-Top News Canada India News

India in the centre of Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy describes China as an increasingly disruptive global power and rebukes the Asian’s country for its disregard of international rules and norms…reports Asian Lite News

Canada has in its new Indo-Pacific strategy document highlighted plans to increase cooperation with India, including a commitment to work towards a new trade agreement, underscoring New Delhi’s growing importance in the strategic, economic and demographic spheres in the region.

The “Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy” document states that the Indo-Pacific region will play a critical role in shaping Canada’s future over the next half-century.

At the same time the document describes China as “an increasingly disruptive global power” and rebukes the Asian’s country for its disregard of international rules and norms. “India’s growing strategic, economic and demographic importance in the Indo-Pacific makes it a critical partner in Canada’s pursuit of its objectives under this strategy,” says the 26-page document released on Sunday.

The strategy document contains a separate section on India and growing economic ties, including through deeper trade and investment, as well as cooperate on building resilient supply chains.

It seeks to expand to market access with India by concluding an Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) as a step towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries.

The strategy seeks to create a Canada-India desk within the Trade Commissioner Service to promote implementation of the EPTA for businesses and investors looking to enter the Indian market, or for those partnering with Indian businesses

Canada will it says invest in and connect people, including by bolstering Canada’s visa-processing capacity in New Delhi and Chandigarh.

The Canadian government will support academic, educational, cultural, youth and research exchanges.

Canada will seek to accelerate cooperation in the fight against climate change, in protecting the environment and in deploying green technologies.

It will also send enhanced Team Canada trade missions in priority sectors of mutual interest, such as renewable energy and clean technology.

The strategy states that Canada and India have a shared tradition of democracy and pluralism, a common commitment to a rules-based international system and multilateralism, mutual interest in expanding multifaceted ties between the two countries.

According to the document, the Indo-Pacific region will play a critical role in shaping Canada’s future over the next half-century.

Encompassing 40 economies, over four billion people and USD 47.19 trillion in economic activity, it is the world’s fastest growing-region and home to six of Canada’s top 13 trading partners.

“The Indo-Pacific region represents significant opportunities for growing the economy here at home, as well as opportunities for Canadian workers and businesses for decades to come,” the document read.

Meanwhile, the document describes China as “an increasingly disruptive global power,” that have complex and deeply intertwined relationships with its “key regional actors.”

“Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy is informed by its clear-eyed understanding of this global China, and Canada’s approach is aligned with those of our partners in the region and around the world,” the document reads.

It also rebukes China’s disregard of international rules and norms.

“China’s rise, enabled by the same international rules and norms that it now increasingly disregards, has had an enormous impact on the Indo-Pacific, and it has ambitions to become the leading power in the region,” the document adds.

China rejects Canada’s strategy

China strongly deplored and rejected the attack and smear targeting China outlined within Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy, an embassy spokesperson said, emphasizing that Canada is completely wrong in interpreting China’s domestic and foreign policies, in recognizing the leadership of Communist Party of China, in jeopardizing China’s national interest and in provoking geopolitical confrontation in the region.

Some Western countries, who at will undermine the international order and other countries’ sovereignty, are the true disruptive force to global peace, security and development, and Canada has played a disgraceful role to this effect, the Chinese Embassy in Canada said after Canada launched an Indo-Pacific strategy on Sunday, calling China “an increasingly disruptive global power” that must be contained.

The spokesperson pointed out that days were long gone when individual Western countries bossed around the developing ones, saying China won’t tolerate any external interference on matters related to Taiwan island, Xinjiang region and Hong Kong.

Trying to separate the Chinese government from its people only exposes Canada’s ignorance of China, and is an approach that is doomed to fail, the spokesperson said.

China urged the Canadian side to stop sabotaging regional peace and stability, as well as political manipulation on China-related issues. “Otherwise, it will face shameful failure and forceful countermeasures from the Chinese side,” the embassy said. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Canada unveils Indo-Pacific Strategy, ramps up visa processing in India

-Top News India News UK News

‘UK govt assessing priorities to engage in Nagaland’

However, he asserted that he will be here at least until next monsoon and would try his best visit the remaining areas…reports Asian Lite News

“We never do things to people, we do things with people,” emphasised Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner (Counsel General) Kolkata, during his recent visit to Nagaland, while implying that the United Kingdom is keen and assessing priorities to work with authorities of the State.

