NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to ‘World News: an Indian perspective’, on All India Radio. This is GAURAV SHARMA and with me is NISHIT KUMAR bringing glimpses of the major developments of the day from across the globe. Over the next half an hour, we shall bring you the latest from the world of politics, economy, sports, entertainment and more.
⦁ Germany election results show a fractured verdict; Center-Left Party SPD led by Olaf Scholz claims victory.
⦁ India’s Ambassador to China says Beijing’s move to continue travel ban on travelers and students from India is unscientific.
⦁ Indian students stage peaceful protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Delhi.
⦁ More than 86 Crore COVID vaccine doses administered in India under thenationwide vaccination drive.
⦁ United Nations in India launches climate campaign, We The Change.
⦁ World Tourism Day with the theme ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’ being observed today.
⦁ And, in IPL Cricket, match between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad underway at Dubai.
As the nationwide free COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign at Government facilities for those above 18 years is underway, we advise our young listeners to get vaccinated and help others get vaccinated. We also advise our listeners not to lower their guard as COVID-19 remains a threat to our health. Please stay at home unless it is essential to go out and continue to follow these three simple steps:
⦁ Wear a face mask.
⦁ Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing
⦁ Focus on hand and face hygiene.
For any COVID related information and guidance contact National helpline numbers — 011-23978046 and 1075. And now the News in detail;
In Germany, the center-left Social Democrats SPD led by Olaf Scholz claim a narrow victory over incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union according to preliminary results. The elections will decide the successor to Ms. Merkel after 16 years at the helm of the nation. The German Parliament, the Bundestag has 735 seats which means that a total of 368 seats are required to secure a majority. The Greens and the Free Democratic Party, FDP are expected to form the coalition government. SPD leader Olaf Scholz said, he had a clear mandate to form a government, while his conservative rival Armin Laschet remains determined to fight on. CDU’s Armin Laschet and the Greens’ Robert Habeck have both said no party has a mandate yet. The two parties have governed together for years. Preliminary results gave the SPD a narrow election win over the conservatives who suffered their worst-ever performance. The Greens and pro-business Free Democratic Party attracted the most support from first-time voters, in an election dominated by climate change and differing proposals on how to tackle it.
As Germany heads to a transition in power with a new Chancellor expected to assume office soon, we look back at the Indo-German relations under the outgoing Chancellor, Ms. Angela Merkel.
Enjoying a Strategic Partnership since 2001, ties between India and Germany have been further strengthened with the Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) at the level of Head of Governments. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has visited India 4 times during her tenure. The 5th IGC, was held in Delhi in November 2019 where several agreements were signed in diverse areas of engagment including some of the new and emerging areas. Germany is the largest trade partner of India within the EU. During the IGC meetings, both Prime Minister Modi and Chancellor Merkel reiterated that the Indo-German Strategic Partnership is based on the common values and principles of democracy, free and fair trade, and rules-based international order, as well as on mutual trust and respect. Describing Chancellor Merkel as a counterpart and a friend, and a long-serving global leader, Mr. Modi had said that the agreements signed are a testament to the friendship and close ties that India and Germany share.
Under Chancellor Merkel’s leadership, India and Germany have taken big strides towards climate action. Germany’s signing of the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement in August 2021 was the latest instance of this cooperation. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over telephone and discussed the situation in Afghanistan. They also exchanged views on issues of multilateral interest such as the forthcoming UN climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow among other issues. The year 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between India and Germany. The relations between the two nations, underpinned by shared values, close people to people exchanges and cultural affinities is expected to continue under Ms. Merkel’s successor. This is Pawan for World News, AIR
India’s Ambassador to China Vikram Misri has said that China’s continuing travel ban on travelers from India, including thousands of students and separated families, who have been waiting to return to China for more than one year is an “unscientific approach”. He said such humanitarian issues need a more balanced and sensitive approach from Chinese authorities. More in this report from our Beijing Correspondent:
Speaking on the prevailing difficult situation of bilateral relations at a dialogue organised by Indian and Chinese think tanks last week, Mr. Misri said that it is not limited only to diplomacy and geopolitics. He said, the issue of return of students, businesspersons and stranded family members from India to China is far less complex and has a purely humanitarian context and is not connected to bilateral diplomatic stances. This issue for over a year and a half now, awaits a more balanced and sensitive approach. He also said that India has also attempted to keep the trade and commercial relationship insulated from current differences, by continuing to issue visas to Chinese businesspersons to visit India. However, he said, India is disappointed to see an unscientific approach about several problems currently being faced by Indian students, businessmen, marine crew and exporters etc. Indians waiting to return to China are ready to follow all the Chinese regulations but Chinese authorities are not budging. The Chinese Foreign Ministry today said that while ensuring safety, we are ready to work with countries including India by making proper arrangements for bilateral travel, but added that it doesn’t mean that China will immediately solve the issue right away. It said, China will make necessary adjustments in accordance with the evolving situation. Anshuman Mishra, for World News, AIR, Beijing.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, Indian students pursuing medical degree in Chinese universities, worried about their future and desparate for their return staged a peaceful protest in front of the Chinese Embassy on Monday. They have been carrying a social media campaign with hashtag #takeUsBackToChina. According to reports, the protest went for two hours after which the protesting students were taken in by the police.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom have expressed concern that Iran had not fully implemented the agreement it reached with the International Agency for Atomic Energy, IAEA on the 12th of September. A joint statement by the 3 countries referred to the IAEA report published on Sunday that notes Iran’s non-cooperation after only two weeks. The statement added that the 12 September agreement also underlined that Iran had agreed to further high level discussions with the IAEA with a view to addressing other outstanding issues relating to Iran’s legal obligations under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. The representatives of the three nations at the organization urged Iran to immediately provide the IAEA access to the Karaj facility and allow for the replacement of cameras there. It also called on Iran to immediately establish such high level contacts and fully cooperate with the investigation, with a view to making tangible and rapid progress.
At least one person has been killed and nine injured after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit the Greek island of Crete. According to reports, people were sent rushing out on to the streets when the earthquake struck and several aftershocks followed. Civil protection authorities said many buildings had been damaged.The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre initially recorded a magnitude of 6.5 while the United States Geological Survey put it at 6.0. The Athens Geodynamic Institute later said the 5.8 quake struck 23 kms north-west of the coastal village of Arvi, at a depth of 10 kms.
COVID – VACCINATION
India has administered over 86 Crore COVID vaccine doses under its nationwide vaccination on Monday. The Health Ministry has termed it as yet another achievement in its fight against COVID-19. More than 38 lakh 18 thousand vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.
The Ministry said, 29 thousand 621 COVID patients recovered during the last 24 hours and the national recovery rate has now reached 97.78 per cent. Till now, more than three crore 29 lakh people have recovered from COVID-19.
The country reported 26 thousand 41 new cases in last 24 hours. Currently, India’s active caseload is at around two lakh 99 thousand.
A group of scientists, clinicians, and cross-government analysts from the UK have published new research on further effects of COVID-19. According to a statement by the UK government, the research featured in the British Medical Journal establishes which groups of the population could still be at risk from COVID-19 despite being vaccinated. Among those identified are people with Down’s Syndrome, people who’ve had organ transplants, and others with weakened immune systems. Risks are highest for people who have not been fully vaccinated. The conclusions identify a range of important clinical risk factors for severe COVID-19 outcomes despite vaccination. The highest risk ratios are for people with specific medical conditions. The research was based on data from the second pandemic wave in England which started at the beginning of September 2020.
In today’s HOTSPOT section, we bring you a discussion on the recently concluded visit by PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi to the USA and how it heralds a new chapter in Indo-US ties. In conversation are Reshma Tiwari, Journalist, and Dr. Atul Tiwari, Special Correspondent of All India Radio, who covered the Prime Minister’s visit to the US.
A new direct rail line from Bogura to Sirajganj in Bangladesh will be developed under a government of India Line of Credit. As a first step towards this an agreement between Bangladesh Railway and a joint venture company of India was signed on Monday in Dhaka.
Prasar Bharati Special Correspondent in Dhaka reports that the agreement was signed in the presence of the Railway Minister of Bangladesh Mohammad Nurul Islam Sujan and High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami at Rail Bhawan in Dhaka.
A press release issued by the High Commission of India on Monday said that under the railway project a dual gauge main line and loop lines will be constructed from Bogra to Shahid M. Mansur Ali Station in Sirajganj. The project will also include construction of stations, platforms, bridges, and an administrative facility. The installation of lighting, overhead sign structures, and the laying of track will also be undertaken as a part of the project.
The Bogura-Sirajganj Dual Gauge Link will provide a shorter route between the Western and Northern parts of Bangladesh and the Eastern and Southern parts of the country, via the capital city, Dhaka. This new route will reduce the rail distance by about 112 kilometres saving travel time of about 3 hours from Dhaka to the northern districts. It will also facilitate seamless operation of Broad Gauge and Meter Gauge trains and provide fast, high quality services to passengers.
