Wednesday, June 7, 2017

WATER IS ‘CATALYST’ FOR COOPERATION, NOT CONFLICT, UN CHIEF TELLS SECURITY COUNCIL

Secretary-General António Guterres addresses Security Council meeting on Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Preventive Diplomacy and Transboundary waters. To his right is President Evo Morales Ayma of Bolivia. UN Photo/Kim Haughton
6 June 2017 – Stressing the importance of diplomacy to prevent and resolve trans-boundary disputes over water resources, Secretary-General António Guterres today told the United Nations Security Council that water serves as “a catalyst” for cooperation among nations, even those that are not on good terms.
Water, peace and security are inextricably linked,” said Mr. Guterres during a meeting on preventive diplomacy and trans-boundary waters, which was chaired by Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, which holds the Council’s presidency for the month.
“I commend this Security Council meeting for highlighting how water is and should remain a reason for cooperation not conflict,” Mr. Guterres added.
With climate change having a growing impact, water scarcity is a growing concern, he pointed out, noting that by 2050 at least one in four people will live in a country where the lack of fresh water is chronic or recurrent.
Three-quarters of UN Member States share rivers or lake basins with their neighbours. There are more than 270 internationally shared river basins, which serve as the primary source of fresh water for approximately 40 per cent of the world’s population, including the Nile, the Indus, the Ganges, the Euphrates-Tigris, and the Mekong.
“That is why it is essential that nations cooperate to ensure water is shared equitably and used sustainably,” he said.
In the second half of the 20th century alone, some 287 international water agreements were signed.
In South America, Lake Titicaca, the largest freshwater lake on the continent, has long been a source of cooperation between Bolivia and Peru. The 1960 Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan has survived three wars between the two countries.
The Albufeira Convention, agreed when Mr. Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal, continues to promote good relations on water management between his country and Spain.
The Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes became open for all UN Member States as of March last year, offering the opportunity to create a global framework for preventive diplomacy for dealing with transboundary water issues.
“Let us commit to investing in water security to ensure durable peace and security for all communities and nations,” he concluded.
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DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE UNION CABINET

