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Are Modi’s flagship programs losing their sheen for Indian diaspora?

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Indian diaspora
The Government of India’s apparent move to “shift” the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) celebration this year to NRIs living abroad, instead of making it a big annual event on January 9 in Delhi, as was the tradition, is failing to get necessary response from Indian diaspora, if what happened in Melbourne, Australia, is any indication.
Organized by the Indian Consulate General of India in Melbourne, it is learnt that just about couple of dozen non-resident Indians (NRIs) out of the “target population” of over a lakh in Victoria Province attended the function. Melbourne is the capital of Victoria.
Held on February 21, one of those who attended the “event” called it a “completely lacklustre” affair, adding, “This is just a reflection of the fact that people abroad are losing interest in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to promote his flagship programmes such as Make in India and Clean India.”
The event, said this participant, was held at the Indian consulate in Melbourne in order to “take ideas about Modi’s Make in India, Clean India and other policies, but it flopped as the total attendance was 20-25, including 4-5 panelists and the consulate staff.”
The event was organized by two NRI companies and was addressed by Manika Jain, Indian consul in Melbourne. Other penalists, who spoke on the occasion, were Vasan Srinivasan, Ravi Bhatia, Dr S Bhargawa, Dr Raj Kumar, and Dinesh Malhotra.
A letter to NRIs in Melbourne, sent by the Consulate General of India, said that the Government of India “contributions of Indian Diaspora Associations (IDAs) to its developmental initiatives and flagship projects.”
It added, “On this occasion IDAs are encouraged to put forward their creative ideas, viewpoints and reasoning for expeditious implementation of the Government of India flagship projects.”

“IDAs are also encouraged to come up and declare their creative contributions with draft details of contributions in cash, kind and intellectual inputs”, it added.

Asking Indian diaspora to “come to this event and read your written text of your creative ideas and viewpoints, and “declare your input contributions to Government of India flagship projects, if any”, it made the event open to all NRIs.

“If you wish to come with your friends, please let us know their names and native places in India. The prior information is necessary for logistical and security arrangements”, the invitation said, adding, “Also if you can circulate this event in the community also, it will be highly appreciated.”
Things reportedly did not go well elsewhere in the world elsewhere. For instance, at the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka, which celebrated Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) this year at the Indian Cultural Centre, Colombo, just about 50 NRI “prominent members” attended the event.
This was despite the fact that Minister for National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages of Sri Lanka Mano Ganesan was the Chief Guest on the occasion, with YK Sinha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, speaking the “contribution” made by Indian Diaspora towards nation building in India and in their adopted countries.
While PBD events were similarly organized elsewhere in the world as well, including all major capitals such as Washington CD and London, suspension of the big event was a big surprise to policy makers as well as NRIs.
“PBD has sanctity attached to it because it marks the anniversary of the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa”, The event as a part of the Indian’s government’s outreach towards global Indians,” reportedly said R Dayakar, a retired Indian foreign service officer.
Munish Gupta, coordinator, Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) International, reportedly said, “The cancellation of the PBD in 2016 for the first time after so many years is a big disappointment”, adding, it would slow down efforts to begin “a new chapter in India’s dialogue with the diaspora.”
This article was first published at counterview.net

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Richard Thaler Supported Demonetisation, there is More to the Story

Demonetisation is what Richard Thaler had long supported. However, he remarked "Really? Damn," when he was informed about the introduction of Rs. 2,000 notes in place of the discontinued Rs. 500 and 1,000 notes thereby highlighting how his joy of seeing a step towards a cashless economy and reduction of corruption was momentary.

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Richard Thaler
Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on 9th October.Wikimedia

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to scrape Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last November, Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler supported demonetization describing it as a policy that he had long supported.

Dr. Richard Thaler, a Professor of Economics and Behavioural Science at the University of Chicago won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on 9th October.

Did Richard Thaler really support demonetization in the way BJP took it? There is more to the story than what meets the eye.

As soon as Thaler was declared the Nobel Prize winner, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) started sharing Thaler’s tweet regarding demonetization on social media affirming that the move which was severely criticised by the members of the opposition was actually supported by a Nobel Prize winner. The BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya retweeted the old tweet within a fraction of a second.

However, Richard Thaler remarked “Really? Damn,” when he was informed about the introduction of Rs. 2,000 notes in place of the discontinued Rs. 500 and 1,000 note thereby highlighting how his joy of seeing a step towards a cashless economy and reduction of corruption was momentary.

It was not only the BJP supporters but also a large number of BJP leaders who were flowed away with incomplete picture depicted by Malviya and tweeted about it.‬ This included Union Minister Giriraj Singh, former BJP IT Cell Head Arvind Gupta, and many others.

Soon after, twitterati realized that the full picture of Thaler’s statement on demonetization was rather hidden.

Prime Minister Modi declared that the motivation behind scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was to promote cashless economy and reduce corruption. This decision was severely criticised by different sections of the society putting on Modi the ultimate responsibility for heralding economic deceleration. Demonetisation pulled down India’s GDP growth rate to a mere 6.1% in 2016-17.

Some highlighted that the introduction of Rs 2000 note was an ephemeral panacea for remonetization and that its printing has been terminated.

