Sunday February 18, 2018
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Modi, Merkel seek to bolster bilateral ties

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Bengaluru: With Indian and German companies signing five agreements and automotive giant Bosch announcing Rs.650 crore investments in India on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel aimed at providing a new direction to bilateral ties by strengthening economic and business links.

Modi exhorted German industry to invest and ‘Make in India’ for a growing domestic market and huge export markets the world over, while Merkel exuded great confidence that ties would see a quantum leap.

Flagging the opportunities, ranging from building 50 million houses to setting up 100 smart cities, Modi said German investors and companies could also explore modernisation of the vast state-run railway network and stations to setting up of new railway corridors.

“Generation of 175 giga-watt of renewable energy to construction of transmission and distribution networks, national highways, bridges, and metro rails are among the investment opportunities beckoning the robust German industry,”  Modi said.

Digital India, Skill India and Startup campaigns were showcased to the high profile business delegation accompanying Merkel, who began a three-day official visit Sunday night.

Indian and German companies signed five agreements on smart mobile urban solutions, Software Defined Radios, development of solar projects, skills development in electrical semi conductors and collaboration in machine tools on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Bosch Ltd announced that Rs.650 crore would be invested in India for developing its innovation network when Modi and Merkel visited its establishment here.

At the Indo-German summit themed “Digitizing Tomorrow Together”, Modi assured global investors on the ease of doing business in India and addressed taxation concerns which many of them have.

Modi assured India would not resort to retrospective taxation, noting it had not levied minimum alternative tax (MAT) on foreign portfolio investors and deferred implementing the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) by two more years.

He said they were hopeful of rolling out the Goods and Services Tax Bill from April 2016, and also announced a new bankruptcy code to hasten the pace of liquidation in stress cases.

“We are working on a new bankruptcy code and a company law tribunal will be set up to improve ease of doing business in India with a transparent and predictable tax regime,” Modi said

Stressing that the government had no business to be in business, he said the country was committed to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) of all innovators and entrepreneurs.

In her address at the summit, Merkel said here country is interested in partnering with India in skill development, railways, infrastructure, energy, mobility and training.

“India needs highly skilled jobs and Germany needs highly skilled labour. In the framework of Skill India we need business links, science links and political links” she said.

Terming India as the silicon valley of Asia, she said 170 German companies are operating in Bengaluru and nearly 1,600 companies all over India, some of which are older than 100 years.

Merkel also highlighted that Indo-German bilateral trade reached up to 60 billion Euros and with a business volume of 10 billion Euros through German companies in India, Germany has become an important investor.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Empowering The Nation Through ‘Digital India Project’

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The digital india project includes several projects which will focus on better governance, knowledge. Wikimedia Commons
The digital india project includes several projects which will focus on better governance, knowledge. Wikimedia Commons
  • Digital India Project will boost the development process and will help the citizens to engage themselves in a hassle-free way
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital Media program to push the use of technology
  • The Ministry of Tourism has taken up the initiative of implementatingTourist Visa on Arrival enabled with Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)

Digital India initiative has been launched by the government of India to increase digital connectivity and make governance more transparent. The initiative includes several projects which will focus on better governance, knowledge and universal phone connectivity across the country. Under the digital program, the government plans to introduce Public Internet Access Program, Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity and much more. These all platforms will boost the development process and will help the citizens to engage themselves in a hassle-free way.

Also Read: Section 377: Does It Really Has Anything To Do With Indian Culture?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital Media program to push the use of technology to connect and empower people in areas relating to health, education, labour and employment, commerce, etc. The governance is shifting from e-governance to m-governance where “M” stands for mobile governance. The initiative is to bring big investments in the technology sector and this will further help in creating a participative, transparent and responsive government.

The governance is shifting from e-governance to m-governance where “M” stands for mobile governance. Wikimedia Commons
The governance is shifting from e-governance to m-governance where “M” stands for mobile governance. Wikimedia Commons

Here are some key initiatives which form a part of Digital India week:

  1. SWATCH BHAARAT app

The Swachhta Abhiyan is an initiative by the government for informing the citizens of sanitation and hygiene. The program has turned into a national campaign with citizens becoming active participants in cleanliness drive across the nation.

