Goa Declaration at 8th BRICS Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Presidents Michel Temer of Brazil, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China and Jacob Zuma of South Africa in the BRICS Leaders’ family photograph at the BRICS Summit, in Goa on October 16, 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Presidents Michel Temer of Brazil, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China and Jacob Zuma of South Africa in the BRICS Leaders’ family photograph at the BRICS Summit, in Goa on October 16, 2016.
Following is the Goa Declaration issued by the Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa at the end of the 8th BRICS Summit here today:
We, the Leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met on 15-16 October 2016 in Goa, India, at the Eighth BRICS Summit, which was held under the theme "Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions.”
Recalling all our previous declarations, we emphasise the importance of further strengthening BRICS solidarity and cooperation based on our common interests and key priorities to further strengthen our strategic partnership in the spirit ofopenness, solidarity,equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation. We agree that emerging challenges to global peace and security and to sustainable development require further enhancing of our collective efforts. 
We agree that BRICS countries represent an influential voice on the global stage through our tangible cooperation, which delivers direct benefits to our people. In this context, we note with satisfaction the operationalisation of the New Development Bank (NDB) and of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), which contributes greatly to the global economy and the strengthening of the international financial architecture. We welcome the report presented by NDB President on the work of the Bank during the first year of its operations. We are pleased to note the progress in operationalising the Africa Regional Centre (ARC) of the NDB and pledge our full support in this regard. We look forward to developing new BRICS initiatives in a wider range of areas in the years to come. 
We note with appreciation the approval of the first set of loans by the New Development Bank (NDB), particularly in the renewable energy projects in BRICS countries. We express satisfaction with NDB's issuance of the first set of green bonds in RMB. We are pleased to note that the operationalisation of BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangements (CRA) has strengthened the global financial safety net. 
In order to reach out and enrich our understanding and engagement with fellow developingand emerging economies, we will hold an OutreachSummit of BRICS Leaders with the Leaders of BIMSTEC member countries - Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation comprising of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The meeting will be an opportunity to renew our friendship with BIMSTEC countries as well as to jointly explore possibilities of expanding trade and commercial ties,and investment cooperation between BRICS and BIMSTEC countries,while advancing our common goals of peace, development, democracy and prosperity. 
We reiterate our common vision of ongoing profound shifts in the world as it transitions to a more just, democratic, and multi-polar international order based on the central role of the United Nations, and respect for international law. We reaffirm the need for strengthening coordination of efforts on global issues and practical cooperation in the spirit of solidarity, mutual understanding and trust. We underline the importance of collective efforts in solving international problems, and for peaceful settlement of disputes through political and diplomatic means, and in this regard, we reiterate our commitment to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. 
We note the global character of current security challenges and threats confronting the international community. We reiterate our view that international efforts to address these challenges, the establishment ofsustainable peace as well as the transition to a more just, equitable and democratic multi-polar international order requires a comprehensive, concerted and determined approach, based on spirit of solidarity, mutual trust and benefit, equity and cooperation, strong commitment to international law and the central role of the United Nations as the universal multilateral organisation entrusted with the mandate for maintaining international peace and security, advance global development and to promote and protect human rights. We underline the importance of further strengthening coordination of our efforts in this context. 
We reaffirm our commitment to contribute to safeguarding a fair and equitable international order based on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations including through consistent and universal respect and adherence to the principles and rules of international law in their inter-relation and integrity, compliance by all states with their international legal obligations.We express our commitment to resolutely reject the continued attempts to misrepresent the results of World War II. We recall further that development and security are closely interlinked, mutually reinforcing and key to attaining sustainable peace. 
We remain confident that resolving international problems require collective efforts for peaceful settlement of disputes through political and diplomatic means. Implementation of principles of good-faith, sovereign equality of States, non-intervention in the internal affairs of States and cooperation excludes imposition of unilateral coercive measures not based on international law. We condemn unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions in violation of international law and universally recognised norms of international relations. Bearing this in mind, we emphasise the unique importance of the indivisible nature of security, and that no State should strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others. 
We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome document. We reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countriesso that it can adequately respond to global challenges. China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN. 
We welcome the substantive measures undertaken by the UN membership to make the process of selecting and appointing the UN Secretary-General more transparent and inclusive. 
We expressour gratitude to UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon for his contributions to the United Nations in the past ten years. We congratulate Mr. AntónioGuterres, on his appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations andexpress oursupport and to work closely with him. 
Cognizant of BRICS countries’ significant contributions to UN Peacekeeping operations, and recognising the important role of UN Peacekeeping operations in safeguarding international peace and security, we realise the challenges faced by UN Peacekeeping and emphasise the need to further strengthen its role, capacity, effectiveness, accountability and efficiency, while adhering to the basic principles of peacekeeping. We emphasise that UN Peacekeeping operations should perform the duty of protection of civilians in strict accordance with their respective mandates and in respect of the primary responsibility of the host countries in this regard. 
We are deeply concerned about the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. We support all effortsfor finding ways to the settlement of the crises in accordance with international law and in conformity with the principles of independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries of the region. On Syria, we call upon all parties involved to work for a comprehensive and peaceful resolution of the conflict taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria,through inclusive national dialogue and a Syrian-led political process based on Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 and in pursuance of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and 2268 for their full implementation.While continuing the relentless pursuit against terrorist groups so designated by the UN Security Councilincluding ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organisations designated by the UN Security Council. 
We reiterate also the necessity to implement the two-state solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the relevant UNSC resolutions, the Madrid Principles and Arab Peace Initiative, and previous agreements between the two sides,through negotiations aimed at creating an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State livingside-by-side in peace with Israel, withinsecure, mutually agreed and internationally recognised borders on the basis of 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as envisaged in the relevant UN Resolutions. 
We express deep concern at the persisting security challenges in Afghanistan and significant increase in terrorist activities in Afghanistan. We affirm support to the efforts of the Afghan Government to achieve Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national reconciliation and combat terrorism, and readiness for constructive cooperation in order to facilitate security in Afghanistan, promote its independent political and economic course, becoming free from terrorism and drug trafficking. The Leaders expressed the view that capable and effective Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) should be the key to the stabilisation of Afghanistan. In this regard, the Leaders emphasised the need for continued commitment of regional countries and wider international community, including the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, which as the ISAF’s heir has a key role in the ANSF capacity-building. The Leaders stressed the importance of multilateral region-led interaction on Afghan issues, primarily by those organisations, which consist of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries and other regional states, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the Heart of Asia Conference. 
We welcome the African Union’s (AU) vision, aspirations, goals and priorities for Africa’s development enshrined in Agenda 2063, which is complementary with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We reaffirm our support for Africa’s implementation of its variousprogrammesin pursuit of its continental agenda for peace and socio economic development. We will continue to engage in joint endeavours to advance Africa's solidarity, unity and strength through support measures for regional integration and sustainable development.We further welcome recent elections that have been held in the continent and the peaceful manner in which they were conducted. 
We support the AU’s efforts to resolving conflictsthrough its peace and security architecture, in collaboration with the United Nations and the continent’s regional organisations, and to contribute towards lasting and sustainable peace and security in Africa. 
We welcome the decision of the African Union’s Assembly to operationalise its Peace Fund, in order to contribute to financing of its peace and security operations. We support efforts aimed at full operationalisation of the African Standby Force (ASF) and note the progress being made in this regard, including the contributions by the African Capacity for Immediate Responses to Crises (ACIRC). 
We express our concern that political and security instability continues to loom in a number of countriesthat is exacerbated by terrorism and extremism.We call upon the international community through the United Nations, African Union and regional and international partners to continue their support in addressing these challenges, including post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts. 
We welcome the adoption of landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals during the UN Summit on Sustainable Development on 25 September 2015 and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. We welcome the people-centred and holistic approach to sustainable development enshrined in the 2030 Agenda and its emphasis on equality, equity and quality-life to all. We welcome the reaffirmation of the guiding principles of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR). 
The 2030 Agenda, with its overarching focus on povertyeradication, lays an equal and balanced emphasis on the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. We call upon developed countries to honour their Official Development Assistancecommitments to achieve 0.7% of Gross National Income commitment for Official Development Assistance to developing countries. Those commitments play a crucial role in the implementation of the SDGs. We further welcome the establishment of a Technology Facilitation Mechanism within the UN with a mandate to facilitate technology for the implementation of the SDGs. 
We commit to lead by example in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development inline with national circumstances and development context respecting the national policy space. We welcome the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentadopted during G20 Hangzhou Summit and commit to its implementation by taking bold transformative steps through both collective and individual concreteactions. 
We meet at a time when the global economic recovery is progressing, with improved resilience and emergence of new sources of growth.The growth, though is weaker than expected with downside risks to the global economy continuing to persist.This gets reflected in a variety of challenges including commodity price volatility, weak trade, high private and public indebtedness, inequality and lack of inclusiveness of economic growth. Meanwhile, the benefits from growth need to be sharedbroadly in an inclusive manner.Geopolitical conflicts, terrorism, refugee flows, illicit financial flows and the outcome of UK referendum have further added to the uncertainty in the global economy.
We reiterate our determination to use all policy tools – monetary, fiscal, and structural, individually and collectively, to achieve the goal of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. Monetary policy will continue to support economic activity and ensure price stability, consistent with central bank’s mandates. Monetary policy alone, though, cannot lead to balanced and sustainablegrowth. We, in this regard, underscore the essential role of structural reforms.We emphasise that our fiscal policies are equally important to support our common growth objectives. We also take note that the spill-over effects ofcertain policy measures in some systemically important advanced economies can have adverse impact on growth prospects of emerging economies. 
We recognise that innovation is a key driver for mid and long term growth and sustainable development. We stress the importance of industrialisation and measures that promote industrial development as a core pillar of structural transformation. 
We highlight the need to use tax policy and public expenditure in a more growth-friendly way taking into account fiscal space available, that promotesinclusiveness, maintains resilience and ensuressustainability of debt as a share of GDP. 
We note the dynamic integration processes across the regions of the world, particularly in Asia, Africa and South America.We affirm our belief to promote growth in the context of regional integration on the basis of principles of equality, openness and inclusiveness. We further believe that this will promote economic expansion through enhanced trade,commercial and investmentlinkages. 
We highlight the importance of public and private investments in infrastructure, including connectivity,to ensure sustained long-term growth. We, in this regard, call for approaches to bridge the financing gap in infrastructure including through enhanced involvement of Multilateral Development Banks. 
We reaffirm our commitment to a strong, quota based and adequately resourced IMF. Borrowed resources by the IMF should be on a temporary basis. We remain strongly committed to support the coordinated effort by the emerging economies to ensure that the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas, including the new quota formula, will be finalised within the agreed timelines so as to ensure that the increased voice of the dynamic emerging and developing economies reflects their relative contributions to the world economy, while protecting the voices of least developed countries (LDCs), poor countries and regions. 
We welcome the inclusion of the RMB into the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) currency basket on 1October, 2016. 
We call for the advanced European economies to meet their commitment to cede two chairs on the Executive Board of the IMF. The reform of the IMF should strengthen the voice and representation of the poorest members of the IMF, including Sub-Saharan Africa. 
We share concerns regarding the challenges of sovereign debt restructurings, and note that timely and successful debt restructuring is key for ensuring access to international capital markets, and hence economic growth, for countries with high debt levels. We welcome the current discussions to improve the debt restructuring process,and on the revised collective action clauses (CACs). 
We reiterate our support for the multilateral trading system and the centrality of the WTO as the cornerstone of a rule based, open, transparent, non-discriminatory and inclusive multilateral trading system with development at the core ofits agenda. We note the increasing number ofbilateral, regional, and plurilateral trade agreements, and reiterate that these should be complementary to the multilateral trading system and encourage the parties thereon to align their work in consolidating the multilateral trading system under the WTO in accordance with the principles of transparency, inclusiveness, and compatibility with the WTO rules. 
We emphasise the importance of implementing the decisions taken at the Bali and Nairobi Ministerial Conferences. We stress the need to advance negotiations on the remaining Doha Development Agenda (DDA) issues as a matter of priority. We call on all WTO members to work together to ensure a strong development oriented outcome for MC11 and beyond. 
We appreciate the progress in the implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership and emphasise the importance of the BRICS Roadmap for Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation until 2020. We believe that close cooperation between the sectoral cooperation mechanisms, BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues, the BRICS Business Council, New Development Bank and the BRICS Interbank cooperation mechanism is crucial in strengthening the BRICS economic partnership. We welcome, in this context, the continued realisation of the major BRICS economic initiatives such as enhanced cooperation in e-commerce, "single window”, IPR cooperation, trade promotionand micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).We recognise non-tariff measures (NTMs),services sector, and standardisation and conformity assessments as possible areas of future cooperation.We note in this context the meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers in New Delhi on 13 October 2016 and welcome its substantive outcomes. 
In operationalising the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, we encourage measures that support greater participation, value addition and upward mobility in Global Value Chains of our firms including through the preservation of policy space to promote industrial development. 
We welcome India's initiative to host the first BRICS Trade Fair in New Delhi. This is an important step towards the implementation of Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership. We believethis will further consolidate trade and commercial partnership among BRICS countries. We welcome the deliberations and outcome of the meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers held on 13October 2016 in New Delhi. 
We noted the Annual Report by the BRICS Business Council, including the various initiatives undertaken by its Working Groups. We further direct the Council to accelerate the development and realisation of joint projects which, on a mutually beneficial basis, contribute to the economic objectives of BRICS. 
We agreed that MSMEs provide major employment opportunities, at comparatively lower capital cost, and create self-employment opportunities in rural and underdeveloped areas. MSMEs thus help assure equitable wealth distribution nationally and globally. We commend organisation of BRICSsecond round-table on MSMEs by India with a focus on technical and business alliances in MSMEs Sector. We agree to work for greater integration of MSMEs in Regional and Global Value Chains. 
We commend China for the successful hosting of the 11th G20 Leaders’ Summit in Hangzhou and its focus on innovation, structural reform and development as drivers of medium and long term economic growth. We recognise the role of G20 as the premier forum for international and financial cooperation and emphasise the importance of the implementationof the outcomes of G20 Hangzhou Summit, that we believe will foster strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth and will contribute to improved global economic governance and enhance the role of developing countries. 
We stress the importance to foster an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy.We will enhance our consultations and coordinationon the G20 agenda, especially on issues of mutual interest to the BRICS countries, and promote issues of importance for the Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs). We will continue to work closely with all G20 membersto strengthen macroeconomic cooperation, promote innovation, as well as robust and sustainable trade and investment to propel global growth,improve global economic governance,enhance the role of developing countries,strengthen international financial architecture,support for industrialisation in Africa and least developed countries and enhance cooperation on energy access and efficiency. We stress the need for enhanced international cooperation to address illicit cross-border financial flows, tax evasion and trade mis-invoicing. 
The role of BRICS and its collaborative efforts in the field of economic and financial co-operation are yielding positive results. We emphasise the importance of our cooperation in order to help stabilise the global economy and to resume growth. 
We welcome experts exploring the possibility of setting up an independent BRICS Rating Agency based on market-oriented principles, in order to further strengthen the global governance architecture. 
We welcome the reports of BRICS Think Tanks Council and BRICS Academic Forum that have emerged as valuable platforms for our experts to exchange views. They have submitted their valuable suggestions with regard to promoting market research and analysis in BRICS and developing countries and exploring possibilities of carrying this process forward.We believe that BRICS institution-building is critical to our shared vision of transforming the global financial architecture to one based on the principles of fairness and equity. 
We emphasise the importance of enhancing intra-BRICS cooperation in the industrial sector, including through the BRICS Industry Ministers Meetings, in order to contribute to the accelerated and sustainable economic growth, the strengthening of comprehensive industrial ties, the promotion of innovation as well as job creation, and improvement of the quality of life of people in BRICS countries. 
We congratulate the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for the 50th anniversary of its foundation and recall its unique mandate to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development and its contribution in promoting industrialisation in Africa. We note, in this context, the progress achieved so far in the establishment of the UNIDO-BRICS Technology Platform. 
We commend our Customs administrations on the establishment of the Customs Cooperation Committee of BRICS,and on exploring means of further enhancing collaboration in the future, including those aimed at creating legal basis for customs cooperation and facilitating procedures of customs control. We note the signing of the Regulations on Customs Cooperation Committee of the BRICS in line with the undertaking in the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership to strengthen interaction among Customs Administrations. 
