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#Pact: Could the Modi, Merkel meet pave way for revival of EU-India free trade talks?

The leaders of India and Germany pledged on Monday to revive efforts to reach an Indo-European free trade pact after talks fell apart this year, and struck deals to promote clean energy and make it easier to do business.

Although Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi made no mention in conversations with journalists of resuming talks on a free trade agreement between India and the European Union, it was perhaps the most significant "deliverable" of her trip to New Delhi.

The leaders "committed themselves to bringing about the earliest possible resumption of talks", said a joint statement issued after their three-hour talks.

Asia's third-largest economy has been relatively insulated from a slump in global trade, but Modi still needs to boost exports for his pitch to investors to "Make in India" to create skilled jobs for millions of young Indians.

Germany, Europe's largest economy, is looking to expand its presence in India to compensate for a slowdown in China.

Merkel's delegation was joined by bosses from household names like Siemens, Airbus, E.ON and Thyssenkrupp.

The trade talks have been on ice since earlier this year when India walked out in a row over exports of generic drugs to the European Union.

Germany, a world leader in renewable energy, will also provide more than 2 billion euros (£1.6 billion) in aid for solar projects and green energy corridors - or high-efficiency power grids - as part of a broader push for sustainable development.

The assistance, part of a raft of agreements signed in New Delhi, dovetails with efforts to bind India into a global debate that will culminate in the COP21 climate change summit in December.

"We look forward to a concrete outcome at COP21 in Paris that strengthens the commitment and the ability of the world, especially of poor and vulnerable countries, to transition to a more sustainable growth path," Modi told reporters.

India, the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, was the last major country to submit its energy strategy ahead of the U.N. climate conference.

India's energy plan seeks to boost energy efficiency but makes no commitment to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases - reflecting its view that richer nations bear most responsibility for global warming.

Responding, Merkel said: "We have understood, Prime Minister, that climate protection needs to be embraced by the people - who also have to reap a benefit."

India and Germany also signed an agreement to fast-track business approvals, providing German firms with a single point of contact to help them navigate a web of red tape that often thwarts initiative.

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#GEC: ‘&TV’ brings host of exciting new free-to-air programs to the UK

After years of dominating the paid-for South Asian TV landscape in Britain, Indian broadcast major Zee is expanding its remit in the UK this weekend with the launch of ‘&TV’, a free-to-air channel that promises an exciting line up of general entertainment fare.

It may be the newest entrant in the segment but it is testament to Zee’s clout that the channel roped in none other than superstar Shah Rukh Khan to front the channel’s flagship show ‘India Poochega – Sabse Shaana Kaun?’, an Indianized version of the international format ‘Who’s Asking?’

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#UnopenBorder: Pakistani passport the worst for visa-free travel

Travelling abroad can be an arduous process, particularly if you’re a South Asian but positively horrendous if you are Pakistani. The Pakistani passport has been ranked third in a list of travel documents guaranteed to make the holder look like a headless chicken running between typists, consulates and visa facilitation …

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Free Monthly Cycle Safety Check

  FREE Monthly Cycle Safety CheckDate:     24 SeptemberTime:     07:30 – 14:30Location:     More London – Weavers LaneAdmission:     Free Bicycle specialists havebike attend More London on the last Wednesday of every month for a day of free bicycle safety checks, paid servicing and repair. They set up at …

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