PM’s speech at the inauguration of Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd

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PM’s speech at the inauguration of Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd

Following is the text of Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s speech at the inauguration of Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd in Mumbai today:
“We have gathered here to witness the beginning of a unique new institution. The Bharatiya Mahila Bank which is being inaugurated today will provide financial services predominantly to women and women self-help groups. I understand that it will also be largely run by women. I compliment my friend and colleague the Finance Minister Shri P Chidambaram and his team for conceiving the establishment of the Bank and making it a reality within a very short period of its announcement in this year’s Budget.
It is only befitting that the Bharatiya Mahila Bank is being inaugurated on the birth anniversary of a great woman of our country. Shrimati Indira Gandhi was one of the tallest leaders that our country has produced and led the country as Prime Minister for nearly 16 years. Her life and work are an abiding source of inspiration for all of us.
Over centuries India has produced several accomplished women leaders in a diverse range of areas - science, medicine, business, sports, politics and so on. Women played a prominent role in our freedom struggle with leaders like Rani Lakshmibai, Begum Hazrat Mahal and Smt Aruna Asaf Ali leading from the front. We have had a woman as President of our country and currently have a woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha, a woman Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and two women Chief Ministers. The President of the largest and the oldest political party in India is also a distinguished woman leader, who we are privileged to have in our midst today. Some of the largest public and private sector banks in our country are today headed by women. A recent global survey of top 50 women business leaders in the world included 4 Indian women.
However, all this does not reflect the average reality of women in our country. The sad reality is that women in India face discrimination and hardship at home, at school, at their place of work and in public places. Their social, economic and political empowerment remains a distant goal.
Given the adverse circumstances that our women face almost at every step, the successes of our women achievers are all the more impressive. I congratulate them for their accomplishments in the face of tremendous odds.
The discrimination that our women face is reflected in the indicators of human development. They score below men in literacy, in health status, in employment potential and in entrepreneurial skills. They also lag behind men in ownership of land and assets and in the management of enterprises. Increasing incidents of violence have worsened an already bad situation.
Our Government recognizes its responsibility to work diligently for the empowerment of India’s women. We also recognize that our efforts in this direction must cover many dimensions. Our flagship programs for rural employment and for universalizing education and health-care provide equal access for both men and women and will help the cause of women empowerment. For example, nearly half of those getting employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment happen to be women.
We also have schemes for taking care of the special needs of women. For example, while Janani Suraksha Yojana supports pregnant women and nursing mothers, the Sabla scheme empowers adolescent girls.
We have also embarked on a process of amending our laws to make them more gender-sensitive and to enable them to effectively address issues of persistent gender discrimination. We have legislated for 30% of seats for women in rural and urban local bodies. As many as 15 states have already passed legislation to earmark 50% of seats for women at the grassroots level democratic institutions. Consequently, a larger proportion of poor and rural women have been brought into the fold of political participation. We have strengthened the law to provide for harsher punishment for sexual offences against women.
But much more needs to be done. It is an acknowledged fact that access to finance and banking not only helps empower women but also broadens the social base of development, thus fostering equitable growth. This is an area in which India lags far behind. Our women have minimal access to finance and financial products. We need to change this state of affairs to enable our women to contribute to the growth processes of the mainstream economy.
The setting up of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank is a small step towards the economic empowerment of our women. It is also a reflection of our deep commitment to this cause. I am sure that the Bank will fulfill the objective with which it has been established, namely financial inclusion of women and providing them equal and easy access to financial services. I am also sure that it will particularly benefit women from the less privileged sections of our society. The fact that it will be run largely by women will serve as an example that given the opportunity, women are capable of taking on challenging tasks.
I understand that the Bank will initially have 7 branches, which will go up to 25 by March 2014, and will focus equally on rural and urban areas. It will offer special products keeping in view the needs of women entrepreneurs. It is a challenging task ahead for those who have been given the responsibility of beginning the operations of this Bank and nurturing it in its initial years. But it is also a meaningful and fulfilling endeavor which they have been entrusted with. I wish the management of the bank, its board of directors, its Chairperson, all success in the exciting task that they are engaged in.
I end by reaffirming our Government’s deep commitment to working for a brighter future for women and ensuring their safety and security.
Thank you. Jai Hind.”

