Pak, China behind illegal immigration in northeast: Army Chief


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New Delhi, Feb 22, 2018
Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has said that Pakistan and China are behind illegal immigration in the northeast.
He made this statement while addressing North East Region of India Bridging Gaps and Securing Borders Summit in New Delhi on Wednesday.
“Migration from Bangladesh is due to two reasons. One, they are running out of space. Large areas get flooded during the monsoon and they have constricted area to stay. So, people will continue coming into our place,” the Army Chief said.
He added: “The other issue is a planned immigration that is taking place because of our western neighbour (Pakistan). They will always try and ensure that this area is taken over through proxy warfare. This proxy game is being very well played by our western neighbour and supported by our northern neighbour (China).
He said we need to understand the problem in northeast.
“Is it identity problem? Is it a problem of development? Is it a problem of security? Or, is it a problem with the demography that is happening right now? I think it is all encompassing and we will have to look at it holistically,” the Army Chief said.
He also said that the Centre is seriously contemplating at addressing issues in the northeast with its Act East Policy and looking at development from Central prospective.
“Development is the main issue and identifying the population of this area (northeast) with the population of mainland becomes important. The Centre is looking at northeast with right perspective and time will not be far when we will be able to amalgamate this region and with development will come the control of people of this region,” said the Army Chief.
Maintaining that it was difficult to change the population dynamics of northeast, General Rawat said, “There is a party called AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front). They have grown in a faster time-frame than the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) grew over the years. When we talk of Jan Sangh with two MPs and where they have reached, AIUDF is moving at a faster pace in the state of Assam.”
The AIUDF is a political party active in the Indian state of Assam. It is the champion of Muslims in Assam.
The Army Chief said, “We have to live with the people of the region, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion or sex. If we understand that then we will be able to live together happily. We will have more trouble in segregating people.”
Talking about Arunachal Pradesh, he said, “Arunachalis speak pure Hindi so amalgamating them with us is not a problem.”
China claims parts of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory.


Defence Industrial Mfg corridor in Bundel khand region: PM


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Lucknow, Feb 21, 2018
Announcing a Defence Industrial Manufacturing corridor in the Bundelkhand region , Prime Minister Narendra Modi said potential coupled with Policy, Planning and Performance can lead to progress and thus Uttar Pradesh will also deliver a super-hit performance now.

” Two defence industrial corridors were announced in this year’s union Budget. One of them will come up in Bundelkhand region of the state. The corridor will be extended to Agra, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi and Chitrakoot,” Mr Modi announced during the first UP Investors Summit.

He also announced that two new international airports at Kushinagar and Jewar( Greater Noida) will also come up besides under the Udyan scheme, 11 cities of the state would have regular air connectivity.


EPFO cuts interest rate to 8.55 from 8.65 pc


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New Delhi, Feb 21, 2018

Retirement fund body, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Wednesday reduced the interest pay to 8.55 per cent from 8.65 per cent for FY – 2017-18.

The decision was taken at the 220th meeting of the EPFO central board of trustees here. It is the third straight year when the interest rates have been slashed. EPFO decision will come into effect after it is notified by the Finance Ministry.

“At a rate of 8.55 per cent, EPFO will have a surplus of Rs 586 crore,” Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Gangwar said after the board meeting.


India test-fires nuclear capable Agni II


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Bhubaneswar, Feb. 20, 2018
The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) on Tuesday test-fired Agni II medium-range nuclear-capable missile from Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
The missile has a strike range of more than 2,000 km.
The launch comes one week after India test successfully fired indigenously developed surface-to-surface nuclear capable Agni-I (A) ballistic missile from Abdul Kalam Islandoff Odisha coast at 8.30 a.m
On February 6, the ‘Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army conducted the test as part of their training exercise’, said Defence sources.
The medium range single stage missile was launched from the mobile launch complex-IV of Integrated Test Range (ITR) situated at Abdul Kalam Island formerly known as Wheeler Island.


Wish to expand Indo-Saudi bilateral relations: Jaitley


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Riyadh, Feb 20, 2018
During his official visit to Saudi Arabia, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated that India would like to enhance bilateral ties with the nation.
Jaitley, while addressing the 12th India-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission Meeting, JCMhere on Monday, said Saudi Arabia was “a key partner” for India in the long run, adding that the two countries could explore ties in various sectors.
Post the meet, minutes were signed and exchanged pertaining to trade and commerce, security, agriculture, information and media, health, vocational training and education, culture and community welfare. Both the sides also reportedly agreed to constitute a Joint Working Group to examine trade and investment issues.
On his two-day state visit to Saudi Arabia, Jaitley called on the King of Saudi ArabiaSalman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud here on Sunday.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral relations and means of developing and strengthening them in the future, reported Saudi Arabia’s Arab News.
Jaitley also held bilateral talks with Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment of Saudi Arabia on issues of mutual interests.


