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  • 'India becoming a convenient hub for travel between SE Asia & Middle East'

"India needed an airline that will provide affordable travel for many of us and the net result we can see. Even now we see India really moving forward with a lot more speed on infrastructure development. We have about 140 operating airports now and that would become 220 by 2030. We are seeing a huge increase in regional travel," Sumantran, an IIT-Madras alumni, said.

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  • Updated On Apr 21, 2024 at 06:29 PM IST

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  • Published On Apr 21, 2024 at 06:22 PM IST

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Indira Gandhi Airport to Become India’s First Global Transit Hub, with more Flights from USA and Other Countries

India is all set to make New Delhi IGI Airport a world-class international hub , with a panel having been set up to study the dynamics of global transit hubs, such as Doha, Dubai, London, and Singapore. The panel will submit reports to the country’s civil aviation minister. Indian Government’s repeated denial of foreign airlines’ petitions seeking an increase in their flying rights to and from India has been a hint at the plans for developing Indira Gandhi Airport as a global transit hub.

A transit hub is an international airport with world-class infrastructure for global airlines and their connecting flights . A transit hub provides enhanced connectivity to any part of the country and seamless transfer between two international or international and domestic flights. Statistically, Indira Gandhi Airport – the ninth busiest airport in the world, according to the Airports Council International’s report 2023 – has all the makings of a global transit hub.

Delhi IGI airport news, Indian aviation news, nonstop flights to New Delhi, Indira Gandhi airport transit hub

With the rebound of travel in the post-pandemic era, both IndiGo, the largest airline in terms of domestic market share; and Air India, a leading Tata airline group, have emerged as mega carriers under the guidance of their respective foreign CEOs. Having restricted direct access beyond capital cities for Gulf and European airlines, the government of India expects the native carriers to provide domestic to domestic, domestic to international, international to domestic, and international to international connectivity.

The third phase of expansion that Indira Gandhi DEL Airport is currently undergoing will support the government’s ambitious project for the airport to be a transit hub . On completion of the third phase in 2023, Terminal 1 will expand from 60K square meters to 169K square meters, with a boost to its traffic-handling capacity from 20 million to 40 million per annum. In addition, a new integrated terminal for both departure and arrival operations will be formed out of Terminal 1C and Terminal1D. The projected addition of a 7 th check-in island will expand T3’s international transfer area.

The fourth runway, 4.4km, is also under construction to let the airport handle more international flights to New Delhi . Indira Gandhi Airport will be the first and only airport with four operational runways in the country. New Delhi is the destination of a maximum number of nonstop flights to India from USA , Europe, Australia, and other countries. Once the airport becomes a transit hub, it will see more long-haul flights from across the world. Especially, Indians in American are looking up to major airlines, especially Air India, for more nonstop flights between USA and India.

The civil aviation minister has held talks with the CEO of Air India and the CEO of IndiGo , requiring them to study the best practices that are factored in for the scheduling of transfers between international and domestic flights or between two international flights at Dubai and Doha airports, Changi International Airport, London Heathrow Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport. If Air India provides direct connectivity to New Delhi from Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, and Los Angeles in the future, the airline should make proper arrangements for international arrivals’ hassle-free domestic travel to their final destinations across the country.

Indira Gandhi International Airport’s ongoing expansion and plans to become a global transit hub are in parallel with IndiGo’s and Air India’s aircraft deal for fleet upgrade . Air India will soon induct six B777-300ER aircraft from Etihad Airways, other than six A350-900s as part of the mega deal with Airbus. The fleet expansion will support more international operations and more inbound traffic inflow. The expansion of New Delhi Airport in a phased manner will boost the passenger-handling capacity up to 100 million per annum.

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7 thoughts on “ indira gandhi airport to become india’s first global transit hub, with more flights from usa and other countries ”.

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With no direct flights from the US to Southern India, many wouldn’t prefer to fly into Delhi and fly into Southern India. The hub and spoke concept will not work for such long haul travel.

I would rather fly one hop to Europe and fly into Bengaluru or Chennai

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Hi Mohan! San Francisco to Bengaluru is the only nonstop flight service between USA and South India. Reportedly, Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport has good chances of seeing direct connectivity from more US cities in the near future.

