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Indian workers in Saudi Arabia praised by PM Modi

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Image source: pmindia.gov.in The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi sharing snacks with workers

Riyadh: The large number of Indian blue collar workers in Saudi Arabia on Saturday came in for much appreciation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the hard work they have put in for the development of the Gulf kingdom.

“It is your sweat and toil that has brought me here,” Modi, who arrived here earlier in the day, said while addressing workers of Indian engineering and infrastructure major L&T at their residential complex.

“Your happiness is my happiness and when you are not happy, I also feel the pain,” he said.

Modi told the workers that India has the kind of manpower that the world needed today.

“When in the times to come, people will see the work you have done, you will realise the importance of your efforts,” he said.

The prime minister also told the workers that they have made India proud for the discipline they have shown in their work.He assured the workers that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the entire team of officials at the ministry were ready to help if any of them got into any trouble.

He also highlighted the various steps taken by his government for the convenience of Indian workers abroad.

“There are forums like MyGov and Narendra Modi Mobile App through which you can reach me and I can communicate with you,” he said.

Modi also said that the government was working to regularise migration, and also promised more Indian worker resource centres and a second 24/7 call centre.

Earlier, the workers gave Modi two safety helmets to sign, one of which they gave him and the other they kept with them.Modi also shared a meal with the workers after his speech. After his arrival at the complex, the prime minister was given a presentation on the work on the Riyadh Metro Project for which the workers have been employed.L&T is doing around $2 billion worth of work on one line of the $600-billion Riyadh Metro Project.

Prior to this event, Modi addressed members of the Indian community and said that political stability was behind the economic growth story of India.

“In a very short span of time, India has once again given rise to new expectations at the world stage,” he said in a short speech.

Apart from a large number of blue collar workers, Indian doctors, teachers, engineers and managers have made immense contributions to Saudi Arabia’s development, something that has been appreciated by the country’s rulers on numerous occasions.

Indians in Saudi Arabia make an important contribution to their homeland sending around $10 billion in remittances every year. Earlier on Saturday, Modi was received at the King Khalid International Airport by Governor of Riyadh Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Al Saud.

Saudi Arabia is the third and last leg of Modi’s three-nation tour which also took him to Brussels where he attended the 13th India-European Union (EU) Summit and held a bilateral meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and then to Washington where he participated in the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama.

This is the first prime ministerial visit from India to the oil-rich Gulf kingdom since the visit of Manmohan Singh in 2010.

“Reached Saudi Arabia. I look forward to a productive visit that will strengthen our bilateral relations,” Modi tweeted on arrival.Ties between India and Saudi Arabia are expected to be further elevated from the current strategic partnership to a more broad-based one.

Apart from the community interactions on Saturday, Modi also visited the Masmak Fortress here which is a monument of historical importance for Saudi Arabia.

Saud bin Sultan bin Abdullah Al Saud, a member of the royal family and a researcher at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, accompanied him around.Modi will be accorded a ceremonial welcome on Sunday afternoon at the Royal Court here by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who will also host a lunch in honour of the visiting prime minister.

This will be followed by delegation-level talks and the signing of agreements.The prime minister will leave for India late Sunday afternoon.(IANS)

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Greet nation on Diwali

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation. VOA

New Delhi, October 19: President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday greeted the nation on Diwali.

Modi said: Deepawali ke pawan parv par sabhi deshvasio ko hardik shubhkamnaye #HappyDiwali to everyone! (On the auspicious occasion of Diwali, greetings to the nation).”

Rajnath Singh said: “Warm greetings and best wishes to you and your entire family on the auspicious occasion of Deepawali. Wishing you a Shubh and #HappyDeepawali.” (IANS)

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PM Modi is Optimistic about NDA’s Reforms to Boost Up Indian Economy

Lashing out at the critics, the Prime Minister elucidated about his government’s firm determination to boost up India’s economy. Admitting the economic plummet witnessed during the span of April-June, Modi declared that his government was devoted to back-pedal the mishaps due to the structural reforms of the economy. Let us look at what PM Modi said in his speech.

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Challenges to Modi Government
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

After facing severe criticisms over economic deceleration for a very long time, Modi finally broke his silence while addressing the Golden Jubilee Year Celebrations of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) in Delhi. Lashing out at the critics, the Prime Minister elucidated about his government’s firm determination to boost up Indian Economy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization policy brought down the country’s GDP growth rate to a mere 6.1%. The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) added to the plight of already sick Indian economy.

Admitting the economic plummet witnessed during the span of April-June, Modi declared that his government was devoted to back-pedal the mishaps due to the structural reforms of the Indian economy. Let us look at what PM Modi said in his speech.

On Economic Reforms

PM Modi was very straightforward to acknowledge the economic slump caused. He assured that the BJP government was capable of reversing the trend and would take important decisions in that direction. Further, the Prime Minister informed that a cleanliness campaign has been started to remove the people who try to undermine the nation’s unity and integrity. Under this cleanliness campaign, a Special Investigation Team (STI) has started working ever since the Modi government came to power.