PFRDA identifies 21 banks as Makers of Excellence under APY Outreach Programme


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New Delhi, Feb 15, 2018
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has identifies 21 banks as Makers of Excellence under Atal Pension Yojana (APY) Outreach Programme as the number of current APY subscribers crosses 86 Lacs mark.

According to data released by Finance Ministry, under the campaign, nearly, 6 lacs APY accounts were sourced by the APY Service Provider Banks.
Targets were allocated to various banks to be achieved during the Campaign.

A total of 21 banks- 6 Public sector banks, 14 Regional Rural Banks and 1 Cooperative Bank were able to achieve the target under the campaign and became the Makers of Excellence.

PFRDA has planned to award the Top Management of the winning banks at the upcoming PFRDA Pension Conclave in national capital.


Modi meets French PM, discusses ways to strengthen ties


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Dubai, Feb 11,2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met his French counterpart Edouard Philippe and had a “good discussion” on ways to boost bilateral strategic ties ahead of President Emmanuel Macron’s first visit to India next month.

Modi met Philippe on the sidelines of the World Government Summit here.

“The two leaders had a good discussion on strengthening our strategic partnership. Modi said that he was looking forward to the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India next month,” External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

There has been a significant progress in Indo-French cooperation through regular high-level exchanges and growing commercial exchanges, including in strategic areas such as defence, nuclear energy and space.

Last year, Modi visited France soon after Macron assumed office.

Modi also met Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sapar Isakov here and the two leaders shared their views on bilateral and regional issues, Kumar said.

Modi earlier today met UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and discussed ways to expand bilateral cooperation in trade, defence and people-to- people contacts.

Modi also met business leaders from Gulf Cooperation Council countries and shared his vision of “new India” with them.

“Taking India story to the business leaders! Prime Minister Modi painted the vision of a new India and shared the ease of doing business in India with the business leaders from Gulf Cooperation Council countries,” Kumar said in another tweet.

“He spoke at length about the economic opportunities in India and the series of reforms undertaken in the last 3.5 years,” the Prime Minister Office said in tweet.

Yesterday, Modi arrived in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, and held wide-ranging talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the two sides signed five agreements, including a historic pact awarding a consortium of Indian oil companies a 10 per cent stake in offshore oil concession.

Modi is visiting the United Arab Emirates for the second time after his 2015 trip to the Gulf country


PM holds delegation-level talks with Sultan Qaboos of Oman, eight MOUs signed


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Muscat, Feb 11, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held delegation level talks with Sultan Qaboos of Oman, aimed at strengthening cooperation in trade and investment, energy, defence and security, food security and regional issues.

In a tweet, spokesperson of the Ministry of External affairs said, ”Charting out new frontiers in our bilateral relationship, PM Narendra Modi led delegation-level talks with Sultan Qaboos of Oman.

The two strategic partners discussed to strengthen cooperation in trade and investment, energy, defence and security, food security and regional issues.

Sultan Qaboos appreciated the contribution of honest and hard working Indian nationals in the development of Oman, the MEA said in a statement.

Eight agreements or MoUs were also signed between India and Oman.


PM Modi conferred Grand Collar of the State of Palestine, Bilateral Talks Conclude


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Ramallah, Feb 10 (UNI) On the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Palestine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Saturday conferred with the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine, a rare honour for a foreign dignitary.

Commendation of Grand Collar read, “in recognition of his wise leadership, lofty national & international stature, in appreciation of his efforts to promote historic relations between Palestine and India; in acknowledgement of his support to our peoples’ right to freedom so peace prevails in region.’’

Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas met Mr. Modi and conferred the honour upon him after conclusion of bilateral talks. The honour was bestowed upon Mr. Modi in recognition of his contribution to relations between India and Palestine. The Grand Collar is Highest order given to a foreign dignitary.


All countries can play constructive role in Maldives crisis: India


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New Delhi, Feb 10, 2018

Reacting to a media report that the Maldives Government has sought assistance from China in maintaining the Chinese personnel and investments, India has hoped that all countries could play a productive role in dealing with the crisis.

“We note that China has said that Maldives Government has the ability to protect the security of Chinese personnel and institutions in the Maldives. We hope that all countries can play a constructive role in the Maldives, instead of doing the opposite,” Raveesh Kumar, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson said Friday night.

On Friday, a Chinese official said that China did not want the Maldivian political crisis to become another thorny issue with India.





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