At India-EU Macroeconomic Dialogue, both look forward to bilateral cooperation arrangements - The Daily Guardian
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At India-EU Macroeconomic Dialogue, both look forward to bilateral cooperation arrangements

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New Delhi [India], February 20 (ANI): The 11th India-EU Macroeconomic dialogue was held here on Friday through video conferencing, the Ministry of Finance informed.
Tarun Bajaj, Secretary, Economic Affairs, led the Indian delegation while the delegation from European Union was led by Maarten Verwey, Director General, Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN), European Commission.
The Indian delegation included representatives from the Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Revenue and Ministry of External Affairs.
According to a release by the Ministry of Finance, the India-EU relationship has evolved into a multifaceted partnership.
“Today, it covers all dimensions-political, economic, security, trade and investment, environment, research and innovation. The EU is one of our largest trading partners, one of the largest investors in India and an important source for technology, innovation and best practices,” it said.
The ministry informed the dialogue, inter-alia, covered sharing of their experiences to enable both sides on various aspects including collaboration in the G20 on finance track matters, including through G20 Framework Working Group deliverables, G20 Action plan, debt-related issues, and international taxation of the digital economy.
“Fiscal policy response and medium-term fiscal strategy including financial/structural reforms priorities were also discussed. India shared its policy response to Covid crisis and steps taken to revive the economy from Covid impact including well-calibrated stimulus packages announced by Government of India as also the vaccination related efforts,” read the release.
The EU informed about the economic challenges and outlook of their economy due to the adverse impact of the Covid pandemic in EU countries, including macroeconomic policy response and EU recovery plan, the ministry said.
The dialogue concluded with the hope that both sides would be able to build stronger and deeper relations by entering into various bilateral cooperation arrangements which are of mutual interest to both sides. (ANI)

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Rajnath joins Combined Commanders of Armed Forces for Vivechana Sessions

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New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh joined the Combined Commanders of the Armed Forces for the Vivechana Sessions at the ongoing Combined Commanders Conference 2021 at Kevadia in Gujarat.
“Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh joined the apex level military leadership at the ongoing Combined Commanders’ Conference in Kevadia. Delivering the inaugural address, the Raksha Mantri dwelt on a wide spectrum of issues affecting the defence and security of the Nation,” tweeted Additional Directorate General of Public Information, Indian Army.
According to an official release, soon after arriving at Kevadia, the Defence Minister visited the Statue of Unity to pay his homage to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.
Delivering the inaugural address, the Raksha Mantri dwelled on a wide spectrum of issues affecting the defence and security of the Nation.
“He spoke at length on the emerging nature of military threats, the critical role of the Armed Forces in meeting these threats and the anticipated changes in the nature of warfare in the future. Defence Minister expressed his heartfelt appreciation and respect for the selfless courage displayed by the soldiers during the Eastern Ladakh standoff with PLA. Secretaries of Department of Defence, Defence Production, Department of R and D and Financial Advisor Defence Services also shared their thoughts on various relevant aspects with the Combined Commanders,” the release said.
The release said that two Vivechana sessions held over the day in the presence of the Defence Minister deliberated over a wide range of issues, some of them held behind closed doors.
“These deliberations addressed the ongoing modernisation of Armed Forces especially focusing on the creation of integrated Theatre Commands and infusion of modern technology. Issues like morale & motivation and promotion of the spirit of innovation in the Armed Forces witnessed enthusiastic participation with useful feedback and suggestions from the soldiers and younger officers of the three Services,” it added. (ANI)

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Ranchi hospital submits report to Jharkhand HC in matter of jail manual violation by Lalu Prasad

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Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], March 5 (ANI): The Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) on Friday submitted a report to the Jharkhand High Court, which is hearing the matter of an alleged violation of jail manual by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav through video conferencing.
During the hearing today, RIMS submitted a report explaining under what circumstances he was referred to AIIMS Delhi, what tests he underwent and the details of the recommendations of the medical board.
The RIMS director also apologised to the High Court over the delay in submitting the report citing some personal issues.
Meanwhile, Yadav’s lawyer Debarsi Mondal, during the hearing, explained Lalu’s health condition before the court.
The Jharkhand High Court has taken suo moto cognisance in the matter.
Yadav, who has been in prison since December 2017, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in 2018 under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and seven years under the Prevention of Corruption Act in connection with the fodder scam case.
Notably, both the sentences are being served consecutively.
The case pertains to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.5 crore from the Dumka treasury by Animal Husbandry Department officials between 1991 and 1996 when Yadav served as the State’s Chief Minister. (ANI)

