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India reaffirms commitment to humanitarian assistance




India on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to extend its assistance in humanitarian crises in different parts of the world.

“India has been generally supportive of the principles of burden sharing and solidarity in respect of refugees,” Sujata Mehta, Secretary (West) in the external affairs ministry, said at a symposium here ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit conevened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on May 23-24 in Istanbul.

“However, we have reservations in case there is an attempt to call for a so-called ‘equitable or shared responsibility’ to address refugee crises,” she said.

“…Let me reaffirm India’s commitment to providing humanitarian assistance as per our ability and national circumstances, to neighbouring and other friendly countries, based on their request and conscious of the gravity of the problem.”

Mehta said that India amply demonstrated such commitment to support neighbouring countries during the Nepal earthquake in 2015.

She said that the World Humanitarian Summit, convened by the UN secretary general and organised by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), was significant and was also generating high expectations in terms of what it could achieve.

“The UNSG’s Report estimates the annual deficit in humanitarian relief at $15 billion,” the secretary said.

“The UNSG advocates a new humanitarian aid architecture and seeks new financial arrangements to address consequences of dangerous policies, but does not refer to measures to prevent their emergence in the first place.”

Mehta said that India welcomed the UNSG’s observation that additional humanitarian financing cannot come at the expense of development funding and that developed countries should fulfill their commitments to provide 0.7 pecent of their gross domestic product (GDP) as overseas development assistance (ODA).

“We believe that responsibility sharing should be based on agreed principles of CBDR (common but differentiated responsibilities) and not on nebulous so-called equitable responsibility sharing,” she stated.

“Turning to the immediate – the root causes for the ongoing humanitarian emergencies – the largest movement of people since the Second World War, are deeply embedded in the recent conflicts in countries such as Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria.”

According to the secretary, it is clear that there are fundamental issues surrounding the failure of UN Security Council in preventing the emergence of grave conflict situations in these countries leading to a humanitarian crisis.

“This also points starkly to the need for urgent reform of the UN Security Council,” she said.

She warned that in the absence of strong political leadership to find sustainable solutions, there was a real danger of the humanitarian situation worsening further.

Mehta said that the UN should focus on playing a central role in providing leadership and coordination to the efforts of the international community to support strengthening its response capacity in a cost effective and timely manner.

“This support can include capacity building at local, national and regional levels through training, development of local leadership, thrust towards innovation and resilience building, strengthening of national actors, and so forth,” she said.


India, China are partners not rivals: Chinese Ambassador



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.

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Etihad Begins Special Flights From 6 Indian Destination Between July 12-26

All passengers must have ICA approval from the government of Abu Dhabi before they travel and will not be permitted to check-in without the necessary approvals.




etihad Airways

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Etihad Airways will resume a limited number of special flights from six Indian gateways to Abu Dhabi from July 12 to 26.

The announcement comes a day after partial lifting of international flight restrictions by Indian authorities to allow outbound travel.

“During this period, the airline will operate services to Abu Dhabi from Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai to Abu Dhabi,” the company said in a statement.

“All passengers must have ICA approval from the government of Abu Dhabi before they travel and will not be permitted to check-in without the necessary approvals.”

On Thursday, the Centre announced civil aviation authorities of India and the UAE have agreed to operate special repatriation flights between the two countries during July 12-26.

As per the arrangement, chartered flights operated by UAE carriers to bring back Indians from the UAE will be allowed to carry ICA (Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship) approved UAE residents to their native country on their return leg.

Further, Indian carriers operating repatriation flights to bring back Indians from the UAE will be allowed to carry the ICA-approved UAE residents on their onward journey from India to the Gulf country.

“As part of the close strategic partnership between the governments of India and UAE , and with a view to assisting UAE residents who are presently in India to return to UAE, the Civil Aviation Authorities of both countries have agreed to operationalise a special arrangement,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had tweeted.

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Google empowers 5,000 Cloud employees in ethical AI

Google recently released a version of this training as a mandatory course for customer-facing Cloud teams and 5,000 Cloud employees have already taken it.




New Delhi, July 10 : Google has trained over 5,000 employees who were part of its customer-facing Cloud teams in asking critical questions to spot potential ethical issues, such as whether an AI application might lead to economic or educational exclusion or cause physical, psychological, social or environmental harm.

In addition to launching the initial ”Tech Ethics” training that over 800 Googlers have taken since its launch last year, Google developed a new training for AI Principles issue spotting.

“We piloted the course with more than 2,000 Googlers, and it is now available as an online self-study course to all Googlers across the company,” the company said on Thursday.

Google recently released a version of this training as a mandatory course for customer-facing Cloud teams and 5,000 Cloud employees have already taken it.

“Our goal is for Google to be a helpful partner not only to researchers and developers who are building AI applications, but also to the billions of people who use them in everyday products,” said the tech giant.

The company said it has released 14 new tools that help explain how responsible AI works, from simple data visualizations on algorithmic bias for general audiences to ”Explainable AI” dashboards and tool suites for enterprise users.

The global efforts this year included new programmes to support non-technical audiences in their understanding of, and participation in, the creation of responsible AI systems, whether they are policymakers, first-time ML (machine learning) practitioners or domain experts, said Google.

“We know no system, whether human or AI powered, will ever be perfect, so we don”t consider the task of improving it to ever be finished. We continue to identify emerging trends and challenges that surface in our AI Principles reviews,” said Google.

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