Sun, 25 January 2015
'Historic and destructive' storm could hit US

Timeline  Refresh

23:34   'Historic and destructive' storm could hit US
A potentially "historic and destructive" winter storm and blizzard will likely hit areas of Massachusetts beginning Monday night, dumping heavy snow and bringing strong winds, state forecasters say. Snowfall could exceed 2 feet in some parts of the state, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said Sunday.

Areas of New York, including the New York City metropolitan area, and the city of Boston are in the storm's path. Coastal New Jersey and parts of New England will also be affected, the National Weather Service said Sunday.
23:09   Finding FLOTUS: Where has Michelle been all day?
On her first tour to India, she met Mumbai's street children, played hopscotch with them, and danced to a Bollywood number. This time around, she has (so far) mostly chosen to stay out of the limelight. 

India wants to know: where has Michelle Obama been all day?

Read HERE to find out
23:06   Kashmir made its presence felt in menu for Obama banquet: Omar
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Kashmir might not have figured during talks between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the Valley has made its presence felt through the dishes on the menu at the banquet of the visiting dignitary.  "Kashmir may not have figured in the discussions but it's making its presence felt at the banquet in the menu -- veg haak (Lettuce) & mutton Gushtaba," Omar wrote on Twitter. 
22:55   At least 15 killed in protests on anniversary of Egypt uprising
Shifting away from the Obama Modi meeting, at least 15 people were killed at pro-democracy protests in Egypt on Sunday, the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
22:06   Modi and Obama's surprising rapport
India and the United States, the two largest democracies, seem like natural allies. The kinship between their leaders, however, has been a bit of a surprise. There are, of course, the obvious perceptual differences: President Barack Obama studied law at Harvard, relishes golf and prefers his suits sober, in dark gray or navy blue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a modest education, swears by yoga and readily wears flamboyant hats depicting India's diverse heritage. 

Read more HERE
21:45   Was thinking of wearing a Modi kurta: Obama jokes @ prez banquet
Taking to the podium to speak to the guests invited for the presidential banquet hosted in his honour, US President Barack Obama once again expressed his gratitude for the 'extraordinary hospitality' given to him and Michelle. 

Speaking about his friendship with Modi, Obama said that he had read that Modi was a tough guy, who had fought crocodiles in the past. 

He also joked that when it came to style, there was none like PM Modi and that in fact, a US paper had said that Modi was only second to his wife, Michelle, when it came to fashion. He added, "I was thinking of wearing a Modi kurta tonight."

Amid chuckles, Obama raised a toast to the Indo-US 'dosti' and thanked the guests present. 
21:39   We are creating history together: President Pranab to Obama
President Pranab Mukherjee addressing the guests at the banquet hosted in honour of US President Barack Obama and wife Michelle said, "After meeting you in such a banquet during your last visit, am doubly happy to be your host this time."President Pranab stressed on the strong ties that the countries share and said, "It is the shared vision that forms the bedrock of our relationship today."He added, "We are creating history, a better future together."He also thanked Obama for attending the R-Day parade, saying, "Your presence at R-Day will reflect the growing ties of friendship and trust that binds our two democracies closely."
21:26   Sonia, Manmohan, Nobel winner Kailash Satyarthi @ prez banquet
India's prominent industrialists, many of them close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were spotted at the grand banquet hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee for his US counterpart.

Mukesh Ambani and brother Anil, Ratan Tata, Guatam Adani, Shashi Ruia, Cyrus Mistry, Kiran Shaw, Sunil Mittal and Deepak Parikh were among those who met the Obamas this evening. 

Image: The Obamas meet Manmohan Singh and wife Gursharan Kaur at the dinner. Photograph: ANI/Twitter.   
21:16   Michelle is here! But what about India's 'first lady'?
When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dines with Barack and Michelle Obama at a glittering banquet Sunday night, his wife won't be by his side.

Modi, 64, kept his teenage marriage a secret for decades during his political ascent and only last year admitted that his wife exists. The wife, Jashodaben Chimanlal Modi, is a retired teacher who lives in a small town in Modi's home state of Gujarat.

Though she had not heard from her husband in years, she says she still hopes to join him one day in the capital as India's first lady, The Washington Post reports. 

Read the full report here

21:08   Mustard fish curry, roast lamb for Obamas @ prez banquet
Here's what's on the menu for US President Barack and First Lady Michelle.

To begin with there is walnut and broccoli soup and non-veg tandoori platter. Other delicacies include mustard fish curry, mutton rogan josh, roast leg of lamb and dal rasina.

For the vegetarians, there is acchari paneer and chole.

Desserts include malpua with rabri and date steam pudding.

Here's what the menu looks like.  
20:48   Sonia, Manmohan, Satyarthi at pres banquet for Obama
Among the 250 guests for the presidential banquet for the Obamas, are Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh and Nobel prize winner Kailash Satyarthi.   
20:46   Michelle gifted Pashmina shawl at presidential banquet
US First Lady Michelle Obama, known for her impeccable fashion sense, got a Pashmina shawl from Kashmir with an intricate embroidery as gift from President Pranab Mukherjee's wife Suvra Mukherjee.

Michelle received the hand embroidered shawl in ivory and turquoise colour from the president's spouse when the visiting VVIP couple met the Mukherjees at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi this evening.

