Morning briefing: India-Africa summit from today, record participation by African nations

india, africa, narendra modi, rape, madras high court, orop, sensex, geeta, pakistan

GN Staff | October 26, 2015



India and Africa  represent one-third of the world's population. Now, in a major diplomatic initiative, prime minister Narendra Modi's government is hosting the third India-Africa Forum Summit from today (October26-29) at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Delhi. This is perhaps the only time all the 54 African countries of Africa are coming together outside the continent for such a meeting. At least 40 countries are expected to be represented by their heads of state or government. The event has evoked international interest given its scale and the efforts by countries such as China to strengthen with Africa in their scramble for resources. It will herald a new era in mutual partnership between two of the world's fastest growing regions. The agenda includes a meeting of senior officials today, followed by meeting of foreign ministers on October 27 and the summit on October 29. President Pranab Mukherjee will host a grand banquet at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on the evening of October 29.

Geeta to return home today from Pakistan
Geeta, who has been iving in Pakistan after accidentally crossing the border, will return home today. She boarded the flight at 8 am from Karachi. Geeta was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago at the Lahore railway station. She's deaf and unable to speak. She was adopted by the Edhi Foundation's Bilquees Edhi and lives with her in Karachi. Geeta would be handed over to her family only if their DNA test matched.

Pakistan targets 30 border outposts of BSF in Jammu
Six civilians were injured overnight due to indiscriminate shelling by Pakistan Rangers on the international border in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu region. "Pakistan Rangers used 81 mm and 82 mm mortars to target over two dozen villages and nearly 30 border outposts of the Border Security Force​ (BSF) during the night," a senior police officer said in Jammu. "The shelling and firing continued well past midnight. Six villagers belonging to four families were injured due to Pakistan shelling in Bobiya village of Kathua district. They were immediately shifted to hospital by police in bullet proof vehicles," the officer said. Extensive damage has been caused to civilian property in Pakistan shelling, the office added.

Castrate child rapists, says Madras HC judge
In the backdrop of brutal gangrape of children in Delhi, a judge of Madras high court has said that castration is the punishment for child rapists. "Traditional laws are not stringent enough to yield any desired positive result. Suggestion of castration looks barbaric, but barbaric crimes should definitely attract barbaric model of punishment. Many may not agree with this. Still, everyone needs to understand the stark reality in society and appreciate the punishment suggested," said Justice N Kirubakaran, pointing to the fact that the conviction rate in cases
of sex offence against children is a mere 2.4% and that between 2008 and 2014, crimes against children had increased by 400 per cent, reports Times of India. "This court is sure that additional punishment of castration of child rapists would fetch magical results in preventing and containing child abuses," said the judge. He was passing orders on a plea from a foreigner facing pedophile charges.

Veterans sign petition to PM in blood for OROP implementation

The protesting ex-servicemen on Sunday in a letter signed in blood demanded prime minister Narendra Modi for early implementation of the 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP) scheme. On the 133rd day of their relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, the veterans said that the announcement made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on September 5 regarding the implementation of OROP had "seven serious shortcomings". If implemented without the removal of the shortcomings, it will kill the definition of OROP, the letter claimed.

CSIR launches inexpensive herbal drug for diabetes
A herbal drug, named 'BGR-34' for management of type-II diabetes mellitus, has been commercially launched by a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab in Lucknow on Sunday. According to a report in times of India, it is a combination of natural extracts from plants and is based on Ayurveda. It will be available in the form of tablets and may cost Rs 500 for 100 tablets. It has no side effects. The drug boosts immune system, works as antioxidant and checks free radicals. The 'BGR-34' has been validated scientifically. The drug has been jointly developed by two CSIR laboratories, National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plant (CIMAP).

BJP ahead, but Bihar polls not a 'referendum': Amit Shah

BJP President Amit Shah says the party has done well in the first two phases of Bihar polls and is headed for a "clean sweep" in phases three and four, but that irrespective of the result this state election should not be seen as a "referendum" on the Modi government. He also refuted the argument that a negative result for BJP will affect the Centre's reformist zeal and policy momentum. "It is Parliament that runs the country and we have a clear majority there. BJP's policies are not linked to victory and defeat in elections... No state assembly election can become a referendum for the central government," Shah told Economic Times.

Sensex rallies over 100 points; Nifty above 8,300
The S&P BSE Sensex rallied over 100 points on Monday tracking the rally seen in other Asian markets as the Chinese central bank surprised the markets on Friday with a rate cut to spur growth in the flagging economy.  The 30-share index was trading at 27,551, up 80 points or 0.30 per cent. It touched a high of 27,618.14 and a low of 27,538.87 in morning trade. The 50-share Nifty index also managed to
reclaim its crucial level of 8,300, and was trading around its next crucial psychological level of 8,350, supported by gains in metal, power, banks, auto, and IT stocks.

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