IAF flight with mortal remains of 31 NRIs killed in Kuwait fire lands in Kochi

News Network
June 14, 2024

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Kochi: An Indian Air Force (IAF) flight carrying the mortal remains of the Indians who died in the tragic fire incident in Kuwait two days ago, landed at the international airport here on Friday.

The IAF C30J aircraft is carrying the bodies of the Indians and of them 31 were received at the airport here.

The 31 bodies include 23 Keralites, 7 Tamilians and one person from Karnataka, officials said.

Officials had said that 49 people were killed in the fire in the Al-Mangaf building on June 12 and majority of them were Indians; the remaining were Pakistani, Filipino, Egyptian and Nepali nationals.

The blaze in the seven-storey building that housed 196 migrant workers in Mangaf, south of Kuwait City, on Wednesday killed 49 people and injured around 50 others. 

A preliminary probe has indicated glaring lapses – there were around two dozen gas cylinders on the ground floor of the building; inflammable materials were used as partitions to separate the workers in the cramped rooms; the doors to the rooftop were locked, etc.

Ernakulam Range DIG Putta Vimaladitya earlier said that all the required arrangements have been made to receive the bodies at the airport. 

“We have coordinated with the family members of the victims. Once the bodies are received, they will be properly escorted to their respective places.” Vimaladitya said.

A dedicated vehicle will be provided for each body, the DIG said. Heavy police force and ambulances have been deployed at the airport in Kochi.

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News Network
July 12,2024

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United Nations, July 12: India’s population is projected to peak in the early 2060s at about 1.7 billion and then decline by 12 per cent, but the country will remain the world's most populous throughout the century, the United Nations has said.

The World Population Prospects 2024 report, released here on Thursday, said that the world's population is expected to continue growing over the coming 50-60 years, reaching a peak of around 10.3 billion people in the mid-2080s, up from 8.2 billion in 2024. After peaking, the global population is projected to start declining gradually, falling to 10.2 billion people by the end of the century.

India, which surpassed China as the world's most populous nation last year, will continue to hold that position through 2100.

"The population of India, which is expected to remain the world's largest throughout the century, will likely decline by 12 per cent after reaching its peak in the early 2060s at about 1.7 billion," the UN report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Population Division said.

According to the report, India's population in 2024 is projected at 1.45 billion and this will peak to 1.69 billion in 2054. After this, India's population is projected to decline to 1.5 billion by the end of the century in 2100, but the country will still remain the most populous nation on earth.

Responding to a question by PTI on population projections for India, Senior Population Affairs Officer, Population Division, UN DESA Clare Menozzi said at a press conference that "India is currently the largest country in the world in terms of population, and it is projected to stay so throughout the century. The population is currently estimated at 1.45 billion, and it's supposed to increase further" to 1.69 billion.

"It's supposed to peak around the 2060s in size and then it starts to slightly decline. So by the end of the century, India is projected to be around 1.5 billion, but still the largest country in the world by a large margin.” The report said that China's population, currently 1.41 billion in 2024, will fall to 1.21 billion in 2054 and further decline to 633 million by 2100.

"It is anticipated that China, the country currently with the world's second-largest population, will likely experience the largest absolute population loss between 2024 and 2054 (204 million)," followed by Japan (21 million) and Russia (10 million). "Longer-range population projections are more uncertain" for China, it said.

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: District minister Dinesh Gundu Rao directed the district administration of Dakshina Kannada to conduct an inquiry into the alleged substandard work in the Riverfront project, which is being undertaken by Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) in the city.

At a Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meeting on Friday, MLC Ivan D’Souza and Mangaluru City South MLA D Vedavyas Kamath brought the issue of the collapse of a retaining wall constructed by the side of the Nethravati River in Boloor to the minister’s attention.

The minister stated that a detailed report should be submitted within a week. Raising the issue, D’Souza mentioned that despite having access to advanced technologies, MSCL has failed to ensure the quality of work.

He added that people have been blaming the representatives for the lapses of officials. Officials of the MSCL explained that a 740-metre-long retaining wall was constructed by the side of the river, as part of the 2.1km riverfront project. Since soil could not be filled during the work, a portion of the retaining wall, about 12-metres-long, collapsed during the rain. The contractor has been asked to reconstruct the wall, the official said.

In response to a query, an MSCL official stated that two cases pertaining to the riverfront project are pending before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

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News Network
July 8,2024

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Moscow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Monday on a two-day high-profile visit to Russia during which he will hold summit talks with President Vladimir Putin to review all aspects of bilateral ties and explore opportunities to further boost cooperation in sectors like trade, energy and defence.

It is Modi's first trip to Russia in nearly five years. His last visit to Russia was in 2019 when he attended an economic conclave in the Far East city of Vladivostok.

During the 22nd India-Russia annual summit on Tuesday, Modi and Putin are expected to explore ways to further expand bilateral relations in diverse areas, including trade, energy and defence.

"The special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia has advanced over the past 10 years, including in areas of energy, security, trade, investment, health, education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges," Modi said in his departure statement.

"I look forward to reviewing all aspects of bilateral cooperation with my friend President Vladimir Putin and sharing perspectives on various regional and global issues," he said.

"We seek to play a supportive role for a peaceful and stable region," he said without making any specific references.

The annual summit between the Prime Minister of India and the President of Russia is the highest institutional dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between the two countries.

So far, 21 annual summits have taken place alternatively in India and Russia.

The last summit was held on December 6, 2021, in New Delhi. President Putin had visited India to attend the summit. Putin, as head of the Russian state, has visited India nine times.

Prime Minister Modi and President Putin last held bilateral talks on the margins of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at Samarkand in Uzbekistan on September 16, 2022.

In the meeting, Modi had famously pressed Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine saying, "Today's era is not of war".

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Modi has held several telephonic conversations with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In reflection of its strong friendship with Russia, India has not yet condemned Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

In Russia, the prime minister will also meet the vibrant Indian community.

From Russia, Modi will travel to Austria on Tuesday in the first visit by an Indian prime minister to that country in over 40 years.

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