WEST BENGAL: THE LAND OF PARTY INCLUSIVE POLITICS - The Daily Guardian
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Policy & Politics

WEST BENGAL: THE LAND OF PARTY INCLUSIVE POLITICS

The 2021 Assembly elections are the time when the old bastion of Centre Left vs Left is seeing a saffron sway, projecting Right vs Centre Right, making way for a political system which is unique to the largest democracy.

Ashraf

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The complexity of West Bengal politics sets itself differently complex to the shades of National politics. There has been a range of common identities like upper class, elite, working class etc. over which parties have fought intensely in the former elections but this time there are newer subjects like the Bengali identity card, migrants, illegal migrants and most importantly the saffron card of Hindutva alongside with newer strategies to draw the minority Muslim population, but to a greater political irony all of this co-exist in West Bengal irrespective of the wide stretched ideological terms. Adding to this ironic existence, what is also interesting to acknowledge in the political culture of West Bengal is the different party banners and flags hanging from a common point, highlighting that the external politics of West Bengal is bonded with an internal affection.

Elders in families, who have been there around the 70s and 80s are mainly Congress and Left supporters. However the number of CPI(M) supporters has diminished out of their traditional approaches which didn’t align with the modernist populist tendencies of the late 1980s political system. The ones in the age group of 40-50 are mainly with the TMC and the new age political wokes are the major support masses for the BJP. The ideological concrete that existed in West Bengal during the Left years, has shrinked after the coming in of Mamata Banerjee and has been replaced by populist measures. An extension to this populist tendency has worked for the BJP’S advantage too in the state and the party whose existence in the state has been from the 80s is turning into a stronghold for the BJP mainly because of the Modi factor. Meanwhile the soft Hinduisation of the cadres of ‘secular’ parties across the political spectrum cannot be sidestepped in assessing the ascendancy of the Hindu Right in the state, and the Left’s tacit support of it.

The political system in West Bengal has been eroded by all together different phenomena to that of the larger national politics. So it is very natural to see a political figure critiquing a rival today and the very next day become a part of the same. Perhaps this is the reason that of the candidates the BJP has fielded in the state majority of them have their roots in the ruling TMC and interestingly the RSS led dominance of BJP has also become a marginal factor in West Bengal, where most of the BJP biggies have their roots in the TMC. The erstwhile card of BJP has seen an alternate way in the state and not only that the larger catch of this political rivalry between the BJP and the TMC lies in a shared partnership of the past. TMC was a part of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) from 1999 – 2004. In the Lok Sabha election of 1999, Trinamool Congress won 8 seats with BJP.In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, TMC won 1 seat with BJP and in the 2006 Vidhan Sabha elections, TMC won 30 seats with BJP. On an interesting note, the current foes were former friends.

However putting the onus of this variable relations on the TMC-BJP isn’t the only fascinating feature of West Bengal. The current alliance partner of Sanjukta Morcha (Sanyukta Morcha) – Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Indian National Congress were the former political rivals in the state and Mamata Banerjee was a part of the later. The All India Trinamool Congress has its root in the Indian National Congress and back then the politics of West Bengal circulated across Left Front and Congress. The politics of West Bengal underwent an initial crucial change when the Left Front won the 1977 assembly election, defeating the incumbent Indian National Congress. The Left Front, led by Communist Party of India (Marxist), has governed for the state for the subsequent three decades.The deepest levels of distrust and hostility of supporters from both parties against each other fester at the grassroots till date and this is an obstacle that will need to be overcome for the partnership to present itself as a viable political choice for voters.However today the alliance with the Congress is the only survival strategy for the CPI (M).

Stretching the political curiosity in the state the AITC-Congress alliance in 2009 was another considerable shock as Mamata Banerjee had walked out of the Congress to form the Trinamool Congress in 1998 and making things worse the party had contested both the 1999 and 2004 Lok Sabha elections in an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party. Meanwhile the former state rivals of the Congress, the Left parties were providing crucial support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre until 2008, when they withdrew support over the Indo-US Nuclear Deal issue and this is believed to have given the Trinamool Congress a decisive edge over the Left in the state.A section of the CPI(M) state leadership has always blamed the CPI(M)’s all-India leadership’s decision to withdraw support from the Congress for the Left Front’s downfall in West Bengal.

