Mahabharata circuit an addition to the pilgrimage tourism

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Mahabharata- The fight between Pandavas and Kauravas

Mahabharata- The fight between Pandavas and Kauravas

Pronounced as one of the biggest wars that lasted for over 18 days, Mahabharata turned the battlefield in Kurukshetra (Haryana) red. It was called the Dharam Yudh (Justice War). One of the greatest epics in the Hindu mythology written by the sage Ved Vyas based in the period between 400 CE to 200 CE, Mahabharata depicts the war between two group of cousins Pnadavas (sons of King pandav) and Kauravas (sons of a blind King, Dhritrashtra) for the throne of Hastinapur (now in Uttar Pradesh) and simultaneously an important source of information for the development of Hinduism. In an effort to bring the places and stories from the epic into life, Uttar Pradesh government is developing Mahabharata circuit that would connect the key places in Mahabharata.

Hastinapur, the King's Landing and the part of Mahabharata Circuit

Hastinapur, the King’s Landing and the part of Mahabharata Circuit

The circuit will connect three major places of the Ved Vyasa’s epic i.e., Hastinapur, Kampilya and Ahichchhatra.  Hastinapur was the King’s landing and the capital of the Kuru clan that is located near Meerut. Whereas Kampilya, called Kampil now, near Farrukhabad is believed to be the birthplace of Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas (five brothers).  The third site is Ahichchhatra or Panchal Desha, which have been discovered near Ramnagar village in Bareilly. It was the kingdom of King Panchal, father of Draupadi.
India is known for its pilgrimage and spiritual tourism. Banaras, Haridwar and the famous Char Dham (the four abode) are a few of the attractions of religious tourism.  33o million deities in India reflect the faith and devotion of India.
Every year lakhs of foreigners visit country to explore religious tourism. India being a culturally diverse country has many stories and rituals that lure foreigners to research on the deep-rooted customs of India. These circuits serve as a good appetite for their curiosity.

Buddhist Circuit in India

Buddhist Circuit in India

Buddhist circuit is the biggest one connecting all the holy sites related to Buddhism, his birth place Lumbini, place he attained enlightenment Bodhgaya, preaching place Sarnath and the place he reached Nirvana Kushinagar.
Mahabharata circuit will be an addition to the UP tourism. It will give face to the imagination and thus will not merely be connecting places but the hearts and faith as well. Mahabharata circuit will also promote Haryana and boost the UP tourism.

The project is expected to cost INR 80 million and the state tourism minister Kawkab Hameed has submitted a proposal to the central government to grant money for the development of the circuit.
Hameed talking about the places in circuit said, “Efforts are also on to pinpoint the spot where Lord Krishna preached ‘Bhagvad Gita,’ the gospel of duty, to Arjun at the onset of the great battle of Mahabharat”.
Director general, UP Tourism, Amrit Abhijat, said, “Linking these sites is not the only thing being worked upon. The plan also includes the development of tourist infrastructure in the selected destinations. Besides this, we would also be promoting the important Buddhist and Jain sites falling in the districts.”

80 Years devoted to Peace

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Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

“I hope you will join me again to celebrate my 90th birthday,” said Dalai Lama to thousands of Tibetans gathered in the main temple Tsuglakhang at Mcleod Ganj in Dharamshala on June 21, Sunday to celebrate the 80th his birthday according to the Tibetan lunar calendar organised by the Central Tibetan Administration.  “I am 80 years old now and have lived my entire life practicing the knowledge that I have gained from the Nalanda tradition. I would continue to work for promotion of compassion and religious harmony,” said the 14th Dalai Lama who is also the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign to end China’s domination over Tibet. Dalai Lamas are the Bodhisattva of compassion and the patron saint of Tibet who postponed their nirvana and chose to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.

Dalai Lama on his 80th birthday with Ministers

Dalai Lama on his 80th birthday with Ministers

Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki marked their presence in the event. The Global Compassion Summit from July 5-7 in California will also celebrate Dalai Lama’s birthday officially.
Born on July 6, 1935, to a humble farmer in a tiny Tibetan village, Lhamo Dhondrup was recognized as the 14th incarnation of the Dalai Lama by a group of Buddhist monks when he was two years old.

