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India

India, China are partners not rivals: Chinese Ambassador

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H E Sun Weidong and JP Nadda

New Delhi, July 10 : Amid ongoing tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, Chinese Ambassador to India, H.E. Sun Weidong, on Friday said that India and China should be partner and not rivals.

Weidong released a video message talking about the recent stand-off between the two countries in Galwan region in eastern Ladakh.

The Ambassador said that the June 15 violent clash in Galwan Valley, which caused casualties on both sides, was not seen as coming by either China, or India.

Weidong also said that Chinese frontline troops were disengaging from the ground in accordance with the consensus reached.

On July 5, China”s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and India”s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had talked over the phone and reached a positive consensus on easing the border tension.

The Ambassador added that some quarters in India have raised doubts about the consensus reached by the leaders and have a wrong perception about China-India ties.

These have brought disruptions in the bilateral relations. “In this regard, it is imperative for us to clarify some fundamental points,” he said.

He pointed out that India and China should be partners rather than rivals, and both the countries have a history of friendly exchanges of more than 2,000 years.

He also said that during the Wuhan Informal Summit in 2018, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stressed that the two countries provide each other with development opportunities instead of posing threats, which the two sides should adhere to.

“This is the fundamental judgment on China-India relations charting the course for the development of our bilateral relations,” he said.

The Ambassador pointed out that he has noticed some emerging opinions in recent days, which repudiate the essence of China-India relationship due to the border-related incidents, make false assumptions about China”s intentions, exaggerate conflicts and provoke confrontation.

He said, “It is not the fact. It is harmful indeed and not helpful. China and India have jointly advocated the five principals of peaceful coexistence and uphold independent foreign policies. We should naturally see each other as positive factor in the changing global landscape and as well as partners in realising our respective dream of development.”

The Ambassador said that the two countries should not allow differences to interfere with bilateral relations.

He added that since the boundary question has been left by history, it is now necessary to find a fair and reasonable solution that is acceptable to both countries through consultation and negotiations.

“In the absence of the ultimate solution, both the countries agreed to maintain peace and tranquility in the border area,” he said.

The Ambassador pointed out that for China, peace was of paramount importance.

India

Ready for any alternative to law repeal demand, Tomar to farmers

Tomar, who is leading the negotiations on behalf of the government, has repeatedly reiterated that whatever provisions would be appropriate in the interests of the farmers of the country, the Modi government would consider including them in the new farm laws.

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narendra singh tomar

New Delhi: Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday again appealed to the farmers unions to suggest ways to resolve the deadlock over the agrarian reforms implemented by the Modi government.

Prior to the next round of talks scheduled on January 19 with the farmer unions leading the protests against the farm laws passed by parliament last year, he said that if the farmer unions could suggest any alternative solution, apart from the repeal of the three Central farm laws, the government would certainly consider it.

On the other hand, as the ongoing farmer agitation at the borders of the national Capital has entered the 53rd day, the farmer unions have clearly said they would continue with all their programmes announced earlier to intensify the protest.

The Agriculture Minister in a statement to IANS said in the next round of talks, the farmers unions should discuss the three farm laws point-wise and express their reservations, and the Central government would consider these. Apart from repeal of the three laws, the government would seriously consider whatever alternatives the farmers suggest, he added.

With a view to improving agriculture and allied sectors, the Central government implemented the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020. Though the Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of these laws and set up am expert committee to resolve the issue, the Central government has kept open the path for dialogue with the farmer unions.

Tomar, who is leading the negotiations on behalf of the government, has repeatedly reiterated that whatever provisions would be appropriate in the interests of the farmers of the country, the Modi government would consider including them in the new farm laws.

But the leaders of farmer unions are adamant on that the three laws be repealed. The Central government has said it is ready to present its case before the committee set up by the Supreme Court to find solutions to the problems of the farmers, but the protesting farmer unions are not ready to appear before it.

The protesting farmers are adamant on repealing the three Union farm laws and demanding a legal guarantee for procurement of crops at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) while the Union government has already accepted two other core demands related to power subsidy and stubble burning.

Union Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal had, on October 14, first held talks with the farmer leaders to resolve the misgivings of the farmers regarding the new farm laws. The ministerial-level talks began after this, but the nine rounds of talks till now have been inconclusive on the main demand. Apart from Tomar, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Som Prakash, were leading the government side in the talks.

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India

Centre-farmers’ standoff will resolve through dialogues: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President pointed out that the people of India always accorded a very high status to agriculture and this was the reason why our festivals and rituals are closely associated with agriculture.