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Korea for export credit of USD 9 billion
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) for export credit of USD 9 billion for infrastructural development in India and for the supply of goods and services as part of projects in third countries.
The MoU is proposed to be signed between the two banks during the forthcoming visit of the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, to Seoul, Korea during 14-15 June 2017 for the Annual Financial Bilateral Dialogue. The decision is expected to promote the country’s international exports, and deepen political and financial ties between India andKorea. The export credit will be utilized through lending by EXIM Bank for promoting projects for priority sectors, including smart cities, railways, power generation and transmission etc., in India and for the supply of goods and services from India and Korea as part of projects in third countries.
v     Cabinet approves agreement between India and Cyprus on Merchant Shipping
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Agreement between India and Cyprus on Merchant Shipping, which was signed in April 2017. The Agreement in Merchant Shipping will pave the way for cooperation in eliminating any hindrances which may hamper the development of sea trade between the two nations. The MoU will encourage participation in the transport of goods between the countries, and also from third countries. The MoU further seeks to enhance cooperation for employment, improvement of conditions of work and for the welfare of seafarers employed on each other’s vessels.
v     Cabinet approves Bilateral MoU between India and Iran
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO), Iran in relation to mutual cooperation on matters pertaining to securities markets. The MoU is likely to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two regulators, and aims at creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries. It would also contribute towards strengthening the information sharing framework between the two countries. It is expected to add value to overseas mutual cooperation and regulation activities of SEBI and SEO, Iran. The MoU is expected to contribute towards strengthening the information sharing framework between SEBI and SEO, Iran.
v     Cabinet approves MoU between India and Mali for standardization and conformity assessment
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), India and Direction Nationale De Industries (MLINDI), Republic of Mali on Standardization and Conformity Assessment. The MoU aims to facilitate closer cooperation and provide a mechanism by which India and Mali can work together towards the common aim of strengthening standardization and conformity assessment activities in order to facilitate sharing of expertise and mutual trade.
v     Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Somalia on transfer of sentenced persons
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing and subsequent ratification of the Agreement on Transfer of sentenced persons between Indi and Somalia. Signing the Agreement with Somalia shall facilitate the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Somalia or vice-versa to be near to their families, for serving remaining part of their sentence and shall facilitate their social rehabilitation. The Government of India has signed bilateral Agreements on Transfer of Sentenced Persons with United Kingdom, Mauritius, Bulgaria, France, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bangladesh, Brazil, Israel, Bosnia & Herzegovina, UAE, Italy, Turkey, Maldives, Thailand, Russian Federation, Kuwait, Vietnam, Australia, Hong Kong, Qatar, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Bahrain and Estonia.
v     Cabinet approves Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Securities and Exchange Board of India and European Securities and Markets Authority
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in relation to Mutual Co-operation. The MoU is likely to establish cooperation arrangements as a precondition for ESMA to recognize Central Counter Parties (CCPs) established in India and supervised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India to provide clearing services to clearing members or trading venues established in the European Union and to provide ESMA with adequate tools to monitor the on-going compliance by the Covered CCPs with the Recognition Conditions.
v     Cabinet approves transfer of 4.64 hectares of land belonging to Indian Institute of Soil & Water Conservation (IISWC) Research Centre at Vasad, Gujarat to National Highways Authority of India