We recall the Fortaleza Declaration wherein we recognised the potential for BRICS insurance and reinsurance markets to pool capacities and had directed our relevant authorities to explore avenues for cooperation in this regard. We would like this work to be expedited. 
We reaffirm our commitment towards a globally fair and modern tax systemand welcome the progress made on effective and widespread implementation of the internationally agreed standards. We support the implementation of the Base Erosion andProfit Shifting Project (BEPS) with due regard to the national realities of the countries.We encourage countries and International Organisations to assist developing economies in building their tax capacity. 
We note that aggressive tax planning and tax practices hurt equitable development and economic growth. Base Erosion and Profit Shiftingmust be effectively tackled. We affirm that profit should be taxed in the jurisdiction where the economic activity is performedand the value is created. We reaffirm our commitment to support international cooperation in this regard, including in the Common Reporting Standard for Automatic Exchange of Tax Information (AEOI). 
We note the ongoing discussions on international taxation matters. In this regard, we recall the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development including its emphasis on inclusive cooperation and dialogue among national tax authorities on international tax matters with increased participation of developing countries and reflecting adequate, equitable, geographical distribution, representing different tax systems. 
We support the strengthening of international cooperation against corruption, including through the BRICS Anti-Corruption Working Group, as well as on matters related to asset recovery and persons sought for corruption. We acknowledge that corruption includingillicit money and financial flows, and ill-gotten wealth stashed in foreign jurisdictions is a global challenge which mayimpact negatively on economic growth and sustainable development. We will strive to coordinate our approach in this regard and encourage a stronger global commitment to prevent and combat corruptionon the basis of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and other relevant international legal instruments. 
We recognise that nuclear energy will play a significant role for some of the BRICS countries in meeting their 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement commitments and for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in the long term. In this regard, we underline the importance of predictability in accessing technology and finance for expansion of civil nuclear energy capacity which would contribute to the sustainable development of BRICS countries. 
We reiterate that outer space shall be free for peaceful exploration and use by all States on the basis of equality in accordance with international law.Reaffirming that outer space shall remain free from any kind of weapons or any use of force, we stress that negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement or agreements to prevent an arms race in outer space are a priority task of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, and support the efforts to start substantive work, inter alia, based on the updated draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects submitted by China and Russian Federation.We also note an international initiative for a political obligation onthe no first placement of weapons in outer space. 
Priority should be accorded to ensuring the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, as well as ways and means of preserving outer space for future generations. We note that this is an important objective on the current agenda of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). In this respect, we welcome the recentdecision by the UNCOPUOS Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee Working Group on Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities to conclude negotiations and achieve consensus on the full set of guidelines for the long term sustainability of outer space activities by 2018to coincide with the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE + 50). 
We strongly condemn the recent several attacks, against some BRICS countries, including that in India.We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons. We agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating international terrorism both at the bilateral level and at international fora. 
To address the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, we support and emphasise the need for launching multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism, including at the Conference on Disarmament.In this context, we welcome India’s offer to host a Conference in 2018 aimed at strengthening international resolve in facing the challenge of the WMD-Terrorism nexus. 
We call upon all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach in combating terrorism, which should include countering violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism, radicalisation, recruitment, movement of terrorists including Foreign Terrorist Fighters, blocking sources of financing terrorism, including through organised crime by means of money-laundering, drug trafficking, criminal activities, dismantling terrorist bases, and countering misuse of the Internet including social media by terror entities through misuse of the latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).Successfully combating terrorism requires a holistic approach. All counter-terrorism measures should uphold international law and respect human rights. 
We acknowledge the recent meeting of the BRICS High Representatives on National Securityand, in this context, welcome the setting up and the first meeting of the BRICS Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism on 14September 2016 in New Delhi. We believe it will further promote dialogue and understanding among BRICS nations on issues of counter terrorism, as well ascoordinate efforts to address the scourge of terrorism. 
We acknowledge that international terrorism, especially the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Daesh) and affiliated terrorist groups and individuals, constitute a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security. Stressing UN’s central role in coordinating multilateral approaches against terrorism, we urge all nations to undertake effective implementation of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, and reaffirm our commitment on increasing the effectiveness of the UN counter terrorism framework.We call upon all nations to work together to expedite the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN General Assembly without any further delay. We recall the responsibility of all States to prevent terrorist actions from their territories. 
We reaffirm our commitment to the FATF International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation and call for swift, effective and universal implementation of FATF Consolidated Strategy on Combating Terrorist Financing, including effective implementation of its operational plan. We seek to intensify our cooperation in FATF and FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs). 
We welcome the outcome document of the Special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem, held in New York from 19-21 April 2016. We call for strengthening of international and regional cooperation and coordination to counter the global threat caused by the illicit production and trafficking of drugs, especiallyopiates. We note with deep concern the increasing links between drug trafficking and terrorism, money laundering and organised crime. We commend the cooperation between BRICS drug control agencies and welcome the deliberations in second Anti-Drug Working Group Meeting held in New Delhi on 8 July 2016. 
We reaffirm that ICT expansion is a key enabler for sustainable development, for international peace and security and for human rights. We agree to strengthen joint efforts to enhance security in the use of ICTs, combating the use of ICTs for criminal and terrorist purposes and improving cooperation between our technical, law enforcement, R&D and innovation in the field of ICTs and capacity building institutions. We affirm our commitment to bridging digital and technological divides, in particular between developed and developing countries. We recognise that our approach must be multidimensional and inclusive and contains an evolving understanding of what constitutes access, emphasising the quality of that access. 
We reiterate that the use and development of ICTs through international and regional cooperation and on the basis of universally accepted norms and principles of international law, including the Charter of the UN; in particular political independence, territorial integrity and sovereign equality of States, the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, non-interference in internal affairs of other States as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to privacy; are of paramount importance in order to ensure a peaceful, secure and openand cooperative use of ICTs. 
The increasing misuse of ICTs for terrorist purposes poses a threat to international peace and security. We emphasise the need to enhance international cooperation against terrorist and criminal misuse of ICTs and reaffirm the general approach laid in the eThekwini, Fortaleza and Ufa declarations in this regard. We reaffirm the key role of the UN in addressing the issues related to the security in the use of ICTs. We will continue to work together for the adoption of the rules, norms and principles of responsible behaviour of Statesincludingthrough the process of UNGGE. We recognise that the states have the leading role to ensure stability and security in the use of ICTs. 
We advocate also for an open, non-fragmented and secure Internet, and reaffirm that the Internet is a global resource and that States should participate on an equal footing in its evolution and functioning,taking into account the need to involve relevant stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities. 
We recognise the importance of energy-saving and energy-efficiency for ensuring sustainable economic development and welcome the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed in this regard. 
We recognise the challenge of scaling-up power generation and its efficient distribution, as well as the need to scale up low carbon fuels and other clean energy solutions. We further recognise the level of investments needed in renewable energy in this regard. We therefore believe that international cooperation in this field be focused on access to clean energy technology and finance. We further note the significance of clean energy in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. We recognise that sustainable development, energy access, and energy security are critical to the shared prosperity and future of the planet. We acknowledge that clean and renewable energy needs to be affordable to all. 
We support a wider use of natural gas as an economically efficient and clean fuel to promote sustainable development as well as to reduce the greenhouse emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement on climate change. 
We note that BRICS countries face challenges of communicable diseases including HIV and Tuberculosis. We, in this regard, note the efforts made by BRICS Health Ministers to achieve the 90–90–90 HIV treatment target by 2020. We underline the imperative to advance cooperation and action on HIV and TB in the BRICS countries, including in the production of quality-assured drugs and diagnostics. 
We take note of United Nations High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS in June 2016 and forthcoming Global Conference on TB under WHO auspices in Moscow in 2017. 
Recognising global health challenges we emphasise the importance of cooperation among BRICS countries in promoting research and development of medicines and diagnostic tools to end epidemics and to facilitate access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines. 
We welcome the High Level meeting on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) during UNGA-71, which addresses the serious threat that AMR poses to public health, growth and global economic stability. We will seek to identify possibilities for cooperation among our health and/or regulatory authorities, with a view to share best practices and discuss challenges, as well as identifying potential areas for convergence. 
We reaffirm our commitment to promote a long-term and balanced demographic development and continue cooperation on population related matters in accordance with the Agenda for BRICS Cooperation on Population Matters for 2015-2020. 
We welcome the outcomes of the meetings of BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers held on 9 June 2016 in Geneva and on 27-28 September 2016 in New Delhi. We take note of the possibility of bilateral Social Security Agreements between BRICS countries, and of the commitment to take steps to establish a network of lead labour research and training institutes, so as to encourage capacity building, information exchange and sharing of best practices amongst BRICS countries. We recognise quality employment, including a Decent Work Agenda, sustaining social protection and enhancing rights at work, are core to inclusive and sustainable development. 
We welcome the outcomes of the fourth BRICS Education Ministers’ meeting held on 30 September 2016 in New Delhi, including the New Delhi Declaration on Education. We stress the importance of education and skills for economic development, and reaffirm the need for universal access to high-quality education. We are satisfied with the progress of the BRICS Network University (BRICSNU) as well as the BRICS University League (BRICSUL), which will commence their programmes in 2017. These two initiatives will facilitate higher education collaboration and partnerships across the BRICS countries. 
We appreciate the organisation of Young Diplomats’ Forum held on 3-6 September 2016 in Kolkata. We also welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between BRICS Diplomatic Academies to encourage exchange of knowledge and experiences. 
We welcome the outcomes of the fourth BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting held on 8 October 2016, wherein they adopted theJaipur Declaration and endorsed the updated Work Plan (2015-2018) aimed at strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation, especially leveraging young scientific talent for addressing societal challenges; creating a networking platform for BRICS young scientists; co-generating new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes; and addressing common global and regional socio-economic challenges utilising shared experiences and complementarities. 
We stress the importance of implementation of the BRICS Research and Innovation Initiative. We welcome the hosting of the first BRICS Young Scientists Conclave in India, instituting of BRICS Innovative Idea Prize for Young Scientists.We note the progress of the first Call for Proposals under the BRICS STI Framework Programme, in ten thematic areas, with funding commitment from the five BRICS STI Ministries and associated funding bodies. We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Working Group on Research Infrastructure, and Mega-Science to reinforce the BRICS Global Research Advanced Infrastructure Network (BRICS-GRAIN). 
We welcome the outcomes of the Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting, held on 23 September 2016, including the Joint Declaration. We emphasise the importance of ensuring food security, and addressingmalnutrition, eliminating hunger,inequality and poverty through increased agricultural production, productivity, sustainable management of natural resources and trade in agriculture among the BRICS countries. As the world's leading producers of agriculture products and home to large populations, we emphasise the importance of BRICS cooperation in agriculture.We recognize the importance of science-based agriculture and of deploying information and communication technology (ICT). 
To further intensify cooperation among BRICScountries in agricultural research policy, science and technology, innovation and capacity building, including technologies for small-holder farming in the BRICS countries, we welcome the signing of the MoU for Establishment of the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform. 
Considering the dependence of agriculture on water, we call upon the development of infrastructure for irrigation to assist farmers in building resilience during times of drought and welcome sharing of experiences and expertise in these areas. 
We affirm that the value of sharing expertise and experiences among BRICS countries with regard to usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in e-governance, financial inclusion, and targeted delivery of benefits, e-commerce, open government, digital content and services and bridging the digital divide. We support efforts aimed at capacity building for effective participation in e-commerce trade to ensure shared benefits. 
We welcome the forthcoming BRICS Telecommunication Ministerial Meeting that will further strengthen our cooperation, including on technology trends, standards developments, skill developments, and policy frameworks. 
We believe it is necessary to ensure joint efforts towards diversification of the world market of software and IT equipment. We call for developing and strengthening the ICT cooperation in the framework of the BRICS Working Group on ICT Cooperation. 
We welcome the outcomes of the meetings of BRICS Ministers responsible for Disaster Management held on 19-20 April 2016 in St. Petersburg and on 22 August 2016 in Udaipur. We also welcome the Udaipur Declaration adopted at the second meeting and applaud the formation of BRICS Joint Task Force on Disaster Risk Management. 
We extend our deepest condolences to the people of Haiti and the Caribbean on the tragic loss of lives following hurricane Matthew. We support the efforts of the UN and humanitarian partners in their response to this tragedy. 
We welcome the outcomes of the BRICS Ministerial Meeting on Environment held on 15-16 September 2016, in Goa, including the Goa Statement on Environment. We welcome the decision to share technical expertise in the areas of abatement and control of air and water pollution, efficient management of waste and sustainable management of bio-diversity. We recognise the importance of participation by BRICS countries in environmental cooperation initiatives, including developing a platform for sharing environmentally sound technologies. 
We welcome the outcome of the 17th Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), held in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a landmark advancement of the regulation of international trade in endangered species from 24 September - 4 October 2016. 
We welcome the adoption of the Paris Agreement anchored in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and its signing by a large number of countries on 22 April 2016. We emphasise that the comprehensive, balanced and ambitious nature of the Paris Agreement reaffirms the principles of UNFCCC includingthe principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances (CBDR & RC). 
We welcome the Paris Agreement and its imminent entry into force on 4 November 2016.We call on the developed countries to fulfil their responsibility towards providing the necessary financial resources, technology and capacity building assistance to support the developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. 
We reiterate the commitments to gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls as contained in the 2030 Agenda. We recognise that women play a vital roleas agents of developmentand acknowledge that their equal and inclusive participation and contribution is crucial to making progress across all Sustainable Development Goals and targets. We emphasise the importance of enhancing accountability for the implementation of these commitments. 
Cognizant of the potential and diversity of youth population in our countries, their needs and aspirations, we welcome the outcomes of the BRICS Youth Summit in Guwahati including, "Guwahati BRICS Youth Summit 2016 Call to Action” that recognise the importance of education, employment, entrepreneurship, and skills training for them to be socially and economically empowered. 
We welcome the BRICS Convention on Tourism, that was organised in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh on 1-2 September 2016 as an effective means to promote tourism cooperation among BRICS countries. 
As home to 43% of the world population and among the fastest urbanising societies, we recognise the multi-dimensional challenges and opportunities of urbanisation. We affirm our engagement in the process that will lead to adoption of a New Urban Agenda by the Conference of the United Nations on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III(Quito, 17-20 October, 2016).We welcome the BRICS Urbanisation Forum, BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave, held in Visakhapatnam on 14-16 September 2016, and in Mumbai on 14-16 April 2016, respectively, which contributed to fostering increased engagements between our cities and stakeholders. We call for enhanced cooperation with regard to strengthening urban governance, making our cities safe and inclusive, improving urban transport, financing of urban infrastructure and building sustainable cities. 
We note India’s initiative on the upcoming BRICS Local Bodies Conference to exchange expertise and best-practices, including in local budgeting. 
Noting the importance of orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, we welcome the outcomes of first BRICS Migration Ministers Meeting in Sochi, Russian Federation, on 8 October 2015. 
We recognise the important role of culture in sustainable development and in fostering mutual understanding and closer cooperation among our peoples. We encourage expansion of cultural exchanges between people of BRICS countries. In this context we commend the hosting of the first BRICS Film Festival in New Delhi on 2-6 September 2016. 
We welcome the forthcoming meeting of the Second BRICS Parliamentary Forum in Geneva on 23 October 2016under the theme of ‘BRICS Parliamentary Cooperation on the implementation of the SDGs’. 
We appreciate the deliberations of the BRICS Women Parliamentarians’ Forum in Jaipur on 20-21 August, 2016 and the adoption of Jaipur Declaration, centred on SDGs, that inter alia emphasises the commitment to strengthen parliamentary strategic partnerships on all the three dimensions of sustainable development,fostering gender equality and women empowerment. 
We note the deliberations on a BRICS Railways Research Network aimed at promoting research and development in this field to further growth in our economies in a cost effective and sustainable manner. 
We congratulate India on organising the first BRICS Under-17 Football Tournament in Goa on 5-15 October 2016. We,in this regard, note the initiative towards a BRICS Sports Council to foster exchanges among BRICS countries. 
Recognising the increasing trade, business and investment between BRICS countries and the important role of BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism, we welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the BRICS countries National Development Banks and the New Development Bank (NDB). We welcome the initiative of the Export-Import Bank of India of instituting Annual BRICS Economic Research Award to promote advanced research in economics of relevance to BRICS countries. 
We reiterate our commitment to strengthening our partnerships for common development. To this end, we endorse the Goa Action Plan. 
China, South Africa, Brazil and Russia appreciate India’s BRICS Chairpersonship and the good pace of BRICS cooperation agenda. 
We emphasise the importance of review and follow up of implementation of outcome documents and decisions of the BRICS Summits. We task our Sherpas to carry this process forward. 
China, South Africa, Brazil and Russia express their sincere gratitude to the Government and people of India for hosting the Eighth BRICS Summit in Goa. 
India, South Africa, Brazil and Russia convey their appreciation to China for its offer to host the Ninth BRICS Summit in 2017 and extend full support to that end.

