rss_icon
ivanka1

ivanka1

HYDERABAD: Celebrating India as the land of entrepreneurs and the incubator of innovations, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exhorted the international community to invest in India and showcased the burgeoning entrepreneurial culture in the world’s fastest growing major economy.Highlighting India’s recent economic achievements and the government’s successful efforts at promoting an investor friendly environment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the world’s top innovators and entrepreneurs at the 8th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES-2017) in Hyderabad on November 28. Inaugurating the show with United States President Donald Trump’s Adviser Ivanka Trump, Mr Modi underscored the them of “Women First, Prosperity for All”, and pointed out a growing number of women entrepreneurs in India. This is the first time India is hosting the GSE, which has brought together over 1500 investors, entrepreneurs, academicians, think-tanks and other stakeholders to propel the global entrepreneurship ecosystem.

(Full text of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad on November 28, 2017).

We are happy to host the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in partnership with the Government of the United States of America.The Summit is being held in South Asia for the first time. It brings together leading investors, entrepreneurs, academicians, think-tanks and other stakeholders to propel the global entrepreneurship ecosystem.This event not only connects the Silicon Valley with Hyderabad but also show-cases the close ties between the United States of America and India. It underlines our shared commitment towards encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.The topics picked for this year’s summit include healthcare and life sciences; digital economy and financial technology; energy and infrastructure; and media and entertainment. These are all important issues, relevant to the well-being and prosperity of mankind.

Women First: Celebrating Shakti

The theme “Women First, Prosperity for All” makes this edition of GES stand out. In Indian mythology, woman is an incarnation of Shakti – the Goddess of power. We believe women empowerment is vital to our development.Our history has references to women of remarkable talent and determination. Gargi, an ancient philosopher, around the seventh century BC, challenged a male sage to a philosophical discourse – something unheard of in those times. Our warrior queens like Rani Ahilyabai Holkar and Rani Lakshmibai fought bravely to defend their kingdoms. Our freedom struggle too is replete with such inspirational instances.

Indian women continue to lead in different walks of life. Our space programmes, including the Mars Orbiter Mission, have had immense contribution from our women scientists. Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, both of Indian origin, have been part of US space missions.Three out of four oldest High Courts in India are now headed by women judges. Our sportswomen have done the country proud. This very city of Hyderabad is home to Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, and Sania Mirza, who have brought laurels to India.

In India, we have provided for not less than one third of women representation in rural and urban local bodies, ensuring women’s participation in grass-root level decision-making.More than sixty percent of workers in our agriculture and allied sectors are women. Our milk co-operatives in Gujarat and the Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, are examples of highly successful and globally acclaimed women-led co-operative movements.

Here at the GES, more than 50 percent of the delegates are women. Over the next two days, you will meet many women who have dared to be different, in their own walks of life. They now inspire a new generation of women entrepreneurs. I hope the deliberations in the summit would focus on how women entrepreneurship can be further supported.

India, Incubator of innovations

India has been an incubator for innovations and entrepreneurship over the ages. The ancient Indian treatise, Charaka Samhita, introduced the world to Ayurveda. Yoga is another ancient Indian innovation. The entire world now comes together, to celebrate Yoga Day on 21st June every year. Many entrepreneurs are involved in promoting Yoga, spirituality, and traditional Ayurvedic products.The digital world we live in today is based on the binary system. The invention of zero, foundation of this binary system happened with Aryabhatta’s work in India. Similarly, many nuances of modern day economic policy, taxation system, and public finance policies are outlined in our ancient treatise Arthashastra by Kautilya.

Ancient India’s expertise in metallurgy is also well known. Our many ports and harbours and the world’s oldest dockyard at Lothal bear evidence to vibrant trade linkages. The tales of Indian voyagers travelling to foreign lands reflect the entrepreneurial character and spirit of our forefathers.

Who is an entrepreneur?

