6 killed in bomb explosion in village near Kudankulam nuclear plant

At least six people, including two children, died on Tuesday aroumd 7 pm after a crude bomb exploded at Tsunami colony near Idinthakarai village that has been epicentre of protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.

Three houses collapsed due to the impact of the explosion.

Fearing arrest, all villagers fled Tsunami Colony as soon as police personnel arrived.

Bodies could not be identified as no villager was present to help the police.

A case has been filed against activist Udhayakumar, who led local campaigns against the Kudankulam plant. Some of the people killed in explosion are suspected to be activists of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy, which is headed by Mr Udhayakumar.

The police claim the blasts took place accidentally while bombs were being assembled at a house in the village.

Two live bombs were also recovered from the spot.

M Pushparayan, a leader of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy that is spearheading the protests, said the country bombs had nothing to do with their movement nor were their supporters involved in bomb making.

The village has witnessed massive protests over the last two years against the nuclear plant.

Some villages in this region are notorious for making crude bombs to target rival groups during clashes. Last month, a minor boy was arrested for possessing around 25 country-made bombs at the neighbouring village of Koothankuzhi.

Third in a row, Lehar

After cyclones Phailin and Helen, a new cyclone named Lehar is likely to hit Andhra Pradesh coastal area between Machilipatnam and Kalingapatnam today afternoon

System, which is moving at a speed of 15kmph westwards now, is expected to intensify in the evening and move west-northwestwards. Moderate rains and squally winds at 45-55 km per hour are expected tomorrow which may further lead to windspeeds of upto 200 km as the system comes closer.

33 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed. There are 16 teams in East Godavari, six each in Vizag and Krishna and five teams in West Godavari.

Storm may lead to extensive damage to mud houses, disruption of communication and power lines, road and rail traffic. State’s disaster commissioner has warned of potential threat from flying debris and flooding of escape routes and also extensive damage to agricultural crops.

Fishermen have been advised to return to coast. Evacuation from low-lying areas in four districts, Krishna, East and West Godavari and Visakhapatnam, will take place tomorrow afternoon. Special officers have been nominated for the nine coastal districts.

Control rooms at Secretariat- 040 - 23452144 and 23451043 have been opened and operating.

The state government has sought four helicopters from defence secretary to be stationed at Visakhapatnam. Along with the Army and Railways, the Coast Guard, Coastal Security wing, Marine Police, and district police have been alerted.

District Collectors have been asked to ensure adequate supplies of food, drinking water, medicines, fuel in vulnerable areas. Relief centers are also opened up.

529 marine villages out of 580 in nine coastal districts have been contacted so far. 5550 boat out of 6160 that have ventured into the sea have returned.

Love living animals, not the killed

Believing non-vegetarian food to be a good source of proteins and vitamins, many parents encourage their children to adopt such diet. But owing to poor knowledge, what they fail to fathom is that the same nutrition is available in a variety of vegetarian foods.

Mothers, human or animal, raise children with perpetual readiness to reach any extent for their protection. But what about the mothers whose children are slaughtered in front of them! Just for the tastebud of us humans. Spare a thought about their thoughts of utmost helplessness and grief.

One evening as I passed through Mahipalpur, I saw a man sprinkling water on sleeping hens in a cage. It required not much of a brain to understand that he was readying them for slaughter the next morning. The poor hens were not even allowed to sleep peacefully the night before. My heart went out for the livestock that must be kept fresh. But seconds later, I realized these hens were probably the same people who killed animals in their previous birth for the lust of their tongue, and were now suffering the fruits of their own karma. And the slaughterer of this time would be the animal of next time. Since I believe the theory of karma and rebirth, I acknowledge the vicious circle thus made.

Let’s get out of this vicious circle once and for all. Let’s go back to the theory of our ancient sages 'Live and Let Live'. This is our moment. Let’s break free.

PM makes statement in Parliament, attempt to pacify opposition

Manmohan Singh Friday made statement in parliament on economic crisis.

He held external factors such as tensions over Syria and the prospect of US Federal Reserve tapering its policy of quantitative easing responsible for weakness in emerging market currencies.

He said large account deficit and other domestic factors had adversely affected rupee value .