‘I would never arrive and say this is what we’re going to do for you in health or education or infrastructure etc. Such a scenario would be completely improper and very scary to do,’ he asserted, when queried on whether any areas have been identified for possible intervention.

Instead, what really needs discussing are particular priority areas of the concerned State, said Low, who heads the British Deputy High Commission Kolkata, representing the UK Government in 12 States and 1 Union Territory in East India as well as Bhutan.

Low, who assumed charge of the Kolkata Commission in October 2019, admitted that due to the onset of COVID-19 from 2020-21 and a situation that was ‘not business as usual’ even during the first 3-4 months of 2022, he could visit only 8 out of the 13 areas under Kolkata jurisdiction till now.

However, he asserted that he will be here at least until next monsoon and would try his best visit the remaining areas.

“I am really delighted to be here and has heard lot about Nagaland,” Low said, while noting that he wanted to the visit to coincide with a ‘very special day’ -11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month or Remembrance Day.

Accordingly, he laid a wreath at the Kohima War Cemetery for the ‘Fallen,’ honouring the pledge to a group of former servicemen (Invictus) –who fought at the Battle of Kohima 75 years ago, and could not come to its anniversary through the Royal British Legion, due to the COVID-19.

However, Low stressed that it was not the sole reason.  ‘Obviously, I want to find out what makes Nagaland tick and what areas we could work on.’

As noted, Low said that ‘we do things with people’ by discussing particular priority areas of the concerned State. However, he was keen on health care.

‘We can assess particular priorities at the moment and ascertain if that’s an area where we’ve got the necessary expertise to assist and that’s been a very productive area,’ Low stated, citing success stories in West Bengal and Jharkhand.

The intervention can range from specific clinical illnesses, communicable and non-communicable disease, structure of healthcare delivery, medical education and so on, he added.

“We will try and source peers from the UK and get it done on an expert-to-expert level so that healthcare professionals in Nagaland talking to professionals in the UK. We can replicate that as well in other sectors,” he added.

Meanwhile, Low stated that scope for boosting the visitor economy or what economists term as ‘tourism’ is immense.

This is a place of unimaginable beauties, he noted, adding that Nagaland and the North-East should be able to see larger numbers of foreign visitors “without spoiling the character” of the region.

Tourism is a big industry employing millions of people in my own country. We reckon the tourism will account for around about 10% of the UK’s GDP by 2025, Low opined.

“Just as education breeds understanding between people in different countries, colours, ethnicities and faith, tourism does the same thing,” he added.

On being queried whether Nagaland now is conducive for investment from outside particularly the UK given the State’s chequered political history, Low was affirmative.

ALSO READ-UK, South Africa to tackle climate change

India News

India now has over 396 mn gamers, 2nd largest in world

Niko Partners projects the Asia-10 PC and mobile game market will generate $35.9 billion in 2022, reaching $41.4 billion in 2026…reports Asian Lite News

India now has the second largest gamer base in the world with 396.4 million gamers, a new report has showed.

India now makes up 50.2 per cent of all gamers in the top 10 Asian countries’ list, according to the data provided by market research firm Niko Partners.

“India is also the fastest growing market with a 5-year growth rate of 21 per cent for revenue,” mentioned the report titled ‘The Asia-10 Games Market’.

Niko Partners projects the Asia-10 PC and mobile game market will generate $35.9 billion in 2022, reaching $41.4 billion in 2026.

“Gamers are increasing at a much faster rate than revenue. Niko Partners projects the Asia-10 PC and mobile gamers will total 788.7 million in 2022, reaching 1.06 billion in 2026,” the report said.

India, Thailand, and the Philippines are the fastest growing markets for games revenue and number of gamers.

Japan and Korea are the most mature markets in the Asia-10 region, accounting for over 77 per cent of revenue, said the report.

ALSO READ-WhatsApp rolls out new feature to view profile photos  

-Top News India News UAE News

With eye on Gulf, India to host World Spice Congress

The 14th edition of World Spice Congress (WSC) is to be held at Mumbai from 16-18 February 2023 on the sidelines of the G20 summit, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

 India will host the three-day 14th World Spice Congress – world’s largest exclusive business platform for the spice sector – from 16th February 2023 as part of its upcoming presidency of the Group of Twenty (G-20) countries.