What are the core qualities that distinguish an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur uses knowledge and skills to fulfil a motive. Entrepreneurs see opportunity in adversity. They try to meet felt needs by making processes more convenient and comfortable for the end user. They are patient and determined. Swami Vivekananda had said Each work has to pass through three stages – ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood. Most entrepreneurs would be familiar with this.The power to think differently and ahead of the times for the betterment of mankind is what sets entrepreneurs apart. I see that power in India’s young generation today. I see 800 million potential entrepreneurs who can work towards making the world a better place.The number of smartphone users in India is projected to grow to over 500 million by 2018. This offers immense potential for the growth of any venture, in terms of outreach and job creation.

ivanka2

Start-up India

Our Start-Up India programme is a comprehensive action plan to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation. It aims to minimize the regulatory burden and provide support to startups. Over 1200 redundant laws have been scrapped, 87 rules for FDI have been eased in 21 sectors, and several government processes have been taken online.

Ease of Doing Business

Our government has taken several steps to improve the business environment. The jump in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report, from 142 to 100, in three years, is a result of this.We have improved on indicators like dealing with construction permits, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

The process is not yet complete. This is an area where we are not satisfied with 100th rank. We would strive towards 50th rank.We have launched the MUDRA scheme to provide easy finance of up to one million rupees to entrepreneurs. Since its launch in 2015, over 90 million loans worth 4.28 trillion rupees have been sanctioned. Of these, more than 70 million loans have been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs.

My government has launched the “Atal Innovation Mission”. We are opening Tinkering Labs in more than 900 schools to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among children. Our “Mentor India” initiative engages leaders to guide and mentor students through these tinkering labs. In addition, 19 incubation centers have been created in various universities and research institutions. These will nurture innovative start-up businesses to become scalable and sustainable.

Financial Inclusion

We have created Aadhaar – the world’s largest biometric based digital database. This currently covers over 1.15 billion people and digitally authenticates over 40 million transactions daily. We now digitally provide monetary benefits of various government schemes to the beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer using Aadhaar.Almost 300 million bank accounts with deposits of over 685 billion rupees, or over 10 billion dollars, have been opened through the Jan Dhan Yojana. These bring previously un-banked sections of society into the formal financial system. Of these, 53 per cent accounts are of women.

We are steadily working towards a less cash economy and have launched a Unified Payment Interface App called BHIM. In less than a year, this platform is processing almost 280 thousand transactions daily.Having almost completed our programme to connect all villages with electricity, we have launched the Saubhagya scheme. This will provide electricity connections to all families by December 2018.

We have launched a programme to provide high-speed broad-band internet to all rural areas by March 2019.Under our clean energy programme, in just 3 years, we have doubled the renewables capacity from 30 thousand Megawatts to about 60 thousand Megawatts. Solar energy generation has increased over 80 percent in the last year. We are working on developing a national gas grid. A comprehensive national energy policy is also in the pipeline.

Our Swachh Bharat Mission to improve sanitation and cleanliness, and the rural and urban housing missions underline our commitment towards dignity of life.Our infrastructure and connectivity programmes like Sagarmala and Bharatmala offer entrepreneurs many business opportunities for investment.Our recent World Food India initiative helped us engage with entrepreneurs in the food processing industry and agricultural waste sectors.My government understands that an environment of transparent policies and a rule of law providing a level-playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish.

A historic overhaul of the taxation system has been recently undertaken, bringing in the Goods and Services Tax across the country. Our Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code introduced in 2016 is a step towards ensuring timely resolution for stressed ventures. We have recently improved this further, preventing wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets.

Tough measures have been adopted to tackle the parallel economy, check tax evasion and control black money.Our efforts have been recognized by Moody’s recent upgrade of India’s government bond ratings. This upgrade comes after a gap of almost 14 years.India has improved its rank from 54 in 2014 to 35 in 2016 on the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index. This signifies the relative ease and efficiency with which products can be moved into and from a country.

An investment-friendly environment needs to be stable from the macro-economic perspective. We have succeeded in containing the fiscal and current account deficits, and curbing inflation. Our foreign exchange reserves have crossed 400 billion dollars, and we continue to attract large foreign capital flows.

New India

To my young entrepreneur friends from India, I would like to say: each of you has something valuable to contribute towards creating a New India by 2022. You are vehicles of change and instruments of India’s transformation.To my entrepreneur friends from across the globe, I would like to say: Come, Make in India, Invest in India – for India, and for the world. I invite each one of you to become a partner in India’s growth story. And once again assure you of our whole-hearted support.

