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Nathu La route to Kailash Mansarovar to be operational from next month: PM Modi

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Beijing that the second route for the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra will be functional from next month. The second route through Nathu La pass, situated 4,000 meters above sea-level, will now give an opportunity to more number of Indian devotees to undertake the pilgrimage.

The Prime Minister said, “The Nathu La route for Indian pilgrims to visit Kailash Mansarovar will become operational in June. I want to thank China for that.”

During his visit to India last year, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, had given an assurance to open the new route for the Yatra. The approach towards the new route was finalized during the visit of Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External affairs, to China in February.

As per reports, the Ministry of External Affairs currently takes around 1,000 pilgrims annually in 18 batches involving a 22-day journey. The officials expect that the number of pilgrims could increase once the new route is opened.

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Google’s Censored Search Engine For China A ‘Stupid Move’ Says Ex-Employee

The tech giant had launched a search engine in China in 2006, but pulled the service out of the country in 2010, citing Chinese government efforts to limit free speech and block websites

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Google’s reported plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China has come under heavy criticism from a former Asia-Pacific head of the company’s free expression issues who called it a “stupid move”.

“This is just a really bad idea, a stupid, stupid move. I feel compelled to speak out and say that this is not right,” The Intercept quoted Lokman Tsui as saying on Friday.

Tsui was Google’s head of free expression for Asia and the Pacific between 2011 and 2014.

The news about Google’s plan to build a censored search engine broke last week.

Codenamed “Dragonfly”, the search platform would blacklist “sensitive queries” about topics including politics, free speech, democracy, human rights and peaceful protest, according to a previous report by The Intercept.

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“I can’t see a way to operate Google search in China without violating widely held international human rights standards,” the report quoted Tsui as saying.

Google is yet to officially confirm or deny the search engine project.

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Tsui said that if Google goes ahead with the censored search engine project, it would go against its publicly stated ethos.

The tech giant had launched a search engine in China in 2006, but pulled the service out of the country in 2010, citing Chinese government efforts to limit free speech and block websites. (IANS)