Rosneft, consortium led by Trafigura to acquire 98% in Essar Oil for $12.9 billion

Russian oil giant Rosneft and commodity and logistics major Trafigura Group have agreed to acquire 98 percent in Essar Oil Limited (EOL) for a total of $ 12.9 billion (Rs. 86,100 crore), making it India's largest inbound foreign direct investment (FDI).
A press release from Essar said the transaction includes Rs. 72,800 crore ($10.9 billion) for Essar Oil’s refining and retail assets, and Rs 13,300 crore ($2 billion) for Vadinar port and related infrastructure.
The release said that Essar Energy Holdings Limited and Oil Bidco (Mauritius) Limited, companies incorporated and managed under the laws of Mauritius, the controlling shareholders of EOL, had entered into separate definitive agreements for the sale of 98% of EOL. 
The first sale and purchase agreement envisages the sale of 49% to Petrol Complex Pte. Ltd (a subsidiary of PJSC Rosneft Oil Company); the second envisages the sale of the remaining 49% to Kesani Enterprises Company Limited (owned by a consortium led by Trafigura) at an enterprise valuation of Rs 72,800 crore ($10.9 bn). 
An additional Rs 13,300 crore ($2 billion) will be paid for the acquisition of Vadinar Port, which has world-class storage and import/export facilities, the release said.
The business transaction was announced in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Ptin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit here yesterday.
The all-cash deal encompasses EOL’s 20 million tonne refinery in Gujarat, India, and its pan-India retail outlets. The closing of the transaction is conditional upon receiving requisite regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. The parties expect to obtain the relevant approvals before the end of this year, the release said.
According to it, investing in EOL, which operates one of the world’s most complex refineries and runs India’s largest private sector retail network, gives the new stakeholders a strong foothold in the Indian market that will witness robust demand growth for petroleum products in the long term. 
The growth for refined petroleum products in the Indian market for the next five years is expected to be in the 5%-7% range, it said.
The release said EOL’s value had also been strengthened by the integrated nature of its business and the strategic positioning of its assets. Its 20 million tonne oil refinery in Vadinar, which accounts for 9% of India’s total refining output, is supported by a 1,010 MW captive power plant, and complemented by a network of around 2,700 operating retail outlets. The additional Rs 13,300 crore that the new stakeholders have agreed to pay is for the 58 million tonne deep draft port in Vadinar that helps in importing crude and exporting finished products.
Rosneft Oil Company is the world’s largest petroleum company with revenues in excess of $80 billion. The company’s main business activities include exploration & production, refining and product marketing in Russia and across countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Trafigura Group is one of the world's leading independent commodity trading and logistics group of companies with revenues of approximately $100 billion. United Capital Partners (UCP) is a large independent Russian private investment group with investments of over $3.5 billion in various industrial sectors.
The transaction is the single largest tranche of FDI in India, and re-establishes the image of India as an attractive destination for foreign investments, the release said.
"Earlier in 2007, Essar Group, together with Hutchison Whampoa, brought Vodafone into India through an $11.1-billion transaction. With the current transaction, this is the second instance that Essar has brought in world leaders in the sector to participate in the India growth story," it said.
Essar Group Chairman Shashi Ruia, said: “It is a historic day for Essar. The transaction demonstrates our unique ability to build world-class assets and create immense value in our businesses. The monetisation of our stake in Essar Oil will help drive the next level of growth for our other businesses.”
Mr Prashant Ruia, Director, and Essar, said: “We have once again reinforced our unique expertise in project incubation, execution, value creation and monetisation. We have established world-class assets that have attracted the attention of leading global companies and investors. The deals we have done have led to an FDI infusion of more than $30 billion into India.”
Mr Igor Sechin, CEO, Rosneft, said: “This is a significant milestone for the Company. Rosneft is entering one of the most promising and fast-growing world markets. At the same time, this project provides unique opportunities for synergies with the existing assets of the Company and is consistent with Rosneft's enhanced presence in the fast growing markets of other APR countries, such as Indonesia, Vietnam and The Philippines.”
Mr Jeremy Weir, Chief Executive Officer of Trafigura, said: “This is an important and exciting investment. Essar Oil occupies a strategic position in the global oil market and owns world-class refining and infrastructure assets that will create multiple synergies with our trading business.”
Mr Ilya Sherbovich, Managing Partner of UCP, stated: “We are very pleased to reach an agreement to acquire shares of Essar Oil Limited. This is a top-tier asset operating in the promising Indian market, one of the largest and rapidly developing economies in the world. The announced transaction establishes a strategic partnership between our investment consortium members. Deal participants have extensive operational and financial expertise, which we believe will help to unlock significant value and provide strong financial results for all investors.”

