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Consulate General of India, Vancouver

Vol. 02, Issue No. 07 February 16, 2018.

India in Vancouver Weekly Newsletter

India Perspectives India Perspectives is the flagship publication of the Ministry of External Affairs. Richly illustrated, this magazine provides our readers with an insight into India’s culture and tradition along with elements of contemporary India. Click here to read more‌. Ministry of External Affairs, India

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Vol. 02, Issue. 07, February 16, 2018.

Consulate News Celebrations of Indian Republic Day in Edmonton on 11 February 2018 In commemoration of Republic Day of India, the Council of Indian Societies in Edmonton (CISE) celebrated India Day on Sunday, 11 February 2018. Mr. Arun Kumar, Vice Consul, represented the Consulate and conveyed felicitations and good wishes from Smt. Abhilasha Joshi, Consul General, to Indian diaspora in Edmonton on the occasion. Mr. Arun Kumar also addressed varied queries from Indian diaspora regarding Aadhaar, PAN, OCI, Visa, e-visa, etc. Federal Minister for Infrastructure Mr. Amarjeet Sohi, Alberta Minister for Labour Ms. Christina Gray and other dignitaries of Canada participated in the celebrations. Different cultural groups in Edmonton performed contemporary, ethnic and fusion dances and excellence awards to more than 250 Indian origin students were distributed in the event.

Republic Day celebrations organized by India Canada Association of Abbotsford Mrs Abhilasha Joshi, Consul General of India, Vancouver, attended the Republic Day of India celebrations organized by the India Canada Association of Abbotsford, BC on 10 Feb 2018 as the Chief Guest on the invitation of Mr Deepak Kumar, President of the association. She was accompanied by Consul Amarjit Singh. Mayor of Abbotsford Mr Henry Braun was the Special Guest. City Councilor Ms Kelly Chahal and Ms Aman Gill, Police Commissioner were the guests of honor. Many prominent Indo-Canadians and friends of India attended the event.

Mr Randall Martin, Executive Director and Mr Leonel Roldan-Flores, Director Operations & Communications of BC Council for International Education met with Consul General on 13 Feb 2018 and briefed her about the activities of the Council. Both sides discussed on how to further enhance two-way exchanges for Canadian students to visit India and vice versa. The number of Indian students studying in research universities and colleges in BC has grown over 400% from 2010 to 2016 and Indian students comprise the second largest group of International students in this Province.

Consul General, Abhilasha Joshi’s presence on festival of “Maha Shivratri” at Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Surrey. (Tuesday February 13, 2018) 1|P a g e

Vol. 02, Issue. 07, February 16, 2018.

Human Resource Development for Health Research (HRD Scheme) The Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India is administering a Scheme for ‘Human Resource Development for Health Research’ (HRD Scheme) which is intended to create a pool of talented health research personnel in the country by upgrading skills of faculty of medical colleges by specialized training in priority areas of health research. The scheme also has a separate component specifically for emerging young scientists and Non-resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) serving abroad in health research activities so that they can come back to India for undertaking research in identified areas. 2. As part of the Scheme, Non-Resident Indians, will be provided Stipend/ Salary and Rs. 1 Crore grant for 5 years. This Scheme provides an opportunity for these persons/ Faculty to return to India and pursue research in any Institute across India. 3. The priority areas of research identified for the Scheme include Toxicology, Genomics, Proteomics, Geriatrics, Stem Cell Research, Clinical Trials, Good Clinical Practices (GCP), Biotechnology, Genetics, Operational Research, Health Informatics, Medical Ethics, Health Economics and any other area that needs support as per National Health Policy. 4. The detailed guidelines regarding eligibility criteria, financial components including the formats of application are available on 5. Click here to read short write up of the scheme.

Cultural – Heritage Tourism in India The Ajanta Caves (1983) Maharashtra The Ajanta Caves (75°40’ N; 20°30’ E) are situated at a distance of 107 km north of Aurangabad, the district headquarters. The caves attained the name from a nearby village named Ajanta located about 12 km. These caves were discovered by an Army Officer in the Madras Regiment of the British Army in 1819 during one of his hunting expeditions. Instantly the discovery became very famous and Ajanta attained a very important tourist destination in the world. The caves, famous for its murals, are the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting. These caves are excavated in horse–shoe shaped bend of rock surface nearly 76 m in height overlooking a narrow stream known as Waghora. The location of this valley provided a calm and serene environment for the Buddhist monks who retreated at these secluded places during the rainy seasons. This retreat also provided them with enough time for furthering their religious pursuits through intellectual discourses for a considerably longer period. The caves were excavated in different periods (circa. 2nd century B.C. to 6th century A.D.) according to the necessity. Each cave was connected to the stream by a flight of steps, which are now almost obliterated, albeit traces of some could be noticed at some places. The Ajanta Caves entered the UNESCO world heritage list in 1983.

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Vol. 02, Issue. 07, February 16, 2018.