The Global Compassion Summit celebrating Dalai Lama's 80th birthday

The Global Compassion Summit celebrating Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday

By bringing an end to the dual spiritual and political authority of his post in a landmark move in 2011, the maroon-clad monk with smile is focussing on what he sees as the core duties of his role. “He believes the cultural and spiritual values of Tibetan Buddhism can make an important contribution to the world,” Dalai Lama’s secretary Tenzin Takhla said.
The elderly monk’s promotion of non-violence with a smiling face has made him a global peace icon. The Nobel laureate has to his credit other awards such as Life Achievement Award, International League for Human Rights Award and Templeton Prize.
In his struggle for Tibet’s freedom and autonomy, India has always lend its hand for support. Dalai Lama called multiculturalism, the true beauty of India. Currently India remains home to an estimated 100,000 Tibetans who live in 35 settlements and numerous smaller communities in far-flung corners of the country striving to keep their cultural identity alive while adapting to a foreign land. They still wish to return to a democratic Tibet with Dalai Lama being the one of the few hopes to achieve this. 

International Yoga Day binds the world in one thread

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Aerial Yoga using Hammocks

Aerial Yoga using Hammocks

With the increasing popularity of Yoga the world has discovered their own ways of doing it, some of the interpretations are, Doga, which involves lifting the dog in the air or resting it on your stomach as you bend backwards. The Anti-gravity or the Ariel yoga involves transcending gravity using a hammock attached to the ceiling to aid practice. Another is Cold Yoga, a trend to do Yoga outside in sub-zero temperature etc.

Yoga with Dogs or Doga

Yoga with Dogs or Doga

Cold Yoga

Cold Yoga

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s effort to acknowledge Yoga seems to be fruitful. On Sunday, 21st June world will unanimously perform Aasanas (Postures). The first annual International Yoga Day is going to be a historic event where 192 countries will collectively participate.
The whole world is organising events in order to promote the day. Cairo in Egypt has organised a photography competition ‘Yoga in Egypt’ to encourage people’s participation. And as the day falls during the holy month of Ramdan the celebrations have been slated to take place in the evening after Iftar, according to Rakesh Kawra, director of Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) in Egypt. Also Indian embassy in Paris is organising a 2 hour program on Sunday morning with the support of Media India Group in popularizing and organising it. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj will be representing India in United Nations expecting the involvement of 30,000 people.

Pre Yoga Day preparation in Paris

Pre Yoga Day preparation in Paris

Indian Navy performing Yoga

Indian Navy performing Yoga

India is all geared up for the day, from embassies to high commissions to army to students everybody is eager for it. The key event will be held in the capital’s Rajpath with 37,500 yoga mats to set a Guinness world record of the largest yoga class. The event will also mark the presence of PM Modi addressing the crowd.
India Navy has also planned “Yoga across the Sea” with units located as far as the Mediterranean Sea on the West, the Western Pacific Ocean on the East and the Southern Indian Ocean in the South to participate in yoga sessions, the Army too is planning events from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

Yoga

Yoga

While the aim of yoga is to relax the body and unify the spirit, for some of India’s religious minorities, this Sunday’s event is neither relaxing nor unifying. Catholic leaders from the southern state of Kerala criticised the decision to hold the event on a Sunday and Abdul Rahim Qureshi from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board called it is a campaign to enforce Hindu rituals on all non-Hindus. Moreover Uttrakhand, the state devoting an entire week for the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh from March 1-7 has also cut itself off from the day. Harish Rawat, the chief minister of the state called it a “propagandist exercise” and said, “We won’t be part of the International Yoga Day celebrations as we are not interested in drum-beating about it, we will soon come up with a detailed action plan for the promotion of yoga from September onwards.” Despite the criticism, the International Yoga Day has a long way to go. It is an initiative for healthy living. Yoga is not merely confined to postures but also breathing exercises and meditation and serves as a holistic development of the body.

Paris Air Show gives wings to Rafale deal

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Paris Air Show 2015

Paris Air Show 2015

The 51st edition of the Paris Air Show touched sky with a number of orders including the most awaited Rafale deal with India. The six days program from 15th to 22nd June presents around 120 aircrafts with a commercial motive every year. This year the major announcement in the show was made regarding the Rafale order. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, “The discussions with the Indian authorities are progressing very well, and purchase of 36 rafale fighter jets would be finalised within 2-3 months.”  He further added, “I will travel to India very soon to see how it is all evolving but I don’t have a single worry,”  after meeting Rao Inderjit Singh, India’s Minister of State for Defence in the show.

