Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Henley Passport Index 2018 ranking puts India on 81st spot

India has secured 81st spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 60 destinations. The current ranking is an improvement from last year’s, when India stood at 86. The 2018 Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to, visa-free. As per the index, Indians have access to travel without a visa to 60 countries, which includes Bhutan, Mauritius, Nepal, Fiji, among others. Japan has overtaken Singapore in terms of the most powerful passport. The island country now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189. ‘Japan and Singapore have been neck and neck on the index since they both climbed to first place in February — following a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan — and pushed Germany down to second for the first time since 2014,’ the statement said. In this year’s ranking, both UK and US have slipped the charts with 186 destinations. ‘‘With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers such as Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, it seems increasingly unlikely that the US and the UK will regain the number one spot they jointly held in 2015,’’ the statement said. Afghanistan and Iraq were ranked lowest on the index, as they have free-visa access to only 30 countries.

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Ariana Afghan Airlines introduces flight on Herat-Delhi route

Ariana Afghan Airlines, one of the largest airlines in Afghanistan, has recently commenced operations of its flight on the Herat-Delhi-Herat route. The Delhi-Herat flight will arrive in Delhi at 13:20 hours and depart Delhi at 14:30 hours. The airline flies once a week on Mondays. The first flight was inaugurated by Nader Omar, President, Ariana Afghan Airlines. The Delhi-Kandhar and Delhi-Kabul flights will arrive in Delhi at 13:05 hours and depart Delhi at 14:35 hours.

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Mumbai–Kabul air-freight corridor opens

In a historic move, an aircraft carrying perishables arrived at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) from Kabul, Afghanistan, marking the launch of a dedicated air freight corridor service between the two cities. An initiative implemented with the joint efforts of Danish Sarwar, Vice President of Afghanistan and Chennamanneni Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra, this connectivity will provide the land-locked Afghanistan greater access to markets in Maharashtra. Additionally, it will allow Afghan businessmen to leverage the economic growth, enhance trade networks and offer Afghan farmers direct access to the markets in western India for their perishable goods. The event was presided over by the Principal Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra, diplomats from the office of Governor of Maharashtra and officials of the Consulate General of Afghanistan. The dignitaries along with officials of CSIA welcomed the inaugural flight routed Kabul-Mumbai-Kabul which carried 40 tons of fresh apples on the inbound and 20 tons of bananas along with 20 tons of fresh tomatoes on the outbound.

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Singapore most powerful passport in the world; India jumps up three places to rank 75

According to Passport Index developed by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital, Singapore tops the rank of being the most powerful passport in the world under the Global Passport Power Rank 2017. This ranks passports of the world by their total visa-free score. Singapore is closely followed by Germany, Sweden and South Korea who are tied at number three, followed by eight other countries holding the number four spot jointly. The Indian passport appears at number 75 with a visa-free score of 51, ranking even lower than African countries like Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Some of the countries with a lower ranking than India are Egypt, Bhutan Cambodia, Jordon and our neighbours Sri Lanka and Nepal. The last on the list is Afghanistan with a score of 22 preceded by Iraq and Pakistan with a joint visa-free score of 26.

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45% growth in medical tourism to India

According to data provided by Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of medical visas issued by India in 2016 rose by 45 per cent over 2015. India issued more than 1.78 lakh medical visas in 2016, including for follow up treatment, as against 1.22 lakh in 2015, according to the data. A Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report titled “India Services Sector—A Multi-trillion Dollar Opportunity for Global Symbiotic Growth 2017” stated that the presence of world-class hospitals and skilled medical professionals has strengthened India’s position as a preferred destination for medical tourism. Treatment for major surgeries in India costs only a fraction—in some cases as low as 10 per cent of that in developed countries. “Majority of the patients coming to India for treatment are from the Middle East, Africa, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. India’s cost advantage will significantly open doors to the US and Europe over future, due to lower cost than the US and almost half that of Europe.” Dental tourism accounts for 10 per cent of the medical tourism and the government is keen to promote it. “India provides competitive cost advantage at one tenth of the cost of the US and Europe. By 2020, medical tourism industry of India is expected to touch $8 billion,” the report said. Source: Livemint

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