A Hindu Nationalist Perspective
Another unfortunate escalation of hostilities between feuding SouthAsian neighbors:NATO fires on Pak border post, kills Pak soldier:Tsk, tsk, looks like Pakistan isn't endearing itself to their NATO neighbors very well.
@san,Compare the NATO response with that of Indian troops:Excerpt from India, Pakistan at odds over border firing.By ReutersWednesday January 17, 09:01 PM SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - India will lodge a protest with Pakistan after two of its troops were wounded on Wednesday in a shooting incident near the international frontier in Kashmir, a senior security official said. The Pakistan military later issued a statement labelling the Indian accusation "ludicrous and fabricated", and saying that there was firing from the Indian side. It said Pakistani border guards did not return the fire.
"Another unfortunate escalation of hostilities between feuding SouthAsian neighbors:"ROTFL
Hello RajeevHere is the complete report. Refer to page 4 the graph regarding % of world GDP and the fall after the "Religion of peace " and religion of love" came to India.http://www.business-standard.com/general/pdf/012407_01.pdf
A nice article from the Pioneer on Gujarat, India's China as the author Ashok Malik calls it.Yes, Modi for PM to replicate the Gujarat magic all over India...India's China About the most clichéd and boring way to tell a business story is to resort to statistics. Numbers and figures, numbing and lifeless, are often used to hide and disguise, to present sobering reality as hype. The "real" message lies elsewhere. Yet sometimes the numbers can be so defining and definitive, so overwhelming that nothing else need be said. They tell a tale that no negative "spin", no detractors and no deliberate climate of denial can efface. So it was this past week in Gandhinagar, at the conclusion of the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Summit (January 12-13), one of India's biggest business events and a collection, in the words of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, of "those who shape 60 per cent of India's GDP". From Mukesh Ambani on day one to Anil Ambani on day two, from the foreign minister of Singapore to ICICI Bank's KV Kamath, from Ratan Tata - who said in his short speech that it would be "stupid not to come" to Gujarat - to Kumaramangalam Birla to business or government delegations from China to the United States, Spain to Israel: Vibrant Gujarat 2007 was host to them all. Did the end-result justify the atmospherics? The first Vibrant Gujarat Summit (2003) had seen MoUs worth Rs 68,000 crore being signed. The second summit, in 2005, drew Rs 106,000 crore. These weren't empty promises. As Bhagyesh Jha, managing director, iNDEXTb, the Industrial Extension Bureau that is the business facilitation arm of the Gujarat government, stressed, 82.4 per cent of the 2003 investment announcements and 83.1 per cent of the 2005 proposals had been realised, and the projects were under implementation. What of Vibrant Gujarat 2007? At the end of two days, hectic networking and 343 MoUs, Gujarat was sitting on an investment pile of Rs 461,000 crore. It was no longer competing with the rest of India; it was in a league of its own. Vibrant Gujarat 2007 did more than merely re-establish Gujarat as the pin-up state of Indian business. Actually, it formally announced Narendra Modi as the poster boy of Indian industry. It does appear a long, long distance from 2002 and 2003, from the tentativeness before the first summit and the aftermath of Godhra, and from the demonisation of Gujarat's leader. As a senior minister in the state cabinet put it, "In 2003, it was 'Why Gujarat?', then it became 'Hi Gujarat', next 'Why not Gujarat?' Now it is 'V for Vibrant Gujarat'." Indeed, the Churchillian two-fingered "V" has become the latest Modi trademark. Business barons don't put their money on whims and emotions. If Mukesh Ambani is promising to invest Rs 67,500 crore in Gujarat, on a mega-sized SEZ and one of India's largest private universities, to be named after his father, if the Singapore Port Authority wants to build and run ports in a state that has India's longest coastline (1,600 km), if an Israeli aviation company is offering to set up a regional MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility, it is on the basis of Gujarat's performance and potential. What do they see in Modi's Gujarat? Why is a politician once known only for being a symbol of Hindutva now seen as the herald of free enterprise and the CEO of a state that is the only serious Indian contender to China? New skills for a new economy Gujarat was always an economic powerhouse. Today, this state - five per cent of India's population and six per cent of land mass - produces 16 per cent of national output, attracts 18 per cent of all investment and contributes 21 per cent to India's