India, Russia call for zero tolerance in dealing with terrorists and their supporters

India and Russia on Saturday strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and affirmed the need for zero tolerance in dealing with terrorists and their supporters.
Modi, Putin hold annual summit in Goa
India and Russia today strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and  manifestations and affirmed the need for zero tolerance in dealing with terrorists and their supporters.
"Russia’s clear stand on the need to combat terrorism mirrors our own," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a joint media interaction with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the 17th annual India-Russia Summit here.
"We deeply appreciate Russia’s understanding and support of our actions to fight cross-border terrorism, that threatens our entire region," he said.
A joint statement issued by the two sides said the two leaders  emphasized the necessity of comprehensive international collaboration in order to ensure the eradication of terrorism.
"India and Russia recognize the threat posed by terrorism, and believe that the full implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy without application of any double standards or selectivity will be instrumental in countering this challenge," it said.
They stressed the need to deny safe havens to terrorists and the importance of countering the spread of terrorist ideology as well as radicalization leading to terrorism, stopping recruitment, preventing travel of terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters, strengthening border management and having effective legal assistance and extradition arrangements. Furthermore, stressing the need to have a strong international legal regime built on the principle of ‘zero tolerance for direct or indirect support of terrorism’, both sides called upon the international community to make sincere efforts towards the earliest conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).
Mr. Modi began by appreciating Mr. Putin's deep affection for India. He quoted a Russian saying to point out that "an old friend is better than two new friends".
"In the complex and changing global context, your leadership has provided stability and substance to our strategic partnership. Ours is a truly privileged and unique relationship," he said.
Mr. Modi said Mr. Putin and he had held an extensive and useful conversation on the entire spectrum of the bilateral engagement.
"The highly productive outcomes of our meeting clearly establish the ecial and privileged nature of our strategic partnership. They also lay the foundations for deeper defence and economic ties in years ahead," he said.
He said the agreements on manufacturing of Kamov 226T helicopters; constructions of frigates; and acquisition and building of other defence platforms were in synergy with India’s technology and security priorities. They wil also help achieve the objectives of his government's Make in India campaign, he said.
"We have also agreed to work on an annual military industrial conference that will allow stakeholders on both sides to institute and push collaboration. These projects are new chapters in a long history of strong and diverse defence partnership that both sides can take much pride in. Just minutes ago, with dedication of Kudankulum 2 and laying of foundation concrete of Kundankulum 3 and 4, we saw the tangible results of India-Russia cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy. 
"And, with proposed construction of another eight reactors, our wide ranging cooperation in nuclear energy is set to bring rich dividends for both of us. It also fits in with our needs of energy security, access to high technology and greater localization and manufacturing in India. Last year in Moscow, I had said that we would be enlarging our presence in Russia’s Hydrocarbon sector. In last four months alone, in a clear expression of our strong and deep engagement in the hydrocarbon sector, Indian companies have invested close to US Dollars 5.5 billion in Russia’s oil and gas sector. And, with President Putin’s support, we are ready and willing to expand the scope of our engagement further. We are also undertaking a joint study of a gas pipeline route between our two countries. A combination of robust civil nuclear cooperation, LNG sourcing, partnership in the oil and gas sector, and engagement in renewables can construct a promising ‘Energy Bridge’ between our two countries," he said.
The two sides also agreed to set up a Science and Technology Commission, through which their societies will reap the benefits of joint development, transfer and sharing of cutting edge technologies in different fields.
" As with the last Summit, we also continue to expand, diversify and deepen our economic engagement. Businesses and industry between our two countries is connected more deeply today. Trade and investment ties are on the upswing. And, with President Putin’s backing, we hope to fast track India’s association with Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement. The Green Corridor and the International North South Transport Corridor will serve to strengthen trade facilitation, logistical links and ensure better connectivity between our countries. Our efforts for early setting up of the Investment Fund of US Dollars 1 billion between National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) will help advance our infrastructure partnership. We also want our economic linkages to connect the regions and states in both countries," he said.
The Prime Minister said the success of the summit shone a spotlight on the abiding strength of the India-Russia strategic partnership.
He said Mr. Putin and he noted the similarity of their views on the situation in Afghanistan and turmoil in West Asia. They also agreed to work closely to respond to the challenges posed by the unsettled nature of the global economic and financial markets.
"Our close collaboration at the United Nations, BRICS, East Asia Summit, G-20, Shanghai Cooperation Organization makes our partnership truly global, both in its scope and coverage," he said.
"As we approach the seventieth anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic ties next year, India and Russia are celebrating and building on the achievements of our past. We are working to model a partnership that befits our common ambition and meets our shared goals for the twenty-first century. Our close friendship has given clear direction, fresh impulse, stronger momentum and rich content to our ties.In the emerging regional and global landscape, it has been a source of strength and substance, a driver of peace and a factor of stability," he added.