-Prepared by Mohima Haque of NewsGram, Twitter: mohimahaque26

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Seven Safe Solo Female Travel Destinations To Check Out

Below are some travel destinations which you shouldn't miss out.

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Solo Female Travel Destinations
Travel destinations where women can go for solo trips. Pixabay

Oct 06, 2017: Women in the 21st century have achieved success in almost every professional. The Information Technology (IT) in India itself has more women than men. And now, the defense of this country is also being handled by a woman. If they can do so much then why to restrict from travelling solo? Shun the world and start a trend. After all; you are your best company. Below are seven solo female travel destinations to check out!

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Solo female travel destinations
Reykjavik, Iceland. Wikimedia.

The Global Peace Index of 2016 notes Iceland the safest country in the world. This European country has got this title for six times. But, the safety reason is not just the only thing why one should visit this place. There is a lot more added to the place’s beauty. Along with the place’s attractive touristy points, there are a lot interesting outdoor activities one can catch-up with. This quality of Reykjavik makes undoubtedly makes it one of the best solo female travel destinations.

Attractive tourist spots/ restaurants:

National Museum of Island- Exhibition of materials from the settlement age to the current age can be seen in here.
Hallgrímskirkj- A sheer beauty and the largest church in Iceland.
Perlan- A revolving domed shaped classy and fine dining restaurant in the city.

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Copenhagen, Denmark. Pixabay.

Scandinavian countries have regularly been coming in the highest ranks`in the United Nation’s (UN) World Happiness Index. Along with being a happy country, the country is low on crime rates. The place is extremely safe for women. The Danish lifestyle is beautiful, and the people of the nation are amicable.

Attractive tourist spots:

The Little Mermaid- It is a beautiful bronze mermaid structure made by Edvard Eriksen.
Amalienborg- It is the home of the Danish royal family.
Strøget- The pedestrian street is one of the longest in Europe. The road is full of fantastic shops- from budget-friendly chains to the world’s most expensive brands.

Also ReadSeven Best Places To Visit In October In India

3. Stockholm, Sweden

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Stockholm, Sweden. Pixabay.

One of the most beautiful, safest and happiest spaces on Earth, Stockholm is one of the best solo female travel destinations. The city has beautiful shopping destinations. From costly brands to budget-friendly local shops, the place has it all.

Attractive tourist spots:

Vasa Museum-  It is a maritime museum, which is located on the island of Djurgården, and displays the only almost fully intact 17th century ship, which has ever been salvaged.
Stockholm Palace- The palace is the residence of the Swedish monarch

4. Bergen, Norway

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Bergen, Norway. Pixabay.

Norway is presently the world’s happiest nation, and the country witnesses the huge amount of tourists and travelling visiting the beautiful cities every year. Bergen is one such beautiful place in Norway where you can have a lovely vacation, and a peaceful one.

Attractive tourist spots:

Bergenhus fortress- It is located at the entrance to the harbor in the city, and is one of the oldest preserved castles of the country.

5. Melbourne, Australia

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Melbourne, Australia. Pixabay.

Melbourne city tops the country’s solo travel destinations list because of its exciting live music, museums, theatres, galleries and restaurants. Well, what else do you want in a vacation? The hipster haven of Brunswick Street is filled with bars, restaurants and vintage shops.

Attractive tourist spots:

Royal Botanic Gardens- One of the most renowned botanical gardens, the place’s beauty is wonderful.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium- It is a home to more than 10,000 Aquarius animals.

6. Queenstown, New Zealand

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Queenstown, Australia. Pixabay.

New Zealand is a beautiful oceanic country. It is one of the countries which have the lowest crime rates. You’ll be safe, happy and make the most your vacation in this land of beauty. This should definitely be added to the list of solo female travel destinations.

 Attractive tourist spots:

Skyline Gondola- Ride the skyline to catch some of the most stunning views of the city. You will definitely find heaven on Earth.
Glenorchy is a great place in the city to enjoy skydiving, horse riding, and kayaking. It is in a beautiful location.

7. Montreal, Canada

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Montreal, Canada. Pixabay.

The Multiculturalism which is found in Montreal can be nowhere else in this world. People here are known to be extremely friendly and happy-go-lucky. From its art, food, cuisine and architecture, to its scenic beauty, everything is just mind-blowing.

Attractive tourist spots:

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts- It is the most prominent art museum of Canada.
Saint Joseph’s Oratory- It is the country’s largest church.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. 

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PM Narendra Modi: Don’t believe in vote bank politics, Nation comes first

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

Varanasi, Sep 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday, said that the BJP did not believe in vote bank politics as the country was above party politics. This is his second day of the visit to his parliamentary constituency in Varanasi.

Modi told a gathering that he had launched a major war against corruption and the corrupt to ease the life of the common man. He also said cleanliness was worship for him as it could rid the poor of various diseases and a lot of economic burdens.

“Governance for us is not about votes or winning elections. The priority is the development of the nation. For us, the country is bigger than party,” he said, in his address to farmers in Shahanshahpur on the outskirts of Varanasi.

He said most of the problems faced by the common people in India were rooted in corruption.

“I have launched a war against it and will take it further to ensure that graft is weeded out from the country.”(IANS)