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PM Modi arrives in UAE, says Gulf region vital for India

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New Delhi: The importance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE, the first after Indira Gandhi’s in 1981, can be gauged from the Gulf nation’s place in India’s energy security as the sixth largest import-source of crude oil in 2014-15.

640x374xmodi15aug21.jpg.pagespeed.ic.OKMjims54e“The Gulf region is vital for India’s economic, energy and security interests,” Modi told the Khaleej Times in an interview.

Bilateral trade has grown significantly from a level of $180 million in the 1970s to around $60 billion per annum now, making the UAE India’s third-largest trading partner for 2014-15 after China and the US.

Modi’s visit, external affairs ministry sources said, will focus on attracting investment by the United Arab Emirates'(UAE) massive oil-financed sovereign wealth fund that for Abu Dhabi is reported to be worth over $800 billion.

Meanwhile, plunging global crude oil prices that have again dropped below the psychological $50-a-barrel mark this year have forced the UAE government to cut down on subsidies and deregulate petrol and diesel prices last month, resulting in an increase by 24 percent in the price of petrol to $0.58 per litre.

The troubles from falling oil prices indicate that the six-member oil rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which the UAE is a member, is starting to feel the pinch, according to Amit Bhandari, a fellow at the Mumbai-based foreign policy think-tank Gateway House.

“The GCC accounts for just over 16 percent of India’s exports, including discretionary items such as gems and jewellery. Weak GCC economies can hurt Indian exporters and spell trouble for Indian banks,” Bhandari said.

He pointed out that during the 2008 economic crisis, activities such as construction came to a halt in Dubai, rendering thousands of Indian workers jobless.

(IANS)

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Badshah: Indians Don’t Take Rapping Seriously

Sunidhi and Badshah will be judging the second season of the reality show "Dil Hai Hindustani"

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Badshah Says, Indian Don't Take Rapping Seriously
Badshah Says, Indian Don't Take Rapping Seriously, flickr

Rapper and music composer Badshah, who is excited about his new reality show “Dil Hai Hindustani 2”, says that rapping is not taken seriously in India as an art form.

Badshah was interacting with the media at the launch of Star Plus channel’s forthcoming reality show along with singer Sunidhi Chauhan on Monday.

Badshah, who has delivered some chart-busting rap songs like “Chull”, “Saturday Saturday” and most recent “Tareefan” is eager to spread awareness about rap as an art form.

Talking about it, he said: “Rapping along with dance and stand-up comedy is not taken seriously as an art form in India and this misconception should change.”

“That is one of the main reasons why I have chosen to be a judge on the show. But apart from that, I’m here to have fun as well, and have a better connection with the audience,” he added.

Badshah
Badshah, flickr

The rapper is also gearing up to produce Bollywood and Punjabi movies and also launching a web series soon through his production house.

Talking about the future of the digital platform, Badshah said: “I think it (digital media) is the future, so it’s very important for any production house right now to concentrate on digital media.”

Sunidhi and Badshah will be judging the second season of the reality show “Dil Hai Hindustani”, along with Bollywood singer and composer Pritam.

Also read: Malaysian Rapper’s Dog Video Sparks Claim of Insulting Islam

The show, which first aired in January 2017, provides a platform for people from all over the world and of varying age groups to showcase their talent in Indian music. (IANS)