REPORT ON PAGES 9, 10, 11 & 12
Turning point in Singapore
Done deal... North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un
and US President Donald Trump during the
summit at Sentosa on Tuesday.
Whatever happens next, the Trump-Kim summit is a success
T H E H E A R T B E A T O F T H E I N D I A N C O M M U N I T Y
DESERVE A PLACE?
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
THEIR ROOTS IN
PAGES 6 & 7
Singapore and Andhra Pradesh
to launch direct flights
FLIGHT services will start between
Singapore and Amaravati, the new
capital city of the Indian state of
Andhra Pradesh, in the next few
months, according to a statement from
Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and
The direct flight will be operated by
SilkAir between Singapore’s Changi
Airport and Andhra Pradesh’s
Gannavaram Airport, the airport
closest to Amaravati.
Announcing the flight service at a
joint press conference with
Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations
S. Iswaran, Andhra Pradesh Chief
Minister Chandrababu Naidu said:
“International flights are essential for
the development of any city. Direct
flights to Singapore will also connect
us to the world.”
Former Prime Minister Vajpayee
responding well to treatment
FORMER Prime Minister Atal Bihari
Vajpayee, undergoing treatment for
urinary tract infection at the All India
Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi,
is responding well and his vital
parameters are stable, hospital officials
said on June 12.
A team of senior doctors is
conducting tests on the 93-year-old,
who has been bed-ridden for many
Mr Vajpayee was admitted on the
advice of doctors after a routine
Odisha’s new health scheme to
benefit 7 million families
ODISHA Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik has announced a health
assurance scheme, “Biju Swasthya
Kalyan Yojana,” that will benefit over
7 million families in the state.
Under the programme, a family
would get up to Rs5 lakhs ($10,000) a
year to meet their healthcare
expenditure at all government-run
hospitals. The scheme will come into
effect from Aug 15.
Rajasthan schools to have
sermons, storytelling sessions
SATURDAYS will soon be different in
government schools in Rajasthan with
special sessions on the lives of
distinguished personalities, moral
lessons, quizzes and patriotic songs to
encourage students to be “culturally
and morally strong”.
Biographies of distinguished people
will be read out by their teachers or
headmasters on the first Saturday
while inspiring stories will be read on
the second Saturday.
The third Saturday of the month has
been fixed for listening to sermons of
saints. There will also be plays on
moral values and students will also
sing patriotic songs.
WHO lauds India’s success in
reducing maternal mortality
The Central government’s efforts at
improving access to quality maternal
health services and increased
emphasis on women’s education are
some of the reasons behind India’s
ground-breaking progress in reducing
the maternal mortality ratio by 77 per
cent, the World Health Organisation
(WHO) said on June 10.
According to WHO, the ratio has
decreased by 77 per cent from 556 per
100,000 live births in 1990 to 130 per
100,000 live births in 2016.
WHO Regional Director
Ms Poonam Khetrapal Singh
attributed this achievement to the
increased coverage of essential
maternal health services which has
doubled since 2005.
Punjab to install 50,000 dust
collectors in grain markets
PUNJAB will counter dust pollution
from grain markets across the state
with the installation of dust collectors
on nearly 50,000 grain-cleaning
machines. This will provide relief to
300,000 affected workers.
Pollution is the main cause of
respiratory and lung diseases among
labourers and farmers as well as those
living in the vicinity of the grain
Chairman of the Punjab Pollution
Control Board Kahan Singh Pannu
said the machines will help to keep the
environment healthy inside and
outside the grain markets.
Sikkim gets its longest tunnel
MINISTER of State for Defence
Subhash Ramrao Bhamre has
inaugurated the 578 metre-long Theng
Tunnel, the longest in Sikkim.
Constructed on the
Gangtok-Chungthang State Highway
by the Border Roads Organisation, the
double-lane tunnel bypasses a
dangerous stretch between Sikkim’s
capital Gangtok and the town of
Chungthang, which frequently
remains closed due to landslides.