The Congress is being planned with an eye on the Gulf and Arab markets which are popular destinations for Indian spices.

“This time, the Spices Board of India is organising the World Spice Congress as a G-20 event on the sidelines of India’s G-20 presidency for the period from December 2022 to November 2023. The Congress will focus on further strengthening India’s trade ties with the G-20 countries,” said D Sathiyan, Secretary of the Spices Board of India.

“Interaction with the regulatory authorities of the major importing countries, ministers of trade and industry associations of the G-20 member countries are expected to take place at the World Spice Congress 2023,” he added.

The theme chosen for the next edition of the Congress is “Vision 2030: SPICES.” The acronym is a pun of the sub-themes of the Congress – Sustainability, Productivity, Innovation, Collaboration, Excellence and Safety.

The congress will discuss on customised production of quality spices to meet the requirements of the consumers, thrust on organic production, ways to arrive at a consensus on the wide and varied trade and quality regulations, value addition, product innovation and new initiatives, integrating the supply chain for better output and better understanding of the challenges and prospects of the industry, etc.

The February 2023 event will be the 14th World Spice Congress. The first Congress was held in 1990. Since then, it has become a biennial event.

Saudi Arabian participation has been a consistent feature of every such Congress. The organisers want to expand their focus for the next Congress to include the UAE, Egypt and Oman. All these are growing markets for Indian spices, which are integral to the culinary traditions of the Gulf and Arab regions.

Over 1,000 delegates from more than 50 countries are expected to participate in the next Congress, which will take place at the CIDCO Exhibition and Convention Centre, Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra state.

“The World Spice Congress has been benefiting the spices stakeholders across the globe. It remains a much sought-after event amongst the global spice community. It will foster new business opportunities and strengthen trade connections,” according to the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

In addition to the business sessions, the event will have an exhibition demonstrating the strengths and capabilities of the Indian spice industry, including the product range, applications in the medicinal and health areas, innovations and cutting-edge technologies.

“World Spice Congress (WSC), the conglomeration of the global spice industry, has become the most apt platform to deliberate the concerns and considerations of the sector over its three decades long presence,” said an official statement.

“Trade, sustainability, quality and food safety initiatives, recent developments, concerns and future prospects are discussed and deliberated in detail by the key players of the industry- the producers, traders, processors, exporters and regulators from across the world,” it added.

Double output: Minister urges spice farmers

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash had asked the spice farmers to double their output and urged exporters to increase trade with other countries to help India reach the $5 trillion economy goal and become a global powerhouse by 2024-25.

“We are in discussion with all stakeholders to achieve the $5 trillion goal. The Centre will extend all help to farmers and exporters. We will have to work hard to make the dream come true,” he said.

He stressed formation of farmers’ clusters for all crops and spoke about a new agriculture export policy for integrating farmers and farm products with the global value chains. It would help in achieving the set goal for agriculture exports, he added.

“India is one of the largest producers, exporters and consumers of spices. Every state is producing spices and its value-added products come to around 900,000 tonnes a year,” he said.

India produces around 180 spice products that are exported to 160 countries.

ALSO READ: Poland opens Representative Office in UAE

-Top News Africa News India News

India-Morocco bilateral ties get an impetus  

Secretary (CPV&OIA) also interacted with Moroccan ITEC alumni as well as the Indian community and Indian business leaders…reports Asian Lite News

The friendly bilateral relations between India and Morocco received a further impetus with the recent visit of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary Ausaf Sayeed.

During the visit from November 22-25, Secretary (CPV&OIA) Ausaf Sayeed co-chaired the India-Morocco Foreign Office Consultations and held bilateral meetings during which the two sides resolved to further expand & strengthen bilateral partnership in different domains.

Sayeed also represented India at the 9th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), which took place in Fez on November 22–23.

The Secretary (CPV&OIA) met with Moroccan Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development Leila Benali in Rabat to discuss bilateral cooperation in the fields of fertilizers, renewable energy, climate change, the MEA said.

He co-chaired the fifth round of India-Morocco Foreign Office Consultations, during which a wide variety of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest were discussed.

Secretary (CPV&OIA) also interacted with Moroccan ITEC alumni as well as the Indian community and Indian business leaders.

According to the MEA, “the visit provided further impetus to the bilateral friendly relations between the two countries the two countries”.