North-East Business Summit to Address key issues of Region’s Development

North-East to Host Asean Focused Business meet in Dibrugarh
The Union Ministry of Development of North East Region (DoNER), along with the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), is organizing ‘North-East Business Summit’ in Dibrugarh, Assam between 22nd & 24th of November, 2013. The 9th edition of the Summit is the largest trade & investment Conference cum Exposition on India’s North-East Region (NER).
The Summit is particularly important this year, because for the first time, it is being held in the interiors of the North-East, in Dibrugarh in Upper Assam, and hence would be a Forum to address key, real grass-roots level developmental issues. Also, two Chief Ministers from neighbouring Myanmar - HE U Thar Aye, Chief Minister of Sagaing Region and HE U Ye Myint, Chief Minister of Mandalay Region will attend the Inaugural Session of the Summit as Special Guests of Honour and share their perspectives on North-East – Myanmar trade & economic exchanges. This visit is extremely important with a fact that Myanmar is India’s true Gateway to the ASEAN markets, and that it has opened up its economy to Asia and the world.
The Ministry of DoNER is responsible for the matters relating to the planning, execution and monitoring of development schemes and projects in the North Eastern Region. Its vision is to accelerate the pace of socio-economic development of the Region so that it may enjoy growth parity with the rest of the country.
One of the prime objectives of the Ministry is to showcase the inherent economic, social and cultural strength of the North East Region as well as to mainstream the Region with the country to move forward in its entirety. Under this objective, this event is being organized.
The ICC has been assigned by the Ministry of DoNER to organize this summit as the Nodal Chamber for the North-East. The Ministry of DoNER, over the years, has tirelessly strived to showcase the tremendous economic potential of the NER to domestic and international investors through meaningful, and strategic initiatives with the help of ICC. So far, the Ministry of DoNER has organized eight North East Business summit in various part of the Country. The Indian Chamber of Commerce has also organized mega trade & investment shows on the North-East abroad, particularly in South & South-East Asian countries having potential to be natural trade partners of the North-East region because of its strategic location and proximity to these countries.
The 3-day North-East Business Summit will address key issues related to the overall socio-economic development of the North-East, which, despite being a region with tremendous economic potential, has not been able to grow as expected, and has largely remained untapped. The Indian Chamber strongly feels that policies and programmes need to be suitably monitored and implemented for taking the region to a higher growth trajectory, in sync with the NE Vision 2020 document released by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh in 2008, which recommends a structural transformation of the region. The Summit will have focused Sessions on strategic areas like: Energy & Power; Horticulture, Tea, Food Processing & Plantation; Infrastructure & Connectivity; Tourism & Hospitality; IT, Healthcare & Financial Services; Higher Education; International Trade with ASEAN in sync with ‘Look East’ Policy etc. There will be a high-profile Exclusive Investors’ Meet with Union Minister of DoNER, North-East Industry Ministers and Senior Officials, which is aimed at portraying the attractive incentive structures offered by the states, highlighting upcoming private & public projects, taking feedback from existing Investors and discussing prospective investment opportunities.
The Summit will also have an Exhibition on the North-East region wherein all the States will display their indigenous products, and showcase their comparative advantages to investors.
More than 500 delegates from across the country, and also from neighbouring countries are expected to attend the North-East Business Summit. The Union Minister of DoNER Shri Paban Singh Ghatowar will chair the Summit. The Summit will witness the coming together of a very large number of Indian and international Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers of the North-Eastern States, Policy Makers, Government Representatives, Bureaucrats, Industry Captains, Economists and Analysts as Guest Speakers and Experts.
The Inaugural Session will also witness the giving away of the 4th North East Excellence Awards to outstanding achievers and organizations from the region who have excelled in diverse fields.

Assistance to Republic of Philippines by Government of India in Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

In a display of solidarity with the citizens of Hurricane ravaged Philippines, Government of India mounted a speedy Joint Services response coordinated by HQ Integrated Defence Staff to provide help to the beleaguered nation. The relief package comprising of medicines, hygiene chemicals, tentage, blankets, tarpaulins and meals ready to eat were provided ex Armed Forces stock and airlifted by an Indian Air Force C-130 Super Hercules aircraft. The aircraft reached Tacloban, the epicentre of the devastating natural calamity where more than 10,000 people are feared dead, on Saturday and delivered the much needed relief supplies that are expected to help meet the urgent need for life saving medical care, food supplies and construction of temporary shelters in the face of a serious humanitarian crisis. Similar aid was provided to Philippines by India in 2006 as well.
Plans are now underway to further supplement the effort and provide additional relief material, a second consignment on-board an Indian Naval Ship that is expected to be despatched shortly from Vizag. Additional relief material consignment on board will be of much larger quantity to include temporary shelters, prefabricated huts, life saving medical care and earth moving plants. The water purification capacity of the ship shall also be utilized to provide clean drinking water to the affected people. Necessary coordination for sending the ship and its arrival formalities at Philippines are being carried out with the Embassy of Philippines.
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Text of the speech of the Union Finance Minister Shri P Chidambaram at the inauguration of Bharatiya Mahila Bank

