Role of Foreign Language in Indian Curriculum

The popularity of foreign language in Indian curriculum is at its peak. Students and parents alike seek a global connection to their education. However, if one has to move abroad for a year or two for a course in a foreign lanugage, most find it unaffordable or unmanageable.

On the international platform, various global programmes targeted at language and cultural exchange are popular and many nations, educational institutes and students take advantage of them. However, lack of proper domestic facilities leaves many yearning for more. Some argue that learning of foreign languages should be an integral part of the Indian curriculum at all levels in public and private education sectors.

Though the government has taken several steps at various times, a lot needs to be done and achieved.
In this context, ex-Professor and Head of European Languages Department (ELLCS) of University of Rajasthan, Asha Pande, feels that “It is the youth and children who if guided in the right direction can become the agents of change. An active approach towards bridging the language and cultural gap between Indian and foreign students would go a long way to accomplish this.”

Prof. Asha Pande is a pioneer in foreign language education in Rajasthan. For her dedicated voluntary services spanning almost three decades, she was honoured with the highest award of France, Chevalier in the National Order of Legion of Honour by the President of France in 2009. Masters and PhD in French Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, she earned many accolades in the academic field.

She believes that the academic scene in India is fast evolving, and most Indian students have moved over the phase where they gave importance to learning only to score marks, without actually trying to understand and enhancing their knowledge. Today’s generation of students wants to create a strong base of learning that helps them compete with the best nationally and internationally.

With the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies, students are better placed for developing analytical and communication skills rather than being dependent on the conventional methods of memorization of facts.
Schools and educational institutes have understood the changing requirements and the trends, and are making concerted efforts in improving the style of teaching and more interactive modes of education.

Prof. Pande clarifies that “Better style of teaching and more interactive modes of education mean a more global perspective. Other nations have already implemented technologies and strategies to improve their education system. Though India has also started making usage of interactive and modern technologies, it’s restricted to some elite private schools and institutes. The government and rural sector schools lack these technologies severely, and the real impact would be visible only when these schools are penetrated.”

Another interactive strategy beneficial for students would be learning outside the walls of the classrooms. Reports have suggested that these do not amount to waste of time, rather these improve the productivity and learning capacity of the students.

“Teaching students the rules of languages, including the foreign languages, sitting in the classroom may become boring and may hamper the learning of the students. Though interactive exercises may be employed within the classrooms as well, taking students for trips where they can first-hand interact using their newly learnt language will boost their confidence,” asserts Prof. Pande.

She shares her experience at Sorbonne Paris and later at Dijon University France where she went as a student on UGC fellowship from JNU. “The culture and education in France is different. They have a lot to share with the world, and Indian students learning French language must interact directly with the French students in India or in France if their school makes the arrangements. I did it, and it was a strong factor in convincing me towards popularizing French language in India.” It was her own experience of broadening of horizons during her teenage years that inspired her later to start the first International Student exchange programme with France in 1990, as a Professor of French. All the obstacles, even the absence of international calling facility, did not deter her from her resolve. More than two hundred Indian and French students have benefitted already. They never looked back, all holding high positions in various fields today.

All European languages have their own charm, and students should have an opportunity to choose their own according to their interest.

Languages are an important component of the international curriculum. In most countries, students are taught three languages, one or two of which are foreign. Though English is taught as a compulsory language in most schools, it’s not actually considered a foreign language. Inclusion of another foreign language such as French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Japanese in the curriculum completes the foreign language teaching in schools.
“World literature should also be made a part of the international curriculum. Students must understand the styles and stories of foreign authors in their own language. Translations may give only partial idea; reading in original language has its own charm that is unparalleled,” opines Prof. Pande.

Foreign languages also teach students business communication skills and information technologies, besides helping them develop interpersonal and communication skills in this modern era of working as a global workforce, where frequent interactions and travels take place with other countries or foreigners.
Knowledge of foreign language would also help those students who want to study abroad for higher studies. Even if students can’t afford to go abroad and learn a foreign language through interactive means in India itself, it would broaden their outlook in general.

