for six months, so that they get stabilized in their work and then start earning through the commission on transactions, the PMO informed.
During the programme, PM Modi will also be transferring a total amount of over 20 crores to more than one lakh beneficiaries under the Mukhya Mantri Kanya Sumangala Scheme. The Scheme provides conditional cash transfer to a girl child at different stages of her life. The total transfer is Rs 15,000 per beneficiary.
“The stages are at birth (Rs 2,000), on completing one-year complete vaccination (Rs 1,000), on admission in class-I (Rs 2,000), On admission in class-VI (Rs 2,000), on admission in class-IX (Rs 3,000), on admission in any degree or diploma course after passing class X or XII (Rs 5,000),” it added.
In addition, the Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone of 202 Supplementary Nutrition Manufacturing Units. These units are being funded by the Self Help Groups and will be constructed at the cost of approximately Rs 1 crore for one unit.
These units will supply Supplementary Nutrition under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in 600 blocks of the state, the PMO said in its release.

PM interacts with CEOs of companies across various sectors ahead of Union Budget

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday interacted with the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of leading companies across banking, infrastructure, automobiles, telecom, consumer goods, textile, renewable energy, hospitality, technology, healthcare, space and electronics sectors.
This is one of the many interactions being held by the Prime Minister ahead of the union budget to receive inputs and suggestions from the private sector. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal was also present in the meeting.
The Prime Minister had interacted with leading private equity and venture capital players last week.

PM Modi meets foreign ministers of five Central Asian countries, emphasises potential of enhanced economic cooperation

New Delhi [India]: Foreign Ministers of five Central Asian countries — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and emphasised the readiness of their leaderships to further strengthen relations with India.
The Prime Minister emphasised the importance that India attaches to its long-standing relations with Central Asian countries, which are part of its ‘Extended Neighbourhood’. He also underscored the potential of enhanced economic cooperation between India and Central Asia, and the role of connectivity in that regard.
The Prime Minister conveyed his felicitations to the Ministers on the 30th anniversary of their independence this year.
Recalling his memorable visits to all Central Asian countries in 2015 and subsequently to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyz Republic, PM Modi underlined the importance of maintaining cultural and people-to-people contacts between India and Central Asia, given the popularity of Indian films, music, yoga etc in the region.
The Foreign Ministers of the Central Asian countries are in New Delhi and participated in the third meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue.
“The Foreign Ministers conveyed the greetings of their Presidents to Prime Minister Modi and emphasized the readiness of their leadership to further strengthen relations with India,” a PMO release said.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval were also present during PM Modi’s meeting with Foreign Ministers of Central Asian countries.
The ministers briefed PM Modi on the deliberations of the India-Central Asia Dialogue held under the chairmanship of External Affairs Minister Jaishankar on Sunday. The Dialogue focused on trade and connectivity, development partnership and regional developments, including the situation in Afghanistan.
The India-Central Asia Dialogue has given impetus to the excellent bilateral relations between India and Central Asian countries. India and the Central Asian countries will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations next year, the release added.

PM Modi invites citizens to share views for ‘Mann ki Baat’ on Dec 26

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to share their views for the 84th edition of his monthly radio programme “Mann ki Baat”, which will take place on December 26.
This will be the last edition of the year. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has called citizens to share their views for Mann ki Baat which will take place on Sunday, 26th December 2021.
Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister said, “I have been receiving several inputs for this month’s Mann Ki Baat on the 26, which will be the last one of 2021. The inputs cover so many different areas and celebrate the life journeys of several people working to bring grassroots level changes. Keep sharing your views.”
The first episode of the programme was broadcast on October 3, 2014.
In his last episode of Mann Ki Baat, which was broadcast on October 24, the Prime Minister had emphasised the implementation of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.
The PM had also highlighted that India is one of the first countries in the world, which is preparing digital records of land in its villages with the help of drones.

‘Hindutvavadi’ bathes alone in Ganga’, Rahul Gandhi takes dig at PM Modi

Amethi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday again spoke about Hindu versus Hindutvavadi stating that while a Hindutvavadi could be described as someone bathing alone in the Ganges while a Hindu is one who takes crores along.
Addressing a rally in Jagdishpur in his former Lok Sabha constituency of Amethi, the Congress MP said that the true meaning of a Hindu is someone who only follows the path of truth and never converts his fear into violence, hate and anger. “A ‘Hindutvavadi’ bathes alone in Ganga, while a Hindu bathes with crores of people… Narendra Modi says he is a Hindu, but when did he protect the truth? He said he would give two crore youth jobs, where did he do so? He asked people to bang thalis to get rid of Covid… Hindu or Hindutvadi?” the former Congress president said.
PM Modi ahead of inaugurating the first phase of the Kashi-Vishwanath corridor in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi had been seen taking a dip in the Ganga.
“For the first time I saw just one person taking bath in Ganga, removed Yogi Ji, sidelined Rajnath Singh….Remember when Narendra ji was young he fought with a crocodile, I thought he didn’t know swimming…struggling with his hands…” Rahul Gandhi said today.
“Is Hindu a liar? Hindu is the one who walks on the path of truth throughout his whole life. On one side, there is truth, Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu who spent his whole life understanding truth, and then there is Nathuram Godse, a Hindutvawadi. Nobody calls him (Godse) a Mahatma, because he killed a Hindu who always spoke the truth. Godse was a coward, a weak man he could not confront his own fears…” the Wayanad MP said.
“I will tell you the meaning of Hindu. It is someone who only follows the path of truth, the one who never gives up to fear, and the one who never converts his fear into violence, hate and anger… It’s best example is Mahatma Gandhi.”
Rahul Gandhi further slammed the prime minister for the farm laws and said that he brought in the laws to benefit the industrialists despite the protest of the entire country’s farmers.
“PM introduced farm laws and said that they are going to benefit farmers. After one year when all farmers stood together against the laws, PM had to apologise. We questioned about the compensation for farmers who died in the protest, he said no farmers died in the protest,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Addressing the gathering with his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi by is side,Rahul Gandhi said: “You are aware of the situation today. Unemployment and inflation are the biggest questions that neither the CM nor PM will answer. PM was taking a dip in Ganga a few days back but won’t talk about unemployment. I’ll tell you why the youth is deprived of employment.”
“Middle-class people and the poor were badly affected by some of the decisions taken by the PM, which also resulted in large-scale unemployment. Demonetisation, wrongly implicated GST, no help during the Covid-19 crisis are some of the major reasons for unemployment in India,” the Congress leader said.
The Congress leader also attacked the Centre and the Prime Minister for the border dispute with China.
According to party sources, Rahul Gandhi was visiting Amethi after almost two and a half years.
“Every lane in Amethi is still the same. Only that there’s anger against the government in people’s eyes. In the hearts, there is space just like before. We are still united against injustice,” he said.
“I came into politics in 2004. Amethi was the city where I contested my first election. People of Amethi have taught me a lot about politics. You have shown me the way to politics and I want to thank each and everyone,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi had represented Amethi for 15 years in Lok Sabha before he was defeated from the constituency in the year 2019 but had won from Wayanad in Kerala from where he had simultaneously contested from.
The visit of the Congress leaders to Amethi comes ahead of Assembly polls in the state slated to be held early next year.

Ganga Expressway will improve connectivity, boost economic development across UP: PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: Ganga Expressway will improve connectivity and boost economic development and tourism in Uttar Pradesh, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Ganga Expressway in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh at around 1 pm on Saturday. “At 1 PM today, will be joining the programme in Shahjahanpur to lay the foundation stone for the Ganga Expressway. This is an important infra project that will improve connectivity across Uttar Pradesh. It will also boost economic development and tourism,” tweeted Prime Minister.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the inspiration behind the expressway is the vision of the Prime Minister to provide fast-paced connectivity across the country.
The 594-kilometre long six-lane expressway will be built at a cost of over Rs 36,200 crore.
Starting near the Bijauli village in Meerut, the expressway will extend till near the Judapur Dandu village in Prayagraj. It will pass through Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Budaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj.
Upon completion of work, it will become the longest expressway of Uttar Pradesh, connecting the western and eastern regions of the state.
A 3.5-kilometre long air-strip for assisting emergency take-off and landing of Air Force planes will also be constructed on the expressway in Shahjahanpur. An industrial corridor is also proposed to be built along the expressway.
The expressway will also give a fillip to multiple sectors including industrial development, trade, agriculture, tourism etc. It will provide a big boost to the socio-economic development of the region.
The Ganga Expressway was approved on November 26, 2020. This expressway will be completed by 2024.
Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are slated for early next year.