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to visit India from October 17-19

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi will pay a state visit to India from October 17-19 that will provide an opportunity for the two sides to discuss issues of mutual interest and seek ways to further strengthen their close and friendly ties.
The state visit will take place immediately after the conclusion of the BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit to be held in Goa on October 16, to which Ms. Suu Kyi will lead the Myanmar delegation. 
Ms. Suu Kyi will be accompanied by several key Ministers and senior officials. During her visit, she will call on President Pranab Mukherjee and hae meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
She will also attend a business event during which she will interact with leading Indian business leaders on ways of bolstering bilateral economic and commercial relations, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs added.

Admiral Lanba calls for greater cooperative maritime security

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff has reiterated the importance of cooperative engagement to promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
This, has been the Navy’s consistent approach and was congruent to the government’s SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region) initiative for inclusive development, Admiral Lamba said inaugurating the first ever Goa Maritime Symposium conducted by the Naval War College here yesterday.
He also presented awards to the graduating international officers of the maiden Regional Maritime Security Course. He urged them to take forward the knowledge gained and bonds developed during their stay at Goa to build a better and more secure future.
Divided into four sub-themes, the symposium conducted over two days evaluated Strengthening of Regional Maritime Security Architectures; Enhancing Interoperability in the Indian Ocean Region; Challenges to Freedom of Navigation; and Maritime Security Challenges in the IOR.
Each of these themes was elaborated upon by speakers of national and international renown, comprising a veritable who’s who of analysts, scholars and practitioners such as Admirals Raja Menon, Arun Prakash, Sureesh Mehta, Vijay Shankar, Pradeep Chauhan; Commodore Uday Bhaskar; Professor Geoffrey Till, Vijay Sakhuja, Dattesh Parulekar and Ms Tomoko Kiyota.
Senior officers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar and Sri Lanka actively contributed to the symposium by sharing the experiences, concerns and perspectives of their respective countries. 
“Each sub-theme stimulated engaging discussions and we collectively deliberated on several aspects of regional security mechanisms and cooperative frameworks in the context of present as well as future maritime challenges and how we can achieve greater efficacy and efficiency in mitigating them,” said Rear Admiral Monty Khanna, Commandant of the Naval War College.
He added that basic security perception, projection and understanding of all affairs – maritime – must have the essential elements of regional cooperation.
The symposium contributed majorly towards fostering a sense of maritime awareness that presupposes efficiency in cooperative mechanisms, he said.
It also brought out competing narratives and suggested roadmaps for the future including strengthening existing frameworks such as the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) – an Indian Navy initiative since 2008.

Goa Shipyard hands over first Fast Patrol Vessel to Mauritius

Indo-Mauritian defence co-operation got another fillip with the delivery of the first Fast Patrol Vessel, MCGS Victory, designed and built in-house by Goa Shipyard Limited for the Mauritius Coast Guard.
The vessel, handed over yesterday, is primarily designed for coastal patrolling, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling, anti-drug surveillance, anti-poaching operations, and search and rescue operations.
The vessel is 50 metres long, fitted with 30 mm CRN-91 Gun, 12.7 mm HMGs and 7.62 mm MMGs besides state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, an official press release said.
It is capable of achieving a high speed of 35 knots. Significantly, trials were undertaken in peak monsoon months and the vessel achieved all design parameters.
The ship was ceremonially handed over by Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital, (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, Goa Shipyard Ltd to Mr. K. Jhugroo, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mauritius Police Force, in the presence of senior officials from Mauritius and India. 
Rear Admiral Mital said the contract for the vessel was signed on May, 17, 2014 and the keel of the vessel was laid on December 18, 2014.
Despite all the challenges, including delay of over six months in supply of steel and being the first ship of the series, we have successfully delivered this ship as per contractual schedule of September 2016, he said.
“It is in line with the track record of GSL in recent years of timely deliveries and shows the dedication and commitment of all the stakeholders involved,” he added.
Mr. Jhugroo, lauded the excellent work being done in the shipyard and complimented GSL for delivery of the state-of- the-art new ship for Mauritius. 
GSL is the largest exporter of ships from the Indian subcontinent. It is at present executing export orders worth Rs. 1200 crore.

BRICS Environment Ministers to meet in Goa

The Environment Ministers of BRICS countries are meeting on September 16 in Goa to strengthen mutual cooperation, an official press release said here today.
As the Minister of the host nation, Minister of State of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Anil Madhav Dave will arrive here tomorrow to participate in the meeting.
The meeting is expected to discuss proposals for a Memorandum of Understanding and a Joint Working Group on environment. 
The BRICS Ministers are also expected to discuss thematic areas of mutual interest and prioritise actions for cooperation in critical areas like air and water pollution, liquid and solid waste management, climate change and conservation of biodiversity. This meeting will be preceded by official level discussions.
The meeting assumes significance after the adoption of landmark global environmental agreements like the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement last year.
It is part of a series of meetings being organized by various Central Government Ministries, in the run-up to BRICS Heads of States Summit in October 2016 at Goa, after India assumed BRICS Presidency this year from Russia.
The meeting of BRICS Environment Ministers is being organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa comprising BRICS block together account for 41.6% of global population, 29.31 % of total world’s territory and about 22% of world’s total GDP. These nations have rich biodiversity and natural capital. The choices made by the BRICS countries have a global significance, an official press release added.

Cabinet approves redevelopment of Berths 8, 9, Barge Berths at Mormugao

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) yesterday gave its approval for redevelopment of Berths 8 and 9 and Barge Berths at the port of Mormugao in Goa in public private partnership (PPP) mode at an estimated cost of Rs. 1145.36 crore. 
The project will be completed within 36 months from the date of award of concession, an official press release said.
The project envisages reconstruction of three old berths and replacement of 38-year-old equipment by creating facilities for handling a variety of cargo like iron ore, bauxite, gypsum, limestone, fertilizers, steel coils and other general cargo at Mormugao catering to ships up to 1,85,000 DWT. 
The existing capacity of these old berths with 38-year-old iron ore handling equipment is 13 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). As a result of modernization of berths, more efficient operations due to this project and utilization of deeper draft of 19.5 metres being created in the port, an incremental capacity of 6.22 MTPA would be added. 
The project is primarily meant for export of iron ore to meet the growing demand of Goan iron ore due to the lifting of ban on export of iron ore, the release said.
The release said the iron ore will be brought to the port through barges using inland waterways of rivers Mandovi and Zuari and no road movement is involved. Iron ore will be unloaded through grab un-loaders and discharged into hoppers for stockpiling. For cargo retrieval, bucket wheel reclaimers will be used and loaded onto vessels by stackers. 
Dry fog system will be installed so that there are no fugitive dust emissions. Additionally water spraying/sprinkling systems will be installed at specific discharge points to mitigate the problems, it said.
The stockpile will be stored under proper cover. The possibility of dust formation would also be under control as no wagon tippling would be involved, the release added.

Regional Maritime Security Course at Naval War College, Goa

An eight-week Regional Maritime Security Course (RMSC) for officers of the rank of Colonel and equivalent of Maritime Security Agencies from friendly foreign countries (FFCs) commenced at Naval War College, Goa today.
The module includes International Relations Theory, International Maritime Law, UNCLOS, Energy and Natural Resources Security, Maritime Domain Awareness, Indian Ocean Studies as well as a table top Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief/Out of Area Contingency exercise.
The course would provide a concrete forum for developing common understanding of regional maritime security issues, disseminate the Indian Navy perspective on the subject, as well as provide an opportunity for officers undergoing the Naval Higher Command Course to interact with the foreign participants, and understand the perspectives of regional navies, on issues of common concern.
The Indian Navy, in consonance with the government’s policy of engaging friendly nations, has been at the forefront of building ‘Bridges of Friendship’ with navies from Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs). Training is one of the most important facets of this engagement.
The Indian Navy has been providing training to naval personnel from FFCs over the last five decades, during which it has trained more than 13,000 foreign personnel from 42 countries.
The training interactions would complement in fulfilling our national objectives of ‘strengthening cooperation and friendship with other countries to promote regional and global stability’.
To start with, invitations were extended to participants from six FFCs, giving due importance and priority to immediate maritime neighbours and the Navy’s engagement with these FFCs.
Accordingly, officers from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, Oman and Sri Lanka have arrived to attend the inaugural Regional Maritime Security Course at Naval War College, Goa. The participant from Indonesia is also likely to join by end of this week.
The conduct of the maiden RMSC is considered to be a ‘shot in the arm’ for naval cooperation initiatives, and would enable better understanding between regional navies at the operational level. cooperation and friendship with other countries to promote regional and global stability’.

