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Every nation faces problem of terrorism to greater or lesser degree

Addresses the Media onboard on winding up two-nation visit.



Hamid Ansari

Onboard Air India One Special Aircraft. Vice President M Hamid Ansari has said that terrorism has become a pandemic and affects every society.

He was addressing the Media onboard Air India One Special Aircraft while returning to India concluding five-day visit to Armenia and Poland April 29. Minister of State for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said: “Both Armenia and Poland were very friendly countries and we were able to regenerate interest in mutual cooperation. Though Armenia is a small country, it has traditionally been very friendly to us.”

Referring to Poland, the Vice President said, “It is the biggest economy in Central Europe and we have an expanding trade with them. There are Indian investments in Poland and Polish investments in India and during the course of discussions, with both the Polish President and the Prime Minister, we were able to identify some specific areas where cooperation between these two countries is either starting or can start very soon.

We were able to focus on three particular areas of interest; clean coal mining technology, agricultural products and techniques and defence cooperation.”

Mr Ansari said that he had suggested to the Polish leadership for Poland to join the Make in India programmes and instead of being a seller only, they could become an India based seller, which will give them a much additional advantages.

He further said that the Polish side reacted very positively to the suggestion and there will be substantial progress in coming day when the Polish President visits India. All in all, the discussions were very focused and very positive and in both countries, the results have been satisfactory, he added.

Reacting to a question on exploring potential with Armenian innovation and Indian efforts coming together for mutual benefit, the Vice President said, “Armenian innovation is good and Indian effort is right in its place. We need to see where and what the innovation is and where it will fit in to our requirements.”

On a question about the road ahead in our relationship with Poland, Mr Ansari said that Poland has done its own homework in identifying India’s rising profile to become a major trading partner and a major political entity in its own right.

He further said: “The Polish have identified a few markets in Asia as priority markets and India is one of them. “We both look forward and expect several initiatives in furthering this process.”

Answering a question on adopting Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), the Vice President said that every country is facing the problem of terrorism in a lesser or greater degree and the problem is understood by everyone. He referred to the time when he was the permanent representative of India to UN in New York in 1994, when India had introduced a proposal on CCIT and it was struck because there was a difference in perception with regard to defining a terrorist.

He further said that while making an international agreement, all kinds of legal problems come up and those who do not want this to make progress, come up with legal technicalities. It is an excuse on part of some countries to try to avoid committing themselves, he added.

Reacting to a question on image of India in foreign countries, the Vice President said that India’s image outside, or image within the country is on different planes and multiple images are a fact of life. He referred to India, through ISRO, sending Mars mission and launching satellites of several countries.

He further said, “A common man looks at our strengths in Information Technology and Indian IT professionals are present all over the world and as long as the picture is a faithful one, we have to take note what ISRO is doing, what IT is doing and what Indian scientific research is doing. Along with it, there is poverty, there is inequality, but despite all this is also the fact that we have been able, for seven decades, to run a democratic system on a monumental scale.”


Congress leader Ahmed Patel dies from Covid complications

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passes away, tweets his son Faisal Patel




New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ahmad Patel died from Covid-related complications this morning, tweets his son Faisal Patel.

Ahmed Patel had tested positive for coronavirus on October 1. He was then admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon for further treatment.

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Delhi Schools Unlikely To Reopen Until Covid Vaccine Is Available: Manish Sisodia

While several restrictions have been eased in different ‘unlock’ phases, educational institutions continue to remain closed.



Manish Sisodia

Schools in the national capital which are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic are unlikely to reopen until a vaccine is available, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday.

Universities and schools across the country were closed on March 16, when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Until we get some vaccine, schools (in Delhi) are not likely to open,” Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s Education Minister, told reporters.

He had announced on October 30 that schools will remain closed until further orders, saying parents were not in favour of sending their ward to schools yet.

“We keep getting feedback from parents that they are really concerned about whether it is safe to reopen schools. It is not. Wherever schools have reopened, COVID-19 cases among children have risen. So we have decided that as of now schools in the national capital will not reopen. They will continue to be closed till further orders,” Sisodia had said then.

A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25.

While several restrictions have been eased in different ‘unlock’ phases, educational institutions continue to remain closed.

According to ‘Unlock 5’ guidelines, states can take a call on reopening schools in phases. Several states also began the process of reopening schools. While some of them announced closure again due to rise in coronavirus cases.

Earlier, schools were allowed to call students from Class 9 to 12 to school on voluntary basis from September 21. However, the Delhi government decided against it.

Delhi recorded 4,454 fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday and a positivity rate of 11.94 per cent while 121 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 8,512, authorities said.

These relatively low number of fresh cases came out of the 37,307 tests conducted on Sunday, including 18,046 RT-PCR tests, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.

On last Friday, authorities had said that 23,507 RT-PCR tests, the highest till date, were conducted a day before.

The highest single-day spike till date here — 8,593 cases — was recorded on November 11 when 85 fatalities were recorded.

As many as 121 fatalities were recorded on Monday, same as the previous day.

This is the sixth time in the last 12 days that the daily number of deaths has crossed the 100-mark.

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Uttar Pradesh okays ordinance against conversion for marriage, violators face up to 10 yrs in jail

He said punishment under the new law is a jail term from one and five years, and a fine of Rs 15,000.



Yogi Adityanth

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday approved a draft ordinance to deal with religious conversion for the sake of marriage, which could land violators in jail for up to 10 years.

An official spokesperson said the state Cabinet gave its nod to the ordinance at its meeting chaired here by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

In recent weeks, BJP-run states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have revealed plans to enact laws to counter alleged attempts to convert Hindu women to Islam in the guise of marriage, which Hindu activists refer to as love jihad .

“The way in which religious conversions are done using deceit, lies, force and dishonesty is heart wrenching, and it was necessary to have a law in this regard, Cabinet minister and UP government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh said.

He said punishment under the new law is a jail term from one and five years, and a fine of Rs 15,000.

But if the woman involved is a minor or belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, the jail term would range from three to 10 years, he said. The fine would increase to Rs 25,000.

In the case of mass conversions, the punishment is from three years to 10 years and a fine of Rs 50,000 on the organisations which indulge in it,” the minister told reporters.

Singh said if anyone wants to change religion after marriage, then he or she can do so.

But the district magistrate has to be informed two months in advance in a prescribed form, and the person can convert once permission is granted.

He claimed that this will resolve law and order problems.

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