PM interacts with leading private equity, venture capital players

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met leading private equity and venture capital players.
The discussion revolved around seeking suggestions on how to make doing business in India “more easier”, attracting more capital and furthering the reform process. This meeting illustrated how the Prime Minister is interacting personally with industry leaders to gather inputs ahead of the next budget.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was also present in the meeting.

Bhutan confers highest civilian award on PM Modi

Thimphu [Bhutan]: Bhutan on Friday conferred its highest civilian award, Ngadag Pel gi Khorlo on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Overjoyed to hear His Majesty pronounce Your Excellency Modiji’s Narendra Modi name for the highest civilian decoration, Ngadag Pel gi Khorlo,” Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Bhutan said in a Facebook post. While conferring the award, Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck highlighted support PM Modi extended over the years and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“HM highlighted all the unconditional friendship and support Modiji extended over the years and particularly during the pandemic. Much deserving! Congratulations from the people of Bhutan. In all interactions, seen Your Excellency as a great, spiritual human being. Looking forward to celebrating the honour in person,” it added.
Since the start of the pandemic, India has provided assistance to Bhutan in the form of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical equipment.
Earlier this year, Bhutan PM Lotay Tshering had congratulated PM Modi for achieving one billion COVID-19 vaccination doses. He also stated that Bhutan being a close neighbour to India, feel more secure.

Imran Khan asks the international community to engage with the Taliban

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan asked the international community to engage with the Taliban whose foreign assets have been frozen.
The Ashraf Ghani-led government in Afghanistan was overthrown in mid-August this year, and since then, the country is facing a severe financial crunch, with their foreign assets frozen, according to Geo TV. Earlier, Imran Khan said that humanitarian organisations wishing to work from Pakistan to support efforts in Afghanistan should be facilitated and that Islamabad had already committed to being the air and land bridge for humanitarian support to Kabul.
However, despite Imran Khan’s appeal, the latest report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Afghanistan shows concern about “conditional humanitarianism” or attempts to “leverage” humanitarian assistance for political purposes implying Pakistan’s motives.
Further, on December 19, Pakistan is hosting an extraordinary session of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers in Islamabad and the issue of Afghanistan will be discussed in detail.

PM Modi to lay foundation stone of Ganga Expressway in UP’s Shahjahanpur

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Ganga Expressway in Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh on December 18.
The inspiration behind the Expressway is the vision of the Prime Minister to provide fast-paced connectivity across the country, according to an official statement issued by the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday. The 594 km long six-lane Expressway will be built at a cost of over Rs 36,200 crores. Starting near the Bijauli village in Meerut, the Expressway will extend till near the Judapur Dandu village in Prayagraj.
It will pass through Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Budaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj.
“Upon completion of work, it will become the longest expressway of Uttar Pradesh, connecting the western and eastern regions of the state,” the statement further read.
A 3.5 km long airstrip for assisting emergency take-off and landing of Air Force planes will also be constructed on the Expressway in Shahjahanpur. An industrial corridor is also proposed to be built along the Expressway.
The Expressway will also give a fillip to multiple sectors including industrial development, trade, agriculture, tourism etc. It will provide a big boost to the socio-economic development of the region, it added.

No plans to attend Beijing Winter Olympics, says Japanese PM Kishida

Tokyo [Japan]: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said that he has no plans to attend the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics pointing out that he is considering multiple options over the US-led diplomatic boycott of the games, reported Kyodo News.
“At the moment, I have no plans to attend,” Kyodo News quoted Kishida as saying in the parliament on Thursday. Kishida was replying to a question asked by Japanese lawmaker Shinkun Haku referring to his participation in the Beijing Winter Olympics. Kishida further said that it is important to make a judgment in this matter emphasising that he will take the decision at an appropriate time. He also said the judgement will be taken after comprehensively taking into account various issues in consideration of the national interest.
Japan Prime Minister’s remarks on the Beijing Winter Olympics came after the US announced the diplomatic boycott of games over human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang province.
Meanwhile, the US decision of diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics has also been joined by Australia, Britain and Canada.
The US move aims to send a “clear message” that the human rights abuses in China mean there cannot be “business as usual”.

Imran Khan warns against isolation of Afghanistan by international community

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned the international community against isolating Afghanistan, saying doing so would be disadvantageous for the world.
The prime minister made the comments as he chaired the second meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan. During the meeting, he urged the international community to support the vulnerable people of Afghanistan, vowing that Pakistan would support the Afghan people in every possible way to avert a humanitarian crisis, Geo News reported citing a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Planning Minister Asad Umer, Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf, and senior civil and military officers.
This comes as the Taliban is trying to gain global recognition as Afghanistan facing the worst humanitarian crisis
The prime minister urged the international community to support the vulnerable people of Afghanistan, vowing that Pakistan would support the Afghan people in every possible way to avert a humanitarian crisis, the statement said.
According to the statement, the premier highlighted that Pakistan has already committed to immediate relief of in-kind humanitarian assistance worth Rs5 billion, which comprises food commodities including 50,000 metric tons of wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelters, and other supplies.
He also said that humanitarian organisations wishing to work from Pakistan to support efforts in Afghanistan should be facilitated and that Islamabad had already committed to being the air and land bridge for humanitarian support to Kabul.

UK PM says 1 person died after contracting Omicron COVID strain

London [UK]: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that at least one person died after contracting the Omicron coronavirus strain, local media reported on Monday.
“Sadly, yes Omicron is producing hospitalisations and sadly at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with Omicron,” said Boris Johnson during a visit to a vaccination clinic in west London, as quoted by Sky News. This is the first death reported among those infected with the Omicron strain. This comes hours after the UK coronavirus (COVID-19) alert level increased from Level 3 to Level 4 amid the surge in the Omicron variant cases.
The UK Department of Health and Social Care on Sunday had said that transmission of COVID-19 is already high in the community, mainly still driven by Delta, but the emergence of Omicron adds additional and rapidly increasing risk to the public and healthcare services.
“Early evidence shows that Omicron is spreading much faster than Delta and that vaccine protection against symptomatic disease from Omicron is reduced. Data on severity will become clearer over the coming weeks but hospitalisations from Omicron are already occurring and these are likely to increase rapidly,” the UK Health Department statement said.
On Sunday, the UK had reported 1,239 new confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.

Mohamed bin Zayed, Israeli Prime Minister discuss ties, regional issues

Abu Dhabi [UAE]: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Monday received Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel, who is currently visiting the UAE.
At the outset of the meeting, Sheikh Mohamed welcomed Bennett, expressing hope that the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit, which is the first visit to the country, would contribute to further cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries and the peoples of the region. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the Prime Minister of Israel reviewed bilateral cooperation and means to further develop them in various investment, economic, trade and development areas, especially the agriculture, food security, renewable energy, advanced technology, health and other vital sectors under the framework of the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement that the two countries signed last year.
The meeting also touched upon the importance of Expo 2020 Dubai, especially for countries in the Middle East to take advantage of the opportunities and the latest sustainability solutions and innovations offered by the participating countries.
During the meeting, Sheikh Mohamed highlighted that the UAE’s foreign relations are based on firm principles of mutual respect, cooperation and upholding the values of coexistence and peace, noting that this is the best way to achieve the aspirations of peoples, expressing his hope that stability will prevail in the Middle East.
He said that the Middle East is a land of peace and a cradle of heavenly religions that shone over the whole world with the call of goodness and love.
For his part, the Israeli Prime Minister expressed his pleasure at his first visit to the UAE and his meeting with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, commending the level of cooperation between the two countries and the steps they are taking based on the Abraham Accords signed by the two sides.
Concluding the meeting, the two sides highlighted the keenness to boost bilateral cooperation and joint action in an endeavour to enhance mutual interests and contribute to the consolidation of stability, security and development in the region. They also shed light on the importance of broadening qualitative partnerships in the investment and economic fields that serve the priorities of sustainable development in the two countries and the wider region.
The meeting was attended by Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO); Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; along with a number of Sheikhs and senior officials.

A look At PM Narendra Modi’s Outfits As He Visits Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit to Varanasi to inaugurate the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project.

On Monday, the Prime Minister arrived in the city, wearing a full-sleeved, long khaki coloured kurta, with white churidar and a beige toned shawl.

At the airport, PM Modi was received by Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

He then went on to offer prayers at Kaal Bhiarav temple.

