Friday, October 2, 2020

Indian Embassy in Afghanistan celebrates birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

Indian Embassy in Afghanistan celebrated Gandhi Jayanti by having a screenplay on the life and works on Mahatma Gandhi. Photo/ANI


Kabul [Afghanistan], October 2 (ANI): Indian Embassy in Afghanistan on Friday celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi by organising a screenplay of his life and works.

The event also marked two years of celebrations in commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Mahatma Gandhi. A documentary on life and work of Mahatma Gandhi was screened at the event in Kabul, an official release said.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon emphasised the relevance of Gandhian ideals and called for making Swachh Bharat campaign a part of daily life.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the celebrations were held as an in-house event only. (ANI)

Clap for village volunteers to appreciate their selfless service: Andhra CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy clapping to appreciate village volunteers on Friday. Photo/ANI


Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], October 2 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday gave a call to clap for village volunteers and other village secretariat employees to appreciate the selfless service they render.

Reddy along with Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, chief secretary Nilam Sawhney, DGP Gautam Sawang and others clapped at 7 pm at his camp office.

These systems were introduced by Jagan government on last year Gandhi Jayanti day.

The Chief Minister said that village volunteers are rendering selfless services without anticipating any profit, so that Gram Swaraj is being realised.

This is an appropriate time to respect their work with claps, he said. (ANI)

Pompeo trip to Asia underscores US commitment to region: State Department

US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell


Washington [US], October 2 (ANI/Sputnik): US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will underscore the United States' long-term commitment to Asia during his trip to the region next week, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell said during a press briefing on Friday.

"This trip reaffirms a long-term commitment [to the region]," Stilwell said when asked about possible messages for China during Pompeo's trip.

Pompeo is scheduled to visit Japan, South Korea and Mongolia from October 4-8.

Stilwell said Pompeo's trip provides a good opportunity to see like-minded partners and friends, and praised the three countries for their cooperation on different issues, including maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region, North Korea and others.

"We have outstanding partnership with Mongolia," Stilwell said. "Mongolia has been a strong contributor to peacekeeping operations."

Earlier on Friday, Pompeo said he would proceed with his trip to Asia despite the news that US President Donald Trump tested positive for the novel coronavirus. (ANI/Sputnik)

International Day of Non-Violence: Stop the fighting to focus on COVID-19, says UN Secretary-General

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaking at the virtual event titled "Gandhi@150: A non-violent approach to peace and development" held on Friday. (Photo/ANI)


New York [US], October 2 (ANI): On the occasion of the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called on the international community to be inspired by the spirit of Gandhi and the enduring principles of the UN Charter.

Speaking at a virtual event titled "Gandhi@150: A non-violent approach to peace and development", Guterres said that the birth anniversary of Gandhi is also celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence and the day re-emphasises the power of non-violence and peaceful protest.

"This international day highlights the remarkable power of non-violence and peaceful protest. It is also a timely reminder to strive to pull values that Gandhi lived by -- the promotion of dignity, equal protection for all and communities living together in peace," he said.

Urging the countries to focus on COVID-19 pandemic instead of other conflicts, the Secretary-General said, "On this year's observance we have a special duty -- stop the fighting to focus on common enemy that is COVID-19. There is only one winner of conflict during a pandemic -- the virus itself. I call for a global ceasefire. Today we need a new push by the international community to make this a reality by the end of this year."

"Ceasefires ease immense suffering, helps to lower the risk of famine and create space for negotiations for peace," he said.

While expressing hope amid the present "mistrust", Guterres said, "Now is the time to intensify our efforts. Let us be inspired by the spirit of Gandhi and the enduring principles of UN Charter."

The event was anchored by India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti.

Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar town of Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi adopted a non-violent resistance and was at the forefront of the freedom struggle against the colonial British rule with utmost patience.

This led to India finally achieving its independence in 1947. Fondly known as Bapu, his unwavering belief in 'Swaraj' (self-governance) and 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) won him accolades across the world.

Globally, Gandhi's birth anniversary is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events were held in India and across the world to mark the occasion. (ANI)

US Senator Mike Lee tests positive for COVID-19

US Republican Senator Mike Lee


Washington [US], October 2 (ANI/Sputnik): US Republican Senator Mike Lee said in a statement on Friday that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after visiting the White House several days ago.

"Yesterday morning, I was experiencing symptoms consistent with longtime allergies," Lee said in the statement.

