In honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading by example in cleaning India. Aptly titled the Clean India campaign or Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, PM Modi is aiming to solve the country’s sanitation problems in honour of the 150th anniversary of his October 2nd birthday.
PM Modi is the first Prime Minister to official address India’s challenges with cleanliness and its shortage of toilets. He aims to make the nation’s largest cities completely rubbish-free in five years time. He called on individual citizens to donate their own time—two hours a week—to assisting in this mass clean-up. With the whole country on board he says a cleaner India will encourage economic growth and reduce healthcare costs.
On his maiden visit to the United States, Prime Minister Modi gave an empowering speech at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. It was attended by 18,000 people and simultaneously broadcast in Times Square. Guests included US lawmakers, celebrities and prominent Indian-American civilians. He spoke from a rotating platform and addressed the crowd in Hindi and English. Hosted by the Indian-American Community Foundation, the event was the largest ever held in the United States for a foreign head of state.
On Tuesday, September 1st, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi met, marking the first bilateral discussion between the two heads of state. The President touched on the Prime Minister’s impressive victory earlier this year: “I think that the entire world has watched the historic election and mandate that the people of India delivered in the recent election.” Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude for the visit and the two touched on the relationship between India and the U.S.
Scientists from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) met the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today and presented the first images of the surface of Mars taken by the Mangalyaan to him.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will launch “Make in India” initiative on 25th September 2014 from Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The launch will be at both national level, state level and in Missions abroad. The ‘Make in India’ initiative has its origin in the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech where he gave a clarion call to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Zero Defect; Zero Effect’ policy. State Governments, Business Chambers, Indian Missions aboard are playing an active role in the launch of the initiative.
The Government is committed to chart out a new path wherein business entities are extended red carpet welcome in a spirit of active cooperation. Invest India will act as the first reference point for guiding foreign investors on all aspects of regulatory and policy issues and to assist them in obtaining regulatory clearances. The Government is closely looking into all regulatory processes with a view to making them simple and reducing the burden of compliance on investors.
A dedicated cell has been created to answer queries from business entities through a newly created web portal (www.makeinindia.com). While an exhaustive set of FAQs on this portal will help the investor find instant answers to their general queries, the back-end support team of the cell would be answering specific queries within 72 hours. A pro-active approach will be deployed to track visitors for their geographical location, interest and real time user behaviour. Subsequent visits will be customised for the visitor based on the information collected. Visitors registered on the website or raising queries will be followed up with relevant information and newsletter. Investor facilitation cell will provide assistance to the foreign investors from the time of their arrival in the country to the time of their departure. The initiative will also target top companies across sectors in identified countries.
The ‘Make in India’ initiative also aims at identifying select domestic companies having leadership in innovation and new technology for turning them into global champions. The focus will be on promoting green and advanced manufacturing and helping these companies to become an important part of the global value chain.
The Government has identified 25 key sectors in which our country has the potential of becoming a world leader. The Prime Minister will be releasing separate brochures for these sectors along with a general brochure. The brochures covering sectors like automobiles, chemicals, IT, pharmaceuticals, textiles, ports, aviation, leather, tourism and hospitality, wellness, railways among others will provide details of growth drivers, investment opportunities, sector specific FDI and other policies and related agencies.
Since the new Government took over, a series of initiatives have been taken to revitalise the industrial sector in general and manufacturing sector in particular. To mention a few:
- The process of applying for Industrial License and Industrial Entrepreneur Memorandum has been made online on the e-Biz website 24*7;
- A vast number of Defence items have been de-licensed;
- The validity of Industrial license has been extended to three years;
- With a view to providing flexibility in working hours and increased intake of apprentices for on the job training, the Government has decided to amend a number of labour laws;
- An advisory has been sent to all Departments/ State Governments to simplify and rationalize regulatory environment which includes:
- on-line filing of all returns in a unified form;
- no inspection without the approval of the Head of the Department, etc.
Recently the Foreign Direct Investment policy has been liberalized. 100% FDI under automatic route has been permitted in construction, operation and maintenance in specified Rail Infrastructure projects; FDI in Defence liberalized from 26% to 49%. In cases of modernization of state-of-art proposals, FDI can go up to 100%; the norms for FDI in the Construction Development sector are being eased.
The government is committed to improving the physical infrastructure. Development of dedicated freight corridors and investment in improving our ports and airports are underway. These corridors would house Industrial agglomerations along with smart cities. The private sector would be playing a significant role in these developmental works.
For the manufacturing sector to take advantage of the improved physical infrastructure, the need for having a strong human capital is recognized. Government’s effort would be to equip the working age population with the right kinds of skill so that the manufacturing sector finds them employable. One of the first decisions that the new Government has taken is to set up a separate Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Various prominent National and International industry leaders are likely to attend the programme to launch the campaign along with Ministers, senior officials, Ambassadors and opinion leaders.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today launched the Make in India initiative with an aim to boost India`s manufacturing sector.
Addressing a gathering consisting of top global CEOs at the event in Vigyan Bhawan in the capital, the Prime Minister said “FDI” should be understood as “First Develop India” along with “Foreign Direct Investment.” He urged investors not to look at India merely as a market, but instead see it as an opportunity.
The Prime Minister said it is important for the purchasing power of the common man to increase, as this would further boost demand, and hence spur development, in addition to benefiting investors. The faster people are pulled out of poverty and brought into the middle class, the more opportunity will there be for global business, the Prime Minister said. Therefore, he said, investors from abroad need to create jobs. Cost effective manufacturing and a handsome buyer – one who has purchasing power – are both required, the Prime Minister said. More employment means more purchasing power, he added.