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Punjab CM hits out at BJP’s remarks on farmers, says they are not ‘anti-nationals’

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Chandigarh [India], March 5 (ANI): Hitting out at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders over their statements on farmers, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that farm workers of Punjab are not ‘anti-nationals’ but are patriotic and nationalistic people.
According to a press release, the Punjab CM called for an immediate end to attempts to defame the dynamic Punjabi farmers by branding them miscreants or ultras. He said in the Assembly that “they have never done anything anti-national, they are not anti-national, and they will never do anything against the unity and integrity of this country.”
“They are patriotic and nationalistic – while one son ploughs the fields in the village, the other brother is busy guarding the country’s borders. These are the same people who gave their lives for the country, along with soldiers from other States too, in Galwan last year protecting the sovereignty of our country,” added the Chief Minister, urging the Government of India to ensure that this defamation campaign against farmers is immediately ended.
Highlighting that despite 11 rounds of discussions, the Centre was unmoved and unconcerned about the protests of the farmers across the country, and had not taken any positive step to meet their demands.
“Instead, the statements and allegations of some of the leaders who are not familiar with the ground realities have aggravated the situation and have further anguished the farmers,” the Punjab CM said.
The Chief Minister also said that it was shameful that they were heading the governments at the national level and in the neighbouring states. Their statements raised the worries and apprehensions not only of the farmers and farm workers but also of our government as these do not augur well for our future, the Chief Minister strongly condemning the use of terms “anti-national and Khalistanis” against the farmers, he added
Taking strong exception to Union Minister Piyush Goyal’s allegation of the Punjab government trying to mislead farmers, the Chief Minister said there was no reason for his government to interfere in the farmers’ agitation as they had always been peaceful. The Punjab Government has always supported the farmers, and shall continue to protect their interests in all circumstances, he asserted.
He also slammed Goyal on his totally claims that Maoists and anti-national elements have hijacked the farmers’ protest, advising him not to provoke the peaceful farmers. In any case, if Goyal has any information on anti-nationals being part of the agitation, why does his government not take action against them, according to the press release.
Furthermore, he also sharply reacted to BJP National Secretary Tarun Chugh’s allegation of the misleading and deceptive narrative being created on the agricultural bills and causing misunderstanding to spread among the farmers, asking why the Centre with all the powers at its disposal, has failed to create a narrative favourable to the farmers.
Terming Haryana Chief Manohar Lal Khattar’s conduct “most regrettable”, Captain Amarinder said the government of the neighbouring state had gone against the established norms of democratic functioning by using force against the agitators and also digging roads and putting barricades etc in their way.
He also lashed out at Khattar’s claim on his government having “inputs” on the presence of Khalistani separatists in the ongoing farmers’ agitation, and also that “the Punjab Chief Minister is fanning this protest and office bearers of the his office are leading the protest”.
“If the Haryana Chief Minister has any firm information on separatist, why does he not give such information to his party’s government in Delhi, instead of defaming the Punjabi farmers,” asked Captain Amarinder.
The Chief Minister also lambasted other BJP leaders like Ashwani Sharma, Harjit Singh Grewal and Surjit Singh Jiyani for their shameful comments and statements on the farmers’ agitation, terming their behaviour as disgraceful. (ANI)

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Sanjukta Morcha releases candidate list for first two phases of West Bengal polls, Nandigram seat yet to be decided

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By Joymala Bagchi
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 5 (ANI): Sanjukta Morcha, consisting of the Left Front, Congress, and Furfura Sharif’s Indian Secular Front (ISF), on Friday announced its candidate list for the first two phases of West Bengal assembly polls at Alimuddin Street.
However, the name of candidates for (210) Nandigram, (227) Pingla, (218) Egra, and (230) Daspur seats are yet to be announced.
Chairing the press conference, the Left Front chairman Biman Bose said, “There are a few seats where final decisions are yet to be taken. The name of the Nandigram candidate is yet to be decided. A list for only two phases has been announced today.”
“We will try to finish the remaining list altogether or in another couple of announcements,” Bose added.
The ISF has been demanding the Nandigram seat which will be contested by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Interestingly, TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari who joined BJP won the seat last time while in TMC. Later after joining the BJP, the party has challenged Mamata Banerjee to contest from Nandigram.
Party sources in the Left front said that the announcements for the pending three names will be done shortly by the alliance within a couple of days.
Senior Congress leaders, Pradeep Bhattacharya, Abdul Mannan, West Bengal CPM secretary Surya Kanta Mishra Suryakanta Mishra and ISF president Simul Soren, and West Bengal CPM secretary Surya Kanta Mishra attended the joint press conference.
The First and second phases will have 30 Assembly constituencies each.
Brigade ground meeting held on February 28 was instrumental and the alliance of Congress, Left Front and ISF will kick start the joint election campaigning for the first time. Till date, Congress was not participating actively in joint election campaigning.
According to Election Commission data, around 7,32,94,980 voters electors will cast their vote in 1,01,916 polling booths in West Bengal. In 2016, the number of booths were 77,413.
West Bengal is scheduled to see elections on its 294 assembly seats in eight phases starting from March 27 and concluding on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into force immediately after the announcement of the election dates. The commission has made adequate arrangements to ensure effective implementation of the MCC guidelines. (ANI)

