Category: Global

J&K would become a true part of India in letter and spirit : Article 370 scrapped

Announcing a path breaking decision by the Government, Shri Shah said that the Government is moving a resolution which would repeal the provisions under Article 370 of the Constitution of India,which granted a special status to the state of J&K. The provisions of Article 370 would cease to exist from the date President of India issues a notification in this regard, after the recommendation of the Parliament. Consequently, the Constitution of India would get applicable to J&K, on par with other states/UTs of the country, the Minister added.

Responding to apprehensions on the resolution and the future of J&K,Shri Shah said,“I would just say that the bill that the Government is bringing is historic. Article 370 has prevented J&K to merge with India rather than being a basis of its merger. The politics of vote bank has looted the youth of the state for over 70 years. I would call on the opposition members to debate and discuss on why the benefits of development were not allowed to reach the common people of J&K till now. Politics of religion must be avoided at all costs. Article 370 is equally harmful for people of all religions”, the Minister said.

Further, the Minister termed the provisions of Article 370 as discriminatory on the basis of gender, class, caste and place of origin. The youth is being taken for a ride by the political elite. This provision was temporary in the first place and it has to go in the larger interest of the people of J&K, he added.

Under article 370(3), there is a provision that President, on recommendation of the Parliament, has the power to amend or cease the implementation of article 370,through a public notification. This has already happened on a number of occasions in the past. The Home Minister pointed out to the opposition that everyone knows how the article 370 is hampering the development of the people of the state.

Shri Shah said that post the repeal of the Article 370, doors to private investment in J&K would be opened, which would in turn increase the potential for development there. Increased investments would lead to increased job creation and further betterment of socio-economic infrastructure in the state. Opening of buying of lands would bring in investments from private individuals and multinational companies and give a boost to the local economy, Continue reading “J&K would become a true part of India in letter and spirit : Article 370 scrapped”

“We have an opportunity to halt human trafficking”- Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC

To mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has  called on governments across the globe to adopt more stringent measures in the fight against human trafficking, and specifically to support Travel & Tourism initiatives that aim to curb this illicit activity. Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits annually.

In comparative terms, that’s the equivalent of the entire tourism economy of Brazil ($152.5bn). Trafficking relies on the travel industry to operate – not only across borders, but also within – using legitimate operations to illegally move people around and ultimately to exploit vulnerable people and children. In a bid to decimate both the activity and its profits, WTTC has formed a Human Trafficking Task Force, which was launched at the Global Summit 2019. Realising that many WTTC Member companies and sector associations are already very active in this fight, the aim of the Task Force is to leverage our position to facilitate information exchange and to coordinate efforts across the private sector, while strengthening cooperation with the public sector and civil society.

Members of the Task Force include AIG Travel, Airbnb, American Express Global Business Travel, The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, Ctrip International, Carlson & CWT, Emirates, Expedia Group, Hilton, Ingle International Inc., JTB Corp, Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority, Marriott International, Sabre Corporation, Silversea, Thomas Cook Group, TUI Group and Uber.

The Task Force will help to eradicate Human Trafficking through activities focused on:

1.    Prevention – to increase industry and consumer awareness of human trafficking. It is proven that the more we know, the more we can do to prevent this crime.

2.    Protection – to train employees and travellers on how to identify and report suspected cases.

3.    Action – to encourage governments to enact and enforce legislation which recognises human trafficking as a crime throughout the entire chain, and develop resources and support needed, such as national hotlines. Continue reading ““We have an opportunity to halt human trafficking”- Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC”

Americares India Responds to Flooding in Assam and Bihar

 Americares India is organizing medical teams to treat survivors of the monsoon rains that have inundated South Asia.