Next, the Prime Minister took a cruise boat from Varanasi’s Khirkiya Ghat to Lalita Ghat to visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

He could be seen wearing a long rudraksha-beaded mala with saffron tika on his forehead.

On his visit to Varanasi, the PM received a rousing welcome from the people in his Lok Sabha constituency as they showered flower petals and chanted slogans of ‘Modi, Modi’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’.
While the locals were welcoming the Prime Minister, he asked his security personnel to step aside and accepted a pink-coloured ‘pagdi’ (turban) and a saffron-toned scarf from a man.

Next, PM Modi went to offer prayers and took a holy dip in River Ganga in Varanasi.

For this, he changed his outfit and wore saffron-coloured pants with a sweater of vermillion shade. He also knotted a white-and-orange coloured scarf in his neck.

After this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and offered prayers, wearing a mustard-toned kurta with loose-fitted lower and a long, ivory scarf. He also had tika on his forehead.

Finally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated phase 1 of Kashi Vishwanath Dham, constructed at a cost of around Rs 339 crores.

The Prime Minister will also witness the Ganga aarti while on-board a Ro-Ro Vessel at around 6 pm.

During the two-day visit, Prime Minister will also participate in a conclave of Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, along with Deputy Chief Ministers from Bihar and Nagaland.

The conclave will provide an opportunity to share governance-related best practices and is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of furthering team India’s spirit.

PM Modi inaugurates Kashi Vishwanath Dham project

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated phase 1 of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham project at Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, which has been constructed at a cost of around Rs 339 crores.
A total of 23 buildings will be inaugurated in phase 1 of the project. They will provide a variety of facilities to the pilgrims visiting Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, including Yatri Suvidha Kendras, Tourist Facilitation Centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery, Food Court, among others. Prime Minister’s vision was also to ensure that all heritage structures be preserved during the course of the development of the project. This foresight came in handy when, during the process of destruction of the old properties, more than 40 ancient temples were rediscovered.
These temples have been restored and beautified while ensuring that there is no change in the original structure.

The scale of the project was such that the project is now spread over a massive area of about 5 lakh square feet, whereas earlier premises was limited to just around 3000 square feet.
Before inaugurating the project, in his Lok Sabha constituency, the Prime Minister greeted the labourers who were involved in the construction of the project with flowers.

PM Modi offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and planted a Rudraksha tree at the premises of the temple.

The Prime Minister, who is in his Lok Sabha constituency for two days, offered ‘Ganga jal’, chandan, ashes and milk to Lord Shiva at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers prayer at Kaal Bhiarav temple

He arrived at the temple on Alaknanda cruise, a double-decker boat and took a holy dip in the River Ganga.
Later in the evening, he will also witness the Ganga Aarti while on-board a Ro-Ro Vessel at around 6 pm.
On his arrival in the city, the Prime Minister offered prayers at Kaal Bhairav Temple.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given a rousing welcome as soon as he reached Varanasi as they showered flower petals and chanted slogans of ‘Modi, Modi’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’.
During the two-day visit, Prime Minister will also participate in a conclave of Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, along with Deputy Chief Ministers from Bihar and Nagaland.
The conclave will provide an opportunity to share governance-related best practices and is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of furthering team India’s spirit.

Assam CM to attend meet with PM Modi, seek blessings at Kashi Vishwanath temple

Dispur (Assam) [India]: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that for the development of the state, he will be visiting and taking blessings at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh on Monday. Sarma is also scheduled to attend the meeting of Chief Ministers of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled states with the Prime Minister.
“Today there is an opportunity to visit Banaras to participate in the meeting of Chief Ministers of BJP ruled states organized under the leadership of respected Prime Minister. For the all-round development of the state, I will also get the privilege of praying by visiting Kashi Vishwanathji,” Sarma said in a tweet (roughly translated from Hindi). Earlier on Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office informed that the Chief Ministers of 12 states and deputy chief ministers of nine states will be present during the inauguration of the Vishwanath Corridor project, that connects two iconic landmarks in the temple town – the Kashi Vishwanath temple to the Ganga ghats in Varanasi.
Varanasi is all set for the inauguration of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor by PM Modi on December 13.
Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will be present at the auspicious occasion.

PM Modi offers prayers at Kaal Bhiarav temple

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday offered prayers at the Kaal Bhiarav temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.
The Prime Minister is on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency. PM Modi also performed aarti at the temple. He was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

He will be heading to the Kashi Vishwanath temple next to offer prayers at around 1 pm and inaugurate the Kashi Vishwanath Dham at around 1:20 pm.


The Prime Minister will also witness the Ganga aarti while on-board a Ro-Ro Vessel at around 6 pm.
During the two-day visit, Prime Minister will also participate in a conclave of Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, along with Deputy Chief Ministers from Bihar and Nagaland.
The conclave will provide an opportunity to share governance-related best practices and is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of furthering team India’s spirit.

Israeli PM Bennett kicks off historic visit to UAE, touches down in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi [UAE]: In the first-ever official visit to the Gulf nation by an Israeli premier, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday touched down at the Royal Airport in Abu Dhabi.
He was greeted by UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed. Bennett thanked Zayed for his warm welcome and said that he looks forward to strengthening bilateral ties on the first-ever trip, reported The Times of Israel. Bennett said bin Zayed, “I appreciate your warm hospitality. This is a wonderful welcome. I am very excited to be here on the first official visit by an Israeli leader here. I look forward to strengthening the relationship between our two countries.”
Bennett’s UAE meeting also marks the first visit by an Israel leader to UAE. Israel had earlier signed the “Abraham Accords,” a US-backed initiative to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.
Bennett is expected to meet with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed to discuss bilateral relations.
Economic and regional issues will also be discussed by both leaders.

Israeli Prime Minister departs to UAE on first official visit

Tel Aviv [Israel]: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has departed on Sunday for the United Arab Emirates on his first official visit to the kingdom.
“Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will depart today, on his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. Bennett is expected to meet with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed to discuss bilateral relations.
Economic and regional issues will also be discussed by both leaders.

PM Modi to visit Varanasi to inaugurate Kashi Vishwanath Dham

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi from Monday, during which he will inaugurate phase 1 of the newly-constructed Kashi Vishwanath Dham.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), “At around 1 PM on December 13, Prime Minister will visit Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple and offer prayers, after which he will inaugurate phase 1 of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham, constructed at a cost of around Rs 339 crores.” The foundation stone of the project was laid by the Prime Minister on March 8, 2019.
“It was the vision of the Prime Minister for a long time, to facilitate the pilgrims and devotees of Baba Vishwanath, who had to encounter congested streets and surroundings with poor upkeep, when they practised the age-old custom of taking a dip in the holy river, collecting Gangajal and offering it at the temple. To realise this vision, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham was conceptualised as a project to create an easily accessible pathway to connect Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple to the banks of the River Ganga,” it said.

The Prime Minister took a keen and active interest at all stages of the project. Regular briefings, reviews and monitoring were done by the Prime Minister himself, and he constantly gave inputs and insights to improve the project and make it more accessible for pilgrims, including for the disabled.
The project was designed to provide easy access for the disabled and old age people with the provision of ramps, escalators, and other modern facilities.
A total of 23 buildings will be inaugurated in phase 1 of the project. They will provide a variety of facilities to the pilgrims visiting Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, including Yatri Suvidha Kendras, Tourist Facilitation Centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery, Food Court, among others.

The project involved the purchase and acquisition of more than 300 properties around Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
“Prime Minister’s vision to take everyone along was the principle based on which mutual negotiations were done for these acquisitions. In this endeavour, the rehabilitation of around 1400 shopkeepers, tenants, and homeowners were done amicably. The testimony of the success is the fact that there is no litigation pending in any court of the country regarding acquisitions or rehabilitation related to the development of the project,” it said.
Prime Minister’s vision was also to ensure that all heritage structures be preserved during the course of the development of the project. This foresight came in handy when, during the process of destruction of the old properties, more than 40 ancient temples were rediscovered.
These temples have been restored and beautified while ensuring that there is no change in the original structure.
The scale of the project was such that the project is now spread over a massive area of about 5 lakh square feet, whereas earlier premises was limited to just around 3000 square feet.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the work on the project has been completed as per the planned schedule.
During the visit to Varanasi, the Prime Minister will also visit Kaal Bhairav Temple at around 12 noon and witness Ganga Aarti while on-board a Ro-Ro Vessel at around 6 pm on December 13.
On December 14, at around 3:30 pm, Prime Minister will attend the 98th-anniversary celebrations of Sadguru Sadafaldeo Vihangam Yog Sansthan at Swarved Mahamandir in Varanasi.
During the two-day visit, Prime Minister will also participate in a conclave of Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, along with Deputy Chief Ministers from Bihar and Nagaland.
The conclave will provide an opportunity to share governance-related best practices and is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of furthering team India’s spirit.

Ahead of PM Modi’s Varanasi visit, Kashi Vishwanath Temple decked up

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been decked up before the inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 13.
Speaking to ANI, Shrikant Mishra, Priest at Kashi Vishwanath temple said, “The city is filled with enthusiasm as the temple is ready to become ‘Vishwanath Dham’ after years. PM Modi is going to inaugurate the corridor on December 13.” “Significantly, ‘Jyotirling’ of Kashi Vishwanath temple is considered to be the most important among other twelve Jyotirlingas, that’s why lakhs of devotees come here to offer prayers. Earlier, this temple was only situated 2,000 metres, but now it has been spread over 50,000 square metres,” the priest said.

The priest further spoke about the difficulties faced during the construction of this corridor. “The path of completing PM Modi’s dream project was difficult as around 14,000 people were displaced from their homes. Now, the Ganga ghat will be easily visible from the temple,” he added.
Meanwhile, the temple’s lighting has been done keeping in mind its blue theme and heritage look.
“The temple has now flourished in its true form. All the arrangements have been made here for devotees. Now, the devotees will get mesmerised by the lighting of the temple as the number of lighting experts were working on it. The lighting has been done keeping in mind its blue theme and heritage look. The walls are adorned with blue lights,” said Suresh, lighting expert at Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Nagendra Pandey, another priest and an astrologer said, “The temple will be inaugurated on December 13 at an auspicious time.”

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Tourism Minister Neelkanth Tiwari said that the project has been built with Rs 399 crores. “It has been built with Rs 399 crores and is not only taking forward the dignity of Kashi but also creating a possibility of the boom in the religious tourism of Varanasi. The tourism sector is expected to grow insignificantly,” Tiwari said.

At Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor, devotees will also see a statue of Maratha Queen Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, who once reconstructed the temple. The entire event will be aired live across the country.
Known to be Prime Minister’s dream project, this corridor will shorten the time span and will set a direct link between the temple and the Ganga river.

Saryu Nahar Project that was incomplete for four decades has been finished in four years: PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: The Saryu Nahar National Project that was incomplete for four decades has been finished in four years, said Prime Minister Narendra on Friday ahead of his visit to Balrampur for its inauguration on Saturday.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said, “You would be shocked to know that work on the Saryu Nahar National Project began in 1978 but for decades, the project was never completed. Costs increased and so did people’s woes. A project that was incomplete for four decades has been finished in four years.” This project will solve irrigation related problems in Eastern UP and help hardworking farmers, PM Modi said.
“The swift work on the Saryu Nahar National Project during the last four years is in line with our Government’s commitment to complete long-pending projects and also harness our water resources for the benefit of our farmers and to further promote Ease of Living, he added.
As per the Prime Minister’s Office, the work on the project started in 1978 but due to lack of continuity of budgetary support, interdepartmental coordination and adequate monitoring, it got delayed and was not completed even after nearly four decades.
“Prime Minister’s vision for farmer welfare and empowerment, and his commitment to prioritising long pending projects of national importance, brought much-needed focus on the project. Consequently, in 2016, the project was brought under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana with the target to complete it in a time-bound manner,” the PMO said.
“In this endeavour, innovative solutions were found for new land acquisition to construct new canals and fill the critical gaps in the project, and also for resolving the pending litigation related to the previous land acquisitions. The renewed focus on the project has resulted in the project being completed in only about four years,” it added.
The Saryu Nahar National Project has been built at a total cost of more than Rs 9,800 crore, out of which more than Rs 4,600 crore was provisioned in the last four years.
The project also involves the interlinking of five rivers– Ghaghara, Saryu, Rapti, Banganga and Rohini– to ensure optimum usage of water resources of the region.
The project will provide assured water for irrigation of over 14 lakh hectares of land and benefit about 29 lakh farmers of over 6,200 villages.
It will benefit nine districts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh namely – Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Siddharthnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Gorakhpur and Maharajganj.
As per the PMO, the farmers of the region, who were the worst sufferers due to delay in the project, will now benefit from the upgraded irrigation potential. They will now be able to grow crops on a larger scale and maximise the agri-potential of the region.

India stands ready to work with partners to strengthen democratic values globally, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: India stands ready to work with its partners to strengthen democratic values globally including in multilateral fora, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
PM Modi’s remarks come a day after he participated in Summit for Democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden. “Happy to have participated in the Summit for Democracy at the invitation of President Biden. As the world’s largest democracy, India stands ready to work with our partners to strengthen democratic values globally, including in multilateral fora,” he tweeted.
US President Joe Biden on Thursday kicked off the first-ever Summit for Democracy. Besides PM Modi, around 80 world leaders attended the opening remarks virtually, including from France, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Japan, Israel and the Philippines.
The summit focuses on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.

PM Modi visits Palam Airbase, pays respects to CDS General Rawat, others who died in chopper crash

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited Palam airbase here and paid his last respects to Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and other 11 armed force personnel who lost their lives in a chopper crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval also visited Palam airbase and paid their respects to Gen Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and other 11 armed force personnel who lost their lives in the helicopter crash. The three service chiefs – Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari also paid their respects to CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and others who died in the chopper crash.
Apart from General Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat, his Defence Adviser Brigadier Lakhbinder Singh Lidder and Staff Officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh also died in the crash.
Other nine defence forces personnel who died in the chopper crash are Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh, Junior Warrant Officer Rana Pratap Das, Junior Warrant Officer Arakkal Pradeep, Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar and Lance Naik B Sai Teja.
Group Captain Varun Singh, who is the lone survivor from the crash, has been shifted to Air Force Command hospital at Bengaluru for further treatment.
Bodies of General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier LS Lidder and Lance Naik Vivek Kumar have been identified so far.
The Indian Army has said that the process for positive identification of remaining mortal remains is continuing. The mortal remains will be released to the next of kin for final religious rites as desired by respective families.
The Army said that people can pay tributes to CDS General Bipin Rawat from 1100-1230 hours at his Kamraj Marg residence tomorrow.
The last rites will be performed in Delhi on Friday with full military honours. The funeral procession will start from Kamraj Marg and reach Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment on Friday.
The last rites of Brig LS Lidder will be held at 9.15 am at Delhi Cantonment tomorrow.

Over 50 per cent Pakistanis hold ‘incompetency’ of Imran Khan govt responsible for inflation

Islamabad [Pakistan]: More than 50 per cent of Pakistanis believe that the country is facing problems of rising inflation and unemployment due to the “incompetence” of the Imran Khan-PTI government, local media reported citing the survey of Transparency International (TI).
The survey was released by Transparency International on Wednesday titled “National Corruption Perception Survey (NCPS) 2021”. The survey said that 50.6 per cent of Pakistanis see the PTI government’s incompetence behind the rising inflation whereas 23.3 per cent citizens consider corruption as the main reason for their economic woes, Dawn reported.
The survey further stated that 16.6 per cent of people are of the view that lack of implementation of policies is the main reason for the rising inflation in the country. The survey shows that a majority of Pakistanis (66.8pc) consider the present government’s accountability drive as partial.
The survey was conducted in the four provinces from October 14 to 27 this year, with 1,600 respondents.
According to a Pakistani newspaper, the survey revealed that police remain the most corrupt sector, the judiciary was seen as second-most corrupt, tendering and contracting third most corrupt while the health sector has become the fourth most corrupt since the last NCPS conducted in 2011.
According to the Judicial Statistics of Pakistan 2020 report by the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee, there are 46,698 cases pending in Supreme Court and 1,772,990 cases pending in the district judiciary, Dawn reported.
Inflation in Pakistan is on the rise and it has triggered countrywide protests by the opposition and people.