"Out of an abundance of caution, I sought medical advice and was tested for COVID-19. Unlike the test I took just a few days ago while visiting the White House, yesterday's test came back positive," he added.

On Thursday night (local time), President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. (ANI/Sputnik)

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi appoints Vineet Jaiswal as new Hathras SP

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.


Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 2 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday appointed Vineet Jaiswal, Superintendent of Police (SP) of Shamli, as the new Hathras SP.

The moves comes as Adityanath gave directions to suspend SP, DSP, inspector and some others officials based on the first report of SIT which is probing the torture and alleged gangrape case of a 19-year woman in Hathras who later succumbed to her injuries in a Delhi hospital.

According to Chief Minister's Office (CMO), Hathras SP Vikrant Vir, Circle Officer (CO) Ram Shabd, Inspector Dinesh Kumar Verma, Sub-Inspector Jagveer Singh and head constable Mahesh Pal have been suspended for the negligence in duty based on the first report submitted by the Special Investigating Team (SIT).

According to the Chief Minister's office, narco polygraph tests will also be conducted of SP, DSP and other concerned officials.

The UP government had formed an SIT to probe the incident and said that the matter will be heard in the fast track court.

The Chief Minister had said earlier in the day that the government was committed to ensuring the safety of women.

"Those who even think of damaging the honour of our mothers and sisters will be destroyed. They will be given such punishment that it will serve as an example in future. Your UP government is committed to the safety and security of every mother and sister. This is our promise, our determination," Adityanath said in a tweet in Hindi.

The 19-year-old woman died at Delhi's Safdarjung hospital on September 29. All the four accused in the incident have been arrested.

An uproar has erupted over the incident with the opposition also raising questions over the manner in which the last rites of the woman were performed. The police has said that consent of family was taken for cremation. (ANI)

3.7 magnitude earthquake jolts Thimpu

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Thimpu [Bhutan], October 2 (ANI): An earthquake of magnitude 3.7 jolted Thimpu in Bhutan on Friday, the National Seismological Centre said.

"An earthquake of magnitude 3.7 on the Richter scale hit 82 km South South-West of Thimpu in Bhutan at 21:24:32 IST today," NCS said.

More details are awaited. 
(ANI)

Delhi Police arrested a men for impersonating Army official, cheating people at ATM

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New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): The Delhi Police on Friday arrested a man for impersonating an army officer and cheating gullible people on the pretext of seeking help to operate his ATM card.

As per a statement from the Delhi Police, the accused, Sunil Kumar Dubey carried a forged Army ID card so that people would trust his intentions.

As many as 14 credit and debit cards were seized from his possession.

"The complainant, Muhammad Aslam told the police that he was allured by the accused pretending as army person and requested to help him withdraw money from the ATM machine. To show his genuineness he also showed his ID card," the statement said.

"His modus operandi had been to change the ATM Cards of the victims and then withdraw money from their account," it added.

The statement also said that the accused had previously been involved in four cases and further investigation was in progress to ascertain his involvement in other cases. (ANI)

Chinese contractors to blame for problems at Savar tannery estate: Bangladesh Minister

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Dhaka [Bangladesh], October 2 (ANI): Salman Fazlur Rahman, Bangladesh private sector industry and investment advisor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has claimed that the China-based company contracted to build the tannery estate in Savar has not done a proper job causing big problems, Prothom Alo reported citing United News Bangladesh.

Speaking during a virtual meeting titled "Future of Bangladesh Leather Sector in the aftermath of COVID-19", Rahman said, "The tannery cluster of Hazaribagh has been shifted to Savar urging different experts to make it an environment friendly one. But Chinese builders did not work 'properly' at the tannery estate in Savar. That's why there are big problems now."

He said, "The China government has given us duty free access for Bangladesh. So over 40 per cent value addition in the products is needed."

"We have enough raw materials in leather products so it's very easy to take the opportunity. We will give equal incentive for leather and non-leather products to flourish the sectors. The leather sector will be subsidised to make it standards," he added.

The meeting was organised by the Economic Reporters' Forum (ERF), in collaboration with the Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID) and The Asia Foundation (TAF).

Prothom Alo quoted Rahman as saying that as businesses evade taxes, they need to be brought under tax net using digital tools.

"Tanners should use water on a limited scale. Otherwise we will impose tax on water," Salman said.