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Rajnath Singh salutes courage of soldiers during Eastern Ladakh standoff

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Kevadia (Gujarat) [India], March 5 (ANI): Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday saluted the selfless courage displayed by soldiers during the Eastern Ladakh standoff.
Singh had addressed the Combined Commanders’ Conference at Kevadia today.
Taking to Twitter, the Minister said, “India’s resolute response on the borders has helped in a positive and peaceful resolution of certain significant issues. I salute the selfless courage displayed by the soldiers during the recent Eastern Ladakh standoff.”
Twenty Indian soldiers had laid their lives and unspecified numbers of Chinese soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley in June last year. India and China are in a standoff in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), following aggressive border skirmishes by the Chinese army.
“I spoke (with commanders) on a wide range of issues pertaining to the defence and security of the nation, the emerging nature of military threats, the critical role of the Armed Forces in meeting these challenges and the nature of warfare in future,” he said in another tweet.
“Our ability to secure India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty from external threats and internal challenges have been strengthened in the recent years. Our forces today are proactive and more resolute in their response,” Singh further said.
“We are working towards increasing jointness in the armed forces. The optimal utilisation of our resources and rationalisation of manpower holds the key to jointness and better coordination between the forces,” the Minister added.
Singh also remarked that the armed forces are capable to protect our nation’s interests, adding that India has nurtured close relations and partnerships with like-minded countries to further the common security interests.
The Defence Minister defined the elements of national interest and assured to protect the territorial integrity and ensure peace in the region.
“Our national interests are defined by the elements of National integration, sovereignty, sociology-economic development, conservation of our values and peaceful and harmonious region and world. We are committed to protect the territorial integrity and ensure peace in the region,” he said in a subsequent tweet.
“We as a country are looking to strengthen our ability to create secure and stable environment that can facilitate India’s economic growth. Our enhanced defence capabilities will allow us to be better prepared for contingencies,” the Defence Minister added.
On February 21, asserting that the disengagement process by India and China in eastern Ladakh has been ‘completed’ after nine rounds of diplomatic and military level talks between the two countries, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hit out at Congress for ‘doubting’ the bravery and valour of Indian soldiers.
The Indian Army also expressed heartfelt appreciation to jawans who played role in the Eastern Ladakh standoff.
“He spoke on the emerging nature of military threats, the critical role of Armed Forces in meeting threats and anticipated changes in the nature of warfare in future. He expressed heartfelt appreciation and respect to the courage displayed by jawans during the Eastern Ladakh standoff with PLA”: read a statement by the Indian Army.
Rajnath Singh commenced his two-day visit to Gujarat today. (ANI)

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Punjab CM slams AAP for walking out of Assembly before resolution seeking repeal of farm laws

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Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], March 5 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for once again walking out of the state Assembly before the resolution seeking repeal of the farm laws was put to vote.
Hitting out at the AAP, Captain Amarinder said, “The party had never been truly concerned about protecting the farmers or their interests, and its leadership again proved itself to be an agent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with whom AAP national convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was colluding against the agitating farmers.
The Punjab CM, who had earlier in the House shown to the members a copy of the Delhi Gazette notification implementing one of the three Farm Laws, reiterated that AAP was cheating the farmers with its false propaganda in their support.
“The fact is that they have repeatedly backstabbed the farmers, and have done so ago,” Punjab CM said, recalling AAP’s earlier U-turns on the issue in Punjab.
AAP had earlier walked-out from the all-party meeting chaired by Captain Amarinder on February 2, just before the representatives of all the parties present were about to pass the resolution in support of the agitating farmers.
In the House earlier, AAP MLAs had rushed into the well before staging a walk-out, alleging that the Chief Minister was a member of the High-Powered Committee set up by the Centre on agricultural reforms and hence party to the decision on the Farm Laws.
The Chief Minister further said, “AAP is not interested in the truth but wanted to continue with its malicious agenda of spreading misinformation on the issue.”
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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