Posts Tagged ‘Prime Minister’


And there’s good news! The Government has given a special place to education in its 12th 5 year plan (2012-2017). It has decided to spend a whooping $100 billion on education. The current estimated expenditure is $70 billion. The declaration was made by Sam Pitroda, the prime minister’s advisor on education and innovation, at the ninth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD). He said, “We will be spending close to $100 billion on education in the 12th plan period. This will be in addition to around $20 billion investment on IT”.

However, the advisor is dissatisfied at the pace at which the developments are taking place. “We have made recommendations. Minister has to act. So far, they have not acted to my satisfaction,” Pitroda said referring to the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission. The Government, on the other hand, seems to be keenly taking measures to open up the education sector for more private and overseas investments.

Pitroda also said that the education system needs to be liberalized just like the economy was in 1991. He urged the Indian diaspora to invest in the educational sector. More than 1,500 members of the Indian diaspora took part in the ninth edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. This is 20% more than last year.


As a part of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, International Round Table of Academic Institutions’ opening ceremony was presided over by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Hasmukh Adhia, Principal Secretary, Education, Gujarat at the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University in Gandhinagar. A total of 76 MoUs were signed by 11 educational institutes and universities based in the state with foreign universities, companies and research institutes.

The MoUs consisted of 6 main combinations: those signed between a company and a state university (36 MoUs were signed in this category); an international university and a state university (24 MoUs); an international university and the state government (9 MoUs); a state university and a state institute (4 MoUs), between a research institute and a state university (2 MoUs), and another category in which ATIRS signed an MoU with a company named Elmarco.

Narendra Modi wooed the audience, he said, “Research is the essence for future development. I assure you that Gujarat has a society that will offer an ambience of risk-taking and entrepreneurship so that the fruits of research are taken to the common man”.


The Prime Minister expressed his concern regarding the widespread of private institutions in the field of education and the problems they may create in the dissemination of knowledge.

PM Manmohan Singh also stressed on scholarships and prizes to tide over social and economic handicaps. He added that had it not been for scholarships, he would not have been able to complete his education.

Talking about the barrier, PM said that, “With the growing share of privately funded for-profit educational institutions, this may be emerging as a worrisome barrier to freer access to knowledge for all our people. The strength of a nation is no longer determined by the might of its armies. Feudal restrictions and pre-democratic institutions are no longer able to impose social barriers to access to knowledge. If there is one barrier, and this too is an ancient one, it is the barrier of economic capacity.”

The concern seems to be genuine as the PM also referred to the brain drain and young people’s decisions to “leave the comfort of well funded institutions abroad to return home to work in India”.

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And then there were five! With the arrival of Dmitry Medvedev in New Delhi for a two-day visit on 21st December, India has completed an impressive quintet. Russia’s president is the fifth and the final leader from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to visit India in the past six months, following a path that has led to multi-billion dollar business deals and polished India’s sense of its rising global importance.

Russia was India’s military supplier of choice during the Cold War. Russian equipment accounts for 70% of all of India’s military hardware today. Imparting a new impetus to their ‘special and privileged’ ties, India and Russia inked 30 pacts in several key areas such as civil nuclear cooperation and defense, including development of Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) to expand country’s military capabilities.

The President arrived at New Delhi on early morning of the 21st and signed 11 agreements on that very day, including a deal through which ONGC, India’s state-owned energy company, will cooperate with Russia’s AFK Sistema in hydrocarbon development. Apart from this, 19 agreements, including those between private companies of both the countries were inked on the margins of the summit.

Medvedev met the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a two-hour long annual summit meeting which encompassed a whole range of crucial bilateral, regional and global matters. They also discussed the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan which impacts on the security of both the countries. Besides deciding to enhance cooperation in crucial spheres of military, energy sector, science and technology, space research and pharmaceuticals, the two sides agreed to step up efforts to achieve the target of bilateral trade of USD 20 billion by 2015.
Medvedev met President Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and attended a banquet hosted in his honor. He also met Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Apart from the major agreements between the two countries, MoUs were signed for joint research and development in reactor technology and related fields for peaceful uses of atomic energy. MoUs for cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector, for combating irregular migration and one in the field of emergency management were also signed.
On the second day of his visit, Medvedev accompanied by a 50-member delegation visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, where he spent around ninety minutes watching the 17th century historical monument. He also visited IIT Powai, where he interacted with the students at the institution’s newly constructed convention centre. Medvedev also managed to meet the Bollywood actors and directors at Yashraj Studio.

