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Submarine OFC project that connects Andaman Nicobar Islands to the rest of the world is a symbol of our commitment towards ease of living: PM
Thousands of families in Andaman-Nicobar will now get its access, the residents will reap the benefits of internet connectivity: PM
In 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, high-impact projects are being expanded: PM

My greetings to the land of freedom struggle for India’s independence, Andaman and Nicobar and its people!!!

This day is important not only for lakhs of friends living in dozens of islands of Andaman and Nicobar, but also for the whole country.

Friends,

Saluting Subhas Chandra Bose, I had the opportunity to launch the work for the Submarine Optical Fibre Cable Connectivity Project about one and a half years ago. I am glad that its work is now complete and today I am also fortunate to dedicate this project. This service has been started today from Chennai to Port Blair, Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Island, in a large part of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

I congratulate the people of Andaman & Nicobar Islands for this facility and connectivity filled with endless opportunities. My best wishes to you. I see this as a loving gift to the people of Andaman in the week before 15 August, before Independence Day.

Friends,

The completion of this work of laying of cables for about 2300 kilometres distance within the sea ahead of time is itself very commendable. It is not so easy to do survey in deep sea, or to maintain the quality of the cable, and laying the cable through special ships. On top of that, there were hurdles like high waves, storms and monsoon. The challenges were as formidable as this project. This was also one of the reasons why despite the need of this facility for years, it could not be worked on. But I am glad that this work has been completed, overcoming all the obstacles. Even a crisis like Corona, which stalled everything, could not stop the completion of this work.

Friends,

It was the responsibility of the country to provide modern telecom connectivity to the hard working citizens of the place which is so important for the past, present and future of the country. Through a highly dedicated team and team spirit an age-old dream has been fulfilled. I also congratulate every person associated with this project

Friends,

Such a challenging task can be accomplished only when work is done with full commitment and full capacity. We have been dedicated to ensuring that mental and physical distances are bridged between Delhi and every person and region of the country; and modern facilities reach every person and region of the country to make their lives easier. We have also tried to ensure that there is rapid development of border areas and maritime border areas associated with the security of the nation.

Friends,

This optical fibre project connecting Andaman and Nicobar to the rest of the country and the world is a symbol of our commitment to Ease of Living. Now the people of Andaman and Nicobar will also be able to get the same affordable and good quality facilities of mobile connectivity and fast internet, of which India is the leader in the whole world today. Now the people, the sisters, children, youth, traders and businessmen of Andaman and Nicobar will also be able to get all the benefits of Digital India, which the people of the rest of the country are getting. Be it studying online, earning from tourism, banking, shopping or medicine, now thousands of families from Andaman and Nicobar will also be able to get these facilities online.

Friends,

The visiting tourists will also benefit a lot from the facilities that Andaman has got today. Better net connectivity has become the first priority of any tourist destination today. Earlier, the tourists of the country and the world used to face a lot of problems due to lack of mobile and internet connectivity. He was constantly cut off from his family and business. Now this problem is also going to end. Now the internet connectivity will be excellent, so I am sure that people will visit this place for a longer time. When people stay for a longer time, enjoy the sea of Andaman and Nicobar and the food there, then it will have a huge impact on employment as well. New employment opportunities will also be created.

Friends,

Andaman and Nicobar is the main centre of India's Economic-Strategic Cooperation and Coordination. The Indian Ocean has been the centre of India's trade and strategic prowess for thousands of years. Now that India is following the new policy and practice of trade and cooperation in Indo-Pacific, the importance of our islands including Andaman and Nicobar has increased further. Under the Act-East policy, Andaman and Nicobar's role in developing India's strong relations with East Asian countries and other littoral countries is very high and is going to increase further. In New India, Island Development Agency was formed 3 years ago to strengthen this role of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Today, you are seeing that the projects which were not completed in Andaman and Nicobar for years are now rapidly getting completed.

