PM joins Chinese social media platform Weibo

PM joins Chinese social media platform Weibo

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has joined Chinese social media platform Weibo.

你好中国!期待通过微博与中国朋友们互动. Hello China! Looking forward to interacting with Chinese friends through Weibo", The Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister is an avid and active user of social media for several years now. He has used diverse social media platforms to reach out to people across India and the world. From sharing updates on working of the government, policy deliberations, his own thoughts, greetings and replies to well-wishers, the Prime Minister's social media outreach has been lauded all over the world. He has also been using info-graphics and videos to share the various efforts of the Indian government in the past one year.

The Prime Minister’s Office also maintains a strong presence on social media. This is in sync with his vision of a digital India, where technology plays a pivotal role in Governance and policy making.

Mr Modi would be visiting China later this month on a bilateral visit. In September 2014, he welcomed President Xi Jinping on a visit to India. Later in November 2014 the Prime Minister met Premier Le Keqiang in Myanmar. Both meetings were very productive and the leaders discussed several ways to enhance ties between India and China. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr Modi had travelled to China in November 2011 as well. 

Operation Maitri by Army (Update as at 5 PM on 04 May) 
The Indian Army continues to provide aid to affected population and areas in close coordination and cooperation with the Nepal Army.

Following stores have been/ are being inducted by the Army :-

(a) The Army Aviation Advanced Light Helicopters(ALH) have conducted 12 sorties on 03 May 15 and evacuated 41 casualties apart from delivering 4.3 tons of relief material to inaccessible areas.

(b) The Indian Army Medical Teams treated 273 patients on 03 May 15, out of which 34 surgeries were performed and 20 patients were admitted to administer medical care. One IL 76 with 4.6 Tons of essential Medicines and medical stores including oxygen tanks for replenishing the Indian Army Field Hospitals & Medical Teams reached Kathmandu today.

(c) The three Indian Army Engineer Task Forces (ETF) which are presently located at Barpak, Basantpur and Nikoshera, are involved in providing access and opening roads to establish road communication and have cleared approximately 80 meters track using skid steers and JCB. The ETFs are involved in clearance of collapsed buildings and debris and have been able to clear approximately 80 cubic meters of debris in close cooperation with Nepal authorities. They are also providing assistance to the local population in repairing houses and helped construct two shelters on 03 May 15. One IL 76 with engineering equipment is being sent to Kathmandu today.

(d) The second convoy from Kanpur with relief stores comprising of 2,020 blankets & 256 tents is likely to reach Nepal today.


Statement of the Union Finance Minister in First Business Session of 48th ADB Annual Meeting at Baku 

Following is the Text of the Statement of the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley at the First Business Session of the 48THAnnual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at Baku, Azerbaijan today:

“Mr. Chairman, Governors of ADB and Heads of Delegations, Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It gives me immense pleasure to participate in the 48th Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors at Baku – the ‘city of winds’- the largest city in the world below the sea level.
Mr. Chairman, through you, I would like to thank the Government and people of Azerbaijan for the warm welcome and splendid hospitality.
The devastating earthquake in Nepal last month has caused loss of precious lives and widespread damage. Nepal is our close friend and neighbor. We stand with them in coping with this tragedy.

Last Meeting

At the last Annual Meeting at Astana, President Nakao had outlined few key initiatives to make ADB more relevant and more efficient. This included the plan to seek merger of ADF resources with OCR and reforming ADB.
We are pleased to note progress on both these areas. President Nakao deserves our appreciation for the highly consultative process through which the merger of ADF resources with OCR was managed. This was critical to securing the unanimous consent of all ADF donors.
To use the enhanced lending capacity, thus available, ADB has to build a strong project pipeline for implementation from 2017.
The Mid Term Review of Strategy 2020 focused on strategic direction and efficiency of operations. The emphasis on project implementation and greater role and authority to Resident Missions are steps in the right direction.

Global Economic Environment

We are meeting at a time when the global economy is looking slightly better than 2014 but not by much. Global growth in 2014 was lower than initially expected – continuing the pattern of disappointing outturns as seen in earlier years. Beneath the headline numbers, increasingly divergent trends seem to be at work both in the developed and emerging market economies.
In midst of the continuing global economic vicissitude, the Asia-Pacific region appears to be the functional ‘growth engine’ for the world economy.  Asian Development Outlook 2015 estimates Asia to grow at 6.3% in 2015 and 2016.
According to various estimates, India is expected to grow at 7.5-8.0% in both 2015 and 2016. This only reaffirms India’s fascinating growth prospects. In a time span of less than a year, our Government has taken a number of steps to revive the economy. Our goal is to place the Indian economy on a high and sustained growth trajectory through focus on infrastructure development, skills development, improving ease of doing business and economic reforms including comprehensive social safety net and fiscal discipline.

ADB Operations

Mr. Chairman, it is heartening to see that though in 2014, ADB’s total loans and grants operations, at US$13.5 billion, were slightly less than the previous year, the project co-financing has increased to over US$9 billion.  ADB’s increased focus on delivery has started showing results. The disbursements in 2014 were 17% higher than the past year. I am told that the contract awards have been the best in the past five years. We hope to see this emphasis on delivery to continue.

