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Central Asia Tour: Narendra Modi aims better connectivity

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Dushanbe (Tajikistan): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India and Central Asia must reconnect – through surface, digital and air connectivity.

“Today I complete my tour of Central Asia. I return to India convinced that India and Central Asia must reconnect. It is important for the future that we seek for our countries and our region,” the prime minister said.

“So, we will improve our surface connectivity, as well as our digital and air connectivity. We will reach you through Iran and other Central Asian countries,” he said and hoped India and Tajikistan can connect directly, “as we once were in history”.

Modi also assured all cooperation to Tajikistan in the field of agriculture.

In his remarks at the Workshop of Agriculture Cooperation in Dushanbe, Modi said India’s agricultural experiences and solutions would be more relevant to Tajikistan than what more advanced nations may have to offer.

“Nothing will give us more joy than the opportunity to share all that we have with our friends. We would be happy to open the doors of our institutions to your scientists and experts,” he said at the event attended by President Emomali Rahmon.

Modi said India was self-sufficient in food grains and one of the major exporters of farm produce and animal products.

“We are the world’s largest producer of milk, one of the top producers of fruits and vegetables and one of the three leading producers of fisheries. Along the way, we have created a resource base that will be of great value to our friends in Tajikistan,” Modi said, addressing an audience of more than 2,000 people.

He said India has world class institutions of research and training in agriculture, dairy and livestock under every possible climatic condition.

“We have developed farming techniques and farm equipment that are affordable and effective. We have created the most successful cooperative movement in dairy and one of the best dairy processing industries in the world.

“We have good seeds and processing technology and equipment. Some of these might be especially useful for cotton farming. And, we have done well with micro irrigation systems.”

He said India has still a lot of challenges in agriculture, but there were many new initiatives to make farms yield more and farmers more prosperous.

He suggested many ways in which India can help Tajikistan in agriculture.

“We can help in increasing the range of crops you produce and the number of crops you get in a year. Greenhouse cultivation is a process that will be well suited for Tajikistan.”

He proposed that India could collaborate in developing hybrids of cotton and wheat, share the experience in contract farming and developing the dairy industry, including dairy processing plants.

Modi proposed that India could work with Tajikistan in water conservation and micro-irrigation, in improving the health of the farm soil, and also using space technology for better resource management.

“India and Tajikistan are strategic partners. This is one of our closest and most important relationships in the region. Our cooperation in agriculture is central to the shared vision and aspirations of India and Tajikistan,” Modi said.

Modi later unveiled a bust of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in Dushanbe.

President Rahmon said “India’s success is based on following ideals of great thinkers like Rabindranath Tagore”.

(IANS)

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All You Need To Know About The Rafale Deal Controversy

The fiasco that Congress is creating on the Rafale Deal is certainly not fair

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Rafale Deal is very important for both the countries involved i.e. India and France.
Rafale Deal is very important for both the countries involved i.e. India and France.

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Rafale Deal happened between India and France
  • The Rafale Deal is about the Rafale fighter jets
  • The deal is getting into controversies because of the allegations de by the opposition, especially Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2015 made the announcement that India will buy 36 French-manufactured Rafale fighter jets from Dassault, a French aircraft builder and integrator. This came to be known as Rafale Deal.

The Rafale deal of 36 Rafale aircrafts between India and France was called a “win-win partnership” for both the countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi finalised the Rafale Deal during his visit to France in 2015. (FILE PHOTO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi finalised the Rafale Deal during his visit to France in 2015. (FILE PHOTO)

But recently it has come under attack of the Opposition, mainly the Indian National Congress, which has alleged that there have been irregularities in this deal and its proceedings. However, the government has denied and rejected all the charges.

The Rafale Deal is nothing new and was also signed during the time of UPA government. The first time it came to light was during the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee where the original proposal was to buy 126 fighter jets.

After tests and negotiations in 2012, Rafale was considered L-1 bidder and negotiations started which only came to a conclusion as the Rafale Deal in 2015 under Prime Minister Modi’s government.

NDA government has got a better price on the Rafale Deal than the UPA governement.
NDA government has got a better price on the Rafale Deal than the UPA government.

Now the UPA alleging irregularities on NDA government doesn’t seem fair to many because no deal took place under their government. The transfer of technology was a primary issue of concern between the two sides. Dassault Aviation also tried to deny to take the responsibility of quality control of the production of 108 aircraft in India. The Dassault provided for 3 crore man-hours for production of the Rafale jets in India, HAL’s estimate was approximately 3 times higher which resulted in an escalation of costs in the manifold.

Also Read: Make in India: France to set up production centers for Rafale fighters

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France in 2015 helped bring this deal to a final conclusion. The government-to-government deal of 36 jets was to completed as soon as possible.

On costs of the Rafale Deal, NDA government has said that it got better terms than those quoted in the original bid under the UPA government. The total savings are reported to be of more than 1600 million Euros. However, the cost breakdown of Rafale Deal in the original bid under UPA government and in the 36 aircraft in the NDA’s government-to-government deal is not available for the public domain.

The Rafale Deal involves no private party from the side of India. www.worldwide-military.com
The Rafale Deal involves no private party from the side of India. www.worldwide-military.com

Under the current agreement, the  Rafale Deals support the ‘Make In India’ initiative of the Indian Government through the IGA’s Article 12. It states that France will facilitate the implementation of ‘Make In India’. These critical design technologies were already discussed between the two governments in previous meetings. The present Rafale Deal is signed between two sovereign governments and there is no private individual, firm or entity involved in the process from the side of India. The procurement process also does not include any private company or firm from India.

Also Read: IAF’s Rafale Deal with France: India confirms order

The fiasco that Congress is creating on the Rafale Deal is certainly not fair as the NDA government has proved that their deal is better than the one which was undertaken during the UPA government.