India expelled one of Canada’s top diplomats Tuesday, ramping up a confrontation between the two countries over Canadian accusations that India may have been involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in suburban Vancouver. India, which has dismissed the accusations as absurd, said the expulsion came amid “growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities," according to a statement from its Ministry of External Affairs. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to try to calm the diplomatic clash Tuesday, telling reporters that Canada is “not looking to provoke or escalate." Canada expels Indian diplomat as it investigates Sikh activist's killing “We are simply laying out the facts as we understand them and we want to work with the government of India to lay everything clear and to ensure there are proper processes,” he said. "India and the government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness.” On Monday, Trudeau said there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the slaying of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a 45-year-old Sikh leader who was killed by masked gunmen in June in Surrey, outside Vancouver. For years, India has said Nijjar, a Canadian citizen born in India, has links to terrorism, an allegation Nijjar denied. What to know about the Sikh movement at the center of the tensions between India and Canada A U.S. official said Trudeau was in contact with President Joe Biden's administration about Canada’s findings before raising them publicly. The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Trudeau’s willingness to speak out about the matter was taken by the White House as an indication of the Canadian leader's certainty about what had been found. Canada has yet to provide any evidence of Indian involvement, but if true it would mark a major shift for India, whose security and intelligence branches have long been significant players in South Asia, and are suspected in a number of killings in Pakistan. But arranging the killing of a Canadian citizen in Canada, home to nearly 2 million people of Indian descent, would be unprecedented. India, though, has accused Canada for years of giving free rein to Sikh separatists, including Nijjar. The dueling expulsions have escalated tensions between Canada and India. Trudeau had frosty encounters with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during this month's Group of 20 meeting in New Delhi, and a few days later Canada canceled a trade mission to India planned for the fall. India dismisses allegations of killing Sikh activist in Canada as 'absurd', expels senior Canadian diplomat Nijjar, a plumber, was also a leader in what remains of a once-strong movement to create an independent Sikh homeland, known as Khalistan. A bloody decadelong Sikh insurgency shook north India in the 1970s and 1980s, until it was crushed in a government crackdown in which thousands of people were killed, including prominent Sikh leaders. Violence spilled across years and continents. In 1984, former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was killed by two of her Sikh bodyguards after she ordered an army operation to flush out heavily armed Sikh separatists barricaded inside Sikhism’s holiest shrine. Her killing led to riots that left more than 2,000 Sikhs dead. The next year, an Air India jetliner flying from Toronto to New Delhi was destroyed by a bomb over the Irish coast, killing 329 people. Officials blamed Sikh separatists. The Khalistan movement has lost much of its political power but still has supporters in the Indian state of Punjab, as well as in the sizable overseas Sikh diaspora. While the active insurgency ended years ago, the Indian government has warned repeatedly that Sikh separatists were trying to make a comeback. Nijjar was wanted by Indian authorities, who had offered a reward for information leading to his arrest. At the time of his killing he was working with the group Sikhs For Justice, organizing an unofficial Sikh diaspora referendum on independence from India. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a lawyer and spokesperson for Sikhs For Justice, has said Nijjar was warned by Canadian intelligence officials about being targeted for assassination by “mercenaries.” Nijjar had recently been meeting “once or twice a week” with Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers, including a day or two before the shooting, said his son Balraj Singh Nijjar. He said his father had received hundreds of threatening messages telling him to stop his advocacy for Sikh independence. The threats were always passed to authorities. “We weren’t worried about safety because we weren’t doing anything wrong," he said. “We were just using freedom of speech.” He said the family was relieved by Canada's actions. "From day 1 we kind of had this idea and knowledge that if anything would happen to him, the Indian government would be involved,” he said. “It was just a matter of time for when the truth would come out. It’s finally coming to the public eyes that the Indian government is involved in this.” On Monday, Trudeau told Parliament that Canadian security agencies were investigating “credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India" and Nijjar's killing. “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” he said. India’s foreign ministry dismissed the allegation as “absurd” and accused Canada of harboring “terrorists and extremists.” “Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it said in a statement Tuesday. India has long demanded that Canada take action against the Sikh independence movement, which is banned in India. Canada has a Sikh population of more than 770,000, about 2% of its population. In March, Modi's government summoned the Canadian high commissioner in New Delhi, the top diplomat in the country, to complain about Sikh independence