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I last travel in January this year to Ahmedabad from jfk I live close to ewr I am looking forward to direct flight to Ahmedabad or shirt waiting at New Delhi or Mumbai instead of over 6 hrs of Waite for connection,no wonder mid east airlines has advantages over air India they should look in to priority

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Delhi airport as a transit point for going any where from us to south india and back is an absolute shit show. I recently(April 2023) travelled from Chicago to Hyderabad via IGI airport. At first I was happy that the only place i will be landing directly in India after taking off from Chicago, soon after landing in delhi my excitement turned into horror show. Once I landed in Delhi even though my final destination was Hyderabad, I had to go through Immigration terminal and get my passport stamped in delhi itself. After that I had to collect my check in baggage in delhi which took about 45mins of my time. Once after this i had to wait in Air India Check in counter again for another 1hour to check the bags for my Hyderabad flight, after almost 2 hours of unnecessary process I had to go through long domestic security check lines. On the whole by the time I reached my Hyderabad flight gate I had spent 2.5 hours simply collecting my baggage and checking it back in. I had travelled with air india in the same route prior to Covid and they had taken care of transferring the luggage by themselves and all i needed was to just go through an international secuirty check, this is something that is very common with every other international transit. But this method of rechecking luggage is absolute bull shit and some thing the indian authorities need to pay attention to if they are trying to make the journey for air travelers a smooth ride.

My return journey was even more tiring when I started from Hyderabad and landed in Delhi to catch my flight to chicago. I had about 4.5hrs of layover so I thought I could be relaxing during that time but because our indian immigration employees get paid even for not doing their job i had to wait in line for about 3.5 hours to get my immigration stamping done. There was literally one employee who was stamping every one for about 3 flights that landed around the same time. This is absolutely pathetic as it does put India in a very bad light since there were many frustrated passengers and other foreigners who were all just worried that they would miss their flights because how horribly managed the airport staff at IGI Airport delhi is.

Hopefully all employees will be held accountable and DGCI of India pays attention to plights of the air travelers and improves and applies simple and effective laws at airports. Until that happens I will never again chose a transit flight through delhi(mostly air india) and fly through middle east carriers where the transit is much more stream lined and really stress free.

Hi Raj! Your post-arrival and pre-departure experience is relatable. The concerned authorities should fix issues with immigration clearance and make the procedure efficient. FYI, thorough baggage transfer from the port of entry (to say New Delhi) to the final destination (to say Hyderabad) is over in India. The passengers of all international airlines, including the Middle East carriers, flying into India are required to claim their checked bags at the port of entry and recheck in the same for domestic flights.

I flew air India from jfk to Ahmedabad this year it was disastrous,long connection 7 hours custom immigration and rechecking chaotic disorganized and returned flight immigration worst at Delhi airport why a person would fly if can get easy facility with direct flight from Middle East air line to Ahmedabad I prefer local carrier but unfortunately I may take a flight that take me direct to Ahmedabad very short sighted planning

Hi Mahesh! In order to ease immigration clearance for low-risk international travelers, the government of India is planning to launch a trusted traveler program like the Global Entry program in the US. You can read more https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/trusted-traveller-program-indian-airports/

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India today tourism survey & awards 2023 | making india a travel hub, the eagerly awaited india today tourism survey & awards 2023 saw engaging panel discussions on a range of subjects related to tourism. established as well as emerging tourist destinations from across india were also recognised for their excellence.

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I ndia Today wrapped up another successful edition of the India Today Tourism Survey & Awards at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi on February 29, 2024. The opening remarks by Raj Chengappa, Group Editorial Director (Publishing), India Today, set the tone for the day. Backed by data, he talked about the recovery of the travel and tourism sector post-Covid and the road map for the future. The panel discussion titled ‘Museums and Tourism: Curating a New Synergy’ highlighted the challenges of setting up and funding museums and the catalysing role they can play in rejuvenating tourist destinations. ‘Travel and Storytelling: Bikers on the Digital Highway’ brought home the insatiable joy of hitting the road on a bike, through the very personal stories of the panellists. The role of the government in promoting tourism is seminal, and the session titled ‘From Heritage to Experiential: Revisioning Tourism Strategy in the States’ had senior government officials putting forth their points of view on the serious business of tourism.