Prof. Pande summarizes it all, “There is no doubt that learning a foreign language would develop a person’s overall personality. It should be a part of our regular curriculum in all schools at all levels as students, parents and the government would benefit immensely. The sooner you start, the better it would be. Foreign language learning must be introduced to students as young as 10 to 14.”

Industry-Ready Training-Based Recruitments: The New Trend

The world’s competitive edge is turning sharper day-by-day, and those who adopt in time are faring better than those who fail or delay to make the cut. Several organizations have realized the importance of investing in people and transform them to compete at the global levels.

It means making efforts beyond just recruitment, and working on a complete package. Today’s job market is very demanding and organizations require ready-to-deploy resources. This creates a need for ‘job-ready’ resources. This is especially true in the Global Business Process Management Industry with stringent international requirements in terms of both Domain Knowledge and Communications. The level of world-class global trainings is generally high, and students who opt for these programs may need a great amount of improvement before they are able to reach global requirements. The world thrives on young leaders, smart managers, skilled employees and a workforce that is hard working and gels well with all kinds of teammates.

The challenge is that not everyone starts his/her career with these qualities already being an inherent part of their personality. People learn with experience as they move ahead in their career. However, there are ways to get ahead faster by getting help from experts.

One of the existing experts in the industry with their ‘Reach Your Pinnacle’ skill-building program is MindMap Consulting. It was founded by Susheel and Shilpa Saboo as they were quick to recognize the global need of world-class training-based recruitments.

They have created a value system focused on being customer-centric and delivering to the common goals of growing businesses. Their vision is to bring simplified, transparent solutions to their clients and to be their trusted partner in the field of Recruitment, Training & all skills enhancement services. Susheel and Shilpa bring extensive experience in their area of expertise and have been well-recognized thought leaders in the industry. MindMap Consulting blends the experience of their leadership circle with trusted advice from their independent board to ensure customer-centricity and value addition to its clients.

“We have not only trained and helped hundreds of candidates get their dream job in MNCs, we have also turned fresh graduates into confident executives, who are ready to take head-on the challenges of their job and life in general. We believe that our students have the talent already; it’s just not harnessed. We bridge that gap and develop their skills to get them any big job they can dream of,” explains Susheel Saboo, Founder of MindMap Consulting.
Shilpa, Co-founder of MindMap adds, “Our ‘Reach Your Pinnacle’ skill-building program has been created by experts in the industry with relevant experience from the top MNCs of the world. We train on Finance, Accounting, Banking and Analytics, and when you leave after finishing our program, you have a job, the relevant skills to grow in that job, and the confidence to reach the top in any job.”

Recently they have partnered with Genpact and NASSCOM Foundation in their unique and highly popular ‘Reach Higher’ Program, which consists of an exclusive off-campus program for graduate students and another exclusive on-campus program for final-year students with no cost to the candidate. It’s a 4–8 week elite program, which provides a dream career launch in shared services. Similar programs have been launched with other companies, which are utilizing their Corporate Social Responsibility budgets on Skills enhancement initiatives in areas of Analytics, CRM Voice and CRM Non-voice skills. “What we are doing can be put simply as: Transforming academic mind into professional intellect,” asserts Susheel.

MindMap has partnered with NASSCOM SSC to design and publish training modules for two critical skills of ‘Associate Analytics’ and ‘Associate Finance & Accounting’. This will be leveraged to ingrain the programs as part of core curriculum across universities and colleges in India.

MindMap Consulting is fast evolving into the No. 1 training platform. It transforms young and aspiring candidates into skilled and inspiring executives who not only become indispensable assets for the company they join, but also prove to be a boon for the society. It directly instills into the candidates the relevant skills for the BPM (Business Process Management) industry, which is fast becoming the future of India Inc. In the program, experts teach the international accounting terminologies, standards and practices, preparing any student in the process to handle global careers.