protests in Canada. In 2020, India’s foreign ministry also summoned the top diplomat over Trudeau's comments about an agricultural protest movement associated with the state of Punjab, where many Sikhs live. Critics accuse Modi’s Hindu nationalist government of seeking to suppress dissent using sedition laws and other legal weapons. Some critics of his administration have been arrested, creating what Modi’s opponents say is a culture of intimidation. Trudeau said Monday he brought up Nijjar’s slaying with Modi last week at the G20 meeting in New Delhi, and told him any Indian government involvement would be unacceptable and he asked for cooperation in the investigation. Modi, for his part, expressed “strong concerns” over Canada’s handling of the Sikh independence movement at that meeting, India’s statement said. While in New Delhi, Trudeau skipped a dinner hosted by the Indian president, and local media reports said he was snubbed by Modi when he got a quick “pull aside” instead of a bilateral meeting. The statement called on Canada to work with India on what New Delhi said is a threat to the Indian diaspora, and accused the Sikh movement of “promoting secessionism and inciting violence” against Indian diplomats. Earlier this year, Sikh protesters pulled down the Indian flag at India’s high commission in London and smashed the building’s window after India arrested a popular Sikh preacher. Protesters also smashed windows at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco and skirmished with consulate workers. The British government, meanwhile, said Tuesday there were no plans to reinvestigate the death of a U.K-based Sikh activist in the wake of Canada’s claim India might have been behind the slaying of Nijjar. Avtar Singh Khanda, who played a prominent role in protests for an independent Sikh homeland, died in June in the English city of Birmingham after falling ill. Supporters alleged be might have been poisoned, but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesman, Max Blain, said police found nothing suspicious. The Trudeau government’s allegations are awkward for the U.K., which is a close ally of Canada in the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance that also includes the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, and is also seeking a free trade deal with India. “These are serious allegations. It is right that the Canadian authorities should be looking into them,” Blain said, adding it would be inappropriate to comment further while the investigation is underway.
The Indian government has put forward a bill ensuring a third of seats for women in the lower house of the parliament and state assemblies. The bill, which was initially presented in 1996, has been in the works for decades, amidst objections from various political parties, reports BBC. Also read: Modi opponents boycott opening of new parliament building as PM reshapes India’s power corridor Its return is likely to bolster the chances of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) luck in national elections next May, it said. The bill was introduced during the first session of the new Indian parliament, but it is still a long way from becoming law. It would need the consent of both houses of the parliament and a majority of state legislatures, as well as the signature of the Indian president. Also read: Silence on Manipur ethnic violence prompts no-confidence vote against Indian PM Modi The reported proposals to raise the total number of seats might complicate implementation even further, the report said. Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi lauded the proposed law and said it was a historic occasion for the country in his inauguration speech at the new parliament building. "The world understands that only talking of women-led development is not enough. This is a positive step taken on that front," he told politicians as he appealed to them to support the bill. He also took a shot at the opposition, claiming that the past Congress-led administrations had failed to pass the measure while they were in office. Also read: Hasina, Modi agree to resolve outstanding bilateral issues through talks "There have been discussions around women's reservations for years. We can say with pride that we have scripted history," he said. Modi opened the new parliament building in May, but no business has been conducted there until now. He convened a five-day special session, which began on Monday but was held in the old parliament building on the first day. Members of the two houses gathered for a picture session in the old building on Tuesday morning, followed by a ceremony commemorating parliament's history in the Central Hall of the British-era structure. They subsequently relocated to the new parliament, which was formally named as the Parliament House of India by the office of the lower house of parliament.
Sri Lanka has reached the Asia Cup 2023 final after dramatically knocking out Pakistan on Thursday night. In the exciting final, Sri Lanka will compete against India on Sunday, September 17, 2023 at 3:30 pm. The IND vs SL match will be held at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Preview of IND vs SL Asia Cup 2023 Final Match India secured their spot in the top two by winning a thrilling match against Sri Lanka in the Super Fours. This victory also ended Bangladesh’s hopes of reaching the Asia Cup Final 2023. The defending champions, Sri Lanka, managed to defeat Pakistan in a rain-affected Super Fours game, earning their place in the final as well. However, India’s loss to Bangladesh in the last match of the Super Four Round might reduce their confidence a bit. But, some of the game changers of India, such as Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Kuldeep Yadav, were on rest to give their best in the final. So, India will surely come back stronger with the top players. In the last