Rafale Fighter Jet

Rafale Fighter Jet

The pact is worth 5 billion Euros and was announced by PM Modi during his visit to France. The Rafale deal has been in news since long, the former government planned to buy 126 fighter jets but was cut down to 36 jets. As Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said, “they are way too expensive.”
The contract is beneficial for France as being going through an economic crisis to boost the capital inflow in the country and to meet the critical operational necessity of India Air Force (IAF). India is still negotiating terms and conditions for the Rafale order. The countries are trying to meet the negotiations as soon as possible for future developments. Modi’s initiative for 36 ‘fly-away’ war jets suggests a longer-term relationship with the French defence firm Dassault. If India plays its cards right, the deal also has potential for a ‘Make in India’ push in the defence sector. India has in recent years launched a vast defence modernisation programme worth about USD 100 billion, partly to keep up with rival neighbours Pakistan and China. Modi, a hardcore nationalist premier has his eye on ending the India’s status as major defence importer and to domestically manufacture 70 percent of its hardware.

Narendra Modi and Francois Hollande shaking hands

Narendra Modi and Francois Hollande shaking hands

This is not purely a commercial deal but a larger government strategy. Both the countries are looking to kick start their economy and the rafale deal is their first step together in the direction. Defence analyst Rahul Bedi praised and called it a “clever” move to buy the jets directly from France, overriding commercial agents.
It is the biggest ever international order for France. French President Francois Hollande said he was “deeply moved” by the jets sale and that it would take the partnership between the two countries “into a new gear”.

 

Guntur girl makes her way in chess

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Bommini Mounika Akshaya holding her gold medal

Bommini Mounika Akshaya holding her gold medals

Bommini Mounika Akshaya, a girl from Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh bagged two gold medals in the 16th ASEAN age-group chess championship in Singapore. The Guntur girl won seven points from nine rounds to pocket the gold in the under-12 girls segment, and added 150 points to her rating. Being financially deprived, the girl was helped by Andhra Cricket Association of INR 50,000. Mounika has lost only one match to Zhang Jasmine Haomo, a New Zealander, and drew with Bach Ngoc and Tran Nhat Phuong, both from Vietnam and awarded with the title of Women Fide Master (WFM). The girl still has a long way to go, she will be further taking part in the Commonwealth Chess Championship in New Delhi from June 20 and then the Asian under-13 championship at Seoul from August 3 to 11. Bommini Mounika Akshaya will now compete in rapid and blitz formats at 16th ASEAN age-group chess championship.
The Guntur girl is following the path of India’s chess Grandmaster and former World Chess Champion,Viswanathan Anand. The ace chess player has been awarded with Chess Oscar, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Arjuna Award and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award etc.

Sports person in India

Sports person in India

There was a time when Indian women did not have much presence on the national platform. But now, the time has changed, from PT Usha to Sania Mirza, India has traveled a long destination towards the achievements of our women folk in the sports world. Indian women are making news in areas of sports like boxing, wrestling, cricket, and shooting once dominated by men. Recently Saina Nehwal became the World champion in badminton and Yogeshwar Dutt ended India’s long wait for gold in wrestling.
In India cricket is growing as a religion beyond cast and creed and it is admirable to see other sports making their way out of it. The charm of different sport is luring people to participate.  Youngsters are trying their hand in different sports like badminton, tennis, kabbadi, wrestling, chess etc. Government encouragement for sports can be seen through the policy made by Haryana government ‘Haryana Physical Activities and Sports Policy-2015.’  The policy provides monetary benefits, pensions and employment to the meddlers.

Chandigarh’s French Connection

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Rock Garden Swings

Rock Garden Swings

Rock Garden or the fantasy of a lost kingdom, is a magnificent beauty. It does not only evoke a sense of creativity but also a queer sense of humility through its narrow streets and lanes.  Rock garden is the symbol of making best out of waste. The imperfect tiles, broken bangles, cutlery, chinaware,  switches,  tube-lights, marbles, household junk, stones, building material were compiled to build the garden.  The creator Nek Chand Saini, a Padma Shree recipient, passed away this morning leaving the heritage behind. His contribution to the union territory can be measured by the fact that the Chandigarh administration declared the day off.  PM Modi in his tweet said, “Nek Chand-ji will always be remembered for his artistic genius and fabulous creation that is cherished by many. May his soul rest in peace.”