It is also noteworthy at this point that the Business Process Management (BPM) industry is growing at 15% per annum and is generating a demand of about 1.2 million skilled people per annum. Anyone catering to that demand and creating a trained manpower that can fit directly into the BPM framework would be a big success. The current requirement of the BPM industry is trained professionals with excellent communication and inter-personal skills. Thus, organizations creating a trained workforce that is highly skilled not only in domains such as F&A and Analytics, but also in professional etiquettes and excellent communication are on an upward trajectory.

Susheel understands the industry in depth and shares, “Those who aspire a rapid rise in a Global BPM career, need not go elsewhere. Our Program is handcrafted by industry experts with relevant experience, for fresh graduates. It aims to render practical and relevant knowledge and pragmatic results, and thus creates excellent, effective and proficient manpower for the BPM industry. Our journey has just begun – we are looking to expand offering across multiple domains and bring our programs on e-Learning platforms to be accessible across urban and rural areas.”

Experts believe that excellence is achieved through diversity and inclusion. A key factor to anyone’s success and the impact they make at their workplace may be attributed to a whole range of points of view and creativity. That’s the reason global training programs are important. They not only bring people from diverse backgrounds on the same platform developing that competitive edge in them, they also teach them how to arrive at best solutions with global perspectives or fresh points of view.

Everyone wants to recruit people with exceptional talent and ability, but it is the global training programs which provide candidates the opportunity to develop themselves up to the global standards and be the best they can be!

Green Key to Your Dream Home

India’s real estate market is expected to reach USD 180 billion by 2020. Emergence of nuclear families, rapid urbanisation and rising household income are likely to remain the key drivers for growth in all spheres of real estate, including residential, commercial and retail.

Real estate is currently the fourth-largest sector in the country in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows. Total FDI in the construction development sector during April 2000 to May 2015 stood at around USD 24.07 billion.

The Government of India has been supportive to the real estate sector. In August 2015, the Union Cabinet approved 100 Smart City Projects in India. The Government has also raised FDI limits for townships and settlements development projects to 100 per cent. Real estate projects within the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) are also permitted 100 per cent FDI. In Union Budget 2015–16, the government allocated USD 3.72 billion for housing and urban development. The government has also released draft guidelines for investments by Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in non-residential segment.

However, as pointed by Brig. R R Singh, Director General, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), “A very pertinent point everybody must keep in mind is that growth in the real estate sector must be compatible with sustainability and protection of environment.”

Not many know that the real estate sector accounts for more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and potentially provides great opportunity for carbon reduction. Energy-efficient and green buildings have a huge potential in transforming the property sector, and investors could benefit from that transformation through the greening of their real estate holdings and investing in green technology real estate developments.

Brig. Singh emphasizes that “Under these circumstances, the role of an organization such as the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) becomes quite crucial. A few of the relevant primary objectives of NAREDCO in this context are (a) to collect, collate and disseminate information and knowledge for the benefit of all interests engaged in the real estate business and allied activities, comprising enterprises of all scales – large, medium and small, (b) to encourage and conduct research for improvement of technology in relation to all aspects of real estate operations, and to encourage and promote utilisation of improved technology and materials, (c) to promote and encourage continued upgradation of technology and skills, and (d) to promote excellence and high standards of operations based on just and equitable principles in transactions relating to various operations of real estate business.”

Energy-efficient equipment and services must be employed in existing and new buildings to reduce the environmental impact of commercial properties. Government must provide funding assistance for energy audits and an energy improvement plan for buildings, which should work as an alternative financing methodology allowing the sharing of upgrade costs with the building owners. The sharing is done on the basis of the argument that it’s both the owner and the government who benefit from technology upgradation and therefore must share the burden.

