PM Modi bats for joint Saarc strategy to fight coronavirus, gets prompt support from neighbours
Friday, 13 March 2020 Calling on SAARC member states to set an example for the world, Modi proposed a video conference of leaders of the countries to chalk out a strong strategy to fight coronavirus. His appeal got a prompt response from Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and Bhutanese premier Lotay Tshering, who welcomed the proposal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Google CEO Sundar Pichai via video conferencing. The PM interacted with Pichai and his team member on July 13. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that, "We are excited to announce Google for India Digitisation Fund. Through it, we will invest Rs 75,000 Cr or approx US$10 Bn into India over next 5-7 years. We will do this through mix of equity investments, partnerships and operational infrastructure in ecosystem investments."
Amid the ongoing alleged tussle between Sachin Pilot and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan Transport Minister Pratap Khachariyawas targeted the Modi government over the current political situation in the state. Cabinet Minister Khachariyawas said, "The beginning of the end of BJP govt at the Centre will start from Rajasthan. People of Rajasthan want government led by CM Ashok Gehlot to complete its full term. 115 MLAs were with us last night, now 109 are with us. We're winning the number game."
People in Kathmandu on Tuesday demonstrated in front of the Chinese Embassy to protest against Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi's interference in the political matters of Nepal. Demonstrators from the civic society held placards protesting against Hou's increased meeting with ruling politicos of the Himalayan Nation. As rift inside Nepal's ruling party, Nepal Communist Party (NCP), intensified the Chinese Ambassador has been holding meetings with leaders of the ruling party as well as the President Bidya Bhandari. On Sunday, Hou met the senior leader of the NCP, Madhav Kumar Nepal as well as President Bhandari and discussed various issues pertaining to the rift inside the party. She also met another NCP senior leader, Jhalnath Khanal, on Tuesday morning and discussed various issues. The meeting of Central Standing Committee of the ruling party has deferred till Wednesday 11 am with the potential of being postponed further as the duo chair- Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahalare yet to agree to a point for a solution to the ongoing problem.
Former Brigadier and defence expert S.K. Chatterjee reacted over the controversial step taken by Nepal parliament where the lower house passed an amendment to redraw the new map including Indian area of Kalapani, Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura in the constitution of the country. "We have to accept that we had a diplomatic setback, this issue should have been attended much earlier, this is not the success story of the neighborhood first policy, we need to look into is was it only domestic compulsions or domestic political requirements which drove Prime Minister of Nepal, KP Sharma Oli to be driving the whole issue so fast or is there a China's role also there in it," said defence expert S.K. Chatterjee. "The amendment bill has gone through the parliament that gives a different status altogether to this problem, now after this it will go for National Assembly and there after go for the President signature, there is no opposition expected enroute, because if anybody opposes this bill is going to be called anti-national, KP Sharma Oli has clear field infront of him," he added.
At least 60 people were killed and around 41 got missing following flood and landslides in various parts of Nepal. The landslide is occurring from past 4 days in parts of Nepal due to heavy rainfall. Myagdi district of western Nepal is worst affected with 27 deaths. Search and rescue operation is underway.
The annual flood in Bihar has again forced poor people out of their homes. Several areas submerged in the flood water. The water level has increased in Bagmati River due to heavy rain. The villagers said they have not got any relief or food materials from administration yet. Villagers are facing several troubles to be alive. A villager said, "The whole area submerged in water, we have not received any food materials from administration yet. To save our lives, we have to run away from our home as water level going to increase here in coming days."Bagmati River is in spate due to continuous rains and water released by Nepal.
Speaking on India-China border tensions, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said, "I have spoken with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar a number of times about this. Chinese took incredibly aggressive actions and Indians have done their best to respond to that. There aren't many neighbours that can satisfactorily say that they know where their sovereignty ends and the Chinese Communist Party will respect that. That is certainly true now for people of Bhutan. The world must come together to respond to this. This increasing revisionist effort that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is engaged in is something that President Trump has taken incredibly seriously." He further said, "World has seen true colours of Chinese Communist Party and I am convinced more than ever that free people of the world will come to understand the threat. The impact General Secy Xi Jinping has on the world is not good for free and democracy loving people."