I am informed that President Trump has declared November 2017 as National Entrepreneurship Month. America has also observed National Entrepreneurs’ Day on November 21st. This summit will certainly resonate with those themes. Let me conclude by wishing you fruitful, engaging and rewarding deliberations at this summit.

 

In a major thrust to the India-US Strategic Partnership, the two nations signed a new 10-year defense framework agreement during an official visit of the US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to India. The agreement builds upon the previous framework and shall guide the bilateral defense and strategic partnership for the next ten years.

The groundwork for this was done during the successful January visit of President Barack Obama to India. The agreements were signed during the meeting of Mr Carter and India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar on June 3rd in New Delhi.

The 2015 Framework for the India-US Defense Relationship provides avenues for high level strategic discussions in strengthening of defense capabilities. It recognizes the transformative nature of the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) between the US and India, provides for exchanging armed forces, and opportunities for co-development and co-production of defense equipment, to give a push to PM led Make in India initiative. Two agreements for projects on joint development of Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources and the Next Generation Protective Ensembles were also finalized.

During Mr Carter’s visit, apart from inking the framework agreement, the two sides have agreed to expedite discussions to take forward cooperation on jet engines, aircraft carrier design and construction, and other areas. Continued bilateral cooperation in the areas of mutual interest, including maritime security and joint training in defense, was also agreed to.

car(53)

car(53)US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is to visit India in May. On agenda is the further strengthening of bilateral defense ties. The Pentagon has said in a statement that Secretary Carter would visit India, building on President Obama’s visit earlier this year, by further strengthening Indo-USA defense cooperation which is to include the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (which Secretary Carter had started when he served as a Deputy Secretary of Defense) and by engaging India further on other Asia-Pacific issues, such as the maritime disputes in East and South China Seas.

Prior to his visit to India in May, Carter will be making a trip to Northeast Asia in early April, with stops in Japan and the Republic of Korea. He shall be focusing on strengthening and modernizing key defense relationship with Asian allies. In Japan, he is scheduled to meet the senior officials to discuss the defense strategic guidelines amongst other issues of mutual interest ahead of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to US at the end of April. In Seoul, he will meet the senior government officials to discuss security and various other regional issues.

US has been seeking a larger role in Asia, seeking more economic and strategic space, as shown by the ‘Pivot to Asia’ and Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) initiatives. This is Secretary Cater’s second visit to South East Asia and it shall be aimed at building and strengthening United States growing partnership in Asia. During his visit he will also address the Shangri-La Dialogue, a track one inter-governmental security forum held annually in Singapore, which is attended by top rank military personnel and defense ministers of 28 Asia-Pacific states.

His visit to India is being seen as of significant importance as it will build on President Barack Obama’s visit earlier this year in enhancing security cooperation.

 

safe_image

safe_imageIndia’s decision to vote against the U. N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s decision to extend marriage benefits to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) couples or same-sex couples has attracted a lot of criticism. India has justified it saying the vote had nothing to do with its being “anti-gay rights” resolution, but was more to do with the well-established norms for the staff of the global body.

“The UN had a system whereby they will decide on emoluments and privileges for the spouse depending on the country that the couple hailed from. This was the accepted norm. What happened was recently the UN Secretary General changed that out of his own volition without consulting anyone. That is why the decision was taken to vote against that resolution,” said Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry (MEA).

The UN Secretary General has been an ardent supporter for the LGBT community and has emphasised that he is proud to stand for greater equality for all staff. Mr. Ban Ki-moon has taken a strong stand on gay rights and has approved several decisions seeking to end discrimination and violence against the LGBT community worldwide. During his visit to India in January 2015, he appealed to the government to repeal its anti-gay law — Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexuality — calling it a “matter of human rights and human dignity,

India was among 43 countries, along with China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and UAE, which voted in favor of the resolution to withdraw benefits and entitlements to the same-sex couples.

© Copyright 2012 IndiaWrites.org. All rights reserved except for book/publication extracts. Write to us for details.