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I wish i could give this company more than 5 stars cause it is not enough. I could write a whole page about them but still not enough. I’m referring this company to all my friends and family. I travelled solo with them, and I was not afraid or felt insecure for a moment. Their hospitality is out of this world. Their choice of hotels, food, transportation, spots, everything is so perfect. I still can’t believe i travelled Sikkim so cheap.

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India Connects Southeast Asia and Middle East, Says IndiGo Chairman – India Report

Bulbul Dhawan , Skift

April 22nd, 2024 at 11:00 PM EDT

Indian airlines are forging international partnerships and boosting connectivity at a rapid scale. These collaborations are helping India become an international hub.

Bulbul Dhawan

The Skift India Newsletter is your go-to platform for all news related to travel, tourism, airlines, and hospitality in India.

India is becoming a convenient hub for travel between Southeast Asia and the Middle East, IndiGo Chairman V Sumantran said during his address at a college in Chennai. He also cited the example of several airlines carrying passengers from places such as Bangkok to Jeddah or Dubai by connecting through Indian cities.

“India is slowly becoming a convenient hub for travel between South East Asia and the Middle East,” news agency PTI quoted him as saying.

Sumantran said there is huge growth that IndiGo can see coming out of this, as a result of which the airline has placed an order of 500 aircraft.

Speedy development in India: During his address, he asserted India is quickly undertaking infrastructural development. “We have about 140 operating airports now and this would increase to 220 by 2030. We are seeing a huge increase in regional travel,” he said. He added that many of the domestic routes are used by airlines for connectivity. 

Increasing partnerships: Indian airlines such as full-service carriers Vistara and Air India have a robust international network of interline and codeshare partners . Air India is also a part of the Star Alliance . IndiGo is also actively increasing its roster of international partners . 

These partnerships are playing an important role in making India the hub for international connectivity as well as making regional destinations in the country accessible for international passengers.

Air India to Debut New A350 on Delhi-Dubai Route

Full-service carrier Air India is set to debut its new A350 aircraft on the Delhi-Dubai route from May 1. The aircraft would feature Air India’s new livery, which was unveiled last year as part of the airline’s rebranding. With this, Air India becomes the only carrier to operate the A350 between India and Dubai, the airline said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, Air India sold its last four Boeing 747-400 jumbo jetliners . The last of the jumbo jets flew from Mumbai on Monday . Historically, the aircraft had served as the primary carrier for Air India’s international operations. 

Indian Railways Operates Record Number of Additional Trains in Summer 2024

The Indian Railways is operating a record 9,111 trips during this summer season, it has said in a statement . This is a 43% year-on-year increase in the number of trips operated by Indian Railways during the summer. 

Summer travel rush has been observed in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi. 

IndiGo Set to Fly Direct From Chennai to Durgapur and Bangkok

Budget airline IndiGo is set to operate direct flights between Chennai and Durgapur in West Bengal from May 16. The airline is also set to resume flying the Chennai-Bangkok sector from May 15. 

The move will not only connect the tier II city of Durgapur with the Chennai metropolitan, but also allow passengers to fly between Durgapur and Bangkok via Chennai. Serving more than 125 routes, IndiGo is playing a key role in enhancing regional and international connectivity in India. 

“The enhanced accessibility and connectivity provided by these flights will not only strengthen  regional and international connectivity, but also create new trade and tourism opportunities,” said IndiGo head of sales Vinay Malhotra. With this, IndiGo is set to operate 69 direct flights to Thailand from seven Indian cities. 

Air India Suspends Flights to Tel Aviv Until April 30

Former national carrier Air India has suspended flights to Tel Aviv in Israel until April 30. This has come amid tensions between Israel and Iran as Iran attacked Israel on April 13 followed by Israel’s retaliation .

Air India said that it is monitoring the situation and “extending support to passengers who have confirmed bookings for travel to and from Tel Aviv during this period, with a one-time waiver on rescheduling and cancellation charges.”

Last week, the Indian civil aviation ministry had advised Indian airlines to assess risks before flying internationally. 

Cinnamon Hotels Appoints Palak Shah as Sales Vice President

Sri Lankan luxury hotel chain brand Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts has appointed Palak Shah as vice president of sales. Shah has been tasked with leading the company’s strategic sales initiatives, particularly focusing on India and key source markets. 

