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India, Russia sign St Petersburg Declaration for enhanced ties across the board

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Putin Modi

St Petersburg, June 1 : Marking 70 years of diplomatic ties, India and Russia on Thursday signed the St Petersburg Declaration – an action plan for deepening not only political and economic development of the two countries but also to ensure a benchmark of stability in times of global instability.

The Declaration was signed following the annual bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stating that the economies of India and Russia complement each other in the energy sector, it said that they would “strive to build an ‘Energy Bridge’ between our states and expand bilateral relations in all areas of energy cooperation, including nuclear, hydrocarbon, hydel and renewable energy sources and in improving energy efficiency”.

It said both countries have noted that wider use of natural gas, an economically efficient and environmentally friendly fuel, which has become an integral part of the global energy market, was highly significant for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy has emerged as one of the hallmarks of the strategic partnership between the two countries, contributing to India’s energy security and energizing broader scientific and technological cooperation,” said the declaration.

“With concerted efforts on both sides, there has been a series of steady and demonstrable achievements in our civil nuclear partnership, including advancing nuclear power projects at the Kudankulam site and transforming it into one of India’s largest energy hubs. We welcome the conclusion of the General Framework Agreement and Credit Protocol for Units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.”

According to the Declaration, the growing nuclear power partnership between India and Russia has opened opportunities for developing advanced nuclear manufacturing capabilities in India in line with its ‘Make in India’ initiative.

It also stated that both countries were interested in launching joint projects on exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Arctic shelf of Russia.

The Declaration sets major economic objectives including expanding trade and investment and diversification of trade in goods and services, in particular increasing the share of high-technology products, fostering industrial cooperation, improving environment for entrepreneurship and investments and developing cooperation in banking and financial matters.

On connectivity, it said this must be strengthened based on dialogue and consent of all parties concerned with due respect to sovereignty, while reiterating their commitment to build effective infrastructure for the International North South Transport Corridor and implementation of the Green Corridor.

It said given Russia’s strength in shipbuilding, river navigation and desalination technologies, both countries would work together to develop joint projects through transfer of technology and experience sharing for developing inland waterways, river embankments, ports and cargo containers towards effective utilisation of India’s extensive river systems.

They also would work on development of high speed railways, dedicated freight corridors, and application of newer technologies for efficient rail transport.

On defence cooperation, it said both countries upgrade and intensify this cooperation, “through joint manufacture, co-production and co-development of military hardware and military spares, with increasing reliance on the adoption and sharing of future technologies, in compliance with the obligations of the sides under the existing agreements on military-technical cooperation”.

Regarding the new world order, the Declaration said both India and Russia “regard the establishment of the multi-polar global order in international relations as a reflection of natural and inevitable process of evolution of interstate relations in the 21st century”.

Thus, they would enhance collaboration to democratize the system of international relations based on the principles of the rule of law and the central role of the United Nations.

Russia reaffirmed its support for India’s bid for permanent membership in the UN Security Council and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Both countries strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed “that there can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons”.

They urged all countries and entities to “work sincerely to disrupt terrorist networks and their financing, and stop cross-border movement of terrorists” and called for “early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to strengthen the global counter-terrorism normative and legal framework to combat this scourge”.

India

Former UP CM ND Tiwari shifted to ICU, next 72 hours ‘extremely crucial’

Tiwari was admitted to the Max Super Speciality Hospital after he suffered a massive brain-stroke in September last year.

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ND Tiwari

NEW DELHI: Former Uttar Pradesh CM and senior Congress leader ND Tiwari was on Monday moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a private hospital here after his condition became “critical” due to fever and blood pressure dropping to a “dangerously low level”, his aide said.

The doctors attending to him at Max Super Speciality Hospital have said that the next 48 to 72 hours would be “extremely crucial” for the 92-year-old politician, he added.

Around 12 noon, Tiwari contracted fever due to an infection and his heart rate became irregular with blood-pressure dropping to “dangerously low levels”, the aide said.

“He was immediately rushed to the ICU in a critical condition,” he added.

The team of doctors led by Dr J D Mukherjee (Neurologist) and Dr Sumit Sethi (Cardiologist) are looking after Tiwari.

“The doctors told his son Rohit Shekhar Tiwari that the next 48 to 72 hours will be extremely crucial for Tiwari,” the aide said.

Tiwari was admitted to the Max Super Speciality Hospital after he suffered a massive brain-stroke in September last year.

In November, he was shifted out of the ICU as his condition showed improvement.

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ED searches 39 locations, seizes Rs 5716 crore assets

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Mumbai, Feb 19: Expanding its money laundering probe into the 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday carried out searches at 39 places across the country and said assets worth Rs 5716 Crore have been seized in the raids till now. 

We will find out how the money laundering took place. As it is in the foreign jurisdiction it will take time to investigate, news agency ANI quoted citing ED Source was saying.

“There has been no response on the summons sent to Nirav Modi or the other accused so far. It is also being investigated as to why Gokulnath Shetty wasn’t promoted in all these years. First LoU was issued in March 2011 & was rolled over”, it added.

Earlier in a day, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sealed Punjab National Bank’s Brady Road branch after conducting search operations in connection with Rs 11,400 crore fraud case involving diamantaire Nirav Modi.

The probe agency posted an official notice outside the branch in Fort — the bank’s flagship lending window in Mumbai and its second largest national outlet.

All have been restricted from opening or entering inside this branch without prior permission of the CBI or the CBI Special Court or the CBI Competent Authority.

In the meantime, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday conducted searches at over 40 more locations in several cities across India in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

The agency raided 10 places in Mumbai, six each in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru, four in Chennai, three in Surat, two each in Bihar, Lucknow, Jalandhar and Hyderabad and one in Delhi.

The raids are also being carried out at diamond merchant Nirav Modi’s house in Mumbai’s Worli.

Meanwhile, the Central Vigilance Commission issued an advisory to all public sector banks to transfer all officers who have completed 3 years as on 31st Dec 2017. It also stated that transfer of all clerical staff who have completed 5 years as on 31st Dec 2017 should be done immediately.

On Sunday, the probe agency had questioned 11 bank officials as well as Vipul Ambani, the Chief Financing Officer of Modi’s Firestar International company.

So far, the CBI arrested three PNB officials – Gokulnath Shetty, Manoj Kharat and Hemant Bhat. They are under police custody till March 3.

Apart from this, the CBI earlier named 10 other directors and officials as accused in the scam which has created a countrywide furore.

They are: Krishnan Sangameshwaran, Nazura Yashjaney, Gopal Das Bhatia, Aniyath Shivraman, Dhanesh Vrajlal Sheth, Jyoti Bharat Vora, Anil Umesh Haldipur, Chandrakant Kanu Karkare, Pankhuri Abhijeet Varange and Mihir Bhaskar Joshi.

More than Rs 11,400 crore was siphoned by using the LoU method. Bank officials and celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi and his accomplices are allegedly involved in the fraud.

WeForNews 

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Explain how scam took place despite regulations; CVC asks PNB, Finance Ministry to submit report in 10 days

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New Delhi, Feb 19: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on Monday asked the Punjab National Bank and Finance Ministry to submit a report on how the scam took place despite monetary regulations being in place within 10 days. 

Officials of PNB, RBI and Dept of Financial Services gave a presentation of 2 hours to Central Vigilance Commission about the case.

Apart from this, the CVC has asked for names of officials who were involved & sought identification of officials who could have taken action and prevented it.

After meeting with PNB and Finance Ministry officials Central Vigilance Commission also had a meeting with CBI officials. The probe agency officials told CVC that it was a system failure at multiple levels.

WeForNews 

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