Urging more emphasis on the leather-based products for the economy to flourish, Commerce secretary Md Zafar Uddin said, "We have already have resolved many pending issues in the leather sector. Leather law has been made for sustainable development of the sector. The COVID-19 has created an impact here."

He further said that as the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) is the key component of the industrial basement in Savar, "We are working to resolve problems of the leather sector."

"Efficient operation of the Tannery Estate Dhaka should be of utmost priority in building export supply response. The relative profitability of leather goods exports have important policy implications to consider," Prothom Alo quoted M Abdur Razzaque, chairman of RAPID, as saying during the meeting.

He suggested that the leather industry needs a sector-specific, realistic, and modern policy framework to address the longstanding challenges and emerging trends in global and domestic markets. (ANI)

Madagascar Prime Minister inaugurates solar power plant at Indian embassy

Prime Minister of Madagascar Christian Ntsay inaugurating the solar power plant at Indian Embassy on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. (Photo: ANI)


Antananarivo [Madagascar], October 2 (ANI): Prime Minister of Madagascar Christian Ntsay inaugurated the solar power plant at the Embassy of India, Antananarivo on the occasion of the 151th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Friday.

Many dignitaries including Environment Minister of Madagascar Raharinirina Baomiavotse Vahinala, Secretary-General of Energy and Hydrocarbons, Andry Andriantongarivo, Ambassador of the United States, Michael Pelletier and representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and United Nations attended the event.

It is the first Indian Embassy globally to become a clean and green Embassy with the installation of 8 KW of solar power plant on its rooftop which has been implemented by a Malagasy company Vision Madagascar highlighting the India-Madagascar partnership.

Prime Minister Ntsay said, "I think that India is showing us now that it is possible to change. Switching from thermal to solar, it is a great challenge, but we need to go beyond words and make it as a reality and now we can say that you have made a difference and I want to congratulate you and your team again for this great achievement."

He added, "I would like to emphasise that Madagascar is very impressed by this achievement; I expect that all Embassies in Antananarivo and all over the country will also switch from fossil energy to solar energy. We, our office can learn from this great achievement as well."

Environment Minister Raharinirina Baomiavotse Vahinala said, "I want to congratulate this initiative on behalf of our Government because it is a big step towards economic development without losing sight of our environment."

She appreciated the initiative by the Indian ambassador and said, "I salute your commitment and your initiative for this achievement, which is a commitment that benefits our two countries and that ensures both sustainable development and the preservation of our environment. We would then like to strengthen and continue the collaboration between our two countries. Thank you for being a leader and contributing to Madagascar's energy transition goals."

Speaking at the function, Indian ambassador to Madagascar Abhay Kumar said, "Both India and Madagascar are members of the International Solar Alliance which aims to promote solar energy to fight climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental pollution and the presence of Christian Ntsay, the Prime Minister of Madagascar shows the commitment of the Government of Madagascar towards using solar energy in fighting climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental pollution."

"It is the policy of the Government of India to promote clean and green energy to mitigate climate change and achieve sustainable development goals. It was the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make transition to clean and green solar energy that the International Solar Alliance was founded in 2015. Madagascar was one of the founding members of the International Solar Alliance," he added.

Kumar said that India has emerged as a global leader in renewable energy.

"We are investing more in them than it is in fossil fuels. Climate Action Tracker calculates that India's plan is compatible with a below 2 degree Celsius increase in average global temperature compared to pre-industrial levels as envisaged in the Paris Agreement," he said.

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi -- "We must be the change we wish to see in the world", he said that "today the Indian Embassy in Antananarivo has attempted to be that change by switching to solar energy". (ANI)

India and Bangladesh navies to hold Bilateral Exercise Bongosagar from tomorrow

INS Khukri (Photo credit: A. Bharat Bhushan Babu, Ministry of Defence Principal Spokesperson, Twitter)


New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): The second edition of Indian Navy (IN) - Bangladesh Navy (BN) Bilateral Exercise Bongosagar is scheduled to commence in Northern Bay of Bengal on October 3.

According to an official statement by the Indian Navy, Exercise Bongosagar, whose first edition was held in 2019, is aimed at developing inter-operability and joint operational skills through conduct of a wide spectrum of maritime exercises and operations.

In the upcoming edition of Exercise Bongosagar, ships from both navies will participate in surface warfare drills, seamanship evolutions and helicopter operations, the Indian Navy said.

