G20 Summit begins in Delhi: List of events lined up
The G20 Leader’s Summit began on September 9, 2023, in New Delhi at the Bharat Mandapam International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Leaders from around the world convened for this important event, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a warm welcome to them. India’s G20 presidency is centered on the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,’ which translates to ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future.’ This global gathering, the culmination of a series of ministerial meetings and engagements throughout the year, aims to address significant global issues.
Here is the list of events lined up for the world leaders across two days
Day 1 Schedule (September 9, 2023)
Morning Bliss (9:30 am – 10:30 am): The day’s proceedings will commence with a graceful arrival of world leaders and their delegations at the magnificent Bharat Mandapam. Against the backdrop of the Tree of Life Foyer, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join his international counterparts for a momentous photo session, capturing the essence of unity. Subsequently, the leaders will convene in the distinguished ambiance of the Leader’s Lounge within Bharat Mandapam.
Harmony in Thought (10:30 am – 1:30 pm): The first session, themed “One Earth,” will unfold in the grandeur of the Summit Hall at Bharat Mandapam. Following this enriching session, a working lunch will be served, fostering collaboration and camaraderie among the global leaders.
Diplomacy in Motion (1:30 pm – 3:30 pm): During this interval, leaders will engage in various bilateral meetings, forging bonds and charting pathways towards mutual understanding and cooperation.
Embracing Our Global Family (3:30 pm – 4:45 pm): The second session, ‘One Family,’ will bring leaders together to discuss the bonds that unite us all. As this session concludes, leaders will return to their respective accommodations, ready to continue their journey towards shared goals.
An Evening of Unity (7 pm – 8 pm): The day will culminate with an exquisite dinner gathering, commencing with a warm welcome photo session. Leaders and heads of delegations will come together, celebrating the spirit of collaboration.
Conversations Under the Stars (8 pm – 9 pm): Over dinner, the world’s leaders will engage in meaningful conversations, sharing their visions and perspectives in an atmosphere of camaraderie and goodwill.
Reflection and Rest (9 pm – 9:45 pm): To wrap up the day, leaders and heads of delegations will reconvene in the serene ambiance of the leaders’ lounge at Bharat Mandapam before retiring to their respective accommodations, prepared for the events of the following day.
Day 2 Itinerary (September 10, 2023)
Harmonious Beginnings (8:15 am – 9 am): The leaders and heads of delegations will make their dignified arrivals at Rajghat, each in their individual motorcades, a symbol of unity in diversity.
Tribute to the Mahatma (9:00 am – 9:20 am): A solemn and touching moment awaits as the leaders pay their respects by laying a wreath at the sacred Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. The atmosphere will be filled with the serenity of his favorite devotional songs performed live.
Gathering at the Leaders’ Lounge (9:20 am): Following this poignant tribute, leaders and heads of delegations will convene at the prestigious Leaders’ Lounge within Bharat Mandapam.
Unity in Green (9:40 am – 10:15 am): A symbolic gesture of environmental stewardship will take place as leaders and heads of delegation assemble at Bharat Mandapam. They will participate in a tree planting ceremony at the South Plaza, underlining their commitment to a sustainable future.
Charting Our Collective Destiny (10:30 am – 12:30 pm): The third session of the summit, aptly named ‘One Future,’ will commence at the venue. Here, leaders will deliberate on the path forward for our shared global destiny. The session will conclude with the momentous adoption of the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, reflecting the collective aspirations of nations united for a better tomorrow.
Key leaders attending the event in the country’s capital over the weekend include US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
It’s worth noting that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be absent from the weekend summit. However, China will have its representation through Chinese Premier Li Qiang, and Russia will be represented by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Delhi In Dili: India To Open Embassy In Timor-Leste
During the annual ASEAN-India summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a significant announcement regarding India’s diplomatic relations with Timor-Leste. India has decided to open an embassy in Timor-Leste, reflecting its commitment to strengthening ties with the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region.