The Prime Minister said that India is the only country in the world which offers the unique combination of democracy, demography, and demand. He said the new Government was taking initiatives for skill development to ensure that skilled manpower was available for manufacturing. He also referred to the Digital India mission, saying this would ensure that Government processes remained in tune with corporate processes.
The Prime Minister said he had felt a mood of gloom among India`s business community in the last few years, due to lack of clarity on policy issues. He said he had heard even Indian businessmen say that they would leave India and set up business elsewhere. The Prime Minister said this hurt him, and added that no Indian business should feel a compulsion to leave the country under any circumstances. He said on the basis of the experience of the last few months, he could say that the gloom has lifted.
The Prime Minister gave the example of the new Government`s initiative on self-certification of documents, and said this was illustrative of how the new Government trusted the citizens. The Prime Minister said trust is essential for investors to feel secure. Let us begin with trust; if there is an issue, Government can intervene, he said. The Prime Minister said trust too can be a transformative force.
Shri Narendra Modi said development and growth-oriented employment is the government`s responsibility.
The Prime Minister noted that India ranks low on the “ease of doing business” and added that he has sensitized Government officials in this regard. He also emphasized the need for “effective” governance.
To the expression “Look East,” the Prime Minister added “Link West”, and said a global vision was essential. He said Mission Swachh Bharat and “waste to wealth” could lead to good revenue models for business as well. He referred to his vision of waste water management and solid waste management in 500 towns across India through public private partnership.
The Prime Minister also spoke of infrastructure of the future – including i-ways besides highways – and mentioned port led development, optical fibre networks, gas grids and water grids.
The Prime Minister also unveiled the Make in India logo, and launched the website makeinindia.com
SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, SHRI PRANAB MUKHERJEE ON THE OCCASION OF CALL ON BY STUDENTS FROM KING’S COLLEGE, LONDON & UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND
·I am indeed happy to be amidst you this evening to meet students and faculty members from King’s College, London and University of Edinburgh, Scotland. India and United Kingdom share a long tradition and history as well as a multifaceted relationship. Your presence here this evening is an important manifestation of the good will and trust which both countries enjoy.
·I appreciate the efforts of the UGC and Delhi University to organise a ten day short term course on ‘DISABILITY AND INCLUSION: PERCEPTIONS & ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY INDIA’, under the Connect to India programme.
·This short term course, I am told is designed keeping in view the concept of inclusion and the needs and support systems for persons with disabilities.I am sure that such linkages would result in an enhanced mutual understanding regarding the challenges and issues in the new millennium. I am told that students of King’s College, London and University of Edinburgh, Scotland attending the present course belong to diverse disciplines of study. Coming together of students from various academic interests and backgrounds for this purpose that too in a country different from their own, points to the global appeal of India’s fresh educational endeavours.
·Recognizing that the marginalized sections of our society, particularly persons with disabilities are an important resource towards the overall development of our country, India has taken up a number of measures to empower persons belonging to such segments, particularly, persons with disabilities. Our Constitution recognizes, among others, equality, education and life as being fundamental rights of every citizen of India. To ensure social inclusion in the real sense of the term, a two-pronged strategy has been adopted. While on one hand, special measures have been taken to move towards an equitable social order, on the other, we have taken a lead in implementing various international declarations and treaties both in letter and spirit.
·To further strengthen the provisions of ‘The Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995’, a National Policy document was also adopted in 2006. This outlines specific steps to be taken to ensure full inclusion of persons with disabilities in education, employment and society as well as ways to ensure accessibility through technology and other enabling provisions. India is also a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to other important international treaties such as the recently concluded Marrakesh treaty aimed towards enhancing access to print materials for the visually impaired.
·Thus, while on one hand, India is committed towards economic development keeping in view the emerging global challenges and requirements, we are equally committed to ensure that the fruits of our development and growth reach all sections of society. I do hope that during your visit to India, you have had opportunities of learning and experiencing first hand the roadmap of development based on inclusion which India has been following and is committed to traverse.
·We do realise the significance of an inclusive society for all and are working towards equity and equality in all spheres. Towards this end, appropriate application of various technologies can prove to be very effective. Realizing this, India is rapidly moving towards the broadening of her educational reach and social empowerment by using advance technologies. Attempts are underway to make the concept of e-classroom a reality in every school of the country. The call of the world today is more towards putting innovative ideas into effective usage so that all can benefit from those ideas.
·We must use education and technology as a means to ensure inclusion and equality for all citizens. Countries which have strengthened their knowledge and educational systems, have achieved much higher levels of development. Social awareness and sensitization programmes, data sharing and preparation of human resource have been some of the areas where technology has acquired key significance. When we talk about education and development, there is no denying the fact that the marginalised sections of our society are an important resource and deserve more focused attention.
·Historically, India has had a strong education system both at the school and university levels. Indian civilization has a long standing knowledge tradition. Our ancient universities – Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri – were renowned seats of learning that attracted scholars from different parts of the world. In fact, for almost 1500 years, from the founding of Takshashila university in 3rd century BC to the collapse of Nalanda university in 12th Century AD, India was a world leader in the field of higher education. Through the UGC’s ‘Connect to India Programme’ I invite you to gain insights into our education systems as well as an understanding of our rich cultural heritage and society.
·Hopefully, there will be many more exchanges and collaborative research programmes in future which will serve as an impetus in furthering excellence in higher education across the globe.
·I hope the 10 day course which you are attending will leave imprints of the diverse Indian culture and social potentials of this country on your minds. My best wishes to you for all your future endeavours.