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Mexico can learn about dealing with diaspora from India: Claudia Ruiz-Massieu Salinas

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Mexico
Photo: @MEAIndia

New Delhi: Among the things Mexico can learn from India is dealing with the diaspora, the Latin American country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruiz-Massieu Salinas said on Friday.

“India has the largest diaspora at 16 million. Mexico has the second largest at 12 million,” Salinas, who arrived here on Friday on a two-day visit, said while delivering the 22nd Sapru House Lecture.

“India has a long tradition of recognizing the value of its diaspora abroad for public diplomacy,” she said.

In this connection, she also referred to the merger of the ministry of overseas Indian affairs with the ministry of external affairs.

On India-Mexico relations, she said that both countries shared a vision of the future and their place as a regional power and economic hubs.

“Back home we call it ‘Moving Mexico’. Here you call it ‘Make in India’,” Salinas said.

“Surprisingly, there are a lot of similarities and they run in parallel directions. One pillar of ‘Make in India’ is to attract and facilitating investments. In Mexico, we are trying to increase productivity and investments.”

She said “Make in India” was also aimed at training and creating jobs for students.

“In Mexico, we accomplished an ambitious education reform that is focusing not only on ensuring that all Mexicans, all children and young people have access to education but to quality education,” the minister said.

“We are focusing on permanent training of our teachers and giving our students the skills and abilities to become global citizens and to compete in a highly integrated and interconnected world.”

Salinas said while an integral part of “Make in India” was business facilitation for economic competitiveness, it was fiscal and financial reforms for “Moving Mexico”.

“An important objective of “Make in India” is to remove absolute limits to foreign direct investments. In Mexico, we have energy reforms, telecom reforms,” she said.

While India was planning to build 100 smart cities and provide affordable housing, Mexico was creating special economic zones.

“Mexico is a natural bridge for India to dive into one of the most dynamic regions worldwide,” the minister said.

“Our network of free trade agreements and strategic make us an entry way to North America and Latin America.”

Salinas lamented that trade between Mexico and India has only grown 19 percent in the last decade.

“Two G20 economies with the size of Mexico and India should increase trading figures,” she said.

Mexico is the 13th largest country and at $1 trillion is the 15th largest economy in the world.

“We have to work together and explore new opportunities to deepen our economic and trade exchange,” the Mexican minister said, adding that manufacturing and pharmaceuticals were among such areas.

She said that Mexico was India’s second largest Latin American investor.

“In Latin America, Mexico is the second destination for India in foreign direct investments. However, we acknowledge that the approximately 170 Indian firms, mainly from the automotive, pharmaceuticals and the IT sectors are established in Mexico,” Salinas said, adding that India was home to 11 Mexican firms from various sectors.

She mentioned automotive, mining, information technology, technology as sectors, Indian companies can invest in Mexico.

Earlier on Friday, after her arrival, Salinas called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

She is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday.(IANS)

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A Clean Ganga Not Possible Without Continuous Flow: Green

Bandyopadhayay stressed that the future of the Ganga, as well as that of its tributaries, depends on how quickly the transformation is made

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The Holy River Ganga in Haridwar, Source: Pixabay

By Bappaditya Chatterjee

The Centre’s efforts to rejuvenate the Hindu holy river have failed to impress environmentalists, who feel a clean Ganga will remain a distant dream due to the Modi government’s failure to ensure the continuous flow of the river.

“Nothing has been done for ensuring a continuous flow of the river and also for its rejuvenation by the Narendra Modi government. Continuity is of supreme importance as the holy river has been admitted in the Intensive Care Unit for many years. But the Centre is trying to treat its teeth,” said Magsaysay awardee and a member of the erstwhile National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), Rajendra Singh.

Spending crores of rupees for beautification of ghats has been “wastage of the public exchequer” because “without ensuring a continuous flow, clean Ganga will continue to remain a distant dream”, said Rajendra Singh, who goes by the sobriquet “Waterman of India”.

 

Ganga, travel
River Ganga is one of the holiest rivers in India. Pixabay

Soon after assuming office, the Modi government rolled out its flagship “Namami Gange” mission at an estimated budget Rs 20,000 crore to clean and protect the Ganga.

 

Under Namami Gange, 254 projects worth Rs 24,672 crore have been sanctioned for various activities such as construction of sewage infrastructure, ghats, development of crematoria, river front development, river surface cleaning, institutional development, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, rural sanitation and public participation.

According to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, 131 projects out of 254 were sanctioned for creating 3,076 MLD (million litre per day) new sewage treatment plants (STPs), rehabilitating 887 MLD of existing STPs and laying 4,942 km of sewer lines for battling pollution in the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.

 

River Ganga is one of the holiest, yet the most polluted river.
River Ganga is also the most polluted river.

Till November-end of the 2018-19 fiscal, the National Mission for Clean Ganga released Rs 1,532.59 crore to the states and the Central Public Sector Undertakings for implementing the programme and meeting establishment expenditure.

Rajendra Singh said: “Ganga wants freedom today. There is no need for any barrage or dam. We want building of dams and any constructions on the river be stopped.”

 

Echoing Singh, another member of the now dissolved NGRBA, K.J. Nath, said the flow of the river had been obstructed at many locations and its own space (flood plains) encroached upon at multiple places in the name of riverfront development.

However, Jayanta Bandyopadhayay, a former Professor of IIM-Calcutta and presently Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, said the success or otherwise of initiatives and projects of any government in cleaning the Ganga cannot be judged in a five-year time frame.

Also Read: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates Bogibeel Bridge Over Brahmaputra River

Managing a river like the Ganga, the lifeline of a very large number of people, is socio-technically a very complex issue and should be addressed with deep interdisciplinary knowledge, he added.

Bandyopadhayay stressed that the future of the Ganga, as well as that of its tributaries, depends on how quickly the transformation is made from the one dimensional perspective of rivers by engineers, political leaders, policymakers and others to a multidimensional and interdisciplinary one. (IANS)