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“Neighbourhood first” Policy: India offers to link its growth with Sri Lanka

India is assisting Sri Lanka in a number of development projects, including health and education

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Sushma Swaraj. Image source: www.youtube.com

NEW DELHI: In what can be called symbolic of its “neighbourhood first” policy, India has offered to link its growth story with southern neighbour Sri Lanka.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said this during a meeting with Sri Lankan Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama during his visit to New Delhi on July 4-5, it is reliably learnt.

According to sources, discussions between Sushma Swaraj and Samarawickrama focussed on the “neighbourhood first” policy of India .

“External Affairs Minister reiterated that India would like its economic growth trajectory to also lead to growth for Sri Lanka,” the sources said on Wednesday.

“Discussions with the External Affairs Minister reviewed the implementation of decisions taken at the ninth India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission meeting for furthering trade, investment and developmental linkages between India and Sri Lanka,” the sources said.

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India is assisting Sri Lanka in a number of development projects, including health and education.

“There was agreement on creating an enabling environment for Indian industry to invest in Sri Lanka,” the sources said.

Malik Samarawickrama. Image source: coyle.lk
Malik Samarawickrama (in the centre). Image source: coyle.lk

It is learnt that both Sushma Swaraj and Samarawickrama agreed to encourage further momentum on projects between the two countries.

“The two ministers reviewed various projects, including the Sampur power plant, rehabilitation of Palaly airfield and Kankesanthurai harbour,” the sources said.

Sushma Swaraj also emphasised on the urgency of finding a permanent solution to the fishermen issue, recommended by the Joint Commission Meeting in February this year, 2016.

On Wednesday, July 6, Sri Lanka arrested 17 Indian fishermen for fishing in its maritime territories.

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The sources said both sides agreed that a meeting between the fishery ministries of the two countries should be held at the earliest. (IANS)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    It is a great step to strengthen the Indi-Sri Lanka bond. This will help both the nations.

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

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The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)