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar during the signing ceremony of Concession Agreement for 600 MW Kholongchhu JV-Hydroelectric Project with Bhutan said Bhutan and India's shared values have shaped a common world view. S. Jaishankar said, "Bhutan and India have a truly unique relationship one bound together by history, geography, culture, spiritual tradition and century-old people to people interaction. Our shared values have shaped a common world view." External Affairs Minister further said, "This is the first-ever joint venture project to be implemented in Bhutan. I congratulate both Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) of Bhutan and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) of India for this feat and hope that they will leave no stone unturned in completing the project."
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar attended the signing ceremony of Concession Agreement for 600 MW Kholongchhu JV-Hydroelectric Project with Bhutan on June 29. Jaishankar graced the meeting via video conferencing. This will lead to the commencement of construction of this first joint venture hydroelectric project between India and Bhutan. Foreign Minister of Bhutan Lyonpo Tandi Dorji was also present in the ceremony.
India's amphibious warship Indian Navy Ship (INS) Jalashwa, which has been deployed to bring back the stranded citizens from Iran under Operation Samudra Setu, has departed from Bandar Abbas port on June 25 with 687 Indians aboard for Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. INS Jalashwa reached the port of Bandar Abbas in Iran on June 24. On June 11, INS Shardul had brought back 233 Indians from Iran. Operation Samudra Setu is a part of Vande Bharat Mission to bring back stranded citizens overseas amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Indian Navy had launched Operation Samudra Setu on May 08 to repatriate Indian citizens. INS Jalashwa and Magar have already evacuated 2,874 personnel from Maldives and Sri Lanka to ports of Kochi and Tuticorin. On June 23, INS Airavat brought back 198 Indians from Maldives.
Indian Navy Ship (INS) Airavat carrying 198 Indian citizens, who were stranded in Maldives, arrived in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi on June 23. All the passengers were screened and their luggage was disinfected, upon arrival. The third phase of Operation 'Samudra Setu' initiative was started by the Centre and Indian Navy to bring back citizens stranded overseas amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Indian Navy Ship (INS) Airavat left Port of Male in Maldives for Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu) after embarkation of 198 Indian citizens. 5th round of operation Samudra Setu for evacuation of Indians from Maldives is underway. Operation was launched in May to repatriate stranded citizens amid coronavirus situation.
Indian Naval Ship Shardul on June 11 safely docked at the harbour in Gujarat's Porbandar bringing back 233 stranded Indians from Iran. Indian Navy had launched Operation Samudra Setu to repatriate Indian nationals stuck abroad. The operation commenced on May 08. Indian Navy evacuated 2,874 Indians from Maldives and Sri Lanka by INS Jalashwa and INS Magar so far.
INS Jalashwa carrying 700 Indian nationals from Male, Maldives arrived at Thoothukudi harbour in Tamil Nadu on June 07. With this, INS Jalashwa alone has repatriated around 2700 Indians from Maldives and Sri Lanka. INS Jalashwa is a transport dock which is currently in service with the Indian Navy.
Indian Coast Guard rescued six Sri Lankan fishermen by a merchant vessel YM Summit from 170 nautical miles east of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. The rescue operation was coordinated by Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) of Mumbai and Chennai on July 05 morning. The merchant vessel was on her way to Visakhapatnam when she sighted a capsized fishing boat with six survivors atop, at about 07:15 am on 05 Jul 2020, approximately 170 nautical miles east of Chennai. The master transmitted the information to MRCC, Mumbai which was timely shared with MRCC, Chennai for further coordination. MRCC Chennai coordinated with the vessel for safe rescue of the survivors. The six survivors are identified as natives of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. They were reportedly stranded and adrift at sea, braving the vagaries of rough weather for four days. MRCC, Chennai further, coordinated with the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission, Chennai and MRCC Colombo to verify the credentials and arranging for their safe return to home.
In wake of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has also affected India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged the people of the country to opt for a 'Janata Curfew' on Sunday from..