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Sweden to get a taste of Indian culture and ‘filmi’ affairs at India Unlimited

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Kolkata: The Indian Embassy in Sweden is set to organise a film festival ‘India Unlimited’ with the motive of attracting investments and strengthening Indo-Sweden connections.

Exhibitions on maestros Satyajit Ray and Rabindranath Tagore will be shown along with a Bollywood opera, Bollywood-themed party and a fashion show.

The festival will also help advance the production of a Bollywood opera containing a Kathak dance and some “filmi” costumes. Moreover, three capable designers would be taken by NIFT, India to Sweden in order to showcase their talent before an international audience.

Going beyond business summits to attract investments, Sweden will get a taste of Indian culture and films this year. The festival which will be held in Stockholm from April 21-24 will be screening around 10 films comprising a variety of Indian languages.

The list includes Aparna Sen’s Bengali film ‘Arshinagar’, Konkani film ‘Nachom-ia Kumpasar’, Hindi films ‘Talvar’, ‘Island City’, ‘Maanjhi – The Mountain Man’ among others.

The chief executive director of ‘India Unlimited’, Sanjoo Malhotra said, “We have lined up a series of events from April till August. We are combining art, business and culture together on the same platform so that Sweden can understand India in a better way.”

Promotion of such platform by the Indian Embassy of Sweden is seen as an act of building fruitful partnerships among the two countries in areas which benefit both. The areas majorly include economic relations and people-to-people ties.

Indian Ambassador to Sweden, Banashri Bose Harrison exclaimed Indian cinema as one of the most effective ways to expedite the nation’s image as a creative land.

“Moreover, the films give the viewers a glimpse of India’s diversity and attract them to visit the country,” she said in a statement.

“I am optimistic that through ‘Cinema Indien’, the Indian Film Festival that we have started as the India Unlimited platform with support from National Film Development Corporation, we will be able to create an awareness of the quality, dynamism and variety of Indian cinema,” the diplomat said.

Showcasing Indian music, art, culture, dance, fashion, cuisine and yoga, a few more festivals namely, ‘Namaste Stockholm’ and ‘Namaste Gothenburg’ will be organised during May-August.

On the business front, a CII delegation will go from India to explore business opportunities during May 2-3, Malhotra further said.

(Inputs from The Financial Express) (picture courtesy: indiaunlimited.se)

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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United nations
India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)

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Seven Safe Solo Female Travel Destinations To Check Out

Below are some travel destinations which you shouldn't miss out.

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Solo Female Travel Destinations
Travel destinations where women can go for solo trips. Pixabay

Oct 06, 2017: Women in the 21st century have achieved success in almost every professional. The Information Technology (IT) in India itself has more women than men. And now, the defense of this country is also being handled by a woman. If they can do so much then why to restrict from travelling solo? Shun the world and start a trend. After all; you are your best company. Below are seven solo female travel destinations to check out!

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Solo female travel destinations
Reykjavik, Iceland. Wikimedia.

The Global Peace Index of 2016 notes Iceland the safest country in the world. This European country has got this title for six times. But, the safety reason is not just the only thing why one should visit this place. There is a lot more added to the place’s beauty. Along with the place’s attractive touristy points, there are a lot interesting outdoor activities one can catch-up with. This quality of Reykjavik makes undoubtedly makes it one of the best solo female travel destinations.

Attractive tourist spots/ restaurants:

National Museum of Island- Exhibition of materials from the settlement age to the current age can be seen in here.
Hallgrímskirkj- A sheer beauty and the largest church in Iceland.
Perlan- A revolving domed shaped classy and fine dining restaurant in the city.

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Copenhagen, Denmark. Pixabay.

Scandinavian countries have regularly been coming in the highest ranks`in the United Nation’s (UN) World Happiness Index. Along with being a happy country, the country is low on crime rates. The place is extremely safe for women. The Danish lifestyle is beautiful, and the people of the nation are amicable.

Attractive tourist spots:

The Little Mermaid- It is a beautiful bronze mermaid structure made by Edvard Eriksen.
Amalienborg- It is the home of the Danish royal family.
Strøget- The pedestrian street is one of the longest in Europe. The road is full of fantastic shops- from budget-friendly chains to the world’s most expensive brands.

Also ReadSeven Best Places To Visit In October In India

3. Stockholm, Sweden

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Stockholm, Sweden. Pixabay.

One of the most beautiful, safest and happiest spaces on Earth, Stockholm is one of the best solo female travel destinations. The city has beautiful shopping destinations. From costly brands to budget-friendly local shops, the place has it all.

Attractive tourist spots:

Vasa Museum-  It is a maritime museum, which is located on the island of Djurgården, and displays the only almost fully intact 17th century ship, which has ever been salvaged.
Stockholm Palace- The palace is the residence of the Swedish monarch

4. Bergen, Norway

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Bergen, Norway. Pixabay.

Norway is presently the world’s happiest nation, and the country witnesses the huge amount of tourists and travelling visiting the beautiful cities every year. Bergen is one such beautiful place in Norway where you can have a lovely vacation, and a peaceful one.

Attractive tourist spots:

Bergenhus fortress- It is located at the entrance to the harbor in the city, and is one of the oldest preserved castles of the country.

5. Melbourne, Australia

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Melbourne, Australia. Pixabay.

Melbourne city tops the country’s solo travel destinations list because of its exciting live music, museums, theatres, galleries and restaurants. Well, what else do you want in a vacation? The hipster haven of Brunswick Street is filled with bars, restaurants and vintage shops.

Attractive tourist spots:

Royal Botanic Gardens- One of the most renowned botanical gardens, the place’s beauty is wonderful.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium- It is a home to more than 10,000 Aquarius animals.

6. Queenstown, New Zealand

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Queenstown, Australia. Pixabay.

New Zealand is a beautiful oceanic country. It is one of the countries which have the lowest crime rates. You’ll be safe, happy and make the most your vacation in this land of beauty. This should definitely be added to the list of solo female travel destinations.

 Attractive tourist spots:

Skyline Gondola- Ride the skyline to catch some of the most stunning views of the city. You will definitely find heaven on Earth.
Glenorchy is a great place in the city to enjoy skydiving, horse riding, and kayaking. It is in a beautiful location.

7. Montreal, Canada

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Montreal, Canada. Pixabay.

The Multiculturalism which is found in Montreal can be nowhere else in this world. People here are known to be extremely friendly and happy-go-lucky. From its art, food, cuisine and architecture, to its scenic beauty, everything is just mind-blowing.

Attractive tourist spots:

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts- It is the most prominent art museum of Canada.
Saint Joseph’s Oratory- It is the country’s largest church.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. 

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Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

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India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.