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PM leaves for first ever Israel visit

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Haretz expects BJP will anchor ties with greater alacrity

Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for his three-day visit to Israel Tuesday morning, being the first Indian PM to land in that country. His Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and his senior ministers and large number of dignitaries will receive him at Tel Aviv airport, the rare honor given to Pope and the US President.

At the end of his Israel visit, PM is scheduled to visit Hamburg in Germany from June 6 to 8 for attending G-20 Summit.

In a series of Facebook posts, Prime Minister said “I will be visiting Israel on 4-6 July, 2017 upon invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As the first Prime Minister to do so, I am greatly looking forward to this unprecedented visit that will bring two countries and people closer. This year India and Israel are marking 25 years of our diplomatic relations.”

While describing his priorities during the visit Prime Minister said, “I will have in-depth talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu on the full spectrum of our partnership and strengthening it in diverse fields for mutual benefit. We will also have the chance to discuss major common challenges like terrorism.”

He said, “I will visit the Yad Vashem memorial Museum to honor the memory of the victims of the holocaust that counts among the greatest tragedies in human history. Later, I will also pay my respects to the courageous Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the liberation of Haifa in 1918.”

In one of his tweets PM expressed his enthusiasm for meeting his Israeli counterpart.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Before the arrival of PM Modi in Tel Aviv, Israel on Monday backed India on the issue of terror threat from Pakistan.  Mark Sofer, Deputy Director General in-charge of the Asia Pacific Division at Israeli foreign office told an Indian journalist on Monday, “Israel supports India on terrorism emanating out of Pakistan, hook, line and sinker. But we are not asking quid pro quo… the horrors coming from Pakistan…the Lashkar-e-Toiba, the rogue operations from Pakistan. We say India has the right to defend itself, just like Israel has right to defend itself. I don’t see difference between LeT and Hamas. A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist.”

The Israeli officials described Modi’s visit as “historic and special”. According to sources the groundwork was prepared by “seven pre-visits” from different ministries and departments from India.

Prime Minsiter Modi will skip visiting Palestinian territory during his Israel visit. Traditionally, most foreign dignitaries visit both sides of the rival territories. Recently, US President Donald Trump had also visited Ramallah, the headquarters of Palestinian Authority.

While discussing about Modi skipping visit to Palestinian territory, the Israeli official was quoted as saying there was “nothing sinister or special” about this. “Israel has de-hyphenated its relationship… and PM Modi’s visit is a bilateral visit”, he added.

Haaretz, an important Israeli newspaper, while discussing PM’s visit on Tuesday, analyzed as to how relations passed through different phases between the two countries. It said that the two leaders would mark a significant warming up of ties and express fulfillment of a long unrequited desire, dating back to the early days of the Jewish state, for close ties with, and recognition from, India.

Discussing the historical perspective, the daily said, “In those early days, David Ben-Gurion (primary founder and the first PM of Israel) and other key Zionist leaders made strenuous bids for political and diplomatic support from Indian nationalist leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.”

Referring to Albert Einstein’s letter to Jawaharlal Nehru pleading to establish ties with Israel written in the summer of 1947, the daily said, “But not even Einstein could convince Nehru. India voted against the UN partition plan of Mandate Palestine in 1947 and later, in 1950, extended recognition to the state of Israel but without establishing diplomatic relations.” In fact Ben-Gurion asked Albert Einstein to write letter to Nehru at that time.

Complaining about India’s attitude those days, the newspaper said, “In the absence of any ideological or diplomatic support from Gandhi for Zionism, or later from the Indian Republic for Israel, it was an unusual and difficult affection for Ben-Gurion to carry – much like a one-sided love affair.”

Haaretz further said that, “Self-determination for the Palestinian people was significant issue for Nehru, who gave them strong support and turned away from relations with Israel. There was a regional political consideration for India in the 1950s: the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. India hoped for Arab support for the Indian case against Pakistan by extending its strong support to the Palestinians and not towards Israel.”

Discussing about the reasons for changed India’s policy towards Israel, the daily said, “First, the end of the Cold War and the collapse of Soviet Union created a new diplomatic matrix for India. Indian foreign policy was revised. Second, Israel was an excellent source of armaments and defense systems just as the Soviet Union and its associated weapons industries were crumbling. India’s poor military capabilities played a crucial role in opening relations with Israel.”

The daily revealed that during 1962 war with China, Nehru himself wrote a letter to Ben-Gurion asking for help in November that year.

While concluding its analysis, the daily said, “And India’s governing party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, a long time advocate of Israel in the Indian political system, is likely to anchor India’s ties with Israel with even great alacrity. That would indeed be a realization of Ben-Gurion’s long-held but frustrated hopes of decades ago.”

PM Modi travelled to Israel in 2006 while he was Gujarat Chief Minister. President Pranab Mukherjee travelled to Israel in 2015 and addressed Israeli Parliament.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Gorakhnath temple attack convict sentenced to death by NIA court

Gorakhnath temple attack convict Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi was sentenced to death, Monday, by a special anti-terror court.

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Gorakhnath temple attack

Gorakhnath temple attack convict Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi was sentenced to death, Monday, by a special anti-terror court.

A report quoting Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Prashan Kumar, said that Abbasi was awarded the death penalty under Section 121 of the Indian Penal Code by a special NIA court for attacking security personnel stationed at Gorakhnath temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur in April last year.

Abbasi, a chemical engineer, was arrested following an attack with a sharp-edged weapon on Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel posted at the Gorakhnath temple.

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Police said that after interrogation, Abbasi revealed he was in cahoots with the Islamic State and had taken an oath to fight for the global terrorist group. They said that Abbasi was also providing financial aid to the terror group’s sympathizers and supporters.

Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi, a resident of Civil Lines area in UP’s Gorakhpur, is an IIT-ian with a degree in chemical engineering from IIT-Mumbai.

According to the police, Abbasi suffered from mental health issues for which he underwent treatment from several doctors and ultimately led to him separating from his wife in 2017.

On April 3 last year, Abbasi tried to force his way inside the Gorakhnath temple, when stopped, he proceeded to attack the security men deployed there with a sickle in which two constables were injured. However, he was overpowered and arrested.

The ATS investigation revealed that the Abbasi’s attack was part of a “deep conspiracy.” The UP Home Department had said the attack could be termed as a terror incident.

Mughal Garden: Opening date, timing, entry price and how to book Amrit Udyan tickets online

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Mughal Garden: Opening date, timing, entry price and how to book Amrit Udyan tickets online

Mughal Garden, now renamed Amrit Udyan, at Rashtrapati Bhavan is all set to open for the public from January 31. President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday graced the opening of the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Udyan Utsav 2023.

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Amrit Udyan

Mughal Garden, now renamed Amrit Udyan, at Rashtrapati Bhavan is all set to open for the public from January 31. President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday graced the opening of the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Udyan Utsav 2023.

Mughal Garden has been renamed to commemorate the 75 years of independence. In keeping with the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration’s theme, the garden has also been given a new name, Amrit Udyan.

Amrit Udyan’s opening and closing date

Amrit Udyan opens once a year to the public. This year, it will remain open for the general public from January 31 to March 26. However, it will be closed on all Mondays and on March 1 and 2 due to G20 meetings and March 8 on the occasion of Holi.

The garden will be accessible to special groups from March 28 to March 31. Amrit Udyan will open for farmers on March 28, people with disabilities on March 29, members of the armed forces, paramilitary groups, and police on March 30, and self-organized groups of tribal women on March 31.

Entry and exit for all visitors will be from gate number 35 of the President’s Estate, close to where North Avenue meets Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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Amrit Udyan timings

People can visit Amrit Udyan during the time period between 10 am and 4 pm.

How to book Amrit Udyan tickets online?

  • Go to the official website of Rashtrapati Bhavan at https://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in or https://rb.nic.in/rbvisit/visit_plan.aspx.
  • On the homepage, select the option that reads Mughal Garden Visit.
  • Enter the required details such as name, date of visit, etc.
  • After that, you are required to submit your photo ID.
  • Click on the register button.

People can also buy Amrit Udyan tickets offline. Walk-in visitors have to register themselves at the facilitation counters as well as at the self-service kiosk near Gate 12 of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The visitors will have 6 slots to choose from, so it is advised to make prior bookings to avoid rushing at the gate.

The number of guests that can be reserved at once is 30. However, schools and colleges reserve a maximum of 50 at a time.

Amrit Udyan entry/ticket price

There is no fee for the booking of slots or entry to the Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan during Udyan Utsav. Visitors must, however, pay Rs 50 to enter Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Rashtrapati Bhavan will be open five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday and the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday. People can also witness the change of guard ceremony every Saturday, except on gazetted holidays.

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Bank holidays February 2023: Banks to remain shut for 10 days, check dates here

Apart from festivals, banks will also remain shut on the second and fourth Saturdays.

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Bank holidays February 2023

Every month banks across the country remain shut due to festivals and other public and private holidays. In February 2023, both private and public banks will not function for 10 days. However, the holidays differ from state to state.

Festivals like Guru Ravidas Jayanti, Hazrat Ali Jayanti, Maha Shivaratri, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and others will be celebrated in February which might affect the functioning of banks in several states.

Full list of bank holidays in February 2023

DATEDAYHOLIDAYSTATES 
5 February 2023 Sunday Hazrat Ali Jayanti Uttar Pradesh 
5 February 2023 Sunday Guru Ravidas Jayanti Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana & Punjab 
15 February 2023 Wednesday Lui-Ngai-Ni Manipur 
18 February 2023 Saturday Maha Shivaratri Several states of India 
19 February 2023 Sunday Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti Maharashtra 
20 February 2023 Monday State Day  Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram 
21 February 2023 Tuesday Losar Sikkim 

Apart from this, banks will also remain shut on the second and fourth Saturdays.

DATEDAYHOLIDAYSTATES 
12 February 2023 Saturday Second Saturday All States 
15 February 2023 Tuesday Lui-Ngai-Ni  Manipur 
19 February 2023 Sunday Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti Maharashtra 
25 February 2023 Saturday Fourth Saturday All States 

For those unversed, the Reserve Bank of India categorises holidays into three categories-Holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act and Real-Time Gross Settlement Holidays, Holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act, and Banks’ Closing of Accounts.

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In January 2023, banks across the country will remain shut for 14 days.

Date  Day    Holiday    State  
January 1, 2023SundayNew Year Bank Holiday & Weekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 2, 2023MondayNew Year Bank CelebrationMizoram
January 5, 2023ThursdayGuru Gobind Singh JayantiHaryana and Rajasthan
January 8, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 11, 2023WednesdayMissionary DayMizoram
January 14, 2023SaturdaySecond Saturday Bank HolidayAll over India
January 15, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 22, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 23, 2023MondayNetaji Subash Chandra Bose JayantiTripura and West Bangal
January 25, 2023WednesdayState DayHimachal Pradesh
January 26, 2023ThursdayRepublic DayAll over India
January 28, 2023SundayFourth Saturday Bank HolidayAll over India
January 29, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 31, 2023MondayMe-Dam-Me-PhiAssam

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