Following is the Text of the Speech of the Union Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram at the inauguration of Bharatiya Mahila Bank in Mumbai today:
“I am grateful to the Chairperson of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank for the warm welcome. I am happy to add my words of welcome to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the Chairperson of the UPA, the Governor, the Chief Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar, Shri Farooq Abdullah, Ministers, Members of Parliament and this distinguished gathering.
On behalf of the Government, I made a promise on February 28, 2013. I am glad that we are able to fulfil that promise today, a very special day that marks the birth anniversary of a very special person, Smt. Indira Gandhi.
I had asked Shri M.B.N. Rao, former Chairman, Canara Bank, to head a committee to draw the blue print for the Mahila Bank. The report was submitted in a record time of two months and, six months later, after working round the clock, we are here today at the inauguration of the Bank, with several branches being opened simultaneously. I wish to recognize the presence of Shri M.B.N.Rao, the other members of the Committee, and the members who constituted the interim Board of Directors, and I thank them for their splendid work. This morning, the Board inducted new Directors, Shri M.B.N.Rao alone stepped down, and what we have is an eight-member, all-women Board of Directors. I welcome the all-women Board of Directors and wish them success in their endeavour.
Empowerment of women is one of the articles of faith of the UPA government. The Bharatiya Mahila Bank is not – I repeat, not – a symbol of empowerment of women. It is the substance of empowerment of women, along with many other measures that the Government has taken and will take in the future.
Only 26 percent of women in India admit to having a bank account. On the other hand, four public sector banks including State Bank of India and several private sector banks have a woman at the head of the Bank, and I am glad many of them are here today. The obvious conclusion is that, despite good intentions, there is deep-seated bias, at the institutional and individual levels, against women. Since fewer women than men have bank accounts, fewer women are able to get loans. Per capita credit in the case of women is 80 percent lower than in the case of men. Hence the need for a bank that predominantly serves women – from the self-help groups to the small business women and from the working woman to the high networth individual.
Bank credit is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 16.5 percent during the twenty year period from 2010 to 2030. That will mean a twenty-fold increase from the level of credit in 2010. The deposit base is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 14.6 percent, that is 14 times the level of deposits in 2010. Assuming that the share of credit for women remains the same – which should not be the case and the share must increase – even at that level total credit to women will grow to Rs.25 lakh crore. There is, therefore, an opportunity to reach more credit to more women. I am sure the Bharatiya Mahila Bank will seize the opportunity and multiply it manifold.
Bharatiya Mahila Bank will be a universal bank and will provide every banking service and facility that is provided by comparable public and private sector banks. It will establish branches all over the country and, in due course, some branches abroad. We are proud that the first such bank is a public sector bank and I sincerely hope that the private sector will emulate this example.
I offer my felicitations to the Board of Directors, employees and the first customers of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank and wish them great success.”

(Release ID :100713)

Quarterly Report on Public DEBT Management for the Quarter July to September 2013 Released;
Gross and Net Market Borrowings Budgeted Moderately Higher than Previous Year by 3.8 Per Cent And 3.6 Per Cent Respectively During Current Fiscal (Fy: 2013-14); Total Public DEBT (Excluding Liabilities Under the ‘Public Account’) of the Government at End-September 2013 Increased on A Quarter-on-Quarter Basis by 6.7 Per Cent (Provisional) Compared With an Increase of 4.4 Per Cent in the Previous Quarter

Since April-June (Q1) 2010-11, Middle Office (MO) is bringing-out a Quarterly Report on Debt Management. The current report pertains to the quarter July-September 2013 (Q2 : FY14).

For Fiscal Year 2013-14 (FY14), Gross and Net Market Borrowings were budgeted moderately higher than previous year by 3.8 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively. Auctions during Q2 of FY14 were held largely in accordance with the pre-announced calendar. Government issued one new security of 17 year maturity during the quarter. The weighted average maturity of dated securities issued during Q2 of FY14 at 14.1 years was lower than 15.1 years in the previous quarter while weighted average yield (cut-off) of issuance during the quarter increased to 8.56 per cent from 7.63 per cent in Q1 of FY13. The cash position of the Government during Q2 of FY14 went into deficit in the beginning of the quarter.

The total public debt (excluding liabilities under the ‘Public Account’) of the Government at end-September 2013 increased on a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) basis by 6.7 per cent (provisional) compared with an increase of 4.4 per cent in the previous quarter. Internal debt constituted 90.8 per cent of public debt and marketable securities accounted for 83.0 per cent of total public debt. About 31 per cent of outstanding dated securities have a residual maturity of up to 5 years compared with about 34 per cent a quarter ago, reflecting a decline in the rollover risk in the debt portfolio.

