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All 54 African countries to attend India-Africa summit

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New Delhi: All 54 countries, which have been invited, will be represented at the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) that got underway here on Monday, a senior external affairs ministry official said.

“This is a summit of 56 representatives – 54 (countries) from Africa, the African Union and our prime minister,” Syed Akbaruddin, additional secretary in the ministry and the chief coordinator of IFAS, told the media.

“We are confident that every institution and country invited will be present when our prime minister will take the floor on October 29. This summit will be a gathering of every country in Africa, the African Union and India, which is unprecedented in the annals of any summit between Africa and any other country,” he said.

Though he did not give the exact number of heads of government and state who will be coming, he said that even countries that had elections or where new governments have been formed will be represented at the highest level.

“Several Francophone countries will be attending like Gabon, Guinea. Guinea had elections on October 11. The president of Guinea has consented to come immediately after the elections,” said Akbaruddin.

“In Guinea Bissau, a new government was formed just two weeks ago. We will also have the president of Guinea Bissau here.”

He also informed that the kings of Morocco and Swaziland arrived in New Delhi on Monday and added that there would be representations across boundaries and different sectors.

This will, perhaps, be the first time that all the 54 African countries are coming together outside the continent for such a meeting.

The two previous India-Africa summits were held in 2008 and 2011, in New Delhi and Addis Ababa, but with only representative participation from African countries. The actual summit this time among the leaders is scheduled on October 29.

The IAFS formally got underway on Monday with a meeting between senior officials of India and the African countries.

On Tuesday, a ministerial meeting will be held between the foreign ministers of India and the African countries. This will be followed by bilateral meetings between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her counterparts of several African countries.

The itinerary also includes a grand banquet to be hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace, on the evening of October 29.

Ahead of the summit, Prime Minister Modi has said that India’s areas of focus in Africa will continue to be human resource development, institution building, infrastructure, clean energy, agriculture, health, education and skill development.

Commerce is high on the agenda. India’s trade with Africa has ballooned 20 times in the last 15 years and currently stands at $70 billion. India’s investment in Africa range between $30-35 billion.

(IANS)

(Photo: indianexpress.com)

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‘Doodle 4 Google’ Opens Public Voting

The first edition of "Doodle 4 Google India" was held in 2009 and the theme was "My India"

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google on Tuesday opened public online voting for 20 children shortlisted for its annual ‘Doodle 4 Google’ competition.

The annual competition, announced early in August, encouraged creative, art-loving students across India to bring their imagination to life for the search engine giant’s logo.

This year’s theme was “what inspires you”. The doodle, incorporating letters G-o-o-g-l-e, were to be created using crayons, clay, water colours and graphic design.

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Representational Image of ‘Doodle for Google’. Flickr

From a beautiful sight at the beach to nature’s tiny creatures; India’s farmer community to the Indian folk music; space exploration to learning from animals; children drew their inspiration using crayons, clay and graphic designs, the tech giant said in a statement.

Of the 75,000 students, from Class 1 to 10, across the country who sent in their entries, more than 55 per cent were from non-metro cities, including Visakhapatnam, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Bareilly, Kottayam and Bhubaneswar.

Out of these, Google shortlisted 20 from five categories: Group 1 comprising students from Class 1 to 2; Group 2 with students from Class 3 to 4; Group 3 with students from Class 5 to 6; Group 4 with students from Class 7 to 8 and Group 5 with students from Class 9 to 10.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

The online voting, which began on Tuesday, will continue till November 6 (until 10 a.m.). People can cast their votes on the Doodle 4 Google 2018 voting page.

The doodle with the maximum votes will get featured on Google’s home page on Children’s Day that falls on November 14.

Also Read: Customers Having Airtel-Related Queries Will Now Be Answered By Google Assistant

The national winner would win a Rs 5 lakh college scholarship, a Rs 2 lakh technology package for their school, as well as a trip to the Google office in India, among other prizes, the company said.

The first edition of “Doodle 4 Google India” was held in 2009 and the theme was “My India”. (IANS)