match of the Super Four Round, India won the toss and sent Bangladesh to bat first. Bangladesh set a target of 266 runs for India. Chasing a target of 266 runs, India were bowled out for 259 runs with 1 ball to spare. They needed 12 runs in the last over with 1 wicket in hand. But they could not reach the target. Bangladesh beat India by 6 runs on Friday at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, secured the final by beating Pakistan in their last Super Four Round match. Sri Lanka won the breathtaking ODI match in the last ball. Because of rain, the game was shortened to 42 overs. Pakistan batted first and managed to score 252 runs while losing 7 wickets. In reply, Sri Lanka reached victory by losing 8 wickets. Now, the defending champions and India are waiting for Sunday’s final. So far in this tournament, India lost one match, and that was against Bangladesh. On the other hand, Sri Lanka lost one match against India in the Super Four. It is expected that both teams will join the final with their best players, as there is no injury report. Read more: Tigers aim for a memorable end to their Asia Cup campaign by facing India Predicted XI for India Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj Predicted XI for Sri Lanka Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, and Matheesha Pathirana. India vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup Final Head to Head This is not the first time that India and Sri Lanka are meeting in the Asia Cup Final. Previously, they met 7 times in the final in 1988, 1990-91, 1995, 1997, 2004, 2008 and 2010. Among these seven appearances, India won four times in 1988, 1990-91, 1995, and 2010. Sri Lanka won three times in 1997, 2004 and 2008. India vs Sri Lanka Overall ODI Head to Head In ODI cricket, India and Sri Lanka have played against each other 166 times. Out of these 166 matches, India has won 97 times, while Sri Lanka has won 57 times. There were 11 matches that didn’t have a clear result, and 1 match ended in a tie. Read more: ICC World Cup 2023 Warm-up Schedule: Full fixture list, match timings and venues Key Indian Players to Watch in Asia Cup Final 2023 Shubman Gill Shubman Gill has been consistent throughout this Asia Cup and finally got his desired century against Bangladesh. He scored 121 runs from 133 balls in a critical situation for India. This week, Indian opener Shubman Gill has moved up two spots to reach the second position in the ICC Men’s ODI rankings for batters. He earned this recognition for his outstanding batting performance during the Asia Cup 2023. Shubman scored 275 runs in five innings with an impressive average of 68.75. This includes two half-centuries and one century in his name. So, India will greatly depend on his batting knock in the Final. KL Rahul Rahul made a comeback to the Indian team after being sidelined for almost three months due to multiple injuries. After his return, he scored a century in his first appearance in the Asia Cup against Pakistan in Super Four. After that, Rahul scored 39 runs against Sri Lanka and 19 runs against Bangladesh. It seems the long absence from the field did not hamper his performance, and he came back stronger. So, we may see a better performance this time against Sri Lanka. Kuldeep Yadav Kuldeep was the top bowler against Sri Lanka in the last match. He took four wickets with a 4.52 economy rate. Seemingly, his bowl worked better at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, as he also took five wickets at the same venue against Pakistan. Since the final will be at the same venue, we may see another brilliant performance from Kuldeep. Read more: ICC World Cup 2023: India ODI Squad Analysis Key Sri Lankan Players to Watch in Asia Cup Final 2023 Kusal Mendis Kusal has scored 253 runs from five innings in this Asia Cup and has two centuries and a half century. However, Kusal scored 15 runs against India in the Super Four round match. So, this time, Kusal should be looking to put his best in the final. Moreover, he is also incredible in wicketkeeping, as he took 8 catches. Sadeera Samarwickrama Sadeera Samarwickrama is currently the third highest run-scorer in the tournament, with a total of 215 runs in five innings. However, in the match against India, he only scored 17 runs. So, Sadeera is surely looking for a great knock in the final. Overall, Sadeera has played in 22 matches and has scored a total of 615 runs. His highest score is 93, which came against Bangladesh in this Asia Cup. He has an impressive strike rate of 90.57 in this tournament. Matheesha Pathirana This 20 year old wonder is the top wicket taker in this Asia Cup. So far, he took 11 wickets. He got at least one wicket in each match of the tournament except against India. In his appearance against India, Matheesha bowled 4 overs with a 7.75 econ rate, which resembles an average performance from him. He might be looking for a better performance in the final and remain the top wicket takers. Read more: Bangladesh's probable squad for ICC ODI World Cup 2023 Final Words India seems to have an advantage over Sri Lanka on paper because they have a stronger team with better players. However, India should not underestimate Sri Lanka as in the previous encounter in the Super Four stage of the tournament, India were very close to losing against the Lankans. While both teams are strong contenders, India still has a better chance to win the IND vs SL Asia Cup Final 2023. Read more: Bangladesh beat India in Asia Cup after 11 years