In the 2011 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, the Trinamool Congress bagged victory along with the alliance that included the Indian National Congress and Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) but after coming to power, TMC began engineering defections from the Congress and chopped the feathers of its own alliance partner. It began with two Congress MLAs walking across soon after the election, and several leaders and workers subsequently switched to the TMC. In September 2012, Mamata withdrew support to the UPA government at the Centre, protesting against FDI in retail, increase in the price of diesel, and the limits on the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders for households.Since the 2016 Assembly polls, 17 out of the Congress’s 44 MLAs have joined the TMC. So Mamata Banerjee led TMC not only replaced Congress as a major opposition in the Left ruled years but walked every step in hijacking the West Bengal presence of Congress.

Accurating the legacy of, ‘Tit for tat’ for the first time the TMC tasted its own bitter recipe when Mamata’s second in command and Mukul Roy defected to the BJP in 2017. Roy can be termed as the biggest boon BJP received in West Bengal paving it’s for a saffron rule with a TMC coating. After Roy switched several TMC biggies have followed him to the BJP leading to the ginormous 2019 Lok Sabha performance, when the party won 18 Lok Sabha seats with a vote share of 40.3% compared to the Trinamool Congress’s 22 seats with a vote share of 43.3%. BJP continues shopping TMC leaders and this is the reason why the party is being seen as a potential winner in the 2021 elections.

Moreover the void in Opposition space in West Bengal allowed the BJP to gain ground in 2014 and 2019. The 2014 Lok Sabha election results provided further evidence that the theory of a Congress-Trinamool Congress tie-up having led to the Left’s defeat in the state, was incorrect and it was the Left which suffered the biggest damage. The Congress’s vote share went down from 13.5% in 2009 to 9.6% in 2014, whereas the Left Front’s vote share fell massively from 43.3% to 29.6%. The biggest gainer of the erosion in Left Front’s support-base was the BJP, which increased its vote share from 6.1% to 16.8% and managed to win two Lok Sabha seats in 2014 which was equivalent to the Left’s share.

A lot of Left cadres shifted support to BJP inorder to defeat TMC irrespective of the BJP using its usual majoritarian agenda to destabilise and branding all other political parties as appeasers of the Muslim minority. It is interesting that to counter the wooing of the Muslim voters miffed with the TMC camp and to prevent the community votes shifting to parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM, which may indirectly help the BJP, West Bengal witnesses a new minorities based party Indian Secular Front floated by Cleric Abbas Siddiqui of the popular Sunni Muslim shrine Furfura Sharif in Hooghly district, who has raised the hopes of the Congress-Left Front alliance, which is allegedly trying hard to counter attempts by the BJP and the ruling TMC to polarize the electorate.

Considering the grassroot opinion on the dynamic changes of West Bengal Shuvajit Sarkar who is an SFI Leader comments that, “Before 2011 politics of defection wasn’t there in West Bengal, even in Congress’s time when it was centrally very strong and was a major opposition in West Bengal”. According to Mr.Sarkar – ‘Defections happen from TMC to BJP because TMC has gained it’s ground with BJP’S support and ideologically they are alike’. Mr.Sarkar also highlighted that when Gujarat Riots occurred, there was a national level political criticism of BJP but the then alliance partner TMC didn’t condemn the matter. He further added that, “TMC grassroot workers are against BJP but not the party stalwarts”. According to him – BJP and Left are two parties who have organisational structure but it’s ironic how BJP is accommodating and preferring over faces who have no commitment to its ideology. Mr. Sarkar even made a pivotal point about the BJP countering the party’s Hindutva card that, “there are staunch Hindus who support non-BJP parties, so Hindu vote bank isn’t working to BJP’S advantage”. According to Mr. Sarkar – People of Bengal will vote for issue politics.

Stretching the observations of Mr. Shuvajit Sarkar his ideological rival and the Vice-President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha Mr. Gurpreet Saluja comments that, “The inclusive culture is a part of West Bengal politics and hails from the point of people who are always welcoming a change which according to Mr. Saluja will work on the advantage of the saffron party this time. Mr. Saluja made a point also mentioned by Mr.Sarkar which throws bright light on their mutual rival Mamata Banerjee. According to both of them, ‘Mamata came with a good agenda as a grassroot political worker but after coming to power she completely sidelined the grassroot issues and turned to a corrupt hegemon with her party projecting her as one. According to Mr.Saluja this is where the BJP one of TMC’s former alliance partners, emerged as the most stiff competition.

