The Indian Army’s Chinar Corps warriors have evacuated a woman from Baraub area of Bandipur district of Jammu and Kashmir and carried her to a helipad crossing a long stretch of snow on Saturday.
“Chinar warriors along with Civil Helicopter Services and Block Medical Office, Dawar, evacuated Fazali Begum, from Baraub and carried her on stretcher for 1.5 km in snow till helipad. She was further shifted to Bandipora District Hospital,” tweeted Chinar Corps.
Meanwhile, Srinagar reported minus 3-degree Celsius minimum temperature on Saturday while Pahalgam reported as low as minus 8.1-degree Celsius minimum temperature, as per the India Meteorological Department.
US says India is a strategic partner in Quad
Washington sees New Delhi’s role in QUAD as a “very high priority” as it has a “very significant” element including the much-enhanced ability to speak frankly about issues in the region, said a top US official on Friday.
Speaking during a press call, a senior Biden administration official previewing the US’ Indo-Pacific Strategy highlighted the importance of ties between the US and India. The official called India a “critical strategic partner” and expressed US’ desire to continue building on the “very good work” in order to significantly broaden and deepen the relationship between the two nations.
“With regard to India, I think we are very explicitly highlighting the importance of, what the last four administrations have all played a very important role in advancing, which is the much greater US engagement, much improved US relations with and much closer US partnership with India,” the Biden administration official said in a statement.
“India’s role in the QUAD, is a very significant element of that, including the much-enhanced ability to speak frankly about issues in the region, to work together to deliver, essentially, public goods that address, challenges in the region, and to enhance ways in which we can coordinate. So we see this (India) as a very, very high priority,” the official added.Further, asserting that India is in a very different place, in many ways than Australia and other countries, the senior official stated that New Delhi faces very significant challenges.
According to the press statement, the official noted China’s behaviour in the line of actual control and said that Beijing’s actions has had a “galvanising” impact on India.
The official also went on to say that from the US’ standpoint, there are tremendous opportunities in working with another democracy, with a country that has a maritime tradition that understands the importance of the global commons to advance critical issues in the region.
The Biden administration official also noted that there is a tremendous appreciation of the importance and the challenges of strengthening the engagement with India.
There is also a “recognition that India is a critical strategic partner, and a desire to continue building on the very good work of previous administrations to significantly broaden and deepen that relationship,” the official added. Meanwhile, it is to mention that during bilateral talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the QUAD Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, EAM S Jaishankar stated that the changing India-US relationship has been a very defining development in this century.
Hailing the India-US relations, Jaishankar delivered the opening address, saying that he welcomed the chance to sit with Blinken and look at the “positive trajectory” laid out for both the nations..”QUAD, we have progressed a lot and much of that is due to the fact that we’ve all devoted a lot of time, energy, and attention to that.
“We have made it into concrete actionable propositions our teams have worked on…A big part of that is because we’ve strong bilateral relationships,” Jaishankar said.
“Certainly, for us, in this century the changing India-US relationship has really been a very defining development. So, I welcome the chance today to sit with you and look at our relationship and see how we can continue to take it forward in its positive trajectory, “he added.
Indian students to benefit from new Australian scholarships and fellowships Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan says the ‘Maitri’ initiatives announced by Canberra for India are equivalent to Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships and cultural exchange programs between the two countries.
Tehan said that this fantastic initiative will increase and improve ties further between Australia and India.
“… the first two are scholarships Fulbright and Rhodes scholarships are 45 for graduate students and undergraduate students. So you get all your education paid for, stipend to help with your living costs.”
The minister said there is also an investment in fellowships, 11 fellowships for high-level doctoral students will also get a stipend is equivalent to Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships.
“There’s a cultural exchange programme to improve cultural exchange between Australia and India. So these are fantastic initiatives to help continue to improve the wonderful relationship.”Tehan said the scholarships will enable Indian students to go to Australia and not have to worry about the cost.
“All they’ll have to worry about is their study. So this is designed to get those high performing students to go to Australia and improve their education to levels of excellence, which then may now be able to come back to India and excel in India, and also help build the relationship between Australia and India,” he said.
About further initiatives and announcements in the next 30 days, he said, “We’re always looking at ways, how we can enhance the relationship. So this USD 15 million for the students to come to Australia is just one part of what we’re doing in these the cultural exchange that we’re also funding.
But there will be many, many more announcements, including I hope in the next 30 days. An announcement on a free trade agreement between Australia and India.”
Earlier today, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced the ‘Maitri’ Scholars Program under which it will provide over USD 11 million for four years to support Indian students to study in Australia’s world-leading universities.
During the joint presser, the Australian Foreign Minister also announced a series of new initiatives to boost the education and cultural ties between Australia and India.