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India to gift Seychelles coastguard boat, Dornier aircraft: Modi

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: After holding talks with visiting Seychelles President James Alix Michel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Wednesday the gifting of an Interceptor Coastguard boat and a second Dornier aircraft to Seychelles.

Narendra-ModiModi, who had met Michel during a visit to the strategic Indian Ocean archipelago nation in March this year, termed Seychelles a key strategic partner for India and said Michel’s visit has imparted additional momentum to bilateral relations.

“We are honoured to be a partner in providing aircraft, naval vessels and coastal radar systems for strengthening surveillance capacities. Our cooperation in hydrography surveys is extensive and growing,” Modi said.

Both sides signed five agreements, including exchange of information with regard to taxes and an MoU for providing a Dornier aircraft.

Modi said India will be gifting one more Interceptor Coastguard boat to Seychelles.

“In March, I had announced that we would gift a second Dornier aircraft to Seychelles. I am pleased that we have completed the process quickly and signed the agreement today,” he said.

Fisherman_Seychelles

He termed the agreement for cooperation on blue economy as a “huge step forward” in ties and in promoting sustainable ocean economy in the region. Modi said both sides look forward to cooperating in space, including in the areas of managing land and marine resources, fisheries advisory, weather forecasting and disaster management.

“We have begun preparations for infrastructure development on the Assumption Island in Seychelles,” Modi said.

He said the Air Services agreement inked on Wednesday would enable more and easier connections between the two countries.

With the climate change summit in December, Modi said that climate change is a serious threat to island countries like Seychelles. “With a shoreline of 7,500 km and nearly 1,300 islands, India has similar concerns.” He proposed that both could “work together for a comprehensive, balanced and effective outcome on climate change at COP 21 in Paris later this year”.

He expressed appreciation for Seychelles’ support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of an expanded UN security council.

He also conveyed India’s “desire to work with Small Island Developing States to realise their vision of Samoa Pathway and to be a source of strength for each other in international forums”.

He also thanked Seychelles for its support in making the International Day of Yoga a big success.

James Alix Michel Photo credit: seychellesreality.blogspot.com
James Alix Michel
Photo credit: seychellesreality.blogspot.com

Michel, in his media statement, said his visit to India within five months of Modi’s visit “illustrates the unique relationship the two have on shared values and aspirations”.

He said both have common goals in the Indian Ocean Rim Association and that the agreements signed on Wednesday would pave the way for enhancement of bilateral ties.

He expressed appreciation for the Dornier aircraft, which he said, would significantly enhance security of his country.

Michel said Seychelles has expressed willingness to be part of the maritime cooperation between India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

The five documents exchanged were for exchange of information with regard to taxes; an MoU for providing one Dornier maritime aircraft; an air services agreement; a protocol on framework of cooperation on blue economy; an MoU in agricultural research and education; and presentation of navigational chart of an island of Seychelles to the foreign minister.

Michel arrived here on Tuesday on a three-day visit.

With inputs from IANS

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

Also Read- Push-ups Can Lower The Risk of Heart Diseases

Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)