“Need to evolve consensus among nations for legal framework to combat terrorism and sea piracy through sea routes”

“Global conference on 26/11/2011 significant to combat the 26/11-type terrorist attacks from seaside on Mumbai” – Narendra Modi

Saturday: Gujarat Chief Minister Nar endra Modi today called for evolving a strategic consensus and agreement among different nations for a common legal and judicial framework to combat the growing menace of terrorism and piracy through sea routes.

Inaugurating an international conference on ‘ Global Maritime Security & Anti-Piracy’ at Gandhinagar, he stressed on the need to ensure no terrorist attack along the seacoast in a country like India with a long coastline. He s aid that maritime trade had been linked to development for centuries and now tourism. He called for t aking effective steps also to check hazardous cargo posing threat to coastal environment.

Mr. Modi s aid that Gujarat with a coastline of 1,600-km too, had a long history of mari time geography and trade. It has become a Gateway to India’s foreign trade with Europe, Africa, Middle East and South Asia in the 21st Century, the Gujarat ports alone handling 35 per cent of India’s total seaborne trade. Gujarat is the first state to encourage ports development in the private sector. It has two LNG Terminals.

He said that the conference being held on 26/11/2011 assumed special significance in the context of 26/11 terrorist attack from the seaside on Mumbai. He wished the conference would deliberate and arrive at important decisions to create awareness and evolve strategic means to check transnational violence and ensure maritime security. He expressed concern at certain terrorist outfits abusing navigation communication technology, making dents into maritime security, throwing new challenges to the security forces and pushing the world to destructive mentality. There is need for co-ordination and evolving consensus between diplomatic and military forces.

Mr. Modi said the trade through sea routes is set for further increase, besides increased offshore oil and gas exploration and fishery activity falling on important sea routes.

Talking about the steps taken in the state, he s aid, Gujarat Government has set up radar-based vessel traffic management system on the major sea routes, 12 modern coastal police stations, 31 high-mechanized boats and 600 maritime commandos. Formation of Gujarat Maritime Police Academy is on the anvil.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Seychelles Supreme Court Mr. Justice Dancan Gaswagha, Den mark’s Anti-Piracy Group Chairman-Ambassador for Somalia Coast, Indian Council of World Affairs Director-General Sudhir Deware, Secretary-General of British International Mari time Organization, UNO Legal Consul. Delegates from 30 countries are attending the two-day conference organized for the first time in the state by Gujarat National Law Society. Gujarat Government’s Additional Chief-Secretary (Ports-Transport) B.K. Sinha and GNLU Director Bimal Patel spoke on the significance of the international conference being held in Gujarat.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed.

The Prime Minister said that together India had defeated Covid last year & India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

PM spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines. The Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials/month in May while the normal production output in January-February being just 27-29 lakh vials/month. Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on 11th April going up to over 2,06,000 vials on 15th April 2021 which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand. He took note of the ramped up production capacity, and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. The Prime Minister directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines, and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, the Prime Minister directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES. The officers informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured & they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the PM that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken. The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the status of availability & supply of ventilators. The Prime Minister noted that a real time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in public as well as private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.

He was joined by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharma Secretary. Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog was also present.