Friends,

High Impact Projects are being expanded in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. A major problem related to mobile and internet connectivity has been resolved today. In addition, physical connectivity through road, air and water is also being strengthened. Work is underway for 2 major bridges and widening of NH-4 at a rapid pace to improve the road connectivity of North and Middle Andaman. Capacity to handle 1200 passengers at a time in Port Blair Airport is being developed and will be ready in the coming few months.

Apart from this, the airports at Diglipur, Car Nicobar and Campbell-Bay are also ready for operation. Water Aerodrome Infrastructure like Passenger Terminal, Floating Jetty in Swaraj Island, Shaheed Island and Long Island will also be ready in the coming months. After this, Sea Plane service will start here under the UDAN scheme. This will strengthen connectivity from one island to another and will also reduce your travel time.

Friends,

To increase the facility of water connectivity between the islands and the rest of the country, the 4 ships being built at Kochi Shipyard will also be delivered in the coming months. We are trying to ensure that in the next one year the facility of repairing large ships would be developed in the same island. This will save your time, reduce expenses and also create employment opportunities. This will also be of great benefit to the fisheries sector.

Friends,

Andaman and Nicobar Islands are going to develop as a hub of Port-led Development in the coming days. Andaman & Nicobar is located at a very competitive distance from many ports of the world. Today, the whole world understands that the country with better network of ports and their connectivity will boost the trade of the 21st century. In such a situation, the work related to infrastructure in Andaman and Nicobar will take it to new heights of development.

Friends,

Today as India is moving ahead with the resolve of self-sufficiency and is busy in establishing itself as an important player of Global Supply and Value Chain, as a Global Manufacturing Hub, it becomes very important to further strengthen our network of Waterways and Ports. The work being done for Port Development and Port-led Development for the last 6-7 years is giving new strength to the country.

Today, we are building a large network of river waterways, connecting large sea ports to the land-locked states of the country. The legal hurdles in the development of Port Infra are also being removed continuously. Government's focus is also on promoting Ease of doing Business in the sea and simplifying Maritime Logistics. Work is also underway to develop the world's largest single window platform.

Friends,
Due to many such efforts, now both the capacity and the capabilities of the country's port network are expanding. After a long wait for 3 decades, India's first deep draft green-field sea port in the West Coast has been given in-principle approval. Similarly, construction of deep draft inner harbour in the East Coast is also going on at a rapid pace.

It is now proposed to construct a Trans Shipment Port in Great Nicobar at an estimated cost of about Rs 10 thousand crores. Our target is to complete its first phase in the coming 4-5 years. Once this port is ready, big ships will also be able to anchor here. This will increase India's share in maritime trade and provide new opportunities to our youth.

Friends,

The modern infrastructure being developed in Andaman and Nicobar today will also boost the blue economy. Fisheries, Aquaculture and Sea Weed farming are an important part of the Blue Economy. The benefits of Seaweed are being discussed in the world today. Many countries are exploring its potential. I am happy that the results of the pilot project in Port Blair to explore its potential in Andaman and Nicobar are encouraging. Now studies have been started to promote its cultivation in the islands. If these experiments are successful on a large scale, then it can be expanded to other places in the country. This will especially benefit our fishermen. I hope that our efforts in this decade will not only provide new facilities to Andaman-Nicobar, but also to the people of the world, and it will also find a prominent place in the World Tourist Map.

Once again, I congratulate all the people of Andaman & Nicobar Islands for this modern facility of mobile phone and internet connectivity. And now amid the Corona pandemic, I pray for you to stay healthy and safe. I also wish for your family to stay healthy. In this times of Corona, always follow social distancing or ‘do gaz doori' and keep moving forward.

I have got the opportunity to salute you and this land of freedom struggle today before 15th August. I also congratulate all of you for this great occasion held before August 15, before the celebration of Independence Day and I invite you to come forward for leapfrogging to a bright future.

Thanks a lot!