A few important key green technologies in commercial property development must be discussed here:

  • Buildings must be built allowing more natural light and fresh air, with low volatile organic compound materials such as fumes from paints and protective coatings applied to furnishings to contribute to the health and productivity of the occupants.
  • Buildings must be able to survive for longer cycles or must be easily renewed or upgraded.
  • The top green features for commercial properties include electricity, heating/cooling and water technologies through the following:
    • Usage of photovoltaics (solar panels) generating energy locally
    • Gas-fired tri-generation of energy meaning generation of electricity through burning gas, capturing waste heat to create hot water, and using an absorption chiller to cool the building
    • Generating biomass, such as waste paper products or waste timber, for creating biogas through a gasification process. This can then be used in co- or tri-generation systems to generate energy and heat
    • Using double skin facade technology allowing ventilation to flow between the outer wall of a building and a second skin. The cavity can be naturally or mechanically ventilated and can be conducive to cooling and heating a property
    • Chilled beam air conditioning passes pipes of water through a ‘beam’ (heat exchanger) that cools hot air as it rises to the ceiling. As the air cools, it gets denser and falls creating a convection cycle
    • Recycled water and rainwater can be used for washroom flushing systems as well as plant irrigation

Brig. Singh further explains that “The role of NAREDCO is important in creating and implementing better and green technology in the real estate sector as it is an autonomous self-regulatory apex national body for the real estate. It was established in 1998 under the aegis of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India. It is visualized as a single platform of Government, industry and the public to discuss issues relating to development and advocacy of policies and systems in the real estate. NAREDCO was formed with the mandate to induce transparency and accountability in real estate business and transform the unorganized Indian real estate industry into a mature, professional and globally competitive industry.

“It strives to be the leading advocate for developing standards for efficient, effective and ethical real estate business practices, valued by the stakeholders and viewed crucial for success. NAREDCO works to create and sustain a business environment conducive for the growth of the real estate industry in India, in partnership with industry and Government alike through advisory and consultative processes.”

Important aims and objectives of NAREDCO in the context of better and green technologies have already been discussed. Further, “the emphasis of the Council is on Education & Training, Annual National Conventions, Conferences, Workshops and Knowledge Sessions for discussing real estate issues and sharing knowledge, Real Estate Policy Formulations in cooperation with Central and State Governments and other stakeholders of industry and Publications of National Realty Magazine to disseminate information. Real estate Regulation and Development Bill, Simplification of Project Approval Procedures, Affordable Housing and Rental Housing Policies are some of the important achievements of NAREDCO in the recent past,” described Brig. Singh.

Thumbay Group: Promoting healthy living

It was the year 1998, when Thumbay Moideen took his family business to the Gulf region from India with the launch of the Gulf Medical University at Ajman in the UAE. Since then the Thumbay Group has fruitfully branched out from education and healthcare sectors to hospitality, real estate, publishing trading and much more. The company today stands as a stellar example of excellence and success
When Thumbay Moideen was invited by the rulers of Ajman more than a decade ago to start a medical college in the UAE, it proved to be a golden change for the third generation entrepreneur from a renowned business family in Mangalore, India to make a successful imprint overseas, too.
The invitation, thus led to Thumbay Group’s first venture into the region, and a phenomenon, the Gulf Medical University was born.

Having been founded with a sole purpose to provide higher education in medicine and healthcare sciences, the institute eventually proved to be a temple of knowledge for the students from across the globe.

With a vision to emerge as the powerhouse of innovation and excellence, the Group has succeeded in laying the foundation of quality besides meeting the criteria of trust and loyalty. It has the credit of being one of the largest healthcare providers in the region and has incorporated all the finer nuances of the business that will not only help the students to achieve academic excellence in the field of medicine but also produce world-class doctors.

It is also one of the principal healthcare providers in the region.

Expanding horizon

Having grown from strength to strength, the Thumbay group has widened its horizon by diversifying its portfolio. Besides healthcare it has ventured into sectors like Education, Healthcare, Medical Research, Diagnostics, Retail Pharmacy, Health Communication, Retail Opticals, Wellness, Nutrition Stores, Hospitality, Real Estate, Publishing trading and Marketing & Distribution.

