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India, Italy sign 15 MoUs to strengthen bilateral relations

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Giuseppe Conte Italy PM

New Delhi/Rome: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte, signed 15 Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) in various sectors with an objective to strengthen bilateral relations.

In a virtual summit between India and Italy, the two Prime Ministers held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and global issues. They acknowledged significant progress in bilateral relations over the past two years since Prime Minister Conte’s visit to India in 2018.

The two Prime Ministers underlined the need to intensify cooperation in high technology, clean energy and energy sector development, infrastructure, food processing. The two leaders acknowledged the untapped potential of bilateral industrial partnership and projects and encouraged respective “national champions” and SMEs to explore new avenues of cooperation.

They agreed to promote innovative financial schemes capable of supporting bilateral investments. The two sides signed 15 MoUs in several sectors- between the Italian Trade Agency and Invest India; to promote co-financing between Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA (CDP), Italy and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), India.

MoU among the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur), Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio di Venezia on creating network and sharing skills for restoration and protection of monuments.

Other MoUs include Addendum to the Executive Protocol for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Italy and India on industrial projects; Exchange of Notes on the Rules of Procedure for approval of co-production status under art. 15 of the Audio-Visual co-production agreement between the Government of the Republic of Italy and the Government of Republic of India; between Fincantieri S.p.A., Italy and Cochin Shipyard Limited, India on design, shipbuilding and manufacturing.

MoU between Fincantieri S.p.A., Italy and Cochin Shipyard Limited, India on repair/refit; Cooperation Agreement to promote energy transition between Snam S.p.A., Italy and Adani Entreprises Ltd, India; Cooperation Agreement to set-up a CNG compressors factory in India between Snam S.p.A., Italy and Adani Gas Ltd, India.

Similarly, MoU to enhance the development of green hydrogen between Snam S.p.A., Italy and Greenko Energies Private Ltd, India; MoU to promote energy transition and cooperate on gas infrastructures development between Snam S.p.A., Italy and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. India; MoU in the area of conversion of plastic recycling between NextChem (Maire Tecnimont Group), Italy and Indian Oil Cooperation, India. Two other MoUs were on the fisheries sector between ASSOITTICA of Italy and Seafood Exporters Association of India and MoU on Student Exchange between Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), India and ZeLIG, Italy.

Both the Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to work closely on common priorities and a development oriented global agenda for their respective Presidencies of the G20 in order to address, inter alia, the impact of and the response to Covid-19 in all the relevant domains.

In the framework of the G20 Troika, G20 Sherpas of the two countries will hold regular consultations to take stock of activities and work towards an agenda that includes common priorities for the two Presidencies of the G20 and for their legacy.

Modi and his counterpart underscored the need to further expand defence engagement through greater two-way collaboration and technology cooperation, co-development and co-production, by expediting discussions through the Joint Defence Committee and Military Cooperation Group.

They recognised the opportunity to consolidate defence relations with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of peacekeeping activities within the framework of the United Nations.

India

Barricades to open on Jan 26 as police allow Tractor Rally

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The Delhi Police on Sunday said that after several round of talks with the farmers groups, it has permitted the tractor rally inside Delhi on January 26.

Police has said that the barricades would be lifted at Singhu, Tikri and Gazipur borders on January 26 after the Republic Day parade is over and the farmers would be allowed to enter upto 100 kilometers within Delhi with their tractors in a circular path on the routes discussed with the farmers.

The route specified is from Singhu Border to Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar, Kanjhawala, Bawana to Auchadi. From Tikri border, it will be to Nangloi, Najafgarh, Jharoda, Dhansa, Badli and the KMP and from Gazipur border to Apsara border to Hapur Road.

“We have told the farmers that the rally would start once the Republic Day parade is over. We expect with the cooperation of the farmers the rally would be peaceful,” Special Commissioner of Police, Intelligence, Deependra Pathak, said.

However, the police said that they are on alert after intelligence inputs that various Twitter handles operating from across the border are active to disrupt the rally on January 26.

“According to our intelligence input, 308 Twitter handles have been generated from Pakistan to disrupt the rally to create disturbance. We are also concerned about the security of the rally given the threat perception,” he added.

Meanwhile, several batches of farmers from Punjab and Haryana set out on their tractor-trolleys and other vehicles to take part in the proposed tractor rally on January 26 in the national capital. Tractor-trolleys have now become a common sight at the Singhu border as the farmers have started bringing in the tractors to the protest site from villages in Punjab for the proposed rally.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states have been protesting at multiple border points of Delhi at Singhu, Tikri and Gazipur borders since November-end. They are demanding a repeal of the three central farm laws passed by Parliament in September last year.

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Soldier injured in Pak ceasefire violation succumbs

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An Army soldier injured in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan on the Line of Control in J&K’s Rajouri district, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.

An Indian Army statement said, “Pakistan Army had resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation on the LoC in Sunderbani sector of J&K on January 18 which was responded to strongly by our own troops.”

“In the incident, Naik Nishant Sharma of 10 JAK RIF was critically injured and was under treatment at the command hospital.

“Today the soldier succumbed to injuries. Naik Nishant Sharma was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for his supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty.”

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CBI arrests labour official in TN in bribery case

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 The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Sunday that it had arrested a Regional Labour Commissioner on the charge of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 30,000.

P Sivarajan, posted as Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) in Madurai, was held along with a private person N Murali after the CBI laid a trap on Saturday and caught them with the bribe amount.

A case was registered after a complaint that Sivarajan was demanding undue advantage from Murali, representing a private company, for issuing labour licence.

Searches were conducted at five places in Chennai and Madurai (Tamil Nadu), including the residence and offices of the accused, said the CBI.

Both the accused were produced in the court of Principal Special Judge for CBI cases, Chennai, and remanded to judicial custody till February 4.

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