In the secondary market, bond yields went-up during the quarter mainly due to capital outflows from debt market triggered by uncertainty regarding QE3 programme of the US Federal Reserve and subsequent monetary tightening by RBI to support the Rupee as well as rise in inflation rate. Bond yield curve steepened in the above 10-year maturity segment, while it remained flat in the below 10 years maturity segment. Trading volumes declined during the quarter amidst rising yields and uncertainty regarding economic outlook. The annualised outright turn-over ratio for Central Government dated securities for Q2 of FY14 dropped to 3.5 from 9.3 during the previous quarter.

The aforesaid report on Public Debt Management for the second quarter of 2013-14 (July-September 2013) would also be available on the website of Ministry of Finance i.e.,


Lifetime achievement award to JIRI Menzel at 44TH Goa Film Festival

One of the best known representatives of the ‘New Wave Czech Cinema’, Jiri Menzel will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 44th edition of IFFI. Jiri Menzel has made his mark on the cultural history of his native Czech Republic as a film auteur, theatre director and actor. His films are cherished for their lyrical realism and stylistic boldness. The genteel humanism and comic tone of his work has earned him love and acclaim of film aficionados across the globe.
Born in Prague in 1938, Jiri Menzel majored in film direction from the Prague Film School (FAMU) in 1962. This was the time when the representatives of `New Wave’ in Czech Cinema made their presence felt in the international arena. His career kicked off with a stint as Assistant Director. He worked mainly at the Baranov Film Studios. As a stage director, he was mostly involved with the Drama Club in Prague but he was eagerly invited by numerous European theatres in Zurich, Paris, Berlin and many other places.
Menzel is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the European Film Academy. ln 1987, he was a member of the July at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival. He served twice as jury member at the Moscow International Film Festival in 1989 and 1995.
His first movie, "Closely Observed Trains", was made when he was just 28 and over the 45 years since, he has proved it was not a fluke. This film was an adaptation of the work of the renowned Czech writer, Bhumil Hrabal. With the success of this film under his belt, Menzel started work on another Hrabal’s novel, "Larks on a String", which was awarded Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1990. His "l served the King of England" is the most awarded of his works including Golden Gladiator Award at the International Film Summer Festival in 2008 and FIPRESCI Prize in the Berlinale in 2007.
Jiri Menzel`s films are subtle, bittersweet comedies as he is of the conviction that ‘good comedy should be about serious things`. With so many kudos to his credit, he is a national hero and international treasure.

Waheeda Rehman to receive First Centanary Award at 44th IFFI

An icon for the film lovers and iconoclast for the professionals, Waheeda Rehman will be honoured with the first Centanary Award for the Indian Film personality at the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The award has been introduced this year and the veteran actor will receive the trophy on the opening day of the festival. It consists of a cash component of Rs. 10 lakh and a citation.
The ‘Quintessential Beauty of Bollywood’ is known as much for her performance as for her choice of roles. Her undertoned approach to essay a character added a landmark shine to the golden era of Hindi films. Born in Chengalpattu near Chennai in 1936, Waheeda Rehman began her career with Tamil and Telugu movies and went on to work with Gemini Ganesan in ‘Kaalam Maari Pochu’ in 1955. Guru Dutt happened to see the Telugu version of this film and offered her a role in ‘C.I.D.’. With this, the Indian screen was gifted with an artist who redefined the Hindi film heroine by breaking away from the theatrical style prevalent in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The pairing of Waheeda Rehman with Guru Dutt treated the cinegoers with such marvels as ‘Pyasa’. ‘ Kaghaz Ke Phool’, ‘Saheb Bibi aur Ghulam’ and ‘ Chudhvin ka Chaand’. Her riveting performance also impressed the other stalwarts like Dilip Kumar (Ram aur Shayam, Dil Diya Dard Liya), Raj Kapoor (Teesri Kasam) and Dev Anand (Guide). Her stint with the younger artists has equally been marked with elegance and excellence. She is remembered with the same fondness for her roles in ‘Reshma aur Shera’, ‘Kabhie Kabhie’, ‘Khamoshi’, ‘Delhi-6’and ‘Rang De Basanti’.
A persona oozing grace and grandeur, Waheeda Rehmaan won the National Award for the Best Actor in 1971 for ‘Reshma Aur Shera’ and Filmfare Awards in 1966 for ‘Guide’ and in 1968 for ‘Neel Kamal’. She was honoured with Padma Shri in 1972 and with Padma Bhushan in 2011. In 2004, a Waheeda Rehman Film Retrospective was held at the Seattle Arts Museum and the University of Washington.
The first Centenary Award to Waheeda Rehman acknowledges the creative contribution of an artist who opted for roles which were much more than just the appealing shadow of the male actors of the times.