“Our talks have been comprehensive and result-oriented. We have signed several important agreements covering a large number of sectors. This reflects our mutual desire to bring our cooperation in other areas at par with our traditionally strong cooperation in the defense and nuclear fields,” Manmohan Singh said at a joint press interaction with Medvedev. The leaders also discussed the construction of additional Russian designed nuclear reactors at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu, where two units are ready to be commissioned. Recalling their Moscow declaration on International Terrorism of 2001, the two leaders agreed that there is no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism.

On his part, Medvedev said Russia supports India as a “deserving and strong candidate” for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council as and when a decision for its expansion is taken. During the talks, Medvedev also extended an invitation to Singh to visit Russia next year which was accepted by the Prime Minister.

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Fervor, practical forcefulness in politics and spirituality are a rare combination that acts like a tripod on which the Indian Politics is built. Shri Morarji Desai is one such unique blend of brightness and reserved nature.

A veteran freedom fighter and former Prime Minister of India, Shri Morarji Desai was born on 29 February, 1896 at Bhadeli village in Gujarat. He was the eldest son to an Anavil Brahmin family of Shri Ranchhodji Desai, a school teacher and Vajiaben (or Maniben) Desai. Morarjibhai grew up under the atmosphere of orthodox religious upbringing and strict discipline that prevailed in his house. He was educated St. Busar High School and passed his matriculation examination. After graduating from the Wilson Civil Service of the then Bombay Province in 1918, he served as a Deputy Collector for twelve years before embarking on a long and varied political career.

The biggest achievement of Shri Morarji Desai was that he was the only person to receive the highest civilian awards from both India and Pakistan, namely the Bharat Ratna and Nishaan-e-Pakistan. Also, he was the world’s oldest (83 years old) and India’s first Non Congress Prime Minister.

In 1930, Morarjibhai quit his reputed job to join the Freedom Movement spearheaded by Gandhiji. Being a man of principles, he had said: “When it was a question of the independence of the country, problems relating to family occupied a subordinate position.” Morarjibhai spent many years in jail for the freedom struggle and soon he was a favorite among the freedom fighters for his leadership skills and tough spirit.

Morarjibhai had a wide-ranging political career. When provincial elections were held in 1934 and 1937, he was elected and served as the Revenue Minister and Home Minister of the then Bombay Presidency. Morarjibhai was arrested for participating in the Satyagraha initiated by Mahatma Gandhi during this time and was freed in October 1941. He was rearrested in August 1942 at the time of the Quit India Movement and was released in 1945. After this, he became the Minister for Home and Revenue at Bombay following the State Elections in 1946. Also, after independence, he remained active on the Indian political scene and was elected as the Chief Minister of Bombay in 1952.

Morarjibhai changed his ministerial portfolio to finance after he became the Minister for Commerce and Industry in the Union Government on November 14, 1956. After working under Lal Bahadur Shashtri’s leadership, he rose to become the Deputy Prime Minister in 1967 Cabinet of Indira Gandhi. But soon disenchantment started cropping up between Mrs. Gandhi and Morarjibhai and the latter resigned in 1968 from his post. In 1974 he supported political agitation in Gujarat, and the following year began a fast in support of elections in the state. He was detained when a state of emergency was proclaimed. After his release in 1977 he was appointed leader of the Janata Party, a coalition opposed to Mrs. Gandhi’s rule, and he finally became Prime Minister after the elections that same year. The Janata Government was, however, characterized by much internal strife, and Desai was forced to resign in 1979, at the age of 83.

During this vast career, some landmark achievements crowned the glory of Morarjibhai. He improved the relations with Pakistan which were derailed after the 1971 war and also restored the political relations with China which had received a setback since the 1962 war. His chief contribution was that his Government enhanced popular faith in democracy. His Government annulled some of the legislations passed during the emergency and made it difficult for any future Government to impose emergencies.

Morarjibhai was a staunch follower of the Gandhian principles and it is also believed that he used to drink his own urine to stay healthy. Morarjibhai as a PM believed that people of India must be assisted to become fearless to an extent where even if the highest in the land commits a wrong, the humblest should be able to point it out to him. “No one, not even the Prime Minister”, he had repeatedly said “should be above the law of the land”.
Shri Morarjibhai Desai passed away at the age of 99, on 10 April, 1995.

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