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Neeraj Kansal :: Me

Text of Modi’s speech to Afghan Parliament Following is the text of the speech delivered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Afghan parliament on Friday: Your Excellency President Ghani Your Excellency, Chief Executive Dr. Abdulla Honorable Speaker of Wolesi Jirga and the Chairman of Meshraon Jirga, Distinguished Members of both Houses Eight centuries ago, a famous son of Balkh province, one of the greatest poets in human history, Jalaluddin Rumi, wrote, “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that gives flowers, not thunder.” This is the wisdom of this magnificent land and a great nation. A land where legends are born — of poetry and beauty, of valour and honour, of pride and generosity, of the warmest embrace of friendship and the strongest resistance for freedom. And, in this century, the great Afghan people have waged an epic struggle of courage and resolve to shape their future with vote and debate, not gun and violence. A country with an abiding faith in the tradition of Jirga has chosen the path of democracy. And, it has done it against challenges that would have defeated a lesser people. It is a tribute to the countless, nameless Afghans who laid down their lives and sacrificed their future. To the leadership of former president Hamid Karzai Saheb, who led the nation with wisdom and determination from the dark days of despair to a future of hope. To President Ghani and CEO Dr. Abdullah for their vision and statesmanship that can only come from great patriots. To you, Members of Parliament, for braving violence to take your seat in this House in trust of your people. Honourable Members, So, I stand here, on behalf of 1.25 billion friends in India, in admiration for your achievements, in gratitude for your friendship and in solidarity for your future. And, today, I am humbled and honoured to join President Ghani and all the Members of the Afghan Parliament to dedicate this new abode of democracy to the Afghan nation. We could not have chosen a more special day than the birthday of one of the tallest leaders of our time, former prime minister and Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji. Eleven years ago, he dreamt of this project in partnership with Karzai Saheb. And, we are deeply touched that you have chosen to name one of the wings in this building the Atal Block. This Parliament House brings together our two nations through the vision of our leaders, the labour of our people and the stones of our lands. And, the Atal Block unites us in spirit, because Atal means hero in Pashto and in Hindi it means to be firm. It captures the spirit of Afghanistan and of our friendship. This Parliament Complex is a small tribute to your progress as a nation and a democracy. And, it will stand as an enduring symbol of the ties of emotions and values, of affection and aspirations that bind us in a special relationship. Honourable Members, Our ties are as ancient as history. Over the mighty Hindu Kush and through the forbidding Khyber Pass, monks, merchants and monarchs have linked us through knowledge, culture, religion,commerce and kingdoms. In the shifting contours of history, there were times we have been one. There were times we saw wars. But, through the ages, we have always enriched one another. In the timeless Buddhist symbols of Aynak and Bamian and in the majestic monuments of Delhi, in our culture and art, in language and literature, food and festivals, we see the imprint of our timeless relations. We owe to ancient Afghanistan the gift of one of the great characters of Mahabharata, Gandhari. In the achievements of Mauryan Empire or Shershah Suri, we see connectivity that we now aspire to rebuild. The words of poet Ahmed Shah Durrani may have expressed the longing of an Afghan King in Delhi, I forget the throne of Delhi, when I remember the mountain tops of my Afghan land. But, in the heart of every Indian and Afghan, there is boundless love for each other. We love each other’s culture and cinema, music and poetry, food and festivals. And, now we admire each other’s cricket. We are delighted that the Afghan National Cricket Team has found its home ground near Delhi and is practicing for next year’s World Cup. And, I congratulate the Afghan Under 19 team that just beat Zimbabwe in its first home series. We are just as proud that Afghans see India as a natural destination for education, health or a family home. Indians remember the support of Afghans for our freedom struggle; the contribution of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, revered as Frontier Gandhi; and, the important footnote of that history, when, exactly hundred years ago, the first Indian Government-in-Exile was formed in Kabul by Maharaja Mahendra Pratap and Maulana Barkatullah. King Amanullah once told the Maharaja that so long as India was not free, Afghanistan was not free in the right sense. Honourable Members, This is the spirit of brotherhood between us. And, when you began a new journey in a new century, we were proud to stand with you and walk with you. Our partnership has helped rural communities get schools, minor irrigation, health centres, welfare for children and opportunities for women. Together, we have built roads that have brought regions closer; power transmission lines and power stations that light up Afghan homes; satellite links that bring education, medical advice and communication to Afghan people. And, we are helping the security forces become more mobile. The institutions we are establishing together are helping rebuild agriculture and mining in Afghanistan, and make advanced medical care available in Kabul. Nothing is more important for a nation than its human resources. So, we are pleased that