The 2023 Asia Cup is approaching the final, with the last match of the Super Four stage between India and Bangladesh. While India was dominant throughout the tournament, Bangladesh is eager to conclude their continental campaign with a big win. This highly anticipated IND vs BAN clash is set for this Friday, September 15, 2023, at 3:30 PM at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Preview of IND vs BAN ODI in Asia Cup 2023 Since this game won’t affect the trophy race, and the Indian team will have only one day of rest before the finals, it’s likely that the Indian team management will opt to rest some key players. Shreyas Iyer, who was sidelined in India’s last two matches due to a back spasm, is anticipated to be fit for this upcoming game. Meanwhile, the experienced fast bowler Mohammad Shami may step in for Jasprit Bumrah to ensure Bumrah’s fitness for the crucial final match. The head coach of the Tigers, Chandika Hathurusingha, had previously announced that there would be no team practice during a three-day break from September 10 to the 13. Two key Bangladeshi players, Shakib Al Hasan, and Mushfiqur Rahim, have temporarily left the squad to attend to family matters in Dhaka. While Shakib will join the squad, Mushfiqur Rahim will be absent from the Asia Cup Super Four match against India on Friday. Bangladesh Cricket Board has granted him an extension of leave to be with his newborn child and family. Read more: Banglabandhu Beach Volleyball begins in Cox's Bazar on Wednesday Bangladesh’s performance in the Super Four stage has fallen short of the high expectations of their fans. Unfortunately, they have been eliminated from the tournament. The dreams of achieving their first continental championship have diminished for skipper Shakib Al Hassan’s team, especially after suffering losses in their first two Super Four matches. Their big 89-run victory over Afghanistan in the group stage, which secured their place in the Super Four, stands as their sole triumph in this tournament. The Tigers are now hoping for a positive result in their final Super Four match before they prepare to host New Zealand in a three-match ODI series starting on September 21. In the other two Super Four matches, Sri Lanka won over Bangladesh by 21 runs, and Pakistan won by 7 wickets. On the other hand, India is approaching their final Super Four match as the only team in the tournament that remains undefeated. The Men in Blue delivered an impressive 228-run victory over their arch-rivals, Pakistan, during the Super Four stage. They followed this up with a successful defense of 213 runs against Sri Lanka, which they won by 41 runs. Despite not being able to complete a full 100-over game in the group stages, the seven-time Asian champions have now played on the R. Premadasa Stadium field for three consecutive days. They are now looking forward to a brief break before stepping onto the field against Bangladesh. Read more: Mushfiqur Rahim to Miss Super Four Clash Against India Predicted XIs for India Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Tilak Varma, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Siraj. Predicted XIs for Bangladesh Mohammad Naim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Litton Das (wk), Shakib Al Hasan (c), Towhid Hridoy, Shamim Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Nasum Ahmed. IND vs BAN Head to Head ODI Matches So Far Despite a strong effort from the Bangladesh team, India has consistently held the upper hand in this rivalry. The Men in Blue maintain a commanding lead in the head-to-head record, with an impressive 31 victories out of 39 encounters, while the Bangladesh Tigers have managed to secure victory only seven times thus far. One match had no result. Read more: Wellalage’s all-round show in vain as India clinch low-scoring affair vs Sri Lanka Key Indian Players to Watch Rohit Sharma The 36-year-old Indian captain is presently at the top of the run-scoring leaderboard, scoring 194 runs at an impressive average of 64.66. In his latest match against Sri Lanka, he reached the significant milestone of 10,000 runs in ODI cricket. Although he has scored half-centuries three times in this tournament, Rohit has not yet managed to score his first century. He will be eager to achieve this milestone in the remaining two innings before the tournament concludes. Virat Kohli In his remarkable innings against Pakistan in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup, Kohli surpassed the milestone of 13,000 runs in ODI, becoming the fifth player in men’s ODIs to achieve this remarkable feat. However, he scored only three runs in the next match against Sri Lanka. But his excellent batting against Pakistan resembled his comeback. So, Kohli might repeat that performance against the Tigers. KL Rahul Indian batsman K.L. Rahul achieved a century during the Asia Cup Super 4 match against Pakistan at Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium on Monday. He returned to the Indian side after a nearly three-month absence due to multiple injuries and reached the century mark by hitting a double off Naseem Shah’s delivery. So, Rahul will be looking for another good score in the next match to make his position permanent in the team. Overall, KL Rahul played 56 matches for India and scored 2136 runs, which includes 6 centuries. Read more: India clinch historic victory against Pakistan by a staggering 228-run margin Key Bangladeshi Players to Watch Taskin Ahmed Bangladeshi captain will assign crucial responsibility to Taskin, aiming to stop the star-studded Indian top-order, which has been dominating pacers throughout this ongoing competition. Taskin Ahmed shares the distinction of being the highest wicket-taker in Asia Cup 2023, having taken nine wickets from four innings. The 28-year-old fast bowler played a pivotal role in their victory over Afghanistan, recording impressive bowling figures of 4 for 44 in 8.3 overs. He is expected to be a key factor in the success of the Bangladesh team. Shakib Al Hasan Captain Shakib Al Hasan is yet to give his best performance in this Asia Cup 2023. However, he played his role well as the captain. But overall, his batting and bowling performance has been dimmed recently. So, fans can expect one last performance before returning to home. So far, he scored 