Javadekar inaugurates IIT Goa, calls for improvement in global rankings of Indian institutions

Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said here yesterday that his Ministry was working towards enhancing the perception about Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to get them top positions in world rankings.
Inaugurating the Indian Institute of Technology, Goa on July 30, Mr Javadekar pointed out that IITs are already recognised the world over as premier institutes of academic excellence, He also laid the foundation stone for IIT Goa Students’ Hostel.
The newly set up IIT Goa will function from a temporary campus at Goa Engineering College, Farmagudi and will be mentored by IIT Mumbai.
The Minister said the permanent campus at Loliem would be completed within 1000 days.
He also referred to the IIT-PAL platform which prospective IIT students could use to receive coaching for the entrance exam from the best professors across the country through online, TV or other new media.
The IITs could use the Central Government’s Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY) in which industries could give specific research request to IITs and co-partner in technological development. The Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) is to enable the best practices of foreign countries to be implemented in India through idea exchange, he said.
The Minister emphasised on innovation and Make in India, promising that the Government will extend all support in making IITs as Start-Up hubs.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was also present, said the summer internship programme of IIT students could be conducted at various defence research establishments to add value to their curriculum. He also referred to a programme in which scientists from DRDO would act as visiting faculty members to various IITs. 
The proposed campus for NIT Goa will be established at Cuncolim removing all the bottlenecks.
The campus for the Indian Institute of Technology Goa (IIT Goa) will be developed at Loliem, a quiet town in Canacona taluka in the southernmost tip of Goa. It is bounded by Galgibag River in the North, village of Poinguinim along the East, Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka state in the South and Arabian Sea to the West.
Historically, Loliem was a village of metallurgical artisans who made idols of gods and goddesses using aluminum and iron during the reign of the Kadambas of Banavasi (345 – 525 CE) and was, therefore, called Lohahalli.
Subsequently, when Goa became a Portuguese colony, its name was changed to Loliem. The village had a check post for road transit to other parts of India until 1961, when Goa was incorporated into the Indian Union.
Loliem has a mix of the rolling hills of the Western Ghats, a slice of the coast and an interior hilly, plateau region. The 300 acre new IIT Goa campus is expected to come up in a couple of years and is located about 88 km south of the capital city of Panaji.
The interim campus of IIT Goa is located at Goa Engineering College (GEC) at Farmagudi, about 78 km away from the proposed IIT Goa Campus site. The temporary campus is fully equipped with class rooms, laboratories and modern hostel buildings. It is expected to serve the needs of IIT Goa for the first couple of years.
Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, Deputy Chief Minister, Francis D’Souza, PWD Minister Ramakrishna Dhavlikar, South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar and Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director, IIT, Mumbai were present on the occasion.

Mhadei returns after successful completion of all-women expedition

The Indian Navy’s only ocean-going sailboat, Mhadei, has returned to her homeport in Goa after a six-member team of women officers successfully carried out a voyage to Mauritius.
The team on their maiden, and India’s first all-women crew ocean voyage, covered a distance of over 5000 nautical miles through treacherous monsoon seas and heavy winds.
The voyage had commenced in Goa on May 24 and reached Port Louis, Mauritius on June 14. The expedition concluded yesterday with the vessal arriving at INS Mandovi Boat Pool.
The skipper, Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) Vartika Joshi, and her five-member team comprising Lt B Aishwarya, Lt P Swathi, Lt Pratibha Jamwal, Lt Vijaya and SLt Payal Gupta were received by Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command.
Present on the occasion were senior Naval officers and sailing enthusiasts. Vice Adm Luthra said it was a landmark event, where the team had undertaken the first ever open voyage by an Indian women crew. This achievement showcases the courage and commitment of young Indian women and would provide a fillip to popularise ocean sailing in India, he said.
The all-women crew of Mhadei is presently training to undertake an expedition to circumnavigate the globe, a feat achieved by lesser number of people than those who have managed to climb Mount Everest.
The first Indian to solo-circumnavigate the globe on board Mhadei, Cdr Dilip Donde, has tutored and trained the all-women crew.
The voyage of over 40 days at sea was aimed at exposing the skipper and crew to rough seas expected during the monsoon period in the North Indian Ocean.
This was to prepare them for the very rough weather expected to be encountered by them in the Southern Ocean during their circumnavigation of the globe.
"The aim of this training voyage was adequately met and the all-women crew has proved themselves capable and competent at sea. The crew would now supervise essential repairs to the boat at Goa and prepare her for the next voyage, when Mhadei would be participating in the prestigious Cape to Rio race 2017 commencing from Cape Town on December 26 this year," an official press release said.
The crew will thereafter shift to the new boat presently under construction at Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa. The new boat is of same design as Mhadei and has been named Tarini, after the river boat goddess of Goa. The keel of the boat was laid by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on March 28. Tarini is expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy in February 2017 prior to India’s first all-women crew embarking on circumnavigation commencing in August 2017.
Two solo circumnavigations, the first with stops by Cdr Dilip Donde, and the second, non-stop by Cdr Abhilash Tomy, has been undertaken onboard Mhadei between 2009 and 2013.

INSV Mhadei sails to Mauritius with an all-women crew

Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Mhadei sailed from Goa with an all-women crew for a voyage to Port Louis, Mauritius today. 
The boat is being skippered by Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi (a Naval Constructor).
This would be the first open-ocean voyage of the Navy’s all-women crew of Mhadei, who are currently training to undertake a circumnavigation of the globe in 2017, an official press release said.
The crew comprising Lt P Swathi, Lt B Aishwarya, Lt Pratibha Jamwal, Lt Vijaya and Lt Payal Gupta would be undertaking this arduous voyage through rough seas and heavy weather, expected during the monsoons, in the Arabian Sea. 
This is a training voyage to expose the young crew to weather that would be faced by them during the circumnavigation in 2017. 
All the women officers are keen sailors who took to the sport after joining the Indian Navy. 
Lt. Cdr. Joshi and Lt. Swathi have been part of Mhadei crew on earlier voyages. The officers have undergone theoretical training in Navigation, Communication, Meteorology and Seamanship at the navy’s training schools in Kochi. Since then, they have been training under Cdr Dilip Donde, India’s first circumnavigator, who undertook his voyage on the same boat, in 2008-09. 
The all-women crew circumnavigation of the globe would be undertaken on board the new sailing vessel of the Navy presently under-construction at Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa. The yet-to-be-named boat is expected to be delivered to the Navy by February 2017. 
The Navy is in the process of setting up an Ocean Sailing node at Goa to promote Ocean sailing and a spirit of adventure amongst young naval officers and sailors. Mhadei and her sister vessel would be based at this node in Goa. 
The exploits of this all-women crew on board Mhadei, alongwith accounts of their voyage and photographs, can be followed on the Facebook page ‘Mhadei’. The boat is expected to enter Port Louis on 11/12 June and return to Goa by early July, the release added.

UIDAI launches exercise to cover leftover population

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched an initiative to enrol leftover population for Aadhaar (unique identification numbers) in four States and Union Territories -- Haryana, Goa, Chandigarh and Puducherry.
Aadhaar saturation levels are more than 100% in these four places (as per projected population figure of 2015). Aadhaar saturation can cross 100% when the migrant population also enrolls in that particular state. As on May 12, 2016, over 101.26 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated across the country.
As part of the initiative, people who have not yet enrolled in Haryana, Goa, Chandigarh and Puducherry are being asked to register themselves at
On completing the simple registration formality, such people would be enrolled for the Aadhaar number on a priority basis.
“This exercise has been initiated to ensure that no one is left without an Aadhaar number in these four States/UTs which has more than 100% Aadhaar saturation, statistically speaking. It is part of our overall effort to ensure complete Aadhaar coverage across the country,” said Director General & Mission Director of UIDAI, Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
This pilot exercise in the four States/Union Territories will be conducted between May 13 and June 15. Enrolment request of only persons over the age of 18 years will be accepted on the portal mentioned above.
Providing a mobile number as well as other demographic details is also mandatory as a mobile OTP-based verification will be conducted once the person submits the enrolment request. The person will be then contacted and enrolled on a priority basis through special camps or at the enrolment stations located near him/her. Based on the experience of this pilot, the special drive will be extended to other states too.

Navy de-inducts Sea Harriers, inducts MiG-29K fighter aircraft

The illustrious Sea Harriers of the Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS 300) were given a ceremonial farewell at a function organised at INS Hansa, Goa.
The function was attended by Admiral R K Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Sunil Lanba, Flag Officer Commanding- in-Chief Western Naval Command, serving and retired officers and men of the Indian Navy and personnel who have served in the INAS 300.
Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Dhowan lauded the stellar role played by the squadron in the defence of the country and acknowledged the professionalism of the pilots, the maintainers and all those personnel associated with flying and maintaining the aircraft in peak efficiency during their service.
The rich legacy would continue as the baton is being passed on to the proud young crew of the MiG 29K squadron who have been successful in seamlessly integrating the fighters with INS Vikramaditya in the shortest possible time, he added.
In appreciation of the faithful service to the nation by INAS 300 ‘White Tigers’, an impressive ceremony was held which saw the Sea Harriers fly for one last time, and MiG-29K flanking their outgoing cousins and ceremoniously taking their place.
The air display included supersonic pass by MiG 29s and formation flying by two each of Sea Harriers and MiG 29Ks. The composite air display symbolized a smooth transition from the old to the new in continuance with the proud legacy of the INAS 300.
On completion of the air display, ”washing down of the Sea Harriers” was carried out in a traditional manner. A first day cover was also released by Admiral Dhowan to mark the occasion. 
The White Tigers or INAS 300 who stand for excellence, determination and aggressive spirit, heralded the era of carrier borne aviation into the Indian Navy. Almost six decades ago the squadron was commissioned at RNAS Brawdy with its distinctive ‘White Tiger’ logo and equipped with the Sea Hawk aircraft.
After providing yeoman service for over two decades, the squadron was subsequently reincarnated with Sea Harriers in 1983. This premier carrier borne fighter squadron achieved iconic status in the Indian Navy with its distinguished service, receiving numerous gallantry awards which include one Maha Vir Chakra, four Vir Chakras and one Nau Sena Medal.
To continue the proud ‘White Tiger’ legacy, the squadron has been re-equipped with the new and more lethal MiG 29Ks. INAS 300 would thus be re-equipped with the new swing role air dominance fighter giving the squadron enhanced combat power and offensive capability.
For the versatile White Tigers, this resurrection also marks a full cycle from commissioning ‘Tail Hooking Sea Hawks’ to the ‘Vectored Thrust’ Sea Harrier era; and now with the induction of the MiG-29k to this elite squadron, marks the return of the ‘Tail Hookers’.

DRDO to hand over sonar dome to Defence Minister in Goa on March 29

A huge bow mounted sonar dome, designed and developed by Research & Development Establishment (Engineers) [R&DE(E)], a Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory based in Pune, will be flagged off by Defence Minister  Manohar Parrikar in Goa tomorrow.
Dr. S. Christopher, Secretary Department of Defence (R&D) & Director General, DRDO will also be present at the ceremony that will be held on the sidelines of the Defexpo at Quitol in Goa.
The sonar dome will be delivered to Mazgaon Docks, Mumbai, an official press release said.
According to the release, the sonar dome, a first of its kind in the country, has been manufactured by a composites manufacturing company in India. 
"This is a huge contribution by Indian Industry to the ‘Make in India’ movement. Only a couple of companies worldwide have the capability of realising such structures," it said.
All anti-submarine warfare (ASW) ships have a sonar array fitted to the ship structure below the waterline. The sonar functions as the ship’s underwater eyes and ears. The sonar dome is a structure fitted over the sonar array so that its electronics and sensors are not exposed to surrounding hostile environment. The sonar dome has to be structurally sound as well as acoustically transparent, it said.
The release said R&DE(E), DRDO, Pune had successfully developed process technologies to realise large composite structures that can be used in naval ships and submarines. The laboratory has also developed technologies related to integral composite armour that can be used in combat vehicles. The laboratory is also significantly contributing in development of aerospace structures. 
NPOL, a DRDO laboratory at Kochi in Kerala, played a significant role in development of the sonar dome, it said.

