PM’s address in the 81st Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’

Published on:

My dear countrymen, Namaskar. You are aware that for an important  programme, I have to leave for America…hence I thought it would be apt to record Mann Ki Baat, prior to my departure to America. The day of Mann Ki Baat this September is important on another count, date wise. Routinely, we do remember a lot of days; we even celebrate myriad Days…and if you ask young sons-daughters at home, they are likely to furnish out an entire list of Days of the year with their chronological relevance! But, there is one more day that all of us must remember; this day is one that is immensely congruent to the traditions of India. It’s one that connects us with our traditions that we have been following for centuries. That is – World Rivers Day.

It has been articulated here – Pibanti Naddhah, Swayameva Naambha…meaning that rivers do not drink their own water…they give it away altruistically. For us, rivers are not mere physical entities; for us a river is a living unit…and that is exactly why we refer to rivers as Mother! Numerous festivals, festive occasions, functions of ours, occasions to rejoice take place in the very laps of these mothers.

All of you are aware – with the advent of the month of Magh, in our country, a lot of people perform Kalpvaas on the banks of mother Ganga or other rivers for an entire month. This tradition has ceased now…but in earlier times, it was customary to remember rivers while bathing at home. This tradition of remembering rivers may have gone extinct or exists sparsely…but there used to be a great tradition that would take one on a tour across the vastness of India while bathing early morning…a cerebral pilgrimage! It used to be a source of inspiration to connect with every nook and corner of the country. And of course, in India, it has been customary to chant a Shlok while bathing:

Gange cha yamune chaiva Godavari saraswati

Narmade Sindhu Kaveri Jale asmin sannidhim kuru

Earlier, at our homes, the elderly in the family would make children memorise the Shlok …this also led to germinating Aastha, faith towards rivers in our country. It would inscribe an illustrated map of the great land of India on the psyche.  That used to establish an emotional connect with rivers. It would result in nurturing a harmonious credence towards the very river that embodied the Mother, sentimentally as well as visually…as a way of life too! It was a way to instill ‘Sanskaar’; the value system gamut.

Friends, now that we are discussing the significance of rivers in our country, it is but natural for everyone to raise a question…one, in fact, has the right to do so…and answering that question is our responsibility too! Anyone can question – “you are singing so many songs dedicated to rivers, referring to a river as a Mother…then why is it that the river gets polluted? Our scriptures distinctly disapprove of polluting rivers, even a bit! And our traditions have been synchronous with the thought. You know, of course, that the western region of our India, especially Gujarat and Rajasthan, suffer from scarcity of water. They face famines, many a time. Now that is why, a new tradition has developed in the social life there. For example, when it starts raining in Gujarat, Jal-Jeelani Ekadashi is celebrated there.  This means, it is synonymous with what we term as ‘Catch the Rain’ in today’s times…accumulating each and every drop of water…Jal-jeelani. On similar lines, after the rains, in Bihar and other regions of the East, the great festival of Chhatth is celebrated. I hope that keeping the Chatth Pooja in mind, preparations for cleaning and repairing riverbanks and Ghats would have commenced. We can very well undertake the endeavour of cleaning rivers and freeing them of pollution with collective effort and support. The Namami Gange Mission too is making advances today…collective efforts of all, in a way, mass awareness; a mass movement has a major role to play in that.

Friends, when one is referring to the river; when Mother Ganga is being talked about, one is tempted to draw your attention to another aspect. When Namami Gange is being referred to, one thing is certain to draw your attention…especially that of the youth. These days, a special E-auction is being held. This electronic auction pertains to gifts presented to me by people from time to time. The money that accrues through this E-auction is dedicated solely to the Namami Gange Campaign. The affectionate, warm spirit, with which you present me gifts …that very sentiment gets bolstered through this campaign.

Friends, in order to rejuvenate rivers throughout the country; in order to cleanse waters, the government and social service organizations keep undertaking one endeavour or the other. And this is not about the present day; it is going on for decades now. There are some people who have dedicated themselves to these causes. And it is this very tradition, this very endeavour, this very faith that has saved our rivers. Whenever such news come to my notice, from any corner of India, it evokes immense respect in my heart for people who embark upon such tasks…and I also feel like sharing that with you. Take a look at Vellore and Thiruvannamalai districts of Tamilnadu, whose example I wish to cite. A river named Naagnadi flows there. Years ago, the Naagnadi had all dried up. Because of that, the water level there had terribly gone down. But, the womenfolk there took up the cudgels to rejuvenate their river. And then…lo and behold – they got people connected, dug up canals through public participation, constructed check dams and recharge-wells. Friends, you too would be glad to know that today, the river is brimming with water. And truly, when a river is full of water, it lends such tranquility to the mind…I have actually, witnessed the experience…

Many of you might be aware that on the very banks of river Sabarmati, Mahatma Gandhi set up the Sabarmati Ashram…during the last few decades, the river had dried up. 6 to 8 months a year, no water was even visible there. But river Narmada and river Sabarmati were linked…today, if you go to Ahmedabad, the waters of river Sabarmati fill one’s heart with such joy! Similarly, our sisters from Tamilnadu are undertaking myriad such tasks…many such tasks are being done in various corners of the country. I know for sure that many of our saints, our gurus associated with our religious traditions are doing a lot for the sake of water and rivers, along with their spiritual pursuits…many of them are running campaigns to plant trees along riverbanks…at places, dirty water is being prevented from flowing into rivers.

Friends, when we are celebrating ‘World River Day’ today, I praise and greet all dedicated to this work. But to all people living near every river; to countrymen I will urge that in India in all corners at least once in a year a river festival must be celebrated.

My dear countrymen, never make the mistake of treating minor issues, little things as small. Through tiny efforts, at times, very significant changes occur, and if we look towards the life of Mahatma Gandhi ji we will find every moment how even small things had so much importance and how using small issues he accomplished big resolutions. Our youth today must know how the campaign for cleanliness continuously gave energy to our freedom movement.It was Mahatma Gandhi who turned cleanliness into a mass movement.

Mahatma Gandhi had connected cleanliness to the dream of Independence. Today after so many decades, the cleanliness movement has once again connected the country to the dream of a new India. And this is also becoming a campaign to change our habits too and we must not forget that this cleanliness is a programme. This cleanliness is a responsibility of the transition of sanskar from generation to generation and when the campaign for cleanliness continues generation after generation in the entire society cleanliness as a trait gets imbibed. And that is why this is not a subject of a year or two; of one government or the other government. Generation after generation, with alertness, continually, without being tired or stopping, with high reverence we have to remain associated with cleanliness and continue the campaign for cleanliness. And I have said earlier too that this cleanliness is a great tribute by this country

to revered Bapu and we have to keep paying this tribute every time; continuously.

Friends, people know that I don’t ever let go any chance to speak in connection with cleanliness and possibly that is why a listener of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Shriman Ramesh Patel ji has written to me that learning from Bapu, in this “Amrit Mahotsav” of freedom, we should take the resolve of economic cleanliness too. The way building of toilets enhanced the dignity of poor, similarly economic cleanliness ensures rights of the poor; eases their life. You are aware of  the campaign that the country started regarding Jandhan accounts. Today, because of this the rightful money of the poor is getting credited directly into their accounts and because of this, obstacles like corruption have reduced very significantly. It is true that technology can help a lot in economic cleanliness. It is matter of delight for us that even in villages, the common person is getting connected in the direction of digital transactions through fin-tech UPI… its prevalence has begun increasing. I will tell you a figure which will make you proud; during  last August, 355 crore UPI transactions took place in one month, that is more than nearly 350 crore transactions, that is, we can say that during the month of August UPI was used for digital transactions more than 350 crore times. Today, on an average, digital payments of more than 2 lakh crore Rupees is happening through UPI. Through this the economy of the country is acquiring cleanliness and transparency, and we all know that now the importance of fin-tech is increasing a lot.

