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1st time India to host SCO heads meeting; Statue of unity included in 8 wonders of SCO

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On January 13, 2020 the secretary general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Vladimir Norov who is on a 4-day visit to India to attend the Raisina dialogue 2020 in new Delhi from January 14-16,2020, has announced that India has been selected to host the SCO’s annual meeting of council of heads of government for the 1st time.Raisina dialogue host: The dialogue which addresses the issues faced by global community is hosted by Observer Research Foundation(ORF) in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs(MEA).

Statue of unity included in 8 wonders of SCO:

i.The Statue of Unity in Gujarat, India has been included in the SCO’s “8 wonders of SCO” list.

ii.Statue of unity:

  • It is the world’s tallest statue with a height of (597 ft) 182 metres and has been built after India’s freedom fighter and 1st deputy prime minister Shri Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel famously known as Sardar Patel.
  • Inauguration: The statue was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 143rd birth anniversary of Vallabhai patel near Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat On October 31,2018.
  • Design: It was designed by Indian sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar.

iii.8 wonders of SCO: The list of 8 wonders of the world apart from Statue of Unity are Navruz Palace in Tajikistan, the Tamgaly Gorge in Kazakhstan, the Daming Palace in China, Po-i-Kalan complex in Uzbekistan, Lahore – the Mughals Heritage in Pakistan and the Golden Ring of Russia.

India and SCO:

i.India’s membership with SCO: India became a member of the SCO at the SCO summit held in Astana (now renamed as Nur-sultan), Kazakhstan in the year 2017 along with Pakistan. Before becoming a member of SCO, India was granted with the observer status from 2005.

  • The Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin in India for the 21st bilateral annual SCO summit.

ii.Events: The SCO heads of government meeting will be preceded by number of meetings that will also include meeting of the SCO ministers of economic activities. India is also very keen in deepening it security ties with SCO and also its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS).

iii.Meet with MEA: During his visit to India, Norov met the Minister of External Affairs(MEA) Shri Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and discussed on a range of issues.

iv.Members present: Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup and other officials were present in the meeting.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO):

i.The SCO was founded at a summit in 2001 in Shanghai by presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It is headquartered in Beijing, China.

ii.SCO members: The members of the SCO include China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan. Thus there totally 8 member nations of SCO.

iii.GDP constitution: The SCO with 40% of the world population living in its countries has high economic potential. It produces an aggregate GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of more than $18 trillion, which is more than 22% of global GDP. this GDP range is expected to reach 38-40% by 2025.

iv.SCO predecessor:  The original five nations, with the exclusion of Uzbekistan, were previously known as the Shanghai Five group, founded on 26 April 1996.

About Ministry of External Affairs(MEA):
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Founded- 2 September 1946.
Minister of State(MoS)- Vellamvelly Muraleedharan.