President Mukherjee gifted her a specially-designed tea set with murals of the Rashtrapati Bhavan by famous Lucknow painter Sukumar Bose on it with today's date inscribed on it. US President Barack Obama received a painting by Rajasthan miniature artist Jay Kumar who with his prolific art work brought on to the canvas Bose's murals that decorate the ceiling of state corridor of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
20:39   Padma honours for Manjul Bharghava, Prasoon Joshi
Prof Manjul Bharghava, who won the Indian-American number theorist, was one of four people awarded the Fields Medal, has been awarded the Padma Bhushan.

Among those who have been awarded the Padma Shri are religious leader late Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, economist Bibek Debroy and lyricist Prasoon Joshi.

The complete list of Padma award winners.
20:29   Padma Bhushan for Bill and Melinda Gates
Former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, constitutional expert Subhash C Kashyap, Microsoft chief Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have been awarded the Padma Bhushan.

Journalists Rajat Sharma, Swapan Dasgupta; lawyer Harish Salve, cardiologist Ashok Seth, filmmaker Jahnu Barua are among the 20 who will receive the honour.
Among the nine others who will be awarded the Padma Vibhushan are Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, senior Supreme Court advocate Kottayan K Venugopal, Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan and actor Dilip Kumar.
20:25   Obama, Pranab meet for state dinner
Back to Obama: The United States president met his counterpart Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the state dinner. 

20:17   Padma Vibhushan for Advani, Bachchan
PTI reports: BJP patriarch L K Advani and superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who is the brand ambassador for Gujarat, will be awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour in the country. 

The announcement comes a day after Yoga guru Ramdev and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar declined the Padma award for them reportedly being considered by central government on the occasion of the 66th Republic Day.
19:41   First ever hotline between Indian PM, US president
So, what's the big deal about the Modi-Obama hotline? It's the first hotline at the leadership level -- the first ever hotline between an Indian PM and a US president.

"We will establish hotlines between myself and Barack and our National Security Advisors," Modi said in his opening statement during the two leaders' joint interaction with the media.

The Ministry of External Affairs later said this is the first time that India and the US will have a hotline at the level of top leadership. Modi said the effort was part of their exercise to give the critical partnership between two countries "a new thrust and sustained attention".

"We have decided to give this critical partnership a new thrust and sustained attention. For this, we have agreed that India and the United States must have regular Summits at greater frequency," he said.
19:19   What lies ahead for Obama tomorrow
Up ahead tomorrow, US President Obama will be the chief guest at the Republic Day function. After the function, the Obamas will attend a At-home reception of President Pranab Mukherjee. Obama and PM Modi will address events with business leaders during the afternoon, or what is known as the CEO roundtable.
The issue of terrorism was very much discussed, says Foreign Secretary when asked if Pakistan-sponsored terrorism came during talks.
Rajdeep Sardesai tweets: Well done @narendramodi and @BarackObama. Right buttons pressed. Also, a kind word today maybe for two former PMs too: PVNR and MMS?
19:08   India, US collaborating on digital India
India and the US collaborating on digital India. The most-significant aspect would be the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) '" aimed at enhancing the ones existing under the Defence Policy Group, which lay out the path for future defence cooperation.

The US is pushing for what it calls "transformative defence technologies" for co-development and co-production with India under DTTI, which could become the hallmark of the Modi government's 'Make-in-India' initiative.

The US has offered India 17 hi-tech items of military hardware for co-production and co-development under DTTI. Of the 17, India is understood to be interested in five, including unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and aircraft landing system for aircraft carriers.

Hectic parleys were being held between the two countries on the defence front.

Pic: Modi and Obama at the Hyderabad House garden before the presser. When asked about what they spoke about, Modi said it would remain undisclosed.
The issue of terrorism was very much discussed, says Foreign Secretary when asked if Pakistan-sponsored terrorism came during talks. India and US have agreed to explore development of jet engine in the country, says Indian Ambassador to US S Jaishankar.
18:52   After 6 yrs, breakthrough in civil nuclear deal with US
The deal on nuclear cooperation and other areas was clinched between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Obama after discussions spread over three hours at the delegation level as well as one-on-one chat besides a tete-a-tete on the lawns of the Hyderabad House reflecting the warm personal chemistry between the two leaders.

In his opening remarks at the joint media interaction, Modi disclosed that on the nuclear deal the two countries "are moving towards commercial cooperation, consistent with our law, our international obligations and technical and commercial viability."
18:45   N-Deal memorandum work in progress: MEA
MEA spokesperson Syed Akabaruddin and Joint Secretary, MEA,  Amandeep Singh also at the presser.

India and the US have renewed their 10-year Defence Framework Agreement and agreed in principle to pursue joint development and production projects. The new framework will enhance bilateral defence partnership by stepping up joint military exercises and through more in-depth intelligence-sharing, maritime security efforts among others.

Sujatha Singh says N-Deal memorandum is still work in progress.
18:41   Deal is done! Govt announces breakthrough in N-Deal logjam
MEA briefing begins.

Foreign secretary Sujatha Singh announces, "We have broken the logjam of the past few years. There has been breakthrough in strategic, civil nuclear, defence and on economic sides. We have finalised the administrative arrangements conforms bilateral as well."
18:25   Terrorism a "principal" global threat: Modi
Terming terrorism as a "principal" global threat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said there should be no distinction between terrorist groups and pressed for countries to fulfil their commitment to wipe out their safe havens and bring them to justice. He said India and the United States have agreed that there is a need for comprehensive global strategy and approach to combat terrorism.
18:20   Modi's gift to Michelle costs Rs 1.5 lakh and took three-months to weave
An exquisite hand-woven Banarasi silk saree with gold and silver threads, which took weavers three months to complete, will be presented to American First Lady Michelle Obama during her three-day visit to the country.