exports. Admittedly, some of these figures would have looked almost as rosy in a pre-Modi era. Yet the BJP chief minister's record, achieved on the back of an ambitious programme of urban renewal and infrastructure augmentation, has been outstanding. In 2005-06, Gujarat's GDP grew 10.95 per cent, the highest among Indian states. In 2003-04, it had grown at an astonishing 15.12 per cent, a figure never achieved by any Indian state. What has also captured the imagination of business analysts is Modi's attempt at a paradigm shift. What he is trying to do, says one industrialist, "is change a trading and basic manufacturing state to a value-added manufacture and services sector hub". As Arvind Agarwal, industrial commissioner, Gujarat, puts it, "Take gems and jewellery, Gujarat is a centre for diamond cutting and polishing. But that is the bottom end of the chain. We are a textile hub, but we produce fabric - not apparel and garments. This time we had a delegation from INDA, the American association of non-woven garment manufacturers, coming to Vibrant Gujarat. A busload of textile manufacturers turned up from Surat, the potential in technical garments is enormous." IT and biotech are services sector thrust areas, with Gandhinagar's Garima IT Park - one of 11 in the state - being propelled by TCS. Yet, while Gujarat has the physical infrastructure, there is an HRD problem looming. As Modi explains, "The investment promised at this year's Vibrant Gujarat Summit can create 1.3 million jobs. Our mandate is to ensure our youth are equipped for these jobs. The future is in soft skills, in the learning of English and IT." As such, economic re-engineering requires social engineering. It calls for pushing more Gujaratis into science and IT, which the newly set up Gujarat Knowledge Corporation is chartered to do. Says P Panneervel, principal secretary, higher and technical education: "Between 2001-02 and 2006-07, Gujarat doubled the number of technical education seats from 20,600 to 41,000. Of the 400,000 students entering high school every year, only 40,000 studied science. In three years the number has been raised to 75,000, but we need to do much, much more." What Modi is telling the Gujarati is that, with the job market changing, it will no longer be enough to do a BA or a BCom, learning the basics of accountancy and take over the small family business. Gujarat has to think big. Learning English is a key parameter of this "new thinking". It does seem audacious. Only this past week, the Gujarat government approved the setting up of a corporation that will become the nodal agency for the teaching of the English language in the state, leasing out space to benchmarked service providers who will offer various levels of courses - depending on the user's need - and conduct tests and award English proficiency certificates "on the lines of ToEFL". Outside of China, it is difficult to conceive such a determined effort to introduce, almost force-feed a language into mainstream discourse. Perhaps the China comparison is apposite - for more than any other Indian state, it is that country that Modi sees as Gujarat's competition. We SEZ, they SEZ Of the 343 MoUs signed at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, 50 were related to SEZs and ports. As Modi sees it, this alliance could be the winning one for Gujarat. The SEZ model he is offering is radically different from other states, and he was convinced he was right after a recent visit to China. "SEZs," argues Modi, "can't be small business units located inland. A genuine SEZ is a multi-product manufacturing zone that is located close to a port, to make shipping out finished goods easier." As on the eastern coast of China, Modi sees potential for a port-driven, export-oriented SEZ economy. Gujarat has 33 SEZs on the anvil but, unlike some other states, no angry farmers. "The land near the coast," says D Rajagopalan, principal secretary, industries and mines, and seen as Modi's economic brains trust, "is generally not arable. It is saline. There is no fertile land being taken away." Neither does the government get into the business of land acquisition. As one minister emphasises, "We are not acquiring land. If industry wants some land, it can buy directly from the farmer." That aside, Gujarat is the only state in India that allows for "hire and fire" labour laws in SEZs. It actually used that term in Vibrant Gujarat promotional literature, having passed an enabling SEZ Act in 2004. The Act needed Central concurrence and Modi was alert and quick enough to have it passed before the NDA lost and the UPA came to power. What must be particularly alluring to businessmen is that Gujarat has the lowest percentage (0.52 per cent) of man-days lost to strikes and industrial action in a year! The key to making Gujarat a manufacturing base for, with luck, the rest of the world is in the development of ports. "Our long