India committed to complete elimination of N-arms: Shringla


India committed to complete elimination of N-arms: Shringla

Participating in the high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the ‘International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India’s approach to nuclear disarmament was encapsulated in the working paper submitted to the UN General Assembly first committee in 2006 and to the Conference on Disarmament in 2007.

India today reiterated its longstanding and unwavering commitment to universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament leading to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

Participating in the high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the ‘International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India’s approach to nuclear disarmament was encapsulated in the working paper submitted to the UN General Assembly first committee in 2006 and to the Conference on Disarmament in 2007.

”We believe that nuclear disarmament can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed multilateral framework. India remains convinced of the need for meaningful dialogue among all States possessing nuclear weapons, for building trust and confidence,” he said.

The Indian diplomat noted that India’s annual resolution in the UNGA on the “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons” tabled since 1982, enjoyed wide support and reaffirmed that any use of nuclear weapons would be a violation of the UN Charter and a crime against humanity.

Mindful of the catastrophic consequences of unintentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons, India has since 1998 tabled an annual resolution in the UNGA on ‘Reducing Nuclear Danger’ that calls for immediate and urgent steps to reduce the risks of unintentional and accidental use of nuclear weapons, including through de-alerting and de-targeting, he said.

Shringla pointed out that India accorded high priority to the Conference on Disarmament as the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum and supported the commencement of negotiations on a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention.

“Without prejudice to the priority attached to nuclear disarmament, India remains committed to the immediate commencement of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty in the CD,” he added. India espoused the policy of “No First Use” against nuclear weapon states and non-use against non-nuclear weapon states. India was a key partner in global efforts towards disarmament and strengthening the non-proliferation order.




India’s defence interests compromised by previous govts: Modi


India’s defence interests compromised by previous govts: Modi

“They compromised on security concerns of the country, whether it was about procurement of modern fighter planes, procurement of ammunition, modern rifles, bulletproof jackets, winter equipment or anything else,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the majestic Atal Tunnel, beneath Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district, would serve as a lifeline for Leh-Ladakh and would give new strength to India’s border infrastructure.

Addressing a function after inaugurating the all weather Atal tunnel from its South portal towards Manali, the Prime Minister said the tunnel, which connects Manali with Lahaul valley of HP en route to Leh and is the longest in the world at this altitude (10,000 feet), is an example of world-class border connectivity.

Modi said there have been demands to improve border infrastructure in the entire country. However, for decades, the projects of strategic importance were delayed deliberately. “These projects could either not come to the planning stage or got stuck in files,” he said.

“They compromised on security concerns of the country, whether it was about procurement of modern fighter planes, procurement of ammunition, modern rifles, bulletproof jackets, winter equipment or anything else,” he added.

Modi said one of the top priorities of his government is to strengthen the country’s international border on all sides, along with taking care of the needs of the security forces. In the last six years the border infrastructure ~ be it roads, bridges or tunnels ~ is being developed with full impetus and great speed, he said. “The previous government had no will to do so,” he said.

Praising the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for completing the challenging task of constructing the tunnel in tough terrain, Modi said the Atal tunnel is going to be a lifeline for a large part of Himachal Pradesh as well as the new Union Territory of Ladakh and would reduce the distance between Manali and Keylong by 3-4 hours. He added that tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh will be connected with the rest of the country and would witness speedier economic progress.

The Prime Minister said that such border connectivity projects will also aid the security forces in ensuring regular supplies to them and also in their patrolling.

Modi noted that former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid the foundation of the approach road for this tunnel in 2002. He said after the Vajpayee government, the work was so neglected that till 2013-14, only 300 metres of tunnel was built each year. “If the construction of the tunnel had continued at the earlier pace, it would have completed in 2040,” he said.

He said his government had fast tracked the project and the construction went on at a speed of 1400 metres each year. He said the project could be completed in 6 years.

Modi said in 2005, the estimated cost for the construction of the tunnel was about Rs 900 crore. But due to continuous delays, today it has been completed after spending more than 3 times i.e. 3200 crore rupees.




Atal tunnel will empower HP, J&K and Ladakh: Modi


Atal tunnel will empower HP, J&K and Ladakh: Modi

PM strikes a chord with people of Lahaul, recalling his own personal connection with HP

While the 9.02 kilometre long Atal Rohtang tunnel is bound to change the lives of tribals in Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh forever by giving them all weather connectivity to rest of world, it is a matter of rejoicing for the tiny state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalling his personal connect with HP, while dedicating the tunnel to nation.

Atal Tunnel would empower Himachal Pradesh, J&K Leh and Ladakh. Speedier Economic Progress is directly dependent on fast track execution of various infrastructure works, said the PM .“I remember when I was associated with Himachal for organisational work, I, along with then chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal used to take up the issue of tunnel for the Lahaul folks with then PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee strongly when he came for stay in Manali.”

“We knew the hardships of travel through Rohtang Pass. Vajpayee resolved to do this and had announced so in 2000 during his visit to Keylong. It is a lifetime satisfaction. It is a historic moment that the tunnel is being dedicated to the nation,” Modi said in a public meeting in Sissu in tribal Lahaul valley.

“It is not only Vajpayee’s dream that has come true, but it will end the long wait of people of Himachal Pradesh for this round-the-year connectivity, which will help them prosper economically,” he said.“I have seen every nook and corner of the state and I know the problems of people here. I can say Himachal has a right on me. Due to that, I am attending three functions in the state in one day even in Covid times,” he said.

Modi drove through the tunnel to Sissu after its inauguration at South portal towards Manali. The smallest possible public meeting for the Prime Minister was organised with Covid guidelines. Around 200 people, including media, were allowed in the venue, following the social distancing criteria in seating arrangement.

He tried to strike the local chord with tribal people at Sissu by speaking a few lines in the native language of Lahaul to convey the role of the Atal tunnel in their lives. “I know the pain of the people when they were stuck in snow in winters and could not go out in medical emergencies. I can say for sure that the tunnel has given them a way out, but at the same time, it has also made their way easier to come back,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said the tunnel will help in better development of the area, will help the tribals in Lahaul and Pangi get good prices of cash crops by timely transportation and marketing. “Whether peas or potatoes, the locals can now reap better profits,” he said.

Modi said the tunnel will bring enormous potential for tourism promotion in the tribal area, with great employment opportunities and income generation sources for the youth through home stays, handicrafts and other local things.

“Lahaul Spiti can also develop as a centre of attraction for the Buddhist tourists from East Asia, especially as it houses centuries old Tabo monastery,” he said.

He said the tribal district has a lot of potential for the herbs as well, which can be exploited.

The Prime Minister said the present government has a different style of functioning and it does not go for any project or development keeping with the size of the votes.

Later, Modi travelled back through the Atal tunnel to address a public meeting in Solang nullah near Manali and tried to address the local concerns of tourism there as well.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi specially referred to Union Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur as ‘Himachal ka Chokra’ in his address at all the three places..

Document phases of tunnel from human angle, says PM:

Modi called for documentation of the hardships and challenges faced during the construction of Atal tunnel in ten years from human angle. He said the people who worked in different capacities for the tunnel could be asked to give an account of what all happened day to day as the tunnel work progressed. “Not for academic purpose, but from human angle. It could be compiled and showcased as the tunnel is an engineering marvel,” he said. The Prime Minister said Education ministry could facilitate case study of the tunnel by sending groups of students from Universities.




Gandhi Jayanti: India gifts 41 ambulances, six school buses to Nepal


Gandhi Jayanti: India gifts 41 ambulances, six school buses to Nepal

According to the Embassy of India in Kathmandu, it has given three different categories of ambulances– advanced life support, basic life support and common life support ambulances.

As part of its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, India has gifted 41 ambulances and six school buses to the government of Nepal and not-forprofit organisations in 30 districts of the Himalayan nation. Ambassador of India to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra, on the occasion of the 151st Gandhi Jayanti, handed over the ambulances and the buses to various governmental and non-governmental, not for profit organisations working in the field of health and education.

According to the Embassy of India in Kathmandu, it has given three different categories of ambulances– advanced life support, basic life support and common life support ambulances.

In a statement, the embassy said the advanced life support category ambulances include equipment such as travelling ventilator, ECG and oxygen monitor, automated external defibrillator, nebuliser set, BP apparatus, stethoscope, Artificial manual breathing unit, various tubes and catheters, wheel-chair and stretcher, radio communication equipment and 4G mobile device.

“The basic life support ambulances have all these items, except for travelling ventilators. The common life support ambulances are 4 wheel drive vehicles which are best suited for hilly and mountainous terrains,” the statement added.




Karnataka police seize 6,000 marijuana plants


Karnataka police seize 6,000 marijuana plants

As part of widespread hunt for ganja (Marijuana) growers, the police in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi district raided sugarcane fields where ganja was stealthily grown and seized more than 6,000 ganja plants.