Values

The Group works on the principles of consistency and maintaining quality standard, and considers meeting customer expectations necessary for the fruitful functioning of the organization. The impetus is on delivering quality products and services with innovation being the core value. Some of the focus areas of the Group are excellence, trust, knowledge, novelty and integrity. And it fulfills its commitment towards excellence through Thumbay Chain of Hospitals, equipped with avant-garde specialties that cater to the patient needs. The hospitals also provide medical research opportunities for the aspiring healthcare professionals along with clinical training. The hospital is one of the accomplished healthcare providers and caters to the health problems of patients from more than 175 countries. The hospital chain is an excellent answer to all the health issues of the people and efficiently delivers an array of treatment facilities.

Likewise, the Gulf Medical University has students flocking from 67 nationalities to study medicine and has faculty members from 22 countries. The college offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and Residency Programs in the fields of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Physical Therapy and many more.

Besides, the Thumbay Group also runs a pharmacy chain, diagnostic centres, multi-brand retail outlets, world-class wellness centres, an impressive chain of coffee Shoppe and a popular health & lifestyle publication.

The Group has become a churning machine of academic and entrepreneurial excellence with state-of-the-art infrastructure and offerings par excellence. Its superior service, quality and innovation are an outcome of not only a consistent effort towards attaining perfection but also passion to overcome all odds.

It also boasts of empowered and loyal employees whose number exceeds more than three thousand.

CSR

The Group’s CSR activities reveal much about its humanitarian outlook and reach people through the Thumbay Foundation, a charitable trust established to support altruistic activities in Healthcare, Education and other areas. The foundation financially assists students through scholarships, grants, bursaries, awards, fellowships, endowments, donations and other forms of monetary help.

The foundation is dedicated to the cause of supporting the deserving and needy and look towards bringing a sustainable social change in the society through its financial aids. The Group is actively involved in creating awareness at different levels and regularly holds health camps, either independently or in partnership with other organizations. The camp is aimed at giving free health consultation in different areas of medicine to the patients. Apart from other awareness campaigns, Blood Donation Camps are also organized on a regular basis.

Events

The Group organizes Annual GMU Medical & Science Exhibition that provides a platform to the aspiring students who exhibit their talent in the field of medicine and science. In addition, it also organizes Annual GMU Sports Festival, Annual Baby Show, Annual Fun Run and Night of the Stars. All these events witness a high footfall.

Sculpting Tanzania’s Future

When it comes to excellence, Quality Group Limited, Tanzania, has excelled in every sphere. It has made a name for itself in terms of technological know-how and innovation in East Africa, and is busy scripting several tales of success under the effective leadership of Yusuf Manji, the Chairman of QGL
With the entry of Quality Group Limited in the early ’70s, Tanzania as a country was introduced to the idea of quality, expertise and novelty. In many ways, the organization has been a driving force behind the improved socio-economic structure of the country, and has eventually turned into an institution that is basking in the glory of rich history and legacy. Having been in the race for more than four decades, QGL has lived with a vision to promote and keep up with its leadership standing coupled with fineness and superiority. And there has always been an effort to deliver more than what is promised under the headship of Yusuf Manji. Founded by Mehbub Manji, Yusuf Manji’s father, as a motor works company in the late 1960s, QGL has been a witness to several social and economic restructuring in Tanzania. And down the line the company has emerged as a reputed business enterprise, and has eventually become Tanzania’s lifeline. The organization’s headquarters are housed at ‘Quality Plaza’ at Nyerere Road in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which is a noted landmark and one of the most modern offices and commercial complexes in Tanzania.

