Apple CEO Tim Cook is due to meet with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi later this month during the latter’s tour of the US west coast, an Apple spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday, according to this AppleInsider report.
According to India’s Economic Times, the spokesperson declined to say what the topic of discussion would be. Three sources for the newspaper indicated that the prime minister’s Office is yet to set an agenda after discussion with Apple.
It is believed that Apple is interested to invest in building manufacturing capacities in India, which could prove to be a huge boost for Modi’s initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’. While India’s manufacturing sector has a long way to go, for Modi’s US visit, the main focus is on the entrepreneurship and digital innovation sectors, which are taking India to new heights.
Apple is dependent entirely on third-party resellers in the region and doesn’t even have a local online store. The company is working towards a brisk expansion of its reseller network, with special emphasis on improving iPhone sales, according to the AppleInsider report. Although iPhone numbers rose 93 percent in India during the June quarter, Apple has had difficulty making headway against Android-based phone makers. This is partly because phones are often sold in small independent shops that don’t fit with the company’s normal chain-oriented retail strategy.
Apple differentiates between refurbished and second-hand products in this Times of India article, saying that Apple products have a much longer life than Samsung or other similar products, if properly refurbished. Apple believes its refurbished products such as phones, computers, tablets and laptops have a big market in Asia. Under India’s current industrial policy refurbishing is not allowed. However, there might be a change in policy with Apple’s arrival.
Apple uses manufacturing facilities of Foxconn, which has recently promised to invest $5 billion in a manufacturing facility in Maharashtra. A local Apple-run R&D center might send more critical projects towards India’s direction instead of the backend software development that is usually pushed towards Indian firms like Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services.
Some of the other big names that Modi is scheduled to meet are Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.
Facebook’s Chairman Mark Zuckerberg had dropped a bombshell on the “secularists” in India during PM Modi’s visit to his campus in California. It’s all about the Facebook connection with India. Initially, it was never a bed of roses for what is now a household name “FACEBOOK” across the world. This world-famous ‘social networking service company’ had its own share of bad times. Revealing for the first time in the meeting at the Facebook office upbeat Zuckerberg told PM Narendra Modi that Steve Jobs, the founder Chairman of Apple, had advised him to visit a certain temple in India for blessings. The revelation may have caused heartburn to many. More so in India where so-called secular and snooty folks have long acquired a proclivity to look down upon their own culture, religion, and values while being appreciative of any bizarre customs and styles of the West. Yes, heeding the advice of his mentor Steve Jobs the depressed Mark had visited the temple and toured around India for nearly a month.
Well, the American techno-wizard Steve Jobs had himself spent over six months in India in 1974. He was here in quest of the higher meaning of life and spiritual solace. As understood, from early age Steve was quite haunted by a good deal of unanswered questions. Of course, his encounter with a book “Be Here Now”by Richard Alpert, a Harvard Professor, had opened up a gateway to the spiritualism of the East. This book had also introduced him to a mystic Yogi ‘Neem Karoli Baba’. That later inspired Steve to set out the journey for the East. As soon as Steve and his friend Daniel Kottke arrived India they directly went to meet the Guru in Kainchi Dham Ashram in Nainital. But to their disappointment, they found the Baba had already passed away some months earlier. Nevertheless, the urge to dive deeper into the spiritualism did not die away. They shaved their heads and put on Indian clothes and undertook an extensive meditation and yogic practices.
The most significant impact that had made upon Steve’s life was a book “Autobiography of a Yogi”by Paramhansa Yogananda. It is on record that he would read this book too frequently, at least once every year until his death, 2011. This book had given him the practical insight into what exactly this world is about and how a layman can prepare himself to realize the Supreme knowledge. The first-hand account of a Yogi with empirical approaches to know oneself this book by Yogananda is a smash hit manual now among the seekers of the Eastern spiritualism.