our scholarships and training programmes are empowering Afghan youth with modern education and professional skills; Afghan government with resources to develop their country; and, the Afghan Security Forces with the capacity to secure their nation. Power and water will flow out of Salma Dam soon. The Stor Palace will again stand as a symbol of your priceless heritage. Our scheme of 1,000 scholarships every year for Afghan students in India will continue. We are pleased with the response to our special scholarship scheme in agriculture science. Today, I announce 500 scholarships for the children of the martyrs of Afghan security forces. As we have stood with you in our efforts to rebuild your country, you have guarded and protected our people as your own. We have faced daily threats, but we feel secure in your midst. To every Afghan, who has risked or lost his life so that his Indian guest is safe, I convey the eternal gratefulness of India. To Indian diplomats, officers, engineers and doctors, who serve here with pride, to the families of our Indian martyrs, I express the gratitude of Indians and Afghans. There are some who did not want us to be here. There were those who saw sinister designs in our presence here. There are others who were uneasy at the strength of our partnership. Some even tried to discourage us. But, we are here because you have faith in us. You never doubted the sincerity of our commitment and the strength of our friendship. And, you have seen the fruits of our partnership. You have judged us by what you see, not what others tell you, including about the mysterious Indian consulates. You know that India is here to contribute not to compete; to lay the foundations of future, not light the flame of conflict; to rebuild lives, not destroy a nation. You know, as we do, that Indians and Afghans have always stood for each other, never against another. You have been at the crossroads of history. And, your history tells us that you will never let yourself become a theatre of competition; or serve the designs of others. For you live by the creed extolled by poet Kushal Khan Khattak that Nation’s honour and nation’s fame on life they have a prior claim. So, with your faith and at your pace, India will continue to build Afghan capacity for governance, security and development, so that you can build a future that Afghans so richly deserve. We will do this from the responsibility that comes from our friendship. But, we also do this with a commitment to peace and stability in our region. We know that Afghanistan’s success will require the cooperation and support of each of its neighbours. And, all of us in the region — India, Pakistan, Iran and others — must unite, in trust and cooperation, behind this common purpose and in recognition of our common destiny. When Afghanistan becomes a haven of peace and a hub for the flow of ideas, commerce, energy and investments in the region, we will all prosper together. That is why we are working to improve your connectivity by land and sea, including through Chahbahar in Iran. That is why I hope that Pakistan will become a bridge between South Asia and Afghanistan and beyond. I hope that the day will come soon when energy from Central Asia will power prosperity in our region; when a Kabuliwala can once again come across easily to win Indian hearts; when we in India can relish the wonderful fruits of Afghanistan; when Afghans do not have to pay an enormous price to buy their favourite products from India. For this has always been the course of this region’s history. And, it must be the path to its future. But, brave and tireless as the Afghans are in defending their nations, Afghanistan will succeed only when terrorism no longer flows across the border; when nurseries and sanctuaries of terrorism are shut; and, their patrons are no longer in business. Terror and violence cannot be the instrument to shape Afghanistan’s future or dictate the choices Afghans make. For, the fire that is lit in Afghanistan, can never be contained, within these boundaries. Afghans have the wisdom to seek peace with neighbours, but also the courage to defend their freedom. And, Afghans of all persuasions must have the right to seek peace among themselves. Too much blood has flown down Kabul River. Too many tragedies have darkened the mountain slopes. Too many dreams have burnt in the fire of a senseless conflict. You can be Pushtoons, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Hazaras. You can be Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. But, you are proud Afghans who can come together as one nation and one people. You may have fought in the name of religion; or in the cause of identity. But, it is now time for Afghans to come together in peace. As a wise Afghan said, A tree with a bitter seed, Fed with butter and sugar, Will still bear a bitter fruit. You have a glorious tradition of pluralism and respect for diversity and beliefs. Those waging war from outside must seek a path to this building and this hall. Those seeking territory through gun must seek power through ballot. Those who have destroyed homes must now rebuild their nation. For, this is your land and these are your people. And, it must be on your terms, on your genius, through your own process and your own spirit of brotherhood. Not driven by the calculations or ambitions of others. And, the future you build in peace and through dialogue must preserve the hard-won progress of the last decade and half. It must have a place for every Afghan. It must have space for everyone’s aspiration. And, it must be a nation, where every citizen is secure of her rights and confident about her future. And, as Afghans take responsibility for their future, the world must stand with them in solidarity and support. We must do