9th edition of Defexpo to open in Goa on Monday

The 9th edition of Defexpo India, a biennial exhibition on Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems, will be organized by the Defence Exhibition Organisation of the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence from March 28-31 at Naqueri Quitol in Quepem taluka of South Goa.
Th exhibition will be inaugurated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar tomorrow, an official press release said.
"India is among a handful of countries in the world with indigenous capabilities in the defence fields such as multi-level strategic deterrence, ballistic missile defence, nuclear powered submarines, main battle tank, stealth destroyers, aircraft carriers and 4th generation fighter aircraft. With the changes in government policies on defence acquisition and Make in India campaign, considerable impetus is being given to indigenisation in the defence sector," the release said.
According to it, the exhibition will showcase India's capabilities in Land, Naval and Security Systems as well as its emergence as an attractive destination for investment in the defence sector.
The event provides a platform for forging alliances and joint ventures in the defence industry. The event also provides an excellent opportunity to the Indian defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs), private sector and other defence related industries to demonstrate their capability to design, develop and deliver a wide range of military and civil products/services. 
As a clear indicator of India’s growing prominence and stature internationally; this year’s exhibition will be the largest Defexpo held till to date. In all, more than 1000 companies, both foreign and Indian, are taking part in the exhibition this year, which is over one and a half times the number of participants in Defexpo 2014. 
With a total of 510 companies, participation by Indian companies has doubled since 2014 which saw participation by 256 companies. A total number of 490 foreign companies are participating this year against 368 in Defexpo 2014. 
Around 950 delegations against 511 in 2014 are expected to visit the exhibition this year. As many as 204 official delegations from 44 countries and around 750 non-official business delegations are attending the show. 
The net area sold during this edition is 40725 square meters against 27,515 square meters in 2014. The gross area of exhibition has increased over three-folds to 150,000 square meters against 45,000 square meters in 2014. 
On the sidelines of the exhibition, seminars will provide a platform to showcase developments and opportunities in the defence sector. The topics of seminars being conducted on March 29 and 30 are advances in shipbuilding technology, Make in India for defence sector, India – Korea Defence Cooperation, Modernisation Programme of Indian Army and Challenges and opportunities of Defence Offset. 
The release said 47 countries will be taking part in the exhibition against 30 countries which participated in the last edition of Defexpo. These are Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and United States of America. 
The event will be open to public on 31 March and by prior registration on other days. People who wish to visit the site on other days may do so by registering on its website , the release added.

Dilip Buildcon to build India’s second longest cable bridge in Goa

Infrastructure player Dilip Buildcon Limited (DBL) today said it had bagged a contract worth Rs. 545.40 crore from the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) to build a 640 metre long, eight lane, cable stayed bridge across the Zuari river in Goa.
A press release from Dilip Buildcon said it had joined hands with a Ukrainian based company, Mostobudivelnyi Zahin Limited (MBZ) with a 70% and 30% stake, respectively, to construct the cable bridge. 
MBZ has experience in construction of cable suspension bridges and will be the technical partner to Dilip Buildcon Limited for this project, it said.
Mr. Devendra Jain, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Dilip Buildcon Ltd. said, “This is our first project in Goa and we are extremely glad to have bagged this prestigious project and hope that we are able to complete the project before time. We have won a phase of the entire road project at Rs. 545.40 crores from MoRTH.  With this, we are now present in 12 states across India.”
On January 2, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of the project. The estimated cost of the 1.084 km long project is Rs. 676.19 cr and it has a  completion period of 36 months. 
There are around four to five cable suspension bridges built on a large scale in India and this would be the second largest cable bridge lengthwise in the country after Vidyasagar Setu in Kolkata, the release added.

Cabinet okays nomination of NITI Aayog CEO as part-time Member of Telecom Commission

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for nomination of the Chief Executive Officer, NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog as a part-time Member of the Telecom Commission in place of Secretary, Planning Commission, a post which is non-existent now.
The participation of Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog in the meetings of Telecom Commission will lend value to the deliberations of the Commission, because the NITI Aayog has been mandated to serve as a think tank of the Government, an official press release said.
The Telecom Commission was set up by the Government of India (GoI) vide Resolution dated 11th April, 1989 with administrative and financial powers of GoI to promote rapid development in all aspects of telecommunications. 
Before supersession of the Planning Commission, the Telecom Commission was composed of a Chairman [Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications], four full time members [Member (Finance), Member (Production), Member (Services) & Member (Technology)] and four part time members [Secretary (Department of Electronics & Information Technology), Secretary (Department of Economic Affairs), Secretary (Planning Commission) & Secretary (Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion)]. 
After supersession of the Planning Commission and its replacement by the NITI Aayog, only three part-time Members were left with the Telecom commission. 

Oman Navy ships arrive for bilateral maritime exercise "Naseem al Bahr"

Two Royal Oman Navy ships, RNOV Al-Shamikh, a Corvette and RNOV Al-Seeb, a Fast Attack Craft entered the port of Goa ths morning on their way to participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR) scheduled at Visakhapatnam from February 4-9.
Prior to the commitments of IFR 2016, the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman will conduct a bilateral maritime exercise Naseem al Bahr in the Arabian Sea from today till January 27.
"Naseem al Bahr epitomises the strong long-term strategic relationship between the two countries. Initiated in 1993, the exercise has matured over the years with increasing scope, complexity of operations and level of participation. The current exercise will be the tenth such exercise," an official press release said.
According to it, the primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. 
The release said the scope of Naseem al Bahr 16 includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities at sea across the spectrum of maritime operations. 
During the exercise, the Indian Navy will be represented by INS Trikand and INS Trishul. In addition, Fast Attack Craft, Maritime Patrol Aircraft and integral helicopters are scheduled to participate in the bilateral exercise. 
The exercise will be progressed in two phases -- the Harbour Phase (22 – 24 January) at Goa and the Sea Phase (24 – 27 January) off Goa. The Harbour Phase would include variety of professional interactions, courtesy calls, social and sporting interactions and planning conferences. Various facets of Fleet Operations are planned during the Sea Phase, including navigation and seamanship evolutions, surface firing, force protection and anti-piracy exercises as well as flying operations. The exercise is aimed at deriving mutual benefit from each other’s experiences and sharing best practices. The interoperability achieved over the years as a result of such exercises has proved to be operationally beneficial to both navies. 
"The exercise will be another milestone in strengthening maritime security cooperation between the two navies and will also serve to reinforce the long standing bond of friendship between the two countries. Our increasing naval cooperation is a tangible symbol of the commitment of both nations towards enhancing maritime stability," the release added.

Former Punjab Governor, 1971 war hero Lt. Gen. J F R Jacob passes away

Lt. Gen. J F R Jacob
Lt. Gen. J F R Jacob
Former Punjab and Goa Governor and 1971 India-Pakistan war hero Lt. Gen. J F R Jacob passed away at the Army Research and Referral Hospital here this morning due to complications arising from old age.
He was 92 and a bachelor.
Lt. Gen. Jacob was born in 1923 at Calcutta and enlisted in the British Indian Army in 1942, and served in Northern Iraq, North Africa, Burma and Sumatra. 
After World War II, Lt Gen Jacob attended and graduated from artillery schools in England and the United States. He returned to India following partition, and joined the Indian Army. During this period, Lt Gen Jacob composed an Indian Army manual on desert warfare. He was also part of India-Pakistan War of 1965 and India-Pakistan War of 1971. 
Lt Gen Jacob gained prominence when, as Major General, he served as the Chief of Staff of the Indian Army's Eastern Command that defeated the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. He retired from the Army after 37 years of service in 1978. 
Lt Gen Jacob was appointed as Governor of Goa, and later served as Governor of Punjab. 
He was the author of a book “Surrender at Dacca: Birth of a Nation”. He also wrote an autobiography titled, “An Odyssey in War and Peace: An Autobiography by Lt Gen. J.F.R. Jacob”. 
General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of Army Staff, expressed his deepest condolences at the passing away of Lt. Gen. Jacob, describing it as a great loss.
He said Lt. Gen. Jacob was a pillar of military leadership and personified the best qualities of a soldier and a statesman who will always be remembered as one of the most prominent leaders in the annals of Indian military history. 

Gadkari inaugurates Capital Dredging of navigational channel at Mormugaon Port

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari inaugurated Capital Dredging of Navigational Channel at Cruise Berth at Mormugaon Port in Goa yesterday.
Speaking on the occasion, he said Mormugao was going to be the first port in the country with a draft of 19.5 metres. On completion of dredging of the navigational channel, a 1,85,000 tonne vessel will be able to embark in the port. 
The present capacity of the port can accommodate only an 80,000 tonne vessel. 
Mr. Gadkari said that for development of any port a draft of 18 metre is essential. With this, the economy of the state will get a major thrust.He also said that in order to transport goods from Goa to Hospet in Karnataka via road and rail, the government intended to double the rail track. 
Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar, MPT Chairman Jaikumar and Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand were also present on the occasion. 

14th Mumbai International Film Festival to be held from Jan 28-Feb 3

The 14th edition of the Mumbai International Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF) will be held from January 28 to February 3, 2016.
The screenings will be held at the Films Division theatres, Russian Culture Centre and Sophia College theatres at Pedder Road, Mumbai. 
The inauguration and closing functions will be held at the Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi at 5.00 pm on January 28 and February 3, respectively.
Well-known actor Jackie Shroff will support the event as its brand ambassador -- the first time the 25-year-history of the festival that an artiste from the mainstream of the film industry is playing that role.
MIFF is organized by Films Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and is supported by the Government of Maharashtra. 
Shroff told journalists on the sidelines of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2015) here that it was an honour to work as a brand ambassador for MIFF and that he had accepted the role because of his love for short films.
Films Division Director General Mukesh Sharma said the actor believed documentaries could be catalysts for social change and was planning to make short films to spread awareness about dreaded diseases and on social issues.
MIFF, the oldest and largest festival for non-feature films in South Asia, attracts filmmakes and cineastes from all over the world.
This year's edition of the festival will honour a veteran personality from the Indian documentary fraternity with the esteemed V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award that carries a cash component of Rs. 5 lakh, a trophy and citation, Mr. Sharma added.
Screenings of the competition films will also be held in cities like New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Lucknow, Nagpur and Thrissur.

