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Harris asking Pakistan to act against terrorism

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New York, Sep 24: US Vice President Kamala Harris has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that she was asking Pakistan to act on terrorism and ensure that terror groups do not target New Delhi or Washington, according to India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

He said that when the issues of terrorism came up during their meeting on Thursday, “the Vice President suo moto referred to Pakistan’s role in that regard. She said that they were terror groups that were working there. She asked Pakistan to take action so that these groups do not impact on US security and that of India”.

Shringla asserted that “she agreed with the Prime Minister’s briefing on the fact of cross border terrorism, and the fact that India had been a victim of terrorism for several decades now, and on the need to rein in and closely monitor Pakistan’s support for such terrorism”.

Briefing reporters in Washington after the meeting between the two leaders, he said that the encounter, the first in-person meeting, “reflected warmth and cordiality”.

The discussions were “substantive” and also covered the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, cooperation in the technology sector, cybersecurity and space, he said.

A White House readout of the meeting said that Modi and Harris “supported expanding bilateral security cooperation in the face of modern threats, including terrorism and cybercrime”.

Harris, who is the chair of the National Space Council, “encouraged expanded US-India space cooperation, and she and Prime Minister Modi explored ways to build on existing, robust bilateral collaboration on space”, the readout added.

Some of the supporters of Harris and her Democratic Party have accused Modi of eroding democracy.

The readout pointedly said: “They each emphasised a commitment to democratic values and discussed the need to strengthen democracy at home and abroad.”

The Indian External Affairs Ministry’s readout did not mention any discussion of democracy.

When the topic of the pandemic came up, they discussed collaborating on vaccine production under the Quad Vaccine Partnership, the White House readout said, adding: “The Vice President welcomed India’s commitment to resume vaccine exports and the progress of its domestic vaccination campaign.”

The White House’s account of the meeting made no mention of Pakistan’s role in terrorism or asking it to take action against terrorists.

The Indian readout said that Modi told her “about India’s push for increasing renewable energy and the recently launched National Hydrogen Mission”.

“He also emphasised the importance of lifestyle changes to promote environmental sustainability.

“Both leaders acknowledged the vibrant people-to-people linkages as the bedrock of the mutually beneficial education linkages and the flow of knowledge, innovation and talent between our two countries,” it added.

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Air India goes to Tata Sons, Ratan Tata tweets, Welcome Back!

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New Delhi: Finally, Air India has gone to Tata Group which emerged the highest bidder. This was a much-awaited deal for the Government of India which wanted to sell this national career from a very long time. Welcome back, Air India, tweets Ratan Tata on Tata Sons winning the bid for Air India.
An SPV of Tata Sons – the holding company of conglomerate – has emerged as successful bidder, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) — the government department responsible for privatisation, said.

The international service was among the first public-private partnerships in India, with the government holding 49 per cent, the Tatas keeping 25 per cent and the public owning the rest. In 1953, Air India was nationalised. The government is selling 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India’s 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

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Powerful earthquake in Japan injures 32, disrupts train services

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Tokyo, Oct 8: Authorities in Japan said on Friday that a powerful earthquake which jolted the country the previous day left 32 people injured, while also disrupting train services in the Tokyo area, affecting around 368,000 passengers in total.

The earthquake that struck the capital region at 10.41 p.m. on Thursday night reached upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in parts of Tokyo and Saitama prefecture, reports Xinhua news agency.

The last time that people in central Tokyo faced such an intense jolt was during the massive quake of March 11, 2011, which devastated northeastern Japan and triggered a tsunami and nuclear disaster.

According to East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), the strongest earthquake for the Japanese capital in a decade caused services on the Shinkansen bullet train and 16 local train lines cancelled or delayed from late night Thursday to about 3 p.m. (local time) on Friday, resulting in many late-night train passengers stranded and a commuter disruption in the morning.

JR East have resumed train services, but many passengers were forced to wait at stations due to delays.

After a train derailed in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward, one of the areas hit hardest by the temblor, the operation of the Nippori Toneri Liner, a driverless guideway transit system in Tokyo, might remain suspended for several days, according to its operator.

The Japan Transport Safety Board has sent officials to investigate the derailment.

According to a tally by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, two in Saitama Prefecture and one in Chiba Prefecture sustained severe injuries among the 32.

Around 250 houses in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward briefly experienced power outages due to the earthquake, and water stoppages and leaks were reported in central Tokyo.

The earthquake also caused 28 cases of people being trapped in elevators in Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures, but all cases have been cleared according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.

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India to showcase its art, culture, tradition and business prospect in Dubai

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Dubai: India is out to showcase to the world its arts and culture, rich history and tradition and opportunities that exist for individuals and corporates with its biggest pavilion of the 192 participating countries in the Expo 2020 Dubai.

The six-month-long Expo kicked off on October 1 with Dubai expecting a large number of visitors despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With the number of daily infections now well below 200 for the past week, the city has opened itself to the world. Most of the visitors are allowed to travel with a valid negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours.

However, India is still in the category that requires a valid negative PCR test certificate (with a QR code) for a test conducted within 48 hours, and a rapid PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure. The pavilion features a kinetic facade of 600 individual colourful blocks. The panels rotate and the facade presents a different look with each rotation, a unique representation of the country’s theme at the Expo, ‘India on the Move’.

The Indian pavilion was officially inaugurated by Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles who said the Pavilion “shows an India on the move, it describes a new India rejuvenated, reinvented and revitalised, which can convert any adversity into an opportunity”.

As the country comes out a deadly second wave of the pandemic, India is eager to make an impression on the world and the Expo is a great platform. Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai, said: “India at Expo 2020 Dubai will present a new and dynamic India with its never-ending opportunities.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given us a clarion call for action to all stakeholders to give a renewed push to boosting exports and Expo 2020 will provide an important platform in driving forward this national agenda.”

While art and culture has always been a staple of India’s exhibitions in foreign countries, there is a big push for innovation and industries in Dubai. The India Innovation Hub, a specially designed mobile platform, was recently launched. It showcases innovations by Indian startups and corporates across various cutting edge fields like artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobility, robotics and space. As many as 15 states and eight Union Territories are taking part in the Expo, most of them displaying food, art & culture and business opportunities. Also, present and various ministries, like textile, space and energy, as well as some of the leading business houses like Tata, Reliance, L&T and Adani.

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