Chandigarh City

Chandigarh City

The city itself is an example of modern and contemporary planning. To many of us who may not know, the well-known French architect Le Corbusier had a key role in Chandigarh’s urban development. He divided the city into rectangular patterns, forming identical looking sectors that measured 800m* 1200m. The neighbourhoods thus formed were self-sufficient and comprised of market, temples, schools and colleges within 10 minutes of walking distance. The city is surrounded by a 16 kilometre wide greenbelt to ensure that no development could take place in the immediate vicinity.

Capitol Complex

Capitol Complex in Chandigarh

A milestone in Modern Architecture and Urban Planning, Chandigarh attracts numerous architects, planners, historians and conservation professionals for carrying out their research. One of the key conserns, however, remains the conservation of this planned city that also the capital of two states, Haryana and Punjab. Thus for the conservation of its heritage and exchange of expertise in the civic development of the city, the Chandigarh administration is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a group of eight French municipalities, Plaine Commune Urban Community, on Saturday, June 13 in Paris. Plaine Commune, the former member of the French National Association of towns and regions of art and history, will support the Chandigarh administration in promoting the city as heritage hub.
With the consent of external affair ministry, the adviser to administrator Vijay Kumar Dev, home secretary Anurag Agarwal along with chief architect Kapil Setia and secretary urban development Vikram Dutt left for Paris this morning.
“It is going to be a historic moment when both administration and Plaine Commune will sign joint pact, “said Vijay Dev. “The pact will have twin objectives. Apart from civic development, the commune will also help us in our effort for the conservation of Le Corbusier’s heritage. This is important for the purpose of getting UNESCO world heritage status for the Capitol Complex,” he added. Capitol Complex is the legislative assembly designed by Corbusier that is a part of the UNESCO world heritage nominations from India for the year 2016.

2- Minute Noodles is on a Long Haul

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 2- Minute Noodles is on a Long Haul

2- Minute Noodles is on a Long Haul

Meri (my) maggi, a respite for bachelors, one of the most dependent and quickest answers for hungry night, every party snack is been recalled. The high content of lead and MSG found in the product has left people surprised.  The Lucknow Food Safety and Drug Administration found monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead contents in Maggi, in amounts exceeding the permissible limit. The permissible lead content is 0.01 parts per million as opposed to 17 parts per million that Maggi is claimed to contain.
The 2-minute Maggi noodle is a household name and is consumed ubiquitously across India. Until recently, it enjoyed the unequivocal trust and faith of mothers, children and people across all strata.

According to WHO, lead is particularly harmful for children causing intellectual disabilities. “There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe,” says WHO. MSG’s long run effects are not yet discovered but in a short run can cause hyper-tension, palpitation, headache, eye damage, rapid heartbeat and numbness etc. Also the contents can affect the reproductive system severely.

“In India, Maggi is synonymous with noodles and dominates the market with 63pc share in 2014. This means that the brand has a lot to lose,” said Lianne van den Bos, a food analyst at Euromonitor, a London-based market intelligence firm.

The controversy on Maggi has dragged Nestle to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) for “unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements.”

Maggi endorsers in trouble

Maggi endorsers in trouble

India’s market for processed, packaged and branded foods is at nascent stage where consumers are unaware of the ingredients, additives and other attributes of what they buy and eat.  The monetary dominance overpowers the need for checking ingredients.
Amit Khurana, the Program Manager (food safety and toxins) from the Centre for Science and Environment explains, “There is a larger food safety issues. Our laws on labeling need more improvement. As of today, the Indian safety authority does not have a law on nutritional fact labeling. The consumer should know what he/she is buying and what kind of ingredients are there and what their nutritional value is.”
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has ordered testing of branded noodles, pasta and macaroni made by firms that include ITC, GSK Consumer, Ruchi International, Indo Nissin, besides Nestle. Many states like Delhi, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat have banned Maggi due to food safety concerns.

While Nestle is in a crisis, so are its endorsers. Indian actors such as Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta who promoted the brand in the past have also received legal notice.

The trouble mounting on Nestle, however, is not restricted to India. In East Africa, Nakumatt, the Kenyan-based supermarket chain, has decided to withdraw the noodles from its stores. Bahrain and Dubai have temporarily banned the import and sale of Nestle’s Maggi noodles from India. And UK is constantly checking the reports.