The 2021 Assembly elections is the time when the old bastion of Centre Left vs Left is seeing a saffron sway projecting Right vs Centre Right, making way for a political system which is unique to the land of largest democracy. However still West Bengal sets a milestone example to the scattered and differential National politics with its peaceful coexistence of political rivals to the extent of hailing from a single family. Be it Tathagata and Saugata Roy; Jayant Sinha and Yashwant Sinha or to the newest example of Suvendu Adhikari and Sisir Adhikari the personal relationships haven’t widened a bit irrespective of the political differences. That is why a TMC candidate can be seen celebrating Holi with BJP nominees irrespective of the parties tied on a tough battle because West Bengal delivers all together a different political taste to the ideologically contested politics of India.

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Policy & Politics

INDIAN REAL ESTATE SECTOR ATTRACTS $1.8 BN PE FUNDS IN H1 FY22, Y-O-Y RISE OF 27%

Tarun Nangia

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TOP 10 DEALS IN H1 FY 2022

Displaying continued confidence on the Indian real estate sector, private equity funds pumped about USD 1,790 Mn into the sector in the first half of the FY2022, finds ANAROCK Capital’s latest Flux Market Monitor for Capital Flows in Indian Real Estate. This is a 27% growth over the corresponding period in FY 2021 when inflows were approx. USD 1,410 Mn.

“The average ticket size for the PE deals in the current period declined by 32% – from USD 114 Mn in H1 FY21 to USD 78 Mn in H1 FY22,” says Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Capital. “Notably, investors this time preferred single city deals in contrast to multi-city deals. As seen, the share of multi-city deals reduced from 77% to 42% in H1 FY 2022. Further, the top 10 deals in H1 FY22 contributed a approx. 81% of the total PE investments in the country.”

In comparison with H1 FY21, structured debt and equity witnessed considerable growth in H1 FY22, at 25% and 28% respectively. Structured debt went primarily towards project-level assets.

SEGMENT-WISE BREAKUP

Of the total private equity inflows of USD 1,790 Mn in the period:

• The commercial office sector once again attracted the bulk of investments – nearly 33% or approx. USD 591 Mn.

• The Industrial & Logistics sector saw significant investments of approx. USD 537 Mn in H1 FY22, comprising a 30% overall share.

• Residential sector saw investments to the tune of USD 394 Mn i.e., approx. 22% of the total PE funds.

• Data Centres, Land and Mixed-use developments attracted the remaining 15% of the overall PE inflows comprising 5% each

Data further revealed that while overall PE inflows in Indian real estate increased in H1 FY2022, the share of foreign funds reduced by 19% as compared to H1 FY21. Investments by domestic funds jumped from less than USD 10 Mn in H1 FY21 to USD 650 Mn in H1 FY22, a reflection of the improving situation in the country resulting in higher confidence by domestic funds.

OTHER NOTABLE TRENDS

With total PE investments seeing a close to 27% yearly jump in H1 FY2022, investor confidence in Indian real estate is seen to be increasing.

• Foreign investors continued to remain major contributors with a approx. 63% share of the total inflows of USD 1790 Mn. However, in the same period of FY2021, they contributed a 99% share. This indicates the growing confidence of domestic funds amid the growing economy despite the second COVID-19 wave.

• Investors have maintained their confidence in listed REITs. Post the dip in market capitalisation earlier this year, REITs have bounced back well.

• Demand for flexi offices is gaining momentum; they are expected to attract more PE investments over the next 1-2 years.

• Operators are aggressively looking at expansion of data centres across major locations in the country.

• Like seen in FY2021 trends, last-mile funding continues to gain momentum. SWAMIH Fund & various foreign funds are actively evaluating and executing various options.

• The residential sector is witnessing accelerated consumer demand amid growing preference for homeownership coupled with historically low home loan rates. Investors will seek various investment themes within this asset-class.