Friends, Bapu had connected cleanliness with independence; the same way he had made khadi the identity of freedom. Today in the 75 th year of freedom when we are celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, we can say with satisfaction today that our young generation today is giving khadi the place of pride that khadi had during freedom struggle. Today the production of khadi and

handloom has increased multiple times and its demand too has increased. You too know that there were  many such occasions when business of more than a crore rupees has been transacted in the khadi showroom in Delhi. I too would like to remind you again that on the 2 nd of October, on revered Bapu’s birth anniversary, let us together aim for another new record. In your city wherever khadi is sold, handloom is sold, handicraft is sold and now that the festival of Diwali is there.., for the festive season, every khadi, handloom, cottage industry purchase of yours should strengthen the campaign for ‘Vocal for Local’, it

should break all old records.

Friends, in this period of Amrit Mahotsav, a campaign to disseminate to everyone the untold stories of the history of freedom is also going on… and for this, upcoming writers, youth of the country and the world were called upon. For this more than 13 thousand people have registered till now and that too in 14 different languages. And for me a thing of joy also is that non-resident Indians

from more than 20 countries have expressed their wish to join this campaign. There is another interesting information- more than nearly 5000 upcoming writers are searching out tales of struggle for freedom. They have taken the lead to write something on those who are unsung heroes, who are un-named, whose names don’t appear on the pages of history, on the theme of such unsung heroes, on their lives, on those events, that is the youth of the country have decided to bring forth the history of those freedom fighters who were not even discussed during the last 75 years. I appeal to all the listeners; I appeal to all those connected with the field of education. You too motivate the youth. You too come forward and it is my firm belief that during the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence the people who are working for writing history will make history as well.
My dear countrymen, we all know about the Siachen Glacier. The cold there is so terrible that it is beyond capacity  of a common person to live there. With snow spread far and wide, there is no sign of any  vegetation anywhere. The temperature here dips to even minus 60 degrees. A few days ago, the feat that a team of 8 Divyang persons performed in this inaccessible region of Siachen is a matter of pride for every countryman. This team created a world record by hoisting its flag on the Kumar Post situated at an altitude of more than 15 thousand feet at the Siachen glacier.

Despite the challenges of physical ability, the feats that these Divyangs have achieved are an inspiration for the whole country and when you get to know about the members of this team, you will also be filled with courage and enthusiasm, just like I was.The names of these brave Divyangs are – Mahesh Nehra, Akshat Rawat of Uttarakhand, Pushpak Gawande of Maharashtra, Ajay Kumar of Haryana, Lobsang Chospel of Ladakh, Major Dwarkesh of Tamil Nadu, Irfan Ahmed Mir of Jammu and Kashmir and Chongjin Ingmo of Himachal Pradesh. This operation to conquer the Siachen Glacier has been successful because of the veterans of the special forces of the Indian Army. I commend the team for this historic and unprecedented achievement. It also shows the spirit of our countrymen to tackle every challenge with a “Can Do Culture”, a “Can Do Determination” and a “Can Do Attitude”.

Friends, today many efforts are being made for the welfare of Divyangjan in the country. I got a chance to know about one such effort being made in Uttar Pradesh – “One Teacher, One Call”. This unique effort in Bareilly is showing a new path to the Divyang children. This campaign is being led by the principal of a school in Dabhaura Gangapur, Deepmala Pandey ji. During the Corona period, due to this campaign, not only did the admission of a large number of children become possible, more than 350 teachers have also joined it with a spirit of service. These teachers go from village to village calling for Divyang children, looking out for them and then ensuring their admission in one school or the other. I deeply appreciate this noble effort of Deepmala ji and her fellow teachers for the sake of Divyangjans. Every such effort in the field of education is going to shape the future of our country.

My dear countrymen, the condition of our lives today is such that the word Corona resonates in our ears many times a day… the biggest global pandemic in a hundred years, COVID-19 has taught every countryman a lot. Today there has been an increase in curiosity and awareness about Healthcare and Wellness. Traditionally natural products which are beneficial for wellness and health are available in abundance in our country. Patayat Sahu ji, who lives in Nandol, Kalahandi, Odisha, has been doing unique work in this area for years. He has planted medicinal plants on one and a half acres of land. Not only this, Sahu ji has also carried out documentation of these medicinal plants. Satish ji of Ranchi has shared another similar information to me through a letter. Satish ji has drawn my attention to an Aloe Vera Village in Jharkhand. The women of Deori village near Ranchi had undergone training in Aloe Vera cultivation from Birsa Agricultural School under the leadership of Manju Kachhap ji. After this they started cultivating aloe vera. Not only did this farming benefit in the field of health; the income of these women also increased. They had good income even during the Covid pandemic. One of the major reasons for this was that the companies making sanitizers were buying Aloe Vera directly from them. Today a team of about forty women is involved in this work. And Aloe Vera is cultivated over many acres. Whether it is Patayat Sahu ji of Odisha or this team of women in Deori, the way they have linked agriculture with the field of health is an example in itself.

Friends, the 2nd of October also marks the birth anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri ji. In his memory, this day also teaches us about those who attempt new experiments in agriculture. To promote start-ups in the field of medicinal plants, an Incubator by the name of Medi-Hub TBI is operational in Anand, Gujarat. In a very short time, this Incubator associated with medicinal and aromatic plants has supported the business idea of 15 entrepreneurs. Sudha Chebrolu ji has launched her start-up only after getting the help of this Incubator. Priority is given to women in this company and they are also responsible for innovative herbal formulations. Another such entrepreneur is Subhashree ji who has also received help from this Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Incubator. Subhashree ji’s company is working in the field of herbal room and car fresheners. She has also created a herbal terrace garden which has more than 400 medicinal herbs.

Friends, the Ministry of Ayush has taken an interesting initiative to increase awareness about Medicinal and Herbal Plants among children and Professor Ayushman ji has taken the lead. It is possible that you must be wondering who Professor Ayushman is! Actually Professor Ayushman is the name of a comic book. In this, short stories have been prepared through different cartoon characters. Along with this, the usefulness of healthy medicinal plants like Aloe Vera, Tulsi, Amla, Giloy, Neem, Ashwagandha and Brahmi has been mentioned. Friends, in the current context, with the trend of people around the world regarding medicinal plants and herbal products increasing, India has immense potential. In the past, there has been a significant increase in the export of Ayurvedic and herbal products.

I urge scientists, researchers and people associated with the start-up world to pay attention to such products, which not only increase the wellness and immunity of the people, but also help in increasing the income of our farmers and youth.