93 runs and grabbed 2 wickets in this Asia Cup. Towhid Hridoy Towhid failed to contribute to Bangladesh greatly in the first three matches of the Asia Cup 2023. In the first match, he scored 21 runs off 41 balls without any boundaries. In the next match against Afghanistan in Lahore, Bangladesh won by 89 runs, but he scored a zero. He also got out in a single-digit against Pakistan in the Super Four. However, Towhind knocked a brilliant batting performance in the last match against Sri Lanka, scoring 82 runs off 97 balls. So, we can expect another knock in the next match. Read more: ICC World Cup 2023: India ODI Squad Analysis Final Words Considering the match results so far in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 ODI tournament, it can be said that team India is favorite in the contest. However, nothing is impossible in cricket. To secure their first Super Four stage victory, Bangladesh need to show outstanding performances in all sectors including batting, bowling and fielding. Bangladesh team should follow team Sri Lanka’s strategy to give a good fight, as they are the only team in this Asia Cup who gave an excellent fight against India. But, considering the team India’s performance, they have full potential to win the IND vs BAN Super Four Round match. Read more: Tigers aim for a memorable end to their Asia Cup campaign by facing India
Sixteen Bangladeshi youths returned home on Sunday night from India through the Benapole check post after serving three years in an Indian prison. Benapole Immigration OC Mohammad Kamruzzaman said the youths went to India without valid documents through human traffickers and then were detained by police while they were working at various shops and hotels in Tamil Nadu state. Read: 3 siblings jailed unto death for killing youth in Chattogram Later they were handed over to a court which sentenced them to three years of imprisonment. At the end of the sentence, the ministries of home affairs of the two countries took initiative to send them back to Bangladesh. The Indian immigration police handed them over to Benapole Port Police Station and NGO ‘Justice and Care’ received them. Read: Cumilla couple jailed for ten years in drug case The returnees are Bulbul Ahmed,18, Mohsin Sheikh ,17, Abul Hossain ,16, Masum Billah 15, Rezaul Khan 18, Shahjalal 17, Hasan Halder 17, Nazmul Islam 17, Masud Talukder 18, Zulhas Sheikh 18, Rashed Morel 17, Rashedul Islam 18, Saiduzzaman 16, Abu Musa 15, Mizanur Rahman,17 and Mahbul Shikder 17. They hail from different areas of Satkhira, Khulna and Madaripur districts.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday (September 09, 2023) joined the world leaders at G20 summit being held at Bharat Mandapam Convention Centre at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. On her arrival at the venue, she was welcomed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Hasina has been invited as a guest by host Prime Minister Modi along with leaders from Egypt, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE. PM Hasina reaches New Delhi to attend G-20 summit The G20 bloc comprises 19 countries- Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, United Kingdom, and United States) and European Union. The G20 members represent around 85 percent of the global GDP, over 75 percent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population. The G20 was founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis as a forum for the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss global economic and financial issues. The theme of India’s G20 Presidency - “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth · One Family · One Future” - is drawn from the ancient Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad. Essentially, the theme affirms the value of all life – human, animal, plant, and microorganisms – and their interconnectedness on the planet Earth and in the wider universe. PM Hasina departs for New Delhi to attend G-20 summit The theme also spotlights LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), with its associated, environmentally sustainable and responsible choices, both at the level of individual lifestyles as well as national development, leading to globally transformative actions resulting in a cleaner, greener and bluer future. G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation and it plays an important role in shaping and strengthening global architecture and governance on all major international economic issues. The 19 member countries are therefore divided up into five groups comprising a maximum of four countries each. Most of the groups are formed on a regional basis, that is countries from the same region are usually put in the same group. Only Group 1 (Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United States) and Group 2 (India, Russia, South Africa and Türkiye) do not follow this pattern. Group 3 includes Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico; Group 4 includes France, Germany, Italy, and United Kingdom; and Group 5 includes China, Indonesia, Japan, and Republic of Korea. The EU, the 20th member, is not a member of any of these regional groups. Dhaka, New Delhi likely to sign 3 MoUs during PM Hasina’s G-20 visit to India: Momen Each year another country from a different group assumes the G20 Presidency. The countries in a group are each equally entitled to take on the Presidency when it is their group's turn, though. India, from Group 2, holds the current Presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023. The G20 Presidency is responsible for bringing together the G20 agenda in consultation with other members and in response to developments in the global economy. To ensure continuity, the Presidency is supported by a "troika" made up of the current, immediate past and next host countries. During India's Presidency, the members of the G20 