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October 2023

In a bid to bolster its tourism industry, Thailand has extended a warm welcome to Indian travelers by allowing them to visit the country without the need for a visa. Starting from November 10, 2023, this visa-free travel opportunity for Indians will remain in effect until May 10, 2024. India holds a significant position as one of the primary sources of tourism for Thailand, and this move aims to further strengthen their travel ties.

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Leaders Pay Tribute to the Architect of Indian Unity

On the occasion of National Unity Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and a host of notables paid heartfelt tributes to the “Iron Man of India,” Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, on his 148th birth anniversary. This day, observed on October 31, marks a celebration of the unparalleled legacy of Sardar Patel, who played a pivotal role in uniting the diverse princely states into the modern nation of India.

Modi’s Homage and Tribute at the Statue of Unity

Prime Minister Modi, currently in his home state of Gujarat, took a moment to reflect on the visionary statesmanship and unwavering dedication of Sardar Patel, who, through a blend of persuasion and firmness, wove together a nation that was a tapestry of princely territories. In his message, the Prime Minister said, “On the Jayanti of Sardar Patel, we remember his indomitable spirit, visionary statesmanship, and the extraordinary dedication with which he shaped the destiny of our nation. His commitment to national integration continues to guide us. We are forever indebted to his service.” Modi further honored Sardar Patel by laying floral wreaths at the imposing Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue dedicated to the great leader.

Sardar Patel: Architect of Unity and Nationalist Leader

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, born into a landowning family in Gujarat in 1875, was an eminent lawyer and a prominent Congress leader during the struggle for India’s independence. His role as the first home minister of independent India was pivotal in bringing together over 565 self-governing princely states into a unified India. His relentless pursuit of national integration earned him the revered title “Iron Man of India.”

Celebrating National Unity Day: Honoring the Unifier

The significance of October 31 as National Unity Day is rooted in its recognition of Sardar Patel’s remarkable feat of persuading princely states to join the Indian Union. As the Central government declared, this day serves as an opportunity to reaffirm India’s strength and resilience in the face of challenges to its unity, integrity, and security.

Sardar Patel’s Early Years: Education, Law, and Satyagraha

Sardar Patel’s legacy goes beyond his political achievements. His early years were marked by a strong commitment to education and law. He ventured to London for legal studies and returned to India as a distinguished barrister in criminal law. His association with Mahatma Gandhi and the principles of satyagraha reshaped his life, leading him to become a nationalist leader.

The Leader Emerges: Bardoli and Mass Campaigns

In 1918, Sardar Patel’s leadership emerged during the Kaira mass campaigns against the Bombay government’s attempt to collect full annual revenue taxes despite crop failures. He later led the Bardoli landowners’ resistance in 1928, earning him the title ‘Sardar’ or leader, and cementing his status as a national figure.

Post-Independence Achievements and Legacy

Post-independence, Sardar Patel’s contributions were multifaceted. He served as deputy prime minister, minister of home affairs, minister of information, and minister of states, but his most enduring legacy is the seamless integration of princely Indian states into the Indian Union and the unification of India.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s life of dedication to his country culminated on December 15, 1950, when he passed away in Bombay after suffering a massive heart attack. His legacy lives on, celebrated on National Unity Day as India continues to draw inspiration from his vision of unity and integrity.

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In his address on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to transforming India into a developed nation by 2047 during Amrit Kal. He made these remarks while speaking to a gathered audience following the inauguration and groundbreaking ceremony for diverse developmental projects exceeding a total investment of 5,900 crore rupees in Dabhoda, located in the Mehsana district.

These projects span multiple sectors, encompassing rail, road, drinking water, and irrigation. They hold the potential to bring significant benefits to seven districts in North and central Gujarat.

Prime Minister Modi emphasized that the extensive range of infrastructure projects unveiled on that day would not only enhance connectivity and stimulate tourism in the North Gujarat region but also pave the way for greater prosperity and improved well-being for the local population.