Curtain Lifts Tomorrow on 44th International Film Festival of India

Panjim wears a festive look as the 44th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) unfolds tomorrow amidst mesmerizing scenic beauty of the beach state of Goa. The 2013 edition of the Festival is being held from 20th to 30th November, 2013. The 11-day cinematic extravaganza promises to be the melting pot of diverse film cultures and artistic values aiming to promote good cinema. With the presence of special guests like Rekha, Asha Bhonsle, Kamal Hassan, the star studded opening ceremony will be a window to visual treat for film lovers and critics. True to the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’(the whole world is one family), the inaugural function of the festival brings together Academy Award winning Hollywood actor and Chief Guest of the Festival, Susan Sarandon, critically acclaimed Iranian director, producer and screen writer Majid Majidi and Polish film maker Agnieszka Holland.
The cine lovers will be treated to the presence of renowned Indian actress Waheeda Rehman who will be conferred with the first Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year 2013. The award has been instituted to commemorate 100 years of Indian Cinema, and will be given annually to an outstanding film personality for his or her contribution to Indian cinema. One of the best known representatives of the ‘New Wave Czech Cinema’, Jiri Menzel will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award on the occasion. His latest work, ’Don Juans” will be the opening film of the festival. The festival will close with a film portraying Nelson Mandela`s life journey ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ directed by Justin Chadwick and written by William Nicholsan. Fifteen Films from around the world will vie for the coveted Golden Peacock Award.
Indian Panorama category comprises of 26 feature films and 16 non-feature films. The feature films selected in various languages include six in Malayalam, five in Bengali, five in Hindi, three in Marathi and two in English. One film each has been selected in Konkani, Kannada, Mising, Oriya and Tamil. The non-feature film segment of the Indian Panorama will open with Kamal Swaroop’s ‘Rangabhoomi’. The non-feature films selected include five in Hindi, three each in Malyalam and English, two each in Marathi and Kashmiri and one in Kudukh.
The festival will spotlight cinema from North-East States of India. The Country Focus this year is on Japan and the segment will showcase a special package of the best that Japan has to offer. The other regular components are competition section, cinema of the world, the foreign retrospectives and other specially curated packages to make participation a truly satisfying experience. The festival also has a special section on restored classics.
The festival will feature the best of world cinema touching upon nuances of emerging trends in the world of cinema. The confluence of cinema from all over the world at IFFI’s platform is crucial for the development of good cinema in this part of the globe.

Text of the Speech delivered by I&B Minister Shri Manish Tewari at the 3rd Asian Forum on Global Governance

