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On 12th May 2020, Indian Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation, which can be described as a morale-boosting talk.
With such eloquent talk and the promise of Rs. 20 lakh crore economic revival package, Modi Ji completed his talk, raising expectations amongst the people as to how he would proceed further to revive the economy in the coming days.
Economic revival package :
Subsequent to Modi’s talk, the Finance Minister announced a huge economic package including the statement that the Government of India would not float global tenders for value of less than Rs. 200 crore, which would mean that the government would buy products from domestic medium and small enterprises to a considerable extent.
However, the fact is that many crucial products made in India today are not of globally competitive standards at present and no buyer in India including the government can afford to buy a low-quality product, simply because they are made in India. One wonders why Finance Minister ignored this problem?
Prime Minister needs support :
The question is can Mr. Modi alone revive the economy without equal commitment and efficiency from bureaucracy, project promoters, investors, technologists and research bodies, and of course trade unions.
Today, there is a serious mindset issue amongst the investors/project promoters, bureaucrats and government officials at various levels, research and development personnel and leadership of trade unions, which necessarily have to be admitted. Their overall role and output are much below the national needs. The trade unions , whose leadership are now dominated by politicians , have become politically affiliated unions and the members of the unions play to the tune of politicians, which often are against the interest of the country as well as workmen themselves.
Need to create progressive mindset :
Prime Minister has to necessarily create mindset of progressive ideas, vision and commitment to the national cause amongst the stake holders and people in various walks of life. It is evident that in the last six years , Mr. Modi’s clean India campaign, skill development programme , make in India scheme , yoga movement, construction of millions of toilets for poor households , opening zero bank account for poor people etc. are all aimed at bringing a better mindset amongst people. Prime Minister has been trying to achieve this with partial success , which is not adequate enough.
At present, in India, the ground reality is that investors and project promoters all the time seek relief measures from the government and do not do adequately on their own to professionalise the managements , improve productivity, develop technology and achieve global competitiveness. Of course, some do but they are few and far between.
India’s overall technology development efforts are poor , though there are some isolated achievements in space science, atomic energy etc. India largely depends on overseas sources for technology inputs and equipment of modernized design that are in tune with the global standards. Indigenisation efforts, which can be ensured only by project promoters , scientists and engineers, are nowhere near the required level.
Are private entrepreneurs facing image crisis ?
In the last few months, it has been seen that several project promoters / investors in India announcing public issues and planning to take big chunk of the shares to get a better hold and ownership of the company,. They claim that they do not have the money to invest in the projects but have money to buy equity shares in their own companies !
Some private sector organisations are now loan defaulters of several crore of rupees to the banks and financing institutions and some of the promoters have succeeded in running away from the country and some trying to leave the country, so that they would not be caught for their malpractices. Because of such willful defaulters, the overall image of project promoters and business men in the country has suffered and people wonder whether the Prime Minister can depend on such project promoters and investors to revive the economy in the scale that he wants ?
Commitment level of bureaucracy :
The overall performance of the bureaucracy in India are again not measuring upto the speed and efficiency standards of the Prime Minister. A few of them have been caught for corrupt practices and many of them are really not known for efficiency and commitment. With number of bureaucrats showing disappointing performance, can Prime Minister take the country forward ?
Performance of state governments :
Most of the projects and development programmes in India are being implemented by state governments. Number of politicians running the state governments are known to be corrupt, not well educated in the nuances of administration and often indulge in appeasing people at the cost of the state, to retain their vote bank. With such weak state governments, can the Prime Minister push the country forward ?
Need efficient ministers :
While announced fiscal measures are good and Prime Minister’s motivating talk on 12th May,2020 are impressive and his goals and objectives are laudable, Prime Minister needs many intelligent, knowledgeable and committed ministers at the state and central government. How can he ensure this ?
Need to move on :
Prime Minister Modi should move on with courage of conviction and he should reveal very strong qualities of merciless approach towards inefficient and corrupt people in the government and business as well as other sectors.
People are willing to support him in his reform measures and he has to respond without allowing political considerations to influence the decision-making process. One only hope Prime Minister will raise up to the expectations.
NEW DELHI - India Navy sending four ships for exercises and port visits with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, its navy said Wednesday, as China's maritime power grows in the area.
The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.
Commander Vivek Madhwal, the Indian navy spokesman, said four ships will take part.
The ships will also participate in a multilateral exercise, MALABAR-21, along with the Japanese, Australian and U.S. navies, the statement said.
It said the exercises will enhance coordination with friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and a commitment to freedom of navigation.
"Besides regular port calls, the task group will operate in conjunction with friendly navies to build military relations and develop interoperability in the conduct of maritime operations," the statement said.
The U.S., India, Japan and Australia are part of the Quad regional alliance created in response to China's growing economic and military strength. Washington has long viewed New Delhi as a key partner in efforts to blunt increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
India is also in a continuing standoff with China over their disputed border in the eastern Ladakh region. The countries have stationed tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets along their de facto border, called the Line of Actual Control.
Last year, 20 Indian troops died in a clash with Chinese soldiers involving clubs, stones and fists in a portion of the disputed border. China said it lost four soldiers.(VOA/HP)
The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).
The UK government also announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. The step aligns France with the rest of the amber list now that the proportion of beta variant cases has fallen, where those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, the US or Europe do not need to quarantine when arriving in England.
This move also simplifies the system to three categories, as well as the green watch list to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.
To continue cautiously reopening international travel, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the government's green list, having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health.
Besides India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list, as the situation in these countries has improved.
The data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country's epidemiological picture changes, a statement by the UK government said.
Following an assessment of the latest data, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list as they present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of Covid-19.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we've made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
"While we must continue to be cautious, today's changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public."
Since February, anyone who arrives in the UK from a red list country has been required by law to book a stay in a managed quarantine facility for 10 days.
In order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities, which have gone up, the cost will increase from August 12. Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay and rates remain the same for children up to 12.(IANS/HP)
A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.
According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.
Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.
Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.
The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".
But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.
A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.
In response, one Twitter user said: "Ganesh Temple, village Bhong in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab has been ravaged. Another day, another attack on Hindus in Pakistan."
Another said: "Yesterday, the mob ran amok at Temple over minor boy issue who allegedly urinated, the boy said to be mentally handicapped. Hindu community made an apology for the boy — a case registered against the nine-year-old boy. Those vandalized temples, no FIR registered against them."
District police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz Cheema said Rangers had been deployed in the troubled area and the situation was under control.
A small town close to the River Indus and Sindh-Punjab border, Bhong houses a number of gold traders who originally hail from Ghotki and Dehrki (Sindh), according to the Dawn news report.
A ruling PTI member representing the minority said he had been in touch with the local Hindu community and influential Rais family of Bhong since the issue surfaced.