Friends, moving beyond traditional farming, novel initiatives and options are being done in agriculture and are continuously creating new means of self-employment. The story of two brothers from Pulwama is also an example of this. The way Bilal Ahmed Sheikh and Munir Ahmed Sheikh found new avenues for themselves in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, they are an example of New India.39 years old Bilal Ahmed ji is highly qualified, he has obtained many degrees. He is now using his experience of higher education by launching his own start-up in agriculture.Bilal ji has installed a unit of Vermi composting at his home. The bio-fertilizer prepared from this unit has not only benefited a lot in agriculture ; it has also brought employment opportunities to the people.Every year, farmers are getting about three thousand quintals of Vermicompost from the units managed by these brothers. Today 15 people are also working in this Vermicomposting unit. A large number of people are reaching to see this unit, and most of them are young people who want to do something in the agriculture sector. The Sheikh brothers of Pulwama took a pledge to become a job creator instead of a job seeker and today they are showing a new path not only to Jammu and Kashmir, but  to the people across the country as well.

My dear countrymen, the 25th of September is the birth anniversary of a great son of the country, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay ji. Deen Dayal ji is one of the greatest thinkers of the last century.His economic philosophy, his policies aimed at empowering the society, the path of Antyodaya shown by him remain as relevant in the present context and are also inspirational. Three years ago, on his birth anniversary, the 25th of September, the world’s largest health assurance scheme – Ayushman Bharat scheme was implemented. Today, more than two and a half crore impoverished people of the country have got free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh in the hospital under the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Such a massive scheme for the poor is dedicated to the Antyodaya philosophy of Deen Dayal ji. If the youth of today inculcate values and ideals into their lives, it can be of great benefit to them. Once in Lucknow, Deen Dayal ji had said – “How many good things, good qualities there are – we derive all these from the society itself. We have to pay the debt of society, we must think on these lines .” That is, Deen Dayal ji taught us that we take so much from society, from the country, whatever it be, it is only because of the country ; thus we should think about how we will repay our debt towards the country. This is a significant message for today’s youth.

Friends, from the life of Deen Dayal ji, we also get a lesson to never give up. Despite the adverse political and ideological circumstances, he never wavered from the vision of a Swadeshi, home grown model for the development of India. Today many young people want to move ahead by breaking away from the oft-treaded paths. They want to do things their own way. Deen Dayal ji’s life can teach them a lot. That is why I urge our youngsters to definitely know about him.

My dear countrymen, we touched upon many topics today. Like we were discussing, the time to come is of festivals. The whole country is also going to celebrate the festival of the victory over untruth by Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram. But during this festival we have to remember about one more fight – that is the country’s fight against Corona. Team India is making new records everyday in this fight. With regards to Vaccination, the country has made many such records which are being talked about the world over. Every Indian has an important role in this fight. We have to get the vaccine administered when our turn comes, but we also have to take care that no one is left out of this circle of safety. Those around you who have not got vaccinated also have to be taken to the vaccine center. Even after getting vaccinated, the necessary protocol has to be followed. I hope that once again Team India will keep the flag flying high in this fight. Next time, we will discuss some more topics in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Wishing you all, every countryman the best for the fortcoming festivals.

Thank You!

PM to launch Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission on 27th September

Published on:

In a historic initiative, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will launch the Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission (PM-DHM) on 27th September 2021 at 11 AM via video conferencing, which will be followed by his address on the occasion.

The pilot project of National Digital Health Mission had been announced by the Prime Minister from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15th August, 2020. Currently, PM-DHM is being implemented in pilot phase in six Union Territories.

The nation-wide rollout of PM-DHM coincides with NHA celebrating the third anniversary of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY). Union Health Minister will be present on the occasion.

About Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission (PM-DHM) 

Based on the foundations laid down in the form of Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM) trinity and other digital initiatives of the government, PM-DHM will create a seamless online platform through the provision of a wide-range of data, information and infrastructure services, duly leveraging open, interoperable, standards-based digital systems while ensuring the security, confidentiality and privacy of health-related personal information. The Mission will enable access and exchange of longitudinal health records of citizens with their consent.

The key components of PM-DHM include a health ID for every citizen that will also work as their health account, to which personal health records can be linked and viewed with the help of a mobile application; a Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR) and Healthcare Facilities Registries (HFR) that will act as a repository of all healthcare providers across both modern and traditional systems of medicine. This will ensure ease of doing business for doctors/hospitals and healthcare service providers.

PM-DHM Sandbox, created as a part of the Mission, will act as a framework for technology and product testing that will help organizations, including private players, intending to be a part of National Digital Health Ecosystem become a Health Information Provider or Health Information User or efficiently link with building blocks of PM-DHM.

This Mission will create interoperability within the digital health ecosystem, similar to the role played by the Unified Payments Interface in revolutionizing payments. Citizens will only be a click-away from accessing healthcare facilities.

Over 1.7 crore registrations in a month at E-Shram portal

Published on:

Completion of one month of launch of e-Shram portal marks with the registration of more than 1.71 crores workers from the unorganized sector and in unorganized employment. As of 25th September, 1,71,59,743 workers have registered at the portal.

The e-Shram portal (https://eshram.gov.in/) was inaugurated on 26th August 2021 by the Union Labour and Employment Minister, Shri Bhupender Yadav in presence of Minister of State (Labour and Employment) Shri Rameswar Teli.  The portal is the first-ever national database of unorganised workers including migrant workers, construction workers, gig and platform workers. It facilitates extending benefits of social sector schemes to the workers in the unorganized sector.

The figure above depicts the weekly progress of the registration exercise. Importantly, the drive has strengthened with the mobilization of workers achieving a greater mile each week. Compared to the 2nd week with over 19.52 lakhs registration, registrations in the third and the fourth week gained exponentially. In week 4, over 69.53 lakh workers registerd at the e-Shram portal.

To bolster this movement, Union Minister of Labour & Employment and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav, yesterday, distributed e-Shram cards to unorganized workers in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Shri Yadav also presented approval letters for ESI COVID-19 relief Scheme to dependents of  workers who lost their lives to COVID-19 and alongside approval letters for Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna Relief scheme, to  workers in the unorganized sector.

Speaking on the e-Shram portal, the Minister expressed the desire that every worker in unorganized sector should get registered on the portal. “Registration is necessary, so that we know how many workers are there in each trade. More than 400 trades have already been represented on the portal. We want everyone to register so that every worker including those who perform very small work is able to avail the benefits of government schemes. Moreover, those who register on the portal now are eligible to get insurance up to Rs. 2 lakh.”

Shri Yadav also interacted and held discussions with trade union leaders, unorganized sector workers and employers. Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), Govt. of India, Shri D.P.S. Negi and Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), Mumbai, Shri Tej Bahadur was also present on the occasion.

Shri Negi said that state governments, local self-governments, PSUs, app-based services employing gig workers, employers of unorganized sector will also have a big role in making the portal a success. The Commissioner also mentioned that, in line with the Prime Minister’s governance philosophy of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayaas, trust of the workers and the efforts of all stakeholders are required in order to take the mission forward.

Honourable Union Minister of Labour & Employment and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav distributed approval letters for Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna Relief scheme and e-Shram cards to unorganized workers and interacted with trade union leaders, unorganized sector workers and employers at Mumbai, Maharshra, September 25, 2021.

Interestlingly, almost 50% of the workers registered so far are female. There has been week-on-week improvement in the percentage of female workforce, registering themselves at e-Shram portal. The share of women workers drastically improved from around 37% in week 1 to almost 50% in the latest week,i.e. week 4.

