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Modi to embark five nation tour on June 4

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New Delhi, May 30 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a five nation tour from June 4 that will see him travelling to Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland, the US and Mexico.

Modi will first go to Afghanistan on June 4, where he will visit Herat to inaugurate the Salma Dam that has been funded by India.

He will head to Qatar on June 5 for a bilateral visit where he will hold talks with Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and economic ties, especially the hydrocarbon sector, will be high on the agenda.

This is the first prime ministerial visit from India to Qatar in eight years since the visit of Manmohan Singh to Doha in 2008.

With 630,000, Indians form the largest expatriate community in Qatar.

From Qatar, Modi will head to Switzerland.

“During the visit, the Prime Minister and the President of the Swiss Confederation Johann Schneider-Ammann will hold discussions on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest,” an official statement said.

From Switzerland, Modi will travel to the US on June 7 and 8 at the invitation of US President Barack Obama, with whom he will review the progress made in key areas of defence, security and energy.

In his last leg of visit, Modi will reach Mexico on June 8 at the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Relations between India and Mexico have witnessed renewed vigour and activity in the last two years and Modi had a substantive bilateral meeting with President Nieto on the sidelines of UNGA.

“The main objective of the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister would be to carry forward the momentum in our bilateral relations and discuss cooperation in areas such as space, energy, agriculture and science and technology among others,” the statement said.

The two leaders will also be discussing various multilateral issues during the visit.

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Rising urbanization likely cause of heavy rainfall in South: Research

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

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IMD heavy rains predict

Hyderabad, May 26 : A team of researchers at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have discovered a link between heavy rainfall in several parts of south India and a growing urbanisation in the region.

A team led by Prof. Karumuri Ashok from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad, examined whether a common factor, the changing ‘land use land cover’ (LULC) in these states, has any implications for the heavy rainfall events.

Over the past few years, many heavy rainfall events have been reported in cities of south India. Prominent among them are the extreme rainfall that created havoc in Chennai and nearby areas of Tamil Nadu in December 2015, the heavy rainfall over Hyderabad and adjoining regions in Telangana in September 2016, and the extreme rainfall event in Kerala in August 2018.

Notably, these three states differ in their geographical locations, and also the season in which they receive rainfall. Kerala, located on the southwest Indian coast off the Arabian Sea receives heavy rainfall during the summer monsoon from June-September.

Tamil Nadu, off the Bay of Bengal, receives rainfall mainly during the northeast monsoon (October-December). The land-locked state Telangana receives the bulk of its annual rainfall during the summer monsoon season.

A UoH statement stated that their study showed the precipitation during heavy rainfall events in these states has significantly increased from 2000 to 2017. Using the LULC data from ISRO, and by conducting 2 km resolution simulation experiments of twelve heavy rainfall events over the states, the researchers found distinct LULC changes in these three states, which led to higher surface temperatures and a deeper and moist boundary layer. These in turn caused a relatively higher convective available potential energy and, consequently, heavier rainfall.

The study also suggests that increasing urbanization in Telangana and Tamil Nadu is likely to enhance the rainfall during the heavy rainfall events by 20%-25%. Prof. Ashok feels that improving the density of observational rainfall and other weather parameters may help in forecasting extreme rainfalls at city level.

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

Prof. K. Ashok and his Ph.D. student Mr. A. Boyaj who is the first author, are both from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad. The work was done in collaboration with Prof. Ibrahim Hoteit and Dr Hari Prasad Dasari of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.

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Only supporting, not a key player in Maharashtra: Rahul

The Governor followed it up by a review meeting of the crisis in which Thackeray excused himself but sent his close confidante Milind Narvekar.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, May 26 : Amid allegations of mishandling the covid crisis in Maharashtra by opposition leaders who even demanded dismissal of the state government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that his party is not a key player in running Maharashtra government.

The Congress is part of “Maha Vikas Aghadi” and holds key ministries but Rahul Gandhi said, “We are only supporting the government and are not a ‘key player’ in the state”.

Rahul Gandhi, however, defended the state government and said that Mumbai is a well connected state. and that is the reason why Covid cases are rising there.

Rahul Gandhi asserted that the party is doing better where ever it is running its own government.

Rahul Gandhi’s statement could be a setback for MVA government in Maharashtra where hectic politics is going on. NCP chief Sharad Pawar met the governor on Monday, though all speculations were rejected by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Faut on Tuesday.

Tongues started wagging as Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar went to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, in what was described by both sides as a “courtesy call”.

Accompanied by NCP MP Praful Patel, this was Pawar’s first-ever meeting with the Governor who was appointed in September 2019, crowning a series of recent political developments in the state.

Later on Monday afternoon, it was the turn of BJP leader and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane to meet the Governor and reportedly demanded imposition of President’s rule in the state.

Among various things, Rane has claimed the government headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had failed to handle the Covid-19 pandemic crisis in the state.

Rane’s demand came days after Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis called on Koshyari and complained that the Thackeray government had bungled in handling the coronavirus situation.

The Governor followed it up by a review meeting of the crisis in which Thackeray excused himself but sent his close confidante Milind Narvekar.

A couple of days later, Koshyari raised strong objections to a letter written by Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant to the UGC recommending cancellation of final year university examinations, which the Governor pointed out was against the guidelines.

This was followed by Sena MP Sanjay Raut calling on the Governor, and a day later, Thackeray announced that the lockdown implemented suddenly was not proper, and lifting it abruptly would be detrimental to the people.

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Transparency needed on India-China face-off at LAC: Rahul

He said, what happened with Nepal and why, what is happening in Ladakh should be made clear.

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Rahul Gandhi on Kashmir Situation

New Delhi, May 26 : Amid reports of a face-off between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army in eastern Ladakh at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that the Narendra Modi government must come clean on the situation arising and inform the citizen what is happening at the border.

Addressing a press conference through video conferencing, Rahul Gandhi said: “The details of what happened along the border, the government should share with the people.”

He said, what happened with Nepal and why, what is happening in Ladakh should be made clear.

“I cannot see transparency. The issue of Ladakh and China is a live issue. Transparency is required,” he said.

He was responding to a question on the face-off on LAC that was triggered the Chinese objected to road construction and development of infrastructure by India within the Indian territory.

Last week Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli asserted that Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura belong to Nepal and vowed to “reclaim” them from India through political and diplomatic efforts. His Cabinet also endorsed a new political map showing the three areas as Nepalese territory. Oli went a step further and told in the Npal parliament that the territories belong to Nepal but has been made a disputed area.

The former Congress chief also said that till the time there is no transparency, till that time it would not good for him to speak. “If I have more information then I will share more details on it,” he added.

This is Rahul Gandhi’s fourth interaction with the media in the last two months.

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