This exercise will be followed by the third edition of IN-BN Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) in Northern Bay of Bengal from October 4-5, wherein IN and BN units will undertake joint patrolling along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). Conduct of CORPATs has strengthened understanding between both the navies and instituted measures to stop conduct of unlawful activities, the Indian Navy said.

"Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kiltan, an indigenously built Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette and INS Khukri, an indigenously built Guided-Missile Corvette are participating along with Bangladesh Naval Ship (BNS) Abu Bakr, a Guided-Missile Frigate and BNS Prottoy, a Guided-Missile Corvette. In addition to ships, Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies and integral helicopter(s) would also be participating in the exercise," the statement read.

India and Bangladesh have a close, long-standing relationship covering a wide spectrum of activities and interactions, which has strengthened over the years. The people of India and Bangladesh also share close cultural bonds and a shared vision of democratic society and a rules-based order.

This edition of Exercise Bongosagar assumes greater significance since it is being conducted during Mujib Barsho, the 100th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Exercise Bongosagar and IN - BN CORPAT will be undertaken over three days and reflects the priority that the Indian Navy accords to Bangladesh Navy as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region). (ANI)

WHO Africa to look into dozens of COVID-19 herbal remedies to be tested in Phase 3 trials

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Geneva [Switzerland], October 2 (ANI/Sputnik): The African Regional Expert Committee on Traditional Medicine for COVID-19 will gather soon to pick the most promising herbal medicine products against the disease, which under the newly adopted protocol put forth by the World Health Organisation (WHO), could be given the green light for phase 3 clinical trials, Dr Jean-Baptiste Nikiema of the WHO Africa region told Sputnik.

In September, the expert committee, formed by the WHO, the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, as well the African Union Commission for Social Affairs, endorsed a protocol for phase 3 trials of herbal medicine for COVID-19.

"We are targeting all traditional medicine that can be proposed against COVID-19. There are many, many products countries are proposing; sometimes some of them are not very relevant. That's why the WHO is supporting countries with some criteria to select what can be relevant to go for phase III clinical trials," Nikiema, WHO Africa team lead for medicine supply, health infrastructure and equipment maintenance, said.

According to the specialist, dozens of herbal medicine products may be examined to be accepted in phase 3 clinical trials.

"The expert committee will reconvene in the coming weeks with information from countries to analyze and make a decision on what can make it to the clinical trial and what has to be dropped out ... Africa is a very big continent with many big countries like Nigeria, South Africa and so on. I can't tell you the exact number of medicines that can come in, but definitely more than ten," he stated.

Both local products and those produced outside Africa will be allowed to compete to take part in clinical trials.

"The door is open; it's possible that countries in Africa may want to go for a clinical trial with a product developed outside Africa. They need to follow the rules, complete the protocol, submit the protocol to the national ethics committee and national regulator authority to get the necessary clearance before the start of clinical trial in the country. All products, both coming from the African countries and those coming from outside may be subject to clinical trial. There are no specific restrictions, because science is universal. We are not developing something strictly for Africa," he explained.

In addition, interest in natural products is growing not only in Africa, but worldwide, the WHO official said.

"If you go to the US and Europe, there is a renewed attractiveness of traditional medicine and broadly natural products everywhere, worldwide and particularly in Asia, where they are using a lot of traditional medicine. The resource material is abundant on our continent; we have forests, a lot of species, diversity in terms of medicinal plants. So it's normal that they can be used as the source of medicine as many of the medicines that we are using are coming from plants," he said.

Madagascar was one of the first African countries that tried to promote its locally-made herbal drink that is said to be effective in easing the symptoms in patients who have tested positive for coronavirus. The WHO recommended that the herbal tonic go through all the necessary testing before being widely used on the population.

Nikiema noted that the product is still under development and will be probably put into capsules. It has yet to enter clinical trials, phase 2 or phase 3. The WHO is supporting Madagascar to develop protocols to do the work, according to the official. (ANI/Sputnik)

Donald Trump experiences `mild symptoms' of COVID-19

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.


Washington [US], October 2 (ANI): US President Donald Trump has started experiencing "mild symptoms" of coronavirus hours after he and the First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus.

According to a White House official, as the President has been tested COVID-19 positive he will be working from the White House residence.

Trump had on Thursday (local time) tweeted about him having tested positive for coronavirus.

"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!," he said.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Vice President Mike Pence said that they have tested negative for the virus. (ANI)

UP CM promises 'exemplary' action against those who harm dignity of 'mothers and sisters'

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath.


Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 2 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on Friday, said that his government is committed to ensuring the safety woman, adding that those who harm the dignity of 'mothers and sisters' in Uttar Pradesh will be 'destroyed' and given exemplary punishment.

"Those who even think of damaging the honour of our mothers and sisters will be destroyed completely. They will be given such punishment that it will serve as an example in future. Your UP government is committed to the safety and security of every mother and sister. This is our promise, our determination," Adityanath said in a tweet in Hindi.

The Chief Minister's assurance came amid massive political uproar over the alleged gang-rape and death of the victim in the Hathras case. Congress leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi were arrested and sent back to Delhi when they attempted to meet the victim on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Congress held a prayer meet for the victim at Maharishi Valmiki Temple in the national capital where party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that gross injustice was done to the alleged gangrape victim and is being done to her family.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad had also said that he will stage a protest at India Gate at 5 pm demanding justice.

Also, a delegation of Trinamool Congress (TMC) was roughed up by Uttar Pradesh Police at Hathras border. The delegation, including party MP Derek O'Brien, was on the way to meet the family of the victim of the Hathras incident.

The 19-year-old Hathras girl died at Delhi's Safdarjung hospital on September 29, a fortnight after allegedly being gang-raped. All the four accused in the incident have been arrested.

The government has formed a three-member SIT to probe the case and said the matter will be heard in the fast track court.

The post-mortem report reads that the victim suffered a fracture of "C6 cervical vertebra" and there was "extravasations of blood along the fracture line" and the underlying spinal cord was "contused with ascending oedema". Also, the postmortem report denies rape charges. (ANI)

Indian Ambassador to Russia pays floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

Indian Ambassador Venkatesh Varma paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Lomonosovski Prospekt and the Embassy on Gandhi Jayanti. (Photo credit: India in Russia Twitter)


Moscow [Russia], October 2 (ANI): Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Lomonosovski Prospekt and the Embassy as part of the concluding events of 150th birth anniversary of Bapu.

"Concluding events of 150th birth anniversary of MahatmaGandhi - Ambassador paid floral tributes at Lomonosovski Prospekt and the Embassy, where PM @narendramodi's video was screened and the book "Mahatma Gandhi and Modern World" was released," Indian Embassy said in a tweet.

"Gandhiji was Indian, but he didn't belong only to India," the Embassy added.

Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar town of Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi adopted a non-violent resistance and was at the forefront of the freedom struggle against the colonial British rule with utmost patience.

This led to India finally achieving its independence in 1947. Fondly known as Bapu, his unwavering belief in 'Swaraj' (self-governance) and 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) won him accolades across the world.

Globally, Gandhi's birth anniversary is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events were held in India and across the world to mark the occasion. (ANI)

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visits Atal Tunnel to review preparations for inaugural function

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Himachal Pradesh


Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], October 2 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday visited the Atal Tunnel in Rohtang to review preparations for inaugural function on Saturday in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 9.02 km-long strategically important tunnel.

The Defence Minister was accompanied by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and Minister of State of Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur.

"Visited the 'Atal Tunnel, Rohtang' to review the preparations for the inaugural ceremony to be held tomorrow. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the tunnel to the nation. This 9.02 km long 'Engineering Marvel' will connect Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year," Singh said in a tweet.

Singh, who is on a two-day visit to Himachal Pradesh, also visited DRDO's Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) in Manali.

The Atal Tunnel has been built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3000 m (10,000 feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL).

It reduces the road distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km and the time by about 4 to 5 hours.

The South Portal (SP) of the tunnel is located at a distance of 25 km from Manali at an altitude of 3060 metres while North Portal (NP) of the tunnel is located near village Teling, Sissu, in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 3,071 metres.

It is horseshoe-shaped, single tube double lane tunnel with a roadway of eight metres and an overhead clearance of 5.525 metres.

The tunnel has been designed for traffic density of 3000 cars per day and 1500 trucks per day with a maximum speed of 80 km/hr.

The decision to construct a strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 3, 2000 when late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The foundation stone for the Access Road to the South Portal of the tunnel was laid on May 26, 2002.

The Union Cabinet decided in 2019 to name the Rohtang Tunnel as Atal Tunnel to honour the contribution made by the former Prime Minister.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) overcame major geological, terrain and weather challenges in the construction of the tunnel. (ANI)

Guatemala's Vice President Guillermo Castillo Reyes pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

Guatemala Vice President Guillermo Castillo Reyes along with Indian Ambassador BS Mubarak on Gandhi Jayanti. (Photo credit: India in Guatemala)


Guatemala City [Guatemala], October 2 (ANI): Guatemala's Vice President Guillermo Castillo Reyes on Friday participated in an event at the National Palace of Culture to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his 151st birth anniversary.

