One of the major themes of Modi’s administration has been the modernization of the country. As an integral part of this vision, in the 2014-15 budget, Arun Jaitley has allotted an amount to the tune of INR 7,040 crore for developing several smart cities across the country. The urban development ministry has recently started the process for the construction of the same. Venkaiah Naidu, the urban development minister, has already had a meeting regarding the same with other union ministers as well as MPs from various parties.
The basic aim of these meetings has been to seek suggestions that could be implemented once the project finally gets underway. As is the case of pace of developmental endeavours in India by governmental entities, the urban development ministry is yet to come up with a proper plan as such for executing this key project. One worthwhile suggestion made by Piyush Goyal, the power minister, during these meeting is to choose states that already have the necessary land resources. If followed, this can be expected to take care of the critical issue of land encroachment for developmental purposes and thus make the process much easier.
Why is the Indian government silent on the NSA espionage issue?
New Delhi has recently been stormed by the revelation that the previous administration headed by the United Progressive Alliance had given the National Security Agency of US the secret permission to keep a tab on the goings-on in National Democratic Alliance during the later part of 2013. It is being believed that the office of Nitin Gadkari, the union surface transport minister, was the one that faced the maximum problems in this regard. However, the minister has stated on the contrary. It may seem strange but Manmohan Singh, the previous PM, has also asked an explanation regarding this issue from the national government in order to be able to inform the parliament regarding the same.
The main issue in this instance is why is the ruling party mum on the entire issue – is there an apprehension that speaking out about this infringement could have an adverse effect on the relations given that both the countries are set to interact on several occasions in the near future? Even in such a case, one feels that the Indian leadership needs to convey a strong yet polite message that such breaches of security on a national level are absolutely unwelcome and should not be indulged into no matter who makes the request or what the circumstance is.
FDI in defense could be critical for national security, says CPI
One of the most debated features of the recently presented union budget has been the allowance provided by the national government for making foreign direct investment in the budget. The proponents of the same are of the opinion that this could have a positive effect on the Indian armed forces as far as modernization is concerned. However, its opponents too seem to have some valid points.
As per D Pandian, the secretary of the Tamil Nadu wing of the Communist Party of India, this decision could compromise the security of India to a significant extent. Pandian feels that FDI in the manufacturing sector is still acceptable because it can lead to greater amount of production and generation of job opportunities for various classes of professionals to ensure the production. The Tamil Nadu CPI secretary feels that countries such as US are keeping a close eye on how an emerging superpower like India is doing.
Narendra Modi may not be able to address joint session of US Congress
From the looks of it, Narendra Modi may not be able to address a combined sitting in the US Congress. The said session is expected to take place during September and the major reason for the same is the argument of the Republican Party on behalf of a shorter session that could make possible quicker elections to the country’s legislative body. At the present Republicans seem to have an advantage over the Democrats and so the party is making efforts to ensure that the sessions ends by the 3rd week of September so that it can make the most of the said advantage.
The prime minister of India, who is due to visit the United States during September is also supposed to address the General Assembly of UN, following which he shall have a meeting Barack Obama, the president of US. The meeting in question was supposed to have taken place when Modi is supposed to meet Obama. Till now, the Indian prime minister has received 8 letters and invitations that have supported him making an address to the said sitting, but it can be safely said that if the Republicans have their way none of that support shall come to pass.
A look at the union health minister’s plans for combating diarrhoea
Harsh Vardhan, the union health minister, has been in the news of late for his efforts to combat the various ills that plague the health of Indians as well as the overall sector. It seems that diarrhoea, a crucial disease, has not escaped his attention as well. He has planned that the health personnel such as doctors and nurses would be used in order to improve the measures to control diarrhoea. A group of measures such as increasing the levels of advocacy, awareness and improving the efforts to do so, setting up more medicine corners and encouraging volunteers has been devised in order to counter this disease.
The volunteers are expected to play a major role in containing the disease as per the plans formulated to counter the disease that claims 2 lakh children every year in India. They are expected to be entrusted to take the packets of ORS (oral rehydration solution) to families in affected areas. They shall also be tasked with locating the kids that are suffering from the disease and need help.