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Modi woos German firms to invest, Make in India

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Bengaluru:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday exhorted German industry to invest and make in India for a growing domestic market and huge export markets the world over.

“We want your involvement in translating our dreams into reality. Our commitment to achieve the goal in an effective manner offers huge opportunities to German firms,” Modi said at a tech event in the presence of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Flagging the opportunities, ranging from building 50 million houses to setting up 100 smart cities, the prime minister 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 gw (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.

Asserting that such a huge potential for creation and production would not be available in any one country, Modi claimed no one place on earth could offer the potential for consumption on such a massive scale.

“We are trying to power this potential through our campaigns like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’. To tap the energy fully, we have launched the ‘Start-up India’ campaign,” Modi told about 500 invitees, including a German business delegation, which came with Merkel on a three-day official visit to the country since Sunday night.

Observing that India was on the threshold of a big IT revolution, Modi said the country was at the tipping point where technology would be leveraged to meet the aspirations of 1.25 billion citizens and provide additional avenues for investment in modern technology and human resources.

“Ours is a young country and will remain so for many years. There is a huge domestic market. Unlike a decade ago, talented young minds are no longer looking for high paying jobs. Instead, they have begun taking risks and preferring to become entrepreneurs. We have witnessed exponential growth in start-ups in the recent past and some of them have begun to challenge established global players,” Modi said.

Recalling his visit to Hannover in Germany in April, the prime minister said his government was open to ideas, innovations and enterprises because never before was India so well prepared to absorb talent, technology and investment from outside.

“While in Bengaluru, I must add that it is the software of India that will move the hardware across the world; it is the talent of India that will master the technology; it is the market of India that will motivate manufacturing. Therefore, it makes strong business sense to be in India. It makes even better business sense to Make in India,” Modi added.

In her address to the gathering in German (Deutsche), Merkel offered technology and skills to make India a global manufacturing hub for domestic and export markets.

Hosted by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) and the German Fraunhofer Institute at a star hotel on ‘Digitising Tomorrow Together’, the luncheon session witnessed four agreements signed in the presence of the two heads of state in urban mobility solutions, solar energy, skill development and machine designing between Indian and German firms.

(IANS)

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Jaipur Literature Festival Takes A Questionable Stand On The #MeToo Movement

JLF's fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned.

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#MeToo, women
The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

After several star speakers of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival, including C.P. Surendran, Suhel Seth and Chetan Bhagat, among others, have been accused of sexually harassing multiple women, on the sidelines of the popular lit fest, the organisers, in a cautiously worded one-sentence tweet on Thursday, have supported the rising tide of the #MeToo campaign in India — but questions still remain.

“The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival unequivocally stands by the women who have courageously spoken out for equity and dignity and is committed to supporting and amplifying their voices,” the official handle of the JLF said in a tweet on Thursday.

The statement came two days after a petition was started on www.change.org by writer-editor Rajni George, asking its organisers to support the #MeToo India and stand up “against sexual harassment”.

#MeToo
Jaipur Literature Festival

“We write today regarding the serious and credible allegations of sexual harassment made recently against a number of men in and around the literary world, as part of the MeToo movement in India.

“We, the undersigned, are dismayed, saddened and angered by these accounts. We admire the work that the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) undertakes. As India’s largest and most recognised literature festival, we believe JLF is ideally placed to take the lead in addressing this urgent issue,” George’s petition said.

JLF’s response in the one-line tweet is general, and does not specifically mention whether any of the allegations that have now surfaced were earlier brought to the notice of the organisers.

It also does not make it clear whether the doors of the festival will remain closed for the accused in its future editions, or not. It further makes no comment whatsoever on several instances that are said to have taken place on the sidelines of the annual event.

#MeToo
Sanjoy K. Roy, with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore.

Notably, many of the accused have featured in prominent sessions at what is described as the “greatest literary show on Earth”, and, in many instances, the festival has been instrumental in increasing their popularity as well as readership.

On its part, JLF, produced by Teamwork Arts, headed by Sanjoy K. Roy, and with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore. In fact, the 2018 edition of the festival in January this year had come to a close with a hard-hitting debate on #MeToo, long before the campaign gained momentum in India.

Also Read: Watch Jaipur Literature Festival Live On Twitter

Many in the literary circles feel the benchmark that JLF has itself set over the course of its journey, its coming of age and gradual but distinct shift from controversies to substance in the recent years, its fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned. (IANS)