• Private equity investments were approx. USD 1.41 bn in corresponding period of FY21

• Commercial sector attracted highest investments (of 33%), followed by Industrial & Logistics (30%) & Residential (22%)

• Investors this time preferred single city deals in contrast to multi-city deals earlier; top 10 deals in H1 FY22 contributed nearly 81% of the total PE investments in the country

• Avg. ticket size for PE deals declined 32% – from USD 114 Mn in H1 FY21 to USD 78 Mn in H1 FY22

• While overall PE inflows in Indian RE increased, share of foreign funds reduced 19% in H1 FY22 compared to H1 FY21; investments by domestic funds jumped from less than USD 10 Mn in H1 FY21 to USD 650 Mn in H1 FY22, reflecting their confidence

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KARNATAKA HC DIRECTS STATE TO COMPLY WITH SC DIRECTIONS BARRING INSTALLATION OF STATUES ON PUBLIC ROADS, PAVEMENTS

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In a welcome, wonderful and wise judgment titled Akhila Bharata Kshatriya Mahasabha v. State of Karnataka in WP No. 49960/2017 delivered on September 7, 2021, the Karnataka High Court has directed the State Government to ensure compliance with the landmark, learned and laudable directions of the Supreme Court barring installation of statues or construction of any structure in public roads, pavements, sideways and other public utility places. This was the crying need of the hour also. Now the State Government in Karnataka is duty bound to comply with it.

To start with, this brief, brilliant and balanced judgment authored by the then Acting Chief Justice Of Karnataka High Court – Hon’ble Mr Satish Chandra Sharma for himself and Hon’ble Mr Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum sets the ball rolling first and foremost in para 2 wherein it is put forth that, “The facts of the case reveal that the 1st petitioner is an All India Trust and 2nd petitioner is the State level Trust, as stated in the petition, involved in the work of social economical upliftment of the people belonging to backward and downtrodden community. Their grievance is that inspite of the order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 18.01.2013 in SLP.No.8519/2006 the bust of Sri.Shivarathri Rajendra Swamiji at the southern entrance of Mysore palce near Gun house is being installed and the State Government has granted permission for the same. The order of the State Government dated 3.3.2017 is on record and a prayer has been made for quashment of the order of the State Government (Annexure-E) as well as the order dated 28.8.2017 (Annexure-F) meaning thereby that the prayer has been made for quashment of the resolution passed by the Mysuru Mahanagara Palike as well as the State Government for installing the statue of Sri. Shivaratri Rajendra Mahaswamy at Gun house circle, which is on the main road. It has also been stated by the petitioners that a request was also made initially for installing the statue of Sri. Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar to the District Urban Development Cell and the same was rejected citing the judgment of the Apex Court and inspite of the judgment of the Apex Court, permission has been granted to install the statue of Sri. Shivarathri Rajendra Swamiji.”

 To put things in perspective, the Bench then points out in para 3 that, “The State Government has filed the statement of objections and the stand of the State Government is that the present petition has been filed with the vested interest, as the request of the petitioners was turned down for installing the statue of Sri. Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar and it is only after their request was turned down, they are raising hue and cry as the State Government has granted permission to install the statue of Sri. Shivarathri Rajendra Mahaswamy at Gun House circle. It has been stated that the Supreme Court in the case of Union of India .vs. State of Gujarath and others has directed not to grant any permission for installation of any statue or construction of any structure in public roads, pavements, sideways and other public utility places. However, the Gun House Circle is in existence since from the Maharaja’s period and there are several such circles in Mysuru City and several such statues are already in existence and therefore, Mysuru Mahanagara Palike has taken a decision to instal the statue of Sri. Shivaratri Rajendra Mahaswamy in the Gun House Circle as the circle is in existence since long time and it is not part of the public road nor does it fall within the definition of pavement, sideways and other public places.”

Quite rightly, the Bench then enunciates in para 8 that, “The undisputed facts of the case makes it very clear that the place where the statue in question is likely to be installed is certainly one of the most busy square near Mysuru palace near Gus House. The map has been filed by the State Government and the same reveals, as many as six roads are joining at the square and the circle is certainly the part of the road. It is really strange that the respondent-State Government has stated before this Court that it is not part of the road. Colour photographs have also been filed in the matter. The maps and all other documents clearly establish that the spot is in the center of the road and therefore, the issue is whether the statue can be installed at the center of the road on the circle which is in existence?”