More than 25 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal are affected by flooding, as monsoon rains have washed out roads, submerged homes and triggered landslides. To date, more than 500,000 people are displaced and over 600 people have died, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Beginning Monday, Americares India will organize medical teams in three districts in Assam and two districts in Bihar, where continuous rains and contaminated water have heightened health concerns. The teams, operated in partnership with local health care organizations, will provide medical care and dispense medications as needed. Americares also plans to deliver hygiene kits.

“With homes and roads submerged in several feet of standing water, we expect to see an increase in infections,” said Americares India Managing Director Shripad Desai. “Our medical teams will focus on providing primary care and basic first aid for the most vulnerable survivors, including pregnant women, children and the elderly.”

Americares India, based in Mumbai, provides emergency medical and humanitarian aid in response to floods, cyclones, earthquakes and other disasters. Most recently, the Americares India team responded to Cyclone Fani in Odisha, deploying medical teams to care for more than 5,200 patients. Americares India also provides health education, supports health worker safety programs and operates seven mobile health centers that provide free primary care services in 13 municipal wards across the slums of Mumbai.

In Nepal, where more than 100 people have died as result of the flooding, the Americares team in Kathmandu is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Population and local partners to restock health facilities with essential medicines and relief supplies.

Donations to Americares Worldwide Disaster Relief Fund will support its response to the flooding in India and Nepal. To make a donation, please go towww.americares.org/worldwide Continue reading “Americares India Responds to Flooding in Assam and Bihar”

Sudarshan Pattnaik , Sand Artist from Odisha, India wins People’s Choice Award

Sand artist, Sudarshan Pattnaik won ‘People’s Choice Award’ at Boston International Sand Art Championship. Pattnaik, a Padma Shi awardee, hails from Odisha, India. He represented India at the 2019 Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival held in Boston, U.S.A.

Pattnaik sculpted a sand art on plastic pollution with a message “Save the Ocean”, which brought him the achievement.

The festival started on July 26 and concluded on July 28. There were 15 sculptors from around the world, including India, who participated in this festival. Belgium got sculptor”s choice and Canada got the jury”s choice prize.

“I have created sculpture on ”Stop Plastic Pollution” with the message “Save the Ocean”. Happy to see lots of people voted for my sculpture,” said Pattnaik.

Pattnaik, who is known for his sand sculptures on social awareness, has participated in more than 60 international sand sculpture championships across the world and won many awards for the country. A Padma Shri recipient, he is also a Guinness World Records holder.

Sudarshan has won a number of awards and accolades, including consecutive gold medals in Russia in 2016 and 2017, the Danish grand prize at the International Sand Art Competition in Denmark, and awards from Spain, Canada and many countries around the world.

Pattnaik attended the 2013 World Sand Sculpting Championship in Atlanta. In 2010, he won three gold medals at the North America Solo Sand Sculpting Competition. His sand recreation of the Taj Mahal in 2005 at the Houston International Sand Art festival is what first got him noticed in the United States.

The Revere Beach, the first public beach in the Boston area, hosts this unique annual competition- sand sculpting, every year.

Continue reading “Sudarshan Pattnaik , Sand Artist from Odisha, India wins People’s Choice Award”

Memories of the fantastic voyage to the moon on it’s 50th anniversary!

–Lachman Balani

It was the summer of ’69 and I was literally over the moon as I had just graduated from the American School of Tangier, a US secondary school in Tangier, Morocco and was preparing to go to Cornell University in the US for further studies in engineering.

Amidst all the excitement of getting ready for university, another extraordinary event, the imminent moon landing, heightened my adrenalin levels as I was highly interested in science.

Way back in ‘68 and ‘69 when the Russians and Americans were running neck and neck in the race towards the moon, I was actually rooting for the Russians as they were the first to launch the space  satellite Sputnik and the first to put a man, Yuri Gagarin, into orbit. The Soviets were also the first to hard land (unpowered) and soft land (powered) a spacecraft on the moon. The U.S.S.R. was also the first to get photos of the lunar surface.

I would jokingly tell my American friends in school that “the Russians are gonna paint the moon red!”