“I read with great interest the outstanding programme that has been designed for and delivered to you over the past ten days. I have no doubt that ORF and the ZEIT stiftung would have created an immaculate platform for each of you to engage with, interactive on, and be provoked by.
I would encourage you to take back these learnings and hopefully they will benefit you at every stage of the bright career that lies in front of you. I have engaged with the AFGG since its inception and have the pleasure of meeting each of the young leaders that has passed through this programme. Yet I never cease to be amazed by the competence and quality of the CVs I read, and am reassured by the thought that the future of this world is in your hands.
What I would then like to propose is that each of us must commit to being responsible for how the world manages itself in the days ahead. Most of you here are under thirty five and have about three decades of an active professional life ahead of you and therefore your stakes are much higher than anyone else in this room
You owe it to yourselves, your families, your communities, and your people. Your commitment to an equitable, sustainable and peaceful world must be unimpeachable and I would hope in the last ten days you would have come across some ideas, some thoughts and some experiences of others that would enable you to deliver on this front.
Since I have the luxury of being the last speaker, let me start off by taking a contrarian stand on the theme of the event itself. And say that what you describe as gridlock in the programme, as paralysis in your analyses, I describe as vibrant democracy and pluralism.
What you see as a rudderless world, a listless world without direction, I see as one with diverse and vibrant voices.
What you see as governance failure I see as the inability of government to comprehend and then respond in time to the contemporary societies that we seek to serve.
What you see as incapacities and inefficiencies, I see as frameworks that are no longer relevant to our daily lives.
So my proposition now is that each of us must understand that the paternalistic governance frameworks of the twentieth century be they national, regional or global are obsolete and inadequate.
Technology has given voice to the voiceless. Transport has allowed people to migrate like never before. Cyberspace allows communities to inhabit territories which were inaccessible.This basically means we will have more voices emerge more rapidly, louder voices, demanding, seeking, contesting and suggesting. Communication has never been easy and conversations will never be more difficult.
This loud pluralism perhaps frightens each one of us. And therefore we explain this away as a gridlock or a dead lock.
All over the world there is no dearth of legislation and laws. Despite your commitments to your governments, to your colleges, to your companies, to your institutions, I would urge you to engage your communities as well. To work with them, to assist them, to provoke them if need be, to engage with them. It could be through charity, it could be through sharing your expertise, it could be through mobilising opinions, voices and support for change orit could be through creating frameworks to help governments.
We are a world of seven billion people, so, we are also a world with an equal number of challenges, and a world with an equal number of opportunities, and most of these are at the community level. It will be leadership at the community level that will differentiate successful societies from ossified and failed ones.
So here I would like to propose that gridlock is in fact a manifestation of the lack of leadership.
You need not bet on politicians, you need not bet on politics, you need not bet on corporations, you need not bet on entrepreneurs, but you cannot - not bet on people. People is what this is all about and it is people who will find and resolve the knots we find ourselves in.
Having spent considerable time at student politics and at youth level politics, and at national level politics, I would certainly concedethat the urge to be a creator and contributor develops and is created in the early days of any individual`s journey.
This age group that you represent are the formative years of leadership, - do not let this opportunity pass you by. Do not be overly deferential to age and wisdom. You need to challenge hierarchies, contest narratives and upturn dogmas, challenge conventions. If these extant systems were so brilliant, apt,cogent and relevant we wouldn`t find ourselves in the state we are ....where we sek new answers to old questions.
I do not believe that true leaders bring about incremental change. In fact the whole point of leadership is to change the whole discourse and bring about a paradigm shift in the way things are done.
You people have to discover these new paradigms, this is a disruptive process but you must not be afraid of this disruption. You must dare to differ, you must be a heretic, because as well all know new thought starts off as heresy and ends up as dogma.
There can be no change without disruption, no change without heresy. And no leadership that does not disrupt. That is management and not leadership
I cannot give you a template here, because true leadership does not come from preconceived notions. This is a path you will have to carve for yourself.
But I can give you an example - India, a country that has benefitted from this kind of disruptive leadership, a leadership that dared to differ.
In an era when violent revolution and war were the norm, India deployed non-violence - a tactic that was derided in its infancy.
Those of you who work in NGOs and other institutions must realise that you serve the people and you don`t necessarily serve your self-interests, which become unsustainable.
There is a fine line between a creator and an activist. We seek creators not activists. Each one of us was born an activist - from the moment of our birth we cry out loud... now is the time to grow up, stop crying and become creators.
So let us now look at what leadership is, what leadership implies and what are the forms of leadership this world demands from us? I would for the purpose of this address, very broadly categorise three levels of leadership.
First we need global leaders, citizens of this world, not removed from the realities of their nations, their provinces or their communities, but those who can see the congruence between these and what the world wants. What we seek is people who can see through the fog and navigate a straight line that connects their people`s aspiration with the demands of stable and prosperous world. To be able to connect the dots easily, simply and sustainably.
The second type of leadership we require is at the national level. Essentially national leaders who can shed populism in the dance of democracy, or those who can induce rationality in autocracies and theocracies. We need leaders at that level who can see national interest....leaders who can link the national interest to the good of the world, people who can see that what is good for the world is good for Germany and what is good for the world is good for India.
Finally and most importantly we need community leadership. ...because this is probably the most neglected and dying leadership of all. And let me emphasise that lack of leadership at the level of the community, will undo leadership at every other level. Community leadership therefore is the most vital, but community leadership is also the most scarce.
Now what do I mean by community leadership? In the age of cosmopolitanism, in the age of globalisation, communities are dying. The evolution of mankind was supported by strong families and communities.
I would just like to caveat that this is not an advertorial for catholic family values, or Hindu joint family set-up in the Indian system. Far from it, this is pragmatism. Philanthropy, care, aid and social security, all these emanated at the level of communities.
And we see all over the world that while at one level, the globe is aggregating, at another level communities are fragmenting. So there is no dichotomy between strong communities and a united world.
Community leadership therefore is where I think the real solutions lie. How you use your water, how you price resources, how you treat women, children, the vulnerable and the weak. These are all answers we need to find at the micro level, at the level of the community, of the town.
We live in a new and still emerging world. And what we are unfamiliar with scares us. Many of us in government, the private sector, civil society and media have never seen vibrancy and plurality and diversity of opinion, thought and action like what we see today.
This is not paralysis this is a comprehension gap. And the sooner we are able to understanding this new operating environment, the sooner we will be able to adjust the form and format of how governments and citizens engage with the emerging realities. Status Quo will never be the answer and I would suggest change is what we need to engage with.
So how do we redefine and reimagine governance? How do we rearticulate democracy? And here I would suggest that the solution is in fact simple. Not easy but simple.
Like always like in each century that has preceded this one the protagonist for this change will be the individual. We seek leadership from each individual in this room and from others around the world.
Leadership is the only basis for re-comprehending this new world, for reimagining governance, for reshaping engagement and of signing a new social contract between people and governments.
And therefore this programme and this setting is about leadership. When the organisers picked each one of you, they were betting on the leader in you. And if my understanding of this programme is accurate, they expect a network of leaders and they expect new forms of leadership with creative solutions and creative ideas to flow from this network of leaders.
If they have been able to catalyse this translation or accelerate the process of translation this programme would have served its purpose.
I`m sure countries and government around the world would be only too happy to see this new age and new generation of leadership emerge....shedding the dogmas of the past, going beyond zero sum games, going beyond north-south, east-west discourses while absorbing diversity, common interests, differences with a certain pragmatism that the 21st century compels us to imbibe.
For those of you in the sphere of International Relations I would venture, that foreign policy that does not take into account domestic politics becomes unsustainable.
When domestic policies do not reflect domestic realties, it becomes unsustainable, and when domestic realities are not in consonance with capabilities and resources that are available, societies become unsustainable.
So those of you who work in foreign policy must take into account the national priorities and national aspirations, those of you who work in national governments must understand the needs and requirements the people.
And those of you who work in companies and corporations must realise that your success and your prosperity will be unsustainable if it cannot be linked to grassroots and organic economic existences.
The Mahatma and India`s first prime minister - Jawaharlal Nehru, chose pathways and modes of government that were unique in the newly liberated colonies. If we have been able to lift three hundred million people out of poverty and send a mission to mars it is because, of the leadership that shaped this countries destiny in its formative years. `
India now like other countries again stands at a cusp. We seek new ideas, we seek new solutions. We seek them from you and from within from our young leaders. We have heard you over these last ten days and we will learn from you.
I must congratulate the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs for their support to this venture which is truly outstanding. The fact that they don`t meet you till the last day is a testimony to their commitment, on supporting leadership without agendas and wit out conditions. I must again congratulate the organisers - ORF and ZEIT who have truly created a formidable leadership programme.
I must also congratulate Shashi for his vision and leadership and dedication in remaining involved and giving the Asian Forum a truly distinct character, a contemporary agenda and a peerless curriculum.
I hope some of you are going to take this opportunity to travel a bit - to see India to experience its diversity, to see some of its struggles, experience some of its riches - both in nature and in society - in its art, its cuisine, its culture. I would urge you to pack your bags and experience this very interesting and warm country, or at least come back to India again -soon.
Let me conclude by saying that this is your home, you have a family here, and we look forward to welcoming you back - India after all is an idea and not geography....keep this idea with you and when you can this geography will welcome you again.
God Speed for those traveling and my warmest wishes to each one of you for the future.”