Bigger ADB - Twenty by Twenty

Development needs of Asia and Pacific region are large and growing. If Asia has to provide growth impetus to the rest of the world, this region has to make significantly higher investments in its infrastructure and people. Merger of ADF-OCR is a one-time opportunity and by itself not enough. ADB should aim for annual business of at least US$20 billion by 2020. Twenty by Twentyshould be our corporate goal, the Mantra. 
Mr. Chairman, you would recall that India had, in the Meeting of the Board of Governors last year, stressed the need of capital increase to enable the Bank to support the member countries. President Nakao also echoed this in his statement today. I urge my fellow members to respond favourably to enable ADB meet the aspirations of its clients in Asia and Pacific.

Looking Beyond 2020

While Strategy 2020, formulated in 2008, continues to remain relevant, considering the new opportunities and challenges, we should start work on our Strategy to guide ADB Operations post 2020.  Our vision should not be constrained by what we can do with existing resources but must be guided by what we need to do. We must do everything that is needed to support our member countries fight poverty and inequalities and to help them realize their growth potential

Regional Cooperation

In a world that is becoming increasing more flat, regional cooperation is at the centre stage of growth strategy. ADB is a uniquely placed MDB with a very clear focus on supporting regional cooperation. We welcome setting aside of US$500 million for regional cooperation under OCR in response to our persistent demand. I urge ADB to continue with its thrust on regional cooperation not only within South Asia but also between South Asia and rest of Asia.

Better ADB

ADB not only needs to become bigger, it also needs to become better, as a model among the MDBs. At times, our clients find our processes cumbersome and response slow. I am glad that the Action Plan following the Mid Term Review of Strategy 2020 focusses on business process re-engineering, procurement reforms, delegation and decentralization.  We would like to see a much faster progress in these areas.

India Operation

India and the ADB share a productive and beneficial relationship. India is now ADB’s largest client. With a bigger and better ADB, we would also like to see our partnership move to the next level. In addition to supporting conventional infrastructure projects, we would like a deeper engagement on development of Smart Cities, Industrial Corridors, Rail transport and manufacturing and job creation through flagship initiatives of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’.

Mr. Chairman. We have done well in 2014. I am sure we will continue on this path for a Bigger and Better ADB.
Thank You.”
Prime Minister addresses International Buddha Poornima Diwas 2015 
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, said that the Lord Buddha's timeless message of love and compassion could help rid the world of the problems of war and violence. He was addressing at the International Buddh Poornima Diwas Celebration, here today. The event was organized by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) with full support of Union Ministry of Culture and Union Home Ministry. The Minister of State for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, the Minister of State for Home Affairs and Chairman, Celebration Organizing Committee, Shri Kiren Rijiju and the Ven. Lama Lobzang, Secretary General, International Buddhist Confederation have also participated.

The Prime Minister in his remarks said that the whole world had acknowledged that the 21st century would be Asia's century, and added that Buddha's teachings would be the inspiration and guiding spirit for Asia, as it showed the world the path to relief from problems of conflict and hatred.

In his welcome address, the Minister of State for Home Affairs and the Celebration Chairman of Organizing Committee, Shri Kiren Rijiju said that Buddha’s path is the right way for humanity and the message from Buddha is relevant even today. Shri Rijiju has said that the Government is taking all necessary steps to identify and develop Buddha places and other historical places of importance in the country. The Government will organize the Buddha Poornima Diwas Celebration function every year, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that Budha is the messenger of peace and compassion and it is because of the path shown by him, the entire world is now looking towards India to spread the message of love, peace and compassion. Saluting the efforts of Prime Minister, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that under his able leadership, the Indian culture is being highlighted the world over as never before. We will try to fulfill Prime Minister’s dream that the youth of the country should first appreciate the culture of the country and take it to other parts of the world, he added. He further explained that India is symbolized by its warm culture, spirituality and hospitality. It should be our endeavour to spread this culture everywhere via the medium of tourism and on wings of civil aviation, he added.

The Ven. Lama Lobzang, Secretary General, International Buddhist Confederation has thanked the Government for taking a lead in organizing this function.

Union Ministers, Members of Parliament, Ambassadors, Eminent Scholars, Buddhist Monks and Nuns from India and various other countries have participated in the function. Large numbers of followers of Buddha Dharma from all over India have attended the event.


President of India condoles the passing away of eminent journalist Shri Amitabha Chowdhury

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the passing away of Shri Amitabha Chowdhury, eminent journalist, writer and scholar.

In a condolence message to his son, Shri Anirban Chowdhury, the President has said, “I was sad to learn about the passing away of your father, Shri Amitabha Chowdhury who was well known to both my father, Shri Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee as well as me.

Shri Chowdhury was a distinguished journalist, writer and scholar. Starting his journalistic career immediately after independence, Shri Chowdhury worked for around 27 years with many leading newspapers of West Bengal such as Jugantar, Anandabazar Patrika and Aajkaal. He won the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1961 for his reportage on individual rights and community interests in India.

Shri Chowdhury was not only a student and teacher in Visva Bharati but also a highly regarded scholar of the life and works of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, having authored over 60 books and articles on the subject. He attained widespread popularity for his limericks on political and cultural issues. Shri Chowdhury was honoured with a Padma Shri in 1983 for his many services to the nation.

I owe him a personal debt of gratitude for his service as Trustee of the Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee Memorial Society from it’s inception in 1995 till date. In his sad demise, I have lost a good friend and associate of long years.

Please convey my heartfelt condolences to all members of your family. I pray to the Almighty to give you and other members of your family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss”. 
PM joins Chinese social media platform Weibo PM joins Chinese social media platform Weibo Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 10:29 AM Rating: 5

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