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Terrorism has become a pandemic, affecting every society: Vice President Ansari


ansariThe Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari has said that terrorism has become a pandemic and affects every society. He was talking to the Media onboard Air India One Special Aircraft while returning to India concluding five-day visit to Armenia and Poland, today.

The Vice President said that both Armenia and Poland were very friendly countries and we were able to regenerate interest in mutual cooperation. Though Armenia is a small country, it has traditionally been very friendly to us, he added.

Referring to Poland, the Vice President said that it is the biggest economy in Central Europe and we have an expanding trade with them. He further said that there are Indian investments in Poland and Polish investments in India and during the course of discussions, with both the Polish President and the Prime Minister, we were able to identify some specific areas where cooperation between these two countries is either starting or can start very soon. We were able to focus on three particular areas of interest; clean coal mining technology, agricultural products and techniques and defence cooperation, he added.

The Vice President said that he had suggested to the Polish leadership for Poland to join the Make in India Programmes and instead of being a seller only, they could become an India based seller, which will give them a much additional advantages. He further said that the Polish side reacted very positively to the suggestion and there will be substantial progress in coming day when the Polish President visits India. All in all, the discussions were very focused and very positive and in both countries, the results have been satisfactory, he added.

Reacting to a question on exploring potential with Armenian innovation and Indian efforts coming together for mutual benefit, the Vice President said that Armenian innovation is good and Indian effort is right in its place. We need to see where and what the innovation is and where it will fit in to our requirements, he added.

On a question about the road ahead in our relationship with Poland, the Vice President said that Poland has done its own homework in identifying India’s rising profile to become a major trading partner and a major political entity in its own right. He further said that the Poles have identified a few markets in Asia as priority markets and India is one of them. We both look forward and expect several initiatives in furthering this process, he added.

Answering a question on adopting Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), the Vice President said that every country is facing the problem of terrorism in a lesser or greater degree and the problem is understood by everyone. He referred to the time when he was the permanent representative of India to UN in New York in 1994, when India had introduced a proposal on CCIT and it was struck because there was a difference in perception with regard to defining a terrorist. He further said that while making an international agreement, all kinds of legal problems come up and those who do not want this to make progress, come up with legal technicalities. It is an excuse on part of some countries to try to avoid committing themselves, he added.

Reacting to a question on image of India in foreign countries, the Vice President said that India’s image outside, or image within the country is on different planes and multiple images are a fact of life. He referred to India, through ISRO, sending Mars mission and launching satellites of several countries. He further said that a common man looks at our strengths in Information Technology and Indian IT professionals are present all over the world and as long as the picture is a faithful one, we have to take note what ISRO is doing, what IT is doing and what Indian scientific research is doing. Along with it, there is poverty, there is inequality, but despite all this is also the fact that we have been able, for seven decades, to run a democratic system on a monumental scale, he added.

Issue of Triple Talaq should be resolved within Muslim community: PM

Our Correspondent /

modi2Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked the Muslim society not to politicize the issue of Triple Talaq. He said that discussions were on in this direction, Mr Modi hoped that the issue will be resolved within the Muslim community itself.

‘It will be good if people will come to resolve the issue on their own” PM stressed while speaking at a function in New Delhi today.

Mr Modi said, there should be no discrimination in the country. He said, Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas is the motto of his government and government will fulfil promises made to the people without any discrimination. On corruption, Mr Modi said, the corrupt conduct is eating into the very vitals of the democracy.

The Prime Minister was speaking after unveiling translated volumes of Vachana, penned by 12th century social reformer Basavanna and other saints in 23 Indian languages on the occasion of Basava Jayanthi. He also released the digital version of the work at the first ever celebration of Basava Jayanthi at the national level in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Modi said, India’s history is not only about defeat, poverty or colonialism but the country gave the message of good governance, non violence and Satyagraha to the world.

The Prime Minister said, lord Basavanna gave importance to give equal opportunities to women. He said, India has been blessed with greats who have transformed the society.

Vachana is a prosaic form well known in the Kannada literature which propagate values of universal brotherhood. This style of writing was used by Basavanna for spreading social awareness and bring equality in the society in the 12th century.

The 23 Vachana volumes, edited by esteemed literary scholar late M M Kalburgi and translated by more than 200 people, was commissioned by the Bengaluru based Basava Samithi at a cost of 2.5 crore rupees of which, the Karnataka government contributed 1 crore rupees. Unveiling of the work by Prime Minister Modi will help spread Basavanna’s ideology and philosophy across the country.

After the event, the Prime Minister walked to the audience to meet the family members of the great Kannada scholar Late M.M. Kalburgi.

The event also coincides with golden jubilee of Basava Samiti, set up by former Vice President B D Jatti in 1964 with an aim to spread Basavannas message across India.

US would not rule out military response to future N Korean aggression: Tillerson


US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington would not rule out a military response to future North Korean aggression and that it would seek to increase the rogue nation’s financial and international isolation.

Tillerson told yesterday at a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council on the North Korean nuclear issue. As we have said before, all options for responding to future provocation must remain on the table, he added. Tillerson said this new campaign of intensified pressure would be swiftly implemented and painful to North Korean interests, but he insisted that regime change is not a part of it. He added that talks would not happen before North Korea takes concrete steps to dismantle its illegal weapons programs.