He further noted that the government is now pivoting towards the development of clean energy sources, with a particular focus on solar energy and biofuels. Moreover, he highlighted the significant role that North Gujarat is poised to play in the burgeoning Green Hydrogen sector.

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Israel tanks have penetrated the Zaytun district on the southern fringes of Gaza City, severing a vital lifeline that connects the north and south of this war-torn territory. The operation comes as part of Israel’s intensified efforts to dismantle Hamas, claiming to have eliminated dozens of operatives in over 600 airstrikes within the past 24 hours.

This development follows a pattern of warning to the 1.1 million residents in northern Gaza, including those in Gaza City, to move southward to evade military strikes. However, despite the departure of many, tens of thousands are believed to remain in the affected areas.

The escalation can be traced back to the October 7 Hamas attacks, which Israeli officials say resulted in the loss of 1,400 lives, the majority of whom were civilians, with 239 individuals taken hostage. The health ministry in Gaza, under Hamas rule, reports that over 8,000 individuals, primarily civilians, and more than half of them children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes and ground operations.

The Israeli army reports “dozens” of Hamas operatives killed in overnight clashes. These militants were reportedly holed up in buildings and tunnels, launching attacks against the advancing Israeli troops. The Israeli response has targeted various Hamas facilities, including weapons depots, anti-tank missile launch sites, and hideouts, all integral to the Hamas organization.

One particularly significant event unfolded as a fighter jet targeted a building housing over 20 Hamas operatives. Another strike focused on an anti-tank missile launch position near Al-Azhar University, located in the heart of Gaza City.

As this conflict continues to unfold, the world watches with bated breath, hoping for a swift and peaceful resolution to spare the lives of civilians caught in the crossfire.

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In the Future of Communication, Jio Takes the Lead

In a bold move set to reshape the telecommunications landscape, Jio is marking its presence in the skies, heralding a new era of non-terrestrial network services. Speaking at the seventh India Mobile Congress (IMC), Mathew Oommen, President of Reliance Jio, shared how satellites have evolved from mere backhaul systems to functioning as “base stations in the sky.” This transformation is enabling satellite communications to coexist harmoniously with terrestrial mobile technologies.

Redefining the Satellite Spectrum

Traditionally, satellites were employed for backhaul services. However, Oommen highlighted a recent shift where satellite spectrum is now serving the same devices and customers as terrestrial spectrum. This evolution has sparked a debate within the telecom industry about the allocation of satellite spectrum.

Diverging Views on Satellite Spectrum Allocation

During the last consultation process by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in June, tech giants like Elon Musk’s Starlink, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, and others opposed the auctioning of satellite communication (satcom) spectrum. On the other side, telecom operators had differing opinions, with Bharti Enterprises advocating for allocation while Reliance Jio pushed for auctions.

Jio’s Stand: Consistency in Spectrum Policy

Mathew Oommen expressed his view that if satellite spectrum serves the same purpose, targets the same devices and customers, and adheres to the same standards, it should follow the same spectrum policy, regardless of whether it’s terrestrial or satellite-based. In this context, he argued for auctions.

Leveraging Spectrum for Progress

Oommen emphasized that as a nation, it’s essential to make decisions that align with India’s progress. India, he pointed out, is no longer a Tier-II nation and should have forward-looking policies for progressive technologies.

Empowering Remote Areas with Universal Service Obligation (USO) Funds

In response to questions about providing affordable satcom services to remote areas, Oommen suggested tapping into the government’s Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund. This fund, funded by a universal access levy on telecom providers, is currently underutilized. Oommen recommended reallocating these funds to not only erect telecom towers but also to provide subsidies to those who can’t afford digital transitions, thus promoting the Digital India vision.

The Satcom Race Heats Up

Reliance Jio, along with Eutelsat OneWeb, has secured the license to offer satellite-based broadband services in India. As the race in satellite communications intensifies, Jio is ahead in demonstrating its Jio SpaceFiber service. This service offers India’s first satellite-based gigabit-speed broadband to previously inaccessible regions. Additionally, Bharti Airtel-backed Eutelsat OneWeb is set to introduce its satellite communication services in India.