coastline," says Modi, "used to be a burden. People migrated from Saurashtra in search of jobs. My challenge is to convert that 1,600 km burden into an asset." Gujarat already has 46 ports, says HK Dash, vice-chairman, Gujarat Maritime Board, and five more are on the drawing board. "Of the 33 SEZs," he adds, "70 per cent are near ports. Proximity to ports is essential for SEZs under the Gujarat model." If this synergy works optimally, Modi's Gujarat could realistically offer itself as an alternative to Deng's China. Already, at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, the American ceramic company Kohler hinted that it could transfer its flagship Asian manufacturing facility from China to Zagadia, Bharuch district. The trust factor It takes 11 months to earn Rs 461,000 crore. In February 2006, preparations began for the 2007 Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Modi called a meeting of officials and decided that preparatory roadshows would be led not by politicians or bureaucrats, as in previous years, but by businessmen. Thus Gautam Adani led the Gujarat government delegation to South Korea and Japan and Kamal Nanavati of Reliance Industries piloted the roadshow in the United States. If this forged the trust factor with industry, it also made Gujarat appear more business-like in comparison to those state governments that confuse investment roadshows with neta-babu junkets. If the choice of business ambassadors was a tactical decision, Modi also triggered a strategic shift in 2006 by positioning brand Gujarat as located within and yet autonomous of brand India. Yes, this was a state integral to the booming economy called India, but not just another Indian state. A bit like Narendra Modi you could say - he's a chief minister in India, but not just another Indian chief minister.
I second, Narendra Bhai Modi for Prime Minister
How come all this does not get reported in the "mainstream" media? Simple - they just love to hate Modi, simply because they just need someone to hate.Reflect on the near-hysterical delight those worthies were in when Modi was denied a Visa by the Yanks - and by the way - if Modi ever became PM (and it increasingly looks like he might at least try - the Geriatrics club in the BJP willing or not) - then the first thing he should tell the Yanks is to go suck on it and take their shitty industrial-gas-belchers to China - he can just focus on the ports. Anyone ever wondered why Dubai is a bigger port though anything in Gujarat has more strategic advantage in shipping? I means exactly what the hell is it that gets manufactured in Dubai? It's not even close to any oil - so if Dubai can make it - you bet your ass - Gujarat can make it too!
Exactly, the silence of Indian mass media over Modi's incredible achievements is pathetic.. He is undoubtedly one of India's best CM's. He has stuck to his ideology inspite of strident critcism and works his ass off to make Gujarat India's foremost states (it already was)..I wish he makes the third term in Gujarat and once and for all shut the mouths of India's biggest nemesis..(its Media)..y doesnt India have its version of Fox news.. right wing.. and popular?
not to forget my vote for BJP if Modi is their PM candidate!!I long for a true Hindu to be India's PM..He could be the Vallabhai Patel as PM we never had..
A very impressive article about Modi. There must be a site and fan club of Modi somewhere out there on the internet collecting all such articles. Anyone got the link? If there isnt, then may be we should start one.
ghostwriter, yes ports can be engines of economic growth. see what singapore has done with practically nothing else, just as dubai has. port + SEZ combination makes good sense for light and heavy engineering goods. inland SEZs are a scam for real estate players.
Rajeev,Thinking about the SEZ thing - I quite agree than inland SEZ's are perhaps not the thing. Unless linked to agricultural produce as input - packaged meals perhaps being good example - or how about jute/hemp based packaging? Environmentally friendly, bio-degradable and a thousand times stronger than the silly brown bags the Yanks pack their lunch in.The SEZ thing is fairly easy to sort out on another criteria - the agricultural potential of the land in question. If given a choice I would any day go with agriculture as opposed to plastic bicycles (I can sense reader san fuming). However, what do you do with the arid desert of Rajasthan for example? not part of any ecologically sensitive system, or agricultural produce - it is perfect candidate for manufacturing. If only they can get their policies right (producing a certain number of engineers etc.) - and if we invest in Solar energy fired SEZ's over there - oh Mama! - we can power the desert back to life - a la - Las Vegas. Only culturally richer and environmentally more friendly
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