troika are Indonesia, India and Brazil. In addition to the member countries, each G20 Presidency invites other guest countries and international organisations (IOs) to participate in the G20 meetings and Summit. Read more Hasina, Modi agree to resolve outstanding bilateral issues through talks India has invited India has invited ISA, CDRI and ADB in addition to the regular G20 International Organisations (UN, IMF, WB, WHO, WTO, ILO, FSB and OECD) and Chairs of Regional Organisations (AU, AUDA-NEPAD and ASEAN). In the summit, the G20 leaders would discuss and find solutions to several key global issues including digital transformation, climate financing, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), food security, the economic and social impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war and increasing the capacity of multilateral development banks, among others. World leaders attending the event in New Delhi are US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez, Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu, Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, among others. Sheikh Hasina has also schedule to have bilateral meetings with the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of Republic Korea Yoon Suk Yeol and Argentine President Alberto Angel Fernandez on the sidelines of the summit. Read more Hasina, Modi look forward to CEPA as next step up in ties
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi have said they look forward to getting negotiations going on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) for their two countries, covering trade in goods, services, and protecting and promoting investment. Expressing satisfaction at the implementation of development cooperation projects, they looked forward to the joint inauguration of three projects (Agartala-Akhaura Rail Link, Unit-II of the Maitri Power Plant and Khulna-Mongla Rail Link) at a convenient date later. The two leaders had a bilateral meeting in New Delhi on Friday (September 08, 2023). PM Hasina is visiting India as its guest country to participate in the G-20 Leaders Summit on 9-10 September 2023. Read more: Hasina, Modi agree to resolve outstanding bilateral issues through talks With regard to the regional situation, Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation of the burden shouldered by Bangladesh in hosting over a million persons displaced from Rakhine State in Myanmar, and conveyed India's constructive and positive approach to support solutions towards safe and sustainable repatriation of the refugees. The Indian side welcomed the Indo-Pacific Outlook announced by Bangladesh recently, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (Indian Foreign Ministry). The leaders agreed to continue working together to intensify their wide-ranging engagement. The two leaders discussed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation including political and security cooperation, border management, trade and connectivity, water resources, power and energy, development cooperation, cultural and people to people ties. Current developments in the region and cooperation in the multilateral fora were also discussed. Read more: Dhaka, New Delhi sign 3 MoUs after Hasina-Modi talks They welcomed the operationalization of the Agreement on the use of the Chattogram and Mongla Ports and commissioning of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline. They also expressed appreciation for operationalization of settlement of bilateral trade in INR (rupee) and encouraged the business community on both sides to utilize the mechanism. Hasina thanked Modi for the hospitality of the government and people of India, as the two leaders looked forward to continuing interactions at all levels. Read more: Hasina, Modi didn't talk about Bangladesh election: Momen
NEW DELHI, Sept 4 (AP/UNB) — New Delhi's crowded streets have been resurfaced. Streetlights are illuminating once dark sidewalks. City buildings and walls are painted with bright murals and graffiti. Planted flowers are everywhere. Many of the city’s poor say they were simply erased, much like the stray dogs and monkeys that have been removed from some neighborhoods, as India's capital got its makeover ahead of this week's summit of the Group of 20 nations. Read: Biden to attend next month's G-20 summit in New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government hopes the elaborate effort to make New Delhi sparkle — a “beautification project” with a price tag of $120 million — will help showcase the world’s most populous nation’s cultural prowess and strengthen its position on the global stage. But for many street vendors and those crammed into New Delhi's shantytowns, the makeover has meant displacement and loss of livelihood, raising questions about the government's policies on dealing with poverty. In a city of more than 20 million people, the 2011 census had the homeless at 47,000 but activists say that was a vast underestimate and that the real number is at least 150,000. Since January, hundreds of houses and roadside stalls have been demolished, displacing thousands of people. Dozens of shantytowns were raised to the ground, with many residents getting eviction notices only a short while before the demolitions got underway. Read: Bangladesh’s New Delhi mission pays homage to Bangabandhu Authorities say the demolitions were carried out against “illegal encroachers,” but right activists and those evicted question the policy and allege that it has pushed thousands more into homelessness. Similar demolitions have also been carried out in other Indian cities like Mumbai and Kolkata that have hosted various G20 events leading up to this weekend's summit. Activists say it was more than just a case of out of sight, out of mind. Abdul Shakeel, with the activist group Basti Suraksha Manch, or Save Colony Forum, says that “in the name of