Prime Minister NarendraModi on Monday inaugurated
India’s first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in his parliamentary
constituency here and received the country’s first container cargo
transported on inland waterways from Kolkata.
This is the first of the four multi-modal terminals
being constructed on the National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) as part of the
World Bank-aided JalMargVikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of
The total estimated cost of the project is ₹5,369.18
crore, which will be equally shared between the Government of India and the
Earlier, upon his arrival here, the Prime Minister was given a detailed
presentation of the waterways and watched a short film on the viability of
the waterways between Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Haldia in West Bengal.
According to an official statement, the Centre’s
JalMargVikas Project aims at developing the stretch of the river between
Varanasi and Haldia for navigation of large vessels weighing up to 1,500
tonnes to 2,000 tonnes.
Its objective is to promote inland waterways as a
cheap and environment-friendly means of transportation, especially for cargo
movement. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project
The project entails construction of three multi-modal
terminals (Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia), two inter-modal terminals, five
roll-on-roll-off (Ro-Ro) terminal pairs, new navigation lock at Farakka in
West Bengal, assured depth dredging, integrated vessel repair and
maintenance facility, differential global positioning system (DGPS), river
information system (RIS), river training.
While Indians have grown wealthier in recent years,
the wealthiest are miniscule in number, a wealth report has shown. Despite
this, India has a relatively high inequality compared to the rest of the
The Global Wealth Report 2018 by Credit Suisse
analyses the wealth of 5 billion adults using financial balance sheets and
country-specific household surveys.
Just one of every 10 Indians has wealth of over
$10,000. Though there are 3.4 dollar millionaires in the country, their
proportion is negligible compared to counterparts in the rest of the world.
The average personal wealth per capita has been on the
rise over the years, but the rate of growth has fallen.
India's median wealth per adult is $1,289. This is
much less than the global median of $4,209. India also has a high Gini
coefficient, which means it is among poorer countries with high inequality.
The Gini coefficient is a measure of inequality. A
Gini of 0 indicates total equality in the population and 100 denotes full
Defence Minister NirmalaSitharaman on Sunday pitched
for dialogues between India and China on various issues, saying differences
between the two nations should not be allowed to become disputes.
Both India and China should respect each other and
resolve issues through dialogues and join hands together for peace and
prosperity, Ms.Sitharaman said.
There are various issues such as defence, border
disputes, border trades and presence of Indian and Chinese defence forces in
the Indian Ocean which can be resolved through continuous dialogues, the
Ms.Sitharaman was delivering the seventh memorial
lecture of former RSS activist from Arunachal Pradesh, RutumKamgo, on the
theme: ‘Towards Bridging the Indo-China Relationship for an Emerging Asia’
On a proposal of Chief Minister PemaKhandu for opening
up border trade with China through Bum La Pass, Ms.Sitharaman said trade was
possible with the border villages of both the countries, like the current
border haats at Nathu La in Sikkim and Moreh in Manipur.
Officials from Australia, India, Japan and the United
States will hold the third "Quadrilateral" or Quad meeting in Singapore on
November 14th, government and diplomatic sources confirmed.
The meet, that comes exactly a year after the format
was revived, will be held on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit, that
Prime Minister NarendraModi will attend, and is expected to focus on
infrastructure projects, maritime security cooperation and discuss regional
challenges including development.
India and Japan have recently announced a series of
joint projects along what they have called the "Asia-Africa growth corridor"
in the Indo-Pacific region. Among the projects that they will work together
on are the Jamuna Railway bridge in Bangladesh and other bridges in North
Eastern states; housing, school and electricity projects in Rohingya areas
in Myanmar, an LNG plant in Sri Lanka and a cancer hospital in Kenya.
However, officials from all four nations of the Quad
conceded that while the Quad has made some progress over the year, many
areas of divergence remain. To begin with, India has yet to agree to
Australia’s request to join the Malabar, and the officials said it was still
"too early" to discuss "militarising" the Quad.
PM Modi’s speech at the Shangri-La dialogue this year
where he said that "India doesn’t see the Indo-Pacific Region as a strategy
or as a club of limited members" as clearly distinguishing the Quad from the
Indo-Pacific, and India has also resisted raising the level of the Quad from
the current assistant secretary/ joint secretary level to that of Foreign
Secretary/Foreign Minister level as the US and Japan have been pushing for.