The hazards in Maggi have raised many questions and legitimacy on the food laws in India. Questions over the clearance of Maggi by the FSSAI,and  the periodic evaluation of  the packaged food are sprouting among the consumers and has left a question mark on the packaged food industry.

Award-Winning Bollywood Films: Cannes Film Festival

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cannes

Bollywood films have walked away with several major prizes at prestigious film festivals worldwide over the years. Beginning all the way back in 1937, films from India have captured the attention of international juries. The Cannes Film Festival, without question the most influential and important of all the world’s festivals has seen only a few Indian films win awards over the years.

1.  “Neecha Nagar” (Dir: Chetan Anand, 1946)

Though the Cannes Film Festival officially began in 1939, there was a six year break owing to World War II. The festival resumed in 1946, and it was in that year that Chetan Anand’s film Neecha Nagar was one of a handful of films that walked away with the top prize, which was then known as the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film. One of the earliest efforts at social realism in Bollywood cinema, it was inspired by a short story of the same name written by Hayatulla Ansari (which itself was based on Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths) and focuses on the vast differences between the rich and poor in Indian society. Though mostly forgotten today, it paved the way for many filmmakers in the Indian New Wave. More »

2.  “Amar Bhoopali” (Dir: Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram, 1951)

Director Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram’s Amar Bhupali (The Immortal Song) is a biopicabout the poet and musician Honaji Bala, set in the final days of the Maratha confederacy in the early 19th century. Bala is best known as the composer of the classic ragaGhanashyam Sundara Sridhara, and for popularizing the Lavani dance form. Depicting the poet as a lover of both dance and women, the film was nominated for the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film though it only snagged an award for Excellence in Sound Recording from the Centre National de la Cinematographic. More »

3.  “Do Bigha Zamin” (Dir: Bimal Roy, 1954)

Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zamin (Two Acres of Land), another social-realist film tells the story of a farmer, Shambu Mahato, and his struggles to hold onto his land after being forced to pay back an artificially inflated debt. Roy was one of the pioneering directors of the neo-realist movement, and Do Bigha Zamin, like all his films, successfully finds a balance between entertainment and art. Featuring songs performed by legendary playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi, the film won the respectable Prix Internationale at the 1954 festival. The link above will allow you to view the film in its entirety. More »

4.  “Pather Panchali” (Dir: Satyajit Ray, 1955)

Auteur Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, the first chapter of the Apu trilogy, is not only a landmark of Indian cinema, but is also considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. Featuring a cast primarily made up of amateur actors, the film introduces us to Apu, a young boy who lives with his family in rural Bengal. A look at the abject poor and their need to leave their homes and relocate to the big city in order to survive, it’s an excellent introduction to the lyrical realism that Ray is known for. The film won the Palme d’Or for Best Human Document in 1956. The link above will allow you to view the film in its entirety. More »

5.  “Kharij” (Dir: Mrinal Sen, 1982)

Based on the novel by Ramapada Chowdhury, Kharij (Case is Closed) is Mrinal Sen’s 1982 tragic drama that tells of the accidental death of an underaged servant, and the effect it has on the couple that hired him. A charged political work that exposes the exploitation of the underprivileged classes in India, it’s a far more downbeat film than your typical Bollywood film. A powerful and unforgettable work, it won the Special Jury Prize at the 1983 festival. The link above will allow you to view the film in its entirety. More »

6.  “Salaam Bombay!” (Dir: Mira Nair, 1988)

A crossover hit that found worldwide success, Mira Nair’s first feature film is a hybrid documentary-narrative that features real children from the streets of Bombay who were professionally trained to re-enact scenes and experiences from their lives. Unrelenting and often cruel at times, the kids in the film must tackle with issues such as poverty, pimps, prostitutes, sweatshops and drug dealing. A smash with festival-goers, it won both the Camera d’Or and the Audience Award at the 1988 festival, paving the path to a handful of awards at other festivals worldwide. More »

7.  “Marana Simhasanam” (Dir: Murali Nair, 1999)

