President of India addresses a foreign policy think tank in Athens
- The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, addressed a gathering of diplomats, policymakers and academics in Athens today (June 19, 2018) on the subject “India and Europe in a Changing World”.
- The event was organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) – a leading foreign policy think tank in Greece and in Europe.
- The President said that India is committed to world peace. He said that India sees peace not just as the absence of conflict but as a reflection of sustainable development and indeed of any effort that anticipates and prevents strife and suffering.
- When we rescue and evacuate not just our own citizens from troubled regions, but those of 40 other countries – as we did during the Yemen crisis of 2015 – we contribute to world peace.
- The President said that India and the EU must persuade the world to not distinguish between so-called “good” and “bad” terrorists, to shame and sanction state sponsors of terrorism, and to strengthen multilateral platforms such as the Financial Action Task Force and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.
- On clean energy and climate change, the President said that India and the EU are united in their commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement. He also expressed happiness at the European Investment Bank’s willingness to mobilise finance for affordable solar energy projects in ISA member countries.
- President Kovind said that India remains committed to an India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), to be achieved in a generous spirit of mutual accommodation and of pragmatism.
- He stated that there are lucrative opportunities for the Greek Shipping Industry in India’s ambitious Sagarmala project. He also touched upon the opportunities to collaborate in defence manufacturing, pharma, tourism, real-estate, entertainment, infrastructure and technology sectors as well.
- Yesterday evening (June 18, 2018), the President attended a banquet hosted in his honour by the President of Greece. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that both India and Greece have a common stake in promoting multilateralism and global peace and security. He thanked the Government of Greece for its consistent support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. He also highlighted the possibility of collaborating in areas of renewable energy and climate change.
IAF MI 17 uses Bambi Bucket to Douse Offshore fire on ship
- A Mi-17 V5 Helicopter of the Indian Air force was requisitioned on 17 Jun 2018 for dousing the flames on a merchant vessel MV SSL on the shores of Sunderbans.
- The Helicopter carried out Bambi bucket operations from Franzergunj Harbour helipad in West Bengal.
- The Helicopter flew offshore and located the ship engulfed in flames. After ascertaining the wind pattern and point of impact of water, the fire was doused with
15000 litres of water carried in 6 shuttles with a Bambi bucket.
- The crew displayed great professionalism and dropped the water with pin-point accuracy over the exact location of fire. The operations by IAF Mi-17 V5 Helicopter controlled the massive fire and fully doused it within a short period of time.
Government to team up with Google for flood forecasting
- Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari has expressed hope that collaboration with Google will help in effective flood management in India.
- Central Water Commission (CWC), India’s apex technical organization in the field of Water Resources, has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Google.
- CWC would use state-of-the-art advances made by Google in the in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and geo spatial mapping for effective management of water resources particularly in the field of flood forecasting and dissemination of flood related information to the masses widely using the dissemination platforms developed by Google.
- Under this Agreement, CWC and Google will share technical expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, geospatial mapping and analysis of hydrological observation data to collaborate on:
(i) improving flood prediction systems, which will help provide location-targeted, actionable flood warnings,
(ii) high priority research project utilizing Google Earth Engine to help visualize and improve flood management and
(iii) a cultural project to build online exhibitions on the Rivers of India .
- For the flood season of 2018, inundation forecasting would be done on trial basis and the same would be up scaled in near future.
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