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India, U.S. sign agreements on counter-terrorism, clean energy, other matters

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of India, addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of India, addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the U.S. on Monday, a series of Memorandum of Understandings’ (MoU) and other agreements have been agreed upon by the two nations.

Here is a quick update of what’s been finalized to date:

  • Arrangement between the Multi-Agency Center and Intelligence Bureau of the Government of India and the Terrorist Screening Center of the Government of the United States of America for the exchange of Terrorist Screening Information.

Signed on June 2 in New Delhi, the arrangement primarily serves as an instrument for the two countries to share terrorist information. Shri Rajiv, India’s Union Home Secretary, and Richard Verma, India’s ambassador to the U.S., were the signees.

India and the U.S. shall provide each other access to terrorism screening information through the designated contact points, subject to domestic laws and regulations.The arrangement would enhance the counter terrorism cooperation between India and the U.S.

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of India and the Government of the United States of America to enhance cooperation on Energy Security, Clean Energy and Climate Change.

Signed on June 2 in New Delhi, this MoU seeks to enhance the energy security relationship between India and the U.S. Shri P.K. Pujari, India’s Secretary Ministry of Power, and Richard Verma were the signees.

The objective of the MoU is to enhance cooperation between India and the U.S. on energy security, clean energy and climate change through increased bilateral engagement and further joint initiatives for promoting sustainable growth.

  • Memorandum of Understanding between Government of India and Government of the United States of America to enhance cooperation on Wildlife Conservation and Combating Wildlife Trafficking.

Signed on June 2 in Washington D.C., the MoU serves primarily as a wildlife conservation tool. Shri Arun K. Singh, India’s ambassador to the U.S., and Catherine A. Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, were the signees.

The MoU seeks cooperation in areas such as Wildlife Forensics and Conservation Genetics; Natural World Heritage Conservation and Nature Interpretation; and Conservation Awareness, between India and the US for wildlife conservation and management and combating wildlife trafficking.

  • Memorandum of Understanding between Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security of the United States for the Development of an International Expedited Traveler Initiative.

Signed on June 3 in Washington D.C., seeks to provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. Ambassador Singh and Kevin K. McAleenan, Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection were the signees.

The Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program, which allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. After joint scrutiny and clearance by both countries, the approved Indian travelers will be extended the facility of expedited entry into the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.

  • Technical Arrangement between the Indian Navy and the United States Navy concerning Unclassified Maritime Information Sharing.

Signed last month, this arrangement will allow the sharing of unclassified information between the two countries. Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and Vice Admiral Ted N. Branch, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, were the signees.

The Arrangement would allow sharing of unclassified information on White Shipping between India and the U.S. as permitted by respective national laws, regulations and policies, and provides a framework for mutually beneficial maritime information.

 

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Trump impeachment inquiry hearings begin

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Trump Impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — On the first day of the public Trump impeachment inquiry hearings over the President’s dealings in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified one of his aides heard from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland that the President was focused on triggering investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The aide, David Holmes, reportedly also overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland, where they discussed ‘the investigations.’ Holmes will appear for a closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators Friday. Republican allies of Trump painted the testimony of Taylor and George Kent as hearsay.

More than 100 Indian CEOs, political leaders and even Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone will head Davos in January for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to discuss making ‘cohesive and sustainable world.’ President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also expected to be there.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Shreis Scalene Sciences (Shreis), an American company, a ‘Breakthrough Device Designation’ for the CYTOTRON, a cancer treatment, developed in India, by scientist Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar in Bengaluru.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India, Pakistan trade quips at UNESCO

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UNESCO

PARIS (Diya TV)  — At UNESCO’s general conference in Paris, both Pakistan and India traded quips over Kashmir. Pakistan’s Minister of Education and newly elected President of UNESCO’s Education Commission Shafqat Mehmood efforted to convince UNESCO leadership to confront India over their recent constitutional change affecting Jammu and Kashmir, claiming 1.5 million Kashmiri students who have not been able to attend schools since August 5th. In response, India’s UNESCO delegate Ananya Agarwal countered that “Pakistan is the world’s largest producer and exporter” of terrorism, calling Pakistan’s charges “fabricated falsehoods.”

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Notable executives from the worlds of private investing, industry and nonprofits came together to talk about impact investing at Akshaya Patra’s TAP Forum in the Bay Area. The goal is to take the diasporas success to build a foundation for the next generation.

The Indian women’s hockey team will get the chance to go for the gold in Tokyo, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics after beating team USA in a qualifying match.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House holds hearing on human right violations in Jammu & Kashmir

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Jammu

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, examined the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among those on hand hearing testimony from experts offering widely different narratives. The commission plans to take these perspectives into account before offering recommendations for action by Congress.

In a line of questioning during the impeachment inquiry lauded by many political analysts, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi focused on the timeline of the Ukraine affair, confirming through witness testimony that once Congress began investigating quid pro quo by the Trump administration, security funds were released to Ukraine two days later.

American tech firms are increasingly sponsoring green cards, or permanent US residency, for their employees from India and elsewhere in an effort to hold on to their skilled talent at a time when work visa extensions have become unpredictable.

India will fund at least 250 defense startups over the next five years as it seeks new technologies for their armed forces. The plan is obtain at least 50 ‘tangible innovations’ by the startups for military use.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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