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Anil Ambani announces Rs.5,000 crore new defence investment

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New Delhi: With the recent acquisition of Pipavav Defence, Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani announced on Thursday that an additional investment of Rs.5,000 crore will be made as part of India’s emphasis on “Make in India” for military hardware and cut imports.

He also underscored the need for larger public-private partnerships in the defence domain, and called for pooling of resources so that India becomes self-reliant in protecting its boundaries and cuts reduces its dependence on the global markets.Credits: https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAYQjB1qFQoTCIzhq76038YCFQlwjgodT10DkQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wharton.upenn.edu%2F125anniversaryissue%2Fambani.html&ei=E4OnVcyLCYnguQTPuo2ICQ&bvm=bv.97949915,d.c2E&psig=AFQjCNGMFw6B-S3yAE3is9AJqPKKhaUAbg&ust=1437127716377216

Quoting extensively from the experiences he gained from his late father, the legendary industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani, the Reliance Group chairman said his father’s vision was to meet the aspirations of generations with self reliance, adding that the Make in India initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a major step towards that.

“This initiative of the government redefines the defence ecosystem in India with our Navy in the lead… For a country with one of the longest coastlines in the region and vast expanse of territories over the seas, self reliance in naval capabilities is an ever challenging imperative,” he said.

The Reliance Group chairman said the acquisition of the Pipavav Defence Company in Gujarat with assets worth more than Rs.10,000 crore was his company’s contribution towards self reliance.

“Pipavav has the largest dry dock in the country and the second largest in the world. With more than 30 lakh sq ft of covered area for fabrication and integration alone, this is perhaps the largest single location defence manufacturing facility in India,” he said.

“We will invest an additional Rs.5,000 crore over the next few years as part of our commitment towards indigenisation efforts.”

He said that the Pipavav facility will be capable to deliver “all requirements of the Indian Navy from frigates to aircraft carriers to submarines”.

Russia, meanwhile, has chosen Pipav as a partner to build three updated versions of Talwar-class frigates, likely to be the biggest-ever warship-building project for private sector in India worth around $3-$3.5 crore.

Ambani said self reliance in defence is also needed so that India does not have to compromise on its foreign policy.

“Large part of our Defence inventory have dependency on global relations. This creates limitations and sub-serves our foreign policy. Self-reliance gives us the flexibility to pursue our foreign policy objectives,” he said.

He said since the sole consumer for domestic defence hardware was the government, “specific measures towards ease of doing business will encourage industry participation”. Accordingly, he suggested an advisory committee with chief executives from public and private sectors to meet regulary to “align and converge the understanding and aspirations of all stakeholders”.

“There is need to institutionalise private sector participation not only for indigenisation but the entire spectrum of defence production through groups comprising Private Sector companies and PSUs at MoD to pool resources,” he said also suggesting a separate joint secretary in the defence ministry for the private sector.

“Today, in the ministry of Defence we have joint secretaries responsible for different public sector undertakings. I believe there is a case for a joint secretary exclusively to engage at the business level with the private sector,” he said.

Ambani also expressed hope that the updated defence procurement procedure (DPP) will help “in ease of doing business with MoD… Transparent, fair procedures and processes creates a favourable climate, encourage competitiveness and eventually deliver the best overall value for the country,” he said.

Another suggestion from the industrialist was to introduce courses at IITs, IIMs and other higher learning institution related to the requirements of the defence industry.

(IANS)

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Know How Grammy Award Winner Inspired by PM Modi to Dedicate Music to Environment

From songs like "Ganga" - depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians - to his Grammy-winning album "Winds of Samara" - which speaks of peace and global harmony

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grammy award winner, modi
"What was to be a photo opportunity with the Prime Minister turned into an hour-long discussion with him on environment. He spoke on the impact music could have on society and inspired me to make music on environment," Kej told IANS in an interview here. Wikimedia

A chance meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2015 in New Delhi inspired Bengaluru-based Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej to dedicate his life and music to the cause of environment.