 

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Fact Sheet: Quad Leaders’ Summit
September 25, 2021
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On September 24, President Biden hosted Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan at the White House for the first-ever in-person Leaders’ Summit of the Quad. The leaders have put forth ambitious initiatives that deepen our ties and advance practical cooperation on 21st-century challenges: ending the COVID-19 pandemic, including by increasing production and access to safe and effective vaccines; promoting high-standards infrastructure; combatting the climate crisis; partnering on emerging technologies, space, and cybersecurity; and cultivating next-generation talent in all of our countries.

COVID and Global Health

Quad leaders recognize that the most immediate threat to lives and livelihoods in our four countries and the world is the COVID-19 pandemic. And so in March, Quad leaders launched the Quad Vaccine Partnership, to help enhance equitable access to safe and effective vaccines in the Indo-Pacific and the world. Since March, the Quad has taken bold actions to expand safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity, donated vaccines from our own supply, and worked together to assist the Indo-Pacific in responding to the pandemic. The Quad Vaccine Experts Group remains the heart of our cooperation, meeting regularly to brief on the latest pandemic trends and coordinate our collective COVID-19 response across the Indo-Pacific, including by piloting the Quad Partnership COVID-19 Dashboard. We welcome President Biden’s September 22 COVID-19 Summit, and acknowledge that our work continues. The Quad will:

Help Vaccinate the World: As Quad countries, we have pledged to donate more than 1.2 billion vaccine doses globally, in addition to the doses we have financed through COVAX. To date we have collectively delivered nearly 79 million safe and effective vaccine doses to the Indo-Pacific region. Our Vaccine Partnership remains on track to expand manufacturing at Biological E Ltd. this fall, so that it can produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022. As a first step towards that new capacity, the leaders will announce bold actions that will immediately help the Indo-Pacific in its quest to end the pandemic. We recognize the importance of open and secure supply chains for vaccine production. The Quad welcomed India’s announcement to resume exports of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, including to COVAX, beginning in October 2021.

Through $3.3 billion in the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan program, Japan will continue to help regional countries to procure safe, effective, and quality-assured vaccines. Australia will deliver $212 million in grant aid to purchase vaccines for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In addition, Australia will allocate $219 million to support last-mile vaccine rollouts and lead in coordinating the Quad’s last-mile delivery efforts in those regions. Quad member countries will coordinate with the ASEAN Secretariat, the COVAX Facility, and other relevant organizations. We will continue to strengthen and support the life-saving work of international organizations and partnerships, including the WHO, COVAX, Gavi, CEPI, and UNICEF; and national governments. At the same time, the leaders are fully committed to strengthening vaccine confidence and trust. To that end, Quad countries will host an event at the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) dedicated to combatting hesitancy.

Save Lives Now: Together as the Quad, we are committed to taking further action in the Indo-Pacific to save lives now. Japan, through Japan Bank for International Cooperation, will work with India to enhance key investments of approximately $100 million in the healthcare sector related to COVID-19, including vaccine and treatment drugs. We will utilize the Quad Vaccine Experts Group and convene as needed to urgently consult in relation to our emergency assistance.

Build Back Better Health Security: The Quad commits to better preparing our countries and the world for the next pandemic. We will continue to build coordination in our broader COVID-19 response and health-security efforts in the Indo-Pacific, and we will jointly build and conduct at least one pandemic preparedness tabletop or exercise in 2022. We will also further strengthen our science and technology cooperation in support of the 100-Day Mission—to have safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics available within 100 days—now and into the future. This includes collaboration on current and future clinical trials, such as launching additional sites for the international Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) trials, which can expedite investigation of promising new vaccines and therapeutics, while at the same time supporting countries in the region to improve their capacity to undertake scientifically sound clinical research. We will support the call for a "global pandemic radar” and will improve our viral genomic surveillance, including by working together to strengthen and expand the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS).