This relatively short feature (just 61 minutes) set in Kerala is an often disturbing film that tells of the first execution by electric chair in India. A desperate villager who steals some coconuts in order to feed his family winds up being sentenced to death through a series of politically-related events. Told with minimal dialog, the film is a powerful critique of class oppression and political manipulation. This deeply unsettling film (whose title translates asThe Throne of Death) walked away with the Camera d’Or at the 1999 festival.  More »

WE ARE COMING UP WITH OUR SPECIAL ISSUE OF CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2015

(c) http://worldfilm.about.com/

Modi calls Germany to ‘Make in India”

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Modi calls Germany to 'Make in India"

Modi calls Germany to ‘Make in India”

“Hello Germany! Reached Hannover a short while ago,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on reaching Germany on April 12 to visit the Hannover Fair, where India is the partner country. “Germany ranks eighth among foreign investor companies in India. Purpose of my participating in Hannover fair is to highlight that there is more potential in Indo-German economic collaboration,” said Modi. His first European tour since he became the Prime Minister  began with France on April 9, post which he is in Germany the second leg of the tour. One of the primary agenda’s of the three nation tour of Modi  is to promote to ‘Make In India’ as a global initiative and invite investments in India. He inaugurated the ‘India Pavilion’ of the Hannover Messe Fair with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and while addressing the Indo-German business summit, Modi asked German businessmen to “come and feel” the change in India’s regulatory environment. At a community reception in Berlin, Modi addressed the Indian diaspora and said that the country has huge potential of becoming a manufacturing hub and asked Indian professionals in Germany to act as a “bridge” between the two countries. Making a move to change the perspectives of foreign countries investing in India he said, “Please don’t go by old perceptions.” Indian companies that were the participants in the Hannover Fair were Tata Group and Bharat Forge etc. The pet project of Modi is an initiative by India to lure foreign investors and promote it as a growing economy in the world. While pitching for Make In India, Modi said,” It is not a slogan or a brand, but a new national movement”. He further added, “The symbol depicts lion made of cogs, because a lion can never be stopped and also it is the symbol of new India. We know that our biggest need today is to create jobs for our 65% population which is young. Make in India is the need.” Making it easier for the investors, Modi promised a welcoming business environment in India with a predictable, stable and competitive tax regime and asserted that the remaining uncertainties will be addressed. The Indian government is gradually changing and easing regulations and simplifying the procedures to take part in Indian initiatives. Modi’s visit to Germany has formed a relationship of mutual fascination and goodwill and is expected to change the former perspectives of investors and make them see the opportunities in India. Both the countries are expecting successful ties with each other in future. After the success of the second leg, Modi will fly to Canada marking the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister in 42 years.

Modi bids goodbye to France

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 Modi bids goodbye to France

Modi bids goodbye to France

“France is the first one to raise its voice if injustice is done to India, such is our relationship,” said prime minister Narendra Modi.
The first leg of the three-nation tour successfully ended and here comes the time to say goodbye to France and head over to Germany.
France kept Narendra Modi busy with a hectic schedule. After arriving in Paris on April 9, he got a ceremonial welcome and was further accompanied by  French foreign minister Laurent Fabius to attend two roundtable meetings with French CEOs, one on infrastructure development in India and the other on cooperation in defence projects. Followed by the boat ride with the president Francois Holland, popularised as ‘Naav pe Charcha’ (chat on boat). Earlier the prime minister had ‘Chai pe Charcha’ (discussion over tea) with president Barack Obama, during his visit to India.
Modi’s visit to France is been considered very fruitful as India inked 17 agreements with France including the long delayed million dollar deal to buy Rafale fighter jets and proposal with French nuclear- energy company Areva to set up nuclear reactors in Jaitapur in Maharashtra. The agreement also included deals on subjects,  spanning space exploration, railway development, tourism and education in Ayurveda, the system of Indian traditional medicine etc.
Apart from the meetings and agreements, Modi visited the Airbus facility in France and also gave tribute to the soldiers by visiting the World War 1 memorial. He also proceeded to UNESCO and CNES and clicked selfies with the space students.
India’s foreign secretary S. Jaishankar on Modi’s visit said that “Mr. Modi’s agenda in traveling to the three “industrialized democracies” is to pursue India’s “economic interests.” They are very relevant to a lot of our national development programs.”
Modi’s tour is a step towards bilateral trade and relationship building between India and France. As France called India as a “bright spot” in the global economy, the expectations of both the countries have risen up. In future India expects French participation in companies giving them better opportunity to invest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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