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Over hundred eminent business persons and entrepreneurs attended the event. These businessman and entrepreneurs are working in different sectors of economy in the US–Midwest, besides senior officials of the State of Illinois, World Business Chicago, Sister City International, Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO), The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, US-India Business Council (USIBC), US-India Chamber of Commerce and the Kellogg School of Management.
The main speakers at the event were Dr Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India; Mr Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, State of Illinois; Ms Amy Hariani, Director & Legal Policy Counsel, US-India Business Council, Mr Kishen Kavikondala, President, SK International, Mr Tom L Kelly, Director of Government Affairs, Clark Hill PLC, Ms Poonam Gupta-Krishnan, Founder of Iyka Enterprises and Mr Brad Perine, Vice President of Marketing, Esayfe.
Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed made a power presentation on “Make in India Week”. Through which he highlighted the robust health of Indian economy. He pointed out that IMF in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) sees India as the world’s fastest growing economy in 2016-17 with GDP growth of 7.5%. India continues to be the
India has maintained its status as the Top Global Destination for FDI with 32% of investors termed India as the Most Attractive Market last year while other 60% placing it among the top 3 investment destinations.
He mentioned that investors consider India as one of the most open economies in the world allowing 100% FDI in most of the sectors of its economy.
He talked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of, ”Reform to Transform” which aims to make India the easiest and simplest place to do business by eliminating paperwork and easing out old cumbersome procedures.
The Consul General said that ”Make in India” is the premier initiative of Indian Government. It targets at transforming the Indian economy from the services-driven growth to intensive manufacturing driven growth. It will not only increase productivity but also will promote India as an international manufacturing hub.
He talked about the 30 key economic sectors where MNCs can set up the manufacturing base in India. He added that India’s manufacturing sector offers one trillion US dollars of economic opportunity.
He specifically mentioned the synergy between Indian states and those in the US Midwest. He said this synergy could be utilized to boost the manufacturing sectors in both countries. A promotional film on “Make in India” was also shown as part of the presentation.
Mr Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer of the State of Illinois, asserted that Illinois is one of most important business partners of India. He said Illinois is the leader in the field education, global connection, and innovative ecosystem and it has a desire to collaborate with India in the initiative of developing the smart cities. He cited his recent useful interactions with high-level trade missions who had come from high Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Ms Amy Hariani, Director and Legal Policy Counsel, US-India Business Council (USIBC) commended Modi government. He said that the government made constant progress to deliver on its election promises of economic reforms.
He said the allowing FDI in several sector more freely, removal of red tape, the arrival of transparent tax environment and the intellectual property regime’s improvement have sent the message to all the investors that India is ready and open for serious business.
He said these efforts are also visible in India’s rise in the World Bank’s, ”Ease of Doing Business Index”. She added the US enterprises are also committed to the ”Make In India” program in many areas such as defense, health, power generation, media, entertainment, and technology and there is potential to do more.
Mr Tom Kelly, Director of Government Affairs in Clark Hill’s Washington DC office and Mr Kishen Kavikondala, President SK International held a joint presentation focused on introducing the American skilled training model to the Indian students.
Ms Poonam Gupta, Founder, and CEO of Iyka Enterprises, Inc, gave a presentation on simplifying technology for the manufacturing industry and customizable data management solutions to a specific, targeted market.
Mr Brad Perine, Vice President of Marketing of M/S Esayfe gave a presentation on software security applications to protect and secure sensitive data, while expressing their company’s interest in supporting the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
The Consulate General of India, Chicago has since mobilized four major business delegations — one each from the States of Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri to participate in “Make in India Week”, scheduled in Mumbai from February 13-18, 2016.
Japan has successfully launched a new navigation satellite into orbit that will replace its decade-old navigation satellite.
The satellite, QZS-1R, was launched onboard an H-2A rocket that lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 10.19 p.m. on Monday night, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said in a statement.
The company builds and operates H-2A rockets the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
QZS-1R is a replacement for Quasi-Zenith Satellite System 1 satellite first launched in 2010. “It was a really beautiful launch," the company said in a tweet after a successful lift-off.
"H-IIA F44 flight proceeded nominally. Approximately 28 minutes 6 seconds after launch, as planned, the payload separated from the launch vehicle," the statement said.
The official QZSS website lists four satellites in the constellation: QZS-1, QZS-2, QZS-3 and QZS-4, Space.com reported.
The QZSS constellation will eventually consist of a total of seven satellites that fly in an orbit passing through a near-zenith (or directly overhead) above Japan, and QZS-R1 is meant to share nearly the same transmission signals as recent GPS satellites, according to JAXA.
It is specially optimised for mountainous and urban regions in Japan, JAXA said.
Mitsubishi's H-2A 202 rocket launch system has been operational since 2003 and has sent satellites to locations such as Venus (Akatsuki) and Mars (Emirates Mars Mission).