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for transfer of 4.64 hectares (46384 Sq. meters) of land belonging to the Indian Institute of Soil & Water Conservation (IISWC) Research Centre at Vasad, District Anand, Gujarat under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on payment of compensation amounting to Rs. 12.67 crore for extension and six laning of Ahmedabad – Vadodara Highway on NH-8. The NH-8 is an important highway connecting Vadodara and Ahmedabad. The transfer of land to the NHAl for construction of extension and six laning of Ahmedabad – Vadodara section of NH-8 is likely to benefit the region leading to enhanced opportunities for: growth and development in terms of infrastructure, transport, communication, employment generation etc. The decision is also part of the Government’s plans to boost infrastructure in key sectors for accelerating the pace of growth.
v     Cabinet approves Initial Public Offer of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to:
a)      Issue 13,90,00,000 fresh equity shares of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) of Rs.10 each to the public on book-building basis through the Initial Public Offerings (IPO);
b)      Issue shares to retail investors and IREDA employees at a discount of 5% on the issue price of each equity share on book-building basis, with cap of 0.5% on equity post issue for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) employees and the allocation to retail investors in the net offer will not be less than 35%, as per the ICDR, 2009.However, the number of shares proposed to be issued to employees and retail investors will be finalized in consultation with the lead managers and as per the SEBI regulations and
c)       Conduct book building process for the said IPO by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)/ IREDA through Book Running Lead Manager (BRLM) as per the guidelines of Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) and as per guidance of the Inter-Ministerial Group.
The Public issue of equity will enable IREDA to increase its equity base which will help them raise more debt resources for funding RE projects. Such public issue will also enable it to unlock its true value and increase its visibility in domestic and international financial markets.  IREDA, being the premier institution for RE Sector, will be required to raise equity funds to leverage loan financing for RE Sector. IREDA has to cater to the increasing needs of the sector to sustain its contribution to the Renewable Energy Sector. Government of India has scaled-up the RE targets to 175 GW by the year 2022. To achieve this ambitious target, substantial investments in RE sector will be required.
v     Cabinet approves development of four laning from end of Pandoh bypass to Takoli section of National Highway (NH) – 21 in Himachal Pradesh
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for development of four laning from ‘end of Pandoh Bypass to Takoli’ section of National Highway (NH)-21 in Himachal Pradesh. The cost is estimated to be Rs.2775.93 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road to be developed is approximately 19 kms. This work will be done under National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase IV B on Hybrid Annuity Mode.The project will help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Himachal Pradesh and in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between ‘end of Pandoh Bypass to Takoli’ section. The development of this stretch will also help in uplifting the socio-economic condition of this region in the State. It would also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities. It has been estimated that a total number of 4,076 mandays are required for construction of one kilometre of highway. As such, employment potential of 77,000 (approx.) mandays will be generated locally during the construction period of this stretch.
v     Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Somalia on transfer of sentenced persons 
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing and subsequent ratification of the Agreement on Transfer of sentenced persons between Indi and Somalia. Signing the Agreement withSomalia shall facilitate the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Somalia or vice-versa to be near to their families, for serving remaining part of their sentence and shall facilitate their social rehabilitation. The Government of India has signed bilateral Agreements on Transfer of Sentenced Persons with United Kingdom, Mauritius, Bulgaria, France, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bangladesh, Brazil, Israel, Bosnia & Herzegovina, UAE, Italy, Turkey, Maldives, Thailand, Russian Federation, Kuwait, Vietnam, Australia, Hong Kong, Qatar, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Bahrain and Estonia.Phd
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BALAJI MOTION PICTURES CORDIALLY INVITES ‘SUPER SINGH’