that for the soldier from a foreign land who laid down his life in an Afghan village that he had never heard of and for a people he had never known; and, for the enormous sacrifices that Afghans have made for a life that others take for granted. We must support Afghanistan without time lines because the new clouds of extremism and terrorism are rising, even as the old ones continue to darken our skies; and, because Afghans are not only fighting for their future, but are standing up for all of us and a safer world. The world will be a better place when we can experience the real wealth of Afghan people in their diversity and rich heritage. It is time for all Afghans, everyone in the region and the rest of the world to come together. The sacrifices must not go in vain. The flame of hope should not die. No girl that steps into the world should slip into darkness of denied opportunities. No son should face the choice of gun or refuge in a distant land. No mother should fear bringing a child into this world. No leader should lose a brother because he spoke for Afghan freedom to choose friends. No one kneeling in prayer in a mosque should be killed in the name of religion. No elder should look back on his youth wasted in conflict, and see the same future for his grandchild. Every youth in Afghanistan should see a future in which IT stands for information technology, not international terrorism. For, the promise and the opportunities of the 21st century belong to Afghan youth as much as anyone else in the world. For India, this is a deeply held commitment. Your suffering is our pain. Your dreams are our duty. Your strength is our belief. Your courage is our inspiration. Above all, your friendship is our honour. And, as Hindi cinema’s most famous Pathan character, Sher Khan in Zanjeer sang: “Yaari hai iman mera, Yaar meri zindangi (Friendship is my faith, the friend is my life)”. This is the creed of Afghans and Indians. I am confident that hope will return to your homes, laughter in your schools, life in your streets, prosperity in your cities, unity in your society and, peace in your nation. And, at every step of your journey, India will be with you. Thank you. Thank you again for this great honour and privilege. Thank you..
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Neeraj Kansal :: Me

India, Russia ink 16 pacts to expand cooperation in various sectors India and Russia have inked 16 cooperation agreements to expand cooperation in various sectors to give a major push to their strategic ties. These agreements were signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two days official visit to Russia. The agreements were signed in the nuclear energy, hydrocarbons, solar energy, railways and visas sectors. Some of the signed agreements are •Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Helicopter Engineering: It includes joint manufacture of Kamov 226 helicopters on the lines of Make in India campaign. •Programme of Action Agreed Between for Localization of Manufacturing in India for Russian-Designed Nuclear Reactor Units: It would felicitate construction of 12 atomic plants with involvement of local companies in India under the ‘Make-in-India’ programme. •The cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is a cornerstone of the Russia-India strategic partnership. •Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation in railway sector •MoU for construction of solar energy plants in India: It was signed between Solar Energy Corporation of India and Russian Energy Agency regarding. •MoU for Cooperation for geologic survey, exploration and production of hydrocarbons onshore and on the continental shelf of the Russian Federation. Similar agreement was also signed between Rosneft Oil Company of Russia and Oil India Limited and Indian Oil Corporation Limited. Apart from this, extensive talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the need for the world to unite against terrorism without distinction and discrimination between terrorist groups. Russia conveyed its strong support to India’s bid for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)..
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Neeraj Kansal :: Me

Human Development Index Rankings 2014 India ranked 130 of 188 countries on the Human Development Index in 2014, up marginally from 135 in 2013, and its index value had improved slightly over 2013. When inequality is factored in, however, India loses over one-fourth of its HDI value, with education registering the highest inequality in outcomes. There are also substantial gender differences in outcomes; if the women of India were their own country, they would rank 151 out of 188 countries in human development, while India’s men would come in at 120. The average adult man in India gets twice as many years of schooling as the average adult woman. On the Multidimensional Poverty Index developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, which measures deprivation on six indicators, over half of India’s population is multi-dimensionally poor, while a further 18 per cent are close to this line. However, the data for this index for India dates back to 2005-06. India’s HDI values improved far more slowly between 2010 and 2014 than between 2000 and 2010. The HDI is a composite index meant to compare the well-being of people across countries and was first introduced by the UNDP in 1990. It is calculated as the geometric mean of three indicators: life expectancy, education and national income. Of the three sub-components, India had a substantially higher income per capita than countries that did better than it on the index, while the average years of schooling that the average Indian adult has received (5.4 years) was particularly low among middle income countries..