The cream-coloured 'Kadhua' silk saree, an exclusive product of this region, was hand-woven using gold and silver threads by three classic weavers, weighs around 400 grams and costs about Rs 1.5 lakh.

"The traditional Indian dress was prepared by three classic weavers and dispatched for New Delhi yesterday from here," said local businessman Abdul Matin, whose family has been in handloom weaving business for last three generations.

Michelle is accompanying her husband and US President Barack Obama, who is in New Delhi to be a part of Republic Day function as the Chief Guest.

Keeping in mind Michelle's fascination for Banarasi silk, Matin said the order for this saree was placed with him by Debbie Driesman, the wife of Indian-American Frank Islam, a trusted man of the US President. Azamgarh-born Frank was recently conferred with Martin Luther King Junior award in the US.

He is also part of the high-level US delegation which arrived today in New Delhi. The 'Kadhua' silk saree is rare, purely hand-woven and takes from three to four months to prepare, Matin said.

Pic: A Kadhua silk saree
That's the delegation level talks between India and the US, just ahead of the press meet. 
18:03   Wasted questions at Modi-Obama presser?
Siddharth @svaradarajan  tweets: As usual in such press conferences, the opportunity to question Obama and Modi was wasted. #ObamaInIndia.

The media was allowed two questions -- the first one was on Yemen, Ukraine and climate change, while the second one addressed to Modi in particular was on his relationship with Obama and what the two leaders spoke about during their one-on-one at Hyderabad House Garden.
Suhasini Haidar ?@suhasinih Amidst all the symbolism, can't wipe out the significance that a US leader slammed Russia on Indian soil'..
17:58   What Obama wrote at Rajghat
President Obama visited Rajghat on both his visits.

On November 8, 2010, he wrote: We will always remember the great soul who changed the world with his message of peace, tolerance and love. More than 60 years after his passing, his light continues to inspire the world.

This is what he wrote today: What Dr Martin Luther King said then remains true today - the spirit of Gandhi is very much alive in India today. And it remains a great gift to the world. May we always live in his spirit of love and peace - among all people and nations.
Former Indian ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, tweets, "Object lesson in how effective leadership can part waters and forge new understandings. Onward and forward."
At 6:45 pm, the Obamas will meet US embassy personnel and their families and at 7:50 pm, it's dinner at Rashtrapti Bhavan.
17:46   Obama: Modi gets even less sleep than I do, but he's new to the job
So, Barack Obama calls the PM Modi and they talked about sleep issues. Obama says, "During talks we compared the amount of time we get, seems Modi gets less than I do. But he's new to the job."

Modi says, "Barack and I are friends, we talk on the phone, crack jokes.Our friendship has brought our countries and our people closer."
17:38   Modi: Personal chemistry with Barack brought India, US closer
Modi stressed on the importance of chemistry between the two leaders, about how he can pick up the phone and crack a joke with 'Barack'. So, that's one question each for Obama and Modi and the joint presser is over after the two shake hands.
Omar Abdullah is thinking what we are: It's Barak but it isn't Narendra.
17:26   Modi: What has been spoken behind curtains, will reamin behind curtains
PM Modi on being asked about his conversation with Prez Obama: Jahan tak baato ka sawal hai parde mein rehne de. The chemistry between us has not only brought Barack and me close but has also brought Washington and Delhi closer.
17:22   Full text of PM Modi's speech at the joint presser
Mr. President and members of the media,

It is a great pleasure and privilege to welcome back President Obama and the First Lady in India.Mr. President, we are honoured that you accepted our invitation to be the Chief Guest for our Republic Day, despite a busy January.

It is special because on this day we celebrate the values shared by the world's two largest democracies.

You are also the first United States President to visit India twice in Office.

It reflects the transformation in our relationship. It shows your deep personal commitment to this partnership.It tells us that our two nations are prepared to step forward firmly to accept the responsibility of this global partnership -- for our two countries and for shaping the character of this century.

The promise and potential of this relationship has never been in doubt. This is a natural global partnership. It has become even more relevant in the digital age.

It is needed even more in our world of far-reaching changes and widespread turmoil.

The success of this partnership is important for our progress and for advancing peace, stability and prosperity around the world.

From the turn of this century, we have begun transforming our relationship.

But, we have to convert a good start into lasting progress. This requires translating our vision into sustained action and concrete achievements.

Mr. President, in the last few months, I see new excitement and confidence in this relationship. I see renewed energy in our engagement. I thank you for your leadership and for setting the tone last September.

The civil nuclear agreement was the centrepiece of our transformed relationship, which demonstrated new trust. It also created new economic opportunities and expanded our option for clean energy. In the course of the past four months, we have worked with a sense of purpose to move it forward. I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial cooperation, consistent with our law, our international legal obligations, and technical and commercial viability.

President Obama has also assured me of strong U.S. efforts in support of India's full membership of the four international export control regimes at the earliest.

Today, we have also decided to take our growing defence cooperation to a new level. We have agreed, in principle, to pursue co-development and co-production of specific advanced defence projects. These will help upgrade our domestic defence industry; and expand the manufacturing sector in India.