Cutting-Edge Advantage

Oommen believes that leveraging the satellites of Luxembourg-based SES gives Jio a significant edge. This advantage lies in the utilization of Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites, which offer broader coverage with only eight to nine satellites, unlike the hundreds required by Low Earth Orbit (LEO) systems.

In this rapidly changing landscape, Jio’s transformation into a non-terrestrial network player is set to pave the way for innovative solutions in the world of communication. As satellite technology continues to evolve, Jio stands ready to shape the future.

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Leading the Satellite Communication Revolution

Jio’s foray into satellite-based communication marks a significant leap in bridging the digital divide and ensuring connectivity to remote and underserved areas. The use of satellite spectrum has transformed from being solely a backhaul solution to becoming a key component in delivering reliable, high-speed broadband services.

A Progressive Spectrum Policy

One of the most prominent discussions in the telecom industry revolves around the allocation of satellite spectrum. This valuable resource, primarily used when satellites are in orbit, has been a subject of debate. While tech giants and satellite providers argue against auctioning satcom spectrum, telecom operators remain divided on the issue. Jio’s stance calls for consistency in spectrum policies, advocating for auctions if satellite spectrum serves the same purpose as terrestrial spectrum.

Empowering Remote Areas

Jio’s commitment to providing affordable satcom services to remote regions is underscored by its proposal to leverage the Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund. This fund, fueled by a universal access levy, presents a substantial opportunity to expand digital accessibility. By reallocating these funds, not only can Jio extend its services to underserved areas, but it can also ensure that the Digital India vision becomes a reality.

The Satellite Race Continues

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has granted licenses for Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Services (GMPCS) to both Eutelsat OneWeb and Jio Space, setting the stage for an intense competition in the satellite communication sector. Jio’s recent demonstration of its Jio SpaceFiber service has shown the promise of satellite-based gigabit-speed broadband, even in regions that were previously inaccessible. Bharti Airtel-backed Eutelsat OneWeb is also gearing up to introduce its satellite communication services in India.

Jio’s Cutting-Edge Advantage

Jio’s strategic partnership with SES, a Luxembourg-based satellite telecommunications network provider, offers a unique advantage. By deploying Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites, Jio can achieve extensive coverage with just eight to nine satellites. This stands in stark contrast to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) systems, which require a significantly larger constellation to achieve similar coverage.

As Jio continues to make strides in satellite-based communication, it sets the stage for transformative changes in the way India and the world connect. The evolving satellite technology landscape presents opportunities for Jio to lead the charge in ensuring connectivity, even in the most remote corners of the country.

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In a thrilling match at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, India has firmly positioned itself on the cusp of victory, while England finds itself struggling to reach the target with just two wickets remaining.

England was tasked with chasing a victory target of 230 runs, but their pursuit took a significant blow as they were bowled out at a mere 129 runs in 34.5 overs.

India, batting first, posted a competitive total of 229 runs for the loss of nine wickets within the allotted 50 overs. Captain Rohit Sharma played a pivotal role in stabilizing the Indian innings with a resolute knock of 87 runs. England’s David Willey managed to claim three wickets during India’s innings.

In the opening stages of the game, England won the toss and elected to field, a decision that set the stage for an intense battle on the pitch.

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On the day of El Clasico, Spain’s biggest football rivalry, two Real Madrid legends, Luis Figo and Ronaldo Nazario, made a surprise appearance at Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr game in Saudi Arabia. Their attendance sent fans into a frenzy, and they couldn’t contain their excitement on social media.

El Clasico Ends with Real Madrid’s Thrilling Victory

El Clasico, the much-anticipated match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, ended in a thrilling 2-1 victory for Real Madrid, thanks to a remarkable performance by Jude Bellingham, who scored two goals. However, the real surprise came when Ronaldo and Figo showed up to watch Al-Nassr play against Al-Fayha.

Al-Nassr Secures a Solid Win

Al-Nassr, also known as the Knights of Najd, secured a solid 3-1 win with two goals from Anderson Talisca and another from Otavio, a Portuguese international.