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Neeraj Kansal :: Me

RETREATING MONSOON---CHENNAI FLOODS During winter, the sun is overhead in the Tropic of Capricorn. The land mass becomes cold in North India where the day mean temperature remains below 21 degree Celsius and the night temperature is about 22 degree Celsius. No obvious difference is found in the temperature during day and night. In the meantime high pressure develops in the northwestern part of India because of prevalence of low-temperature. In contrast to this, a low pressure area forms in the South India, that is both in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Consequently the winds blow from the high pressure area towards South India. These winds are called the ‘Retreating monsoon winds’ which blow from land to sea and do not cause much rainfall. But these winds absorb some moisture while crossing the Bay of Bengal and gives winter rainfall to Tamil Nadu and South Andhra Pradesh. During this period, a low pressure depression originates over the Mediterranean Sea and travel eastwards across Iran and Pakistan and reach India. This low pressure depressions are called ‘Western disturbances’. The Jet stream plays a dominant role in bringing these disturbances to India. These disturbances cause rainfall in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and snowfall in the hills of Jammu and Kashmir. This rainfall is very useful for the cultivation of wheat What are the main Characteristics of Retreating Monsoon? . Main Characteristics of Retreating Monsoon (i) October and November are the months of retreating monsoon. (ii) During this season low monsoon trough becomes weak and is replaced by high pressure. Thus, monsoon begins to retreat. By the beginning of October it retreats completely from Northern Plains. (iii) This period is the period of transition from hot rainy season to cold winter season. It is marked by clear sky, moist ground and high temperatures giving birth to October Heat. (iv) Low pressure trough shifts to Bay of Bengal. They give rise to cyclonic depressions which cause havoc on the eastern coasts-especially the coasts of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with very strong storms and rains. The super cyclone of 1999 will remain in the memories of millions of people for over, who lost their near and dear ones along with their properties..
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Neeraj Kansal :: Me

Sovereignty Over Airspace: International Law, Current Challenges, The issue of sovereignty lies at the very heart of international aviation because all aviation relations are built upon it. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the spectacular evolution of the concept of sovereignty in the air by adopting a multifaceted approach to this issue. In the first part the concept of sovereignty under general international law is briefly explained, before defining it in the more specific framework of public international air law. This discussion is followed by an analysis of the way states open their airspace for the purpose of entering into commercial agreements and conducting air transport activities. Overall, a selection of accidents that were directly linked to the notion of national security sovereignty are examined. Special reference is made to Cyprus and Gibraltar, both countries having territorial conflicts that directly affect their ability to exercise complete and exclusive sovereignty above their airspace. Particular attention is granted to some more recent commercial, technical, legal and environmental developments in the European Union that touch upon the concept of sovereignty such as the delegation of air navigation services from one state to another, the delimitation between airspace and outer space, the introduction of a European Emission Trading Scheme, insurance requirements, and the frequently updated list of airlines banned in the European Union. The Concept of Sovereignty Under Public International Law The Montevideo Convention 19331 codified largely accepted principles of customary international law and defines a State as an entity having a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and enjoying the capacity to enter into relations with other States. The existence of a State appears to be a question of fact because article 3 of the Montevideo Convention provides that ‘’ the political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states’’. The modern concept of State sovereignty is often traced back to the Treaty of Westphalia which laid down the basic principles for the recognition of a State as being a sovereign State: territorial integrity, border inviolability, the supremacy of the State and a supreme law making body within the territory.The concept of sovereignty lies at the heart of the existence of all States. It is a reflection of their ‘’exclusive, supreme and inalienable legal authority to exercise power within their area of governance’’. A sovereign State possesses legal, executive and judicial powers and has authority over its subjects within its territory, to the exclusion of all other States. Sovereignty is the basis for the doctrines of responsibility, nationality and jurisdiction.4 Article 2(2) of the Charter of the United Nations recognizes that all States are equal and sovereign because they are all politically independent).] The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea6 provides that the sovereignty of States extends over 12 nautical miles, called the territorial sea (article 3). Following the theory laid down by Hugo Grotius in his Mare Liberum, it was established under international customary law that the high seas cannot be appropriated by any State. In other words, no State can claim sovereign rights above these regions. The right of innocent passage was recognized for all civil and military ships of all States. Moreover States must not infringe upon the rights of the coastal State or disrupt the peace or represent a security threat for this State (Convention on the law of the Sea, articles 17 and 19). The Concept of Sovereignty Under Public International Air Law Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad caelum et ad inferos ("for whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell."), This eloquent Latin proverb was first used in the 13th century by the Roman commentator Accursius and was subsequently introduced into English law by William Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Law of England (1966). Under this doctrine, the owner of the land was the owner of the whole airspace above it without any limits. Obviously such conception is no valid anymore because it is incompatible with the modern needs of the air transport industry but is worth mentioning because it was largely accepted until the birth of the civil aviation. As