PRESS INVITATION

Balaji Motion Pictures cordially invites you to attend the Press Conference & to share with you the uniqueness of their latest film

‘SUPER SINGH’

To be addressed by:
  • Diljit Dosanjh
  • Sonam Bajwa (Actress, Manje Bistre fame)



Time: 2:30 pm
Date: 8th June 2017 (Thursday)
Venue: PVR Plaza, CP

You are requested to send correspondents/ photographers/ camera crew for the Press Conference.
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A EUROPEAN DEFENCE FUND: €5.5 BILLION PER YEAR TO BOOST EUROPE’S DEFENCE CAPABILITIES

A European Defence Fund: €5.5 billion per year to boost Europe’s defence capabilities
Today the Commission is launching a European Defence Fund to help Member States spend taxpayer money more efficiently, reduce duplications in spending, and get better value for money. Announced by President Juncker in September 2016, and backed by the European Council in December 2016, the Fund will coordinate, supplement and amplify national investments in defence research, in the development of prototypes and in the acquisition of defence equipment and technology
Brussels, 7 June 2017
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Today the Commission is launching a European Defence Fund to help Member States spend taxpayer money more efficiently, reduce duplications in spending, and get better value for money. Announced by President Juncker in September 2016, and backed by the European Council in December 2016, the Fund will coordinate, supplement and amplify national investments in defence research, in the development of prototypes and in the acquisition of defence equipment and technology.
Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen said: “People across Europe are worried about their and their children’s security. Complementing our cooperation with NATO, we need to do more and better ourselves. Today we are showing that we walk the talk. The Fund will act as a catalyst for a strong European defence industry which develops cutting-edge, fully interoperable technologies and equipment. Member States will remain in the driving seat, get better value for their money – and ultimately see their influence increased.”
Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, added: “Europe must become a security providerThe Fund will support collaborative research in defence and the joint development of defence capabilities. It will therefore be a game-changer for the EU’s strategic autonomy and the competitiveness of Europe’s defence industry— including the many SMEs and mid-cap companies forming the European defence supply chain.
The European Defence Fund has two strands:
  • Research: The research aspect of the Fund is already delivering. Starting in 2017, the EU will for the first time offer grants for collaborative research in innovative defence technologies and products, fully and directly funded from the EU budget. Projects eligible for EU funding will focus on priority areas previously agreed by Member States, and could typically include electronics, metamaterials, encrypted software or robotics. This will be financed with:
    • €90 million until the end of 2019, with €25 million allocated for 2017. A call for proposals is being launched today for projects in the areas of unmanned systems in a naval environment and soldiers systems. The signature of the first grant agreements is expected by the end of this year.
    • €500 million per year after 2020In 2018, the Commission will propose a dedicated EU defence research programme with an estimated annual budget of €500 million making the EU one of the biggest defence research investors in Europe.
  • Development and acquisition: The Fund will create incentives for Member States to cooperate on joint development and the acquisition of defence equipment and technology through co-financing from the EU budget and practical support from the Commission. Member States may for example jointly invest in developing drone technology or satellite communication, or bulk buy helicopters to reduce costs. Only collaborative projects will be eligible, and a proportion of the overall budget will be earmarked for projects involving cross-border participation of SMEs. The EU will offer co-financing with:
    • €500 million in total for 2019 and 2020, under a dedicated defence and industrial development programme proposed today.
    • €1 billion per year after 2020. A more substantial programme will be prepared for post-2020, with an estimated annual budget of €1 billion. The programme will leverage national financing with an expected multiplying effect of 5. It could therefore generate a total investment in defence capability development of €5 billion per year after 2020.
An ambitious European Defence Fund will contribute to a European Union that protects and defends its citizens, complementing other ongoing work strands, namely the Global Strategy’s Implementation Plan on Security and Defence, which sets out a new level of ambition for the Union and identifies actions to fulfil it, as well as with the implementation of the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed by the President of the European Council, the President of the Commission and the Secretary-General of NATO.
With the support of the European Parliament and Member States, the European Defence Fund can quickly become the engine powering the development of the European Security and Defence Union that citizens expect.
Looking ahead, and following the Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe, today the Commission is also publishing a reflection paper to launch a public debate on how the EU at 27 might develop by 2025 in the area of defence.
Background
In his political guidelines in June 2014, European Commission President Juncker made strengthening European citizens’ security a priority. President Juncker announced the creation of a European Defence Fund in his 2016 State of the Union address.
There is a strong economic case for greater cooperation on defence spending amongst EU countries. The lack of cooperation between Member States in the field of defence and security is estimated to cost annually between €25 billion and €100 billion. 80% of procurement and more than 90% of Research and Technology are run on a national basis. Up to 30% of annual defence expenditures could be saved through pooling of procurement.
The fragmented approach when it comes to defence also leads to unnecessary duplication and affects the deployability of defence forces. There are 178 different weapon systems in the EU, compared to 30 in the US. There are 17 different types of main battle tanks in the EU and only one in the US. There are more helicopter producers in Europe than governments able to buy them.
On 30 November 2016, the Commission presented the European Defence Action Plan, which outlined how a European Defence Fund and other actions can support Member States’ more efficient spending in joint defence capabilities, strengthen European citizens’ security and foster a competitive and innovative industrial base. The initiative was welcomed by EU leaders during the European Council meetings in December 2016 and March 2017 and the Commission was given a mandate to present the proposals it is presenting today.
Further information
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COAST GUARD RESCUES FISHERMEN FROM A DISTRESSED BOAT OFF NEW MANGALORE




AT ABOUT 0925 HRS ON 07 JUN 17, MARITIME RESCUE SUB-CENTRE, NEW MANGALORE RECEIVED AN INFORMATION FROM VTS, NEW MANGALORE THAT A FIBRE FISHING BOAT MANJESHWARI WITH 07 FISHERMEN WAS EXPERIENCING FLOODING ON BOARD ABOUT 3.5 NAUTICAL MILES SOUTHWEST OF MANGALORE.

ON RECEIPT OF INFORMATION, ICGS RAJDOOT SAILED IMMEDIATELY FROM NEW MANGALORE PORT TO RENDER ASSISTANCE TO DISTRESSED FISHING BOAT.  ICGS RAJDOOT ARRIVED AREA AT 1050 HRS AND PROMPTLY RESCUED ALL THE FISHERMEN FROM THE BOAT AMIDST ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS.

THIS IS THE SECOND INCIDENT IN LAST TWO DAYS WHEREIN INDIAN COAST GUARD HAS SAVED 13 PRECIOUS LIVES OF FISHERMEN FROM A FLOODED/CAPSIZED BOAT IN A SWIFT OPERATION.
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