Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Modi-Sharif meeting augurs well for foreign secretary level talks

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New Delhi: The Modi-Sharif meeting definitely augurs well for the foreign secretaries’ level talks scheduled in January in Islamabad.

The meeting between the two prime ministers was welcomed by politicians in both India and Pakistan, while the UN, the US, China and other countries have termed it a positive development which would have a far-reaching impact on the regional peace, The Nation reported.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said: “Pakistan and India are important countries in South Asia.”

He said the improvement in relations between the two countries was significant to regional peace, stability and development.

The US State Department said Modi’s overture towards Pakistan would “benefit the entire region”.

“We welcome the December 25 talks between PM Modi and PM Sharif in Lahore. As we have long said, improved relations among neighbours will benefit the entire region,” spokesperson John Kirby said on Saturday.

Foreign affairs adviser to Nawaz Sharif, Sartaj Aziz said that Modi’s brief stopover in Lahore was unplanned.

Aziz, special assistant on foreign affairs Tariq Fatemi and National Security Adviser Lieutenant General Nasir Khan Janjua could not join Sharif in the meeting at his Jati Umra residence.

However, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif attended the meeting, Aziz said.

The news of the stopover was announced by Modi on Twitter: “Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi.”

Within minutes, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “That’s like a statesman. Padosi se aise hi rishte hone chahiyen (One should have such relations with neighbours).”

Pakistan’s other political parties such as Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, Awami National Party and Qaumi Watan Party welcomed the move and hoped it would go well in normalising the relations between the two countries.

After seeing off Modi at the Lahore airport, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said Nawaz and Modi met in a cordial atmosphere, and it was agreed upon in the meeting that people-to-people contact should be enhanced and other confidence-building measures should be taken to improve the relations between the two sides.

This was the second meeting between the two prime ministers in less than a month, after their interaction on the sidelines of the climate change talks in Paris on November 30.(IANS) 

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Build Bridge between Artificial Intelligence, Human Intentions: PM Modi Urges Technocrats

Observing that there is a conspiracy to present technology as a challenge for India's demographic dividen

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Modi, Human, AI
He said the emphasis should be on ways to upgrade skills as per the demand. "Let AI be just another aid, which is little more sophisticated," he said. Pixabay

Stressing integration and right balance between human and artificial intelligence (AI), Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Sunday said the debate on AI should focus on bridging the gap between human intentions and AI, and not its likely negative impact.

Speaking at the launch of book ‘Bridgital Nation’, written by N. Chandrasekaran and Roopa Purushottam, Modi said, “The debate should not be on what are the dangers from AI, but how to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and human intentions.”

He said the emphasis should be on ways to upgrade skills as per the demand. “Let AI be just another aid, which is little more sophisticated,” he said.

Observing that there is a conspiracy to present technology as a challenge for India’s demographic dividend, he said, “Human intentions and right intentions” were important for AI’s operations. Technology and talent were force multipliers, rather than a threat, he said. Technology was a bridge between aspirations and achievements, he added.

Modi, Human, AI
Speaking at the launch of book ‘Bridgital Nation’, written by N. Chandrasekaran and Roopa Purushottam, Modi said, “The debate should not be on what are the dangers from AI, but how to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and human intentions.” Pixabay

The Prime Minister narrated how technology had been a key component of government schemes to reform, transform and perform. He mentioned about the use of data intelligence, digital mapping and real time monitoring in Ujjwala Yojana, which has transformed the lives of millions of women. He also talked about how technology had helped in empowering people through schemes, like Jan Dhan Yojana and Ayushman Bharat.

Modi said his government had used technology to remove silos among departments and build a bridge between supply and demand through innovative ideas, like the Government e-market Place (GeM). He explained how technology was used to create a robust startup system in the country, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities, which helped in development of a new ecosystem of startups.

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On the need to convert challenges posed by technology into opportunities, Modi cited the example of creation of India Post Payment Bank. The disruption caused by technology to the entire postal organisation had converted it into a tech-intensive banking system, benefiting millions through postal bank, he added. (IANS)