The latest H2-A rocket launch is the first since November 29, 2020, when Japan launched an advanced relay satellite with laser communications tech into orbit, the report said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Science, Space Satellite, Communications, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, satellite QZS-1R
Everyone loves firecrackers, even the most environment-friendly advocates cannot hide their joy when they see these delightful lights colour the skies. India celebrates Diwali in the true spirit of her culture and heritage by spraying the navy-blue skies with sparkling hues of gold, silver, red, and green. Firecrackers are not just a tradition in this country, they are a legacy.
The original connotation one makes with fireworks in China. The elaborate Chinese celebrations with dragons and zapping firecrackers have left their mark in human memory, but the use of fireworks is not limited to heralding the Chinese New Year. All over the world, fireworks have come to symbolise the ultimate celebration. During Diwali in India, this spirit is re-ignited every year.
Indians have known the use of gunpowder for many centuries now. Sanskrit texts name a substance called 'agnichura' which is described as a 'powder that creates fire'. This is believed to be saltpetre.
A single firecracker ablaze Photo by Unsplash
Sometime during the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire, and the Adil Shah Dynasty in South India, the use of the Chinese pyrotechnic formulae became extensively common in entertaining the royals. Weddings, Festivals, and other special celebrations in the palace were marked with a spectacular display of fireworks.
Between the 1920s and 1940s, the dynamics of fireworks changed in India. Ayya Nadar and Shanmuga Nadar, from Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi who migrated to Kolkata, set up a fireworks factory there. It began as a match factory, but after receiving the required permission, it was converted into a fireworks unit. Within a few years, another factory was set up in Sivakasi. Before long, multiple units were set up there, and today, it is India's fireworks hub. Most of the crackers that are used during Diwali come from Sivakasi.
Recently, environmental concerns have caused the ban of fireworks as it causes air pollution. The sale of crackers has reduced drastically after this new law. During the lockdown, the factory labourers underwent great losses, especially in Sivakasi. But keeping the spirit of Diwali in mind. crackers cannot be entirely done away with, and continue to light up the skies at least for a few hours every year.
Keywords: Diwali festival, Fireworks, Sivakasi, the Vijayanagar Empire, culture and heritage in India.
PARIS — In a decision with potential ramifications across European museums, France is displaying 26 looted colonial-era artifacts for one last time before returning them home to Benin.
The wooden anthropomorphic statues, royal thrones and sacred altars were pilfered by the French army in the 19th century from Western Africa.
President Emmanuel Macron suggested that France now needed to right the wrongs of the past, making a landmark speech in 2017 in which he said he can no longer accept "that a large part of many African countries' cultural heritage lies in France." It laid down a roadmap for the controversial return of the royal treasures taken during the era of empire and colony. The French will have a final glimpse of the objects in the Musée du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac from 26-31 October.
French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot tried to assuage jitters among European museums, emphasizing that this initiative "will not create a legal precedent."
A royal seat of the 'Royal treasures of Abomey kingdom' (Œuvres des tresors royaux d'Abomey) on display at the Musee du quai Branly in Paris, Sept. 10, 2021. Photo Credit: VOA
A French law was passed last year to allow the restitution of the statues to the Republic of Benin, as well as a storied sword to the Army Museum in Senegal.
But she said that the French government's law was intentionally specific in applying solely to the 27 artifacts. "[It] does not establish any general right to restitution" and "in no way calls into question" the right of French museums to hold on to their heritage.
Yet critics of such moves — including London's British Museum that is in a decades-long tug-of-war with the Greek government over a restitution of the Elgin Marbles — argue that it will open the floodgates to emptying Western museums of their collections. Many are made up of objects acquired, or stolen, during colonial times. French museums alone hold at least 90,000 artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa.
A woman looks at the Parthenon Marbles, a collection of stone objects, inscriptions and sculptures. Photo Credit: VOA
The story of the "Abomey Treasures" is as dramatic as their sculpted forms. In November 1892, Colonel Alfred Dodds led a pilfering French expeditionary force into the Kingdom of Danhomè located in the south of present-day Benin. The colonizing troops broke into the Abomey Palace, home of King Behanzin, seizing as they did many royal objects including the 26 artifacts that Dodds donated to the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro in Paris in the 1890s. Since 2003, the objects have been housed at the Musée du quai Branly–Jacques Chirac.
One hundred and twenty-nine years later, their far-flung journey abroad will finally end.
Benin's Culture Minister Jean-Michel Abimbola called the return of the works, a "historic milestone," and the beginning of further cooperation between the two countries, during a news conference last week. The country is founding a museum in Abomey to house the treasures that will be partly funded by the French government. The French Development Agency will give some 35 million euros toward the "Museum of the Saga of the Amazonians and the Dan home Kings" under a pledge signed this year.
The official transfer of the 26 pieces is expected to be signed in Paris on Nov. 9 in the presence of Macron and the art is expected to be in Benin a few days later, Abimbola said.
While locals say the decision is overdue, what's important is that the art will be returned.
"It was a vacuum created among Benin's historical treasures, which is gradually being reconstituted," said Fortune Sossa, President of the African Cultural Journalists Network. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Benin art, Emmanuel Macron, European museums, Abomey Treasures, anthropomorphic statues