Data analysis based on last week showed that a sustantial proportion of women workers in domestic work are getting themselves registered at the portal. This is one category of occupation where women outnumber men. Besides, women form substantial proportion of workforce in sectors like agriculture as labourers, food industries as helpers and machine operators, apparel industry as helpers and tailors and also in small scale units of tobacco/ beedi rolling and as ASHAs/ ANMs in the healthcare industry. Therefore, it would not be wrong to assume that most vulnerable group of women are insured under various protection schemes accruing from registration at the portal.

Since week one, Odisha and Bihar have competed with each other to maintain the first position. While Bihar slipped from 1st to 3rd rank, between week 3 and week 4, Odisha in three out of total four weeks, since the launch of portal, has successfully maintained the first rank in terms of registration of unorganized workers at e-Shram portal.

Outreach of CSCs becomes crucial in making the registration process a success. As indicated in the figure above, there has been a steady improvement in the outreach of CSCs and their popularity as a mode of registration has risen. In week 1, while 56.36% registrations were done via CSCs, in week 4, more than 78% of the registrations were completed via CSCs. The States/UTs shall play an important to mobilise and register the unorganised sector workers of their respective State/UTs on the e-SHRAM Portal through the CSCs.

The e-shram portal is seeded with Aadhaar and will have details of name, occupation, address, educational qualification, skill types and family details etc. of the registered workers. This will thus enable optimum realization of their employability and enable them to avail benefits of government schemes.

Any worker who is working in unorganized sector and aged between 16-59, is eligible to register on the e-Shram portal. Migrant workers, gig workers, platform workers, agricultural workers, MGNREGA workers, fishermen, milkmen, ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, street vendors, domestic workers, rickshaw pullers and other workers engaged in similar other occupations in the unorganised sector are all eligible.

BJP National President paid tributes to the great leader Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay on his 105th birth anniversary

Published on:

The Bharatiya Janata Party National President Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda ji paid rich tributes to the great leader Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji on his birth anniversary at a function held in the party headquarters in Delhi today. Remembering Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji as the father of Antyodaya and Ekaatm Manavaad ideologies he exhorted all party workers to follow the path shown by the great leader and work with full honesty to realise his dreams. He said the BJP workers should take inspiration from the life of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji and work towards further strengthening the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Addressing the Bharatiya Janata Party workers Shri Nadda said Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji was the founder and promoter of the policy Bharatiya Jansangh which he transformed into a strong, nation -wide political force, which today is the world’s largest political party — the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP is also today a big social organisation which is providing help and doing service to humankind. The BJP has achieved this by following the ideals and principles of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji.

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji was a multi -faceted personality. He was an excellent student and was very committed and sensitive towards the needs and problems of the society. He studied under very tough circumstances and despite. He dedicated himself towards the society and the nation.

When Bharatiya Jansangh was formed, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji worked as its first General Secretary. Later at the Calicut conference of Bharatiya Jansangh, he was elected its President.

Shri Nadda ji said though the political journey of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji was a very short one, in a very short span of time he succeeded in promoting the Bharatiya Jansangh and establishing the Bharatiya Jan Sangh as a national and influential political party across India.  

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji was a political leader with three distinct qualities.  He was a successful leader, a fine organisational man, and a great thinker. As an excellent political leader Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji, under the leadership of Shri Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, established the Bharatiya Jansangh as a strong political party and also contributed immensely in making it the nation’s main opposition party.

As an efficient organisational man, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji succeeded in making the Bharatiya Jansangh as a pan India party.

 As a thinker Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji his main contribution is in establishing and promoting the ideologies of  Ekaatm Manavaad and Antyodaya.

The BJP National President further said today the Bharatiya Janata Party under the guidance and leadership of Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji is moving forward by following the principles and ideologies of Ekaatm Manavaad and Antyodaya.  When the Janata Party formed its government at the Centre the Bharatiya Jansangh played a major role in it. Later when the Bharatiya Janata Party formed its government at the Centre it brought people and poor centric policies and programmes by following the principles and ideologies of Ekaatm Manavaad and Antyodaya.

Today our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji is leading the Bharatiya Janata Party government which is guided by our ideology and principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas,  Sabka Prayas’.

All the policies and programmes of Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, be it economic or social, are based on the ideologies and principles of Ekaatm Manavaad and Antyodaya. These programmes and policies include Jan Dhan Yojna, Pradhanmantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, DBT scheme, Ayushman Bharat Yojna, all these are aimed at social welfare and wellbeing of all sections of the society, particularly poor, women, villagers and backward classes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party National President also said through Swachchhta Abhiyan and Ujjawala Yojna the Narendra Modi government has ensured empowerment of the poor and women. Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji has also ensured social security of poor and downtrodden classes, and also improvement in the living standard of poor and backward classes. All these pro poor policies are the results of the Bharatiya Janata Party following the ideals and principles of Ekaatm Manavaad and Antyodaya. Today through the pro poor and people centric policies and programmes of the Narendra Modi government has changed the face of our country and has made India a politically and economically strong nation.

The Honourable National President said today the Bharatiya Janata Party is celebrating the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji at around 10.40 lakh booths across the country. Today we all workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party should learn from the life of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji and try to follow his teachings and principles in our lives. We should also join hands and follow our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji in fulfilling the goals and dreams of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji and make our country strong and powerful. We should all contribute wholeheartedly in nation building, it will be our real tribute to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji.

Joint Statement from Quad Leaders

Published on:

We, the leaders of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, convened today in person as “the Quad” for the first time. On this historic occasion we recommit to our partnership, and to a region that is a bedrock of our shared security and prosperity—a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is also inclusive and resilient. Just six months have passed since our last meeting. Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused continued global suffering; the climate crisis has accelerated; and regional security has become ever-more complex, testing all of our countries individually and together. Our cooperation, however, remains unflinching.

The occasion of the Quad summit is an opportunity to refocus ourselves and the world on the Indo-Pacific and on our vision for what we hope to achieve. Together, we recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. We stand for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity of states. We commit to work together and with a range of partners. We reaffirm our strong support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality and for ASEAN’s Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and we underscore our dedication towards working with ASEAN and its member states—the heart of the Indo-Pacific region—in practical and inclusive ways. We also welcome the September 2021 EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

Since our first meeting, we have made considerable progress in tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and critical and emerging technologies.

Our partnership on COVID-19 response and relief marks an historic new focus for the Quad. We launched the Quad Vaccine Experts Group, comprised of top experts from our respective governments, charged with building strong ties and better aligning our plans to support Indo-Pacific health security and COVID-19 response. In doing so, we have shared assessments of the state of the pandemic and aligned our efforts to combat it, reinforced shared diplomatic principles for mitigating COVID-19 in the region, and actively improved coordination of our efforts to support safe, effective, quality-assured vaccine production and equitable access, in close collaborations with multilateral efforts including the COVAX Facility. In addition to doses financed through COVAX, Australia, India, Japan, and the United States have pledged to donate more than 1.2 billion doses globally of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. And to date, we have delivered nearly 79 million safe, effective, and quality-assured vaccine doses to countries in the Indo-Pacific as part of those commitments.

Thanks to the Quad Vaccine Partnership’s financing of increased manufacturing capacity at Biological E LTD, additional production in India will come on line later this year. In line with our March announcement, and recognizing the continuing global supply gap, we will ensure this expanded manufacturing is exported for the Indo-Pacific and the world, and we will coordinate with key multilateral initiatives, such as the COVAX Facility, to procure proven safe, effective and quality-assured COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries. We also recognize the importance of open and secure supply chains for vaccine production.

