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India-Africa Forum Summit kicks off in New Delhi

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New Delhi: India-Africa Forum Summit kicked off here on Monday with a meeting among the senior officials of the host nation and 54 countries from the African continent.

“A moment for the cameras. IAFS formally begins with senior officials meeting,” India’s foreign ofice spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted, soon after a photo session at the venue, the Indira Gandhi Nation Stadium here.

According to Indian officials, this will, perhaps, be the first time that all the 54 African countries are coming together outside the continent for such a meeting, with 40 of them expected to be represented by their heads of state or government.

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 itinerary includes a meeting among the foreign ministers on Tuesday and a grand banquet to be hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace, on the evening of October 29. There will also be bilateral meetings.

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)

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India Gets Its Sex Offender Registry

The latest statistics from India's National Crime Records Bureau show the number of sexual crimes rose 12 percent between 2015 and 2016.

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People hold placards at a rally condemning the rapes of two girls, aged 8 and 11, in Ahmedabad, India
People hold placards at a rally condemning the rapes of two girls, aged 8 and 11, in Ahmedabad, India. VOA

India has launched a sex offender registry. The establishment of the database comes as the country is experiencing a daily wave of sexual crimes.

The information in the registry, however, will only be available to law enforcement officials. In contrast, in the United States, the public has access to information in sex offender registries.

India
Indian women participate in a candle light vigil at a bus stop where the victim of a deadly gang rape in a moving bus had boarded the bus two years ago, in New Delhi, India. VOA

A home ministry statement said the 440,000 names in the Indian database includes people convicted of rape, gang rape, child sex crimes and sexual harassment. The registry also includes photos of the offenders, plus their addresses and fingerprints.

The latest statistics from India’s National Crime Records Bureau show the number of sexual crimes rose 12 percent between 2015 and 2016. The figures for 2016 show there were more than 100 reported rape cases in India every day. (VOA)

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