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Bihar poll verdict to affect Modi’s London visit

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London: With Bihar poll verdict going against BJP, Prime Minister  Narendra Modi’s public interaction with the Indian diaspora in Britain at Wembley Stadium on November 13th has now come under a slight shadow of doubt, according to British Media.

After Madison Square Garden in New York, Allphones Arena in Sydney, Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, the Dubai Cricket Stadium in Dubai and the SAP Center in San Jose, California, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be holding now trademark public interactions with the Indian diaspora at the iconic stadium on the second day of his visit to Britain this week.

“The result means that as he prepares for an enthusiastic welcome in Britain this week – including an unprecedented sell-out event at Wembley Stadium on Friday – Mr Modi will be smarting from the defeat on home soil, which comes as his administration also faces mounting accusations of fomenting intolerance,” The Independent reported in an article headlined ‘India’s prime minister Narendra Modi suffers embarrassing setback on eve of UK visit’.

“Instead of relying on local BJP leaders to fight the election on local issues, Mr Modi, a sharply dressed and highly skilled orator, took personal control of the campaign in the hope that his reputation and charisma would seal a victory,” the daily stated.

In an article headlined ‘Narendra Modi suffers major electoral setback on eve of London visit’, The Telegraph daily stated: “The defeat will embolden his opposition and dampen the mood as he heads to London for a visit that will include a sold-out rally with British-Indians at Wembley Stadium, lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace and an overnight stay at Chequers hosted by (British Prime Minister) David Cameron.”

The report  also pointed out that this was Modi’s second successive defeat in a major provincial election.

“It came as scores of leading Indian writers, artists, film-makers and scientists returned prestigious national awards in protest in protest at what they have called a ‘cultural intolerance’ under Modi’s government and attacks on minorities,” The Telegraph’s article stated.

According to The Financial Times, Modi’s Britain visit will be overshadowed by deepening troubles at home.”Since he swept to power 18 months ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proved to be a charismatic international statesman, impressing leaders from Shinzo Abe to Barack Obama as well as expatriate Indians with his ambition to modernise India,” it stated.

“But his next foreign visit – to the UK this week to meet David Cameron and the Queen and to address a crowd of 60,000 British Indians at Wembley Stadium – will for the first time be overshadowed by deepening troubles at home,” as added by The Financial Times.

The event on November 13 is going to be the biggest such gathering that Modi will address with the organiser, Europe India Forum, expecting the stadium to fill over with 70,000 people of Indian origin – surpassing the gathering of around 50,000 at the Dubai Cricket Stadium which held on August 17 this year. A crowds of around 18,000 greeted the prime minister at the Madison Square Garden (September 28, 2014) and the SAP Center (September 27, 2015) events while around 16,000 people gathered at Allphones Arena (November 17, 2014) and around 10,000 at Ricoh Coliseum (April 15, 2015).

The 1.5-million strong Indian community in Britain holds a unique place in Indian diaspora as Britain was the first country “which had an Indian community truly representative of its diversity”, according to the report of the high-level IM Singhvi Committee appointed by the government in 2000 to collect data on the Indian diaspora worldwide.

In a Facebook post ahead of his visit, Modi stated that the Indian diaspora in Britain has “contributed greatly to society in different walks of life”. “People-to-people ties are crucial for every bilateral relationship to grow,” he wrote.

Lakhs of professionals and students are also working and studying in Britain. We want to deepen the bond between our diaspora and the people of India,” Modi said.

Because of the colonial connection, links between the two nations have existed for well over two centuries now. Today there is a vibrant and influential Indian community in Britain living an active socio-cultural life with a plethora of ethnic organisations maintaining Indian culture and values. In the British general elections held in May this year, a record number of 10 Indian-origin candidates were elected. Now, the Indian festival of Diwali is celebrated every year at Downing Street. Politics apart, British Indians have made achievements in almost every sphere of life. From business to industry, education to sports, music to cinema, arts to science, healthcare to technology, in each and every field. But whatever the scale of success, however, big the fame, British Indians have always maintained strong connections with their motherland. And as Narendra Modi has always carried a reputation of fondness for the motherland, on November 13th, this nature of him may be a striking base in gathering and attracting  all Indian origins British towards his speech.

Given last year’s general elections in India which made headlines worldwide with Modi becoming prime minister, and now, with the Bihar election that has come as a shocker to the BJP, one can only wait and watch when Modi takes the stage in the ‘Olympics-style’ invitation-only event at the Wembley Stadium on November 13 afternoon in the largest reception given to a foreign leader on British soil.

(Inputs from IANS)

(Picture Courtesy: thenamopatrika.com)

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‘How Dare You?’ Tweets an angry Farhan Akhtar to BJP Spokesperson

Politicians, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and DMK leader M.K. Stalin, apart from actor Kamal Haasan, slammed the BJP's attempt to muzzle criticism regarding its policies.

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Farhan Akhtar
Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar. Wikimedia

Mumbai, October 22, 2017 : Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar has taken a dig at BJP spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao over his remarks that most Indian film stars have “very low IQ and very low general knowledge”.

“How dare you, sir?” an angry Farhan tweeted and tagged the BJP leader.

“And to all film people in his ranks… Here’s what he thinks of you. Shame sir,” the actor wrote.

Farhan’s comment was in reaction to an interview Rao gave to Times Now TV over the ongoing controversy on Tamil film “Mersal” that has scenes critical of the GST and the Digital India initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Rao, criticising the movie and its makers in the TV interview, said: “In any case, most of our film stars have very low IQ, very low general knowledge.”

“Mersal”, Tamil actor Vijay’s Diwali release, is in the news after the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded removal of specific dialogues which take a dig at GST and digital India.

Politicians, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and DMK leader M.K. Stalin, apart from actor Kamal Haasan, slammed the BJP’s attempt to muzzle criticism regarding its policies.

Directed by Atlee, “Mersal” stars Vijay in the roles of a village head, a doctor and a magician. (Ians)

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Rs 10,000 cr will be given to top 10 Universities to make them World-Class, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

Patna, October 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said it was a “blot” that Indian universities do not figure among the top 500 of the world and noted that the government has decided to give autonomy and Rs 10,000 crore to top 10 public and private universities over the next five years to make them world-class

.Addressing the centenary Celebrations of Patna University here in presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Modi said Indian universities such as Nalanda and Takshashila attracted students from all over the world.

“We are not among the top 500. We should remove this blot or not. The situation should change through our determination and hard work,” Modi said.

He said the government has come with a scheme to make 10 private and 10 public universities world-class by providing them autonomy from the constraints of government rules and freedom to grow.

“They will be given Rs 10,000 crore in the next five years,” Modi said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the selection will not be on any recommendation. “The universities will be a selected on the basis of a challenge in which they will be required to prove their mettle. The selection will be based on factors such as history, performance and its roadmap reach global benchmarks. A third party professional agency will be involved in the selection process,” Modi said.

Referring to demands for making Patna University a central university, Modi said it should strive to be among the globally-ranked varsity based on the competition and “this was many times ahead of being a central university”.

“Patna University should not stay behind (in the challenge),” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said reforms in the country’s education sector have progressed at a slow speed and there have been differences among educationists which had hampered innovation with the governments too not measuring up to the task.

The Prime Minister said that for two years he heard arguments for and against granting more autonomy to Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and then a big decision was taken.

“It is for the first time that the IIMs are out of government control and have been professionally opened up. This is a big opportunity for them and they would make the best use,” he said.

Modi said that Patna University was known to produce IAS and IPS officers and in the same manner IIMs are known to produce Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of global companies.

He also urged universities to move from conventional teaching to innovative learning and involve alumni associations more actively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said 65 per cent of the population of the country was below 35 years in age and the dreams of development can be fulfilled.

“We need to understand the changing trends across the world and the increased spirit of competitiveness. In that context India has to make its place in the world,” Modi said.

He appreciated the efforts Nitish Kumar towards development of the state and said the progress of eastern India is the Centre’s topmost priority.

“The commitment of Nitish Kumar towards the progress of Bihar is commendable. The Centre attaches topmost importance to the development of eastern India,” Modi said.

He said when the country celebrates the 75th anniversary of Independence day in 2022, he wants to see Bihar standing among the list of prosperous states.

Modi also said that many top level officials of civil services are students of Patna University.

“In every state, the top levels of the civil services has people who have studied in Patna University. In Delhi, I interact with so many officials, many of whom belong to Bihar… I consider it my honor to visit Patna University and be among the students. I bow to this land of Bihar. This university has nurtured students who have contributed greatly to the nation.”

He said that Bihar is blessed with both ‘Gyaan’ and ‘Ganga.’ “This land has a legacy that is unique,” he said.(IANS)

One response to “Rs 10,000 cr will be given to top 10 Universities to make them World-Class, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi”

  1. Grant of money alone does not make great institutions of learning, just as making large grand buildings, and setting up large sophisticated laboratories. It is the high ideals, learning & character in honest pursuit of knowledge and service that facilitates to create an atmosphere of pursuing higher & higher knowledge for the sake of welfare of humanity. An the open atmosphere of freely sharing the expertise & experience of seniors with development of young brains is equally important . This aspect has been pointed out by our Prime minister by the involvement of Alumni for the development of great institutions of learning.
    Another aspect that has not received due attention in the field of education in India so far is that we have not addressed properly the question of training and developing teachers of right caliber & character right from nursery and primary school levels of education to postgraduate levels in university in all fields of education i.e. humanities, engineering and medical schools by taking in to consideration present needs of society.
    Another point to note is that the famous All India Institution of Medical Sciences in Delhi was not set up to provide super speciality hospital services to the country, but to develop excellent faculty of teachers in collaboration with Harvard. This objective got lost on the way.

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India Looks at Strategic Partnership with Oil Producers

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his three-hour long meeting here with chief executives of top global and Indian companies. ians

New Delhi, Oct 9: India is looking to upgrade its relationship with producing countries to a strategic one, instead of mere buyer-seller, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday.

This was the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his three-hour long meeting here with chief executives of top global and Indian companies, including British major BP, Russia’s Rosneft, Saudi Aramco and Reliance Industries, on ways to revive investment in oil and gas exploration and production.

“The Prime Minister laid out to leading companies like BP, Shell, Rosneft, Exxon Mobil as to what should be the energy economy of India,” Pradhan told reporters here on the sidelines of the CERAWEEK India Energy Forum organised by IHS Markit.

“The Prime Minister emphasised the need to move the engagement to a strategic partnership, going beyond the buyer-seller relationship,” he said, adding that “all major producers, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the US, all have recognised the massive scale of India’s energy engagement”.

According to a statement, from the Prime Minister’s Office, Modi said there is a need to develop energy infrastructure and provide access to energy in eastern India as the status of the energy sector in India was highly uneven.

CEOs and top officials from Rosneft, BP, Reliance, Saudi Aramco, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Vedanta, Wood MacKenzie, IHS Markit, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Xcoal, ONGC, IndianOil, GAIL, Petronet LNG, Oil India, HPCL, Delonex Energy, NIPFP, International Gas Union, World Bank, and International Energy Agency were present at the meeting.

Pradhan, Power Minister R.K. Singh, and senior officials from NITI Aayog and Prime Minister’s Office, as well as the Petroleum and Finance Ministries were also present in the meeting.

Addressing the conference, Pradhan said that with India now being well integrated into the global oil economy, she was naturally impacted by geopolitical developments.

“Recently, when retail fuel prices went up in India, there was a hue and cry in the street,” he said of the time last month when petrol prices in Mumbai went over Rs 79 a litre due to a rise in international rates.

“We therefore need to know and keep abreast of what is happening in the industry worldwide… about OPEC and output cuts, about Russia, shale in the US, trends in LNG market,” he added.

As proof of the upgraded energy relationship with Saudi Arabia, Pradhan noted the opening of Saudi state-run oil giant Aramco’s India office in Gurugram on Sunday that was jointly inaugurated by him and Aramco CEO Amin Nasser.

“Aramco investment in India will increase..they are in talks with possible partners here,” Pradhan said.

Saudi Aramco, which established its business presence in India last year, has formed an Indian subsidiry that will engage in crude oil and LPG marketing, engineering and technical services, and other business development activities.

“Aramco India intends to partner with Indian companies and set up integrated business ventures in the hydrocarbon value chain in India,” the Petroleum Ministry said.

According to the PMO, Modi thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Rosneft, for their commitments and support to the energy sector in India. He also appreciated the 2030 vision document of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.(IANS)