Quite significantly, the Bench then hastens to recall in para 9 that, “The order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Special Leave to Appeal(Civil) No.8519/2006 dated 18.01.2013 on I.A.No.10/2012 reads as under:

1. We have heard Mr. Basavaprabhu S. Patil, learned senior counsel for the applicant and Mr. M.T. George, learned counsel for the State of Kerala.

2. Mr. M.T. George, leaned counsel for the State of Kerala placed before us a copy of the order dated September 7, 2011 passed by the Government of Kerala granting permission for installation of statue of late Shri. N. Sundaran Nadar, Ex-Deputy Speaker of Kerala Legislative Assembly near to Neyyattinkara-Poovar Road in the curve turning to the KSRTC Bus Stand Neyyattinkara in the Kanyakumari National Highway near bus stand.

3. We have our doubt whether such permission could have been granted by the State Government for installation of statue on the national highway.

4. Until further orders, we direct that the status-quo, as obtaining today, shall be maintained in all respects by all concerned with regard to the Triangle Island where statue of late Shri. N. Sundaran Nadar has been permitted to be sanctioned. We further direct that henceforth, State Government shall not grant any permission for installation of any statue or construction of any structure in public roads, pavements, sideways and other public street lights or construction relating to electrification, traffic, toll or for development and beautification of the streets, highways, roads etc. and relating to public utility and facilities.

5. The above order shall also apply to all other states and union territories. The concerned Chief Secretary/Administrator shall ensure compliance of the above order.””

Most significantly, the Bench then makes it clear in para 10 that, “The Hon’ble Supreme Court has categorically directed the State Governments not to grant any permission for installation of any statue or construction of any structure in public roads, pavements, sideways and other public utility places and therefore, on account of the order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the question of permitting the State Government and the Mysure Mahanagara Palike to install the statue does not arise.”

Furthermore, what is equally significant is that the Bench then also makes it pretty clear in para 11 that, “In the considered opinion of this Court, neither the petitioners nor any one can install the statue on the island which is on the road (circle which is on the road) keeping in view the judgment delivered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”   

Finally and as a corollary, the Bench then holds in para 12 that, “Resultantly, the writ petition is allowed. The impugned orders passed by the State Government dated 3.3.2017 and the order dated 28.8.2017 of the 2nd respondent-Mysuru Mahanagara Palike are hereby quashed. The State Government is also directed to ensure compliance of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the entire State of Karnataka.”

 In conclusion, it may well be said that the Karnataka High Court Bench comprising of the then Acting Chief Justice Hon’ble Mr Satish Chandra Sharma and Hon’ble Mr Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum have by this cogent, commendable, composed and convincing judgment left not even an iota of doubt of any kind that the State Government of Karnataka has just no option but to comply with the Supreme Court directions baring installations of statues on public roads and pavements. This is specifically elaborated upon most elegantly in para 9 and 10 which the State Government of Karnataka has to adhere to in totality. This will certainly well serve the public interest also which should always be paramount under all circumstances also!

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate

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Textiles sector poised for a $100 bn export: Vikram Jardosh, MoS for Textiles

Industry should take full advantage full advantage of the global market shifts: Secretary, Ministry of Textiles.

Tarun Nangia

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The Government has set a strong aspirational goal of achieving $100 billion from textiles exports in thenext 5 years and we will remain committed to ensure implementation of all development schemes and bring in many more schemes in pursuit of this aspiration, said Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Minister of State for Textiles, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

Government has already announced MITRA scheme to attract new investments and build mega textile parks in the country. Other significant programs including the launch of PLI scheme for achieving manufacturing excellence and RoDTEP for enhancing export competitiveness will help India to position it as a global leader in the sector.

The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of TEXCON: The 13th edition of the International Conference on Textiles & Apparel organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry today. A specialCII-Kearney report was also released on “Creating a competitive advantage for India in the global textiles and apparel industry”. The report covers the entire textile value chain and highlights the imperatives for both government and industry to bring global positioning for the sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles said that the Government is making all efforts to proactively address the challenges and facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for the growth and development of the Textiles and Apparel sector. “We are capable to meet the domestic as well as the global market demands. I would like to urge the industry to take full advantage of the present global market shifts in establishing the excellence and prominence of India globally.”

