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Modi to become first PM to visit all five Central Asian countries in one go during his upcoming tour

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New Delhi: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi leaves on Monday on an eight-day tour that will take him to the five Central Asian countries of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and to Ufa in Russia where he will attend the BRICS and SCO back-to-back summits.

Modi will he the first Indian prime minister in recent times to visit all five Central Asian countries at one go.

Trade with the resource-rich region, in which China has made major inroads, stands at a paltry $1.6 billion.

Connectivity, especially through the proposed North-South Transport Corridor, will be on top of the talks agenda between Modi and the Central Asian leaders.

India will seek to boost energy cooperation and trade with the five nations, which were part of the erstwhile Soviet Union.

In Ufa, the summit of the five BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — come as the board of governors of the BRICS bank, called the New Development Bank, which will hold its first meet in on Tuesday. The bank’s president is India’s M.V. Kamath.

Writing about the visit on his Facebook page, Modi said his first stop will be Uzbekistan, where he will hold talks with President Islam Karimov and both sides would ink key agreements to strengthen cooperation.

Modi said he would be interacting with Indologists, students learning Hindi and members of the Indian community.

“It was in Tashkent that we lost one of our most popular and respected leaders, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri ji, who ignited our nation with the clarion call of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. I will be paying my tributes to this proud son of India during the visit,” Modi said.

In Kazakhstan, his next stop which he will visit on July 7-8, Modi said he will hold talks with President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Prime Minister, Karim Massimov.

“There will be delegation level talks with President Nazarbayev followed by the signing of documents and a joint press statement,” he said.

Modi said he looks forward to interacting with the youth of Kazakhstan at the Nazarbayev University.

He will also inaugurate the India-Kazakhstan Centre for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology at the L.N. Gumilev Eurasian National University and also join a wreath-laying ceremony and planting of sapling at the Monument of Defenders of Motherland.

Modi will then visit Ufa for the 7th BRICS Summit and SCO Summit.

He expressed hope that the BRICS summit would build on the ground covered during the last summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

“I expect positive outcomes in economic cooperation and cultural ties among the BRICS nations.”

Modi said he will be meeting the leaders – Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma – individually too, apart from at Ufa, and also will be meeting business leaders.

At the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, India is an observer but is hoping to be included as a permanent member.

He flies to Turkmenistan on July 11 — in the first visit by an Indian prime minister since P.V. Narasimha Rao in 1995.

Modi said he will hold talks with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which would be followed by signing of agreements and a meeting with the press.

Areas for boosting ties include tourism, fertilizers, space, science and technology and defence.

“Our bilateral trade is way below its potential and I am confident we can improve it,” Modi said.

He will also inaugurate a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and a Traditional Medicine and Yoga Centre and also lay wreath at the mausoleum of the first president.

His next visit on July 12 would be to Kyrgyzstan, in the first prime ministerial visit in the last 20 years.

Modi would hold talks with President Almazbek Atambaye and also meet Prime Minister Semir Tariyev and Speaker of the Parliament Asylbek Jeenbekov.

India is gifting medical equipment to Kyrgyz Field Hospital.

Modi will inaugurate tele-medicine links, which shall promote medical tourism from Kyrgyzstan to India. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi will also be unveiled.

“I will have the opportunity to visit the Kyrgyz-India Mountain Biomedical Research Centre and join the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Victory Monument in Bishkek,” he said.

On Tajikistan, his last stop, Modi said the last prime ministerial visit from India was by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in November 2003.

He said India and Tajikistan have a strategic partnership and very strong defence cooperation, but economic cooperation has been limited and the scope of growth was immense. Bilateral trade has huge potential.

“My visit will build on the existing strong diplomatic and defence ties and script a fresh chapter in our economic ties. I look forward to meeting President Emomali Rahmon. Key agreements will also be signed after our meeting. I will gifting medicines for the India-Tajikistan Friendship Hospital,” he said.

A statue of Rabindranath Tagore will also be unveiled in Dushanbe. (IANS)

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Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to the poll, around 32 per cent respondents feel that crime against women and children have reduced in the last four years while 58 per cent feel otherwise.

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According to LocalCircles, each person who voted in the survey is registered with the portal with their detailed information and in many cases they shared their residential address.
On the state of the economy, 54 per cent respondents believe that the unemployment rate hasn't reduced in the last four years, while 35 per cent think otherwise., wikimedia commons

The Modi government hasnt scored too well on farmers issues, jobs and prices of essential commodities at the end of its four years in power, according to an online survey that also found a substantial number of people calling its performance “below expectations”.

The survey done by LocalCircles, a community social media platform, says that 43 per cent of those who participated in the poll rated the government as performing below expectations, 29 per cent rated it as meeting them and 28 per cent said the government was “exceeding expectations.

“Most performance parameters (of the government) show a decline over time as the gap between expectations set and impact on daily life rises,” according to the survey done with over 62,000 citizens from over 250 districts across the country. Thirty-five per cent respondents were females.

According to LocalCircles, each person who voted in the survey is registered with the portal with their detailed information and in many cases they shared their residential address.

The respondents have rated the government low on reducing crime against women and children, generating employment, improving farmers life, lowering cost of living and healthcare, the survey says.

However, it has scored well on improving India’s image globally, handling of Pakistan, fighting terrorism, infrastructure development and reducing tax harassment.

According to LocalCircles, each person who voted in the survey is registered with the portal with their detailed information and in many cases they shared their residential address.
43% say performance of Modi govt. is below expectations, IANS

“Around 60 per cent citizens said price of essential commodities and cost of living have not reduced. Only 33 per cent believe that the price of essential commodities have come down in the last four years.”

According to the poll, around 32 per cent respondents feel that crime against women and children have reduced in the last four years while 58 per cent feel otherwise.

In the area of healthcare, only 32 per cent respondents believe that facilities and services have improved in the last four years whereas 62 per cent say no it has not.

On the state of the economy, 54 per cent respondents believe that the unemployment rate hasn’t reduced in the last four years, while 35 per cent think otherwise.

Around 46 per cent respondents believe that doing business in India was now easier while 39 per cent say it is not the case.

The respondents were asked if sufficient new infrastructure development — roads, power, irrigation, broadband — had taken place in the last four years.

“Approximately 65 per cent said yes while 29 per cent said no.”

Around 49 per cent respondents believe that corruption in India has reduced in the last four years while 44 per cent believe it has not reduced.

Asked if they felt India’s image had improved, 82 per cent said yes while 13 per cent said no.

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Respondents were also asked if they approved the way Indian Government had handled the perpetual conflict on the borders and relations with Pakistan in the last four years.

“Around 74 per cent felt it has improved strongly while 24 per cent felt that government’s tactics are not right.”

People were asked if they believed that terrorism and acts of terror against Indians have reduced in the last few years. Around 61 per cent respondents said yes while 35 per cent disagreed.

On the issues of communalism, 50 per cent felt that the government it well in the last few years while 45 per cent no. (IANS)