India and Morocco are now experiencing record-breaking levels of bilateral trade (USD 3.2 billion in 2021-22). About 40 Indian companies in diverse sectors are operating in Morocco.

A sizeable number of candidates from Morocco have been benefiting from India’s capacity building programmes, including ITEC. Both sides are keen to enhance the level of economic engagement and people to people exchanges, the MEA added.

“Secretary (CPV & OIA) @drausaf co-chaired 5th India-Morocco Foreign Office Consultations in Rabat. Both sides resolved to further expand & strengthen bilateral partnership in different domains,” Indian Embassy in Morocco said in a tweet.

Earlier in September, Girish Chandra Murmu, Comptroller and Auditor General of India and Zineb El Adaoui, the first President of the Court of Accounts, Morocco signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between the supreme auditing bodies of the two countries. Both sides agreed to conduct training programmes in their respective countries and explore other means of capacity development support.

For long, India has been one of the major markets for Moroccan phosphates and its derivatives. India’s export basket to Morocco has also grown significantly in recent years.

The main items of India’s exports to Morocco are cotton yarn, synthetic fibre, chemicals, manufactured metals, machinery and instrument, transport equipment, pharmaceuticals, automotive parts and spices.

Main items of Moroccan export to India are phosphoric acid, phosphate, metallic ores and metal spray and inorganic chemicals.

Relations between India and Morocco go back to the 14th century when the famous traveller and writer from Tangier, Ibn Batuta, travelled to India. In modern history, India was active in the UN supporting the Moroccan freedom movement and recognised Morocco on June 20, 1956 immediately after its independence. Diplomatic relations were established in 1957.

ALSO READ-Saudi, Morocco cement trade ties

-Top News Australia India News

India, Australia joint military exercise begins

The Indian Army is represented by troops from the DOGRA Regiment. Exercise “Austra Hind” will be a yearly event that will be conducted alternately in India and Australia…reports Asian Lite News

The bilateral training exercise “Austra Hind 22” between contingents of the Indian Army and the Australian Army is scheduled to take place at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, Rajasthan from today.

Starting on November 28, the joint exercise will continue till December 11. According to the Ministry of Defence, this is the first exercise in the series of Austra Hind with the participation of all arms and services contingent from both armies. The Australian Army contingent comprising soldiers from the 13th Brigade of the 2nd Division has arrived at the exercise location.

The Indian Army is represented by troops from the DOGRA Regiment. Exercise “Austra Hind” will be a yearly event that will be conducted alternately in India and Australia.

The aim of the exercise is to build positive military relations, imbibe each other’s best practices and promote the ability to operate together while undertaking multi-domain operations in Semi deserts terrain under a UN peace enforcement mandate, said the Defence Ministry statement.

This joint exercise will enable the two armies to share best practices in tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting tactical operations at Company and Platoon level for neutralising hostile threats. Training on new generation equipment and specialist weapons including snipers, surveillance and communication equipment to achieve a high degree of situational awareness apart from casualty management, casualty evacuation and planning logistics at the Battalion/Company level are also planned, the statement added.

During the exercise, the Ministry of Defence said participants will engage in a variety of tasks ranging from joint planning, joint tactical drills, sharing basics of special arms skills and raiding a hostile target. The joint exercise, besides promoting understanding and interoperability between the two armies, will further help in strengthening ties between India and Australia. (ANI)

ALSO READ-Australia denies participating in China-led Indian Ocean Forum meet

-Top News China India News

Australia denies participating in China-led Indian Ocean Forum meet

While Canberra was invited for the meet by Beijing, Australia, a member of Quad (comprising Australia, Japan, India and the US) declined to participate in the China-led Indian Ocean Forum meet…reports Asian Lite News

After Maldives, Australia on Sunday clarified that it did not participate in the “China-Indian Ocean Forum on Development Cooperation” held on November 21.

“Contrary to media reporting, no Australian Government official attended the Kunming China-Indian Ocean Forum on Development Cooperation,” tweeted Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Barry O’Farrell. China’s aid agency hosted a meeting on Indian Ocean Forum. Maldives’s former President Mohammed Waheed Hassan & Australia’s Former PM Kevin Rudd joined virtually. No representation at official capacity by Male, Canberra.

