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Washington: US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal is headed to India to make preparations for the first India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in Washington in September.

Biswal, who will be in New Delhi July 16-17, “will meet with senior Indian government officials to discuss shared priorities and increased US-India cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as upcoming engagements,” a State Department announcement said.

The first Strategic and Commercial Dialogue announced after the January summit between President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will showcase Indo-US cooperation “from outer space to cyberspace.”

To be co-hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the dialogue will also provide “a new platform to build on past results and work toward future progress,” Biswal said at an event to mark the tenth anniversary of India-US nuclear deal Monday.

Over the next ten years, India and US will work toward greater convergence on trade, she said.

In 2005, bilateral trade was less than $30 billion – today it is over $100 billion, and the two countries want to get that to $500 billion.

The two sides will also continue to bring international pressure on terrorist groups around the world who target Indians and Americans alike, Biswal, one of the many officials of Indian heritage in the Obama administration, said.

Over the next ten years, India and US, she said, “will build upon their Joint Vision for the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region to promote regional development, a rules-based order, and trade that is free and fair.”

“In September, our first US-Japan-India ministerial will move us closer to this goal as we strengthen our cooperation on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and economic connectivity,” Biswal said.

As India will need to provide 400 million of its citizens with reliable energy, the US and India through their clean energy partnerships have mobilised nearly $3 billion dollars in renewable energy investments since 2009, she said.

(IANS)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

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Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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