After Australian PM, Boris Johnson announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

London [UK]: The United Kingdom has joined the US in announcing a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over concerns about human rights abuses in China.
“Britain will effectively impose a diplomatic boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics in China as no ministers or officials are expected to attend,” Kyodo News reported citing Prime Minister Boris Johnson as saying in parliament. The move, which follows similar announcements made by the United States and Australia, is a show of protest over China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Muslim Uyghur minority and others, said the Japanese media.
Earlier today, Australia also announced a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics.
Meanwhile, China “expresses strong dissatisfaction with and firm opposition to” Australia’s decision, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday, Kyodo News reported.
On Monday, the White House announced that the US would not send an official delegation to the 2022 Winter Olympics due to human rights violations by China. The Chinese government rejected the allegation and criticized the US for promoting the boycott of the Games among its allies and politicizing sports, which is contrary to the Olympic Charter.
Earlier on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that “no one would care” if a number of foreign officials chose not to attend the Games, as per Sputnik.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Games will be held from February 4-20.

PM Modi chairs meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting on Wednesday evening, informed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The meeting is being attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. In the CCS meeting, all members observed two minutes of silence and paid tributes to all those who lost their lives in the chopper crash in Tamil Nadu.
Earlier today, General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), his wife Madhulika Rawat, and 11 other persons on board the Mi-17 V5 helicopter were killed after the aircraft crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.
The helicopter crashed around noon shortly after it took off from the Air Force base in Sulur, Coimbatore, for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.
The General was heading to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today.
The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the accident.

Greek Prime Minister to visit Russia, meet President Putin

Athens [Greece]: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit Russia on Wednesday and meet with President Vladimir Putin, government spokesman Yiannis Oikonomou said on Monday.
“The prime minister will be in Sochi on Wednesday, where his first meeting as the prime minister will be with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he met as opposition leader in Athens in 2016,” Oikonomou told a press conference.

China weaponised trade, difficult to see it as trusted partner, says Tony Abbott

New Delhi [India]: Highlighting that India has a unique opportunity to stay ahead in terms of trade, Australian Prime Minister’s Special Trade Envoy Tony Abbott on Friday said that China has weaponised trade and it is difficult to see Beijing as a trusted partner.
During a virtual press conference in New Delhi, the Australian special trade envoy said that India has democracy, the rule of law and a good understanding of business. “As an Australian, we have seen the weaponisation of trade. Something like 20 billion dollars worth of Australian trade has been disrupted or suspended by China. It is very difficult to see China as a trusted partner,” Abbott said.
“India is in a very very different situation, the democracy, the rule of law, a good understanding that business and governments are substantially independent of each other and that the sanctity of contract has to be respected. So this is why I think the difficulties with China, certainly mean that India has quite a unique opportunity to stay particularly with the supply chain that you know need to be absolutely reliable,” he added.
The Special Trade Envoy also said that he met Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and discussed Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
He added that the “time table will be met” for the early harvest FTA pact between India.
The Union Minister on Thursday met Tony Abbott and had an extensive discussion on the ways to expand bilateral ties.
Taking to Twitter, Goyal said there is a huge potential for India and Australia to further energise their trade relationship through Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
“Met with @HonTonyAbbott, Special Trade Envoy of the Prime Minister of Australia. Had an extensive discussion on the huge potential India & Australia have to further energise & expand our bilateral ties through Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for mutual economic prosperity,” Union Minister Goyal tweeted.
In September, India and Australia had announced that they will sign a comprehensive Free Trade agreement by the end of 2022 and an early harvest trade deal by Christmas later this year.
The announcement was made at a joint media briefing with Commerce and Industry Minister Goyal and the Australian Minister Abbott, during the latter’s visit to India.

Omicron variant might spread among fully vaccinated people, says PM Johnson

London [UK]: As the new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’ has caused worry among governments around the world, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday said that there are chances that the new strain could spread among people who are double vaccinated.
“I must stress this, as always with a new variant, there are many things that we just can not know at this early stage. But our scientists are learning more hour by hour. And it does appear that Omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated,” Johnson said during a press conference. PM’s remarks came after the United Kingdom reported the first two cases of the Omicron variant.
UK’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Saturday that the two cases were discovered on Friday, one in Chelmsford and another in Nottingham. Both cases “are linked,” Javid added, stating that both patients are currently isolating at home.
Besides the Uk, Germany has also reported its first two cases of the Omicron variant.
WHO identified the new South African strain as one of concern, as it is reported to carry a high number of mutations — 32 — which possibly makes it more transmissible and dangerous. The WHO has dubbed it Omicron, the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.
Following the reports about the new variant, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Israel, Australia and other countries have restricted travel from several southern African nations over the health concerns.

Nepal govt refuses to comment on remarks made by former PM Oli on territorial issue with India

New Delhi [India]: The Embassy of Nepal in India on Saturday refused to comment on remarks made by former Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli over a territorial issue with India.
Former Nepal Prime Minister Oli, who is also the Chairman of opposition party CPN-UML, vowed to “take back” Indian territories of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh if he returns to power. This statement was made during his address at the inaugural session of the General Convention of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist in Chitwan.
In response to Oli’s remarks, Nepal Embassy said, “We don’t have any comment on recent (KP Sharma) Oli statement.”
Oli, during his address, had said, “We have published a new map incorporating Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura which also is published in the constitution of the nation but we need to take those land back.”
The Kathmandu sources told ANI said that Oli is not part of the government. During his tenure as PM he was very aggressive on border issues, they said.
“I think the border issues are there. Both the government need to talk to each other and resolve the issues on the table through dialogue,” Kathmandu sources said. “Of course we had talks with the Indian government on this matter, we need serious dialogue and dialogue with the two countries based on evidence and understanding,” they added.
Tensions between New Delhi and Kathmandu arose last year after the issuance of the revised political map by Nepal as India had included the tri-junction in its map issued in November 2019.
Diplomatic ties between the nations worsened after the inauguration of a road linking Kailash Mansarovar via Lipulekh on May 8, 2020, after which Nepal handed over a diplomatic note to India objecting to the move.
New Delhi had called Nepal move a “unilateral act” and cautioned Kathmandu that such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.

PM Modi to lay foundation stone of Noida International Airport on Thursday

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Noida International Airport (NIA) in Jewar, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh on Thursday at 1 pm.
The development of the first phase of the airport is being done at a cost of over Rs 10,050 crore. The airport is spread over more than 1300 hectares of land, the completed first phase of the airport will have a capacity to serve around 1.2 crore passengers a year and work on it is scheduled to be completed by 2024.
Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister had said that the project will boost commerce, connectivity and tourism.
“Tomorrow, 25th November is a major day for India’s and Uttar Pradesh’s strides in infra creation. At 1 PM, the foundation stone of the Noida International Airport will be laid. This project will significantly boost commerce, connectivity and tourism,” the PM had tweeted on Wednesday.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Uttar Pradesh will become the only state in India to have five international airports.
The development of the airport is in line with the vision of the Prime Minister towards boosting connectivity and creating a future-ready aviation sector.
“A special focus of this grand vision has been on the state of Uttar Pradesh that is witnessing the development of multiple new international airports including the recently inaugurated Kushinagar airport and the under-construction international airport at Ayodhya,” it said.
This airport will be the second international airport to come up in Delhi NCR. It will help decongest the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.
As per PMO, the airport is strategically located and will serve the people of cities including Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Agra, Faridabad and neighbouring areas.
The airport will be the logistics gateway of northern India. Due to its scale and capacity, the airport will be a game-changer for Uttar Pradesh. It will unleash the potential of Uttar Pradesh to the world, and help establish the state on the global logistics map.
It further said that for the first time, an airport in India has been conceptualised with an integrated multi-modal cargo hub, with a focus on reducing the total cost and time for logistics.
“The dedicated cargo terminal will have a capacity of 20 lakh metric tonne, which will be expanded to 80 lakh metric tonnes. Through facilitating the seamless movement of industrial products, the airport will play a crucial role in helping the region attract huge investments, boost rapid industrial growth, and enable the reach of local products to national and international markets. This will bring new opportunities for numerous enterprises, and also create tremendous employment opportunities,” the statement added.
The Noida International Airport will be implemented in four phases and the work on the first phase is scheduled to be completed in 36 months, said Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal.
According to Civil Aviation Secretary, it is a greenfield project that will be implemented in four phases.
“The traffic of 12 million passengers per year is expected in the first phase and by the completion of final phase i.e. between 2040-50, the capacity of Jewar airport will be to handle 70 million passengers per year,” Bansal said.
He also informed that Uttar Pradesh government is spending Rs 4,326 crore on the acquisition of land and rehabilitation and resettlement. Bansal said that the Prime Minister is personally monitoring the project.
As per PMO, the airport will develop a Ground Transportation Centre that will feature a multimodal transit hub, housing metro and high-speed rail stations, taxi, bus services and private parking.
This will enable seamless connectivity of the airport with the road, rail, and metro. Noida and Delhi will be connected to the airport through hassle-free metro service. All major nearby roads and highways like the Yamuna Expressway, Western Peripheral Expressway, Eastern Peripheral Expressway, Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and others will be connected to the airport.
The airport will also be linked to the planned Delhi-Varanasi High-Speed Rail, enabling the journey between Delhi and the airport in only 21 minutes.
The airport will also house a state-of-art Maintenance, Repair and Overhauling (MRO) Service.
The design of the airport is focused on low operating costs and seamless and fast transfer processes for passengers.
The airport is introducing a swing aircraft stand concept, providing flexibility for airlines to operate an aircraft for both domestic and international flights from the same contact stand, without having to re-position the aircraft. This will ensure quick and efficient aircraft turnarounds at the airport while ensuring a smooth and seamless passenger transfer process.
It will be India’s first net-zero emissions airport. It has earmarked dedicated land to be developed as a forest park using trees from the project site. NIA will preserve all native species and be nature positive throughout the development of the airport.
It will be executed by the international bidder Zurich Airport International AG as a concessionaire.
The groundwork for the first phase regarding land acquisition and rehabilitation of the affected families has been completed.