He emphasized on reducing current account deficit to bring about an improvement in the functioning of economy.

He proposed reduction in gold buying and use of petroleum products, and at the same time taking steps to increase exports.

In his statement, Singh said, “Since 2008, there has been a deterioration, mainly on account of huge imports of gold, higher costs of crude oil imports and recently, of coal”.

Exports, particularly of iron ore have been drastically affected due to weak demand in major markets.

He said Finance Ministry has set target of below $ 70 billion current account deficit this year and claimed that results were reflecting with a declining trade deficit in June and July. Short term target of CAD is kept at 2.5 per cent of GDP.

Singh held that depreciation in rupee encouraged exports in many sectors and expected to feel the effect more strongly in exports and in the financial position of exporting sectors resulting in correction of CAD to some extent.

Inflation in India has been much higher than in the advanced countries. Therefore, it is natural that there has to be a correction in the exchange rate to account for this difference. To some extent, depreciation can be good for the economy as this will help to increase our export competitiveness and discourage imports.

Singh expected growth to be flat in first quarter of 2013-2014 and a pick up on account of good monsoon.

He also assured that the government will do whatever is necessary to contain the fiscal deficit to 4.8% of GDP this year and would take effective steps to ensure subsidies reach the poor which is the most growth-friendly way to contain the deficit.
“The Reserve Bank will therefore continue to focus on bringing down inflation. The favourable monsoon and the anticipated good harvest will help bring down food prices and ease the task of controlling inflation. Even while we go about doing what is necessary, it is important to recognize that the fundamentals of the Indian economy continue to be strong. India’s overall public-debt to GDP ratio has been on a declining trend from 73.2% of GDP in 2006-07 to 66% in 2012-13. Similarly, India’s external debt is only 21.2% of our GDP and while short-term debt has risen, it stands at no more than 5.2% of our GDP. Our foreign exchange reserves stand at US$278bn, and are more than sufficient to meet India’s external financing requirements, “said the PM.

On banking sector, he said the Indian banking sector has seen some rise in bad loans. He believed there is liquidity problem. Many important projects have been delayed which, if come to stream, will generate revenue and repay loans. 

He stressed on doing difficult reforms such as reduction of subsidies, insurance and pension sector reforms, eliminating bureaucratic red tape and implementing Goods and Services Tax.

He held political parties responsible for holding up many laws. He urged states to come to an agreement for reforms such as Goods and Services Tax which is believed to be essential for restoring growth and boosting revenues.

He emphasized on the need to have strong economy fundamentals to ensure healthy rate of growth.

UPA approves formation of Telangana state

Congress led UPA has unanimously agreed to the formation of new state in southern Andhra Pradesh.

The state would comprise of 10 districts out of the total of 23 of Andhra Pradesh, with total population of 40 million.

Decision came as a result of 50 years of campaign for separate state.

The state witnessed protests for and against the formation of state in recent years.

Supporters claim the new state had been neglected by the government.

Opponents are unhappy for Hyderabad, home to many major information technology and pharmaceutical companies, would become Telangana's new capital.

"It wasn't an easy decision but now everyone has been heard and a decision has been taken," senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh told media.

Congress party spokesman Ajay Maken said that Hyderabad would remain the common capital for the two states for a period of at least 10 years until Andhra Pradesh develops its own capital.

"A resolution was passed in the meeting where it was resolved to request the central government to take steps to form a separate state of Telangana," Mr Maken told a press conference.

He said that the resolution was cleared "after taking into account the chequered history of the demand for a separate state of Telangana since 1956".

The final decision on a new state lies with the Indian parliament. The state assembly too has to pass a resolution approving the creation new state.

Hundreds of paramilitary soldiers have been deployed in Andhra Pradesh to prevent any kind of violence arising out of Tuesday's announcement.

Some local Congress party members have opposed the split.

"We're swallowing the poison for our party. The decision is very unfortunate but since our leader has taken the decision we'll abide by it. We know the consequences, the problems that will follow," said Rudraraju Padma Raju, the Congress MLC from Andhra Pradesh.

It is believed that ruling party’s decision on new state formation is linked to general elections next year.