“Pleased @TimWattsMP attended #IORA Ministerial Council last week, the only ministerial-level forum for the Indian Ocean. Australia was delighted India’s application for Vice Chair was accepted by consensus. We share an enduring interest: a free, open, rules-based and secure Indo-Pacific,” added the Australian envoy.

While Canberra was invited for the meet by Beijing, Australia, a member of Quad (comprising Australia, Japan, India and the US) declined to participate in the China-led Indian Ocean Forum meet.

Earlier, the Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday denied participating in the “China-Indian Ocean Forum on Development Cooperation.”

“The Ministry would like to clarify, that the Government of Maldives did not participate in the above-mentioned Forum, and communicated its decision not to participate to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the Maldives on November 15, 2022, read Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement.

Notably, a joint press statement was released by the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) alleging the participation of the Maldives in the “China-Indian Ocean Forum on Development Cooperation”, held on 21 November 2022.

Furthermore, participation by individuals or groups of individuals from the Maldives does not constitute official representation by the Government of Maldives, read the statement.

In accordance with Article 115 (J) of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives, only the serving President may determine, conduct and oversee the foreign policy of the country, and conduct political relations with foreign nations and international organizations.

Official accreditation to meetings, forums and conferences to represent the Maldives, as per international practice, will only take place through diplomatic channels. Therefore, for this specific meeting, there was no official representation by the Government of Maldives, added the statement.

In recent times there has been a shifting of goalposts by major world powers from other areas of conflict to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. This has largely been due to Chinese belligerence in the South China Sea by hegemonizing its intention over the entire seawater defying the laid down UN conventions and international maritime laws.

The present geo-political situation in the Indo-Pacific is fraught with major irritants destabilising the region. There is a need to establish common standards to form the basis of deeper integration in the future and to ensure equal access to global commons for all countries as a right under international law.

Recently, the US administration announced its long-awaited Indo-Pacific strategy which focuses on building collective capacity to deal with challenges in the region.

These include a focus on challenges from China, advancing the US relationship, a ‘Major Defence Partnership’ with India and supporting its role as a net security provider in the region.

The European Union (EU) has recently come up with an Indo-Pacific strategy that aims to enhance its engagement across a wide spectrum.

The EU already sees itself and the Indo-Pacific as “natural partner regions”. It is a significant player in the Indian Ocean littoral states, the ASEAN area and the Pacific Island states.

In September 2021, the US announced a new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific, between Australia, the UK and the US (AUKUS).

The security grouping AUKUS will focus on advancing strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

The major highlight of this arrangement is the sharing of US nuclear submarine technology to Australia.

Nearly every one of the nations in this part of the world recognise the assertiveness and aggressiveness of China.

To deal with China, the US at the recently held Quad Summit in Tokyo launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) to offer the region better alternatives to fulfil its developmental goals.

The IPEF will work on fine-tuning four major pillars: standards and rules for digital trade; resilient supply chains; green energy commitments; and fair trade.

The Indo-Pacific region has more than half of the world’s population with 2 billion people living under democratic rule.

This region generates a third of the world’s economic output, more than any other region of the World.

Three of the most important allies of the United States namely Japan, South Korea and Australia are located here.

More than one-third of the foreign trade of the world takes place in this region.

The world’s largest economies are located in the Indo-Pacific region namely, China, India, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Australia clears FTA with India

India News

Electricity amendment bill unlikely to be tabled in Winter Session

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has given the committee three months to examine the proposed legislation and prepare a report on it…writes Animesh Singh

The controversial Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022 is unlikely to be tabled in the forthcoming Winter Session of the Parliament, which is scheduled to begin from December 7.

The reason being is that more than three months after the proposed legislation was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy, the panel would be holding its first meeting to discuss the legislation on December 1 — just six days before the commencement of the Winter session. BJP MP Jagdambika Pal heads the panel.

Though the proposed legislation was immediately referred to the Parliamentary panel by the Power Minister R.K. Singh on August 8, as soon as it was introduced in Lok Sabha amid vehement opposition to it, the bill was referred to the panel for discussion only on December 21.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has given the committee three months to examine the proposed legislation and prepare a report on it.

Now with the first meeting to discuss the legislation taking place only on December 1, the panel would be in a position to prepare a report on the bill after discussion only by February 2023, when the Budget session would be on.

Sources aware of developments said that if the panel is not able to finalise its views on the bill, then it may even get an extension.