French PM tested positive for COVID-19

Paris [France] : French Prime Minister Jean Castex has tested positive for COVID-19, French media reported on Monday.
Returning from Brussels Monday afternoon after meeting with his Belgian counterpart Alexander De Croo, Castex learnt that one of his daughters tested positive for COVID-19, Le Figaro reported. De Croo will be tested on Wednesday and will remain in quarantine until the result of his test, local media reported.
Several senior members of the Belgian government will also go into quarantine to avoid any risks.
French ministers in the delegation include minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, Interior minister Gerald Darmanin, minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti, and Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune.
Castex “immediately got a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, which turned out to be positive,” the French newspaper cited the prime minister’s office as saying.
The schedule of the French head of government is to be modified for the coming days in order for him to continue working in his isolation.

Israeli Prime Minister orders enhanced state of alert in Jerusalem after deadly shooting

Tel Aviv [Israel]: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has ordered to boost the alert level in and around Jerusalem to prevent possible terrorist acts after Sunday shooting that resulted in one dead and several injured, the government said.
Earlier on Sunday, Israel’s police reported on shooting in the Old City of Jerusalem, started by an unknown attacker, who was consequently “neutralized” by officers. “I have directed the security forces to prepare accordingly and be alert, also over concern for copycat attacks. We need to be on heightened alert and prevent future attacks,” Bennett said, as quoted by the government press service.
Four people sustained injuries in the attack, and one of them, whose condition was deemed as critical, later died, according to Israel’s national emergency medical service Magen David Adom.

PM Modi calls for constituting High-Power Police Technology Mission

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for constituting a High-Power Police Technology Mission, under the leadership of the Union Home Minister to adopt future technologies for grass root policing requirements.
Addressing the valedictory session of the 56th DGsP/IGsP Conference in Lucknow, PM Modi called for an analysis of all police-related incidents and developing case studies to make it an institutionalised learning mechanism and also suggested the development of interoperable technologies which would benefit Police forces across the country. He also hailed the hybrid format of the Conference as it allowed a free flow of information between various ranks, according to a release by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Prime Minister also suggested the development of interoperable technologies to benefit Police forces across the country.
Citing the importance of technology in the lives of the general public, the Prime Minister gave examples of CoWIN, GeM and UPI. He also appreciated the positive change in Police attitude towards the general public, particularly post-COVID, and suggested positive use of drone technology for the benefit of the people.
PM Modi stressed on review of the SMART Policing concept introduced in 2014 and suggested the development of a roadmap for its continuous transformation and institutionalisation of the same in Police forces.
To tackle some of the routine challenges faced by Police, he urged to involve highly qualified youth to look for technological solutions through hackathons.
In the run-up to the Conference, various core groups of DGsP were formed for holding discussions on key aspects of national security such as prison reforms, terrorism, Left Wing Extremism, cyber-crimes, narcotics trafficking, foreign funding of NGOs, drone-related matters, development of border villages, etc.
The Prime Minister also awarded the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service to IB personnel.
As per the media statement, for the first time, as per the directives of the Prime Minister, IPS officers from various states had submitted articles on contemporary security issues.
The Conference was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on November 19, 2021, wherein he had awarded trophies to the three-best Police Stations of the country.
Shah participated in all the discussions and offered his valuable suggestions and guidance.

Reopening of Kartarpur corridor made possible with PM Modi, Pakistan PM’s efforts, says Navjot Singh Sidhu

Gurdaspur (Punjab) [India]: Punjab Pradesh Congress Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday expressed his happiness over the reopening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor and said that this has been made possible with the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Sidhu made these remarks at a press conference in Punjab’s Gurdaspur after returning from his visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan. Sidhu said, “The reopening of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor has been made possible with the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“I request that if you want to change lives in Punjab, we should open the borders (for cross-border trade). Why should we go through Mundra Port, a total of 2,100 km? Why not from here, where it’s only 21 km (to Pakistan),” he added.
His visit came after a fresh tussle erupted in Punjab Congress following the exclusion of Sidhu’s name from Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi-led delegation comprising state cabinet ministers that visited the Kartarpur Sahib on Thursday.
The Kartarpur Corridor, which links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district, reopened on Wednesday. It was closed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The visa-free 4.7-kilometre long corridor joins the Indian border to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan. It became operational in 2019.
Earlier, Imran Khan government of Pakistan praised cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu for his role in the opening of the corridor to Sikh pilgrimage site Kartarpur Sahib between the two countries.
The relationship between Imran Khan and Sidhu came to the limelight in 2018 when the latter attended the oath-taking ceremony of Pakistan PM.

Navjot Sidhu terms Imran Khan ‘elder brother’, BJP slams him

New Delhi [India]: Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday stirred controversy after he ostensibly referred to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is his “elder brother.”
In a video shared by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Amit Malviya, Sidhu is seen being welcomed by a Pakistan official on behalf of Imran Khan. “He (Imran Khan) is my elder brother,” Sidhu is heard as saying.
Amit Malviya attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over Sidhu’s remarks.
“Rahul Gandhi’s favourite Navjot Singh Sidhu calls Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan his “bada bhai”. Last time he had hugged Gen Bajwa, Pakistan Army’s Chief, heaped praises. Is it any surprise that the Gandhi siblings chose a Pakistan loving Sidhu over veteran Amarinder Singh?” Malviya said in a tweet.
Congress MP Manish Tewari expressed his strong reservations over Sidhu’s remarks and said Imran Khan is “cat’s paw of Pakistani deep state ISI-Military combine” which carries out cross-border terrorism against India.
“Imran Khan may be anybody’s elder brother but for India he is that cat’s paw of Pak Deep State ISI-Military combine that drones arms and narcotics into Punjab and sends terrorists on a daily basis across LOC in Jammu and Kashmir. Have we forgotten martyrdom of our soldiers in Poonch so soon?” Tewari tweeted.
Punjab Minister Pargat Singh came in support of Sidhu and said that if Prime Minister visits Pakistan, then he called “Desh Premi (Country lover)” but Sidhu is being called “Desh drohi (anti-national).”
“When PM Modi goes (to Pakistan) he is a ‘Desh Premi’, when Sidhu goes, he is ‘Desh Drohi’…Can’t I call you a brother.. We follow Guru Nanak Dev’s philosophy,” the Punjab Minister told ANI.
At a press conference later, Sidhu did not give a direct answer to a question about BJP’s allegations concerning his purported remarks about Imran Khan.
“Let BJP say whatever they want,” he said.
Sidhu went to Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan through the Kartarpur Corridor which was reopened earlier this week ahead of Parkash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev.
He expressed happiness over its reopening and credited it to the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan.
“With the efforts of PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan, this has been made possible,” Sidhu said.
His visit came after a fresh tussle erupted in Punjab Congress following the exclusion of Sidhu’s name from Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi-led delegation comprising state cabinet ministers that visited the Kartarpur Sahib on Thursday.
The Kartarpur Corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district.
The corridor, which was opened in 2019, was closed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sidhu had attended oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan in 2018 and his hugging General Bajwa had created a major controversy.