The tunnel will provide all-weather
connectivity said a Defence Ministry
Besides shortening the distance, it
will also improve operational mobility
as well as provide relief to tourists and
citizens travelling to north Sikkim.
Audio-visual archive on Tagore’s
poems to be launched
IN A bid to present the immortal
poems of Nobel laureate Bengali poet
Rabindranath Tagore to people, the
first audio-visual archive on his poems
will be launched in Kolkata in August.
Titled “Rabindrakabita archive”, it
will contain 3,500 of Tagore’s poems
recited by 245 renowned poets and
elocutionists from Bengal including
the poet himself.
The archive, to be launched both in
online and offline formats, will also
have detailed information about the
poems’ origin, time and anthology.
Mumbai Central to have food
MUMBAI Central will be the first
railway station to offer its passengers
ice-cream, pizzas, fries, popcorn and
other fast food items from a vending
The Indian Railway Catering and
Tourism Corporation will introduce
the machine by the end of this month.
It will dispense both vegetarian and
non-vegetarian pizzas. The
Corporation is planning to slowly
replace food stalls with such food
vending machines which take up lesser
International artists capture
Meghalaya’s heritage on canvas
THE picturesque beauty of
Meghalaya’s Cherrapunji has inspired
12 artists from all over the world to
create unique representations of the
region and heritage.
Titled Abode of Clouds, the
exhibition draws its name from the
English translation of Meghalaya and
is open for viewing till June 18 at the
India International Centre in Delhi.
The group art exhibition is “the
reflection, the visual record capturing
the essence and spirit of Meghalaya”
296kg Goan fish patty sets
Guinness World Record
A 296KG fish patty that took almost 12
hours to make now holds the Guinness
record for being the world’s largest fish
cutlet, a popular seafood snack in Goa.
The fish patty, which is 29cm high
and 122cm in diameter, was put to-
gether in August last year at an indoor
stadium near Panaji, Goa.
It was made by chefs from the Mum-
bai-based Trinity, a hospitality, food
and beverage company, as well as chefs
from some hotels.
Gaga over Argentina
A DIE-HARD Indian fan has painted his house blue and white in honour of his
favourite team Argentina ahead of the football World Cup.
Mr Shib Shankar Patra (pouring tea), who hails from Kolkata, said his love
for the team began during the 1986 World Cup when Diego Maradona helped
the team win the coveted trophy.
“For me, Messi is an extension of Maradona. Everyone in my family loves
Messi. We love his behaviour, we love everything about him,” said Mr Patra,
who sells tea from a shop on the ground floor of his building.
He had wanted to travel to Russia to see the Argentinean players in person
but did not have enough money. His family has made elaborate plans for
Messi’s birthday, which will fall during the World Cup on June 24. “We will cut
a cake and distribute t-shirts among kids with Messi’s face embossed on
them,” Mr Patra told AFP.
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NDIA again said “no” to China’s
Belt and Road project, while Prime
Minister Narendra Modi and Pak-
istan President Mamnoon Hussain
merely shook hands on the final day of
the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
(SCO) Summit in Qingdao city on June
10. India, which participated at the Chi-
nese-led security bloc for the first time af-
ter being inducted into the grouping last
year, did not figure in the list of countries
endorsing Beijing’s Belt and Road initia-
tive in the joint declaration.
Mr Modi made it clear that New Delhi
was all for connectivity projects but could
not compromise its sovereignty and terri-
India strongly opposes Beijing’s multi-
billion dollar project, which aims to con-
nect Asia with Europe through a network
of roads, ports and sea lanes.
New Delhi’s objection is to the key
artery of the project – the China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor – which goes through
the Kashmir held by Pakistan and
claimed by India.
“We have again reached a stage where
physical and digital connectivity is chang-
ing the definition of geography. There-
fore, connectivity with our neighbour-
hood and in the SCO region is our prior-
ity,” Mr Modi said.