Indian Ambassador BS Mubarak also presented a plaque and the autobiography of Gandhi during the event.

"Vice President of Guatemala @GuilleCastilloR participated in an event to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of MahatmaGandhi. Ambassador of India @mubarakbs presented a plaque on Mahatma 150 and the Autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi," said India in Guatemala in a tweet.

In the following tweet, the Embassy said, "Vice President of Guatemala @GuilleCastilloR spoke on the importance of the Mahatma Gandhi's message of Non-violence and peace in today's world at the National Palace of Culture."

Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar town of Gujarat, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi adopted a non-violent resistance and was at the forefront of the freedom struggle against the colonial British rule with utmost patience.

This led to India finally achieving its independence in 1947. Fondly known as Bapu, his unwavering belief in 'Swaraj' (self-governance) and 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) won him accolades across the world.

Globally, Gandhi's birth anniversary is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events were held in India and across the world to mark the occasion. (ANI)

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on Friday. (Photo credit: India in Sri Lanka Twitter)


Colombo [Sri Lanka], October 2 (ANI): Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 151st birth anniversary.

Accompanied by some officers of the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa paid his tributes to Gandhi in Temple Trees, Sri Lanka.

"A touching gesture by Hon PM @PresRajapaksa who paid a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary at Temple Trees in SriLanka along with officers of the High Commission of India," India in Sri Lanka said in a tweet.

In the following tweet, the Embassy further said, "'Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills' Mahatma Gandhi said. These precepts also given to the world by The Buddha continue to be the bedrock of the idea of India."

"Mahatma Gandhi was a son of India but he belongs to the world at large. He believed that a truly independent India is bound to help its neighbours. The philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - the world is one family - is India's eternal principle," the Embassy added.

Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar town of Gujarat, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi adopted a non-violent resistance and was the forefront of the freedom struggle against the colonial British rule with utmost patience.

This led to India finally achieving its independence in 1947. Fondly known as Bapu, his unwavering belief in 'Swaraj' (self-governance) and 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) won him accolades across the world.

Globally, Gandhi's birth anniversary is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events were held in India and across the world to mark the occasion. (ANI)

Bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated in Ukraine on Gandhi Jayanti

Bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated at A.V. Fomin Botanical Garden, Kyiv, on Friday.


Kyiv [Ukraine], October 2 (ANI): On the occasion of the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a bronze statue of Bapu was inaugurated in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The statue was inaugurated jointly by Indian Ambassador Partha Satpathy, First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova, Deputy Minister for Education and Science of Ukraine Andriy Vitrenko and Professor Petro Bekh, Vice-Rector, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Taking to Twitter, India in Ukraine said, "In a remarkable moment bringing the people of India and Ukraine even closer, on October 2, on the occasion of birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi would be unveiled at A.V. Fomin Botanical Garden, Kyiv."

This is to mark the finale of the celebrations of 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi.

Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar town of Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi adopted a non-violent resistance and was at the forefront of the freedom struggle against the colonial British rule with utmost patience.

This led to India finally achieving its independence in 1947. Fondly known as Bapu, his unwavering belief in 'Swaraj' (self-governance) and 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) won him accolades across the world.

Globally, Gandhi's birth anniversary is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events were held in India and across the world to mark the occasion. (ANI)

Baloch women and children stage protest against burial of corpses of two Baloch youth

The relatives of Irfan Baloch and Noor Khan Baloch along with Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Makuran chapter coordinator Ghani Parwaz holding a press conference on Wednesday. Photo/ANI


Quetta [Pakistan], October 2 (ANI): A large number of Baloch women and children staged a protest at Turbat Press Club against the hasty burial of the corpses of two Baloch by Pakistani forces and accused them of desecrating the dead bodies.

The relatives of Irfan Baloch and Noor Khan Baloch along with Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Makuran chapter coordinator Ghani Parwaz held a crowded press conference at Turbat Press Club in district Kech Balochistan on Wednesday demanding the dead bodies of two Baloch 'sarmachaars' (Freedom fighters) killed in a gun battle against Pakistani forces be handed over to their families for paying their last respect and performing Islamic rituals.