Football Legends Unite in Saudi Arabia

Ronaldo was in Saudi Arabia to watch the Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou event and even attended the weigh-in. Both Ronaldo and Figo, who have played for Real Madrid and Barcelona in their careers, decided to catch Cristiano Ronaldo in action during El Clasico, creating quite a stir among fans.

Fans Celebrate Cristiano Ronaldo’s Influence

Fans couldn’t help but express their admiration on social media, with comments like “His influence is unmatched” and “This man is loved by all.”

Ronaldo’s Enduring Impact on Football

This unexpected gathering of football legends highlights Cristiano Ronaldo’s iconic status and the respect he commands from fellow players and fans worldwide. It’s a testament to his enduring impact on the world of sports.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that Israeli forces had unleashed the second phase of the Gaza war as they pressed ground operations against Hamas militants, vowing to “destroy the enemy above ground and below ground.”

Gaza’s besieged people had barely any communications with the outside world as Israeli jets dropped more bombs on the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave and military chiefs said a long-threatened ground offensive was gearing up.

Speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu warned that the war would be “long and hard” and reiterated Israel’s appeal to Palestinian civilians to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip where Israel was focusing its attack.

He vowed that every effort would be made to rescue the more than 200 hostages held by Hamas.

“This is the second stage of the war whose goals are clear – to destroy Hamas’ governing and military capabilities and to bring the hostages home,” Netanyahu told reporters. “We are only at the start,” he said. “We will destroy the enemy above ground and below ground.”

Israel has blockaded and bombarded Gaza for three weeks after the Islamist group Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault killed 1,400 Israelis in the deadliest day of the nation’s 75-year history.

Western countries have generally backed what they say is Israel’s right to self-defense, but there has been mounting international concern over the toll from the bombing and growing calls for a pause to allow aid to reach Gaza civilians.

Health authorities in the Gaza Strip of 2.3 million people say 7,650 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s campaign to obliterate the militants.

With many buildings reduced to rubble and shelter hard to find, Gazans are short of food, water, fuel, and medicines. Their plight got worse from Friday night when phone and internet services were cut – followed by heavy bombing through the night.

“God help anyone under the rubble,” said one Gaza journalist, who spent a terrifying night in a building stairway watching “belts of fire” as bombs fell and Israeli forces appeared to exchange fire with Palestinian fighters.

Without mobile phones, no one could call ambulances, and emergency services anyway were short of fuel, he said. Desperate people were turning to the police, when they could be found, to use their walkie-talkies to seek help.

Israeli Troops Target Tunnels

Though there was no indication of an invasion en masse, Israel said troops sent into Gaza on Friday night were still in the field, focusing on infrastructure, including the extensive tunnel network built by Hamas.

“We attacked terrorist operatives of all ranks, everywhere,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said earlier.

In calling on Gazans to move south, Israel said Hamas was hiding under civilian buildings, especially in the north. Palestinians say nowhere is safe, with bombs also smashing homes in the south of the densely populated territory.

“A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in front of our eyes,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

Various global aid agencies said they could not contact their staff in Gaza. But a representative from the International Committees of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Gaza got an audio message out.

William Schomburg said medics were working around the clock while also dealing with personal tragedies. “I spoke to one doctor who had lost his brother and cousin the night before,” he told the BBC broadcaster in a clip the ICRC posted on X.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk offered his Starlink satellite network to support communications in Gaza for internationally recognized aid organizations.

Video from the Israeli side of the heavily fortified fence showed explosions in Gaza sending up clouds of smoke among a line of ruined buildings.

Al Jazeera, which broadcast live satellite TV footage overnight showing frequent blasts, said air strikes had hit areas around the enclave’s main hospital Al Shifa.

Israel had accused Hamas of using the hospital as a shield for tunnels and operational centers, which the group denied.

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A visionary move that could transform the way India connects to the world, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio is now set to launch its satellite broadband service, JioSpaceFiber, akin to Elon Musk’s Starlink. This innovation promises to provide high-speed broadband services to previously underserved regions within the country, expanding internet accessibility and ushering in a new digital era. During the recent India Mobile Congress, Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, showcased a demo of the upcoming satellite-based internet service to none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.