“We welcome any new connectivity
project, which is inclusive, sustainable
and transparent and respects a country’s
sovereignty and regional integrity.”
This is one of the contentious issues be-
tween India and China but both seem to
have decided not to let it affect other as-
pects of bilateral ties.
Like India, Pakistan also became a
member of the SCO last year and at-
tended the event for the first time.
“It was noted that the SCO had as-
serted itself as a unique, influential and
authoritative regional organisation
whose potential had grown remarkably
following the accession of India and Pak-
istan,” the 17-page Qingdao declaration
With the inclusion of India and Pak-
istan, the grouping has expanded into an
eight-member bloc. China, Russia, Kyr-
gyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan are SCO’s other members.
Mr Modi, who had bilateral talks with
Chinese President Xi Jinping and other
leaders, just had a handshake with the
Pakistan head of state.
The ties between the two countries
have plummeted following terror attacks
at Indian army bases and continuing sepa-
ratist violence in Jammu and Kashmir for
which New Delhi blames Islamabad.
Mr Modi indirectly slammed Pakistan for
fomenting trouble in Afghanistan.
“All parties in the region should re-
spect the sentiment with which (Afghan)
President (Ashraf) Ghani has taken coura-
geous steps for peace,” Mr Modi said at
the restricted session of the summit on
He said it was “our common responsi-
bility to ensure causes that threaten
Afghanistan’s sovereignty and security
are not repeated”.
India and Afghanistan accuse Pak-
istan of plotting terror attacks in their
countries. The bloc vowed to fight terror-
Mr Modi and Mr Xi had a “substan-
tive” meeting on June 10. India struck ma-
jor deals like the export of rice and phar-
maceutical products to China.
The bilateral trade target of
US$100 billion by 2020 was another im-
portant announcement by both sides.
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International Day of Yoga
THE fitness challenge, initiated by In-
dia’s Sports Minister Rajyavardhan
Singh Rathore, has assumed big di-
mensions in the country.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi cheekily issued a fit-
ness challenge to Karnataka Chief
Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, with
whom he and his Bharatiya Janata
Party were engaged in a fight for
supremacy in the state last month, re-
ported The Times of India.
“I am delighted to nominate the
following for the #FitnessChallenge:
Karnataka’s CM Shri @hd_ku-
maraswamy. India’s pride and
among the highest medal winners for
India in the 2018 CWG, @manikaba-
tra_TT. The entire fraternity of brave
IPS officers, especially those above
40,” tweeted Mr Modi.
The other two he mentioned are
table tennis star Manika Batra and In-
dian Police Service officers.
Mr Modi also posted on Twitter
his physical fitness video showing his
daily morning routine – yoga, brisk
walking and stretching exercises.
Along with the 1min 48sec video,
he tweeted: “Here are moments
from my morning exercises. Apart
from Yoga, I walk on a track inspired
by the panchtatvas or five elements
of nature – Prithvi (earth), Jal (wa-
ter), Agni (fire), Vayu (air), Aakash
(sky). This is extremely refreshing
and rejuvenating. I also practice
The craze to be fit started on
May 22 when Mr Rathore urged the
country to take up a fitness challenge
as part of the ‘#HumFitTohIndiaFit’
“Post pictures and videos of how
you keep yourself fit and send a #Fit-
nessChallenge to your friends on so-
cial media,” tweeted Mr Rathore,
challenging India’s cricket captain Vi-
rat Kohli, actor Hrithik Roshan and
badminton player Saina Nehwal.
Mr Kohli accepted the challenge
and posted a fitness video of his own.
In turn, he challenged his wife, ac-
tress Anushka Sharma, cricket icon
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and PM
Modi. Three weeks ago, Mr Modi ac-
cepted Mr Kohli’s challenge .
Since then, several ministers and
BJP members have taken to Twitter
to showcase their fitness routines.
India refuses to
back Belt and Road
Modi said in a
that he does
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