Prior to this, Shah was regional sales director for Southwest Asia at IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group). At Cinnamon, he will also lead and oversee the company’s global sales offices in India, China, and the United Kingdom. 

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The fifth century saw the unification of India under Ashoka, who had converted to Buddhism, and it is in his reign that Buddhism spread in many parts of Asia. In the eighth century, Islam came to India for the first time and by the eleventh century had firmly established itself in India as a political force. It resulted in the formation of the Delhi Sultanate, which was finally succeeded by the Mughal Empire, under which India once again achieved a large measure of political unity. 

It was in the 17th century that the Europeans came to India. This coincided with the disintegration of the Mughal Empire, paving the way for regional states. In the contest for supremacy, the English emerged as ‘victors’. The Rebellion of 1857-58, which sought to restore Indian supremacy, was crushed; and with the subsequent crowning of Victoria as Empress of India, the incorporation of India into the empire was complete. It was followed by India’s struggle for independence, which we got in the year 1947.

CULTURE OF INDIA

India is a diverse nation with a huge population made up of people of different castes and religions. Hindus are dominant, but there are also many Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, and followers of Jainism, all of which have literary and artistic traditions and religious festivals that contribute to the vibrancy of daily life. Indians are family-oriented and largely conservative people with a scholarly and friendly nature.

Thousands of years of urbanized living have allowed literature, art, architecture and philosophy to flourish, which can be seen everywhere, particularly in the regionally varied buildings and cuisine. The cycles of nature, particularly of the mighty Ganges River, play a huge part in the national consciousness of India, which is a busy, noisy, colourful, diverse, and spiritually aware place.

LANGUAGE IN INDIA

There is no single Indian language. Instead, there are a diverse number of languages that are spoken in India.

Hindi is the most spoken language in India. It is also one of the country’s official languages.

Alongside Hindi, the English language is one of the official languages of the federal government of India. Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language mostly spoken in South Asia. It is the foremost language in most of the states in the northeastern regions of India, including Andaman and Nicobar Island. 

More than 20 languages are commonly spoken in India. Such other languages include Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, and Odia. The many languages in India do not hinder communication between different language speakers as most Indians are multilingual. The majority of the Indians can speak English, Hindi, and one mother tongue. English is no longer considered a foreign language since it is popular and the most common mode of communication between the people in the south and north of India.

In most of India, summer is very hot. It begins in April and continues till the beginning of October when the monsoon rains start to fall. The heat peaks in June with temperatures in the northern plains and the west reaching 45° C and more. The monsoons hit the country during this period too, beginning 1st of June when they are supposed to find the Kerala coast, moving further inland from day to day. Moisture-laden trade winds sweep the country bringing heavy rains and thunderstorms; sometimes these monsoon rains can be very heavy, causing flooding and damage, especially along the big Rivers of India, Brahmaputra and Ganges.

The plains in the north and even the barren countryside of Rajasthan have a cold wave every year in December and January. Minimum temperatures could dip below 5°C but maximum temperatures usually do not fall lower than 12°C. In the northern high-altitude areas of the northern mountains, it snows through the winter and even summer months are only mildly warm.

Typhoons are usually not a danger, these tropical storms are quite seldom in India. The Typhoon Season is from August to November; the East coast of India has the highest Typhoon risk.

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7 Best tourist places to visit in Rishikesh in 2024

7 Best tourist places to visit in Rishikesh in 2024

Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula - Iconic Suspension Bridges

7 Best tourist places to visit in Rishikesh in 2024

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“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ― Augustine of Hippo

Meghalaya (2)

Arunachal (2), thailand (3), bengal (10).

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Sikkim: A complete bliss on the hills. Sikkim is a state in northeast India, bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. Part of the Himalayas, the area has a dramatic landscape that includes India’s highest mountain, 8,586m Kangchenjunga. Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to

bengal

Bengal: The sweetest part of India. Bengal is a state in eastern India, between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. Its capital, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), retains architectural and cultural remnants of its past as an East India Company trading post and capital of the British Raj. The city’s colonial landmarks include the government buildings

thailand

Thailand: The most popular tourist destination of Southeast Asia. Thailand is a Southeast Asian country. It’s known for tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. In Bangkok, the capital, an ultramodern cityscape rises next to quiet canalside communities and the iconic temples of Wat Arun, Wat Pho and

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Bhutan: The Land of Thunder Dragon. Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. In the High Himalayas, peaks such as 7,326m Jomolhari are popular trekking destinations. Paro Taktsang monastery (also known as

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Coimbatore: The Thriving Hub Of South India's Industry, Education, and Culture

What makes coimbatore city famous .

