Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh co-chaired the first India-China High Level Meeting on Bilateral Security Cooperation with Mr. Zhao Kezhi, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China in New Delhi. During the meeting, the two sides discussed issues of mutual interest, including bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation, and welcomed increased cooperation between India and China in the area of security cooperation. An Agreement on Security Cooperation between the Ministry of Home Affairs of India and the Ministry of Public Security of China was also signed by the two Ministers. The Agreement will further strengthen and consolidate discussions and cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism, organized crimes, drug control and other such relevant areas. Mr. Zhao Kezhi is on a bilateral visit to India from 21 to 25 October, 2018, during which he will also travel to Mumbai.
The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu led a delegation to participate in the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting that took place on 18-19 October 2018 in Brussels bringing together 51 countries across Asia and Europe, as well as EU and ASEAN Institutions under the title “Global Partners for Global Challenges”. At the Summit, the Vice President joined the other global leaders in unanimously stressing the role of ASEM as a main platform for Europe and Asia to strengthen dialogue, foster cooperation and tackles global challenges, such as climate change, terrorism, global peace and security, maritime governance, preserving and strengthening rules-based multilateral trading system, and working towards 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Chair’s statement was also issued at the Summit. The Vice President, during his interventions, called on the international community to take concerted action against terrorism, including cross-border terrorism, that threatens peace and stability. He stated that it is important to uphold principles of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries and to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity. He stressed on an early adoption of the United Nations Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. Terming economic offences as a serious issue that threatens the financial stability of nations, he asked the ASEM partners to work together for denying shelter and for expeditious and timely exchange of financial information. He also highlighted India’s own ambitious policy measures in actively combating climate change and stressed International Solar Alliance as a shining example of Asia-Europe cooperation. He underlined Government of India’s measure for more inclusive development, including focus on women empowerment. Earlier on October 18, the Vice President also called on His Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians. On the sidelines of the Summit, the Vice President also met with the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras and Portuguese Prime Minister, Mr. Antonio Costa, Spanish Prime Minister, Mr. Pedro Sanchez and exchanged views on matters of common interest. During his visit to Belgium, the Vice President also visited Jain Temple Complex in the City of Antwerp and met the members of Indian Community on October 20. He outlined the transformative governance initiatives in India and suggested that the Indian diaspora could be active partners in the current India’s growth story. Underscoring the important of ethics in business, he emphasized the paramount importance of maintaining the link with the mother-tongue, motherland and enhanced respect for mother and the guru or the mentor. He also visited Office of the Governor of Antwerp where he paid floral homage to the bust of Mahatma Gandhi. Later in the day, he exchanged views on further enhancing India-Belgium trade and investment ties with select group of prominent CEOs. After successfully concluding his visit, Vice President will be returning to Delhi on October 21.
Fifty people were killed and many others injured when a train ran into a crowd celebrating Dussehra in Punjab’s Joda Phatak, close to Amritsar, subdivisional magistrate Rajesh Sharma said. The crowd was watching a Ravana effigy burn nearby around 7pm, additional district commissioner of police, city-2, Lakhbir Singh said. Some were standing on the track shooting videos of the effigy burning on their mobile phones when the train hit them. Authorities have rushed to the spot of the accident.
On day three of the Sabarimala temple opening, devotees continue to throng the hill for completing their pilgrimage to the Ayyappa temple. However, tension remains as women attempt to enter the temple, reports Hindustan Times. After two women unsuccessfully attempted to trek up to the hill-shrine, a third woman began the long walk on Friday morning under a police guard of 150 personnel. Devotees have been aggressively protesting a Supreme Court order that allows women of menstrual age to enter the temple, a ban that was followed for decades as a religious practice. With the Kerela government saying it will follow the court order and ensure women are allowed in the temple, protests have swept across the state leading to a state-wide shutdown, Hindustan Times reported.
The Election Commission announced a single phase election in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram, and a two-phase election in Chhattisgarh -- all of which will be held in November. Rajasthan and Telangana will also have a single phase election on December 7. Counting of votes will be held on December 11 for all states, said Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat, reports NDTV. Elections in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram will be held on November 28. In Chhattisgarh, 18 seats will go to polls in the first phase on November 12. The majority of the state's seats - 72 - will go to polls on November 20, NDTV reported.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the much anticipated S-400 Triumf, the $5-billion deal, arguably the world's most lethal surface-to-air missile system, to strengthen India's air defence system. "Russia has stood by India through time and has played a crucial role In India's growth story," PM Modi said in a joint address after the bilateral meeting with Mr Putin who is on a two-day visit to India. Both the countries signed a list of other agreements as well ranging from nuclear power to space exploration. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for the 19th edition of the Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi. India-Russia cooperation is based on the solid foundations of the 1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation between the Republic of India and the USSR, 1993 Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation, 2000 Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation and 2010 Joint Statement elevating the Partnership to a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. India and Russia highly evaluated the contemporary relevance and significance of the informal summit in Sochi on May 21, 2018 which was a unique meeting in international diplomacy, reflecting the deep trust and confidence between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin, underlining the desire of both countries to maintain regular contacts and hold frequent consultations on issues of mutual interest, and further enhanced mutual coordination and convergence of views on all major issues. The Sochi Summit manifested the role of interaction and cooperation between India and Russia in building a multi-polar world order. The two Sides agreed to continue the practice of such informal meetings and to maintain strategic communication at all levels on a regular basis. The Sides reaffirmed their commitment to the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia. They declared that this relationship is an important factor for global peace and stability and appreciated each other’s respective roles as major powers with common responsibilities for maintaining global peace and stability. Both Sides agreed that their relationship is mature and confident, covering all areas and is marked by deep trust, mutual respect and close understanding of each other’s position. They reaffirmed that being multicultural, multilingual and multireligious societies, India and Russia bring civilizational wisdom to address modern day challenges. Together, they contribute to creating a more interconnected and diverse world. The Sides called upon all states to work towards the lessening of global tensions and promoting the ideals of tolerance, cooperation, transparency and openness in inter-state relations. They stressed that the primary challenge in large parts of the world remains ensuring rapid and environmentally sustainable economic development, removal of poverty, reducing inequality among and within states, and providing basic health care. India and Russia pledged to cooperate with each other to achieve these goals. The Sides noted with satisfaction the intensification of contacts between the two countries, in all spheres – more than 50 visits at ministerial level, which have injected new vigour into their relationship. Subsequent to the successful implementation of the Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations for the period 2017-18, the Sides agreed to extend the period of Consultations for five more years (2019-2023) and signed a Protocol to this effect. Russia welcomed the appointment of Honorary Consuls General of India in Ekaterinburg and Astrakhan, which would further facilitate closer interaction amongst people and regions of both Sides.