We will also explore cooperation in other areas of advanced defence technologies.We have renewed our Defence Framework Agreement. We will deepen our cooperation on maritime security.Terrorism remains a principal global threat. It is taking on a new character, even as existing challenges persist. We agreed that we need a comprehensive global strategy and approach to combat with it. There should be no distinction between terrorist groups. Every country must fulfil its commitments to eliminate terrorist safe havens and bring terrorists to justice.

Our two countries will deepen our bilateral security cooperation against terrorist groups. And, we will further enhance our counter-terrorism capabilities, including in the area of technology.President Obama and I agree that a strong and growing economic relationship is vital for the success of our strategic partnership. Economic growth in our two countries is becoming stronger. Our business climate is improving. This gives me great optimism about our economic ties.

In addition, we have established a number of effective bilateral mechanisms to identify opportunities and also help our businesses trade and invest more.We will also resume our dialogue on Bilateral Investment Treaty. We will also restart discussions on a Social Security Agreement that is so important for the hundreds of thousands of Indian professionals working in the United States.

For President Obama and me, clean and renewable energy is a personal and national priority. We discussed our ambitious national efforts and goals to increase the use of clean and renewable energy. We also agreed to further enhance our excellent and innovative partnership in this area. I asked him to lead international efforts in making renewable energy more accessible and affordable to the world. President and I expressed hope for a successful Paris Conference on climate change this year.

We will continue to deepen our collaboration in science, technology, innovation, agriculture, health, education and skills. These are central to the future of our two countries; and also give us an opportunity to help others around the world.Indeed, our strategic partnership will only be complete if we assume our responsibility to work together to promote development and connectivity in our vast region. President Obama and I agreed to pursue this goal with a sense of priority.

President and I had an excellent discussion on global and regional issues. In particular, we renewed our commitment to deepen our cooperation to advance peace, stability, prosperity in Asia, Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, which is critical for the future of our two countries and the destiny of this world.

Our relationship stands at a new level today. We have outlined a broad vision for our friendship and cooperation that reflects the opportunities and challenges of this century. As Lord Buddha said, noble friends and companions are the whole of the holy life.

We have decided to give this critical partnership a new thrust and sustained attention. For this, we have agreed that India and the United States must have regular summits at greater frequency. And, we will also establish hotlines between us and our National Security Advisors.

At the beginning of this year, we start a new journey.

Let me welcome you once again, Mr. President. It is a great pleasure to have you with us."
Former JK CM Omar Abdullah tweets PM Modi will be using his "Hotline" to call Vladimir tonight.

India and US have established a direct hotline between PM Modi and the US President and also between National Security Advisers.
The first question to Obama is on Yemen, Ukraine and climate change.

"We have no interest in seeing Russia weakened, nor allow bullying," says Obama.
Obama ends his speech saying, "I would like to say, "Chalein saath saath" (Let's walk together). 
17:09   Obama: PM Modi was greeted as a Bollywood star at Madison Square
President Obama: Trade between the two countries have increased by some 60 per cent. All members of Congress and business members from US believe a strong relationship with India is vital for America's success.

"US supports India's goal for solar energy. Joint projects for clean energy projects. US and India have a new declaration of friendship. Agreed trade partnership must improve.

"Looking forward to speaking to the Indian people on radio and to attending the republic day event."
17:05   Modi was like a Bollywood star at New York event, says Obama
US president Barack Obama thanks India and PM Modi for extending the invite to be the chief guest to the Republic Day celebrations tomorrow.

"Mera pyar bhara namaskar," he said and talks about the "chai pe charcha" with the PM (to chuckles from the press and the Indo-US entourage).

He talks about watching PM Modi at the Madison Square Event, saying he was treated like a Bollywood star.
17:01   Obama: Mera pyar bhara namaskar, honoured to be in India
PM: We will work closely to rebuild Afghanistan.
Terrorism remains a principal global threat, we agreed that we need a comprehensive global strategy to combat it. We will continue talks on social security agreement which is important for Indians working in the US.

We will also resume dialogue on bilateral investment treaty. We will establish hotlines between me and Barack."
16:57   Modi: Nuclear deal is centrepiece of Indo-US relationship
PM Modi: The 1st US President to visit India twice, reflects the  transformation in our relationship, it shows your deep personal commitment to the relationship. The success of this relationship is important for our progress and for peace and stability around the world. I see renewed energy in our engagement, thank you for setting the tone last September.

"We have decided to take defence ties to a new level. The nuclear deal was the centrepiece of our relationship. Six years after we signed the civil nuclear deal, we are moving towards commercial cooperation.

India, US will deepen security ties to fight terrorism."
16:51   Modi: President Obama we are honoured to have you as chief guest
The presser begins with opening remarks from both PM Modi and President Obama. This will be followed by questions from the media -- just one each  to Modi and Obama.

Speaking in English, Modi welcomes Obama saying India is honoured to have him has the chief guest to the India's Republic Day ceremony.

He calls the relationship between India and US as a natural global relationship.
16:48   Critical Indo-US nuke deal to be announced now
Indian and US flags at the dais where the two leaders will address the press shortly. We can see ministers Sushma Swaraj, Piyush Goyal, MEA spokes Syed Akbaruddin, speaking to Nisha Biswal Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs.

Also seen is US ambassador to India, Richard Verma, who presented his credentials just a few weeks ago.