IFFI: Indian Panaroma opens with Sanskrit film "Priyamanasam", "Goonga Pahlwaan"

The Indian Panorama section of the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2015) opened here toay with the screening of Sanskrit feature film "Priyamanasam", directed by Vinod Mankara, and "Goonga Pahlwaan", a non-feature film directed by Mit Jani, Prateek Gupta and Vivek Chaudhary.
The section was inaugurated by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who honoured the members of the jury. He also presented mementos to the cast and crew of the two opening films.
It was after three decades that the Indian Panorama had opened with  Sanskrit film.
The jury for feature films, headed by ace filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma, selected 26 films out of 230 eligible entries. The other members of the jury include Tapan Biswas, producer, Mahesh Aney, cinematographer, Bhagirathi, actress/director, Dilip Patnaik, director, Phonsok Ladakhi, actor/director, Praveen Sattaru, director, Major Ravi, director/actor, Bharathi Pradhan, writer/critic, Fowzia Fathima, cinematographer/director, Bijaya Jena, actress/ director, Panchakshari, director and M.K. Bhaskara Rao, writer/critic. 
The non-feature films jury chaired by well-known filmmaker  Rajendra Janglay has picked 21 films out of 146 eligible entries. The other members of the jury include Vinoo Choliparambil, editor/ director, Bachaspatimayum Sunzu, producer & director, Makarand Brahme, director, V. Rama Rao, academician, Pramod Purswane, director and Meenakshi Vinay Rai, director. 
The Best Feature Film of 62nd National Film Awards 2014, "Court" directed by Chaitanya Tamhane and the Best Non Feature Film “Tender is the Sight", directed by Torsha Banerjee, have been automatically included in the Indian Panorama 2015, by virtue of direct entry. 
Col. Rathore also inaugurated a multi-media exhibition and signature film on the National Film Heritage Mission at the festival.
The National Film Heritage Mission is a prestigious project of the Government for acquisition and preservation of filmic heritage of the country.
The mission aims at preservation, conservation, digitization and restoration of film and filmic material. The exhibition organized by National Film Archive of India (NFAI) encompasses posters and audio-visual content from the ‘Restored Classics’ of NFAI along with technical presentations explaining the processes of film restoration. 
NFAI Director Parkash Madgum said the institution had restored nearly 300 films and digitized nearly 500 films.

Jaitley inaugurates 46th International Film Festival of India in Goa

Music composer Ilayaraja speaking after receiving the Centenary Award at the inauguration of the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2015), in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2015. Union Minister for Finance and Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley and the chief guest, actor Anil Kapoor, are also seen.
Music composer Ilayaraja speaking after receiving the Centenary Award at the inauguration of the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2015), in Panaji, Goa on November 20, 2015. Union Minister for Finance and Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley and the chief guest, actor Anil Kapoor, are also seen.
The 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2015) got underway here today with the screening of the opening film, "The Man Who Knew Infinity", directed by Matthew Brown and based on the true story of the friendship between Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and Prof G H Hardy.
The film stars Dev Patel in the role of Ramanujan, Jeremy Irons as Hady and Devika Bhise as Ramanujan's wife S. Janaki Ammal.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who also holds the Information & Broadcasting portfolio, inaugurated the festival and said that film festivals around the world had acquired a global niche by identifying themselves with their geographical location.
Citing the examples of Cannes, Berlin and other prestigious film festivals,he said that it was customary to make such locations the permanent centres of such festivals where creativity excelled.
Well-known actor Anil Kapoor was the chief guest on the occasion, at which Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Information & Broadcasting Secretary Sunil Arora were also present.
Mr. Jaitley said such festivals gave filmmakers a chance to interact with fellow filmakers and provided opportunities for showcasing the best domestic and international talent. He said there could not be a better opportunity than a film festival to celebrate the excellence of cinema. 
The Minster also mentioned that there would be many new initiatives this year at IFFI-2015 such as a special section on ‘World Cinema Restored Classics’ to highlight the idea of film restoration, master classes with eminent Academy members, a special “ICFT- UNESCO Fellini Prize and Talkathons. 
Mr. Kapoor said IFFI had succeeded largely in its aim of showcasing excellence in global cinema.
Mr. Arora said nearly 7000 delegates would be participating in the festival this year. 
Mr. Jaitley and Mr. Kapoor conferred the Centenary Award for Indian Personality of the Year on music composer Ilaiyaraaja for his outstanding contribution to the music industry.
The Minister and actress Sonakshi Sinha launched a book on Dadasaheb Phalke Award winners published by the Publications Division, a unit of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
The jury for the International Festival was also introduced at the inaugural ceremony. The International Competition section jury included chairperson Shekhar Kapur along with Mr. Michael Radford, Ms. Julia Jentsch, Ms. Suha Arraf and Mr. Jeon Kyu-Hwan. The Indian Panorama jury for Feature and Non-feature categories included a team of highly acclaimed filmmakers and cinema stalwarts from different regions of India. The 13-member Feature jury and 7- member Non-feature jury are headed by  Aribam Syam Sharma and Rajendra Janglay respectively. 
The 11-day festival will showcase 187 films from 89 countries in World Cinema section along with 26 Feature and 21 Non-Feature films in Indian Panorama section. 
In the Indian Panorama section Priyamanasam and Goonga Pehelwan would be the opening films in the Feature and Non Feature Films categories, respectively. 
The focus country for the film festival is Spain. Films of master Spanish filmmakers Carlos Saura and Pedro Almadovar along with contemporary filmmakers like Alejandro Amenabar would be screened at the festival. The section would also feature Spanish actress Leticia Dolera’s directorial debut ‘Requirements to Be a Normal Person.’ 
The International Competition section includes 15 films from across the globe, including two from India. 
IFFI 2015 includes a special award - “ICFT- UNESCO Fellini Prize” in collaboration with the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT), Paris and UNESCO. The award would be presented first time in India to a film which reflects the ideals of peace, tolerance, non-violence and friendship promoted by UNESCO. 
Amongst the new initiatives of IFFI-2015 this year, there is a special section on ‘World Cinema Restored Classics’ to highlight the idea of film restoration. It would feature a package of classics to put spotlight on National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM). 
The National Film Archives of India (NFAI) and the Directorate of Audio-Visual Publicity have also organized a multimedia exhibition on NFHM. The festival has a special focus on North East Cinema to showcase the best of films and filmmakers from the region to the world. It will have a Special Retrospective on Aribam Syam Sharma along with a unique segment featuring next generation filmmakers from North East. 
The film festival has also introduced a new segment- ‘First Cut’ to recognize the young talent in the field of cinema and would screen some of the outstanding directorial debuts of 2015. The section would feature emerging filmmakers including Brian Perkins (Film - Golden Kingdom, USA), Michael Klette (Film - Solness, Germany) among others. The festival in association with the Oscar Academy would also promote skill development in film making through master classes with eminent Academy members on varied topics like sound designing, film archive and film editing. 
IFFI 2015 would also organize a special seminar on Film and Cultural Diversity. A special series titled ‘In Conversation’ with eminent Indian filmmakers such as Shyam Benegal and Vettrimaran to discuss films and the art of filmmaking with the audience would also be a new feature at IFFI 2015. 
Besides films screening, IFFI 2015 also offered various Special Programmes such as Contemporary Argentinean Cinema, Tribute to Anna Karina, Retrospective- Amos Gitai, Homage, Open Air screenings and Film Bazaar for the delegates. 

Film based on mathematican Ramanujan to open IFFI 2015

"The Man Who Knew Infinity", directed by Matthew Brown and based on the true story of the friendship between Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and Prof G H Hardy, will be the opening film of the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2015 to be held in Goa from November 20-30.
The film stars Dev Patel in the role of Ramanujan, Jeremy Irons as Hady and Devika Bhise as Ramanujan's wife S. Janaki Ammal.
Briefing journalists about the festival here today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who also holds the Information & Broadcasting portfolio, said the event would showcase 187 films from 89 countries in the World Cinema section along with 26 feature and 21 non-feature films in the Indian Panorama.
Popular Bollywood star Anil Kapoor will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony. 
The jury for the International Competition section is headed by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and includes Michael Radford, Julia Jentsch, Suha Arraf and Jeon Kyu-Hwan. The 13-member feature jury and 7-member non-feature jury was headed by Aribam Syam Sharma and Rajendra Janglay, respectively. 
Mr. Jaitley said IFFI had become a global brand in the world of cinema, promoting excellence and providing an opportunity to showcase the best domestic and international talent.
Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and I&B Secretary Sunil Arora were also present on the occasion.
Spain will be the focus country at IFFI 2015 and the films of Spanish masters Carlos Saura and Pedro Almadovar, along with contemporary filmmakers like Alejandro Amenabar, would be screened at the festival. 
The section would also feature Spanish actress Leticia Dolera’s directorial debut ‘Requirements to Be a Normal Person.’ 
As many as 15 films from across the globe will feature in the international competition.
Mr. Jaitley said IFFI would this feature a special section on World Cinema--Restored Classics to highlight the idea of film restoration.
This would feature a package of classics to put the spotlight on National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM).
He said the festival would also introduce a new segment- ‘First Cut’ to recognize young talent in the field of cinema and would screen some of the outstanding directorial debuts of 2015. The section would feature emerging filmmakers like Brian Perkins (Golden Kingdom, USA) and Michael Klette (Solness, Germany) among others.  
The festival will also promote skill development in film making through master classes on varied topics like sound designing, film archive and film editing.
Mr. Jaitley said that IFFI 2015 would also include a special award - “ICFT- UNESCO Fellini Prize” in collaboration with the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT), Paris and UNESCO. The award would be presented to a film which reflects the ideals of peace, tolerance, non-violence and friendship promoted by UNESCO. 
Mr. Jaitley also released the poster for the 46th edition of IFFI at the press conference.
Mr. Arora said that this year the festival would also have a special focus on North East Cinema and would showcase the best of films and filmmakers from the region to the world. It would have a Special Retrospective on Aribam Syam Sharma along with a segment featuring next generation filmmakers from the North East.
IFFI 2015 would also organize a special seminar on Film and Cultural Diversity. A special series titled ‘In Conversation’ with eminent Indian filmmakers such as Shyam Benegal and Vetrimaran would be organized to discuss films and the art of filmmaking with the audience.
Organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, in association with the State Government of Goa, the International Film Festival of India is an endeavor to understand the various social and cultural ethos through the eyes of cinema.
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