India, Seychelles agree to go ahead with the Assumption Island Naval base

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New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that India and Seychelles have agreed to work together on the Assmption Island Naval base project keeping in mind each other’s interest in this regard.

The Prime Minister made this announcement while making a press statement during the State visit of President of Seychelles Danny Faure to India.

Coinciding with Faure’s visit to India, there have been reports pointing that Opposition members in the Seychelles Parliament said that theu would not allow India to build a naval base on the island of Assumption taking the plea that it would compromise the country’s sovereignty.

As close partners, Modi today said, it is our shared responsibility that we ensure collective maritime security of our EEZ and coastal areas. We have threats from international crimes like piracy, drugs, human trafficking, and illegal exploitation of maritime resources. We need to increase our cooperation and alertness against these. India is committed to strengthen Seychelles’ defence capabilities and maritime infrastructure and increase the capacity of its defence personnel. This will enable Seychelles to effectively deal with both traditional and non-conventional maritime challenges and to protect its maritime resources. In this context, I am happy to announce a credit line of US $ 100 million for Seychelles. From this credit line Seychelles will be able to purchase defence equipment from India to build its maritime capacity. The second Dornier aircraft which I had promised during my visit to Seychelles in March 2015 is ready to be handed over tomorrow. You all have seen its model just now. It will arrive there on time to participate in the National Day festival of Seychelles on June 29.

The Indian prime Minister further said We are widely collaborating to undertake hydrography surveys to improve the availability of navigation charts. As part of this effort, we have signed an MOU today for the exchange of White Shipping Data. During our discussions today, I have reiterated India’s commitment towards effective contributions to projects of national importance in Seychelles. These projects will not only help Seychelles’ economy but they will also help to further intensify our mutual relations.

Under the Special grant, India is ready to finance three civilian infrastructure projects in Seychelles. These include Government House, new Police Headquarters and Attorney General’s Office.

Today, Modi announced, an MoU also has been signed, under which India will provide financial assistance to Seychelles to start some high quality, high visibility and people-centric Small Development Projects. President Faure has been assured that India will always remain committed to increase the capacity development of Seychelles by providing training to their defence personnel including the common citizens of Seychelles under ITEC and other such programs. Indian experts will be sent to Seychelles on deputation in the areas as required by Seychelles. Contribution of the Indian community in the economy of Seychelles is a matter of pride for us. Shared culture between the two countries is a matter of pride and it provides many possibilities to further intensify our relations, Modi added.

The Indian Prime Minister tyhanked President Faure for gifting two big Aldabra turtles. We have received such long living turtles from Seychelles earlier also, he said adding they are witness to three centuries. Creatures like this and other animals and flora and fauna are looked upon with great reverence and love in India. These long-living turtles will also be a symbol of our eternal friendship and its auspicious effects.

Modi further said: “Since the independence of Seychelles in June 1976, there have been special relations between both our democratic countries. Today, India and Seychelles are key strategic partners. We both support the core values of democracy and equally share geo-strategic vision of maintaining peace, security and stability in the Indian Ocean.

India and Seychelles are linked together with the Indian Ocean. Sustainable development of ocean economy in a secured maritime environment is very crucial for prosperity of our citizens. We can only take advantage of opportunities provided by the ocean by successfully confronting conventional and non-conventional threats. In our talks today, we have reiterated our commitment towards working jointly to take full advantage of ocean based Blue Economy. There is a deep strategic convergence on cooperation between us to deal with maritime challenges.”

MP Assembly pays tributes to former Himachal Governor

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Bhopal: Tributes were paid to former Himachal Pradesh Governor Urmila Singh and others who passed away recently by the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on the opening day of t he monsoon session.

At the outset, Assembly Speaker Sitasaran Sharma mentioned about the passing away of the former imachal Governor, former Union Ministers LP Sahi and Siddu Nyamgouda, former Congress MP and renowned poet Balkavi Bairagi, former members of the House Maharaj Singh, Rajendra Singh, Dashrath Jain and Dr. Nirmal Hirawat.

Prominent among those who paid tributes included Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Deputy Speaker Rajendra Kumar Singh and leader of Opposition Ajay Singh.

The main opposition Congress also presented a motion of No confidence against the Shivraj singh Chouhan led State BJP Government. The motion is under the consideration of the Assembly Speaker.

On the first day of the sesssion, 17 Bills were introduced by the Government.

New Superwog series to screen later this year

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Melbourne: The ABC and Screen Australia have announced the commencement of production this week in Melbourne on Superwog, a new comedy series to be distributed on ABC COMEDY and YouTube.

The Superwog pilot has been funded by Screen Australia and YouTube as part of the Skip Ahead initiative. It was the highest trending YouTube video in Australia last year, with over 3.4 million views (90% Australian based) and the most watched piece of content in the country in 2017.

The full series will continue from The Superwog pilot with six brand new half-hour episodes premiering weekly on Superwog YouTube channel later this year. It will be aired during the same week on ABC COMEDY and ABC iview. Produced by Princess Pictures, in association with the ABC, with principal production investment from Screen Australia, and financed with support from Film Victoria and YouTube, the project will forge new ground, making it the first ever full series collaboration between the ABC and YouTube, according to a Screen Australia statement.

Created by and starring YouTube sensations Theodore and Nathan Saidden, Superwog – the inspired-by-real-life tale of a flawed teenager and his crazed family in heartland suburbia – is also the first original scripted series to air on ABC COMEDY.

Developed over eight years by the comedy duo, the Superwog YouTube channel has garnered an extraordinary 180+ million YouTube views and almost 900k subscribers.

The Superwog series follows the often misunderstood, dysfunctional Superwog family as they struggle to navigate life in the Australian suburbs. Superwog is a girls/fast food-obsessed teenager enrolled in a prestigious private school. His misadventures with best friend Johnny often cause Superwog’s primitive, highly-strung father extreme stress as he battles to keep his delusional but fiercely loyal wife happy.

ABC Head of Comedy Rick Kalowski said: “We’re so happy to bring Superwog to ABC, to be in first time business with YouTube, and for this to be our first scripted original for ABC COMEDY. Superwog’s Screen Australia/YouTube Skip Ahead Pilot was one of the funniest half hours I’d ever seen, and the full series is a cracking addition to our unrivalled comedy offering. ABC is serious about comedy, and about working with incredible Australian online comedy talents like Theo and Nathan Saidden to bring them to new audiences here and around the world.”

Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia said: “The viral success of Superwog across their YouTube channel, boosted recently by their Skip Ahead pilot is simply staggering. To see them forge forward into this half hour series with YouTube and ABC COMEDY is an incredible opportunity for the Saidden brothers, as well as for both platforms exploring this innovative collaboration and release strategy.”

Head of YouTube Partnerships, Australia and New Zealand, Ed Miles, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Superwog in partnership with Screen Australia and the ABC, as they take this exciting step into creating narrative content. The Australian YouTube creator ecosystem is incredibly strong and it’s fantastic to see the ABC collaborate with creators to tell unique, local stories and embrace a multi-platform strategy to reach and engage audiences on YouTube as well as broadcast TV.”

Film Victoria CEO, Caroline Pitcher said “Edgy, irreverent and hilarious, Superwog has been a game changer in the online space and Melbourne’s Princess Pictures team have read this consumer popularity superbly. Congratulations to the Superwog and Princess Pictures team who will produce the entire long form series in Victoria.”