Dilip Gaur, Chairman, CII National Committee on Textiles and Apparel & Managing Director, Grasim Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Group said, achieving breakthrough growth in Indian textiles will imply doubling down on multiple areas. The key ones include increasing share in MMF fiber and yarn, become regional leaders in apparel and fabrics and further augmenting India’s position as global home textiles leader. “Government of India has already shown strong commitment to this sector by launching multiple mega schemes in recent times which set a very positive tone for the future and to energize all industry stakeholders to take necessary steps forward in achieving the goals”, he added.

Kulin Lalbhai, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Textiles and Apparel & Executive Director, Arvind Ltd said, “The growing sentiment around “China plus one” sourcing is a golden opportunity for Indian textiles to stage a turnaround and gain back its leadership position as a lead exporting economy.” India is much better placed to maximize this opportunity as compared to competitors like Vietnam and Bangladesh because of India’s strategic depth.

Dilip Gaur, Chairman, CII National Committee on Textiles and Apparel & Managing Director, Grasim Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Group said, achieving breakthrough growth in Indian textiles will imply doubling down on multiple areas. The key ones include increasing share in MMF fiber and yarn, become regional leaders in apparel and fabrics.

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Piyush Goyal calls for free trade within rules-based multilateral trading system

We must work to resolve issues posed by Non-Tariff Barriers in international trade: Piyush Goyal.

Tarun Nangia

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The Minister of Commerce and Industries, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyaltoday called for free trade within a rules-based multilateral trading system with honesty and transparency as core values. He added that wherever India faces an unfair or unjust treatment, it will take reciprocal action. Shri Goyal also emphasized upon the need for resolution of issues posed by Non- Tariff Barriers in international trade. He was addressing the 54th Convocation of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in New Delhi today.

Referring to India’s recent achievement of 100 crore vaccines, he said that the milestone was the result a collective effort of 130 crore Indians and a proof of India’s ‘Atmanirbhartha’ and its resolve to leverage its capacities to the best possible extent and to serve the needs of the entire world.

Piyush Goyal said that a convocation is an important ceremony that marks the next step in the journey of the graduates when they grow from ‘acquisition of knowledge’ to ‘application of knowledge’.

He commended IIFT for contributing immensely to India’s external trade since its establishment in 1963. He said that IIFT has been widely recognized for its strong knowledge &resource base and has been consistently ranked amongst theleading business schools in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Underscoring the need for a committed and vibrant leadership in the field of academics in India, Shri Piyush Goyal called for enhancing exposure of our students to the best of technology, foreign law, economics, and international trade. Calling for tie-ups of Indian Universities with institutions of eminence across the world, he asked Indian universities to enter into sustained collaborations with such institutions.

Encouraging academic institutions to engage on a much larger scale with the industry, Shri Goyal asked students to take up internships with both the public sector and private players. Speaking of the opportunities offered by online education, Shri Goyal called for more exploration into online and hybrid modes of education.

Piyush Goyal told the students that they were graduating amidst one of the most disruptive events in the collective memory of our times. He emphasized that in the post-COVID ‘New Normal’, we can no longer play by the old rules. He called for using the disruptive interventions brought about by COVID to reorient our conventional, traditional thinking processes. Offering two cents from his versatile experience in foreign trade, Shri Goyal urged the students to ‘Learn, Unlearn, Relearn and Repeat’.

Piyush Goyal said that despite challenges, India under PM Modi has aimed to convert a crisis into an opportunity for transformation. He said that India is being looked upon as a trusted partner & we are engaging with like-minded nations e.g. EU, UK, Canada, Australia & UAE for early conclusion of FTAs.

Referring to India’s ambitious programmes like the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan for infrastructure and multimodal connectivity, Shri Goyal said that there was a need for planned, focussed efforts to create infrastructure in the country by breaking silos and bringing in synergy. “There is a need to bring in quality and productivity in all we do. A ‘Made in India’ product must be a guarantee to the world”, he added.

Applauding the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s visionary leadership, Goyal said that India’s decisive leadership, strong industry, vibrant media and its resolve to uphold the rule of law, had made India a trusted partner to world nations.

