Wednesday January 24, 2018
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Globe-trotter Modi has his sight set on foreign policy

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New Delhi: He may have been in the firing line of opposition leaders for his frequent visits abroad but Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems undeterred by the flak – and even the jokes on his foreign visits – to set a new benchmark for India’s foreign policy initiatives and make India a global power.

In just over 18 months after becoming prime minister, Modi has already visited 30 countries, three of them – the United States, France and Nepal seeing two visits each. His first visit, within 20 days of assuming office, was to closest neighbour Bhutan in June 2014.

That Modi is not in any foreign holiday mode can be gauged from his hectic schedules in all the countries he has visited so far and the number of summit meetings with top leaders, including US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameroon, Chinese President Xi Jinping and the heads of state and government rulers of the other countries.

From the tiny island country Fiji to economic giants like the US and Japan, Modi has ensured that he leads by example on the diplomatic front to engage with other countries for economic and strategic interests. Modi’s mission certainly is aimed at catapulting India to a global power in the coming years.

But in doing so, Modi is not trying to usurp the role of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) or for that matter of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Though Sushma Swaraj is generally not part of Modi’s foreign entourage, she certainly should not be feeling left out.

The minister has herself been crisscrossing the globe in the same period – having been to 28 countries as well, clearly indicating the importance the Modi government is attaching to foreign policy matters and getting India the tag of a world power in the future.

Swaraj, like Modi, too is not on any junket and is ensuring India’s diplomatic outreach and strategic partnerships in the present and the future.

President Pranab Mukherjee has travelled to 10 countries in six state visits after the Modi government took over. Vice President Hamid Ansari has travelled abroad thrice in the same period.

Modi has addressed lawmakers in various countries – from Australia to the United States – but his penchant seems to be in a rockstar role in addressing biggish gatherings of Indians settled abroad. From his first mega-show at New York’s Madison Square Garden to stadia in Sydney and Dubai to the recent show at London’s iconic Wembley Stadium (where even British Prime Minister David Cameroon was present), Modi has created an image of being a hit with NRIs.

“Narendra Modi’s foreign policy initiatives have realized the true potential and role of the world’s largest democracy, India, on the world stage,” the website of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) states, making it clear where he wants to see India in the coming years.

Modi’s foreign policy initiatives are not only offshore.

He assumed office with a bang by getting the top leaders of all the SAARC countries, including Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to attend his swearing-in in New Delhi on May 26, 2014.

“Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister to embark on a bilateral visit to Nepal after a long period of 17 years, to Australia after 28 years, to Fiji after 31 years and the Seychelles after 34 years. He became the first PM of India to visit Mongolia. Modi has attached great importance to strong ties with the Arab world. His visit to the UAE in August 2015, the first by an Indian PM in 34 years, covered tremendous ground in enhancing India’s economic partnership with the Gulf,” the PMO website states, listing the importance that his government is attaching to engaging with countries which seemed to have been lost on India’s foreign policy radar in the last few decades as the emphasis continued on the big western powers.

Modi has addressed the UN General Assembly, actively participated in the India-Africa Forum, BRICS, SAARC and G-20 Summits and attended other international conferences in Paris, Kuala Lumpur and other cities.

On home ground too, Modi has not let off on the diplomatic front.

He invited US President Barack Obama to be the chief guest at the 2015 Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on January 26 – a first in Indo-US ties – hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping in Ahmedabad and New Delhi, had his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott visiting and hosted President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

Though Modi has not yet touched base on the African continent, the historic India-Africa Summit was held in New Delhi in October at which all the 54 African nations were represented – perhaps the first time this has happened outside the continent. Modi also held bilateral meetings with several African leaders during the event.

Modi has, with visits to principal central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as also Mongolia, has indicated his government wanted to secure strategic ties with them.

And, as the year is being closed, it was announced that Modi would be visiting Islamabad next year for the SAARC summit. This, on the back of renewed India-Pakistan ties and the renewal of their composite dialogue.

There perhaps couldn’t have been a better way to end the year. (Jaideep Sarin, IANS)

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Everything You Need To Know About The Skill India Program

Skill India aims to develop those sectors which require skills and skill development.

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Skill India Campaign is aimed at developing skills of Indian Youth. Twitter

By Ruchika Verma

  • Skill India by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi aims to develope skills in Indian youth
  • This campaign will help youth in developing their careers
  • Skill India campaign has many features which makes it distinct and successful

Narendra Modi’s government in its term has launched many programs which aim at improving the economical condition of India. The programs which are aimed at improving employment in India have been moderately successful.

'Skill India' is PM Narendra Modi's another dream project. Wikimedia Commmons
‘Skill India’ is PM Narendra Modi’s another dream project. Wikimedia Commmons

After successful initiatives like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India‘, the BJP Government launched another program, called ‘Skill India.’ It is another dream project of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, which was launched on 16 July 2015. The project aims to train 40 crore Indians in different skills by 2022.

Here is the list of all the things you need to know about the Skill India Program :

Objective

Main aim of Skill India is to tap the vast potential of India’s indigenous manpower. The goal is to create opportunities and scope for the development of Indian youth.

Skill India aims to develop those sectors which require skills and skill development. The campaign also aims to identify new sectors for skill development. The main focus is to not only develop skills but also to inculcate entrepreneurship in the youth.

Also Read : Skill India Mission: How PM Modi can take forward UPAs work to make skilled India a reality

The aim of developing skills in 40 crores youngsters by 2022 is to be completed by running the campaign in each and every year of India.

There are also many other missions which Narendra Modi launched to fulfill this purpose. These missions are :

Prime minister Kaushal Vikas Yojna is one of the initiative launched under Skill India. Facebook
Prime minister Kaushal Vikas Yojna is one of the initiative launched under Skill India. Facebook
  • National Skill Development Mission
  • National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (Prime Minister Skill Development Scheme)
  • Rural India Skill
  • Skill Loan Scheme

Other features of the Skill India campaign are :

  • Skill India provides training and support for all traditional occupations like carpenters, masons, nurses, blacksmiths, tailors, etc.
  • Not only traditional occupation, it also lays emphasis new, modern areas of occupation like  like designing of jewelry and apparel,  banking and investment, finance, real estate, construction, textile, tourism, or any other field where skill development is needed.
  • For this program India has collaborated with countries like U.K. and Japan. This is done so that the training programs would be standerdised as per the international level. It will enable our  youth to meet domestic as well as international needs, if needed.
Skill India campaign has several advantages for youth as well as economy of India.
Skill India campaign has several advantages for youth as well as economy of India.
  • Courses offered under Skill India consider various factors such as age, location, language and financial status, to ensure that the candidate learns all the required skills like communication, management, etc.
  • The course methodology of Skill India is very interesting, interactive and  innovative. It includes games, group discussions, practical experiences, case studies etc.
  • Another important feature of Skill India campaign is the project called, Rural India Skill. It will standardize and certify the training process, as per the International standards.

Advantages of Skill India campaign and what makes it different.

The Sill India campaign has many advantages. It will raise the confidence and productivity of the youth through proper skill development. It will help them get well-reputed blue collar jobs. Soft training given during this course will not only help professionally, but also in personal development. It will also improve entrepreneurship in our country.

Apart from creating job opportunities, this campaign will also help in the growth of Indian industries by providing them with skilled man-power. While improving the lives of the youth,  this campaign will also help in improving India’s economy.

Also Read : Indian Consulate General in Chicago hosts “Make in India” seminar

Skill India aims to empower youth. Twitter
Skill India aims to empower youth. Twitter

What makes this campaign different from the other similar onesin the past is, the new approach. Skill India is not just a campaign, but a movement, as per the P.M. Narendra Modi. This program is also not for a certain strata of society, this program is non-discriminatory and is for every Indian who aspire to improve their skills and career.

Skill India campaign also doesn’t focus on just one type of professional skill, it is for all kinds of professions – be it traditional or modern. The certifying committee is also under a new ministry which will ensure that there no discrepancies.

Skill India campaign till now is running smoothly, benefiting many Indians and their careers. Hopefully, it will continue to run properly and will increase in its effectiveness.