After being referred to the Parliamentary panel on August 8, the bill could not be taken up for discussion by it since then, as the committee was reconstituted during the intervening period.

Pal took over as the chairman of the reconvened panel in October, which was earlier headed by JD-U MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lalan.

Earlier, when the bill was introduced by Power Minister R.K. Singh in Lok Sabha on August 8, it had to be referred to the Parliamentary panel after Opposition parties led by the Congress vehemently opposed it.

Several opposition MPs including Congress’ Manish Tewari, said that it should not have been introduced in the first place, as the bill usurps the rights of the states.

The bill seeks to facilitate usage of distribution networks by any entity which gets a distribution licence. This would allow consumers to choose services of any power supplier from among several players operating in a particular region, just like customers have the choice to select mobile networks.

Opposition parties led by the Congress and farmers’ associations have been complaining that well-off consumers would opt for private distributors at the expense of state-owned distribution companies. They have also alleged that the amendments in the legislation would allow private companies to pick and choose profitable distribution networks.

Farmers have been opposing the Electricity Amendment Bill, saying that power is an essential commodity which needs proper regulation and dominance of private distribution companies may harm the sector. Last week, they even undertook a march against it in all states.

On November 23, thousands of electricity workers and engineers from across the country, held a massive rally in the national capital, protesting against the bill under the aegis of All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF).

A resolution was passed in the rally warning the central government that any unilateral action to get the bill passed in Parliament without taking the electricity employees and engineers into confidence, would be strongly opposed and all 27 lakh employees and engineers would be forced to resort to a nation-wide movement against the bill and that the Central government would be responsible for it.

ALSO READ: India’s Constitution is not static, but a living document

India News

Centre to scrap over 15-year-old govt vehicles

It would be mandatory for buses and vehicles of corporations and transport department to scrap vehicles older than 15 years….reports Asian Lite News

Aiming to decongest Indian roads of millions of worn out government vehicles, the Centre has issued a draft notification proposing mandatory non-renewal of registration of government vehicles older than 15 years.

This will be applicable from April 1, 2023, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said.

Also, it would be mandatory for buses and vehicles of corporations and transport department to scrap vehicles older than 15 years.

Suggestions have been sought on the notification within 30 days, the ministry said.

Last week, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had said all vehicles belonging to the Central government that have completed 15 years will be scrapped, and a policy to that effect has been sent to states.

On September 14, he had announced plans of having at least three registered vehicle scrapping facilities in every district of the country.

Road projects in Telangana, Haryana, Andhra

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has approved road projects of nearly Rs 1,322 crore in Haryana and worth Rs 573.13 Crore for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

In a series of tweets, he said: “Four-laning of Bhiwani-Hansi road section of NH-148B under Bharatmala Pariyojana in Bhiwani and Hisar districts has been approved in the state of Haryana at a cost of Rs 1,322.13 crore.”

He said, “The project would provide fast movement and good inter-district connectivity in Haryana.”

The Minister said: “The development of this section would also improve the overall efficiency of the long route traffic and freight movement that would ensure smooth and safe traffic flow as well as substantial reduction in travel time and reduced Vehicle Operating Cost (VOC).”

“The project would give a boost to the basic infrastructure in Haryana that would give momentum to the overall economic development of the region,” he added.

About the road project in the southern states, Gadkari posted: “The widening of existing two lane road to two lane with Paved shoulders from Hyderabad-Bhupalapatnam section of NH-163 in Mulugu district, Telangana has been approved at the total cost of Rs 136.22 crore.”

He said: “The project stretch connects major tourist places namely Laknavaram lake and Bogotha waterfalls. The development of this stretch will improve the interstate connectivity between Telangana and Chhattisgarh. The Minister said Mulugu district is a Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected district and the development of this stretch would help the Government to have control over LWE activities.”

Gadkari said: “Rehabilitation and upgradation on NH-167K including the approaches of the iconic bridge across river Krishna in Nagarkurnool district in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has been approved at the total cost of Rs 436.91 Crore on EPC mode.”

He said: “The NH-167K would reduce the distance between Hyderabad/Kalwakurthy and important destinations like Tirupati, Nandyala/ Chennai by about 80 Km as the traffic presently following NH-44 will take to NH-167K after completion.

The Minister said: “Nandyala is an important trading center for agricultural products and forest products as it is nearer to Nallamala Forest. The sanctioned Iconic Bridge at Kollapur would be the Gateway for both the States and helps promote tourism.”

