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India raises issue of incorrect depiction of country’s map with WHO

Source : Hindustan Times

India raises issue of incorrect depiction of country’s map with WHO
India has already taken up the issue of the incorrect map with WHO at the highest level, officials said on Monday. (Image Source : WHO)

India has raised the incorrect depiction of the country’s map on the website of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the highest level, prompting the UN’s health body to issue a disclaimer that the image is not an expression of opinion on the legal status of any country.

The matter was raised this week by Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen, who wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister that the world map displayed on WHO’s site on the Covid-19 pandemic had a “blue map with surprisingly two colours for Jammu and Kashmir”.

“When I clicked over the blue portion, it [the map] was showing the Covid-19 data of our country,” Sen wrote.

“But to my utter surprise, when I clicked over the differently coloured portions, given to our state of Jammu & Kashmir, the larger portion was showing the data of Pakistan and the smaller one was showing the data of China,” he added.

The map of India on the WHO website also has Arunachal Pradesh demarcated separately, he said. Sen described the matter as a “serious international issue” and contended the government ought to have checked and taken up the issue.

People familiar with the matter said the issue had already been taken up with WHO at the highest level. The people referred to a written reply given by the minister of state for external affairs in response to a question in February 2021 that said the “wrong depiction of the map of India” on the WHO website had been raised with the health body.

The minister’s reply had said: “In response, the WHO has informed the permanent mission of India in Geneva that they have put a disclaimer on the portal saying ‘The designations employed and the presentation of these materials do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WHO concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries’.”

WHO’s disclaimer further states: “Dotted and dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.”

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