On Critics

Welcoming the constructive criticisms, Modi declared that his government is sensitive enough to accept the prevailing denigrations in the Indian economy and are rectifying their mistakes. The Prime Minister opined that people have the right to criticize the wrong, but one should restrain from fabricating an environment of panic in the country. Further, he added that his government has started working towards the “development of new India, new culture, new celebration, and new traditions.” Some people do not welcome the reforms even though they are good for the nation simply because they are anti-BJP. “People who sleep well only after spreading pessimism about government’s economic reforms need to be combated”, emphasized Modi.

Past Economic Deceleration

After achieving a whopping growth of 7.5% over the last three years, Modi acknowledged that the growth rates dropped sharply in April-June but the BJP government would not sit back until putting Indian economy on firm footing. While addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister recalled a time when Indian economy growth rate was as low as 0.2% under the previous government thereby emphasizing the fact that India can recover from the economic sluggishness.

Mainstreaming Informal Sector

Encouraging the movement from the informal sector to mainstream economy, PM Modi assured, “People coming to mainstream fear that their old records may be reopened. We will not let that happen because earlier their old way of business was necessitated by prevailing circumstances. Nothing is more sinful than blocking those who want to come to the mainstream. Let bygones be bygones.”

On Doklam

Many people opined that the BJP Government would not be able to handle the Doklam crisis. Describing the censurers as hypocrites, Modi elucidated that “when the economic growth is favorable, it is the same people who like the institutes and process; but the moment situation becomes unfavorable to them, they say that the system is not right, the process is not right, people working in it are not right and just accuse people.” The Prime Minister also held the view that before drawing any conclusion, it is imperative to identify these people at once.

On Transport System

Modi made a comparative study of the BJP government with the previous ones. He argued that in its last three years, the UPA government constructed National Highways spanning an area of 15,000km while the period under his government has witnessed the construction of more than 34,000km National Highways. As far as the construction sector is concerned, Modi claimed that the total number of foreign investment has increased by 75% from 2014-2017. The foreign direct investment in the air transport sector has also registered a growth by 69% in the past three years. Likewise, in the mining sector, there has been an increase by 56%.
The Prime Minister also told that the BJP government is trying to increase the speed of development while creating a large number of job opportunities. He added that the government knows the value of the hard-earned money and thus their policies are aimed at improving the lives of poor and middle class. Moreover, most of the government schemes are launched to empower the poor. What affects them the most is corruption and black money estimated Modi.

– Prepared by Mohima Haque of Newsgram
Twitter: mohimahaque26

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Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women drivers; 7 more bans yet to be addressed for Saudi women

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A woman drives a car in Saudi Arabia, Oct. 22, 2013. VOA

Oct 2, 2017: The Sharia-ruled monarchy of the Middle-East, Saudi Arabia decided to lift the ban on women drivers on September 26, much to the elation of Women’s Rights Activists throughout the world. King Salman issued a royal decree on Tuesday granting Saudi women the right to drive thereby ending the kingdom’s notorious reputation of being the only country that prohibits women from driving. The law will come into effect on June 24, 2018.

While the pronouncement signifies a “positive step” towards women-empowerment, the conclusion of whether such laws can be turned into practice in a patriarchal society like Saudi Arabia can be drawn only with the unfolding of time.

Apart from relaxing the ban on women drivers, the Gulf Kingdom also terminated a series of interdicts forced upon the women. A handful of loosened bans included that women will no longer require approval from their guardian to work.

Another significant statute blessed upon women the freedom to enter the sports stadiums albeit exclusively for the Saudi National Day besides the compulsory edict of being seated only in a family section far away from single men.

The Government has also passed laws allowing girls in public schools to play sports and have access to physical education.

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UN Women political cartoon. Wikimedia

While everyone is busy celebrating women drivers in Saudi Arabia, there is still a myriad of bans inflicted on women. These are:

1. Following the divorce, Saudi women are permitted to keep their children with them only till they reach the age limit of 7years (for girls) and 9years (for boys).

2. Saudi women cannot marry and divorce without the due consent of their male guardian. The male head dominates everything in a Saudi family.

3. The women of Saudi Arabia do not have the permission to get a passport without the prior assent of their male guardian.

Also Read: A step forward: Saudi Women take up active roles in an All female Emergency Call Centre 

4. The approval of the male guardian is also required during any medical emergency. Women cannot take a voluntary decision regarding issues that concern the question of their life and death!

5. Women do not possess the right to socialize with men except for immediate family members. Consequently, all the restaurants and places of public entertainment in Saudi Arabia maintain two sections, one for the men where women cannot enter and the other for families.

6. Under Sharia laws, daughters can inherit property but only half of what is received by their male counterparts.

7. Saudi women cannot even start a work unless two male members testify about her character in a law court before she can be granted a loan or a license.

Prepared by Mohima Haque of Newsgram. Twitter @mohimahaque26