ALSO READ: ‘G20 presidency big opportunity for India’

-Top News India News

‘G20 presidency big opportunity for India’

PM Modi said India will have to focus on global good and world welfare during its G20 presidency….reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that India will have to focus on global good and world welfare during its presidency of G20.

In his monthly radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’, the prime minister said that India was set to assume the presidency of G20 from December 1 onwards, which is a “big opportunity” for the country.

“The Presidency of G-20 has arrived as a big opportunity for us. We have to make full use of this opportunity and focus on global good, world welfare. Whether it is peace or unity, sensitivity towards the environment, or sustainable development, India has solutions to challenges related to these. The theme that we have given “One Earth, One Family, One Future” shows our commitment to Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” Modi said in his address.

He further said that “in the coming days, many programmes related to G20 will be organised in different parts of the country. During this period, people from different parts of the world will get a chance to visit your states. I am sure that you will bring the diverse and distinctive colours of your culture to the world and you also have to remember that the people coming to the G20, even if they come now as delegates, are tourists of the future”.

Referring to the recent launch of the country’s first private rocket ‘Vikram-S’, Modi said, “On November 18, the whole country witnessed new history being made in the space sector. On this day, India sent its first such rocket into space, which was designed and prepared by the private sector of India. The name of this rocket is – Vikram-S. As soon as this first rocket of the indigenous space startup made a historic flight from Sriharikota, the heart of every Indian swelled with pride.”

Vikram-S rocket is equipped with many features, he said, adding that it is also lighter than other rockets, and also cheaper.

“Its development cost is much less than the cost incurred by other countries involved in space missions. In space technology, World class standard at a low cost, has now become the hallmark of India. Another modern technology has been used in making this rocket. You will be surprised to know that some crucial parts of this rocket have been made through 3D Printing. Surely, the name ‘Prarambh’ given to the launch mission of ‘Vikram-S’, suits it perfectly. This marks the dawn of a new era for the private space sector in India,” he informed.

Envoys herald India’s G20 presidency in Andaman & Nicobar

As India is set to assume the G20 presidency on December 1, the ambassadors and heads of missions of G20 nations on November 26 blew conch shells at the Swaraj Dweep in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Amitabh Kant, the G20 Sherpa of India, shared the video of G20 ambassadors blowing the conch shell in the Andamans on Twitter.

While sharing the video on the microblogging site, Amitabh Kant said, “Embarking on our G20 Presidency with the auspicious “Shankhnaad”. Blowing the Conch Shell with Ambassadors & Heads of Missions of G20 countries at the Swaraj Dweep in the Andamans.” A special briefing of the resident heads of international organizations was held at Swaraj Dweep in Andaman Nicobar Islands on Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press release. More than 40 missions and International Organizations participated in the program.

A detailed briefing was given by the G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant and Harsh Shringla, the Chief Coordinator of the G20 Summit which is slated to take place in India this year. Kant recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement at the G20 Bali Summit that India’s Presidency will be “inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented”.

During the briefing, the delegates discussed priorities in areas like public digital goods and digital infrastructure, climate action, climate finance and technology collaborations, clean, sustainable, just and affordable energy transition, accelerated progress on sustainable development goals, women-led development and multilateral reforms.

Harsh Shringla briefed missions regarding the arrangements made for G20 meetings in India and facilitation for the participation of the delegation. He recalled that the day also marks India’s Constitution Day, the 14th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks and the importance of facing global challenges together, according to MEA’s press release.

At the end of the briefing, OSD(Operations) Muktesh Pardeshi and AS(G20) Abhay Thakur answered a range of queries from Missions on travel, visas, protocol, security and participation of invitees.

During the event, Chief Secretary Keshav Chandra gave a detailed briefing regarding the history, culture, environment and development of the Andaman & Nicobar islands. During the briefing, the delegates appreciated the arrangements made by the Union Territory to make the meeting a success.

Apart from the briefing, delegates also participated in a yoga session and beach cleaning activity. Delegates also visited the historic Cellular Jail at Port Blair, where a large number of our unsung heroes were imprisoned for the cause of our freedom struggle. The visit concluded with a cultural program by local artists. (ANI)

ALSO READ: India now has 2nd largest gamer base in world