We have accomplished much to date despite months of pandemic hardship throughout the region and world. The Quad leaders welcome Biological E LTD’s production, including through our Quad investments, of at least one billion safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022. Today, we are proud to announce an initial step towards that supply that will immediately help the Indo-Pacific and the world to end the pandemic. The Quad also welcomes India’s announcement to resume exports of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, including to COVAX, beginning in October 2021. Japan will continue to help regional partners purchase vaccines through $3.3 billion of COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan. Australia will deliver $212 million in grant aid to purchase vaccines for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In addition, Australia will allocate $219 million to support last-mile vaccine rollouts and lead in coordinating the Quad’s last-mile delivery efforts in those regions.

We will also strengthen our Science and Technology (S&T) cooperation in the areas of clinical trials and genomic surveillance so that we can accelerate our efforts to end this pandemic and build better health security. We are committed to align around shared global targets to help vaccinate the world, save lives now, and build back better, including by strengthening global health security financing and political leadership. Our countries will also conduct a joint pandemic-preparedness tabletop or exercise in 2022.

We have joined forces to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the urgency it demands. Quad countries will work together to keep the Paris-aligned temperature limits within reach and will pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. To this end, Quad countries intend to update or communicate ambitious NDCs by COP26 and welcome those who have already done so. Quad countries will also coordinate their diplomacy to raise global ambition, including reaching out to key stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific region. Our work is organized across three thematic areas: climate ambition, clean-energy innovation and deployment, and climate adaptation, resilience and preparedness, with the intent to pursue enhanced actions during the 2020s, contributing to the aim of achieving global net-zero emissions preferably by 2050, and taking into account national circumstances. We are pursuing nationally appropriate sectoral decarbonization efforts, including those aimed at decarbonizing shipping and port operations and the deployment of clean-hydrogen technology. We will cooperate to establish responsible and resilient clean-energy supply chains, and will strengthen the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and climate information systems. Quad countries will work together for successful outcomes at the COP26 and G20 that uphold the level of climate ambition and innovation that this moment requires.

We have established cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, to ensure the way in which technology is designed, developed, governed, and used is shaped by our shared values and respect for universal human rights. In partnership with industry, we are advancing the deployment of secure, open, and transparent 5G and beyond-5G networks, and working with a range of partners to foster innovation and promote trustworthy vendors and approaches such as Open-RAN. Acknowledging the role of governments in fostering an enabling environment for 5G diversification, we will work together to facilitate public-private cooperation and demonstrate in 2022 the scalability and cybersecurity of open, standards-based technology. With respect to the development of technical standards, we will establish sector-specific contact groups to promote an open, inclusive, private-sector-led, multi-stakeholder, and consensus-based approach. We will also coordinate and cooperate in multilateral standardization organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union. We are mapping the supply chain of critical technologies and materials, including semiconductors, and affirm our positive commitment to resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains of critical technologies, recognizing the importance of government support measures and policies that are transparent and market-oriented. We are monitoring trends in the critical and emerging technologies of the future, beginning with biotechnology, and identifying related opportunities for cooperation. We are also launching today Quad Principles on Technology Design, Development, Governance, and Use that we hope will guide not only the region but the world towards responsible, open, high-standards innovation.

Going forward, we will not only deepen our cooperation in these critical areas, but we will broaden it to new ones. Building upon each of our regional infrastructure efforts, separately and together, we are launching a new Quad infrastructure partnership. As a Quad, we will meet regularly to coordinate our efforts, map the region’s infrastructure needs, and coordinate on regional needs and opportunities. We will cooperate to provide technical assistance, empowering regional partners with evaluative tools, and will promote sustainable infrastructure development. We support the G7’s infrastructure efforts, and look forward to cooperating with like-minded partners, including with the EU. We reconfirm the G20 Quality Infrastructure Investment Principles and will reenergize our efforts to provide high-standards infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific. We reaffirm our interest in continuing our engagement with the Blue Dot Network. We emphasize the importance of supporting open, fair, and transparent lending practices in line with international rules and standards for major creditor countries, including on debt sustainability and accountability, and call on all creditors to adhere to these rules and standards.

Today, we begin new cooperation in cyber space and pledge to work together to combat cyber threats, promote resilience, and secure our critical infrastructure. In space we will identify new collaboration opportunities and share satellite data for peaceful purposes such as monitoring climate change, disaster response and preparedness, sustainable uses of oceans and marine resources, and on responding to challenges in shared domains. We will also consult on rules, norms, guidelines and principles for ensuring the sustainable use of outer space.

We are proud to begin a new chapter of educational and people-to-people cooperation as we inaugurate the Quad Fellowship. Stewarded by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative, and with generous support from Accenture, Blackstone, Boeing, Google, Mastercard, and Western Digital this pilot fellowship program will provide 100 graduate fellowships to leading science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduate students across our four countries. Through the Quad Fellowship, our next generation of STEM talent will be prepared to lead the Quad and other like-minded partners towards the innovations that will shape our shared future.

In South Asia, we will closely coordinate our diplomatic, economic, and human-rights policies towards Afghanistan and will deepen our counter-terrorism and humanitarian cooperation in the months ahead in accordance with UNSCR 2593. We reaffirm that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterate the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan. We denounce the use of terrorist proxies and emphasized the importance of denying any logistical, financial or military support to terrorist groups which could be used to launch or plan terror attacks, including cross-border attacks. We stand together in support of Afghan nationals, and call on the Taliban to provide safe passage to any person wishing to leave Afghanistan, and to ensure that the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and minorities are respected.

We also recognize that our shared futures will be written in the Indo-Pacific, and we will redouble our efforts to ensure that the Quad is a force for regional peace, stability, security, and prosperity. Towards that end, we will continue to champion adherence to international law, particularly as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the East and South China Seas. We affirm our support to small island states, especially those in the Pacific, to enhance their economic and environmental resilience. We will continue our assistance with Pacific Island countries on responses to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 and on quality, sustainable infrastructure, as well as partner to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, which poses especially serious challenges for the Pacific.

We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions, and also confirm the necessity of immediate resolution of the issue of Japanese abductees. We urge North Korea to abide by its UN obligations, refrain from provocations. We also call on North Korea to engage in substantive dialogue. We are committed to building democratic resilience in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. We continue to call for the end to violence in Myanmar, the release of all political detainees, including foreigners, engagement in constructive dialogue, and for the early restoration of democracy. We further call for the urgent implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus. We will deepen our cooperation in multilateral institutions, including at the United Nations, where reinforcing our shared priorities enhances the resilience of the multilateral system itself. Individually and together, we will respond to the challenges of our time, ensuring that the region remains inclusive, open, and governed by universal rules and norms.

We will continue to build habits of cooperation; our leaders and foreign ministers will meet annually and our senior officials will meet regularly. Our working groups will continue their steady tempo to produce the cooperation necessary to build a stronger region.

At a time that tests us all, our commitment to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific is firm, and our vision for this partnership remains ambitious and far-reaching. With steadfast cooperation, we rise to meet this moment, together.

Anurag Thakur addresses Summit for Information and Democracy

Published on:

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Anurag Thakur addressed the Summit for Information and Democracy on the sidelines of the UNGA organised at the Consulate General of France, New York, yesterday. Joining from Leh, Ladakh, the Minister participated in a round table discussion.