The widespread hunt for the ganja growers or stockists has commenced after the Bengaluru police had seized 1,350 kg of ganja from a sheep farm about a month ago.

Kalaburagi is 626 km from Bengaluru.

The police are on the lookout for both owners of this field where ganja was allegedly grown – Hanumanta Raya Nayak and Bhima Raya Nayak who are on the run after their fields were raided.

The police said that the Kalabaurgi which shares borders with Telangana and Maharashtra makes it ideal choice for drug smugglers to hide and transport from here.

“Hyderabad city is very near to this district. The city also has a large population of IT employees. Thus storing or growing ganja becomes ideal here. Besides this, transporting drugs especially ganja from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra becomes very easy as it is well connected with these states,” a police officer said.

Speaking to IANS from Kalaburagi Superintendent of Police, Simi Mariam George said that the field is located in the middle of the forest area and only a narrow path leads to this field.

“All the surrounding fields grow sugarcane and that is how, their ill-act was concealed all these years,” she said.

She added that the district police have formed special squads across the district under every deputy superintendent of police officer, to gather information to nab such people across the district.




India, B’desh pledge to bring down border incidents to zero


India, B’desh pledge to bring down border incidents to zero

India and Bangladesh today resolved to effectively implement the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) by asking their border forces to enhance communication and coordination to bring border incidents down to zero.

At the 6th meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) held in the virtual mode, the two countries agreed that the loss of civilian lives at the border was a matter of concern. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Bangladesh counterpart A K Abdul Momen co-chaired the meeting.

“Importance of educating the border population about the sanctity of the international border was stressed upon. The Indian side also requested for an expeditious approval to erecting the single row fencing in vulnerable patches along the border, within 150 yards, that will help contain border crimes,” a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting said.


Reiterating the commitment of India to priorities the supply of Covid-19 vaccines, Jaishankar emphasised the importance of Bangladesh in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. In this context, the two ministers directed their officials to expedite exchange of required information regarding Phase-III testing, vaccine distribution, co-production and delivery in Bangladesh.

The two sides noted that India and Bangladesh were currently the top two economies in South Asia and greater measures could be taken for mutually beneficial enhancement of trade and investment between the two countries, including removal of all forms of barriers to trade.

Both ministers tasked their officials to work closely to avoid disruption of supply chains, particularly in the post-Covid period. They emphasised the need to resume unhindered two-way trade through the land ports, while optimising use of the four trans-border railway connections as well as inland and coastal waterways.

They expressed satisfaction at the increasing pace of defence cooperation, including in training, exchanges and capacity building. They welcomed the proposal to hold the next meeting of the annual defence dialogue in November. They urged an early implementation of the defence Line of Credit.

The two ministers reiterated their commitment to finalisation of an interim agreement for sharing of the waters of the Teesta.

Recognising that terrorism remained a significant threat to global peace and security, both sides reiterated their strong commitment to eliminate the menace in all its forms and manifestations.

It was decided that the PMs of the two countries would hold a virtual summit in December.




SC orders states to give dry ration to sex workers without ID proof


SC orders states to give dry ration to sex workers without ID proof

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the state governments to provide dry ration to all sex workers, who have been identified by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and district legal authorities, without asking for ration card or any other identification proof.

A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Ajay Rastogi took into account the hardships faced by the sex workers, who have been rendered almost destitute due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The top court also asked the Centre to inform it within four weeks if there is a possibility to provide financial aid to the sex workers. Observation from the bench came during the hearing of an application moved by the NGO Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee seeking relief for over nine lakh female and transgender sex workers across the country.

The NGO moved the apex court citing hardships faced by sex workers amid the Covid.




UDF convener writes to Yechury seeking CM Vijayan’s removal


UDF convener writes to Yechury seeking CM Vijayan’s removal

Behanan in his letter said allegations against Chief Minister’s Office ( CMO) are serious and that a few officials were summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Senior Congress leader and Kerala Opposition alliance (UDF) convener Benny Behanan on Wednesday wrote to CPI-M general secretary Sitram Yechury stating that Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office is under the shadow of suspicion and urged him (Yechury) to direct VIjayan to step down from the chief minister’s post.

Behanan in his letter said allegations against Chief Minister’s Office ( CMO) are serious and that a few officials were summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

He said it is inappropriate for Vijayan to continue in office, as CMO has come under a cloud of smoke.