They would laugh back: “nah, we doubt it, but even if they do, heck when we get there we will spray it white with the Coca Cola logo!”

Such was the ingenuity of American marketing even way back then.

I remember well also that after the “dress rehearsal” Apollo 10 mission in May of the same year, there were rumours that Russia, cloaked in secrecy, would somehow beat the US and send up a manned mission to land on the moon before the upcoming Apollo 11 voyage in July.

However, the great day finally arrived for the Americans. My family and I huddled around the black and white TV on July 16, 1969, to watch history unfurl. With memories of the fire that killed three astronauts in the Apollo 1 mission a couple of years earlier and Neil Armstrong’s near death experience a year earlier still fresh in everyone’s minds, I kept my fingers crossed that nothing drastic would occur as the countdown began. Continue reading “Memories of the fantastic voyage to the moon on it’s 50th anniversary!”

Incredible India Wins Pata Gold Award 2019

The Incredible India “Find the Incredible You” campaign released globally by the Ministry of Tourism during 2018-19 has been declared winner of the PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Gold Award 2019 in the “Marketing – Primary Government Destination” category. This year’s awards attracted 198 entries from 78 organisations and individuals worldwide.

The Ministry of Tourism, as part of its promotional initiatives annually releases Global Media Campaigns under the ‘Incredible India’ brand-line in the Television, Print, Digital and Social Media, in key and potential source markets overseas.

To take the Campaigns to the next level, the ‘Incredible India 2.0’ Campaign was launched in September 2017, which marks a shift from generic promotions undertaken across the world to market specific promotional plans and content creation. The campaign focuses on digital and social media and the promotion of Niche Tourism products of the country.

As part of the 2.0 Campaign, five new television commercials were produced by the Ministry, which were aired globally in the television, digital and social media. These were:

  1. Yoga   :           “The Yogi of the Racetrack”
  2. Wellness :      “The Reincarnation of Mr. and Mrs. Jones”
  3. Luxury  :        “The Maharani of Manhattan”
  4. Cuisine  :       “The Masala MasterChef”
  5. Wildlife :       “The Sanctuary in Paris”

The campaign strategy was to shift the focus from the external experience of tourist destinations to the internal experience of travelers themselves. This series of transformative experiences was brought alive through unique storytelling in the format of autobiographies of travelers, with the tagline “Find the Incredible You”.

The series of films have received a very good response and have registered over 153 million views on social media. They were earlier awarded the First Prize in the category of TV Cinema Spot at the International Golden City Gate Tourism Awards at Berlin in March 2019. Continue reading “Incredible India Wins Pata Gold Award 2019”

Final four target World Cup history as they prepare for semi-final showdowns

 

  • India finished top of the group standings after overtaking Australia with victory over Sri Lanka
  • The semi-finals will see India take on New Zealand before England face Australia

After seven weeks, 45 matches and plenty of standout performances with both the bat and ball, the four semi-finalists for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 have been confirmed.

On the face of it, the top four sides are as expected – with India, Australia England and New Zealand going into the tournament ranked the best four ODI teams in the world.

But as hosts England can attest to, the journey to reach the knockout stage has not been plain sailing for all of the sides that remain in contention to be crowned champions.

Australia will now continue the defence of their 2015 crown against England at Edgbaston, while India face New Zealand at Old Trafford in the other semi-final showdown.

And as the race to reach the tournament showpiece at Lord’s on 14 July draws to a close, here’s a look at the World Cup records of the four teams who are still in contention for silverware.

INDIA

The tag of being one of the favourites can weigh heavily on some – but India have shown no signs of being burdened by the pressure as they topped the standings after the round-robin stage.

India won seven of their nine games to finish at the summit, with their defeat to tournament hosts England the only blot on their record following a complete washout against New Zealand. Continue reading “Final four target World Cup history as they prepare for semi-final showdowns”