The last three new states – Chhatisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand- in India were formed in 2000.

Several parts of India - including the Bundelkhand region in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha in western Maharashtra state and Gorkhaland in the eastern West Bengal state - face similar statehood movements, but the government has not made any moves to create them.

India China to hold border talks today

India and China are set to hold border talks today after Chinese troops crossed over into Chumar sector in Ladakh region thrice in five days .

Foreign and military official from both sides will play a part in in the 'Working Mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs,' which would be held the third time.

The operational-level talks will look into the ground situation and ways to resolve incursions on the ground. Both sides are Iikely to discuss China’s April incursion in Depsang in Ladakh and its implications.

Chinese troops reportedly crossed over into Indian territory on July 16, 18, and 20. Each time, the soldiers intruded about three kilometres into the Indian side and went back after spending several hours here.

The reported incursions happened following the Indian Army getting the go-ahead to raise a 50,000-strong Mountain Strike Corps along the border with China. The move is a major boost to the Army's war-fighting capabilities along the Line of Actual Control that has witnessed several instances of incursion by Chinese troops.

As regards Chumar, located 300km from Leh, there have been major differences in perception on both sides over the Line of Actual Control. But what is more panicking is the frequency of the incursions.

Minister of State for Defence Visits AFMS Institutions

Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitender Singh Wednesday visited the Office of the DGAFMS here. He was briefed by Air Marshal DP Joshi and DG Air Force Nedical service (AFMS)  about the Role of the Armed Forces Medical Service in Peace and Combat Medical support.

The Minister visited the Army Hospital Research and Referral, the apex institute of the Armed Forces yesterday. While on his visit to the various departments of the hospital, he interacted with patients belonging to both serving/Ex-servicemen and their families. He was apprised of the various ultra-modern, high tech medical facilities available in the hospital. The Minister lauded the quality of care rendered in the hospital given with devotion, empathy and dedication.

Minister of State for Defence expressed his commitment and support to the AFMS. He stressed that health of the soldier, sailor and airman, their families and dependants and the veterans was of utmost importance to the Govt of India. The MoD had constantly endeavoured to modernize the Armed Forces Medical Services with provisioning of contemporary cutting edge technology in all our hospitals. He expressed his solidarity for all similar proposals to modernize the AFMS, in the future.

Pakistan sponsors terrorism: BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today slammed Pakistan Parliament's resolution pertaining to the hanging of Afzal Guru and called it a mere brazen act of interference in India’s internal affairs. Pakistan has crossed all boundaries in its diplomatic dealings with India. The party believed that almost all terrorist activities in India were sponsored by Pakistan and by adopting a resolution on Afzal Guru in the National Assembly; Pakistan had given its stamp of approval on its association with terrorist groups. The national party accused Central government of lacking firm conviction to fight against terrorism and having no action plan. It further attacked Government for having spent all energy targeting BJP and giving little attention to safeguard the country from terrorism. 

Citing a series of events from beheading of Indian soldiers, blasts in Hyderabad and attack on CRPF camp in Srinagar, BJP charged Government of its inability to deal with cross border terrorism.

The BJP suggested immediate scaling down of India’s diplomatic relations with Pakistan in the wake of fidayeen attacks in Srinagar. “Unless Pakistan abides by its commitment given to us in January 2004 that no terrorist activities against India would be carried out on its soil, the Centre should also suspend the on-going Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) for the time being,” said BJP nationa president Rajnath Singh.

The party also suggested recalling its High Commissioner in Islamabad. The UPA Government’s policy of pampering Pakistan had encouraged terrorists and other anti-India forces.The terrorists had galvanised their groups and this situation could get worse in 2014 after the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan.
The BJP recommended an army capable of facing emerging challenges is a must. The UPA Government should focus on strengthening India’s military power by increasing its numbers and rapid modernization of forces. Durable peace can be maintained only from a position of strength not from a position of weakness. 
Keeping Pakistan Parliament resolution in mind the BJP appealed to the government to denounce this act by adopting a consensus resolution in Indian Parliament and reaffirm its will to fight against terror. 

