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Narendra Modi calls for reform in United Nations
Report dated 28/09/2014 @ 5:01 PM
Narendra Modi in his first speech to the UN as India's Prime Minister began his address with a reference to the philosophy of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam which means India considers all the world a family, which is part of the Vedic tradition that India believed in.
Modi then renewed India's call for reform of the Security Council, saying UN institutions that reflect the imperatives of the 20th Century will not be effective in the 21st, so they should become more participative.
He also said he wants peace with Pakistan but in an 'appropriate atmosphere', and called for a genuine international partnership as an unreformed UN faces the risk of irrelevance.
The 15-strong UN Security Council has been dominated since World War II by the five veto-wielding permanent members – the US, Russia, China, France and the UK. Modi called for troop contributor nations to be involved in the decision-making process and also highlighted the potential of India as a global manufacturing and technology hub.
A challenge arose when a New York district court issued a summons in response to a lawsuit filed by two survivors of the Gujarat riots and others, but he has 21 days to respond. Correspondents say the summons is largely symbolic and unlikely to bring any serious legal consequences.
Advocating healthier lifestyles, PM Modi proposed creating an International Yoga Day, saying it is more then just exercise, it could help people connect better with the planet and help deal with climate change. He described yoga as an invaluable gift of India's tradition.
PM Modi visit to US coincides with his Navratri fast
Report dated 27/09/2014 @ 11:22 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's agenda while on his trip to the US, includes plans for a private dinner with President Barack Obama and lunch with Vice President Joe Biden, but Mr Modi will in all likelihood not be eating, as he is in the middle of a strict nine-day Navratri fast.
PM Modi is also scheduled to meet former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as others including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley who is Indian-American.
Administration officials in the US are at sixes and sevens about what, if anything, PM Modi's hosts will eat during their meals with PM Modi, as his fast allows him just water or a bit of lime water, but no food, no juices or substitutes.
PM Modi has been observing the fast for 40 years and according to a spokesman from the BJP it does not affect his energy or his work schedule. One protocol expert says the solution could be for PM Modi's hosts to limit their own food consumption during the meetings.
'Make in India' campaign to turn country into the world’s factory
Report dated 27/09/2014 @ 9:58 AM
A day after India successfully sent its spacecraft to Mars, and on the eve of of his first visit to the US as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced the launch of his ambitious 'Make in India' campaign that plans to turn the country into a global manufacturing hub which includes plans to cut red tape, develop infrastructure and make it easier for companies to do business.
While unveiling the campaign in Delhi, PM Modi said when he met business people over the last few years they would tell him they wanted to move out, and it pained him that industrialists felt forced to leave.
Modi said India has a huge pool of talent, and a boost to manufacturing will create jobs, increase purchasing power and create a large market for manufacturers. Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said a series of measures have been taken to ease doing business and the government is fully committed to delicensing, deregulating and taking India to a high growth trajectory.
Endorsing the plans Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said they would be creating 125,000 jobs in the next 12 to 15 month period. Phil Shaw, CEO Lockheed Martin called India 'an epicentre of innovation' and said his company would be delighted to work with the government of India.
Currently manufacturing contributes just 15% to India's GDP, a figure authorities want to raise to 25%
Top scientists get jail for contempt of court
Report dated 27/09/2014 @ 9:57 AM
V K Saraswat, scientific adviser to the minister of defence and director general of research & development, DRDO, and G Malakondaiah, director of Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) in Hyderabad, have been awarded a three-week jail term by the Madras High Court, for contempt of court. They have also been imposed a fine and the Centre has been directed to initiate stringent action against the duo.
They have to surrender to police in a week and start their jail stints, and failure to do so will result in an arrest warrant issued to get them under custody.
The Bench said "The government is directed to take appropriate departmental action against them for reckless negligence and wilfull disobedience of the orders of the court. They were found guilty under the Contempt of Court Act 1971, and were sentenced to simple imprisonment for three weeks and a fine of Rs.2000 each.
India makes history with Mars mission
Report dated 25/09/2014 @ 1:29 PM
India successfully placed its low-cost Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft in orbit around the red planet, entering the elite club of three nations.
The speed of the craft was reduced to 4.4 km per second at the ultimate point in its 666 million km long travel in relation to the red planet to be captured by the Martian orbit. An Isro official confirmed that Mangalyaan has clicked images of the planet surface, data is downloaded and the process is well underway.
The scientists had waited for over 300 days as MOM journeyed through space, and during the last 54 minutes the orbiter first reoriented itself and then fired its engine and thrusters for about 24 minutes to get into the Mars orbit.
The Rs.450 crore MOM Mangalayaan is the cheapest inter-planetary mission that at $74 million costs less than the budget of the sci-fi film 'Gravity' and a tenth of Nasa's Mars mission Maven that entered the Martian orbit on September 22.
European, American and Russian probes have managed to orbit or land on the planet, but after only several attempts. India succeeded on its maiden attempt.
Astronomy students who gathered at the Nehru Planetarium in Delhi for Mars-themed learning activities were elated by the mission's success.
A delighted PM Narendra Modi watched the manoeuvre that he described as a historic occasion.
The orbiter will now circle the planet for at least six months, with solar-powered instruments gathering scientific data that may shed light on Martian weather systems as well as learning what happened to the water that once existed on Mars.