Coimbatore is a city in the western part of Tamil Nadu. It has many industries, schools and much more to offer. The people here take great pride in their culture and do not want it to die out. This place is known as "The Manchester of South India" due to it being such a vibrant hub for commerce, education and innovation.

In this article we will be going over what they are famous for when it comes to industry, education and culture.

1.Industrial Hub: The Textile Capital

They have a lot of textile mills which is why they called themselves that. However, they don't stop at textiles. They've got plenty more engineering companies for things like electronics or automotive.

2.Educational Excellence: Nurturing Minds and Talents

Their institutions are known worldwide because they know how to teach well in many subjects. They've even got some universities up there with the rest! CIT (Coimbatore Institute of Technology), PSG College of Technology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham the list goes on! If you have a passion there's bound to be something here for you.

3.Cultural Diversity: A Melting Pot of Tradition

People from different walks come together here through various festivities like religious events or cultural ones alike. You'll find temples, mosques and churches all around the city proving how diverse they actually can be when you put them side by side.. Festivals such as Pongal, Diwali, Eid are celebrated with great fervor bringing joy to everyone who participates.

4.Natural Beauty: The Gateway to Western Ghats

This city is surrounded by some amazing sights if you're ever looking for an adventure. These hills that surround the city filled with lush greenery and plenty nearby waterfalls are calling your name! You can also visit Ooty and Coonoor which are popular tourist destinations not too far away known for their tea plantations, botanical gardens and scenic vistas.

5.Culinary Delights: A Gastronomic Journey

How they cook their food is a true reflection of its culture. Traditional Tamil cuisine can be found all throughout the city with hints of neighbor states flavors as well. Some street foods that tend to be more popular among tourists are idli, dosa, vada, parotta. On top of what we have mentioned prior this city has its own specialties such as "Kovai Kozhi Kari" (spicy chicken curry) and "Kovai Kalkandu Pongal" (sweet delicacy made with jaggery and rice).

6.Modern Infrastructure: Bridging Tradition and Progress

With great infrastructure comes progress. They've got a very well-paved road system that seems to keep everything moving smoothly. Getting around the place shouldn't be an issue for you! The same goes for healthcare facilities because they are some of the best in the country.

Feature Image: Coimbatore

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Air India To Develop Connecting Hub At Bengaluru

Kempegowda International Airport

Air India will develop a connecting hub at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (BLR), which is reporting record passenger numbers for its just-completed financial year.

The airline has signed an agreement with BLR “to develop Bengaluru as a premier aviation hub for southern India, with an aim to boost air travel connectivity to and from India over the next few years,” the airport says in a statement.

CEO Campbell Wilson told Aviation Week Network last year that Air India was looking to build a third connecting hub — after New Delhi and Mumbai—in the south of India. Other airlines owned by Air India parent Tata Group, AIX Connect and Vistara, will also grow operations at BLR, according to the airport.

“The agreement marks a significant milestone in the Indian aviation industry. Air India [and BLR] will collaborate to enhance international connectivity, operational efficiency and passenger experience over the next five years,” BLR says.

The airport adds Air India and Tata Group carriers will develop “an enhanced network” from BLR, and Air India will establish a dedicated domestic lounge for premium passengers. The airline has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state of Karnataka, of which Bengaluru is the capital, to build a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at BLR.

The airport says the plan to establish an MRO facility “underscores Air India's commitment to strengthening its presence in Bengaluru and, over time, expanding its global footprint to meet the growing demand for direct long-haul routes originating from southern India.”

The MRO facility is “projected to generate over 1,200 new job opportunities for highly skilled individuals in the state,” according to BLR.

After signing the agreement with BLR, Wilson said Bengaluru “is highly attractive as an origin and destination market as well as a connecting hub … [Air India will be] developing a greater presence at the airport, expanding air connectivity, as well as building a major MRO center.”