In his remarks at the end of the round table discussion, the Minister said “while the world is battling the pandemic, the task of combating the equally damaging “Infodemic” also presents a challenge to member States. It is important that the issue of Infodemic is addressed at the highest level. We are pleased to be a founding member and signatory of the “International Partnership for Information and Democracy”.

The Minister informed the gathering on the onslaught of misinformation faced by India during the COVID pandemic and said “domestically, India faced a dual information challenge in the wake of the pandemic. On one end of the spectrum, the urban population faced the challenge of rapid spread of misleading and fake information through social media and other smart phone applications. On the other end, we had people in rural and remote areas, where last mile communication varied from region to region with multiple regional languages.”

Informing the audience about India’s swift response to this infodemic Shri Thakur said “the Government of India responded to these challenges through swift and clear communication, based on science and facts. Ensuring regular and authentic flow of information has been an important policy component of the Indian response to counter misinformation, fake news and false narratives. We held daily press briefings on COVID which was widely disseminated through the TV News, print, radio and social media.”

The Minister further added that “India’s Press Information Bureau was actively involved in debunking fake narratives and news through its various platforms. We also used the power of humour to inform the Indian public on various issues.”

Sh Thakur said, “a transparent, timely and trust worthy flow of information furthers democracy and allows our citizens to take informed decisions. India firmly believes in this.”

“The General Assembly has proclaimed this year, by consensus, October 24-31 as ‘Global Media and information Literacy week’ to address concerns about the exponential spread and proliferation of disinformation and misinformation through imparting media literacy skills. I am happy to inform that India was among the core group of countries which piloted this resolution. We are also among the co-sponsors of a similar resolution in UNESCO.

India was also among the co-authors of a first of its kind Cross-Regional Statement on “Infodemic” in the Context of COVID-19. We have also actively supported the UN Department of Global Communication’s “Verified” and “Pledge To Pause” initiatives.

Globally, engagement with member countries to address misinformation during an infodemic and learning from each other will go a long way to understand the issues and to find suitable solutions to address the concerns.

Background

The International Partnership for Information and Democracy was launched in New York on 26 September 2019, in the framework of the Alliance for Multilateralism. It has been signed to date by

43 States, and aims to promote freedom of opinion and expression and access to free, pluralistic and reliable information.

In order to implement the Partnership’s principles, a Forum on Information and Democracy was created on 10 November 2019 by Reporters Without Borders and 10 independent civil society organizations. On 12 November 2020, the Forum published its first report on the fight against infodemics,  followed  on  16 June 2021  by  its  second  report  on  the  economic  sustainability  of journalism (entitled A New Deal for Journalism).

Objectives

The Summit was an opportunity to focus on the following priorities:

1. Defending and promoting access to free, pluralistic and reliable information, an essential aspect of freedom of opinion and expression.

2.  Debating the Forum’s recommendations, fostering their implementation and supporting upcoming work.

3. Considering the creation of an International Observatory on Information and Democracy responsible for analysing global information trends and publishing a regular report for the Partnership’s signatory States and civil society;

4. Launching a civil society coalition (around 50 NGOs) linked to the Forum, to promote the Partnership’s principles with States and the public through awareness-raising and advocacy;

5. Fostering ties between the International Partnership for Information and Democracy and international  organizations  involved  in  issues  around  access  to  free,  pluralistic  and  reliable information

PM pays tributes to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on his birth anniversary

Published on:

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Ji on his birth anniversary.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said;

“एकात्म मानव दर्शन के प्रणेता पंडित दीनदयाल उपाध्याय जी को उनकी जयंती पर शत-शत नमन। उन्होंने राष्ट्र निर्माण में अपना जीवन समर्पित कर दिया। उनके विचार देशवासियों को सदैव प्रेरित करते रहेंगे।”

U.S.-India Joint Leaders’ Statement: A Partnership for Global Good

Published on:

President Joseph R. Biden welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House today for their first in-person Leaders’ engagement, renewing their close relationship and charting a new course to advance the partnership between the world’s largest democracies.

The Leaders affirmed a clear vision that will guide the U.S.-India relationship forward: building a strategic partnership and working together with regional groupings, including ASEAN and Quad members, to promote shared interests in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond; developing a trade and investment partnership that increases prosperity for working families in both countries; finishing the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and other health challenges; galvanizing global efforts to scale up climate action; strengthening democratic values and institutions in support of our respective peoples; and enhancing people-to-people ties that have made both countries stronger.

President Biden and Prime Minister Modi expressed deep pride and appreciation about their nations’ close cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, as governments, civil society, businesses, and diaspora communities mobilized in unprecedented ways to share emergency relief supplies during each country’s times of need. Having administered hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine to protect their own citizens at home and abroad, they reiterated their commitment to lead the global effort to end this pandemic. President Biden welcomed India’s announcement that it will resume exports of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines including to COVAX. The Leaders also hailed the finalization of the overarching Memorandum of Understanding on Health and Biomedical Sciences to bolster cooperation on key areas affecting global health, including pandemic preparedness and biomedical research, to reduce the risk of future pandemics.

Prime Minister Modi welcomed President Biden’s initiative to convene the Global COVID-19 Summit on Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better to Prepare for the Next, given our shared commitment to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Modi welcomed U.S. leadership on climate action, including the return of the United States to the Paris Agreement. President Biden expressed support for Prime Minister Modi’s intention to achieve a domestic goal of installing 450 GW of renewable power by 2030 and acknowledged the importance of mobilizing finance for investments in renewables, storage, and grid infrastructure that will guarantee clean, reliable power for millions of Indian households. Through the two main tracks of the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP) and the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD) under the U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership, the United States and India will accelerate clean energy development and deployment of critical technologies to advance a clean energy transition. India welcomed the United States joining the Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT).

President Biden reaffirmed the strength of the defense relationship between the United States and India and the unwavering commitment to India as a Major Defense Partner through close defense engagements in information sharing, sharing of logistics and military-to-military interactions, strengthening cooperation in advanced military technologies, and expanding engagements in a multilateral framework including with regional partners. The Leaders welcomed the deepening of advanced industrial cooperation. In this context, they noted the recent project to co-develop air-launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, and encouraged more such joint efforts. They called upon the government and private stakeholders to use the existing ecosystems of innovation and entrepreneurship in defense industries for co-development, co-production and expanding mutual defense trade. They also looked forward to the inaugural meeting of the Industrial Security Agreement summit to facilitate high-end defense industrial collaboration.

The Leaders reaffirmed that the United States and India stand together in a shared fight against global terrorism, will take concerted action against all terrorist groups, including groups proscribed by the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee, condemned cross-border terrorism, and called for the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to be brought to justice. They denounced any use of terrorist proxies and emphasized the importance of denying any logistical, financial or military support to terrorist groups which could be used to launch or plan terror attacks. They noted that the upcoming U.S.-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group, Designations Dialogue, and renewed U.S.-India Homeland Security Dialogue will further strengthen counterterrorism cooperation between India and the United States, including in the areas of intelligence sharing and law enforcement cooperation. They also welcomed opportunities to develop counterterrorism technologies. They commended the U.S.-India Counter Narcotics Working Group and are committed to finalizing a new Bilateral Framework which would facilitate joint efforts to combat drug trafficking, illicit narcotics production and precursor chemical supply chains.