“The resolution should be moved by the Prime Minister himself. It is high time the government should take a tough stand against terrorism by putting pressure on Pakistan to mend its ways. If the UPA fails to apply its diplomatic skills these Pakistan sponsored terrorists will continue inflicting wounds on India,” said Singh.

Italy denies sending marines back.

Italy refuses to comply with Supreme Court order to send Italian marines back by 22 March 2012. With the note verbale sent by Embassy of Italy in New Delhi, It has cleared that it will not send the marines to India on account of the existing controversy with India concerning the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea of 1982 and the general principles of international law applicable to the Enrica Lexie incident. The note verbale was received by Ministry of foreign affairs on 11 March 13, 2013. 

Italy has requested the Indian government to set up a meeting at diplomatic level in order to reach an amicable solution of the said controversy. Last such request was received on 6 March 2013. The Italian request of 6 March 2013 is under examination

In its note, Italy said, "since a controversy between the two States has been established, the two Italian Marines, Mr. Latorre and Mr. Girone, will not return to India on the expiration of the permission granted to them”. The Supreme Court of India, in its Order dated 22 February 2013, allowed the two Marines to leave India on the express undertaking given by the Republic of Italy, and under the terms of the Order, they are required to return to India within a period of four weeks to face legal proceedings in India.

Government of India stated firmly that it didn’t not agree with the position conveyed by the Italian Government on the return of the two Marines to India. The Foreign Secretary yesterday summoned the Italian Ambassador and conveyed to him the Government of India’s position in this matter in the strongest of terms. He conveyed to him that India expects Republic of Italy as a country that is committed to the rule of law to fulfill the sovereign undertaking given by it to the Supreme Court of India. It was only after this undertaking that the Supreme Court allowed the two Marines to travel to and remain in Italy for a period of four weeks and return to India under the care, supervision and control of the Italian Republic. Foreign Secretary further conveyed to the Italian Ambassador that the Italian Government was obliged to ensure their return to India within the stipulated period as per the terms of the Supreme Court Order.

India pledges $2.5 mn assistance to Syria

Minister of State for External Affairs Shri E. Ahamed
 Thursday announced Government's pledge to donate US$ 2.5 million towards humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria. He was representing India at the ‘High-level International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria'.

This assistance would be in the form of life saving drugs, food and other essential items required by the people of Syria. 

He claimed that India had already processed humanitarian assistance to Syria in the form of life saving drugs and fortified biscuits. 

Expressing support to the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people, Ahamed said, “Syria has, historically and in contemporary times, been an important country in the Middle East. Its role in the Middle East peace process and in the stability of the wider region is pivotal. Thus, prolonged instability or unrest in Syria will have serious ramifications for the region and beyond.”

He added that India had been closely following the developments in Syria. Syria continues to face acute crisis as the impasse has become explosive and could engulf the region.

India strongly expressed its concern on the steep escalation of violence and called upon all sides in Syria particularly the Syrian leadership to abjure violence and resolve all issues peacefully through discussions taking into account the aspirations of the people of Syria. He stressed on India’s position to prevent outside military intervention and that the peace process should be led by Syria itself. In this regard India supported the Geneva Communiqué which included the 6-Point Plan of Kofi Annan, and welcomed the appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi as the new Joint Special Envoy.

Expressing concerns about the hardships and sufferings of the people of Syria as a result of unabated violence in Syria, he said, “Thousands of people are being displaced internally and have also fled to neighbouring countries like Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. India welcomes and fully supports the initiative of UN to address the need of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people.”

He reiterated “urgent peaceful negotiations with participation of all parties taking into account the legitimate aspirations of all Syrians” as the only acceptable way to resolve the internal crisis in Syria.

The Indian Coast Guard for “Maritime Safety and Security”

The Indian Coast Guard today celebrates its 36th Anniversary; the service has grown into a multi-faceted and vibrant force, maintaining round the clock vigil in the Maritime Zones of India, by deploying its multi-role ships and aircraft.

Services which began with a modest inventory of two frigates seconded from the Indian Navy and five boats from the Customs Department, today contols a force level of 77 ships and 56 aircraft. During the past year, 01 Pollution Control Vessel, 06 Inshore Patrol Vessels, 04 Air Cushion Vessels and 02 Interceptor Boats have been inducted. In addition to the establishment of a Regional Headquarter (NE) and activation of 08 CG Stations, activation / commissioning of 03 CG Stations have been planned in early 2013.

