UN General Assembly: Sushma Swaraj meets Ivanka Trump, discuss entrepreneurship

Union Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj met Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly. The two ladies were seen bonding and discussing women entrepreneurship and workforce development in the two nations.

Ivanka will head the American delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). The United States of America and India will co-host the GES, to be held in Hydrabad from November 28 to November 30, 2017.

The GES will be a global platform for all the upcoming entrepreneurs, seed capitalists, Venture capitalists, investors and business moguls from across the world, to meet and exchange ideas. Not only it will facilitate easy business operations for aspiring entrepreneurs but also provide impetus to the Indian entrepreneurship sector.

After the meeting, Ivanka took to Twitter to praise Sushma Swaraj and call her a ‘Charismatic’ foreign minister. She further tweeted, “We had a great discussion on women’s entrepreneurship, the upcoming #GES2017 and workforce development in the US and India.”

Once done with her global address on September, Swaraj is expected to arrive in India. During her week-long stay, the minister is expected to hold around 20 bilateral and trilateral meetings with other members of the summit.

Sources: NDTV, Economic Times

Image Source: Twitter/@IndianembassyUS official

Sushma Swaraj set to meet galaxy of leaders in NY

Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is in New-york to attend the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) meeting and interact with a galaxy of world leaders. Swaraj is scheduled to attend 20 to 30 bilateral and trilateral meetings with the head of various countries. She was received at the airport by the Indian ambassador to US, Navtej Sarna and India’s permanent representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin.

She will kick start her diplomatic meetings with her US counterpart Rex Tillerson and Japanese counterpart Taro Kono respectively. Swaraj will also meet her Tunisian Counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui, and Bhutanese PM Tshering Tobgay. However, she will not meet Pakistani external affairs minister who will also be present. She will participate in a meeting on UN Reforms which will be hosted and chaired by US President Donald Trump. India has been very much vocal about the necessity of change in the structure of the United Nations. She is also scheduled to address the general assembly on 23rdof September.

The UNGA meets on the backdrop of Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and tension along the Korean peninsula as well. UN may try to pressure India to open its gates and provide refugee to the Rohingya Muslims.





Image Source-

NDTV- http://i.ndtvimg.com/i/2015-12/sushma-swaraj_650x400_71449542009.jpg

78 Indian fishermen return from Pakistan, thanks to Edhi Foundation

Edhi Foundation, an NGO in Pakistan, has been successful in sending the 78 Indian fishermen to their homeland, reported Times of India.

These fishermen were detained by Pakistan maritime security agency for trespassing, two years back. According to the report of Times of India, these prisoners were released from a jail in Karachi as a good gesture. Edhi Foundation then took responsibility of these fishermen of ensuring their safe return home.

Fishermen were gifted cash, along with some clothes and food. Karsan, a fisherman who was one of the prisoners, in an interview with Times of India said, “I may forget the time spent in jail but not the love and affection shown by Edhi Foundation volunteers.”

This is not the first time this NGO has helped Indian prisoners to return home. In 2015, they helped a 24-year-old hearing and speech impaired girl, Geeta with her family in India. She was 11 when she had strayed into Pakistan and took shelter at Edhi Foundation.

Fishermen being arrested and detained is not a new event for either country. Fishermen from both the countries find themselves in the other country’s jail, with charges of illegal shipping. A Pakistani newspaper, The Nation reported that these fishermen end up serving long sentences due to legal formalities and paperwork, thanks to unfortunate diplomatic ties between India and Pakistan.

“I wish governments of both the countries would behave like the volunteers of Edhi Foundation,” Kanji said.

Sources: Times of India

India strengthens ties with ASEAN to work on region security architecture

India has collaborated with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), to uproot terror financing, arms smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering and cyber crimes which are some of the challenges faced by the Southeast Asian nations.

ASEAN and India have enhanced maritime cooperation and security to find collaborative solutions to emerging and non-traditional challenges, making ASEAN India’s fourth largest trading partner. Enhancement of connectivity by land, air and sea in order to transform the corridors of connectivity into that of economic cooperation is also on the cards.

While addressing a Think Thank named ‘Research and Information System’, Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs said, “Connectivity is a huge enabler for stimulating trade and investment as well as to ensure peace and stability.” She further added, “For enhancing digital connectivity, specific proposals have been put forward, involving the setting up of a regional high-capacity fibre-optic network, supplemented by national rural broadband networks and digital villages in remote areas.”

Swaraj expressed that the major boost towards infrastructure and connectivity, both within India and in the North East, in particular, can make a qualitative shift in our economic engagement with ASEAN. Swaraj also spoke about the influence of Hinduism in ASEAN

Swaraj also spoke about the influence of Hinduism in ASEAN countries making them natural partners of India’s Act East Policy. India’s exports to ASEAN having increased by almost 20 per cent in 2016-17 after   two years of slow growth. ASEAN-India trade is now back on track with an increase of 8 %

India’s exports to ASEAN having increased by almost 20 per cent in 2016-17 after two years of slow growth. ASEAN-India trade is now back on track with an increase of 8 per cent.


