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November 15, 2007

MOS Anand Sharma visits UK

Hon'ble Mr. Anand Sharma, Minister of State for External Affairs, paid an official visit to the United Kingdom from November 12 to 14 as part of the ongoing high-level dialogue with the U.K.

During his visit, the Minister visited the House of Lords and interacted with parliamentarians. On November 13, Sharma met Rt. Hon'ble Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, Minister of State for Africa, Asia and U.N. to exchange views on bilateral and regional issues. On November 14, he delivered a talk on "India and Africa - Partnership in the 21st Century" at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

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Chief of General Staff UK visits India

General Sir Richard Dannatt, KCB, CBE, MC, Chief of General Staff of U.K. visited India from October 29 to November 3 to discuss defence related issues and prospects for future cooperation between the two Armies.

Sir Dannatt, who was with a high-level delegation, met Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Vice-Chief of Naval Staff Vice-Admiral Nirmal Verma and Vice-Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal B.N. Gokhale, and exchanged views on the global situation including that of South East Asia.

The delegation also discussed potential areas of cooperation. Sir Dannatt visited Srinagar and a post on the Indo-Pak Border where he was briefed regarding anti-militancy operations. He also inspected the anti-infiltration fence erected by the Indian forces.

Sir Dannatt visited a para brigade in Agra where he discussed the manner of deployment of the brigade and saw the paratroopers perform various drills.

He visited the South West Command in Jaipur where he was briefed regarding the role of the Command. He also visited 61 Cavalry.

The visit of the U.K. Chief of General Staff took place at a time when defence cooperation between the two Armies has scaled new highs.

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Gordon Brown leads Diwali celebrations in Britain

British P rime Minister Gordon Brown on November 9 led Diwali festivities in Britain, as thousands of Indians celebrated the festival and prominent organisations held their annual functions coinciding the festival of light.

In a message, Brown said: "I am delighted to send my warmest greetings to everyone in our Hindu and Sikh communities on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. Diwali is such a wonderful inclusive festival, which reaches beyond your communities to people of many backgrounds all over the world."

"The symbolic lighting of lamps, representing life, hope and new beginnings, sends a powerful message of unity and peace to us all. I know that Diwali is a special time for families, who come together to celebrate and reflect on the year gone by."

"And it also gives me an opportunity to recognise and reflect upon the huge contribution made by British Hindu and Sikh communities to our country's prosperity and our culture. Your involvement, in every sphere of our national life, is something we can all be immensely proud of. Once again, my very best wishes for a joyous occasion."

Diwali was celebrated in Leicester, Manchester and Birmingham, apart from different areas of London like Southall, Harrow and Wembley. More celebrations and a fireworks display were held on November 9 on the Cossington Street Recreation Ground.

Mukesh Ambani world's richest

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani on October 29 became the richest person in the world, surpassing American software czar Bill Gates, Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim Helu and famous investment guru Warren Buffett, courtesy the bull run on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Following a strong share price rally in his three group companies - India's most valued firm Reliance Industries, Reliance Petroleum and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd., - the net worth of Mukesh Ambani rose to $63.2 billion.

India tops in carbon credit deals

India has registered the largest number of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in the world. The country accounted for 283 CDM projects out of the 819 registered by the CDM Executive Board, Environment Secretary Meena Gupta said at the India Carbon Market Conclave, organised by Ficci, the Environment Ministry, the World Bank and the International Emissions Trading Association. CDM or carbon credits are a mechanism devised under the Kyoto Protocol to award encashable points or CERs (carbon emission reduction) to ecofriendly projects on the basis of the carbon emissions they control.

National mission for nano tech

The Indian government is starting a fiveyear national mission to make the country a global hub for nanoscience and nanotechnology, leveraging the low-cost advantage and its vast talent pool.

Spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the ambitious mission aims to create nano clusters in the country to conduct research in the sunrise sector and develop applications using nano materials that will have a bearing on diverse industrial sectors as well as commoners. "With an upfront investment of Rs.10 billion, the nano science and technology mission (NSTM) will create an ecosystem to make India a global hub for research and development (R&D) in nanoscience and nanotechnology," DST Secretary Thirumalachari Ramasami said.

India ranks ninth in global IPOs

India's mobilisation through initial public offers (IPO) has jumped 166 percent compared with the mop-up during the same time last year.

According to Thomson Financial, India's IPO volumes totalled $7 billion from 74 issues so far this year, surpassing the previous year's (the whole year) IPO volumes. India now ranks the ninth largest IPO market in the world, capturing 3 percent of the global market share, up from a mere 1.3 percent share in the year-ago period.

Among Brazil, Russia, India and China (Bric), only Brazil and India upped their IPO proceeds two-fold, recording a rise of 292 percent and 166 percent respectively.

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