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Concerted efforts needed to tackle the issue of terrorism, says President Pranab Mukherjee

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

President Pranab Mukherjee today said that concerted efforts are needed to tackle the issue of terrorism which has assumed serious proportions and threatens the international community.

The above remarks were made by the President while addressing the Officer Trainees of 2013 Batch of the Indian Foreign Service, who called on the President in Rashtrapati Bhavan on 27 May, 2015.

The President said extremists appear to have access to abundant arms and resources through drug trafficking and other criminal activities. The trouble spots in the world are spreading rapidly and many important cities are being threatened. There is not only danger to historical and civilizational relics in these cities, but their collapse also becomes a symbol of political destabilisation. Despite Cold War having come to an end, the desired peace and tranquillity is still far from the reach of the people of the world.

Describing the current global situation as extremely complex, the President said simplistic approaches will not be sufficient to understand current trends. Indian diplomats should take note of developments in the world with utmost speed. They should develop the ability and expertise to understand and analyse them.

Describing the Civil Service as a great opportunity to serve the nation and people, the President recalled how officers of the Indian Foreign Service have done an outstanding job at great risk to their own safety and security in situations like Lebanon and more recently in Yemen where Indian nationals had to be evacuated. He said these operations conducted with the support of a number of services and organizations testify to the skill and competence of the Foreign Service.

The President called upon the young diplomats to pay special attention to Non Resident Indians whom he described as an important factor in India’s diplomacy. He said NRIs represent India’s values, culture and civilisation in the countries that they live in and also project our soft-power.

The President said foreign policy is an extension of enlightened national interest in the context of the prevailing situation. Diplomats should not only protect but also enhance the national interest. He concluded calling upon the young diplomats to serve the nation and its people with commitment and dedication.

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India’s Lockdown Disrupts Functioning of Amazon and Flipkart

Amazon India Delivery and functioning of Essential Goods via. E-commerce companies Disrupted

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Virus Outbreak Amazon
India's coronavirus lockdown is disrupting e-commerce companies including Amazon and Flipkart. Pixabay

India’s coronavirus lockdown is disrupting e-commerce companies including Amazon and Flipkart, despite government assurances it would not, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Differing state and district level regulations relating to the 21-day lockdown, which began on Wednesday, are hindering operations, the sources said on Friday, with e-commerce firms finding it difficult to get curfew passes for delivery staff.

The disruptions highlight the difficulties of ensuring the supply of essential goods to 1.3 billion people during the shutdown in India, which has so far reported 724 cases of coronavirus and 17 deaths. Most of Amazon’s 60 plus fulfillment centers in India are shut and the U.S. company is in talks with state authorities to try to reopen them, three of the sources said. Industry executives say local authorities have not followed guidelines, stopping deliveries and warehouses from operating.

Virus Outbreak Amazon
A sign is lit on the facade of an Amazon fulfillment center. VOA

“It’s worse than one can think,” one source said, while a second added that only a “miniscule” number of Amazon warehouses were operating, citing this as a key reason for disruptions. Even when operations do begin to return to normal, it will only be in major cities, the second source added.

Amazon said in a statement that its top priority was to deliver the products which customers need the most and it was seeking urgent help from federal government and local authorities with detailed on-the-ground operating procedures. In New Delhi, Amazon’s Pantry service was suspended and the delivery slot for essential goods, such as oil and soaps, was shown as being April 26.

“There are clear guidelines provided by Government to enable essential services, and so we are working with the relevant authorities to ensure we are able to operate,” Amazon said on Twitter in response to questions from users in India.

Indian trade minister Piyush Goyal held a meeting with e-commerce executives on Thursday and said the government was “committed to ensuring that essential goods reach the people.”

Also Read- Effects of Quarantine on Mental Health and Relationships

Walmart-owned Flipkart has also been hit, with some grocery items which had been available earlier on Friday in New Delhi intermittently going out of stock. A source familiar with the situation said Flipkart was facing challenges with last-mile delivery of goods once they leave its warehouse due to restrictions on movement.

Flipkart said in a statement it had resumed grocery operations and there was a significant spike in orders. “We are enhancing capacity to meet the increase in customer requirements,” it said, adding it had received support from local and federal authorities.  (VOA)