The Royal Navy of Oman and Indian Navy signed an MoU on white shipping information exchange on Monday. According to a statement from India’s defence Ministry, the MoU would facilitate information exchange on merchant shipping traffic and contribute to enhanced maritime safety and security in the Indian Ocean region. The MoU was signed at Maritime Security Center (MSC), Muscat during the ongoing visit of the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh to Oman.
The UK government has unveiled new plans towards becoming a world class space nation. The National Space Strategy, released on Monday sets out long-term plans to strengthen the UK’s status as a world-class space nation. In a statement, the UK government said that the new vision will help grow UK’s multibillion-pound space industry, boost private investment and capitalise on UK strengths such as satellite manufacturing. The statement added that the Strategy outlines how the UK can establish global leadership in high-growth areas, such as satellite broadband operations, building on the government’s recent investment in OneWeb. It also focuses on new and emerging markets like in-orbit servicing and space debris removal.
The United Nations in India on Monday announced the launch of its climate campaign, We The Change, which aims to showcase climate solutions pioneered by young Indians as a celebration of India’s climate leadership. Through the #WeTheChangeNow call to action, 17 young climate champions will invite young Indians to join the movement by sharing their climate action stories on the campaign website, also launched on Monday.
Ms. Deirdre Boyd, UN Resident Coordinator in India said that the campaign, inspired by the stories of India’s young climate leaders, encourages the adoption of a more solution-based, innovative approach to fight climate change. The focus is on strengthening engagement with governments and civil society for a more collaborative approach to climate action.
The campaign takes forward India’s leadership in combating climate change through its strategic and timely climate policies. Currently, India is on track to meet its Paris Climate Agreement commitments and is likely to outperform its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in critical sectors, including renewable energy.
The campaign’s 17 young climate leaders represent innovation and action across diverse sectors, including renewables, forest management, financing, climate entrepreneurship and sustainable agriculture, amongst others.
India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal said that India and Australia must work towards enhancing the resilience of supply chains and greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. He added that both nations stand united for sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and for rebuilding as well as reconstructing the economy by focussing on enhancing the export potential.
The Minister who is co-chairing the Australia-India Business Champions Group stated that the forum will play a pivotal role in supporting the agenda of the Australia-India CEO Forum by highlighting the vibrant role being played by the business sector of both countries. Australia’s Minister of Trade, Tourism, and Investment, Dan Tehan said that India has become an important and relevant partner for Australia’s economic strategy, especially in the areas of trade and investments. He added that the India-Australia relationship continues to grow stronger underpinned by people-to-people ties, a shared past, and other multifaceted commonality including cultural and social factors, presenting further prospects for the partnership.
Moving onto sports,
In Formula One, Lewis Hamilton won his 100th F1 title on Sunday at the Hungarian Grand Prix. An elated Hamilton in a tweet, said that words can’t describe how it feels to make history with this team.
India’s Tennis veteran, Sania Mirza won the doubles title at the Ostrava Open with her Chinese partner Shuai Zhang on Sunday. They defeated the pair of Kaitlyn Christian and Erin Routliffe by 6-3, 6-2 and clinched the title in just over an hour.
In the IPL Cricket match, chasing the victory target of 165 runs, Sunrisers Hyderabad were 153 for 3 in 17.3 overs against Rajasthan Royals at Dubai, when reports last came in.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals won the toss and opted to bat first. Rajasthan Royals posted a score of 164 for five in the stipulated 20 overs with help of Sanju Samson’s 82 off 57 balls and Yashasvi Jaiswal’s 36 off 23. For, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Siddarth Kaul picked up two wickets while Sandeep Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan bagged a wicket each.
Now let us take a look at the major developments around the world, as reported in the foreign press:
⦁ Washington Post reports that the new US travel rules close the door on those fully vaccinated with Russia’s Sputnik V.
⦁ Wall Street Journal writes that Instagram is pausing work on a version of the app for children after their reporting on its impact on teens.
⦁ The Guardian reports that ICC has asked to relaunch inquiry into Taliban and IS war crimes.
⦁ Globe and the Mail reports that Portugal’s ruling Socialist Party lead in local elections but lose Lisbon.
⦁ Financial Times reports that Oil Prices hit 3-year high as gas crunch starts to affect Crude market.
⦁ The Himalayan Times writes that Nepal reports 975 new COVID cases on Monday.
India is celebrating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Before we end, let us listen to his favourite Bhajan VAISHNAV JAN, by artists from TURKMENISTAN on their national day.
AND WITH THAT, WE END THIS BULLETIN. WE’LL BE BACK AT THE SAME TIME TOMORROW WITH THE NEXT EDITION OF WORLD NEWS.