2nd Day of Bharat Nirman Pubic Information Campaign Focussed on Education and Employment

The second day of Bharat Nirman Public Information Campaign at Shahzadpur, Ambala was mainly devoted to education, employment and related rights. Speaking on the Right to Education, Block Primary Education Officer Sh. Satpal Kaushik said that in this Act the Centre had provided for free education to all up to the age of 14. Giving details of the provisions of this law, he said that special attention had been given to the education of girls. He informed that literacy rate for males in Haryana is 84 percent whereas for females, it is 56 percent, thereby need for focusing on the education of girls.
In his address on MNREGA, Shri Balwinder Attri, Deputy Director (M&C), PIB Jalandhar informed that on an average 480 lakh families are given employment annually. The Centre Government has spent Rs. 2,38,400 crore till the end of March 2013 since the schemes was launched in 2006, he added. He further said that under a new provision under MNREGA, small warehouses can be set up at the block and Panchayat level. People belonging to states like Haryana and Punjab can avail this facility as these are surplus states in the agriculture produce. The states have just to provide land for these warehouses, which can have capacity of upto 18000 tons. On Land Acquisition Act, he said that under the new law, land could be acquired only with the consent of land-owners. The compensations for land in rural areas will be four times the market rate, whereas it would be double the market rate for urban areas.
Speaking on Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Assistant Project Coordinator Sh. Pramjit Singh said that it had brought a fundamental improvement in the education infrastructure and level of instruction/education in the schools. 1442 additional rooms have been built in 798 schools of Ambala district under SSA. Water tanks have been provided in 477 schools and toilets for students built in 473 schools, he said. 430 separate toilets for girls students have been built and arrangements made for 1929 students needing special care.
Senior Marketing Officer from AGMARK, Smt. Shakuntla Juneja exhorted the farmers to avail of the government scheme for building rural warehouses. The government provides subsidy of upto 25 percent on the cost of such warehouses. Ayurvedic Medical Officer, Dr. Naresh Kumar highlighted the effectiveness of this system in curing chronic diseases through cheap and easily available medicinal herbs.
Directorate of Field Publicity also organized a quiz contest on the major policies and programmes of the Government of India. Artists of Song and Drama Division enthralled the audience with information-packed entertainment presentations. A large number of school students and local people visited the exhibition stalls, gathered information and collected the printed material on different programmes & schemes.