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Rajya Sabha VP Naidu

New Delhi, Jan 18: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that the current standoff between the protesting farmers and the Centre will resolve only through dialogues.

“We cannot forget the farmers’ efforts in increasing the food production even during the Covid times,” Naidu said while speaking at an awards ceremony jointly organised by Rythu Nestham and Muppavarapu Foundation at the Swarna Bharat Trust in Hyderabad.

He also added that he sees the possibility of a certain meeting ground.

“Restriction-free marketing of farm produce has been a long-standing demand. One country and one food zone has been the demand for a long time. The development of the country is closely tied to farmer’s progress,” Naidu said.

Comparing the farmers’ compassion with that of a mother, he said: “It is the duty of everybody to support the farmers.”

The Vice President lauded the farmers for rendering a great service to the nation during the pandemic by pro3ducing record food grains despite hardship.

He also appreciated the efforts shown by the doctors, sanitation workers, police and media personnel during the pandemic.

“Both the Centre and state governments should work as ‘Team India’ in addressing the needs of the farmers. Apart from ensuring remunerative prices, the farmers should be provided with timely and affordable credit.

“There was also a need to increase the cold storage facilities and the godowns at all levels. As a matter-of-fact, every tehsil must have a cold storage facility,” Naidu added.

Vice President pointed out that the people of India always accorded a very high status to agriculture and this was the reason why our festivals and rituals are closely associated with agriculture.

Referring to a FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) report which cautioned about the food crisis in the coming times, Naidu asserted saying, “If we support our farmers, India would not only be food secure, but would also be able to feed the world.”

Naidu emphasised for a change in perspective towards agriculture among the public and urged the youth to become proactive partners in promoting farming.

Earlier in the day, Naidu interacted with the youth undergoing training at the Swarna Bharat Trust and advised them to maintain discipline, eat healthy food and always remain fit. He said that the youth in India were highly talented and their skills need to be upgraded through regular training.

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Cities

Delhi schools to reopen today after 10 months , parents still hesitant

Schools have also been directed not to hold assemblies and physical outdoor activities.

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Children wearing mask

New Delhi, Jan 18: After being closed for nearly 10 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools in Delhi are set to reopen from Monday for students of Classes 10 and 12. However, parents are still in a quandary whether to allow their wards to attend.

The Delhi government has decided to reopen schools, shut since the first 21 day nationwide lockdown was imposed in March, 2020, in the view of the upcoming CBSE board exams.

Schools that reopen will have to follow the standard operating procedures (SOP) issued in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, including social distancing, compulsory mask wearing and sanitisation and others.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in a tweet on Sunday, said: “Had a review meeting with senior Education Dept officials. Everyone is excited and a little nervous at having Class 10& 12 students back in schools from tmrw for practical/counselling. All preparations-sanitizers, masks, social distancing measures- are in place. Good luck to all!”

The Directorate of Education has made it clear that students can come to school only if their parents allow it, and the school administration cannot compel physical attendance of their students.

However, parents spoke to IANS were not sure if they would send their children to schools from Monday onwards.

“It’s not only me but most parents have made a unanimous consent not to send their children to school in this situation. As we all are aware that Covid-19 is still with us and our children can get affected. I can’t say all parents have the same thought but, yes, all are concerned about safety of their children,” said the mother of a Class 12 student in the Andhra Education Society School, ITO.

Sources told IANS that the schools administrations in Delhi have sought parents’ consent through an ‘NOC for offline classes’.

A letter issued by Preet Public School in Preet Vihar read: “As per the order of Delhi government, the school may start the offline classes for practical, doubt session, assignment activities related to CBSE examination 2021. The school will follow the SOP guidelines in respect of Covid-19 issued by MHA, Govt. of India.”

In the letter, parents have been asked to submit their consent in writing. Parents have to ensure that their children will wear face masks, carry hand sanitiser and maintain social distancing. Parents also have to ensure that there is no history of Covid-19 infection in their families.

“It has been over a week since we (parents) have been debating whether to send our children to school or not. See, practical classes are very important in view of exams preparation. If I talk about my own daughter, who is in Class 10, she has completed almost all the syllabus but practical classes are also important. I know, it is about the future of my daughter but, I would wait at least one week to see if school is fully safe from Covid-19,” said a mother of a Preet Public School student.

The Directorate of Education had earlier made it clear that physical attendance is not compulsory and students will attend schools only with the consent of parents. It had also said that only schools outside the containment zones will be allowed to reopen and teachers and school staff living in such areas will not be allowed to attend schools.

Schools have also been directed not to hold assemblies and physical outdoor activities.

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