The Leaders resolved that the Taliban must abide by UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021), which demands that Afghan territory must never again be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or finance terrorist attacks, and underscored the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan. The Leaders called on the Taliban to adhere to these and all other commitments, including regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals and to respect the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and members of minority groups. They emphasized the importance of efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, called on the Taliban to allow full, safe, direct and unhindered access for the United Nations, its specialized agencies and implementing partners, and all humanitarian actors engaged in humanitarian relief activity, including with respect to internally displaced persons. Reflecting their long-term commitment to promoting development and economic opportunity for the Afghan people, they determined to continue to closely coordinate and to work jointly with partners toward an inclusive and peaceful future for all Afghans.

The Leaders called for an end of the use of violence, for release of all political detainees, and for a swift return to democracy in Myanmar. They further called for the urgent implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus.

The Leaders welcomed increased cooperation under the Quad, including in the multilateral domain given their shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region with respect to territorial integrity and sovereignty, and international law. President Biden applauded India’s strong leadership during its UN Security Council Presidency in August 2021. In this context, President Biden also reiterated U.S. support for India’s permanent membership on a reformed UN Security Council and for other countries who are important champions of multilateral cooperation and aspire to permanent seats on the UN Security Council. He also reaffirmed U.S. support for India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. They welcomed the extension of the Statement of Guiding Principles on Triangular Cooperation for Global Development to leverage the combined capacities of India and the United States to address global development challenges around the world, particularly in the Indo-Pacific and Africa. In addition, they looked forward to the launch of the U.S.-India Gandhi-King Development Foundation to advance cooperation on health, education, and the environment.

They looked forward to reconvening the India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum before the end of 2021, to enhance the bilateral trade relationship by addressing trade concerns, identifying specific areas for increased engagement and developing an ambitious, shared vision for the future of the trade relationship. The Leaders looked forward to convening the U.S.-India CEO Forum and the Commercial Dialogue in early 2022, leveraging the talents of the private sector. The Leaders noted ongoing negotiations on an Investment Incentive Agreement that facilitates investment in development projects and committed to an early conclusion. They further discussed how the United States and India will work together to set sustainable and transparent rules of the road that will lift economies throughout the Indo-Pacific. They welcomed increased collaboration through the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and the upcoming Indo-Pacific Business Forum.

The Leaders noted that the movement of highly skilled professionals, students, investors and business travelers between their countries enhances their economic and technological partnership. The Leaders highlighted the importance of resilient and secure supply chains between the two countries. They welcomed the involvement of the private sector in both countries in building stronger linkages in critical sectors such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, semiconductors, and information technology. The Leaders recognized the importance of critical and emerging technologies in delivering economic growth and achieving strategic priorities. They looked forward to reviving the High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG) in early 2022, with the objective of accelerating high technology commerce in key areas.

The Leaders decided that the United States and India must continue and expand their partnership in new domains and many areas of critical and emerging technology – space, cyber, health security, semiconductors, AI, 5G, 6G and future generation telecommunications technology, and Blockchain, that will define innovation processes, and the economic and security landscape of the next century. The Leaders recognized the foundational need to address vulnerabilities and threats in cyberspace, including to promote critical infrastructure resilience, and welcomed the increasing partnerships among governments to counter ransomware and other cyber-enabled crime, including efforts to combat cybercriminals that operate from within their borders. The Leaders reiterated the importance of sustainable capacity-building and noted that mutual technical assistance efforts to respond to cyber threats should be prioritized and increased, including through dialogues, joint meetings, training and sharing of best practices. They looked forward to the finalization of a Space Situational Awareness Memorandum of Understanding that will help in sharing of data and services towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of outer space activities by the end of the year.

As global partners, the United States and India resolved to further strengthen their collaboration in education, science and technology and people-to-people engagement. The Leaders welcomed close consultations through the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue of the Foreign and Defense Ministers of India and the United States to be held later this year.

The Leaders celebrated the deep and vibrant ties between the people of both nations, which underpins the special bond between the United States and India, and has sustained their partnership for nearly 75 years. They reaffirmed, and encouraged others to embrace, their shared values of freedom, democracy, universal human rights, tolerance and pluralism, and equal opportunities for all citizens, and committed to pursue efforts towards sustainable development and global peace and security.

Prime Minister Modi conveyed his deep appreciation for the repatriation of antiquities to India by the United States. The Leaders committed to strengthen their efforts to combat the theft, illicit trade and trafficking of cultural objects.

Reflecting shared values and principles, and growing strategic convergence, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi resolved to advance the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, and looked forward to what the United States and India will achieve together.

Prime Minister’s Opening Remarks at the India-US Bilateral Meeting

Published on:

First of all, Mr. President I would like to express my gratitude for this very warm welcome full of friendship, not only to me but to my delegation.

Mr. President, in 2016, and even before that in 2014, we had an opportunity to have discussions in detail. And at that time Mr. President you had laid out your vision for the relations between India and the United States and you had enunciated that in great detail and really that was a vision that was inspirational and today Mr. President, as President, you are making all efforts and taking initiative, to implement that vision and I warmly welcome that.

Mr. President, you have talked/spoken in detail about the Biden surname in India and in fact you had mentioned that to me earlier too. Well, after you mentioned it to me I hunted for documents and today I have brought along some documents. May be we’ll be able to take this matter forward and may be those documents could be of use to you.

Mr. President, I firmly believe that in our summit talks and summit meeting today, what I see is that this is the third decade of the 21st century, this is the first year of the third decade and I see that when I look at the entire decade, I find that under your leadership, the seeds have been sown for the Indo-US relations to expand and for all democratic countries in the world, this is going to be a transformative period. I can see that, Thank You!

This is when I see that this transformative period is in Indo-US relations, and when I talk about traditions, I am talking about the democratic traditions, democratic values, traditions to which both our countries are committed and I find that importance of these traditions will only increase further.

Similarly, Mr. President, you mentioned that more than 4 million Indian-Americans who are participating in the journey of progress of America and when I look at the importance of this decade and the role that is going to be played by this talent of Indian-Americans, I find that this people to people talent will play a greater role and Indian talent will be a co-partner in this relationship and I see that your contribution is going to be very important in this.

Mr. President, on similar lines, the most important driving force in the world today would be that of technology and the technology that is going to be for the service and for the use of humanity and I find that opportunities for this are going to be tremendous.

Similarly, Mr. President, between India and the United States, trade will continue to assume importance and we find that the trade between our two countries are actually complementary. There are things that you have and there are things that we have and then we in fact complement each other. And I find that in the area of trade during this decade, that is also going to be tremendously important.

Mr. President, you just mentioned that on the 2nd October, we will be celebrating the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi always used to talk about the principle of trusteeship of the planet and this decade, Mr. President from that point of view, is also going to be important as this entire principle of trusteeship. It means that the planet that we have, we have to bequeath it to the following generations and this sentiment of trusteeship is going to assume more and more importance globally but also between the relations between India and the United States and it is these ideals that Mahatma Gandhi espoused when he talked about trusteeship of the planet and where the responsibility of the global citizens is only going to go up.

Mr. President, you mentioned very important issues and after assuming charge as President of the United States, you have taken very unique initiatives whether that be COVID 19, climate change or even Quad and in the days after taking this initiative, you have made and deployed great efforts to implement your vision and also today we have this opportunity to discuss all these issues in great detail. How and after our discussions, we will look towards how we can work further together not only for our respective countries but for the entire world how we can take positive actions and I am quite and absolutely convinced that under your leadership whatever we do, it will be extremely relevant for the entire world

Once again Mr. President, let me thank you profusely for this very warm welcome.