BLR reports it is currently connected to 108 destinations, including 80 in the domestic market and 28 internationally. According to the airport, the top domestic destination is New Delhi, followed by Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Internationally, the top destination is Dubai, followed by Singapore, Qatari capital city Doha, Bangkok and Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, BLR handled more passengers in its financial year that ended March 31 than in any year in the airport’s history. For the 12 months, BLR handled 37.6 million passengers, up 18% year over year. Domestic traffic comprised 32.9 million passengers, up 17% over the prior financial year, while international traffic rose 23% to 4.7 million passengers.

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Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.

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TikTok may be banned in the US. Here's what happened when India did it

Associated press.

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NEW DELHI, APRIL 24

The hugely popular Chinese app TikTok may be forced out of the U.S., where a measure to outlaw the video-sharing app has won congressional approval and is on its way to President Biden for his signature.

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In India, the app was banned nearly four years ago. Here's what happened:

WHY DID INDIA BAN TIKTOK?

In June 2020, TikTok users in India bid goodbye to the app, which is operated by Chinese internet firm ByteDance. New Delhi had suddenly banned the popular app, alongside dozens other Chinese apps, following a military clash along the India-China border. Twenty Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed, and ties between the two Asian giants plunged to a new low.

The government cited privacy concerns and said that Chinese apps pose a threat to India's sovereignty and security.

The move mostly drew widespread support in India, where protesters had been calling for a boycott of Chinese goods since the deadly confrontation in the remote Karakoram mountain border region.

"There was a clamour leading up to this, and the popular narrative was how can we allow Chinese companies to do business in India when we're in the middle of a military standoff," said Nikhil Pahwa, a digital policy expert and founder of tech website MediaNama.

Just months before the ban, India had also restricted investment from Chinese companies, Pahwa added. "TikTok wasn't a one-off case. Today, India has banned over 500 Chinese apps to date."

HOW DID USERS AND CREATORS REACT?

At the time, India had about 200 million TikTok users, the most outside of China. And the company also employed thousands of Indians.

TikTok users and content creators, however, needed a place to go - and the ban provided a multi-billion dollar opportunity to snatch up a big market. Within months, Google rolled out YouTube Shorts and Instagram pushed out its Reels feature. Both mimicked the short-form video creation that TikTok had excelled at.

"And they ended up capturing most of the market that TikTok had vacated," said Pahwa.

In India, TikTok content was hyperlocal, which made it quite unique. It opened a window into the lives of small-town India, with videos coming from tier 2 and 3 cities that showed people doing tricks while laying down bricks, for example.

But for the most part, content creators and users in the four years since the ban have moved on to other platforms.

Winnie Sangma misses posting videos on TikTok and earning a bit of money. But after the ban, he migrated to Instagram and now has 15,000 followers. The process, for the most part, has been relatively painless.

"I have built up followers on Instagram too, and I am making money from it, but the experience isn't like how it used to be on TikTok," he said.

Rajib Dutta, a frequent scroller on TikTok, also switched to Instagram after the ban. "It wasn't really a big deal," he said.

HOW IS INDIA'S BAN DIFFERENT FROM THE U.S.

The legislation to outlaw the app has won congressional approval and now awaits a signature from Biden.

The measure gives ByteDance, the app's parent company, nine months to sell it, and three more if a sale is underway. If this doesn't happen, TikTok will be banned. It would take at least a year before a ban goes into effect, but with likely court challenges, it could stretch longer.

In India, the ban in 2020 was swift. TikTok and other companies were given time to respond to questions on privacy and security, and by January 2021, it became a permanent ban.

But the situation in the U.S. is different, said Pahwa. "In India, TikTok decided not to go to court, but the U.S. is a bigger revenue market for them. Also, the First Amendment in America is fairly strong, so it's not going to be as easy for the U.S. to do this as it was for India," he said, in reference to free speech rights in the U.S. Constitution.

As Chinese apps proliferate across the world, Pahwa says countries need to assess their dependency on China and develop a way to reduce it as the apps can pose a national security risk.

The app is also banned in Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan and restricted in many countries in Europe.

"Chinese intelligence law and its cybersecurity law can allow Chinese apps to work in the interest of their own security. That creates a situation of distrust and it becomes a national security risk for others," said Pahwa.

"There should be different rules for democratic countries and for authoritarian regimes where companies can act as an extension of the state," he added.

More US aid will help Ukraine avoid defeat in its war with Russia. Winning is another matter

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