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India, US cooperation on mega-city governance growing: Indian envoy

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Washington, Oct 9 (IANS) India-US cooperation in governance of mega-cities is part of a whole new paradigm of working together and forming habits of cooperation between the world’s two largest democracies, according to the Indian ambassador Arun K Singh.

“It takes diplomacy beyond the nation-state,” he said at an event at Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank, on the Megacity Challenge ahead of a conference on Megacity Security in Mumbai next month.

“As our bilateral partnership goes forward under the motto of “Sanjha Prayas, Sab Ka Vikas” or “Shared Effort, Progress for All,” we need to take our cities along in this endeavour – with their myriad challenges and their limitless opportunities,” Singh said.

Noting that an expert committee had in 2011 indicated a requirement of investment in urban infrastructure to the tune of $1 trillion over the next 20 years, he said: “For us in India, the megacity challenge is a living challenge of massive proportion.”

The US government, private sector, businesses and the civil society, Singh said had been associated in several transformative initiatives in India.

The Bloomberg Philanthropies have supported the India Smart Cities challenge, he noted. The US has been identified as the lead partner in developing smart cities in three Indian cities — Ajmer, Visakhapatnam and Allahabad.

The USAID, through the Urban India Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Alliance, is serving as knowledge partner to support the Prime Minister’s 500 cities National Urban Development Mission and Clean India Campaign.

There was also growing bilateral cooperation for making the two countries’ megacities safe and secure, Singh said observing “the designs of terrorists over mega-cities was evident to both countries — during 9/11 in New York City and during 26/11 in Mumbai.”

To meet the challenges of modern day policing in megacities, Government of India has undertaken Megacity Policing initiative with focus on building the technology capability of Police forces.

Currently, police forces in seven cities – Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad — are being modernized under this scheme.

Megacities Policing is one of the six major components of India-US bilateral homeland security cooperation pursued under the Ministerial Homeland Security Dialogue, Singh noted.

“Whether it is tackling terrorism, investigation of modern crimes, identification of suspects, managing intelligent traffic system or building effective command and control system or fusion centres, the US has capacities that can be considered and adapted in India for mutual benefit,” he said.

“They will create security in our cities and potential for business and technology partnership,” Singh said.

“Of course, megacity policing is only one small part of our growing cooperation in the field of homeland security,” he said citing several areas from building capacity in cyber security to a partnership for counter-IED cooperation.

“Security cooperation in turn is a small subset of our wide-ranging strategic and global partnership,” Singh added.

 

(Arun Kumar, IANS)

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SriLankan Airlines to add 3 new Indian cities Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam to its network from July

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SriLankan_Airlines, Wikimedia

New Delhi, May 13, 2017: SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of the island nation, will add three southern India cities — Hyderabad, Coimbatore, and Visakhapatnam — to its network from July, a statement said here on Saturday.

According to the statement, the flights will commence from July 8.

“The introduction of these new routes, along with the scheduled frequency increases in its Delhi and Mumbai services, will see SriLankan operating over 120 flights a week to 14 cities, thus becoming the carrier that serves the highest number of points in India,” the airline said.

Currently, the airline serves key Indian cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Tiruchirappalli, Trivandrum, Kochi, Madurai, Varanasi and Bodh Gaya, and will introduce four additional frequencies to its daily services from Delhi and Mumbai in July.

The statement said the new routes will be serviced by Airbus 320/321 aircraft.

“These new routes are introduced with the aim of providing passengers with added convenience, seamless travel and easy onward connectivity from Colombo,” it said.

SriLankan Airlines is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance, being the first airline from the Indian sub-Continent to join any global airline alliance. (IANS)

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3-Day International Hindi Conference to take place in Visakhapatnam: Bridging the gap between Hindi and Other Language Speakers

the first International Hindi Conference outside USA bring together more than 200 scholars in the field of Hindi language from all around the world

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Visakhapatnam, Dec 29, 2016: The fourth International Hindi Conference will be held from January 6 to 8, 2017, in the port city of Visakhapatnam.  The main motive of the conference is to bridge the gap between experts of the language in India and abroad. It will be inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan. Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar will also be present at the conference.

It is jointly arranged by the Hindi Sangam Foundation, (New Jersey and New Delhi) and Lok Nayak Foundation of Visakhapatnam. This is the first time the conference is taking place outside the USA.

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According to PTI reports, former MP and organising committee chairman Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad said that around 200 Hindi scholars and professionals from around the world are expected to join the conference. Many leading Hindi scholars from US universities, including New York University, Columbia, Duke, City University of New York, Pace and Pennsylvania State University, would attend the conference along with academicians from all over India.

The theme of the conference hosted by Gitam University on its campus at Rishikonda is “Teaching Hindi to Other Language Speakers: Pedagogical Perspectives, Language Planning and Program Development.”

Famous Hindi scholar and author, Prasad said, “The conference will be a unique forum for dialogue among Hindi scholars and administrators and will allow for partnerships and project collaborations with the goal to expand, enrich and further promote Hindi education.”

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The Padma Bhushan awardee also mentioned, “This conference is the result of a new initiative introduced in the field of Hindi education that aims to create a bridge between the pedagogical experts of the language in India and the pedagogical experts and instructors in the US and the rest of the world, where Hindi is taught as a heritage language as well as a foreign language.”

This conference is surely an interesting initiative in the field of Hindi language. It will not only help the language reach a bigger global acceptance but also help India connect with the rest of the world through the appeal of a rich language like Hindi. This conference also successfully brings the most respected faces in the field of the language under one roof.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

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Visakhapatnam to host World’s First Wind Music Festival on December

This festival will generate awareness regarding wind music among youth.

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Wind Music Festival to be held in Visakhapatnam for the first time
Vishakhapatanam to host the first Wind Music festival this December(representative image). Pixabay

Vishakhapatnam December 13, 2016: Andhra Pradesh HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao said that  Visakhapatnam city will host the world’s first ever Wind Music festival on December 17 to entertain enthusiasts.

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Naveen Kumar, a flutist and is better known for his contribution to classical music along with Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman will jointly present this one day festival, as was highlighted yesterday by the minister in a press conference.

Apart from Naveen Kumar, legendary musicians like Ronu Majmundar, Rakesh Chaurasia, A Sravamani, Shashank Subramanyan, Kishore, Raj Sodha, S Ballesh and Tom Thomas among others will perform in the festival.

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Srinivasa Rao said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu will also attend the programme, mentioned PTI.

According to Kumar this festival will generate awareness regarding wind music among youth.

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He also said, “It will bring together music stalwarts who play diverse wind instruments ranging from a valley of western and Indian flutes to saxophones and many more,” .

Kumar also added the emotional appeal of music saying, “…On an emotional level, few can deny the intrinsic power of music. Its ability to influence and enhance moods is, in fact, one of music’s greatest attractions. It could be considered a shortcut to the subconscious levels of our minds.”

prepared by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon