New Jersey: Around three thousand people from twenty countries including many renowned leaders, speakers, religious monks, and artists are expected to attend a 3-day Global Dharma Conference (GDC) from 11-13 September, 2015, to explore the relevance of Dharma for the Self and for the society.
The theme of the conference is to “reconnect with the roots, rejuvenate the inner Self and realize the applications of Dharma”. The conference is being organized by Hindu Students Council (HSC).
In a press release by HSC, Nikunj Trivedi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees said, “the Conference aims to explore and understand the multifaceted applications of Dharma for the Self as well as for the society and the world, whether through Yoga or the invaluable teachings of Vedas and Vedanta.” The release further states that the Conference will “focus on the universality of Dharma and its relevance to modern life, going beyond just religion.”
HSC is the largest non-profit Hindu students’ organization in the United States and Canada. It was founded in 1990 and currently has 50 college chapters. It serves as a youth forum that promotes Hindu culture and heritage through various activities.
Previously, GDC was successfully conducted in 2003 in which around 2000 people from 20 countries and 70 universities had participated including over 60 renowned scientists, literary and religious figures, and dignitaries from various backgrounds like science, economics, environment etc.
The event had seen participation from Former President of India Late Dr. Abdul Kalam, Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Kanchi, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, and Deepak Chopra among others.
The list of speakers for 2015 event includes Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living, Swami Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Indian-American writer Rajiv Malhotra, Dr. H.R. Nagendra- chairman of Task Force of AYUSH (Government of India), Dr. David Frawley- a well-known teacher of Hinduism and many others.
Swami Paramatmananda Saraswati, the founder of Arsha Vidya Mandir, is scheduled to deliver a plenary welcome address on opening day (11 September) of the conference. A keynote speech by Rajiv Malhotra and David Frawley, along with Bharatnatyam performance by Pavithra Srinivasan is scheduled for the day.
The events of 12 September are scheduled to begin with a Yoga and Pranayama workshop. The day’s sessions include a live video conference with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and a panel discussion on “Reconnecting Yoga to its Roots” with H R Nagendra and others. Various other sessions on topic of Dharma are scheduled for the whole day. The day is planned to end with a dramatic Balinese dance performance on the theme “The Victory of Dharma: Rama Defeats Ravana”, a Kathak dance performance and a classical music performance.
The final day of the conference will include a video message from Swami Dayananda Saraswati, panel discussions on topics like “Youth Perspectives on the Relevance of Dharma”, “Unity of Dharma – Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh Traditions,” and “Hindu Dharma: Global Influences and Practices”.
The GDC will be held at New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center at Edison, New Jersey. The HSC is also organizing a fundraiser banquet at Royal Albert’s Palace, 1050 King Georges Post Road, Fords, NJ 08863.
According to HSC, those who wish to attend the conference must visit their website and register. The registration fee for registering on or before 11 August is $55 for college/grad students and $100 for non-students. If one wants to register after 11 August till 10 September, the charges will be is $85 for college/grad students and $135 for non-students.
The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe
The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.
The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.
Here are few things about it you may not have known before :
Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.
The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.
The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.
The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.
It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.