THE VISIONARY

When Yusuf Manji took over the reins of the family business in 1995, he was only 20 years old. Under his direction the Dar es Salaam-based motor works company, QGL, grew from strength-to-strength and became a successful phenomenon. Today, QGL is a USD 1-billion conglomerate that deals in a wide range of verticals like automobiles, real estate, food processing, consulting, transport, aluminum, entertainment, e-commerce, media, and health care. Though things weren’t easy in the beginning, Yusuf took all the challenges head-on and through his vision and hard work, paved a way for QGL’s triumph. This evolution has been possible only because of Manji’s sheer determination, hard work, sharp business acumen, and his dream to conquer the world. However, it was sheer luck that when Yusuf took over QGL, the previously adopted socialist economy in Tanzania made way for a free market economy. Furthermore, the liberal market helped in the business growth.
Humane and pragmatic, he has immense capacity to turn any venture into a roaring success. Always looking out for opportunities, Manji is brimming with ideas all the time and believes in defying all odds. In fulfilling his vision, he is assisted by an experienced and senior team of professionals with local and international expertise.
When asked about his journey so far, Yusuf Manji says, “It has been all about my company and my work towards its expansion.” Manji uses every challenge as a stepping stone to success and has learnt a lot from his father, Mehbub Manji. He elaborates, “In my teens, I used to work with my father in his garage and watch him work till late hours. He loved what he did and worked with pure dedication and passion. It was an interesting phase as I was learning how to handle a business, and was also witnessing my father’s dedication towards his work. Moreover, I always aspired to be like him and decided to carry forward his legacy by expanding our company and bringing it to such a great height that he would be proud of me. Today, people from all over Africa, and from other parts of the world, identify Quality Group Limited by its name and work. What else could I want?”
Having learnt the ropes of business from his father, Manji has been well groomed to face adversities. He shows immense capacity as a leader and always keeps himself abreast with the latest developments. He has delivered exceptionally and has surpassed all expectations.
And how does he manage to achieve so much? What makes him tick? He says, “I love my work and it is passion that drives me ahead.”

INDIA CONNECTION AND EDUCATION

A native of Gujarat, India, Yusuf Manji spent most of his childhood in the USA and Tanzania. While he pursued his primary education in the USA, in Tanzania he completed his secondary education. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Administration that necessitated him to spend a year each at The American College of Switzerland (Switzerland), More House College (Atlanta, USA), and Hofstra University (New York, USA).

THE GO-GETTER

Having taken the reins of his family business in 1995, Manji introduced numerous changes in the organization, which went in sync with its dynamic structure. The set-up was completely overhauled and experts were hired in the respective fields. This professional approach helped Quality Group Limited scale new heights and create a niche for itself in the market. Support came pouring in and attracted several lenders from the East African region. This not only perked up the status of the conglomerate, but also built a spotless reputation in the market.
Manji single-handedly steered the Group to success, and in no time diversified and expanded the Group’s business portfolio. Hence, QGL today stands tall with its credible growth graph. One of the factors that make QGL a unique Group, is its investment in human capital sustaining the fact that employees play a pivotal role in the growth of any organization; an idea which Manji has been promulgating. He says, “I believe in exceeding expectations and this can only be possible if one is passionate about their goals.”
As far as business is concerned, Yusuf swears by QGL’s corporate motto of ‘Exceeding Expectations’. Devising his policies around the adage, he has created several milestones and makes sure to spread the essence to his employees as well. He makes it a point to encourage exchange of ideas and participation of the staff members during celebrations like QGL Day, Ramadan, Diwali Christmas and other functions.
A humanitarian at heart, Yusuf has unveiled several CSR initiatives through QGL. Besides helping the marginalized people in the society on a personal level, Yusuf makes sure that QGL plays a part in uplifting the poor. Under its CSR initiatives, QGL sponsors scores of students for higher education and also provides monetary aids during national crisis. The CSR initiatives by QGL in spearheading the Ebola control campaign of African Union Commission (AUC) have attained a pan- African stature and stand as a stellar example. Such has been the work of QGL in combating the epidemic, that Manji was elected as one of the Founder Trustees of Ebola Solidarity Trust established by the AUC.
In appreciation of his work towards motivating the young population of Tanzania, Manji was elected as the Chairman of YANGA, the Young African Sports Club. He has always been a major contributor towards the growth of the youth; hence, being the leader of such a prestigious organization gives him an additional platform to execute his inspirational programs.
Extremely passionate about his work and actively involved in Tanzania’s development, Yusuf Manji is also a family man. He says, “I don’t take a break, except when I go for a month-long holiday with my family to the mountains for skiing. There, I am totally cut off from work, as there is no network.” What’s his hobby? He says, “I love skiing and spending time with my family.”

