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UP to declare policies for defence manufacturing, startups


Agra: New policies for defence manufacturing and startups will be soon announced by the Uttar Pradesh government, an official said on Tuesday.

At a session in the Taj city on the second day of the ‘UP Pravasi Diwas’, principal secretary for infrastructure and industrial development Mahesh Gupta said the state government had over the last three years maintained a sharp focus on all critical factors that catalyse industrial development.

He said the government would shortly introduce new policies on defence manufacturing and startups.

Among other key initiatives, the government is working to ensure total self-sufficiency in power by December 2017, he said.

“The UP government is not only developing new growth centres but has also taken key steps to revive traditional industrial centres like the development of the Trans-Ganga City, Saraswati Hi-tech City, and Plastic City in Auriya and IT City in Lucknow,” he told the gathering of PIOs and NRIs.

The official also said that while investors have always expressed keen interest in cities like Lucknow and Noida, there was a growing interest among investors to also foray into the eastern, central and Bundelkhand regions of the state after the Mumbai Investment Conclave last year.

PK Gupta, chairman of Cafe Buddy Foods Pvt Ltd, said food processing holds immense potential in Uttar Pradesh and investors would increasingly view the state as a major hub for food processing business.

Hari Om Rai, chairman and managing director of Lava International Ltd., said India was emerging as a key destination for low-end manufacturing, and within the country, Uttar Pradesh could be one of the preferred destinations.

Ashok K Chauhan, founder president of the Amity Group, spoke about the need for greater awareness and efforts for skill development.

He said vocational training must be customised to serve the real needs of the industry and that industry must proactively participate in the development of appropriate training modules and courses.

He urged the industry to create more opportunities for apprenticeship and added that lab facilities in engineering colleges could also be better utilised after college hours to train unskilled people.(IANS)

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New policies, portals for NRIs to be launched in Uttar Pradesh


Agra: In order to safeguard the relations with 25 million Indian diasporas, Uttar Pradesh government will soon make policies and schemes for them, state minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia said on Tuesday.

On the penultimate day of the maiden ‘UP Pravasi Diwas’ underway here, the minister, who was in charge of the event said, “immediate and serious engagement with the NRIs was imperative to bring in investment, create business opportunities and guide India’s workforce.”

On initiatives of the Uttar Pradesh government, Sanjiv Sharan, principal secretary in the NRI department, talked about the newly formed department that would focus on solving grievances of NRIs and helping investors in the state.

A coffee table book was also being conceptualised for promoting the policies and familiarising NRIs with progress and opportunities in the state, he added.

Saran said the department would launch a new portal for NRIs to facilitate and resolve their issues.

FICCI secretary general A Didar Singh spoke about the importance of connecting the Indian diaspora both emotionally and through technology.
“Technology like creating forums for solving issues related to business establishments and showcasing the ease of doing business in the state would not only encourage investment opportunities but also connect the NRIs back to their roots,” he said.

Congratulating the Uttar Pradesh government for the great initiative of engaging NRIs with their roots, Charu Mathur, CEO of Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre at the ministry of overseas Indian affairs, focused on the joint responsibly of both state and the Centre to give a pleasant experience to the NRIs in their business ventures in India.(IANS)

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UP government to involve Girmitiyas for development works


Agra: The UP government will soon be involving with ‘Girmitiyas’ for social and economic development of the state.

Notably, Girmitiyas were the labourers from Uttar Pradesh who were taken to Fiji to work on sugarcane plantations during 1833-1916.

The move by the UP government was taken on the second day of the UP Pravasi Diwas being held in the Taj city of Agra.

Basdeo Panday, former prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, narrated a captivating short story of a small but priceless piece of land that belonged to his great grandmother and was inherited by him, as a reminder of the Girmitiyas’ struggle on foreign soil.

That land of 16 acres, he said, reminded him of his Indian roots and his connection with the Girmitiyas.

To honour those women Girmitiyas, who played a major role in keeping the Indian culture still alive, Panday said he took the initiative to promote education of girl child.

J Goburdhun, high commissioner of Mauritius to India, said connecting the non-resident Indians with their motherland was very necessary, adding that there was so much to learn from the ancient technologies like usage of cow products in farming and cooking at that time was ripe to start the reconnect with the Indian diaspora.

He said people in India should be encouraged to use zero budget natural farming ways to grow better and sustainable crops.

He also presented the delegates on stage with books related to scientific yet natural ways of farming.

Goburdhun’s connection with his motherland was evident from his interest to promote Bhojpuri language.

Rajindre Tewari, country president, Global Organisation of People of Indian-Origin (GOPIO), The Netherlands, while speaking on the occasion strongly supported the Uttar Pradesh government’s initiatives like issuing NRI cards and conducting cultural exchange programmes to connect NRIs with their roots.

Kapil Kumar, director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Freedom Struggle Studies and chairperson, Faculty of History, School of Social Sciences, IGNOU, New Delhi, narrated the story of Trinidad’s Temple in the Sea — a marvellous story of a Girmitiya named Sewdass Sadhu who withstood tides, breezes and slavery to construct a monument that stands as a symbol of undying human spirit.

Kumar proposed a few policies to the Uttar Pradesh government for the betterment of the descendants of Girmitiyas.

He asked the government to recognise the children of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) studying in Indian institutes as Indians and treat them equally in terms of fee structure and other facilities.

He also asked to include a chapter on Girmitiyas in the school textbooks of Uttar Pradesh and to increase the number of direct flights from India to Fiji and Caribbean.

Sanjiv Saran, principal secretary, NRI Department, on the occasion said it was indeed an honour for Uttar Pradesh Pravasi Diwas to conduct a session on Girmitiyas who are actually the crusaders of Indian culture and tradition. (IANS)

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Royal welcome for Indian diaspora at UP Pravasi Diwas


Agra: Around 250-odd members of the Indian diaspora received a warm welcome by the Uttar Pradesh government in the Taj city on Monday as the maiden ‘UP Pravasi Diwas’ took off to an impressive start.

Addressing the NRIs and PIOs, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the meet was a beginning of a never-ending dialogue between them and the state government assured them of all help.

He said that the whole idea behind the UP Pravasi Diwas was to reconnect the diaspora with their roots in the state and work on a common and meaningful dialogue of development of the state. “I am overjoyed to see such large number of NRIs here and must admit that the gathering has exceeded my expectation,” he added.

Announcing that the event would now be an annual affair, Akhilesh Yadav said that only the venues will change and would rotate among the major cities of the state. “We are here not only to welcome you in the Taj city but also to make you partners as the state endeavours to get its rightful place in the country,” he added to a round of applause.

Earlier, Prisons Minister Balwant Singh Ramuwalia, who coordinated the NRI Diwas, heaped praise on Akhilesh Yadav, saying that it was for the first time that a Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh had thought about the descendants of people who lived in the state many centuries ago.

Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan detailed on various infrastructure and development projects undertaken by the state government and said that the state was undergoing a never before turnaround.

Later 16 eminent people with roots in Uttar Pradesh and now living abroad were given the ‘UP Ratna’ awards by the chief minister and his wife, Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav while 13 MoUs were also signed at the event. Also, present during the event, among others, were members of Bollywood that included film directors Sudhir Mishra, Muzaffar Ali, veteran actor Sanjay Khan and Zayed Khan.

Over the next two days, the NRIs and state ministers and officials would interact in order to have a composite dialogue on how and in which sectors, investment can be explored, said Principal Secretary (NRI) Sanjeev Saran.(IANS)