beautification, the urban poor’s lives are destroyed.” Read:Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline to vastly improve transport of diesel: New Delhi “The money used for G20 is taxpayers' money. Everyone pays the tax. Same money is being used to evict and displace them,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense.” The two-day global summit will take place at the newly constructed Bharat Mandapam building, a sprawling exhibition center in the heart of New Delhi near the landmark India Gate monument — and scores of world leaders are expected to attend. The G20 includes the world’s 19 wealthiest countries plus the European Union. India currently holds its presidency, which rotates annually among the members. In July, a report by the Concerned Citizens Collective, a rights activist group, found that the preparations for the G20 summit resulted in the displacement of nearly 300,000 people, particularly from the neighborhoods that foreign leaders and diplomats will visit during various meetings. At least 25 shantytowns and multiple night shelters for the homeless were razed to the ground and turned into parks, the report said, adding that the government failed to provide alternative shelters or places for the newly homeless. Last month, Indian police intervened to stop a meeting of prominent activists, academics and politicians critical of Modi and his government’s role in hosting the G20 summit and questioning whose interests the summit would benefit. “I can see the homeless on the streets ... and now the homeless are not allowed to live on the streets either,” said Rekha Devi, a New Delhi resident who attended the Aug. 20 gathering. Devi, whose home was demolished in one of the drives, said authorities refused to consider documents she showed as proof that her family had lived in the same house for nearly 100 years. “Everyone is behaving as if they are blind," Devi said. "In the name of the G20 event, the farmers, workers and the poor are suffering.” Read: 53rd DG level border talks begin in New Delhi Home to 1.4 billion people, India’s struggle to end poverty remains daunting, even though a recent government report said that nearly 135 million — almost 10% of the country’s population — moved out of so-called multidimensional poverty between 2016 and 2021. The concept takes into consideration not just monetary poverty but also how lack of education, infrastructure and services affect a person’s quality of life. Indian authorities have been criticized in the past for clearing away homeless encampments and shantytowns ahead of major events. In 2020, the government hastily erected a half-kilometer (1,640-foot) brick wall in the state of Gujarat ahead of a visit by then-President Donald Trump, with critics saying it was built to block the view of a slum area inhabited by more than 2,000 people. Similar demolitions were also carried out during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Some street vendors say they are helpless, stuck between sacrificing their livelihoods for India’s pride and wanting to earn a living. Shankar Lal, who sells chickpea curry with fried flatbread, said authorities told him three months ago to move away. These days, the only time he gets to open his stall along a busy New Delhi road near the G20 summit venue is on Sundays, when police pay less attention to the street vendors. It's not enough to eke out a living. “These are government rules, and we’ll do what we are told," Lal said. "The government doesn’t know whether we are dying of hunger or not.”
India launched its first space mission to study the sun on Saturday, less than two weeks after a successful uncrewed landing near the south polar region of the moon. The Aditya-L1 spacecraft took off on board a satellite launch vehicle from the Sriharikota space center in southern India on a quest to study the sun from a point about 1.5 million kilometers (930,000 miles) from earth. Read : Chandrayaan-3 a glowing testament to what India can achieve with passion: Indian Cabinet The spacecraft is equipped with seven payloads to study the sun's corona, chromosphere, photosphere and solar wind, the Indian Space Research Organization said. India became the first country to land a spacecraft near the moon's south pole on Aug. 23 — a historic voyage to uncharted territory that scientists believe could hold vital reserves of frozen water. After a failed attempt to land on the moon in 2019, India joined the United States, the Soviet Union and China as only the fourth country to achieve this milestone. The sun study, combined with India's successful moon landing, would completely change the image of ISRO in the world community, said Manish Purohit, a former ISRO scientist. Read : Pakistan vs India 1st ODI in Asia Cup 2023: Match Preview The Aditya-L1 was headed for the L1 point of the Earth-Sun system, which affords an uninterrupted view of the sun, ISRO said. "This will provide a greater advantage of observing solar activities and their effect on space weather in real-time." Once in place, the satellite would provide reliable forewarning of an onslaught of particles and radiation from heightened solar activity that has the potential to knock out power grids on Earth, said B.R. Guruprasad, a space scientist, in an article in The Times of India newspaper. The advanced warning can protect the satellites that are the backbone of global economic structure as well as the people living in space stations. Read : Bangladesh’s development, growing capabilities stood to add value to G20 discussions: India "Those seven payloads are going to study the sun as a star in all the possible spectrum positions that we have visible, ultraviolet, and X-ray. … It's like we're going to get a black and white image, the color image and the high-definition image, 4K image of the sun, so that we don't miss out on anything that is happening on the sun," Purohit said.