The Indo-US civil nuclear deal is likely to be announced.
MEA spokes just tweeted: Media interaction is next item on agenda of India-US leaders.
16:39   Modi-Obama presser to begin any moment now
Alright, Modi, Obama joint presser to begin any minute now. All the biggies are in the conference room at Hyderabad House. Both the leaders will simply read a press statement, unlikely that they will be taking any questions.
16:36   16 Unbearably Cute Things That Happen When You Reunite With Your BFF
While we wait for the presser, here's some super stuff to raise you from your stupor. Read
16:26   Did Obama eat mustard fish, bhuna gosht at lunch?
There was in fact, non-vegetarian fare at the lunch hosted by the PM at Hyderabad House. Obama, who has acid reflux was treated to Mahi Sarson (mustard fish, probably a sweet-water fish) and Bhuna Gosht Boti - tender pieces of lamb cooked in tomato and onion masala. Just perfect for acid reflux.
The Modi-Obama joint presser is already 10 minutes behind schedule. It was set to begin at 4:10 pm. 
PM Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama to issue a joint statement shortly.
15:57   Modi-Obama presser to announce N-Deal breakthrough
India and the US achieve a breakthrough on operationalisation of the civil nuclear deal. During the September meeting in Washington, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama had set up a contact group to iron out the outstanding problems.

There are three big-ticket issues to be resolved first, the operationalization of the deal itself with administrative arrangements where India was resisting US' intrusive "national verification" demands;

second, the Indian nuclear liability law holds suppliers liable in case of damage, which has hobbled foreign and domestic suppliers and third,

India's membership to the four non-proliferation regimes which would open up high technology for India. Indian and US negotiators have been meeting in New Delhi, Vienna and London to reach an understanding

15:38   Joint presser soon
Lunch, tea, conversation over, Modi and Obama head back into the Hyderabad House for a joint press conference.  
15:31   Obama bonhomie over? Now, discuss Bhopal, NGOs tell Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi should raise the issue of Bhopal gas disaster with the US President Barack Obama during the ongoing three-day visit, said NGOs working for the rights of survivors of the 1984 tragedy.

"On the occasion of Obama's visit to India, the survivors demand that leaders of both countries stop protecting corporate interests over the lives and health of ordinary people and seek reflection and course correction for ending the issues relating to the Bhopal disaster,' the five NGOs said in a joint statement.

Pic: The PM and the Indian delegation at lunch with President Obama and the US delegation.
15:25   The CEOs who will meet Obama tomorrow
Trade and economic issues, including visa, totalisation pact and impediments hampering investments, are likely to figure at tomorrow's US-India CEO Forum meeting, which will be jointly addressed by visiting US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are also expected to attend the meeting, which among other things is likely to focus on 'Make In India' campaign and ease of doing business.

Cyrus Mistry of Tata Sons and David M Cote from Honeywell will co-chair the high-profile meeting. Industry captains from Indian and the US will attend the meeting.

Industry leaders who are expected to participate in the meeting include Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Bharti Enterprises chief Sunil Mittal, ICICI Bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar, Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka, Adani Group head Gautam Adani, Shashi Ruia, Chairman of Essar Group, Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra, Hari Bhartia, Co-chariman and and Director of Jubilant Life Sciences, Biocon Chairman and MD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Sudhir Mehta of Torrent Pharma.
15:15   Modi-Obama chai pe charcha after kadhi-chawal lunch
Obama had said earlier that he was grateful for the extraordinary hospitality and on the welcome accorded to him, said, "it was difficult to match this."

Seated under a shamiana at the Hyderabad House, Modi pours Obama a cup of tea from a silver teapot. Was that Darjeeling or Assam or Oolong?
Now, that the vegetarian lunch is over, Obama and Modi walk around the gardens of Hyderabad House. Hyderabad was the Palace of the last Nizam of Hyderabad Osman Ali Khan and was designed by Edward Lutyens. 
15:01   Pak-based militants make desperate bid to infiltrate
Hours before President Barack Obama's arrival in India, Pakistan-based militants made a desperate bid to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir amidst firing from across the border but alert BSF troops foiled it.

Border Security Force jawans observed movement of three militants close to the International Border in RS Pura sector on the intervening night of January 24-25.

Sources said troops posted at the border out post Jognuchak fired upon the militants but they continued their desperate efforts to cross over the border.

There has been firing from Pakistani troops towards Indian security personnel to give "cover" to the militants, the sources said. However, the militants were forced to retreat due to the firing from the BSF troops, sources said.

Pic: PM Modi gifting President Obama a copy of the 1st telegram from the US to India's Constituent Assembly. In addition Obama was gifted a charkha and a Gandhi bust.
14:50   For you, Mr President
PM Modi gifts President Obama a copy of 1st telegram from US to India's Constituent Assembly. In addition Obama was gifted a charkha and a Gandhi bust. Click on the picture for a larger image.
14:45   The Hyderabad House lawns where Modi, Obama will walk the talk
President Obama and PM Modi to take a stroll at the Hyderabad House gardens.  
PM Modi and President Obama share a moment inside Hyderabad House. 
14:33   Proud moment, says Wing Commander Pooja Thakur
Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, the woman who stole the thunder from right under Obama's nose, says, "It was a proud moment that I was commanding the inter-services Guard of Honour."

President Pranab Mukherjee formally welcomed his United States counterpart Barack Obama to India on Sunday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President Obama was accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with a grand welcome ceremony followed by the Guard of Honour, where the battalion was led by a woman officer.

Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, led the Guard of Honour for US President Barack Obama at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. This is the first time a woman officer has led the Guard of Honour for a major visiting dignitary at the presidential palace.

Wing Cdr Pooja Thakur, who has served in the IAF for 13 and a half years, is an administration officer and is posted at its publicity cell, DISHA, at the Delhi Air Headquarters in New Delhi. She is a para jumper, and hails from Rajasthan. Read
14:24   Veggie working lunch for Potus and Lotus at Hyderabad House
PM Modi and and US president Barack Obama are at Hyderabad House for the bilateral talks over lunch.

This is what the menu looks like: Shatwar ka shorba (asparagus soup), ananas aur paneer ka soola (char-grilled cottage cheese with pineapple), nadru ke goolar (lotus stem kababs), paneer lababdar, kela methi nu shaak, mixed vegetable kalonji, Gujarati kadhi, matar pulao, roti/naan, gajar ka halwa and gulab jamu. -- NDTV. 
Five myths about presidential travel. Read
13:56   The woman who led the Guard of Honour
President Pranab Mukherjee formally welcomed his United States counterpart Barack Obama to India on Sunday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.President Obama was accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with a grand welcome ceremony followed by the Guard of Honour, where the battalion was led by a woman officer.Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, led the Guard of Honour for US President Barack Obama at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Chief of protocol is Jaideep Majumdar.

Read more
13:48   PM gifts charkha, Gandhi bust to Obama ahead of lunch meet
Obama received some gifts at Hyderabad House, among them a bust of Gandhiji and a model of a charkha. Much the same as Chinese President Xi Jinping's gifts when he visited in September. 
13:39   What the Obamas will be eating at Rashtrapati Bhavan tonight
The banquet for United States President Barack Obama on Sunday night could be the biggest ever at the Rashtrapati Bhavan with over 250 guests being invited. The menu for the US First Family will feature the best of Indian cuisine. And while it was made clear that Obama will not be eating any spicy food as he is suffering from acid reflux, here's some of the dishes that will be served at the lavish feast for him.  Read
13:28   Who's who at President's banquet dinner
The 250 guests at tonight's banquet in Rashtrapati Bhavan include Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, and industrialists Ratan Tata, Cyrus Mistry, Gautam Adani and the Ambani brothers. Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh and his wife also at the banquet. 
A look at the personal equations between Indian and American leaders over the decades. Read
On Twitter:  Sources confirms: Obama eats through his mouth similar way Indians eat. #LMFAO #ObamaInIndia
13:19   Michelle's takeaway from India: 100 silk saris
PM Narendra Modi is likely to gift over a 100 Banarasi sarees and Banarasi silk dress materials to United State's first lady Michelle Obama.

Michelle has been earlier spotted wearing Jacquard silk dresses by international designers Tracy Resse, Naeem Khan and Alexander McQueen and jacquard silk, just happens to be a speciality of the weavers of Banaras.

Banarasi silk sarees and dress materials with antique designs has been specially chosen for Mrs Obama and has been sent off to New Delhi.The responsibility of selecting and packaging the gift has been given to a body of silk traders of Varanasi - the Varanasi Vastra Udyog Sangh. 
13:12   PM Modi arrives at Hyderabad House for working lunch with Obama
Obama plants a Peepal tree at Rajghat and waters it, something almost every visiting dignitary has done at the Mahatma Gandhi shrine.  
13:09   Modi's sartorial sense prevails at Obama meet
Often praised for his dressing style, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today wore the traditional kurta pajama, his trademark Nehru vest and a stole (pictured) as he received US President Barack Obama at the airport in New Delhi.

While Modi sported a vibrant attire in which red and golden coloured stole stood out, Obama was attired in a more business-like dark suit. His wife Michelle was in a flowing blue and black dress.

Modi later changed to a formal pinstripe 'bandhgala' suit at the Rashtrapati Bhawan where Obama was given a ceremonial welcome.

The Indian Prime Minister's sartorial taste had also invited glowing commentary in the US newspapers during his visit to that country in June to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Three major US publications '" Time, New York Times and the Washington Post '" had lauded his dressing style from his "trademark Modi Kurta" to his tunic. The New York Times in an article titled 'A Leader Who Is What He Wears' had said "even by the standards of a world that has seen blogs devoted to Michelle Obama's dress sense, the pre-election makeovers of Francois Hollande and Dilma Rousseff, and the canonisation of Nelson Mandela's shirts, the image-craft of India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi '" and its fashion fallout '" has been something of a case study."
13:03   Will the Obamas get to dine at the Bukhara?
There have been reports that the Obamas are keen to eat at the Bukhara restaurant at the ITC Maurya Sheraton. Obama had stayed at the Maurya during his previous trip in 2010 and had relished an Indian dinner.
13:01   Don't be fooled by the hug
A three generation US-Pakistan relationship is not likely to be snapped any time soon. All this presents an irritant to an India that wishes to concentrate on economic development,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
12:56   Obama heads to Hyderbad House for working lunch
President Obama's next destination is Hyderabad House where he has a lunch meeting with PM Modi. That's when he will stroll around Hyderabad House for a 'one-on-one' chat and possibly discuss the nuclear deal which has been stalled since 2008.