“Apart from higher education minister K T Jaleel, a few more ministers’ children have come under a cloud of smoke. Those CPI-M leaders and ministers who have brought shame to the party should not be allowed to remain in office. It may be mentioned CPI-M leaders are known for their fight against corruption,” UDF convenor said in the letter.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, too, had shot off a similar letter to Yechury with the same demand

Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) continued its inspection at the State Centre for Advanced Printing and Training (C-apt) office at Vattiyoorkavu in Thiruvananthapuram for the second consecutive day in connection with the distribution of copies of Quran in the state after receiving them from UAE Consulate.

The NIA officials seized the Global Positioning System (GPS) recorder and log books of the vehicle which transported the Quran. There were reports that the vehicle had travelled to Bengaluru.

Earlier, the NIA interrogated office staff involved in the transportation of religious books to and from the C-apt office. The NIA also recorded the statements of former CAPT director M Abdul Rahman.

Opposition Congress, Muslim League and BJP had alleged Jaleel was involved in smuggling gold under the pretext of bringing Quran from the Consulate.

Govt orders vigilance probe into LIFE project

Kerala government on Wednesday ordered the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to probe into the allegations pertaining to irregularities in the LIFE (Livelihood, Inclusion and Financial Empowerment) Mission project at Wadakkanchery in Thrissur district.

The LDF government issued the order after Opposition parties alleged many political leaders and officers accepted bribes for the implementation of the project. The spotlight was flashed on the project after revelation by Swapna Suresh, key accused in gold smuggling case, that she allegedly received Rs 1 crore as commission from the builder.




YSR’s refusal to sign ‘faith form’ sparks political row


YSR’s refusal to sign ‘faith form’ sparks political row

TDP, BJP leaders face house arrests; Bajrang activists protest at Lotus Pond

 

Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy today participated in the rituals at Venkateshwara Temple in Tirupati despite protests and political row over his refusal to sign a form declaring his faith in the deity. Police kept TDP and BJP leaders under house arrests while supporters of Bajrang Dal protested in front of his residence at Lotus Pond in Hyderabad.

There was more controversy in store as BJP and TDP leaders, including former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, took a dig at the chief minister for participating in the temple rituals without his wife and YSRCP leader Kodali Nani hit back and dragged Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name as well.

He retorted by saying that BJP leaders should get their leader Modi take his spouse to Ram Temple before demanding the same from Reddy.

Since Reddy is a practicing Christian, TDP and BJP leaders have been demanding that he must sign the mandatory form declaring his faith on Lord Venkateshwara, the main deity at the temple. People of other faiths are allowed to enter the temple only after signing the declaration form.

However, Reddy has steadfastly refused to sign the declaration form even during his past visits to the temple. In 2012, the signing of the declaration form was made mandatory under the temple rules. But Reddy’s uncle, YV Subba Reddy, currently TTD chairman, stated that the rule was revoked.

Reddy reached Tirupati around 4 pm after cutting short a review meeting chaired by Prime Minister with chief ministers over the pandemic and then left for the temple complex. He later arrived at Bedi Ajney Swamy Temple which is located exactly opposite Lord Venkateswara Temple in traditional attire carrying silk clothes for the main deity.

The chief minister participated in the temple rituals for the annual Brahmotsavam.

Staying back at Tirupati overnight Reddy will tomorrow accompany Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa for a visit to the temple before jointly laying the foundation for a new guesthouse at Tirumala funded by state government of the neighbouring state for its visitors.

Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu has alleged Reddy was playing with the sentiments of the people.

 

 




U’khand govt issues new guidelines for free tourist movement in state


U’khand govt issues new guidelines for free tourist movement in state

Earlier, it was mandatory for tourists to book hotel/home stays accommodation for two days to tour Uttarakhand. The state government has also cancelled this condition.

Providing a major relief to tourists visiting Uttarakhand, a hill state, the Uttarakhand government has issued new guidelines. Under these new guidelines, the visitors are exempted from bringing their Covid-19 negative test reports to enter the state.

Earlier, it was mandatory for tourists to book hotel/home stays accommodation for two days to tour Uttarakhand. The state government has also cancelled this condition.

In view of attracting tourists to Uttarakhand for reviving economic activities, the state government enforced a new lockdown guideline from Wednesday. Under the new rules the visitors just need to register online at the Smart City web portal to travel in the state.

All other mandatory requirements were removed to provide free movement of tourists in Uttarakhand. Only thermal scanning will be conducted while entering the state.

No Covid-19 test report and mandatory hotel/home stay booking is required now.

Issuing the new guideline, Uttarakhand chief secretary Om Prakash states, “If any tourist is found Covid-19 positive then the hotel management shall intimate the district administration immediately.”




Top