The Indian Coast Guard today is rapidly expanding, with a large number of state-of-the-art ships, boats and aircraft under construction at various shipyards/ Public Sector units (PSUs), and a Coast Guard Academy will be established in the near future. The Coast Guard organizational structure is expected have five Regional Headquarters, 12 District Headquarters, 42 Stations and 15 Air Units functioning all along the Indian coast.

On the manpower front, the service has initiated several measures to augment its manpower namely introduction of short service appointment (SSA) for women officers in General Duty and General Duty (CPL holders) branches, departmental promotions of outstanding Subordinate Officers and conduct of special recruitments drives.

An average of 20 ships and 8-10 aircraft are tasked daily, to keep the vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and coastline under constant surveillance. The ICG has also set up the Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN) that comprises of network of coastal surveillance radars and electro optic sensors at 46 remote sites, including 36 on the main land, 06 in Lakshadweep Islands and 04 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Regular community interaction programmes, with an aim to sensitize the fishing community with the prevalent security situation and to develop them to be “eyes and ears” for intelligence gathering, are being conducted by Indian Coast Guard in the fishing villages all along the coast. In addition, during the past year, the Indian Coast Guard conducted 20 coastal security exercises and 21 coastal security operations.

Maritime Search and Rescue in the Indian Search and Rescue Region is undertaken by the Indian Coast Guard round the clock. Untiring efforts under difficult conditions have resulted in saving of 204 lives in the last year. A total of 30 medical evacuations at sea were also undertaken by the ICG during this period.

The Indian Coast Guard is today recognized at the international level as the leading Coast Guard in the region. Institutionalized visits as per Memorandum of Cooperation/Understanding are being conducted regularly. The 12th Indo-Japan Coast Guard High Level Meeting was held on 21-24 Jan 13 at Tokyo. Japan The 8th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Meeting was held at New Delhi on 01-04 Oct 2012, which was significant, since this meeting was held for the first time in India. In addition, Indo-Pak Joint Working Group Meeting was at New Delhi held on 11-14 Jul 12, for the first time.

The Indian Coast Guard has been rapidly expanding and is witnessing all around development, in both capacity and capability. The theme of the Indian Coast Guard for the year 2013 is focused on ‘Maritime Safety and Security’ reflecting the commitment and resolve of the service.

BJP attacks Mayawati brother

BJP today targeted Mayawati brother Anand Kumar for his alleged role in acquiring wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. 

The party accused kumar of receiving Rs. 757 crores in the five years from 2007-2012 when Ms. Mayawati was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

BJP claimed to have had submitted reports to the authorities during assembly elections in 2011 about Anand Kumar’s 76 companies and his fraudulent acquisition of money through these companies.

Kumar is believed to have unfairly and illegally exploited his relation with the Chief Minister.

National party alleged that Kumar’s companies had unexplained cash induction and he earned huge profits through sale of undisclosed and unidentified properties and sale of shares at premium rates of tinsel worth companies.

BJP raised questions as to how he got huge dividend payments on investments as low as one lakh.

Party also accused Bhartiya Samaj Party’s chief Mayawati of double speak during the debate in parliament on FDI in multi brand.

BJP demanded an enquiry into allegations on companies which are incorporated all over the country.

It also demanded Finance Ministry to issue notices to these companies and also Companies Affairs Ministry to search and seal documents of these companies.

Khurshid to visit Germany and Belgium, 28-31 Jan

The External Affairs Minister, Shri Salman Khurshid, is going to pay an official visit to Germany from 28-29 January 2013 and to Belgium on 30-31 January 2013.

During his visit to Germany, External Affairs Minister will hold bilateral discussions with German Foreign Minister, Dr. Guido Westerwelle and would call on the Chancellor of Germany, Mrs. Angela Merkel. He will also be meeting Dr. AnnetteSchavan, Minister of Education and Research and Mr. Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin.
India and Germany are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations.

