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India, Germany aim to ink a plethora of agreements

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NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: The bilateral meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday aims at cementing the bilateral relation between the two countries. In the second bilateral meeting being held after six months, issues including trade, security and the India-EU trade agreement are expected to be tabled.

Merkel, who arrived here on Sunday night, is on an India visit from October 4-6. She will be accompanied by a large delegation comprising of cabinet ministers and businesspersons and will also be visiting Bengaluru.

The German leader, who met Modi at Hannover Messe in April, is coming here for the 3rd Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) between the two countries.

Earlier, German Ambassador Martin Ney said the IGC were expected to lead to the inking of “substantial agreements”.

Ney said that the German side would seek resolution of certain issues like “questions of corruption, questions of framework for investments, safety of taxation, Intellectual Property Rights” and legal redressal for “ease of doing business”.

“Industries say we need greater progress in order to implement these planned investments. The two leaders will address these issues definitely in a friendly manner,” the German envoy said earlier.

The two leaders are also expected to take up the India-European Union free trade agreement (FTA), which has been under negotiations for years.

The ministers accompanying Merkel are Foreign Affairs Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Food and Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, Education and Research Minister Johanna Wanka and Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Muller.

The focus of the IGC will be on economy, security, vocational training, science, technology, clean energy, climate and development cooperation. The signing of a plethora of agreements is envisaged. Furthermore, regional and global issues will be discussed, said a German embassy statement.

The IGC is a unique summit-level dialogue with cabinet participation of both governments to help advance the bilateral partnership across priority areas of mutual interest.

The 3rd IGC will seek to build on Modi’s visit to Germany in April 2015 to participate in the Hannover Messe where India was the partner country, said an external affairs ministry statement.

On Monday, Merkel will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan, followed by a visit to Rajghat and official meetings between the two leaders and IGC between the two delegations.

Merkel will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee.

(With inputs from 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.

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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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