PM Narendra Modi meets Vice President Kamala Harris of the USA

Published on:

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met Her Excellency Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States of America, in Washington DC on 23 September 2021, during his visit to the USA.

They expressed happiness at their first in-person meeting. They warmly recalled their telephone conversation earlier in June 2021. They exchanged views on recent global developments, including in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

The two leaders discussed the COVID-19 situation in their respective countries, including ongoing efforts to contain the pandemic through expedited vaccination efforts, and ensuring supply of critical medicines, therapeutics and healthcare equipment.

Both sides acknowledged the importance of collaborative action on climate change. Prime Minister spoke about India’s push for increasing renewable energy and the recently launched National Hydrogen Mission. He also emphasized the importance of lifestyle changes to promote environmental sustainability.

They also discussed areas of future collaboration, including space cooperation, Information Technology, especially emerging and critical technologies, as well as the cooperation in healthcare sector. Both leaders acknowledged the vibrant people-to-people linkages as the bedrock of the mutually beneficial education linkages and the flow of knowledge, innovation and talent between our two countries.

Prime Minister Modi invited Vice-President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to visit India soon.

Gross Direct Tax collections for the FY 2021-22 register a growth of 47%

Published on:

The figures of Direct Tax collections for the Financial Year 2021-22, as on 22.09.2021 show that net collections are at Rs. 5,70,568 crore, compared to Rs. 3,27,174 crore in the corresponding period of the preceding Financial Year i.e FY 2020-21, representing an increase of 74.4%. The net collection (as on 22.09.2021) in FY 2021-22 has registered a growth of 27% over FY 2019-20 when the net collection was Rs. 4,48,976 crore.

The Net Direct Tax collection of Rs. 5,70,568 crore (as on 22.09.2021include Corporation Tax (CIT) at Rs. 3,02,975 crore (net of refund) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) including Security Transaction Tax(STT) at Rs. 2,67,593 crore (net of refund).

The Gross collection of Direct Taxes (before adjusting for refunds) for the FY 2021-22 stands at Rs. 6,45,679 crore compared to Rs. 4,39,242 crore in the corresponding period of the preceding financial year, registering a growth of 47% over collections of FY 2020-21. The Gross collection (as on 22.09.2021) in FY 2021-22 has registered a growth of 16.75% over FY 2019-20 when the Gross collection was Rs. 5,53,063 crore.

The Gross collection of Rs. 6,45,679 crore includes Corporation Tax (CIT) at Rs. 3,58,806 crore and Personal Income Tax (PIT) including Security Transaction Tax(STT) at Rs. 2,86,873 crore. Minor head wise collection comprises Advance Tax of Rs. 2,53,353 crore; Tax Deducted at Source of Rs. 3,19,239 crore; Self-Assessment Tax of Rs. 41,739 crore; Regular Assessment Tax of Rs. 25,558 crore; Dividend Distribution Tax of Rs. 4,406 crore and Tax under other minor heads of Rs. 1383 crore.

Despite extremely challenging initial months of the fiscal year 2021-22, the Advance Tax collection in the second quarter (1st July, 2021 to 22nd September, 2021) of FY 2021-22 is Rs. 1,72,071 crore which shows a growth of 51.50% over the corresponding period in FY 2020-21 when the Advance Tax collection was Rs. 1,13,571 crore.

The cumulative Advance Tax collections for the first and second quarter of the FY 2021-22 stand at Rs. 2,53,353 crore as on 22.09.2021, against Advance Tax collections of Rs. 1,62,037 crore for the corresponding period of the immediately preceding Financial Year i.e 2020-21, showing a growth of 56%(approximately). Further, the cumulative Advance tax collection of Rs. 2,53,353 crore as on 22.09.2021 (FY 2021-22) shows a growth of 14.62% over the corresponding period in FY 2019-20 when the Advance Tax collection(cumulative) was Rs. 2,21,036 crore. The Advance Tax collection of Rs. 2,53,353 crore as on 22.09.2021 comprises Corporation Tax (CIT) at Rs. 1,96,964 crore and Personal Income Tax (PIT) at Rs. 56,389 crore. This amount is expected to increase as further information is awaited from Banks.

Refunds amounting to Rs. 75,111 crore have also been issued in the FY 2021-22 so far.

Shipping Minister inaugurates and lays foundation stone of three projects at New Mangalore Port

Published on:

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated and laid foundation stone of three projects at New Mangalore Port today. He was accompanied by MP Shri Nalin Kumar Kateel and Chairman of the New Mangalore Port Trust Dr A V Ramana. The projects include laying of foundation stone for a truck parking terminal and modification of U.S. Mallya Gate, and dedication to nation of the newly built business development centre.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sonowal said that additional truck parking area of 17000 sq metres will be developed at cost of Rs 1.9 crore.  The Truck Terminal would be provided concrete pavement, gate house, restaurant, and dormitory at the project cost of Rs.5.00 crores in 2022-23.  He informed that the U.S. Mallya Gate, named after the founder of the Port, will be modified at a cost of Rs 3.22 crore.  The work is likely to be completed by March 2022. He said, the Business Development Centre will provide all facilities under one roof to the EXIM trade fraternity.

The Minister said that due to improved hinterland connectivity, the container and other general cargo traffic is increasing at this Port. Around 500 trucks are moving to and fro daily for evacuation of cargo from New Mangalore Port to distant places outside Dakshin Kannada district and Karnataka state. Though the Port has provided parking facilities for about 160 trucks, the existing area is found to be insufficient.  He said, construction of a new parking area will be a boon to EXIM trade from this Port.

https://static.pib.gov.in/WriteReadData/userfiles/image/image002CUIU.jpg

Chairman, NMPT, Dr A V Ramana informed that the proposed modification of the East gate complex of the New Mangalore Port Trust have dimensions of 46.6 Mtrs. Length and 13.5 Mtrs. The gate complex has different lanes for movement of trucks, four wheeler passenger vehicles, two wheelers, pedestrians, provisions of RFID system, radiological monitoring equipment, boom barriers, etc. He said, the Business Development Centre and Testing Centre are built on an area of 2.80 acres on western side of NH 66 adjacent to the IOC retail outlet. The Business Development Centre is a Stilt + Ground + Three storey building with a total carpet area of 6300 Sqm and 1200 m2 test centre building. The project cost of construction of Business Development Centre for Export and Testing Centre is Rs 24.57 crore. It has a conference hall, restaurant, post office, banks, etc.

https://static.pib.gov.in/WriteReadData/userfiles/image/image0035XHU.jpg

New Mangalore port, the only major port of Karnataka, is ideally located between Cochin and Goa ports. Every aspect of the infrastructure is designed to ensure that vessels are sharply focused on the customers’ logistical needs. The port has 15 fully operational berths, handling containers, coal and other cargo. New Mangalore Port Trust is an ISO 9001, 14001 and ISPS compliant port due to its strict emphasis on safety security. Being environmentally conscious, the Port keeps prime importance to ecological improvement projects developing a green belt and clean up drives at the bay. The port also extends warm welcome to cruise tourists, thanks to state of art cruise terminal with all the facilities of international standards and tourist places in the vicinity of Mangalore. The port is accessible from three national highways – NH66, 75 and 169. It is the meeting point of three rail routes- Konkan, South Western, Southern and accessible to Mangalore International Airport.