India To Open Embassy In Timor-Leste: Announcement at ASEAN-India Summit:
Location of the Announcement: The announcement was made during the annual ASEAN-India summit, where Prime Minister Modi co-chaired the proceedings in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Key Decision: Prime Minister Modi revealed India’s plan to establish an official Indian Embassy in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste.
Delhi In Dili: India To Open Embassy In Timor-Leste
Significance of the Decision:
Strengthening ASEAN Ties: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) emphasized that India’s decision to open an embassy in Timor-Leste underscores the importance India places on its relations with both Timor-Leste and the ASEAN region as a whole.
Positive Response: The MEA reported that Timor-Leste and the member nations of ASEAN warmly welcomed India’s decision to open an embassy in Dili.
Timor-Leste’s ASEAN Membership:
Observer Status: Timor-Leste initially joined ASEAN as an Observer in 2022.
Full Membership: Subsequently, Timor-Leste became a full-fledged member of ASEAN, solidifying its position within this influential regional grouping.
ASEAN’s Regional Significance:
Influential Regional Grouping: ASEAN is recognized as one of the most influential regional organizations in Southeast Asia.
Dialogue Partners: India, along with other nations like the United States, China, Japan, and Australia, maintains dialogue partnerships with ASEAN, reflecting the region’s global importance.
African Union Becomes Permanent Member Of G20 Under India’s Presidency
During the opening session of the two-day G20 Summit, the African Union (AU) received an official invitation to join the Group of 20 largest economies (G20) as a permanent member. This momentous declaration was made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marking a significant stride towards a more inclusive and equitable global economic landscape.
The Vision of Inclusivity
Prime Minister Modi, in his opening remarks at the G20 Summit, underlined the importance of inclusivity, expressing India’s proposal to grant permanent membership to the African Union within the G20. He emphasized the principle of “sabka saath” demonstrating India’s commitment to ensuring that the voices of all nations, especially those in the Global South, are heard and considered on the global stage.
The AU Takes Its Seat
Following Prime Minister Modi’s announcement, Union of Comoros President and AU Chairperson Azali Assoumani assumed his seat as a full member of the G20. This marked a moment of pride and triumph for the African Union, as it secured its place among the world’s most influential economies.
India’s Persistent Advocacy
India’s role in championing the AU’s membership in the G20 cannot be understated. Prime Minister Modi has consistently advocated for the AU’s inclusion in the group, positioning India as a leading voice for the concerns, challenges, and aspirations of the Global South, particularly the African continent. This diplomatic effort culminated in Modi’s formal proposal to G20 leaders in June, which found its way into the draft communique for the G20 Summit following the third G20 Sherpas meeting in July.
The Significance of the African Union
The African Union, comprising 55 member states from across the African continent, wields substantial influence in regional and global affairs. Its permanent membership in the G20 reflects the increasing recognition of Africa’s economic and geopolitical importance. Prime Minister Modi, in an exclusive interview, emphasized that Africa remains a top priority for India, highlighting India’s commitment to the inclusion of voices that have historically been underrepresented in global decision-making.
The G20: A Brief Overview
The G20, established in 1999 in response to various world economic crises, is a forum that brings together the world’s leading economies to discuss and address global economic challenges. The G20 member countries collectively represent approximately 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of global trade, and around two-thirds of the world’s population. The inclusion of the African Union strengthens the G20’s role as a platform for addressing global economic issues comprehensively.
Jharkhand Cabinet Approves Pension And OBC Status For The Transgender Community
In a significant move aimed at fostering social inclusion and providing much-needed support, the Jharkhand government has taken a progressive step by including the transgender community in its universal pension scheme. This decision was announced during a cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Hemant Soren, marking a watershed moment in the state’s commitment to address the needs of its transgender population.
Transgender Inclusion in the Universal Pension Scheme
Cabinet Secretary Vandana Dadel made the announcement, stating, “The council of ministers has approved the proposal of Mukhyamantri Rajya Samajik Suraksha Pension Yojana for transgender people under the social assistance scheme. The eligible beneficiary will receive Rs 1,000 per month as financial aid. This step acknowledges the unique challenges that transgender individuals often face, such as discrimination and marginalization, and seeks to provide them with a crucial safety net.