The Digital Revolution Continues

Mukesh Ambani, India’s wealthiest individual, has been at the forefront of revolutionizing internet access in India through Reliance Jio. Over the years, Jio has introduced a range of products aimed at making fast and reliable internet accessible across the nation. To address the challenge of bringing JioFiber connectivity to remote and inaccessible areas, Mukesh Ambani’s latest announcement of Reliance Jio AirFiber is already making moves.

JioSpaceFiber: Bridging the Connectivity Divide

Now, the spotlight is on JioSpaceFiber, India’s first satellite-based giga-fiber service, poised to provide high-speed broadband access to areas that were previously beyond the digital reach. In a significant demonstration of the service’s capabilities, Akash Ambani introduced JioSpaceFiber to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Mobile Congress.

“Jio has enabled millions of homes and businesses in India to experience broadband internet for the first time. With JioSpaceFiber, we expand our reach to cover the millions yet to be connected,” Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, stated. “JioSpaceFiber will allow everyone, everywhere, to fully participate in the new digital society with gigabit access to online government, education, health, and entertainment services,” he added.

Pioneering Satellite Technology

Jio has entered into a strategic partnership with SES, a global leader in satellite-based connectivity, to access cutting-edge medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite technology. This partnership will enable Jio to harness the unique capabilities of SES’s O3b and the new O3b mPOWER satellites, making it the sole provider of truly transformative Gigabit, fiber-like services from space.

Reliance Jio’s innovation promises to deliver scalable and affordable broadband connectivity throughout India, with a level of reliability and service flexibility that is unparalleled in the industry. With JioSpaceFiber, India is set to leapfrog into a new era of digital inclusion, and the world is eagerly watching as this transformative journey unfolds.

Connecting the Unconnected

Reliance Jio’s remarkable journey continues with JioSpaceFiber, addressing the digital divide and creating opportunities for millions to connect, learn, and thrive in a more connected India. As the country stands on the cusp of this groundbreaking technology, it’s evident that Mukesh Ambani’s vision for a digital India is becoming a reality.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a playful jab at the Congress party during a telecom event in Delhi. He drew an amusing analogy between the Indian political landscape in 2014 and outdated mobile phones, invoking laughter from the audience.

“Outdated Phones” and Political Change

PM Modi humorously recalled how, just like outdated phones that refused to restart or respond, the country chose to leave behind the past and usher in a wave of change in 2014. It was a pivotal year, marking his first term as Prime Minister, where the BJP secured a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha Elections.

The Prime Minister emphasized that 2014 wasn’t merely a date; it symbolized a profound transformation—a “badlav” (change). He drew a parallel between the frozen screens of outdated phones and the state of the previous government, suggesting that both were in a ‘frozen’ state.

India’s Tech Resurgence

During his address at the ‘India Mobile Congress,’ PM Modi showcased India’s growing significance in the global tech landscape. He highlighted how major tech giants, including Apple and Google, are making substantial investments in manufacturing in India. “Recently, Google has announced the manufacturing of its Pixel phone in India. Samsung’s Fold 5 mobile phone and Apple’s iPhone 15 are being manufactured in India,” he proudly revealed.

PM Modi also celebrated India’s remarkable progress in mobile broadband speed, which has seen the country ascend to the 43rd position from a previous rank of 11. He stressed that his government’s top priorities include providing citizens with access to capital, resources, and technology.

Leading the Way in Tech Innovation

The Prime Minister shared his vision of a world where ‘made in India’ phones are ubiquitous. Beyond the expansion of 5G technology, he unveiled India’s ambition to become a global leader in 6G technology. PM Modi’s address illustrated India’s growing influence in the tech realm, positioning the nation as a hub of innovation and technological advancement.

In his unique and engaging style, PM Modi conveyed the profound changes and progress that have defined his tenure, leaving the audience both entertained and inspired.

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