India and Russia are expected to sign two major arms deals - for the S-400 Triumf air and missile defence system and four more Kirivak/Talwar class stealth frigates - as President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi hold the annual bilateral summit today, reports Hindustan Times. President Putin, who arrived in Delhi on Thursday on a two-day visit for the summit, was received by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and met PM Modi shortly after his arrival. The 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit scheduled to take place on Friday is expected to see the both sides review bilateral defence cooperation in the wake of the US sanctions against Russian defence majors. The key focus will be the $5-billion deal (Rs 39,000 crore) for supply of the S-400 system, which is capable of destroying incoming aerial targets at a range of 400km, Hindustan Times reported.
The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India is quickly becoming a global leader and lifting millions out of poverty and added that country requires skilled youth to accelerate the growth process. Addressing the founder’s day celebrations of CHIREC International School in Hyderabad, he stressed on the need to teach students the great culture, heritage of India. He asked Educational institutions in the country to take an active lead and revamp the system to make it more relevant and contemporary and ensure that our institutions churn out ideal citizens. The Vice President said that the mechanical fashion of memorising the subjects must go and said that such rote method of learning is detrimental to overall personality development of the child. Education must foster creativity, critical thinking, open learning and impart analytical skills. It must help students to become good human beings, he said. The Vice President suggested educational institutions and policy makers to take steps to reduce the burden on students. First and foremost, the syllabus at the school level has to be drastically cut to reduce the load on students. The time spent by students in school should be divided equally between the classroom and play field, he added. The Vice President said that the participation in sports and other extra-curricular activities will help in improving physical and mental health, and fostering active citizenship and social inclusion.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi takes charge as the 46th Chief Justice of India. Justice Gogoi was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rastrapati Bhavan. Mr. Gogoi becomes the new Chief Justice of India after Justice Dipak Misra completed his term on October 1. Many dignitaries including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda were present at the Rashtrapati Bhavan's Darbar Hall for the ceremony.
The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India has been unequivocal in its commitment to the preservation and protection of human rights globally as well as within the country. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the National Human Rights Conclave being organized as a part of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the National Human Rights Commission. The Vice President reaffirmed that human rights were the most natural rights, inherent to all human beings without discrimination. He also tasked the state with the primary responsibility of upholding, respecting, protecting and fulfilling these inalienable rights and he applauded India’s robust human rights protection framework comprising of a fiercely independent and fair judiciary, media, civil society and a number of proactive and independent human right bodies, such as the National Human Rights Commission. India is also a signatory to several of the core UN Human Rights and International Labour Organization’s conventions, he added. The Vice President appreciated the good work done by NHRC as a diligent watchdog of human rights protection and said that the massive rise in the number of complaints received by the NHRC from 496 in 1993 to 79,612 cases in 2018 were a testament to the faith that the people of India placed on the NHRC. He lauded the efforts of NHRC towards eradication of the abhorrent practices of bonded labor child labor and manual scavenging. The Vice President insisted that special focus should be placed on protecting the rights of the vulnerable sections of the society, especially women and children. He reserved a few proud words to speak of India’s strong track record of affirmative action, especially women’s reservation in Local Self governing bodies. He said that the contribution of women, who are ‘Shaktiswarupinis’, was indispensable to nation building and added that the principle of gender equality was enshrined in the constitution. He placed the onus on parents and teachers to inculcate the principles of gender equality in children. He declared that no civilized society would tolerate or accept any form of violence or discrimination against women and children. The Vice President highlighted several challenges that lay in the path towards securing human rights. He observed that Indian democracy allows space for everyone to express their opinions. He welcomed ‘dissent’ but warned that ‘disintegration’ would not be tolerated. The Vice President argued that human rights did not confer unfettered liberty to anyone to speak against the state or nation and added that human rights are best upheld if they are in harmony with the interests of the nation and fellow citizens. He lamented that the misuse of provisions of the human rights emerged as recent phenomenon. He observed that Human Rights are for everyone, in equal measure and therefore the rights of one person could not transgress the rights of another. In this context, he condemned acts of terrorism and said that India had lost several of its luminary leaders including Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Smt. Indira Gandhi and a number of MLAs and MPs to mindless acts of terror.