Growing Transgender Population
The transgender population in Jharkhand has been on the rise, and according to the Department of Women, Child Development, and Social Security (WCDSS), it was estimated to be around 11,900 in 2011. Current figures suggest that this population has grown to nearly 14,000 individuals. Recognizing the changing demographic landscape, the government’s decision to extend social security measures is not only timely but also imperative.
To benefit from the pension scheme, transgender individuals are required to obtain a certificate from the deputy commissioner’s office. Eligibility criteria include being 18 years of age or older and possessing a valid voter ID card. These measures are put in place to ensure that the support reaches those who genuinely need it.
Facility Enhancement for Transgenders
In addition to the pension scheme, the Department of Women, Child Development, and Social Security (WCDSS) is also focusing on enhancing facilities for transgender individuals. One notable initiative is the proposal to construct separate toilets for them in hospitals, a crucial step towards recognizing and respecting the specific needs of this community.
Promoting Sensitization and Reducing Discrimination
The government’s efforts extend beyond just financial support. Officials are actively engaged in sensitizing the public to reduce discrimination against transgender individuals. This holistic approach aims to create an inclusive society where every citizen is treated with respect and dignity.
Benefits Under Backward Class Category
Transgender individuals who do not fall under any caste reservation category will also receive the benefits of the backward class-2 category. This move ensures that those who have historically faced discrimination and marginalization receive the necessary support.
Modi and Biden Hold Bilateral Meeting in Delhi Ahead of G20 Summit
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden, in their second bilateral meeting in less than six months, reaffirmed their commitment to deepening the partnership between their countries. This meeting took place as Delhi hosted leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) nations, both industrialized and developing. The 29-point joint statement issued by the leaders underscored the multifaceted nature of their relationship in the evolving landscape of global alliances.
Strengthening Strategic Ties:
Modi and Biden Hold Bilateral Meeting in Delhi Ahead of G20 Summit
Resilient Technology Value Chains: The leaders discussed the importance of building resilient strategic technology value chains, reflecting the significance of technology in modern geopolitics.
Defense Collaboration: Modi and Biden explored opportunities to link defense industrial ecosystems, highlighting the potential for cooperation in defense and security matters.
Renewable and Nuclear Energy: Collaboration in renewable and nuclear energy sectors was emphasized, pointing to shared interests in addressing climate change and energy security.
Climate Financing: The leaders committed to joint efforts in climate financing, a crucial aspect of global climate action.
Cancer Research: Cooperation in cancer research underlines the shared commitment to addressing critical healthcare challenges.
Supporting Indo-Pacific Stability: Quad Partnership:
Modi and Biden reiterated the importance of the Quad (Australia, India, Japan, and the U.S.) in promoting a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific. This reflects their shared approach to regional security and stability.
Progress from June 2023 Meeting:
They expressed appreciation for the progress made since Prime Minister Modi’s historic visit to Washington in June 2023, highlighting the momentum in India-U.S. relations.
India’s Strategic Ambitions:
Modi’s strategic diplomacy was evident in his closed-door meetings with leaders from Mauritius and Bangladesh on the eve of the G20 summit, showcasing India’s role as a key global player bridging the developed world and the Global South.
India’s economic growth prospects are drawing attention, with the International Monetary Fund projecting it to be the world’s fastest-growing economy this year, making it an attractive destination for governments, investors, and businesses.
21st EDITION OF INDIA FRANCE BILATERAL NAVAL EXERCISE ‘VARUNA’ – 2023
The Indian and French Navies, steeped in rich maritime traditions and strategic cooperation, recently concluded the Phase II of the 21st edition of the Varuna naval exercise, Varuna-23. Held in the Arabian Sea, this exercise exemplifies the commitment of both nations to enhance their warfighting capabilities, improve interoperability, and promote peace, security, and stability in the region.