Yes, by dint of hard work, intuition and innovation Steve stood out as one of the most successful techno-tycoons of the modern times. As much known, Jobs was hardly possessed by the luxury of riches and materialistic vanity. He just regarded his entrepreneurship as a tool to awaken his dormant potentialities. The chairman of Salesforce.com and famous philanthropist Marc Benioff says with conviction — “If you want to understand Steve, it’s a good idea to dig into ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’.” It is this book which Steve’s family had given to all the guests as a last gift at his memorial service.
Here we can’t afford to ignore the Beatle’s fascination for INDIA as well. The band members that were basking in the opulence of materialistic riches and glory visited India (Rishikesh) in search of inner peace. They met with Sri Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and learnt from him Transcendental meditation (TM) who laid bare methods to feel true bliss within. Sri Maharshi is a big name in the West having a huge following that includes celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, David Lynch, Russell Brand, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Aniston, Modern physicist Dr. John Hagelin, to name a few. The Beatle’s Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr often assist a Hollywood Director/actor David Lynch to organize the Transcendental meditation under ‘David Lynch Foundation’ across USA and the European countries. George Harrison later took refuge in Bhakti Yoga. The founder of ISKCON Srila Prabhupada showed him the pathway to the Supreme Consciousness.
What basically pulls the rational westerners to India is less known to Indians themselves. It’s shamefully paradoxical. From early 19th Century, the philosophical literary treasure troves and Yoga of India found more admirers in the foreign lands than at home. Indeed, the philosophy of the “laws of karma” and the presence of all-power-divinity within every being and everywhere — which any human being can realize irrespective of one’s caste, creed, nationality, and color, has intensely stirred the greatest of the great minds of the West. The ancient texts hold out a whole bunch of keys to unlock oneself and know his/her relationship with the Supreme Being which in fact seems very reasonable to the West. Further, the complex studies of world-view by Modern scientists are gradually arriving at the same conclusion what the ancient sages of India expounded over five thousands year back that ‘creation and creator are ONE’.Interconnection, inter-relation and interdependence among every individual particle/object, living or non-living, in the infinite universe — which is the fundamental tenets of the Eastern philosophy, provided a new light of wisdom to the the modern physicists like Schrödinger, Heisenberg, Julius Oppenheimer, Brain David Josephson, David Bohm, John Stewart Bell et al.
Well, Indian’s contribution to the western academia is immeasurable — though deliberately undermined or less discussed in India itself. It’s very worthwhile to recall a famous proclamation by our western master whom we hold in the highest esteem. TS Eliot, one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, asserts: “Indian philosophers’ subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys”.
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter @SGewali.
New Delhi, October 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government was in the process of enacting stringent legislation aimed at protecting consumers along with setting up a Consumer Protection Authority (CPA).
“Consumers’ protection is this government’s priority. We are in the process to bring a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here,” Modi said at an International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries.
“We are in the process of forming a Consumer Protection Authority, which will have executive powers, for immediate redressal.”
The rules were being streamlined to solve consumer problems in less time and at less cost, he added.
“The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements,” Modi said.
He said India was among the few countries which had enacted a law a year after the UN adopted guidelines on consumer protection in 1986.
The Prime Minister also said the prices of commodities were set to go down and consumer protection for their interest effects due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Due to the GST, the competition among companies was going to increase. So prices will go down. It will help consumers from lower middle class and poor sections,” Modi said.
“Earlier, transportation by trucks would take five days but it has come down to just three three days now as checkposts on borders have vanished after the GST. It means transportation cost has gone down. This is going to be transferred to consumers,”
Taking a dig at those opposed to the GST, he said: “Some people may be taking advantage of the lack of awareness. However, the benefits will be transferred (to consumers) in days to come.”
Talking about the conference, Modi said: “It shows how seriously we take the needs of our citizens and how we strive hard to solve their problems”.
“It is the first conference in the region, where everyone is trying in their own ways to save the interest of consumers. However, we have to keep in mind that the world is going towards a single market,” Modi said.(IANS)