During his visit to Belgium, External Affairs Minister will have bilateral discussions with the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mr. Didier Reynders and with European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Vice President of the European Commission, Baroness Catherine Ashton.

Discussions will focus on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

India and the European Union are bound by strong and friendly ties. India was amongst the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the European Economic Community. Today, EU is one of our largest trading partners, and an important source of technology and home to a large and influential Indian Diaspora. Both sides endeavour to develop common approaches to address new and emerging challenges.

Germany, strategic partner of India since the year 2000, enjoys long-standing friendly relations based on common values of democracy, respect for fundamental rights and mutual trust.

India and Belgium share warm and friendly diplomatic relations, established in 1948. Bilateral relations are strengthened by regular interactions at high levels.

DAMANI -- shine on

December 16. An ordinary day. Wheels turned, horns blared and people lived yet another day. Celebrations for the upcoming Christmas day was being planned and of course the Mayans prophecy in December 2012 as end of the world was a lively debated topic.

In Delhi a young medical student and her friend watched the 'Life of Pi', window shopped in a mall and decided to head home. At the bus stop they waited. It was night time. Finally a bus pulled in. And, then the world came to a horrendous halt. A young woman's life was brutally ripped apart by 6 dastardly rapists and then thrown out on the road. Minutes agonizingly ticked by. Damini as she was later called by candle vigil holders, activists, newspapers and world over, suffered her ordeal and later in Singapore drew her last breath.

Actors, writers, poets expressed their anguish, penning lines in Damini's name. The call for justice was echoed around the world. The incident impacted strongly. Male students are still showing solidarity and making their voices heard on the pitiable plight of Indian women who live their lives in the ominous shadow of misogyny and harassment. Rapes are reported every 25 minutes in Delhi, every 1.3 minutes on an average in India. Of course, this figure does not include the unreported ones which are way too many.

Well known film celebrities, social workers, news reporters and authors have analyzed the topic underpinning the social and economic causes. Some brave young male students recently wore skirts to demonstrate their support for the Indian women protesting against the rampant rape culture. In New York the Indian community expressed support for reform. World over individuals are raising awareness on the issue of women empowerment and hoping for transformation to occur via new laws in the Indian society.

Preet Singh, a young independent artist (New Delhi) who is an underrated lyricist, music composer and a vocalist protested by doing what he knows best: released a music single 'daMANi...A Tribute. Intro lines of this song are penned by Sanjay Grover and the verses by Preet. Through music he created a powerful but needed message that behind every man's success is a woman. But behind a woman and especially an Indian woman, such as Damani, there are men thirsting for her downfall. And, brutal one at that.

Preet deliberately uses the word Damani instead of Damini. The word 'man' juxtaposed between 'da' and 'ini' eloquently underlines the stifling role of the man in a society like India's. Specifically the misogynistic Indian man who becomes an obstruction in a woman's way of life, freedom and success.

Will this song enable the harbinger of change that is required in the Indian society? Time will tell. But, if everyone reflects and becomes a channel to fight for the women who have been raped or brutalized in any form, then there's light.

On December 16, the young woman whose name was Jyoti meaning 'light' faded away. Initiatives, action, strength -- call it different ways but turning inward and becoming a strong source in enabling change will ensure that Jyoti's last moments are not forgotten.


King and Queen of Bhutan arrive in India

On an invitation by the Peresident of India, The King and Queen of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Ashi Jetsun Pema have arrived in India today. They are on a State Visit to India from 23-30 January 2013. They are invited to be the Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations of 2013. 

While in India, the King of Bhutan will meet with the President of India- Pranab Mukherjee, The Vice President of India - Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister - Manmohan Singh, Chairperson of the UPA - Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister - P Chidambaram, External Affairs Minister - Salman Khurshid, Home Minister - Sushil Kumar Shinde, and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha - Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor - Shiv Shankar Menon and Foreign Secretary - Ranjan Mathai will be calling on the King of Bhutan.

“The unique and special relations between India and Bhutan are characterized by everlasting friendship, deep understanding and mutual trust. The visit of HM the King of Bhutan will contribute to further strengthening and expanding the close bilateral relations between our two countries,” said press release issued by Ministry of Home Affairs.