PM Modi lays foundation stone of UP Defence Corridor project worth Rs 400 cr in Jhansi

Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday laid the foundation stone of the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor project worth Rs 400 crores in Jhansi.
The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the much-awaited significant project on the concluding three-day ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’ event being organized by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) along with the government of Uttar Pradesh here in the city. The Centre has decided to set up two Defence Industrial Corridors in the country– one in Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor has nodes at Agra, Aligarh, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Lucknow and Kanpur.
For the Jhansi node of the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor, the state government has made nearly 1,034 hectares of land made available.
Bharat Dynamics Ltd, a Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU), is setting up a plant for the propulsion system for Anti-Tank Guided Missiles in the Jhansi node. It will be spread over 183 acres of land in Jhansi. The facility will involve an investment of Rs 400 crores.
The project is expected to provide direct employment to 150 people and indirect employment to nearly 500 people.
Besides, the Prime Minister dedicated and launched several new initiatives of MoD to the nation in a grand ceremony organized in the precincts of Jhansi Fort.
The Ministry of Defence has taken several steps to promote ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in defence in the last two years. These include the issue of positive indigenization lists, earmarking of 64 per cent of capital procurement budget for the domestic industry, promotion of startups under Innovations For Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative, speeding up of capital acquisition process and setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors among others.
As a demonstration of the thrust on ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy are adopting indigenously designed and developed platforms for their use. Three platforms were formally handed over by the Prime Minister to respective Service Chiefs in the event.
These platforms depict maturing of the Indian defence industry ecosystem with contributions from Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), DPSUs and Defence industry and startups.

PM Modi hits out at opposition, says keeping farmers entangled in problems has been basis of some political parties

Mahoba (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Hitting out at the opposition parties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that keeping farmers entangled in problems has been the basis of some political parties.
Addressing a public meeting here, the Prime Minister said the government of parties run by families did not want to fulfil the requirements of farmers. He said while these parties practice “politics of problems” the BJP practices “politics of solutions”.
“The governments run by parties of families wanted to keep farmers in problems. They used to make announcements in the name of farmers, but even a pie did not reach them. From PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, we have sent 1. 62 crore rupees directly to the bank accounts of farmers so far,” the Prime Minister said.
“To always keep farmers entangled in problems has been the basis of some political parties. They do politics of problems while we do of solutions. The solution to Ken-Betwa link has been found by our government. We found the solution after talking to all sections,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the government has taken steps for the welfare of farmers at every level – from seeds to the market.
The Prime Minister made the remarks hours after he announced the repeal of three farm laws. In his address to the nation on Friday morning, he also said that the government will complete the constitutional process to repeal the three agricultural laws in the winter session of parliament that begins later this month.
Farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws since they were passed last year.
During his visit to Mahoba district in Uttar Pradesh, the Prime Minister dedicated various developmental projects including the Arjun Sahayak Project, Ratauli Weir Project, Bhaoni Dam Project and Majhgaon-Chilli Sprinkler Project. The cumulative cost of these projects is more than Rs 3250 crore and these will help in irrigation of around 65,000 hectares of land in Mahoba, Hamirpur, Banda and Lalitpur districts. These projects will also provide potable drinking water to the region.

Victory for Farmers’ Movement, Farm Laws to be taken back

New Delhi [India]: In a major move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced the repealing of the three Central farm laws.
In his address to the nation, PM Modi said, “Today I want to tell everyone that we have decided to repeal all three farm laws.” Farmers have been protesting the government’s three farm laws since had passed the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
The three farm laws are– The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act provides for setting up a mechanism allowing the farmers to sell their farm produces outside the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). Any licence-holder trader can buy the produce from the farmers at mutually agreed prices. This trade of farm produces will be free of mandi tax imposed by the state governments.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act allows farmers to do contract farming and market their produces freely.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act is an amendment to the existing Essential Commodities Act.

PM Modi pays tribute to Indira Gandhi on her 104th birth anniversary

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday paid tributes to late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 104th birth anniversary.
“I pay my tributes to former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi Ji on her birth anniversary,” tweeted Prime Minister. Born on November 19, 1917, to India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Nehru, Indira Gandhi served as the first and only woman prime minister of the country from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984.

PM Modi to address nation at 9 am today

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 9 am today.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), later the Prime Minister will also inaugurate key schemes relating to irrigation in Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh. Later in the day, Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Jhansi for the “Rashtra Raksha Samparpan Parv”. During this event, he will formally hand over Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) designed Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) suite for Naval ships to the Indian Navy.

PM to attend 56th DGP Conference

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the 56th Conference of Director Generals of Police (DGP) and Inspector Generals of Police (IGP) at Police Headquarters, Lucknow on November 20-21, 2021.
The two-day conference will be held in a hybrid format, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a release. DGP of states/UTs and heads of central armed police forces and central police organizations will attend the conference physically at the venue in Lucknow, while the remaining invitees will participate virtually from 37 different locations at IB/SIB Headquarters.
According to the release, the conference will discuss a wide range of issues including cybercrime, data governance, counter-terrorism challenges, left-wing extremism, emerging trends in narcotics trafficking, prison reforms among others.
“Since 2014, the Prime Minister has taken a keen interest in the DGP conference. Unlike the symbolic presence earlier, he makes it a point to attend all sessions of the conference and encourages free and informal discussions that provide an opportunity to top police officials to directly brief the Prime Minister on key policing and internal security issues affecting the country,” read the release.
As per the vision of the Prime Minister, since 2014, the annual conferences, which used to be customarily organized in Delhi, have been organized outside Delhi with an exception of the year 2020 when the conference was held virtually.
The conference had been organized at Guwahati in 2014; Dhordo, Rann of Kutch in 2015; National Police Academy, Hyderabad in 2016; BSF Academy, Tekanpur in 2017; Kevadiya in 2018; and IISER, Pune in 2019.

Vietnamese PM to attend China-ASEAN special summit

Hanoi [Vietnam]: Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will attend the special summit commemorating the 30th anniversary of the dialogue relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday via video conference, a Vietnamese spokesperson said Thursday.
Le Thi Thu Hang, spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the remarks at a regular press briefing in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. This is an opportunity for the leaders from both sides to assess China-ASEAN cooperation in the past 30 years and set out important directions in the time to come, Hang said.

Australia-India relations will grow with time, says Australian PM Scott Morrison

Sydney [Australia]: Asserting that Australia and India share a deep friendship, Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday said that both countries are making great progress in many areas including space, science, digital technology.
“Australia-India shares deep friendship and our relations will grow even more with time. We are making great progress in so many areas including space, science, digital technology. It’s an honour for Australia that PM Modi is addressing Sydney dialogue,” he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address was preceded by introductory remarks by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“It is a great honour for the people of India that you have invited me to deliver the keynote at the inaugural Sydney Dialogue. I see this as a recognition of India’s central role in the Indo Pacific region and in the emerging digital world,” PM Modi said.
Underlining the impact of the Digital Age, PM said “we are in a time of change” that happens once in an era, where technology and data are becoming new weapons.
He said the Digital Age is changing everything around us. “It has redefined politics, economy and society,” he added.
“It is raising new questions on sovereignty, governance, ethics, law, rights and security. It is reshaping international competition, power and leadership,” the Prime Minister said while speaking on the theme of “India’s Technology: Evolution and Revolution”.

