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Sino-Indian ties to benefit world: Indian envoy

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China and India are re-emerging in a mutually supportive manner and their cooperation will benefit the world, India’s ambassador Ashok Kantha has said.

Kantha has a “sense of deep satisfaction” as relations between the Asian neighbours gained momentum since he took office in 2014, Xinhua quoted the ambassador as saying.

Kantha will complete his tenure and leave China this week.

The last two years were “the most productive phase” in the development of Sino-Indian ties, as shown by frequent high-level exchanges, especially the two landmark visits by leaders of the two countries, he said.

In September 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India. In May 2015, Xi welcomed Modi to his hometown.

In addition to reaching a series of agreements and understandings, the leaders also sent out “very powerful signals of the desire by India and China to work together”, said Kantha.

The re-emergence of India and China was a defining development of the 21st century, and the two countries have to take into consideration each other’s interests, concerns and aspirations, he added.

China is one of India’s largest trading partners, with two-way trade in 2015 expected to reach $100 billion.

“We need to move to a more balanced trade relationship,” said Kantha, adding India was trying to expand its economic engagement and attract investment from Chinese companies.

While China has promoted strategies including ‘Made in China 2025’ and ‘Internet Plus’, India has launched initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart Cities’.

Kantha said these will create new opportunities for the two countries to contribute to each other’s development.

“Indian companies have strengths when it comes to the knowledge-based economy, which can contribute to China’s economic development, which emphasises innovation and R&D,” said Kantha.

Kantha said he appreciated Chinese people’s interest in Indian culture. After visiting 27 Chinese cities, Kantha said: “Yoga is finding a second home in China.”

China and India, as neighbours and two of the world’s fastest growing economies, approach several key global issues with similar perspectives.

“We have converging interests when it comes to international issues. Therefore, it is not surprising that collaboration is increasing significantly.”

Kantha admitted there were problems, such us border disputes. “But we will not let them get in the way of the development of relations.”

In 2015, China and India, together with other BRICS partners, worked to launch the New Development Bank, which is headquartered in Shanghai and headed by an Indian president.

India also supported China in establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank last year, with India being the second largest shareholder.

India

Ensure last-mile outreach through regional languages: PMO

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modi saarc

New Delhi, April 10 The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Friday directed the Empowered Groups to ensure last-mile outreach through communication in regional languages amid the Union government’s ongoing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Steps taken to ensure timely information dissemination throughout the country were also stressed by the PMO, which reviewed the preparations to counter the impact of the pandemic.

The issues related to supply chain and logistics management for availability of necessary items, efforts undertaken for the benefit of stakeholders involved, steps to assist farmers harvest their produce while maintaining social distancing, necessary confidence building measures required, and need to ensure percolation of guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs to the ground level were discussed.

Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary P.K. Mishra discussed these issues while chairing a meeting of the Empowered Groups of Officers to tackle the challenges emerging as a result of the spread of COVID-19 in India.

The meeting was the latest in a series of periodic reviews at various levels by the PMO to monitor the situation in which the Principal Secretary reviewed the efforts undertaken by the Empowered Groups.

The participants reviewed and expressed satisfaction on the detailed testing protocol and procedure, under which (as on date) 1,45,916 samples have been tested.

Noting that the production of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is being ramped up and capacity building for healthcare personnel ensured and that NGOs and civil society groups are also being mobilized, Mishra suggested that coordination with NGOs at district level be done to avoid overlaps and ensure efficacious utilization of resources.

The meeting was told that all state Chief Secretaries were instructed to arrange for shelters for vulnerable groups like migrants and homeless.

The progress of the welfare measures rolled out through an economic relief package under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana was also reviewed.

The Principal Secretary underlined that data sanctity was important to ensure that the benefits reach to all intended beneficiaries.

On the technology and data management front, he expressed satisfaction on the rollout of Aarogya Setu app and said that the user engagement with the app needs to be enhanced.

The Centre on March 29 constituted 11 empowered groups for planning and ensuring implementation of Covid-19 response activities.

Each group will be handled by a group of senior government officials empowered to identify the problem areas and provide effective solutions, delineate policy, formulate plans, strategise operations and take necessary steps for effective and time-bound implementation of these plans, policies, strategies, decisions in their respective areas.

A total of 80 senior civil servants have been deputed in the 11 groups which may seek the guidance of the Cabinet Secretary.

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India

Let’s fight corona jointly, Modi tells Netanyahu, Bolsonaro

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modi saarc

New Delhi, April 10 Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu that the country is committed to jointly fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The PM’s remark came after the two leaders thanked him for clearing the export of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a drug said to be effective against the deadly disease.

“Thank you, my dear friend @narendramodi, Prime Minister of India, for sending Chloroquine to Israel. All the citizens of Israel thank you!” Netanyahu tweeted on Thursday.

In response, PM Modi said, “We have to jointly fight this pandemic. India is ready to do whatever is possible to help our friends. Praying for the well-being and good health of the people of Israel.”

Similarly, Bolsonaro also thanked PM Modi for timely help to Brazil, adding that the raw material will help to continue production of hydroxychloroquine to treat patients of COVID-19 as well as of lupus, malaria, and arthritis.

“Thank you, President Jair Bolsonaro. The India-Brazil partnership is stronger than ever in these challenging times. India is committed to contribute to humanity’s fight against this pandemic,” PM Modi said.

The drug has been identified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as potential treatment for the coronavirus and was touted repeatedly by President Trump as a “game changer”. India had earlier put a hold on its export, but later allowed it on Trump’s request.

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Cities

Four more corona cases in Odisha

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New York Coronavirus Case

Bhubaneswar, April 10 (IANS) Odisha has reported four more COVID-19 positive cases, taking the total number of coronavirus patients to 48, officials said on Friday.

The Health Department has shared the development on its website.

However, it has not shared the details of the fresh cases.

The department said that 408 samples were tested on April 9, out of which six tested positive for COVID-19.

While the active cases stand at 45, one person has succumbed. Meanwhile, two have been discharged from hospital.

The Odisha government on Thursday extended the lockdown period till April 30 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

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