NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to ‘World News: an Indian perspective’, on All India Radio. This is NISHIT KUMAR and with me is RENUKA bringing glimpses of major developments of the day from across the globe.
⦁ India enters the global high table as member of UN Security Council
⦁ New Delhi asks Beijing to facilitate the return of stranded Indian sailors in an urgent, practical and time-bound manner.
⦁ India gears up for largest vaccination drive in history; Nationwide trial run of COVID vaccination begins tomorrow.
⦁ WHO clears Pfizer COVID vaccine for emergency use.
⦁ New York Stock Exchange starts the process of Delisting three major Chinese telecom companies.
⦁ And Japan PM says Tokyo Olympics will be held this summer
With the beginning of the new year, India joins the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member. This would be India’s eighth stint as a non-permanent member of the principal UN organ. India will assume the Presidency of UNSC in August 2021. India was elected unopposed as nations overwhelmingly welcomed India’s presence in the 15 member body.
Right from its first term as President of the UNSC in 1950, India has championed the cause of peace and non-aggression around the world. Benegal Narsing Rau presided over adoption of Resolutions 82 & 83 calling for cessation of hostilities during Korean War & for assistance to South Korea.
Today’s world is facing a multitude of challenges which necessitate a collective global response. Former Indian Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar underlines the significance of India’s entry into UNSC in this regard.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has been a consistent votary for reformed multilateralism. India has always played a constructive role in improving whichever multilateral institution it has been a part of. In this, the world shares the optimism voiced by UN Resident Coordinator for India, Renata Dessallien.
As the world looks to emerge from the COVID pandemic and progress together, India’s leadership role on the global high table provides much reason for hope and positivity.
India today said, its Embassy in Beijing has repeatedly taken up the cases of MV Jag Anand and MV Anastasia with the Chinese side, requesting that the ships be allowed to dock and the crew be allowed to be changed.
In response to a media query on status of the two ships, External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Anurag Srivastava said, MV Jag Anand is on anchorage near Jingtang port in Hebei province of China with 23 Indian nationals as crew on board. Another vessel, MV Anastasia, which has 16 Indian nationals as its crew, is on anchorage near Caofeidian port in China.
Mr Srivastava said, the Chinese authorities have conveyed that on account of various COVID-19 related restrictions imposed by the local authorities, crew change is not being permitted from these ports.
The Spokesman said, India has noted the statements of the Chinese side, expressing their willingness to extend their assistance in this matter. Our Beijing Correspondent has filed this report:
Last month, Chinese foreign ministry put the onus on freight forwarder for not allowing the ship Jag Anand to leave Jingtang port, without saying anything on crew change. Later, Chinese side said that while crew change is allowed at other ports following certain quarantine conditions, it is not allowed at Jingtang port even with Quarantine.
They conveyed to Indian Embassy in late November 2020 that while crew change from Jingtang port would not be feasible, the shipping company may apply for crew rotation from Tianjin port, and that the local authorities would examine after receiving requests for the same. The concerned shipping companies have been asked to make crew change applications expeditiously.
Given the grave humanitarian situation, Indian Ambassador in China Vikram Misri has personally taken up this issue with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister. Other ship MV Anastasia with Indian crew is exploring the possibility of a crew change at its current point of anchorage in Caofeidian. Indian Embassy has written to Chinese authorities for approval of the same. Anshuman Mishra for World News, All India radio, Beijing
As the nation fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a message of precaution to stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps —
⦁ Wear a face mask.
⦁ Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing.
⦁ Focus on hand and face hygiene.
India is prepared to undertake the nationwide trial run for COVID-19 vaccination tomorrow. This would be the largest vaccination drive ever recorded in the history of mankind. the The Union government has asked all the States and Union Territories to ensure effective preparedness for the roll out of vaccine. The objective of the dry run is to assess operational feasibility. More on this from our correspondent:
Speaking to our correspondent, head of the COVID-19 task force and NITI Aayog member Dr. V K Paul said that the mock drill will test the operational functionality of the vaccination system. It will also help plug any gaps before the actual immunisation programme begins.
Indian Government has decided that flights between India and UK will resume from 8th of January. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in a tweet said that operations of flights till 23rd of January will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for carriers of the two countries to and from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The government had extended the temporary suspension of flights to and from the UK till 7th January 2021. India had earlier banned UK flights on 23rd of December till 31st of December 2020.
The World Health Organization says it has cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency use. This means poorer countries may soon get access to the vaccine already available in Europe and North America.
The global body said on Thursday that the decision to issue its first emergency use validation for a COVID-19 vaccine opens the door for countries to expedite their own regulatory approval processes to import and administer the vaccine. The UN health agency said its review found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which has already received clearance in the United States, Britain, the European Union and a dozen other countries, met the must-have criteria for safety and efficacy set out by WHO.
India is celebrating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Let us now listen to his favourite bhajan VAISHNAV JAN, by artists from FINLAND
India and Kazhakstan are bound by civilizational, cultural and diplomatic ties. With India assuming the chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the two nations are expected to further engage on issues of bilateral and multilateral interests in the coming years. Today we focus on the Indo-Kazhak relations with an exclusive interview of All India Radio with the Kazhakstan’s Ambasssador to India, Yerlan Alimbayev.
Japan PM Yoshihide Suga has said that upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games said will be held this summer. He also added that the games will be safe and secure. Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to be held from 23rd July. The statement has come in the wake of concerns regarding the games which were postponed last year in the wake of COVID19 pandemic. Japan has taken extra precautions suspending all international flights amidst the finding of a new Coronavirus strain in UK.
The New York Stock Exchange is starting the process of delisting securities of three Chinese telecom companies. These include China Telecom Corporation Limited & Hong Kong based China Mobile Limited and China Unicom . The move comes after President Donald Trump last month barred U.S. investments in Chinese firms , which Washington says are owned or controlled by the military.
NYSE said that the issuers, these three Chinese telecom companies were no longer suitable for listing . According to it , the Trump order prohibits any transactions in securities “designed to provide investment exposure to such securities, of any Communist Chinese military company, by any United States person.”
Moving onto sports now,
In Cricket, Rohit Sharma has been named as the vice-captain of the Test squad for the last two Tests against Australia. Thangarasu Natarajan has replaced Umesh yadav who has been ruled out of remaining test matches due to a strain in his left calf muscle.
The United Nations celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2020, before we end lets take a listen to this beautiful rendition of the UN hymn by Ian Berwick
AND WITH THAT, WE END THIS BULLETIN. SEE YOU AT SAME TIME TOMORROW WITH THE NEXT EDITION OF WORLD NEWS.