Greek islanders who have been on the frontline of the
refugee crisis are to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize with the
support of their national government.
Of the 9,00,000 refugees who entered Europe last year,
most were received — scared, soaked and travelling in rickety boats — by
those who live on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
The islanders, including fishermen who gave up their work
to rescue people from the sea, are in line to be honoured with one of the
world’s most esteemed awards.
The nomination deadline is February 1, but those behind
the plan have already met the Greek Minister for Migration, Yiannis Mouzalas,
who they say has offered his government’s full support.
A petition on the web- site of the grassroots campaign
group, Avaaz, in favour of the nomination has amassed 2,80,000 signatures.
While the official nomination letter is yet to be
finalised, it is understood the academics, whose identities will be revealed
in the coming days, will implore the Nobel committee members to accept their
Voicing his belief that the India-U.S. relationship can
be one of the defining partner- ships of the century, he said Mr. Modi
shared his enthusiasm for a strong partnership and “we have developed a
friendship and close working relationship, including our conversations on
the new secure lines between our offices.”
On the Pathankot attack, he said: “We join India in
condemning the attack, saluting the Indians who fought to pre- vent more
loss of life and extending our condolences to the victims and their
Tragedies like this also under- score why the U.S. and
India continue to be such close partners in fighting terrorism.”
The President was of the view that Mr. Sharif recognised
that insecurity in Pakistan is a threat to its own stability and that of the
After the December, 2014 school massacre in Peshawar, he
vowed to target all militants, regardless of their agenda or affiliation.
That is the right policy. Since then, we have seen
Pakistan take action against several specific groups. We have also seen
continued terrorism inside Pakistan such as the recent attack on the
university in northwest Pakistan.
The President said that he still believed that “Pakistan
can and must” take more effective action against terrorist groups that
operated from its territory.
The government has made a slew of changes in its gold
monetisation scheme to make it more flexible and attractive.
Since the scheme was introduced two months ago the
government has collected over 900 kilos of gold.
The new norms issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
in consultation with the government are based on suggestions to make the
scheme more accessible for potential gold depositors, and allow premature
redemptions after three years and five years for medium term and long term
The interest payable to depositors in such cases would be
reduced, while allowing them an exit option.
Further, the quantity of gold collected under the scheme
will be expressed up to three decimals of a gram to give consumers better
value for their gold deposits that can be of any purity level.
The gold monetisation scheme was launched by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi. The gold collected under the scheme is refined for
domestic purpose with an eye on cutting India’s high gold imports, which
registered a surge of 179 per cent in the month of December 2015.
Gold depositors can now give their gold directly to the
refiner rather than only though collection and purity testing centres (CPTCs).
Adding that this would encourage bulk depositors
including institutions to participate in the scheme.
Banks would now be paid a 2.5 per cent commission for
their services on medium and long term deposits which include testing the
purity of gold deposits, refining, storage and transportation.
Banks have also been given the freedom to hedge their
positions in the case of short-term deposits, and issues around interest
rate calculation as well as extending loans against gold deposits have been