“As a democracy and digital leader, India is ready to work with partners for our shared prosperity and security. India’s digital revolution is rooted in our democracy, our demography and the scale of our economy. It’s powered by enterprise and innovation of our youth,” said PM Modi during his keynote address.
Noting that India’s digital revolution is rooted in its democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi listed out “Digital transitions shaping” the country, at the inaugural edition of The Sydney Dialogue.
Prime Minister said that India is “turning the challenges of the past into an opportunity to take a leap into the future. While speaking on the theme of “India’s technology evolution and revolution”, PM Modi noted that there are five important transitions taking place in India.
“One, we are building the world’s most extensive public information infrastructure. Over 1.3 billion Indians have a unique digital identity. We are on our way to connecting 600,0000 villages with broadband. We have built the world’s most efficient payment infrastructure, the UPI. Over 800 million use the internet, 750 million are on smartphones.”
The Sydney Dialogue is being held from November 17-19. It is an initiative of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. The event will also witness a keynote address by the Former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

Sydney Dialogue: PM Modi lists 5 ‘digital transitions’ shaping India

New Delhi [India]: Noting that India’s digital revolution is rooted in its democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday listed out “Digital transitions shaping” the country, at the inaugural edition of The Sydney Dialogue.
“As a democracy and digital leader, India is ready to work with partners for our shared prosperity and security. India’s digital revolution is rooted in our democracy, our demography and the scale of our economy. It’s powered by enterprise and innovation of our youth,” said PM Modi during his keynote address. Prime Minister said that India is “turning the challenges of the past into an opportunity to take a leap into the future. While speaking on the theme of “India’s technology evolution and revolution”, PM Modi noted that there are five important transitions taking place in India.
“One, we are building the world’s most extensive public information infrastructure. Over 1.3 billion Indians have a unique digital identity. We are on our way to connecting 600,0000 villages with broadband. We have built the world’s most efficient payment infrastructure, the UPI. Over 800 million use the internet, 750 million are on smartphones.”
On the second transition, PM Modi said India is “transforming people’s lives by using digital technology for governance including empowerment, connectivity, delivery of benefits and welfare.”
“Three, India has the world’s third-largest and fastest-growing ecosystem. New unicorns are coming up every few weeks to provide solutions to everything from health to national security,” said PM Modi.
The fourth transition is India’s industry and services sectors are undergoing massive digital transformation using technology for conversion of resources and protection of biodiversity, he added.
On the fifth transition, Prime Minister said that there is a large effort to prepare India for the future. “We are investing in developing indigenous capability in telecom technology such as 5G and 6G; India is one of the leading nations in artificial intelligence,” he said.
PM Modi’s address was preceded by introductory remarks by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
The Sydney Dialogue is being held between November 17-19. It is an initiative of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

PM Modi to deliver keynote address at Sydney Dialogue tomorrow

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the keynote address at The Sydney Dialogue on Thursday.
He will speak on the theme of India’s technology evolution and revolution, with the address being preceded by introductory remarks by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. The Sydney Dialogue is being held from 17-19 November. It is an initiative of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
It will bring together political, business and government leaders to debate, generate new ideas, and work towards common understandings of the opportunities and challenges posed by emerging and critical technologies.
The event will also witness a keynote address by the Former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

We can do much with India on cyber security, tech, digital economy, says Australian PM Morrison

Sydney [Australia]: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday said that there is so much to do with India in the field of technology, adding that both the countries are already cooperating on cyber security, critical and emerging technologies, critical minerals, digital economy.
Speaking at Sydney Dialogue for “Deepening technology Partnership among Quad countries”, Scott Morrison informed that he will be speaking at the Bengaluru Tech Summit, India’s biggest technology summit today and will expand on some of the complementary initiatives with India. “There is much we can do with India in this area – some of which I have already touched on today, including as part of our Quad partnership,” he said at the inaugural Sydney Dialogue on emerging, critical and cyber technologies.
“As part of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with India, our two countries are already cooperating — on cyber security, critical and emerging technologies, critical minerals, the digital economy, and so much more.”
He added, “I am also speaking at the Bengaluru Tech Summit today, which is India’s biggest technology summit. I will expand on some of the complementary initiatives with India at the Summit.”
Speaking further on Quad, Morrison said that Australia will also deepen its technology partnerships through the Quad.
“Together with India, Japan and the United States, Australia is working to harness our respective nations’ capabilities to enhance the resilience of Indo-Pacific supply chains and foster an open, accessible and secure technology ecosystem,” he said.
“At September’s first in-person Quad Leaders Meeting in Washington DC, we agreed to strengthen lines of effort across a number of very important areas, including, Technical standards, 5G deployment and diversification and detailed horizon scanning and mapping, with an immediate focus on supply chain security for semiconductors and their vital components, as well as exploring opportunities for cooperation on advanced bio-technologies,” he added.
He finally extended his wishes to those including Prime Minister Narendra Modi for participating in Sydney Dialogue, organised by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). PM Modi is expected to deliver a keynote address outlining India’s technology evolution and revolution, at the inaugural Sydney Dialogue on November 18.

Johnson calls COP-26 deal game-changing but ‘tinged with disappointment’

Glasgow [UK]: Despite calling the deal reached at COP-26 a game-changing international pact, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson voiced some dismay over the result of the conference, reported The Hill.
“My delight at this progress is tinged with disappointment,” Politico quoted Johnson as saying after his government hosted the COP-26 climate conference in Glasgow.
“Those for whom climate change is already a matter of life and death, who can only stand by as their islands are submerged, their farmlands turn to desert, their homes battered by storms — they demanded a high level of ambition for this summit,” Johnson said.
“While many of us were willing to go there, that was not true of everybody. Sadly that is the nature of diplomacy.”
The high-profile COP-26 conference began here on October 31 and marked the participation of world leaders joining voices to prevent the world from climate change. The participating countries reached an agreement on Saturday to strengthen their 2030 climate goals before the end of next year.

PM Modi to inaugurate ‘Bhagwan Birsa Munda Smriti Udyan cum Freedom Fighters Museum’ on November 15

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Bhagwan Birsa Munda Smriti Udyan cum Freedom Fighters Museum in Ranchi via video conferencing on November 15, on the occasion of the iconic tribal leader Birsa Munda, who led a rebellion against the British.
The birth anniversary of Birsa Munda will also be celebrated as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’. The building of the museum is in line with the Prime Minister’s aim to recognize the contribution of tribal communities during the Indian Freedom Movement, said a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
“Ministry of Tribal Affairs has so far sanctioned construction of ten tribal freedom fighter museums. These museums will cherish the memories of tribal freedom fighters from various States and regions,” the release added.
The Museum has been built in association with the State Government of Jharkhand at the Old Central Jail in Ranchi, where Birsa Munda had sacrificed his life. It will serve as a tribute to his sacrifice for the nation and tribal communities. The museum will play an important role in preserving and promoting tribal culture and history. It will also demonstrate the way the tribals struggled for protecting their forests, land rights, their culture and would show their valour and sacrifices, vital for nation-building.
Along with Birsa Munda, the museum will also highlight other tribal freedom fighters associated with different movements such as Shahid Budhu Bhagat, Sidhu-Kanhu, Nilambar-Pitambar, Diwa-Kisun, Telanga Khadiya, Gaya Munda, Jatra Bhagat, Poto H, Bhagirath Manjhi, Ganga Narayan Singh.
Museum will contain a 25 feet statue of Birsa Munda and 9 feet statues of other freedom fighters of the region as well.
Smriti Udyan has been developed in neighbouring 25 acres and it will have a musical fountain, food court, children park, infinity pool, garden and other entertainment facilities.
Union Minister for Tribal Affairs will also be present during the event, the release informed.

PM Modi meets World Economic Forum president, highlights India’s economic reforms

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met the President of the World Economic Forum, Borge Brende and highlighted India’s efforts towards strengthening the fight against COVID-19 and the economic reforms undertaken in the country.
“It was a delight to meet you @borgebrende and have an insightful interaction with you on several subjects. Highlighted India’s efforts towards strengthening the fight against COVID-19 and the economic reforms undertaken in the last few months,” PM Modi tweeted. The Prime Minister had quoted a tweet by Borge Brende that said, “Had an excellent and very substantial meeting with the Hon’ble PM @narendramodi. India is again the fastest growing of the large economies. Expecting two digit growth next year while India is celebrating its 75 years of Independence and prepares for its G20 Presidency.”
Earlier, the President of the World Economic Forum met Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal.

Sanjay Dutt Meets PM Of Tanzania Kassim Majaliwa

Actor Sanjay Dutt has recently met Prime Minister of Tanzania Kassim Majaliwa.

On Thursday, Dutt took to Instagram and shared a glimpse of his meeting with Majaliwa. He uploaded a string of images in which he can be seen conversing with the PM.

“It was truly an honour to have met the honorable Prime Minister @kassim_m_majaliwa! I’m glad to be able to support the Tanzanian film industry and also invest in the tourism of your beautiful country! Hoping to visit again soon,” Dutt wrote alongside the images.

For the unversed, Sanjay has been appointed as the ambassador of Zanzibar, which is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania.

A day ago, he expressed his happiness to be able to contribute to the “Investment, Health & Education sector” of Zanzibar.

“It was a pleasure to meet you @dr.hmwinyi. I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the Investment, Health & Education sector of Zanzibar as well as be the ambassador to promote tourism for this beautiful island city, with the support of your government,” he had posted.

Meanwhile, on the film front, Dutt is waiting for the release of ‘Shamshera’, and ‘K.G.F Chapter 2’. 

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