He singled out China, urging it to exert its powerful economic leverage over North Korea. He also asked States to downgrade their diplomatic relations with Pyongyang and to fully implement existing UN Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea. Several foreign ministers attended Friday’s high-level session, including China’s Wang Yi.

Strong quake jolted North Sulawesi province of central Indonesia

A strong quake jolted North Sulawesi province of central Indonesia early today, an official of the meteorology and geophysics agency said.

The agency has revised the magnitude of the quake from 7.1 to 6.8 and a tsunami warning has been issued, Wahyu Kurniawan, official in charge at the agency said.

The quake struck at 03: 23 a.m. Jakarta time with epicenter at 246 km northwest km Sangihe Island and the depth at 48 kilometers under sea bed, he said.

North Korea test-fires ballistic missile, fails within seconds


North Korea today test-fired a ballistic missile, which failed within seconds after lift-off. The South Korean military said, the missile was fired from a site in South Pyeongan province north of Pyongyang. US military’s Pacific Command also said, Pyongyang fired the missile but it did not leave North Korean territory.

US President Donald Trump said in a tweet that North Korea disrespected the wishes of China when it launched the missile. North Korea has made repeated attempts to miniaturise nuclear warheads and fit them on long-range missiles said to be capable of reaching the US.

Violence erupts in Brazil during general strike


Violence has erupted in Brazil during the country’s first general strike in more than 20 years. Buses and cars have been set on fire in Rio de Janeiro’s city centre. Road blocks set up by activists were also ablaze and shops were vandalised.

For most of the day the strike had been largely peaceful. Many people stayed at home and shops, schools and banks remained closed across the country.

Unions called the strike in protest at proposed pension reforms. President Michel Temer said he regretted the incidents in Rio. But he stressed that he would continue his efforts to modernise the country.

Brazilian unions backed by various social movements are striking against pension and labor reforms. Organizers claim the strike will be the “biggest in Brazil’s history.”

Nationwide strike in 21 years was against a tough austerity and reform bill put forward by President Michel Temer. The bill aims to reduce labor costs and erode the power of unions. Temer said he hopes it will kickstart an economy battered by a recession. Workers’ Groups think the reforms go too far and question the government’s legitimacy.

Banks cannot refuse to accept faded or scribbled notes:RBI

RBI to set up separate Enforcement department

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said, banks cannot refuse to accept faded notes or those with scribbles. In a Circular to banks, RBI said such banknotes have to be treated as “soiled notes” and dealt with according to the RBI’s “clean note policy”.

The circular was issued after it received complaints that many branches were not accepting banknotes, specifically of 500 and 2,000 denominations, with anything written on them or those either smudged with colour or faded due to washing.

The central bank clarified that its instructions on scribbling on notes was a directive for staffers not to write on banknotes. Bank branches have been rejecting such notes following rumours in social media that such notes were not acceptable.

Govt launches Test & Treat policy for HIV patients

naddaUnion Health Minister JP Nadda launched the Test and Treat policy for providing treatment to patients suffering from Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Launching the policy at a function in New Delhi yesterday, Mr Nadda said, under it, the government will provide Anti- Retroviral Therapy (ART) treatment to the patients free of cost. He said, it is a centrally sponsored scheme and people suffering from HIV will benefit from it.

Mr Nadda said, under the scheme, a person detected HIV positive will be provided ART treatment. Mr Nadda also said, the government will soon launch a national strategic plan to fight against HIV-AIDS. On the occasion, he also felicitated the community workers who are working for HIV patients and spreading awareness

BJP President Amit Shah to begin his Vistaar Yatra in 5 states

AMIT SHAHBJP president Amit Shah will be on a 95-day all-India tour from today during which he will strategies on ways to win the 2019 Lok Sabha election, with focus on clinching 120 seats where the party had lost in 2014. Today, he will reach Jammu as part of his odyssey.

Mr Shah will spend one to three days in each states. The tour will focus on taking stock of the party’s organisational strength and further expansion of electoral appeal across the country. Mr Shah is particularly focusing on states like West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana and Kerala. The BJP had managed to win just 4 Lok Sabha seats out of the 102 in these states in the 2014 election. Mr Shah’s voyage will end by 25th September, the 101th birth anniversary of Jana Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

Apart from his 95-day tour, Mr Shah has also chosen five states where he will spend three days each. His recent visit to West Bengal was part of the programme. Besides West Bengal, he will visit Odisha, Telangana, Lakshadweep and the poll-bound Gujarat. Mr Shah has also hinted at a reshuffle in the organisation as several office-bearers are now serving as ministers in the Uttar Pradesh government.

Rajnath Singh briefs PM on steps taken after Sukma naxal attack

rajnathUnion Home Minister Rajnath Singh briefed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday on the steps taken in the aftermath of the naxal attack on security forces in Sukma as well as the status of the 80,000 crore rupee development package for Jammu and Kashmir.

Official sources said, Mr Singh gave the details of the measures adopted after the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh which claimed the lives of 25 security personnel.

The package for Jammu and Kashmir was announced by Mr Modi in November 2015. So far, 19,000 crore rupees have been released to the state government by the Centre.