Infrastructure

Building on the G7’s announcement of Build Back Better World (B3W)—an infrastructure partnership focused on digital connectivity, climate, health and health security, and gender equality infrastructure—the Quad will rally expertise, capacity, and influence to strengthen ongoing infrastructure initiatives in the region and identify new opportunities to meet the needs there. The Quad will:

Launch the Quad Infrastructure Coordination Group: Building on existing leadership from Quad partners on high-standards infrastructure, a senior Quad infrastructure coordination group will meet regularly to share assessments of regional infrastructure needs and coordinate respective approaches to deliver transparent, high-standards infrastructure. The group will also coordinate technical assistance and capacity-building efforts, including with regional partners, to ensure our efforts are mutually reinforcing and complementary in meeting the significant infrastructure demand in the Indo-Pacific.

Lead on High-Standards Infrastructure: Quad partners are leaders in building quality infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region. Our complementary approaches leverage both public and private resources to achieve maximum impact. Since 2015, Quad partners have provided more than $48 billion in official finance for infrastructure in the region. This represents thousands of projects, including capacity-building, across more than 30 countries in support of rural development, health infrastructure, water supply and sanitation, renewable power generation (e.g., wind, solar, and hydro), telecommunications, road transportation, and more. Our infrastructure partnership will amplify these contributions and further catalyze private-sector investment in the region.

Climate

Quad countries share serious concern with the August Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report findings on the latest climate science, which has significant implications for climate action. To address the climate crisis with the urgency it demands, Quad countries will focus their efforts on the themes of climate ambition, including working on 2030 targets for national emissions and renewable energy, clean-energy innovation and deployment, as well as adaptation, resilience, and preparedness. Quad countries commit to pursue enhanced actions in the 2020s to meet anticipated energy demand and decarbonize at pace and scale to keep our climate goals within reach in the Indo-Pacific. Additional efforts include working together on methane abatement in the natural-gas sector and on establishing responsible and resilient clean-energy supply chains. The Quad will:

Form a Green-Shipping Network: Quad countries represent major maritime shipping hubs with some of the largest ports in the world. As a result, Quad countries are uniquely situated to deploy green-port infrastructure and clean-bunkering fuels at scale. Quad partners will organize their work by launching a Quad Shipping Taskforce and will invite leading ports, including Los Angeles, Mumbai Port Trust, Sydney (Botany), and Yokohama, to form a network dedicated to greening and decarbonizing the shipping value chain. The Quad Shipping Task Force will organize its work around several lines of efforts and aims to establish two to three Quad low-emission or zero-emission shipping corridors by 2030.

Establish a Clean-Hydrogen Partnership: The Quad will announce a clean-hydrogen partnership to strengthen and reduce costs across all elements of the clean-hydrogen value chain, leveraging existing bilateral and multilateral hydrogen initiatives in other fora. This includes technology development and efficiently scaling up the production of clean hydrogen (hydrogen produced from renewable energy, fossil fuels with carbon capture and sequestration, and nuclear for those who choose to deploy it), identification and development of delivery infrastructure to safely and efficiently transport, store, and distribute clean hydrogen for end-use applications, and stimulating market demand to accelerate trade in clean hydrogen in the Indo-Pacific region.

Enhance Climate Adaptation, Resilience, and Preparedness: Quad countries commit to increasing the Indo-Pacific region’s resilience to climate change by improving critical climate information-sharing and disaster-resilient infrastructure. The Quad countries will convene a Climate & Information Services Task Force and build a new technical facility through the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure that will provide technical assistance in small island developing states.

People-to-People Exchange and Education

The students of today will be the leaders, innovators, and pioneers of tomorrow. To build ties among the next generation of scientists and technologists, Quad partners are proud to announce the Quad Fellowship: a first-of-its-kind scholarship program, operated and administered by a philanthropic initiative and in consultation with a non-governmental task force comprised of leaders from each Quad country. This program will bring together exceptional American, Japanese, Australian, and Indian masters and doctoral students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to study in the United States. This new fellowship will develop a network of science and technology experts committed to advancing innovation and collaboration in the private, public, and academic sectors, in their own nations and among Quad countries. The program will build a foundational understanding among Quad Scholars of one another’s societies and cultures through cohort-wide trips to each Quad country and robust programming with each country’s top scientists, technologists, and politicians. The Quad will:

Launch the Quad Fellowship: The Fellowship will sponsor 100 students per year—25 from each Quad country—to pursue masters and doctoral degrees at leading STEM graduate universities in the United States. It will serve as one of the world’s leading graduate fellowships; but uniquely, the Quad Fellowship will focus on STEM and bring together the top minds of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative, will operate and administer the fellowship program in consultation with a non-governmental taskforce, comprised of academic, foreign policy, and private sector leaders from each Quad country. Founding sponsors of the fellowship program include Accenture, Blackstone, Boeing, Google, Mastercard, and Western Digital, and the program welcomes additional sponsors interested in supporting the Fellowship.

Critical and Emerging Technologies

Quad leaders are committed to working together to foster an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem. Since establishing a new critical and emerging technologies working group in March, we have organized our work around four efforts: technical standards, 5G diversification and deployment, horizon-scanning, and technology supply chains. Today, the Quad leaders launch a statement of principles on technology, along with new efforts that together will advance critical and emerging technologies shaped by our shared democratic values and respect for universal human rights. The Quad will:

Publish a Quad Statement of Principles: After months of collaboration, the Quad will launch a statement of principles on technology design, development, governance, and use that we hope will guide not only the region but the world towards responsible, open, high-standards innovation.

Establish Technical Standards Contact Groups: The Quad will establish contact groups on Advanced Communications and Artificial Intelligence focusing on standards-development activities as well as foundational pre-standardization research.

Launch a Semiconductor Supply Chain Initiative: Quad partners will launch a joint initiative to map capacity, identify vulnerabilities, and bolster supply-chain security for semiconductors and their vital components. This initiative will help ensure Quad partners support a diverse and competitive market that produces the secure critical technologies essential for digital economies globally.

Support 5G Deployment and Diversification: To support the critical role of Quad governments in fostering and promoting a diverse, resilient, and secure telecommunications ecosystem, the Quad has launched a Track 1.5 industry dialogue on Open RAN deployment and adoption, coordinated by the Open RAN Policy Coalition. Quad partners will jointly facilitate enabling environments for 5G diversification, including with efforts related to testing and test facilities.

Monitor Biotechnology Scanning: The Quad will monitor trends in critical and emerging technologies, starting with advanced biotechnologies, including synthetic biology, genome sequencing, and biomanufacturing. In the process, we will identify related opportunities for cooperation.

Cybersecurity

Building on longstanding collaboration among our four countries on cybersecurity, the Quad will launch new efforts to bolster critical-infrastructure resilience against cyber threats by bringing together the expertise of our nations to drive domestic and international best practices. The Quad will:

Launch a Quad Senior Cyber Group: Leader-level experts will meet regularly to advance work between government and industry on driving continuous improvements in areas including adoption and implementation of shared cyber standards; development of secure software; building workforce and talent; and promoting the scalability and cybersecurity of secure and trustworthy digital infrastructure.

Space

Quad countries are among the world’s scientific leaders, including in space. Today, the Quad will begin space cooperation for the first time with a new working group. In particular, our partnership will exchange satellite data, focused on monitoring and adapting to climate change, disaster preparedness, and responding to challenges in shared domains. The Quad will:

Share Satellite Data to Protect the Earth and its Waters: Our four countries will start discussions to exchange Earth observation satellite data and analysis on climate-change risks and the sustainable use of oceans and marine resources. Sharing this data will help Quad countries to better adapt to climate change and to build capacity in other Indo-Pacific states that are at grave climate risk, in coordination with the Quad Climate Working group.Enable Capacity-Building for Sustainable Development: The Quad countries will also enable capacity-building in space-related domains in other Indo-Pacific countries to manage risks and challenges. The Quad countries will work together to support, strengthen, and enhance space applications and technologies of mutual interest.

Consult on Norms and Guidelines: We will also consult on norms, guidelines, principles, and rules for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the outer space environment.