The dream of Mahatma Gandhi of a ‘Clean India’ is being realized with millions of people across the country joining the cleanliness initiatives of the government departments to make India clean as a part of this ‘Jan Andolan’.

The Swachhta Abhiyan is an initiative by the government for informing the citizens of sanitation and hygiene. Wikimedia Commons
The Swachhta Abhiyan is an initiative by the government for informing the citizens of sanitation and hygiene. Wikimedia Commons

Website: https://swachhbharat.mygov.in/

  1. PRADHAN MANTRI JAN-DHAN YOJANA (PMJDY)

Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana is a financial inclusion plan comprising an integrated approach to bind all the financial transactions of all the citizens. The plan contemplates universal access to banking facilities at least one basic banking account in every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension facility.

The scheme proposes of channelling all Government benefits (from Centre / State / Local Body) to the beneficiaries’ accounts and pushing the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme of the Union Government.

Website: http://pmjdy.gov.in/

3. GOODS AND SERVICE TAX NETWORK (GSTN)

The GST System Project is a remarkable and complex IT initiative. It is for the first time that a uniform interface is established for the taxpayer and a common and shared IT infrastructure between the Centre and States.

Also Read: 10 Famous Indian Scientists Who Made The Difference

The platform is a trusted National Information Utility (NIU) that will help in achieving a reliable and efficient IT backbone for the smooth functioning of the Goods & Services Tax system. It enables economic agents to leverage the entire nation as one market with minimal indirect tax compliance cost.

Website: h ttp://www.gstn.org/index.php

4. FARMER PORTAL

The Farmer Portal provides all the relevant information and services to the farming community and private sector through information and communication technologies. It will help in supplementing the existing delivery channels provided for by the department.

The Farmer Portal provides all the relevant information and services to the farming community and private sector. Wikimedia Commons
The Farmer Portal provides all the relevant information and services to the farming community and private sector. Wikimedia Commons

Farmers’ Portal is an initiative to create a one-stop window for meeting all informational needs relating to Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries sectors production, sale/storage of an Indian farmer.

With this, Indian Farmer will not be required to scuffle through different websites for any information.

Website: http://farmer.gov.in/

5. eVISA

The Ministry of Tourism has taken up the initiative of implementatingTourist Visa on Arrival enabled with Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). It strongly backed by Ministry of Home Affairs,  Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation for implementing this programme.

Also Read: Kalpana Chawala: The Woman Who Made The Difference

The e-Tourist Visa enables the foreign visitor to apply for an Indian Visa from his/her home country without visiting the Indian embassy and can also pay the visa fee online.

Website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

6. DIGITIZE INDIA

Digitize India is an initiative under the Digital India Program of the Government of India. Digitize India Platform will provide digitization of services of all the scanned document or physical documents for any official work.

The focus is to digitalize all the existing data which are in different formats into data extracts for document management

Website: https://digitizeindia.gov.in/

7. DIGITAL AIIMS

Through Digital AIIMS program, every Patient visiting AIIMS will be given a Digital Identity by the Unique Health Identification Number and it will be generated on an Aadhar platform.

Through Digital AIIMS program, every Patient visiting AIIMS will be given a Digital Identity. Wikimedia Commons
Through Digital AIIMS program, every Patient visiting AIIMS will be given a Digital Identity. Wikimedia Commons

The project was initiated in January 2015 with the creation of an effective linkage between AIIMS, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY).

Website.http://ehospital.nic.in/ehospital/

8. DIGILOCKER

Targeted at the idea of paperless governance, DigiLocker is the flagship program of the Indian Government. The initiative aimed at transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

DigiLocker runs parallel with Digital India’s vision, where every citizen of the country will be provided with a private space on a public cloud and making all documents/certificates available in this space.

Through this platform, issuance and verification of documents will be done in a manner, thus eliminating the requirement of any physical documents.

Website.https://digilocker.gov.in/