early as 1901, the French legal scholar Paul Fauchille wrote an article entitled ‘’Le domain aerien et le regime juridique des aerostats’’ in which he referred to, inter alia, the freedom of the air.Some years later, John Westlake, a British lawyer, took an opposite view. He was in favour of recognising the principle of sovereignty in the air as the primary principle of public international air law and attempted to put an end to the transit rights of balloons and to the use of particular equipment such as wireless telegraph. States and the aviation industry have always been connected by a particular link. The Paris Convention and the Chicago Convention have been enacted after two destructive world wars. Wars reinforce nationalism and give to the respectable principle of State sovereignty a defensive character. Numerous airlines were created by National Defence authorities of States and constituted strategic national reserves for the military forces in cases of war or armed conflict. In the same way, an important part of the airspace used to be and is still reserved for military activities. This separation of the airspace between civil and military users is a reflection of the national security priority lying behind the concept of sovereignty. Article 1 of the Paris Convention 1919 provided that each contracting party recognized that every Power had complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above their territory. Article 1 of the Chicago Convention reproduces this formula in an identical way. Article 2 defines territory as ‘’the land areas and territorial waters adjacent thereto under the sovereignty, suzerainty, protection or mandate of such State’’. Some of these terms are nowadays outdated or obsolete. Indeed, protectorates and mandates ceased to exist even before the entry into force of the Chicago Convention. A minority of authors, such as Nicolas Matte, argue that the airspace belongs to the ‘’physical space’’ in which the world community interacts and therefore no parts of it can be made subject to sovereignty claims from any nation, even for a limited period of time. Matte believes that the airspace is a common good that must be used in a peaceful way by humanity. Hence such a conception must be predominant over ‘’egoistic’’ claims of individual States that seek their own interests and immediate economic benefits. The International Air Services Transit Agreement was signed in 194417 and since then greatly contributed to the development of the legal framework regulating international civil aviation. It was signed by 122 countries and gives to the airlines of the signatories overflight rights and the right to land in the territory of other contracting States for non-traffic purposes such as refuelling. Its provisions are in accord with the provisions of the Chicago Convention on sovereignty over the airspace (the drafters of this legal instrument being the same as the drafters of the Chicago Convention). Sovereignty in the Air and the Exchange of Traffic Rights Nowadays, States cannot seek their own profit without having regard for the interests of the other States because any political action of one State has political and economic repercussions at a regional or world scale. Smaller nations can hardly survive without interacting with more developed countries. In the same way, powerful countries need to trade with developing countries. Aviation was a crucial tool that led to the globalisation of economy and trade liberalisation. Article 6 of the Chicago Convention provides that ‘’no scheduled international air service may be operated over or into the territory of a contracting State, except with the special permission or authorisation of that State, and in accordance with the terms of such permission or authorisation’’. In other words, this provision means that the airspace of all contracting States is closed de iure, until States decide to open it de facto. Until recently, bilateral air service agreements remained the traditional and preferred mode for States to open their airspace to other States, for the purposes of entering into international air transport operations and regulating the economic aspect of these exchanges.The most famous model bilateral air service agreement was signed between the United States and the United Kingdom in 1944 and is commonly referred to as the Bermuda I agreement. This agreement was a compromise between the opposing views of the parties and gave birth to a regime based on fair and equal opportunities to compete, a double approval of tariffs and capacity possibilities based upon the needs of the public for air transport operations. It can be said that at the time of the signature of this agreement, States were still strongly intervening into the regulation of air transport and thus still attached to the concept of sovereignty. Naveau argues that the principle of sovereignty in the air explains why the air industry is one of the very few areas of trade where bilateralism survived. As written by Naveau in his articles, in developed countries the economic sovereignty of States on the economic regulation of air transport is now fading away in the wake of the liberalisation of the aviation market. This trend that started in the USA in 1978 and that was gradually introduced into the EU altered the institutional framework of air operations. Before 1987, national markets within the EU were fragmented and bilateral agreements were still governing the exchange of traffic rights between EU countries. With the full liberalisation of the internal market of the European Union in 1997, any EU carrier can operate on any EU route, including purely domestic routes. Full cabotage rights within the EU are an astonishing development and a great step away from the traditional conception of sovereignty. There are now more international routes, new airlines and many airports are on the way to privatisation. The EU and the US signed Open Skies agreements under which airlines in the EU are able to fly to the US, from any airport in the EU, without having regard to their nationality. These changes involve renouncing to the nationalistic conceptions that inspired the drafters of the major legal instruments public international air law after the Second World War. Sovereignty is however still expressed by the need to comply with the requirements of national ownership and effective control. Under article 6 of the Chicago Convention, a State granting an authorisation to the airline of another contracting State to operate flights to and from this country, must be convinced that the relevant airline is substantially owned and controlled by the State and / or the citizens of the other party. If this condition is not satisfied, the agreement in force between the two countries may be suspended.
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