Bangladeshis, Indians, Nepalis and Pakistanis expected to live 5 years less due to air pollution: AQLI
Particulate air pollution remains the greatest external risk to human health, but most of its impact on global life expectancy is concentrated in just six countries, with Bangladesh being one of the most polluted in the world. As global pollution edged upward in 2021, so did its burden on human health, according to new data from the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI). If the world were to permanently reduce fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) to meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guideline, the average person would add 2.3 years onto their life expectancy—or a combined 17.8 billion life-years saved worldwide. This data makes clear that particulate pollution remains the world’s greatest external risk to human health, with the impact on life expectancy comparable to that of smoking, more than 3 times that of alcohol use and unsafe water, and more than 5 times that of transport injuries like car crashes. Yet, the pollution challenge worldwide is vastly unequal. Read: Urgent, coordinated actions needed to curb air pollution in South Asia: World Bank In no other location on the planet is the deadly impact of pollution more visible than in South Asia, home to the four most polluted countries in the world and nearly a quarter of the global population. In Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, the AQLI data reveal that residents are expected to lose about 5 years off their lives on average if the current high levels of pollution persist. “Three-quarters of air pollution’s impact on global life expectancy occurs in just six countries, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, China, Nigeria and Indonesia, where people lose one to more than six years off their lives because of the air they breathe,” said Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and creator of the AQLI along with colleagues at the Energy Policy Institute in University of Chicago (EPIC). For the last five years, the AQLI’s local information on air quality and its health consequences has generated substantial media and political coverage, but there is an opportunity to complement this annual information with more frequent—for example, daily—and locally generated data. Read: Dhaka’s air pollution: HC asks what steps have been taken Indeed, many polluted countries lack basic air pollution infrastructure. Asia and Africa are the two most poignant examples. They contribute 92.7 percent of life-years lost due to pollution. Yet, just 6.8 and 3.7 percent of governments in Asia and Africa, respectively, provide their citizens with fully open air quality data. Furthermore, just 35.6 and 4.9 percent of countries in Asia and Africa, respectively, have air quality standards—the most basic building block for policies. The collective current investments in global air quality infrastructure also do not match where air pollution is having its greatest toll on human life. While there is a large global fund for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis that annually disburses USD 4 billion towards the issues, there is no equivalent set of coordinated resources for air pollution. Read: Air pollution 2nd biggest cause of deaths in Bangladesh in 2019, cost about 3.9-4.4% of GDP: World Bank In fact, the entire continent of Africa receives under USD 300,000 in philanthropic funds towards air pollution (i.e. the current average price of a single-family home in the United States). Only USD 1.4 million goes to Asia, outside of China and India. Europe, the United States, and Canada, meanwhile, receive USD 34 million, according to the Clean Air Fund. “Timely, reliable, open air quality data in particular can be the backbone of civil society and government’s clean air efforts—providing the information that people and governments lack and that allows for more informed policy decisions,” said Christa Hasenkopf, the director of AQLI and air quality programs at EPIC. “Fortunately, we see an immense opportunity to play a role in reversing this by better targeting—and increasing—our funding dollars to collaboratively build the infrastructure that is missing today,” she added. Read: Effects of Air Pollution on Unborn Children, Neonates, Infants China Although the challenge of reducing air pollution across the world may seem daunting, China has had remarkable success, reducing pollution by 42.3 percent since 2013, the year before the country began a “war against pollution.” Due to these improvements, the average Chinese citizen can expect to live 2.2 years longer, provided the reductions are sustained. However, the pollution in China is still six times higher than the WHO guideline, taking 2.5 years off life expectancy. Southeast Asia Like South Asia, almost all of Southeast Asia (99.9 percent) is now considered to have unsafe levels of pollution, with pollution increasing in a single year by as much as 25 percent in some regions. Residents living in the most polluted parts of Southeast Asia are expected to lose 2 to 3 years of life expectancy on average. Central and West Africa While Asian countries rightly receive the most media coverage about extreme levels of air pollution, the African countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Republic of Congo are amongst the ten most polluted countries in the world. In the most polluted areas of these regions, pollution levels are 12 times the WHO guideline and taking as much as 5.4 years off lives—becoming as much of a health threat as well-known killers in the region like HIV/AIDS and malaria. Read: UN report: Climate pollution reductions 'highly inadequate' Latin America While average air quality is at an unsafe but relatively low level across the region, the most polluted areas—located within Guatemala, Bolivia, and Peru—experience air quality similar to pollution hotspots like Pune in India and Harbin in China. In these regions, the average resident would gain 3 to 4.4 years of life expectancy if their air quality met the WHO guideline. United States In the United States, Americans are exposed to 64.9 percent less particulate pollution than in 1970—prior to the passage of the Clean Air Act—and they’re living 1.4 years longer because of it. Yet, 96 percent of the country still doesn’t meet the WHO’s new guideline of 5 µg/m³. This year, the EPA proposed to lower the national standard from 12 μg/m³ to 9-10 µg/m³, gaining 3.2 million total life years if the upper limit of that proposed standard were met. In 2021, 20 out of the top 30 most polluted counties were in California due to the impact of wildfires. Europe In Europe, residents are exposed to about 23.5 percent less pollution than they were in 1998, soon after the Air Quality Framework Directive started, gaining 4.5 months of life expectancy because of it. Yet, 98.4 percent of Europe still doesn’t meet the WHO’s new guideline. In 2022, the EU proposed ratcheting down their standard of 25 µg/m³ to 10 µg/m³ by 2030, gaining 80.3 million total life years if the proposed standard were met. Residents in eastern Europe are living 7.2 months less than their western neighbors due to dirtier air. Read more: 9-point directive on air pollution: HC asks DoE to submit report within 2 weeks