News Source-  PTI

Sushma Swaraj: The firebrand Twitterati

India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj who champions the 140 character ‘twitter diplomacy’ in India, is not simply called a ‘global thinker’ –by the Foreign Policy Magazine– just like that.

On January 12, when Swaraj rebuked Amazon in two succinctly worded tweets– for selling doormats bearing the imprints of the Indian national flag– it garnered mixed reactions from all quarters on Twitter.

She not only demanded an apology from the e-commerce conglomerate on Twitter but also threatened to stop issuing visas to the company’s employees and cancel those already granted.

While some argued Swaraj meted the tweets unwittingly, as products bearing national flags are common abroad, some others defended her stance; given her political leanings and the inadvertent rage for disrespecting the sacrosanct National flag.

So now, the entire episode has branched out into two different discussions, that ultimately snowballed into one important question- Should politicians use social media as a legitimate clearinghouse? And if so, to what extent?

If we were to take a cue from the U.S President Donald Trump, it most certainly is coming of age.

The positives about social media diplomacy are that it factors in transparency and immediacy, that all other forms of governmental processes fail to encompass.

The fact that Amazon pulled down these products the very same day is proof of what social media is capable of.

Amazon India’s Vice President Amit Agarwal profusely apologized to Sushhma Swaraj and clarified that these products were in fact listed by a third-party seller in Canada and not Amazon. But this wasn’t the only matter of concern for those who condemned her war of words.

Earlier, in June 2016 Amazon committed to investing $5billion over the next three years in India.

The naysayers, however, alleged that Swaraj’s reckless spewing of threats might just throw this business interest into jeopardy.  The question that begs to be asked here is, should we not be protective of our sovereignty?

about the Indian sensibility? Especially if they want to do business in a country like India?

And as far as discretion is concerned, had she said the same thing in a private e-mail to Amazon, wouldn’t they be offended then?

It is true that in matters of national, commercial and economic interest, words need to be weighed and a more formal platform needs to be chosen, but the case in point here is completely different and therefore wholly justified.

Social media diplomacy is indeed a dramatic break from traditional diplomacy. But what remains to be understood is that social media emerge as an efficient tool for diplomacy, only when one learns to decipher between what is worth engaging with and what isn’t.

Image source: NDTV Images

Abducted Kerala priest will safely return, assures Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday assured safe return of Kerala priest Tom Unzhunnalil to India. The Kerala-based Catholic priest who is fondly known as Father Tommy George was abducted by the Islamic State in Yemen earlier this year. She promised that the government will spare no action to release him from the clutches of the deadly terror group and bring him back safely.

A video surfaced on several social media platform on Monday that featured the abducted priest appealing to Pope Francis and Central Government to help him get free. He also alleged that he is bogged down by inactivity on government’s part. He also alleged that not much attention is being paid to his case because he is Indian and of less value than his European counterparts. However, the veracity of the video is not yet ascertained.

“I have seen the video from Father Tom. He is an Indian citizen and the life of every Indian is most precious for us,” Swaraj tweeted. “We got Father Alex Prem Kumar and Judith D’Souza released from Afghanistan. The government will spare no effort to ensure his safe return from the captivity”, she added.

The center, on the other hand, has informed that the government is putting in a lot of efforts. According to MEA spokesperson Vikas Swaroop, they are in constant touch with Yemeni local authorities. Also, the current disharmonious environment in Yemen is only making the matters worse.

Unzhunnalil was abducted on March 4 this year during a raid in a nursing home in Yemen. Around 16 people were killed in this incident.


SOURCE: Scroll.inIndian Express

IMAGE SOURCE: Screenshot from the video


NRI Couple lose Custody after Alleged Child Abuse Complaint in Norway

A five-year old child has been taken into custody by the Norwegian authorities after complaints of alleged child abuse by his parents. The officials accused the parents of beating the child. The parents, in turn accused Norway’s Child Welfare Department of forcibly taking child custody on the basis of a fabricated complaint.

Bharatiya Janata Party member, Vijay Jolly, informed the media that the government is well-versed with the incident and that they’re in middle of pleading the case against the Norwegian authorities. The child’s father, Anil Kumar, refuted all in a statement. It said that without prior information, the Norwegian authorities took the child into custody and interrogated the parents for a long time.

Jolly, in his letter, mentioned that disciplining children is a common practice in Asia and it does not amount to child cruelty. While the family is said to be considerably upset, the government seems to be in constant touch with their Embassy in Norway. External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, also asked the Embassy to send a detailed report.

This is the third time within the last five years that concerned authorities have taken forced custody over the pretext of ‘child welfare’. Earlier in 2011 and 2012, the Norwegian officials had separated Indian parents from their children on the grounds of harassment.


Sources: Scroll.in, Indian Express