Shehla Mustafa, the sister of Irfan Baloch said through this press conference they wanted to inform the civilised world, national and international human rights organisations about the "cruel and brutal" actions of the Pakistan army.

"I am the daughter of Ghulam Mustafa. The Pakistan army killed my father along with another ten Baloch on May 25, 2013, after a complete boycott of Pakistani election by the people of Balochistan", she said.

"The Pakistan Army also set fire to all our family houses including mine, there were times that we were forced to spend several days and nights under the open sky without any food and water because even a glass of drinking was spared in our homes."

Talking about the recent killing of her brother along with another Baloch 'sarmachar', she said, "On September 28, my brothers Irfan Baloch and Noor Khan Baloch were martyred by the Pakistan Army [in a gun battle]. We went to the Tump (WAPDA Grade) Army Camp on the morning of September 29 to receive the dead bodies but the Army treated us with great contempt and made us wait till the evening. Then we were told to come at 10 pm and take the corpses of the martyrs."

"We waited in front of the camp all night but we were not given the bodies and the military personnel repeatedly behaved with us in an abusive manner, kept abusing us, they tried to harass us in every possible way but we refused to leave without the dead bodies of our loved ones," said Shehla.

Despite sitting all night, she said, the army did not give the dead bodies. "Then we asked the regional authorities to talk to the army. When the regional officials spoke to the army, the officials were told that they would find the bodies tomorrow, September 30. On September 30, we went to collect the bodies, we found that the bodies of Irfan Jan and Noor Khan had been dumped in a pit, dug out by a tractor, without performing the last rites and funeral rituals."

She said that they were not as saddened by the martyrdom of our loved ones as they were by the desecration of their corpses. "This state [Pakistan] calls itself an Islamic and democratic. What kind of Islamic law is that which allows the state forces to drag and desecrate inanimate bodies? In this state, dead bodies are desecrated and dumped into pits dug by tractors instead of humans. Neither Islam nor human values allow these actions."

She maintained, "We believe that this is the extreme hatred of Pakistan against the Baloch nation which is manifesting itself in the form of such inhumane acts. The situation now is that where our loved ones were buried in pits dug by tractors, the army has deployed its personnel around their graves and we are not allowed to even recite the Fatiha (condolences).

"Through this press conference and media, we want to make it clear that there is no reason why our loved ones should not be handed over to us unless the Pakistani forces used chemical weapons to kill them and either their bodies have been burnt and tortured or desecrated in one way or another that is why Pakistani forces want to conceal their crimes against humanity."

She said that recently the bodies of another two Baloch youths in the Gichak area of Balochistan were buried in the same fashion by the so-called Islamic army instead of handing them over to their heirs.

"We appeal to the national and international human rights bodies to conduct an autopsy on the bodies under their supervision. If they cannot do so, they will allow us to exhume the bodies and bury them according to Baloch traditional manner and perform funeral rites."

She reiterated that until the bodies of our martyrs are handed over to us, our peaceful protest at Shaheed Fida Baloch Chowk will continue and we appeal to our friends of humanity from all over the world to come forward in our support for the sake of humanity and human values.

In a separate statement, human rights activists, from Karachi announced to hold a press conference at Karachi Press Club against not handing over the dead bodies of the two Baloch youth to their loved ones. They said that 48 hours have passed but the Pakistani forces have still not handed over the dead bodies. (ANI)

Indian Embassy celebrates Gandhi Jayanti in Pakistan

Charge d'Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia along with the participants of the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations. (Photo credit: India in Pakistan twitter)


Islamabad [Pakistan], October 2 (ANI): The Indian Embassy in Pakistan celebrated Gandhi Jayanti on Friday, marking the two-year celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary.

The celebration programme commenced with floral tributes to India's revered figure.

"High Commission of India in P
akistan celebrated Gandhi Jayanti today, marking the two-year celebrations of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma. Floral tributes to Bapu commenced the programme," Indian Embassy said in a tweet.

The Embassy further said, "Life and teachings of Bapu were recollected through recitations and songs. A documentary on Mahatma Gandhi was screened. Charge d'Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia highlighted the values and ideals popularised by the Mahatma."

Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar town of Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi adopted a non-violent resistance and was at the forefront of the freedom struggle against the colonial British rule with utmost patience.

This led to India finally achieving its independence in 1947. Fondly known as Bapu, his unwavering belief in 'Swaraj' (self-governance) and 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) won him accolades across the world.