Varuna-23: A Joint Endeavor
The Varuna-23 exercise spanned three days and saw the active participation of guided missile frigates, a tanker, Maritime Patrol Aircraft, and integral helicopters from both the Indian and French Navies. This robust collaboration showcased joint operations, underway replenishment, and various tactical maneuvers designed to sharpen the skills of both navies. It is through exercises like Varuna-23 that these naval forces hone their capabilities to respond effectively to regional and global security challenges.
A Legacy of Cooperation: Varuna’s History
The roots of the Varuna naval exercise trace back to 1993 when Indian and French naval forces initiated their bilateral engagement. Over the years, this exercise has evolved significantly, earning the moniker ‘Varuna’ in 2001. Today, Varuna stands as a testament to the enduring India-France strategic relationship.
Varuna has grown both in scope and complexity since its inception. It provides a vital platform for both nations to learn from each other’s best practices and procedures. This sharing of knowledge and experience is invaluable, fostering mutual cooperation for good order at sea.
Promoting Security and Freedom
Exercise Varuna underscores the shared commitment of India and France to security, safety, and freedom in the global maritime commons. By conducting this exercise, both nations send a clear message that they are dedicated to upholding international norms and contributing to the stability of the oceans. The exercise promotes good order at sea, fostering mutual cooperation that benefits not only India and France but also the broader international community.
Varuna-23: A Beacon of India-France Naval Cooperation for Global Maritime Security
The Varuna-23 bilateral naval exercise serves as a shining example of the deep-rooted and ever-strengthening ties between the Indian and French Navies. As both nations continue to collaborate and engage in such exercises, they not only enhance their own capabilities but also contribute to the collective security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region and the world. Varuna-23 stands as a testament to the commitment of India and France in promoting peace, security, and freedom of navigation in the maritime domain, exemplifying the true spirit of their strategic partnership.
The First phase of the ‘Varuna-2023,’ occurred along the Western Seaboard of India from January 16 to 20, 2023, laying the foundation for this bilateral interaction in the Arabian Sea.
Indian Government Launches G20 India Mobile App for Visitors
In preparation for the upcoming G20 Summit in Delhi, the Indian government has unveiled the G20 India mobile app, a digital tool designed to facilitate interaction and provide valuable information for all visitors, including ministers. This innovative app, created by the Ministry of External Affairs, aims to enhance the Summit experience for participants and attendees. In a recent announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ministers were urged to download the app, emphasizing its role in fostering communication with foreign delegates.
Key Features of the G20 India Mobile App:
One of the standout features of the G20 India app is its comprehensive information delivery. It is available in 10 languages, including Hindi, German, Portuguese, and Japanese, ensuring accessibility for a diverse international audience.
Virtual Venue Tour:
The app provides a virtual tour of the Summit venue, Bharat Mandapam Convention Center at Pragati Maidan. This feature proves invaluable for delegates, officials, and media personnel to familiarize themselves with the facilities and layout.
For ease of movement within the multiple Summit venues, the app offers a navigation feature. This feature aids attendees in finding their way around the event complex.
Media and Documentation:
A dedicated section within the app houses press releases, official documents, speeches, delegate experiences, photos, videos, and more. This ensures that users have easy access to vital information and updates.
Yoga Break Feature:
Incorporating wellness into the Summit experience, the app includes a special Yoga Break feature. This feature encourages users to engage in yoga practices whenever they require a moment of relaxation and rejuvenation.
Digital India Experience Zone:
The venue includes a Digital India Experience Zone, and the app serves as a guide to its offerings. Users can explore this zone through the app, discovering various attractions and features available for their enjoyment.
“Ask GITA” Kiosk:
An intriguing addition to the Digital India Experience Zone is the “Ask GITA” kiosk, where users can seek answers to life-related questions in the voice of Krishna, drawing from the teachings of the Shrimad Bhagawad Gita.
The G20 India app offers a range of other useful categories, such as Language Translation, Citizen’s Corner, Crafts Bazaar, Explore India, and a Calendar feature, catering to diverse interests and needs.
As part of the Summit’s security and communication measures, Delhi Police and Indian Army officials are utilizing the Sandes app, developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). This secure app enables inspectors and commissioners to confidentially share important documents and texts, adhering to stringent security protocols.