Pic: Barack Obama and Piyush Goyal at Rajghat
Piyush Goyal, minister in waiting accompanied Obama at Rajghat.
12:50   When Dr King visited Rajghat
In 1959, Dr Martin Luther King traveled "as a pilgrim" to India to study Gandhi's techniques and legacy. The picture shows him laying a wreath at Rajghat.
12:49   Obama arrives at Rajghat to pay homage to the Mahatma
President Barack Obama arrives at Rajghat to pay homage at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial. He laid a wreath at the memorial.
FYI, Obama has a portrait of the Mahatma at the Whiet House. 
12:38   Obama to visit Rajghat alone
Back in the present, PM Modi will not be accompanying Obama to the Rajghat visit.
12:38   The Obamas at Mani Bhavan...
Barack and Michelle Obama wrote in the visitor's book at Mani Bhavan during their 2010 visit to Mumbai.

The president wrote:  "I am filled with hope and inspiration as I have the privilege to view this testament to Gandhi's life. He is a hero not just to India but to the world, Barack."

Michelle wrote :'The visit will be one that I will always treasure. The life and teachings of Gandhi must be shared with our children around the world, Michelle.'"

Click on the picture for a larger image.

12:33   Grateful for extraordinary hospitality, a great honour: Obama
Grateful for the extraordinary hospitality, a great honour: US President Barack Obama at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The Ceremonial Guard Commander who led Obama at the Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan is LIVE! Pomp, pageantry greets Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan is Wing Commander Puja Thakur.
12:27   Pomp, pageantry greets Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan
No, Michelle Obama at this ceremony. Obama greeting India's cabinet ministers and the American delegation who accompanied the President.

Vice president Hamid Ansari also present at the occasion.

After the meet and greet Obama will head to Rajghat to play a tribute to the Mahatma.
12:17   Star-spangled banner, Jana Gana Mana played at Rashtrapati Bhavan
The US national anthem is played first, as Obama is the guest of the country. This will be followed by the Indian national anthem. 
President Mukherjee welcomes President Obama to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. PM Modi is right next to Prez Mukherjee. 
12:14   21-gun salute for President Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan
The President's bodyguard on horseback leads the Obamas into the forecourt. 21-gun salute for the Obamas as they reach the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. If it's pageantry you were looking for, here it is.
A woman officer will walk President Obama down the guard of honour. Huge moment for India. 
12:10   President Obama arrives at Rashtrapati Bhavan
The President meets the council of ministers at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President's Bodyguards will now lead the Obamas inside the forecourt. 

The national anthem of both India and the US will be played out at the by the Rashtrapati Bhavan band. President Obama will then inspect the guard of honour.

President Obama arrives at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He is travelling in the Beast.
11:58   PM Modi welcomes President Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj who was MIA from the airport to welcome Obama, is seated next to home minister Rajnath Singh at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Manohar Parrikar, Arun Jaitley, Delhi Lt governor Najeeb Jung at their seats.

PM Modi arrives at the Rashtrapati Bhavan; Obamas to arrive any moment now. 
11:54   Day 1 of the Obama visit
12 noon: Ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
12:40 pm reaches Rajghat, plants a tree.
1:30 pm: Working lunch with PM Modi at Hyderabad House
At 2.45 p.m. the U.S. president and the Indian prime minister will provide the press with a chance to capture them walking and talking at Hyderabad House.
4:10 pm: Modi-Obama joint presser
6:45 pm: Obamas meet US embassy personnel and their families
7:50 pm: Dinner at Rashtrapti Bhavan.
11:42   Susan Rice tweets Obama's committment to India ties
Susan Rice, National Security Advisor to the US president tweets: This trip reflects President Obama's commitment to deepen our ties with India and take our partnership to a new level. 
11:40   And in Nagpur, a welcome for Obama
Nevermind that the Obamas will not be heading to Nagpur, but nothing prevents the city from welcoming the US President.
And the quips on Twitter:  Greatbong '@greatbong  Someone please inform Somnath Bharti there is a dude of Kenyan origins who has just landed in Delhi and has a permissive attitude on pot.
11:37   All set for Obamas' Rashtrapati Bhavan welcome
The Obamas will head to the Rashtrapati Bhavan where President Pranab Mukherjee will given them a ceremonial welcome at the grand forecourt Red carpets criss-cross the area, a guard of honour waits to welcome the Obamas.
Ashish Shakya '@stupidusmaximus Massive security here for Obama. First time I've seen cops being nice to a black man in Delhi.
Baba Ramdev tweets: I heartily welcome yoga practitioner @MichelleObama & president @BarackObama in the land of yoga. 
And another picture of the Modi-Obama hug-pat at Palam airport this morning.
11:22   Modi-Obama N-Deal likely to be announced today
US and Indian officials will discuss ways to unblock billions of dollars of potential trade in nuclear energy.India and the United States signed a landmark civilian nuclear deal in 2008.

Holding up the trade is India's reluctance to pass legislation shielding suppliers from liability in the event of a nuclear accident, a deviation from international norms.Indian and US officials have been engaged in close consultations.

Delhi has said it cannot change the law -- but is willing to address US concerns within that framework, by offering an insurance pool which can cover supplier liability.

