German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on a two-day India visit, was accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday morning. During the ceremony, the German Chancellor was kept sitting remained seated on a chair while the National Anthem of India was played. The protocol for the Indian National Anthem requirs a foreign dignitary to stand through it.
However, the German government had made a special request allowing Merkel to remain seated while the National Anthems of both countries are played during a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan citing her health condition. India had accepted her request and invoked certain provisions of the order related to the National Anthem to allow Merkel to remain seated when it's played.
Chancellor Merkel has not been keeping well lately and have difficulties in standing without support. She has been seen seated at several ceremonial events in the past as well. The Chancellor held extensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the two sides signed five joint declarations of intent.
After her meeting with PM Modi, Chancellor Merkel said that the agreements signed between India and Germany were a testament to the growing ties in the areas of advanced technology. "Agreements signed between Germany and India proof that ties marching ahead in areas of new and advanced technology," she said.
She also expressed her desire to engage in major infrastructure projects in India and stressed upon the need of working together in the areas of 5G and artificial intelligence. "We will be happy to engage in big infrastructure projects which India is envisaging," Merkel said after the Inter-Governmental Consultations.