Lamenting that India had suffered from several missed opportunities in the past, Shri Goyal expressed the hope that we would now be able to seize every opportunity available to us to grow. “The past is a stepping stone, not a milestone”, he added.

Observing that contemporary India was confident & yet dissatisfied, he said that dissatisfied, confident people are the ones who would change the world. He urged fellow Indians to never settle for less and to work together to make India a global leader.

On the occasion, Shri Goyal presented several awards for excellence to graduating students.

Encouraging academic institutions to engage on a much larger scale with the industry, Shri Goyal asked students to take up internships with both the public sector and private players. Speaking of the opportunities offered by online education, Shri Goyal called for more exploration into online and hybrid modes of education.

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Builder hardware products from India have considerable global demand, says Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash

Tarun Nangia

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Builder hardware industry is linked to the construction equipment industry where the revenue was valued at US$ 6.5 billion in 2020 and construction market is expected to be the third largest globally by 2025: MSME Secretary B B Swain

India is the 17th largest supplier of builder hardware products and is on its way to fulfil the government ambition to become a global manufacturing hub of builder hardware products.

Builder Hardware is another performer making India as one of the top 20 suppliers with a 1.2 percent share in the world builder hardware export pie, said Som Parkash, Minister of State of Commerce & Industry

While addressing the Builder Hardware Expo, organised by EEPC India, virtually today, the Minister noted that builder hardware products from India have considerable demand across the continents.

Indian builder hardware product is one of the best performing segments in the Indian engineering goods sector which has been the key driver of merchandise exports from the country.

“Builder hardware industry is linked to the construction equipment industry where the revenue was valued at US$ 6.5 billion in 2020 and the construction market is expected to be the third largest globally by 2025,” said Mr B B Swain, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

India is the 17th largest supplier of builder hardware products and is on its way to fulfil the government ambition to become a global manufacturing hub of builder hardware products.

Swain stated that EEPC India with more than 60 per cent of its members representing MSME sector took several initiatives even during pandemic to provide global interaction opportunities to small players in the form of webinars and virtual Expos.

“The Government of India has been proactive to ensure that all the benefits of the MSME schemes reach the intended beneficiaries in time,” said Mr Swain.

EEPC India Chairman Mahesh Desai said that the four-day virtual Expo would provide opportunity to the Indian exhibitors to display an array of over 200 domestic builder hardware products to overseas buyers from nine focus regions and trade blocs.

“The buyers would comprise contractors, builders, building engineers, architects, landscape artists, interior designers, consultants and project management professionals,” he said.

Speaking at the Expo, EEPC India Vice Chairman Arun Kumar Garodia said India belongs to the league of leading builder hardware manufacturing and exporting nations.

“The Government of India has now set a National Mission of merchandise exports to reach US$ 400 billion within this fiscal, US$ 500 billion by FY-24 and US$ 1 trillion by FY-28 by making Indian products the only choice for global buyers,” he said.

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Policy & Politics

MOU SIGNED BETWEEN J&K AND GOVERNMENT OF DUBAI FOR REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT, INDUSTRIAL PARKS, SUPER SPECIALITY HOSPITALS

MoU will give UT a big developmental push: Piyush Goyal

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Jammu and Kashmir administration has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Dubai for real estate development, industrial parks, IT towers, multipurpose towers, logistics, medical college, super specialty hospital and more.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal highlighted the significance of the day and said that with the signing of the MoU with Dubai Government, the world has started to recognize the pace with which Jammu and Kashmir is traversing on the development bandwagon. This MoU gives out a strong signal to the entire world that the way India is transforming into a global power, Jammu & Kashmir is having a significant role in that as well.

This MoU is a milestone after which the investment will pour in from entire globe and is a big developmental push. Different entities from Dubai have shown keen interest in investment. Development has to be aspired on all fronts and we are on track, he added.

Goyal thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Shri Amit Shah for their focus and commitment towards the development of UT of Jammu & Kashmir. Recent industrial package of 28,400 Crore rupees is a testimony towards ensured development.

Terming it a momentous occasion for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha said that this development journey will help the Union Territory to scale new heights in Industrialization and sustainable growth.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal highlighted the significance of the day and said that with the signing of the MoU with Dubai Government, the world has started to recognize the pace with which Jammu and Kashmir is traversing on the development bandwagon.

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