Since then, Kej, who has represented India on global fora, performing at venues including the United Nations General Assembly in New York and UN Headquarters in Geneva, has been using music to flag ecological issues to policymakers and public the world over.

“What was to be a photo opportunity with the Prime Minister turned into an hour-long discussion with him on environment. He spoke on the impact music could have on society and inspired me to make music on environment,” Kej told IANS in an interview here.

From songs like “Ganga” – depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians – to his Grammy-winning album “Winds of Samara” – which speaks of peace and global harmony – Kej’s music connects with all — from world leaders to the man on the street.

With the aid of compelling visuals, Kej’s music, and collaborations with global music artists, highlights the deleterious consequences of urbanisation, climate change and human-animal conflict.

modi, grammy award winner
From songs like “Ganga” – depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians – to his Grammy-winning album “Winds of Samara” – which speaks of peace and global harmony – Kej’s music connects with all — from world leaders to the man on the street. Wikimedia

“There are so many issues in India like child labour, gender inequality and poverty, which none seem to be reflecting through music. We see that music has lost the identity of being an art form and has become a profession,” he lamented.

Kej, 37, bagged Grammy in 2015 for the ‘Best New Age Album’ for “Winds of Samsara”, created along with South African flautist Wouter Kellerman. He is also recognised as the ‘United Nations Global Humanitarian Artist’ for his music with environmental consciousness.

The subjects of Kej’s music include, the rising air pollution in global cities and towns, the perils being posed to wildlife due to urbanisation and the story of Republic of Kiribati, an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean off Fiji, whose coasts are receding each year due to rising ocean levels due to global warming, among others.

With 15 studio albums released internationally, 3,500 commercials, three feature films in Kannada and over 100 music awards in 20 countries to his credit, the conservationist-musician’s album “Shanti Samsara” was released by Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the United Nations Conference of Parties (CoP-21) Climate Change Conference in Paris, held from November 30-December 12, 2015.

The album, conceived after his meeting with Modi, had Kej collaborate with about 500 musicians from 40 countries, for songs like “Ganga”, throwing light on the pollution plaguing the river, and on “Earth and Water”.

“Politicians and policymakers are used to statistics and numbers, but when one approaches them through art, it makes a lot of difference. I have seen politicians change their perspectives towards environmental causes after attending my concerts,” Kej asserted.

The element of environment and nature in his work comes from his own experiences. For instance, he composed the song “One With Earth” – which highlights natural farming and the need to give up chemical fertilisers – after he lived with the tribals in Andhra Pradesh’s Araku Valley to understand their lifestyle and traditional farming techniques.

Grammy award winner, modi
“There are so many issues in India like child labour, gender inequality and poverty, which none seem to be reflecting through music. We see that music has lost the identity of being an art form and has become a profession,” he lamented. Wikimedia

Born in 1981 in North Carolina in the US, Kej moved to Bengaluru with family when he was eight, with intense love for music and nature.

“As a child, I felt music and nature were connected and found music in the sounds of nature, birds and animals. I used to look at music as a way of understanding history, cultures and emotions from different parts of the world. A lot of my education was through music,” said Kej, who was part of a rock band “Angel Dust” during his class 12th from Bishop Cotton Boys’ School in Bengaluru.

Even as Kej pursued a dental science course on his father’s advice, he continued to create music and decided to pursue it full-time on completing the degree.

“Like most musicians, I started my career with popular music and later turned to heavy metal and jazz. I finally zeroed in on world music as it connects with the people the world over, irrespective of the language they speak,” Kej recalled.

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As a professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in the renowned Indian Institute of Science (IISc) campus in this tech hub, the musician believes his job is to approach environmental subjects artistically.

“Numbers don’t hit people as hard as visuals and art can. My job as a musician is to drive the numbers and data through emotions,” Kej added. (IANS)