Officials say there has been progress, but emphasise that even if there is a breakthrough, what can be expected is a change in US government's approach to the issue. Details will eventually have to be worked out by US companies with Indian counterparts for specific projects.
The Obamas still at the ITC Maurya Sheraton Hotel where they are staying. They will shortly make their way to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to be received by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Pic: The President's bodyguard rehearsing at the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt on Friday.
11:09   Sneak peek into Obama's GRAND suite in Delhi
US President Obama and Michelle Obama will be staying on the 14th floor of the ITC Maurya hotel in the Grand Presidential Suite. Obama is the third US president to stay at the ITC Maurya in the past 10 years. Earlier in 2000, then US President Bill Clinton stayed at the hotel, while six years later, George W Bush also chose the same facility.

Take a look
11:03   When Nehru met Nixon
Former PM Jawaharlal Nehru inspecting a guard of honour in the US during his 1956 visit. With him in the picture (extreme left) is the then US President Richard Nixon.
11:02   Day 1, Stop 2: The Rajghat
Security outside the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat, New Delhi. Obama will begin his visit with a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan followed by a trip to Raj Ghat to pay tributes to the Mahatma.

Pic: Security outside Rajghat where Obama will pay tribute to the Mahatma 
10:51   The team who met the Obamas at the airport
The team who met the Obamas at the airport

Prime Minister Modi

Air Commodore CK Kumar, VM - Indian Air Force Palam Base Commander

Piyush Goyal, minister 

Sujatha Singh - Foreign Secretary

Dr. S Jaishankar - Indian Ambassador to the US

Vinay M Kwatra - Indian Join Secretary (AMS), MEA

Melineh Verma - US Ambassador to India Spouse

Captain Timothy Maricle - US Defense Attach

Jaideep Mazumdar - Indian Chief of Protocol

US Ambassador Richard Verma
10:43   Central Delhi is a NO GO zone
Central Delhi has turned into a virtual fortress with security agencies partly or completely shutting down nearly 71 buildings. Even bonafide citizens of this area, including MPs and officers of the Armed Forces, have been either issued special passes or have to establish their identities to enter the zone.
10:41   Ahem, remember this?
Chance pe dance. Mallika Sherawat tweets a picture of her with Obama. The actress apparently was invited for tea with Obama during his campaign visit in Hollywood in 2011. The Indian starlet who likes to make her presence felt is said to have discussed her stay in LA and spoken about her upcoming film.
10:39   'Obama and Modi can build on what Bush and Vajpayee began'
'Barack Obama saw Manmohan Singh as a person who deeply cherished a strong Indo-US relationship, but who was unable to ultimately deliver on that promise because his party never supported him. Modi, in contrast, actually has the capacity to deliver on that partnership in a way that Singh could not."

Read more
10:35   Michelle wears Indian designer for arrival?
Michelle Obama's geometric and flower patterned outfit is reportedly designed by Indian couturier Bibhu Mohapatra, reports NDTV. She has apparently worn Mohapatra before, when she appeared on Jay Leno's show. She has also been known to wear creations by American designer of Indian origin, Naeem Khan. 
10:33   Obamas on their way to Rashtrapati Bhavan for a ceremonial welcome
Traffic movement around Palam airport affected as President Obama's convoy makes its way to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Snipers of Delhi Police and National Security Guards will occupy all high-rise buildings on the routes which Obama will be travelling.

The green ridge opposite to Maurya Sheraton hotel has been thoroughly checked and police personnel have been deployed in the jungles along the ridge till the US president leaves.

Pic: That's a pic of the Modi-Obama hug tweeted by MEA spokes Syed Akbaruddin.
And yes, the Saudi King also broke protocol by not visiting Rajghat.
10:32   Obamas reach ITC Maurya
While PM Modi broke protocol to meet the Obamas at the airport, former PM Dr Manmohan Singh had been received by Saudi King Abdullah. In 2010, a full Saudi cabinet, the king's brother and Abdul Aziz himself had received Singh at Riyadh.

10:19   Cabinet ministers at Prez banquet
Senior Cabinet ministers including Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Piyush Goel will be at the banquet hosted in honor of Barack Obama at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. US president Barack Obama is on a three day visit, actually a two-and-a-half day visit to India. The Obamas cancelled the Taj visit to fly to Saudi to pay their condolences on the demise of the Saudi king. 

Pic: One for the album. The Obamas and PM Modi at the airport this morning.
Dressed in a beige churdiar-kurta and an orange shawl draped causally over his shoulder, PM Modi and Obama hugged each other. 
10:05   This is what Obama's itinerary looks like today
This is what the day looks like for US president Barack Obama today.

Ceremonial welcome ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Obama to lay a wreath and pay homage at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat.

Bilateral discussions at Hyderabad House: The two leaders will first have a restricted meeting, followed by delegation-level talks over lunch.

PM Modi to host lunch for President Obama.

Meeting and dinner hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee
10:00   Obamas head to ITC Maurya ahead of ceremonial welcome
The presidential entourage will now be driving down to the ITC Maurya, where the US first couple will be staying.

Obama will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at noon at the majestic Rashtrapati Bhawan by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Thereafter, he will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the Rajghat and participate in a tree planting event there.

Obama will then join Modi for a restricted working lunch at the Hyderabad House and participate in a "walk and talk" with the Prime Minister there.
09:55   Modi breaks protocol; receives Obamas at Palam
United States President Barack Obama on Sunday arrived in India for a highly anticipated three-day landmark trip during which the two countries will strive to make progress on climate change, defence and economic cooperation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at the Palam Air Force Station to receive the US president and his wife Michelle.

It is a departure from protocol for the prime minister to receive the visiting dignitary.
Good Morning.