News from India 1. India increases tree cover, ranks among top 10 countries in forest area As the world continues to reel under the pressure of its fast disappearing green patches, India is setting a new trend. In a mere span of two years, the country has managed to increase its forest and tree cover by a whopping 8,021 sq km; the India State Forest Report 2017 released on Monday by the Environment Ministry revealed. The 15th report in the series of biennial reports that officially records India’s forest and tree cover, it mentions that over 24.39% of the country’s geographical area now constitutes of green cover. Recorded using satellite data and followed up by ‘ground truthing,’ the total forest cover is estimated to be 7,08,273 sq km (21.54% of the country’s geographical area), and the total tree cover is estimated to be 93,815 sq km, (2.85%). The Environment ministry attributed this rise in the green cover to the success of multiple afforestation programmes. India now ranks 10th in the world for forest area and eighth for annual forest gain. (Jovita Aranha, The Better India, Wed, 14 Feb, 09:55am)

2. First International Solar Alliance Summit in March to be mega diplomatic show India is preparing to host the mega inaugural International Solar Alliance Summit in Delhi on March 11 in the presence of more than a dozen leaders, including those from Asia, Pacific and South America, to set the ball rolling for the country's leadership in providing affordable renewable energy. The big draw at the summit will be the French President Emanuel Macron, who will be on a state visit to India coinciding with the event, which his country is co-sponsoring, officials said. The summit or mega founding conference comes just over two years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi first proposed the initiative. Close on the heels of the successful Indo-ASEAN Summit, which was attended by top leaders of all 10 Southeast Asian countries, the upcoming event is being dubbed 'a mini-Africa summit' reminiscent of the one hosted by India in 2015. Read more… 3. Government releases Rs 9,940 crore (approx. 1543M USD) to states for Smart Cities Mission The Centre has released nearly Rs 9,940 crore (approx. 1543M USD) to the states so far for the Smart Cities Mission, with Maharashtra accounting for the highest amount of Rs 1,378 crore (approx. 214M USD), followed by Madhya Pradesh getting Rs 984 crore (approx. 153M USD), according to government data. The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has announced 99 cities for central assistance under the BJP government's flagship programme. The total proposed investment in these cities was Rs 2.03 lakh crore (approx. 31.5B USD). Maharashtra with eight cities, including Pune and Nashik has received central grant of Rs 1,378 crore (approx. 214M USD) so far, followed by Madhya Pradesh, with seven cities getting central grant of Rs 984 crore (approx. 153M USD), the ministry data shows. Read more… 4. ONGC acquires 10 per cent stake in UAE's oil offshore concession An Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC)-led consortium of Indian state oil firms has been awarded 10% stake in Abu Dhabi's offshore Lower Zakum Concession for $600 million, ONGC said in a statement. The concession, which has a term of 40 years effective March 9, was signed by ONGC chairman Shashi Shanker, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) group CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and Abu Dhabi's officials in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the UAE. The Indian consortium includes Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum. The current production of this field is about 400,000 barrels of oil per day and Indian firms' annual share shall be about 2 million metric tonnes. The field output is set to plateau at 450,000 barrels per day by 2025. Read more… 5. Mumbai 12th richest city globally; total wealth at USD 950 billion India's financial capital Mumbai, with a total wealth of USD 950 billion, has been named among the top 15 wealthiest cities globally, while New York topped the list, says a report. According to a report by New World Wealth, the economic hub of India is the 12th wealthiest city, followed by Toronto with a total wealth of USD 944 billion, Frankfurt (14th, USD 912 billion) and Paris (15th, USD 860 billion). Total wealth, refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each city. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) less any liabilities. Government funds are excluded from the figures. Mumbai, also features among the top 10 cities in terms of billionaire population. The city is home to 28 billionaires, individuals with USD 1 billion or more in net assets. Read more… 6. Indra Nooyi becomes first independent woman director on International Cricket Council Board Pepsico chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi was announced on Feb. 9 as the International Cricket Council (ICC) board’s independent chairman. Nooyi will be the organization’s first woman director when she joins ICC board in June this year. Nooyi, a Chennaiborn resident of Connecticut in the United States, said about her appointment: “I love the game of cricket. I played it as a teenager and in college, and to this day, I cherish the lessons the game taught me about teamwork, integrity, respect, and healthy competition. I am thrilled to join the ICC as the first person to be appointed to this role. And I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board, ICC’s incredible partners, and cricketers around the world to grow our sport responsibly and give our fans a new reason to follow every ball and shot.” (Little India, Sat, 10 Feb, 06:21pm)

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Vol. 02, Issue. 07, February 16, 2018. 7. Macro feat! India’s first student-made micro satellite launched from Hyderabad! In the early hours of February 2, 2018, Sanket Deshpande, Lucky Kapoor, Shivangi Kamat, Vibhav Joshi and Pankaj Tiple of project Apeiro launched India’s first student-led microsatellite which will help in understanding cancer-causing cosmic radiation that constantly bombards the earth. The microsatellite was launched from the balloon facility of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TFIR) in Hyderabad. (Ahmed Sherrif, The Better India, Fri, 09 Feb, 11:23am)

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Weekly news report 16 02 2018  
Weekly news report 16 02 2018