Globally, Gandhi's birth anniversary is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events were held in India and across the world to mark the occasion. (ANI)

Air Marshal Vikram Singh takes over as Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ WAC

New IAF HQ WAC SASO Vikram Singh (file photo)


New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): Air Marshal Vikram Singh has taken over as the Senior Air Staff Officer of the Headquarters Western Air Command, the Ministry of Defence said on Friday. Singh had taken over his new command on Thursday.

Commissioned into the fighter stream on December 21, 1984, the Air Marshal has flown MiG-21 and Mirage-2000 aircraft before undergoing the Flying Instructor's Course, Experimental Flight Test Course and Staff Course at Pretoria, South Africa.

Singh has performed Flight Test duties at the National Flight Test Centre, commanded an Air Force Station, served in various staff appointments in Air Headquarters and has been the Air Attache at Moscow, Russia.

He has also served at the Integrated Defence Staff Headquarters and was Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans) at Air Headquarters before taking over the present appointment. (ANI)

Global markets rattled after Trump tests positive for COVID-19

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump


Hong Kong, Oct 2 (ANI): Global markets and US stock futures were roiled on Friday by news that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus.

Dow futures were down 445 points or 1.6 per cent, roughly matching their initial move lower after Trump tweeted his condition, reports CNN. S&P 500 futures were down 1.7 per cent and Nasdaq futures were down 2.3 per cent.

CNN said the diagnosis is a destabilising moment that raises questions about the election campaign and the US administration.

"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for Covid-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately," Trump tweeted shortly before 1 am eastern time on Friday. "We will get through this TOGETHER!"

Stocks in Asia Pacific also slid on the news. Japan's Nikkei 225 finished down 0.7 per cent while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.4 per cent.

Other markets in the region including those in India, Hong Kong, mainland China and South Korea were closed for public holidays.

European stocks were lower in morning trading with the FTSE 100 dropping 1 per cent in London while France's CAC 40 shed 2 per cent and Germany's DAX declined 1.1 per cent.

Oil futures also tumbled. US crude futures fell 4.3 per cent to 37.06 dollars per barrel while Brent, the world oil benchmark, lost 4.2 per cent to hit 39.20 dollars per barrel. Both had settled lower on Thursday.

The Japanese yen has already surged and was last trading at about 105 yen per US dollar, up 0.4 per cent. Gold prices were little changed at 1,913 dollars per ounce, according to CNN. (ANI)

Nepal's aviation ministry proposes resumption of flights to India from October 17

Representative Image


Kathmandu [Nepal], October 2 (ANI): Nepal's Civil Aviation Ministry has sent a proposal to resume flights to and from India from October 17, confirmed an official from Nepal's COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC).

Nepal had earlier blocked all flights to and from India from March after the imposition of a nationwide lockdown in the Himalayan nation, following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has proposed to open its air connection with India again after a period of seven months, with adherence to a health protocol, confirmed Joint Secretary of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ministry Kamal Prasad Bhattarai with ANI.

"We have proposed resumption of flights from October 17, the proposal has been sent to the CCMC for consideration but we are yet to receive any response. Once they decide over the date we can further sort out the number of flights and permits to be issued," Bhattarai said in a telephonic conversation.

Once the proposal is approved by the CCMC, it will be sent to the cabinet meeting for the final decision over the reopening of flights. In addition to the proposal, the Ministry has also sent a health protocol, that would be similar for all the passengers arriving in Nepal via the airways.

"The CCMC or the cabinet might also draft a new protocol but as of now, we have proposed the existing protocol, which would also be applicable for people who are arriving from different nations," added Bhattarai.

According to the existing protocol, a mandatory RT-PCR negative report for COVID-19, not exceeding 72 hours from the time of boarding the plane, would be required. Airlines would not be allowed to bring passengers who do not have a RT-PCR report and those with the report in same flight.

Nepali citizens who are arriving from India would be required to place themselves in home quarantine for 14 days, while foreigners would be required to stay in seven days quarantine in the hotel. (ANI)

Mahatma Gandhi's vision will continue to inspire us: Chinese ambassador to India

Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong


New Delhi [India], October 02 (ANI): Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong on Friday paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 151st birth anniversary on Friday.

"Pay my respects to #MahatmaGandhi on his birth anniversary. His vision and wisdom will continue to inspire all of us today," Weidong tweeted on Friday.

The United Nations has marked October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events were held in India and across the world to mark the occasion. (ANI)

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