Mainstreaming Disadvantaged Groups A National Priority: Kum. Selja

The Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Kumari Selja launched a composite programme on schemes of her Ministry for persons belonging to Schedule Castes, Backward Classes, Safai Karamcharis and for the differently abled, here today.
She said the UPA Government was committed to inclusive growth, and an important component of this process was mainstreaming the disadvantaged groups in the society such as those who were physically and mentally challenged. Kum. Selja said keeping in mind the special needs of the differently abled, the government formed a separate Department of Disability Affairs. She said the focus is on physical, economic and educational rehabilitation of the differently abled. She listed out the various achievements of organizations under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, and pointed out that disadvantaged groups were availing in large numbers the benefits of the various programmes being run by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
On this occasion Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation distributed aids and appliances. The other main attractions of the composite camp were distribution of Self Employment loan and cheques, skill training offers, awareness generation of the schemes of the Ministry through mobile vans and flagging-off the Badhte Kadam programme of National Trust.
The Governor of Haryana, Sh. Jagannath Pahadia while praising the efforts of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, said the programme would be understood as complete only when each and every disadvantaged child is included as a beneficiary. Shri Pahadia said since State resources are limited the Government ought to involve NGOs to broadbase the schemes and for a more effective delivery.
Among the organizations that participated include National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation, National Safai Karamchari Finance and Development, National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation, National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation, National Institute of Mentally Handicapped, National Institute of Hearing Handicapped and National Institute of Orthopaedically Handicapped.

Smt. Krishna Tirath Distributes Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award 2012-13 and National Awards for Child Welfare 2012

Smt. Krishna Tirath, the Minister for Women and Child Development gave away the National Awards for Child Welfare, 2012 and Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award 2012-13 during the ongoing Vatsalya Mela at Dilli Haat near INA market, today.
Speaking at the occasion, Smt. Krishna Tirath said that children constitute a large section population in the country. Each of these children is an important resource for the country and the country can develop when these children are empowered. She highlighted that Government is committed to supporting and nurturing the children of India, and to creating conditions that enable each child to do the best.
The Minister noted that India is a large and diverse country not only in terms of terrain, religion and language, but also in terms of socio-economic backgrounds. She said that keeping in view of this heterogeneity, the Government has been pursuing its agenda of inclusive growth for the development and protection of children.
The Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award has been given to 6 individuals who have made outstanding contribution towards service for children, including children with various kinds of disabilities. The Award carries a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, a silver plate and a citation. The recipients of the Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award for the year 2012 are Shri Bhabendra Nath Dutta of Assam, Shri Ved Prakash Arya of Haryana and Dr. Samir Hasan Dalwai of Maharashtra. The Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award for the year 2013 has been given to Sister Dr. Mary Litty of Kerala, Shri Lian C. Tombing of Manipur and Shri Satya Prakash Sharma of Himachal Pradesh.
National Awards for Child Welfare, 2012 have been given to 5 institutions and 3 individuals for their outstanding performance in the field of child development and welfare. The Award carries cash prize of Rs. 3 lakh and a citation for each institution, and Rs. 1 lakh and a citation for each individual.
Institutions that received the National Awards for Child Welfare, 2012 are as follows:
(i) Akshay Pratishthan , New Delhi
(ii) Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, Delhi
(iii) S.M.S.S.Hindu Mahila Mandiram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
(iv) Ushas Centre for Exceptional Children, Hubli, Karnataka
(v) Thutak Nunpuitu Team, Aizawl, Mizoram
Individuals who received the National Awards for Child Welfare, 2012 are as follows:
(i) Shri Bharat Lal Sahu, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh
(ii) Dr. N.Raveendran, Kerala
(iii) Ms. Shailaja Ashok Goundaje, Maharashtra
Smt. Tirath briefly explained the various schemes of the Women and Child Development Ministry for safety, security and welfare of children in the country.
The WCD Minister congratulated and thanked the recipients of the Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award 2012-13 and National Awards for Child Welfare, 2012 for their service towards children. She said that Government is always there to support and help the organizations that work for the development of children.
Also present during the awards ceremony were Ms. Nita Chowdhury, Secretary, M/o WCD; Smt Preeti Sudan, Addl Secretary; Ms. Vimla Mehra, DG Prisons, Tihar Jail; and other senior officers from the Women and Child Development Ministry, NCPCR, CARA, NIPCCD, CSWB, and NMEW.

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