MOUNTING HORIZONS

Quality Group Limited forms one of Tanzania’s premier and diversified business groups with over 50 wholly-owned and associate companies that enable them to provide employment to several thousands. Its manufacturing and export operations that cater to the demands all over East Africa are proof of the fact that its ambitions have no limit.
Always keen on exploring new vistas, which the ever-growing Tanzanian market provides, the company also keeps challenges and risk in the purview while doing business in the African continent. The sole purpose of QGL is empowerment of the locals in Tanzania, and it has tried to bridge the existing gap by setting up state-of-the-art energy facilities, infrastructure, revolutionizing communications and agriculture sectors, and working towards high-quality real estate options.
QGL produces a variety of products, many of which are market leaders in Tanzania and are exported to a number of countries spanning the African continent. Providing quality products and services to Tanzania with great zeal and passion, the Group represents some of the world’s most reputed organizations. Currently, QGL is venturing into newer businesses providing a variety of high-tech services such as e-education, e-health care, media service and mobile applications.
Quality Health Limited (QHL) is one of QGL’s latest ventures, wherein they have introduced the concept of e-MediClinic. QHL plans to launch a number of such clinics all over the country, which will help them to eventually reach out to the rural population as well, and provide them with the most advanced medical facilities in the whole of Africa.
FastaFasta, a mobile application-based service, has been initiated by QGL to provide services for booking taxis and bodabodas instantly. Such an application, which is quite popular all over the world, has been introduced in East Africa for the very first time. It aims to solve all the transport-related needs of the country.
Quality Media Group (QMG), a subsidiary of QGL, is a company that is in the process of becoming the largest media agency in East Africa. It is the one-stop media service provider, dealing in branding, radio, print and TV advertisements, billboards, signage, electronic media, and 3D animation. QGL gives high weightage to education, and believes that it should reach every citizen of this country. It is currently very difficult for the people to gain access to professional teachers, good quality books, and proper educational assessment. It is thus, for this purpose that it introduced e-education, a new concept in East Africa, which could reach even the rural parts of Tanzania at the most reasonable prices.
Ensuring that the Group contributes to the overall growth of the nation, it covers a wide spectrum of activities including agriculture, contracting, finance and investments, fisheries, food processing, manufacturing, services, trading and agency representation, and health among others.
Quality Group has also expanded their domain by forming long-term partnerships with numerous international brands. The world’s leading car rental brand, Hertz, recently entered into an alliance with Quality Group as a franchiser, with the aim of changing the way people travel in Tanzania. The Group has also partnered with high-end automobile companies like Chevrolet, Isuzu and Honda to bring elite brands in the country. Other internationally known brands like Kubota, Sonalika, BEML, Bridgestone, ASPEE and Greaves Cotton are also the main partners for the company’s farm equipment and automotive businesses.
The Group is now looking out to increase the export market of its manufactured products by seeking newer territories and adapting its products to suit these markets, and in the process, achieve self-reliance. To this end, ‘Employment Support’ for Tanzanian nationals, an area that has always been a priority to the Group, will continue to play a pivotal role in every facet of the Group’s growth and development.
Today, QGL and Manji, both are continually contributing towards the growth of Tanzania, and foresee the country’s economic progress to take place soon. When asked to share his vision for the future growth of the company, Manji says, “I want to see Africa, and specifically Tanzania, in the leadership map for bringing in the next generation change in the world. This, I believe, can happen only with sheer passion. In the near future, I see my company at such a great height, where it is capable of supporting efficiently, the aspirations of the people of Africa and develop the continent faster.”

Education in the Middle East and India

“Education is not only a fundamental human right but perhaps the most necessary element of development of any nation” – Dr Wasil
Appointed Chairman of the CBSE Gulf Council, received the President’s Teacher Award, awarded a Fellowship for research at Cambridge, received the Sharjah Economic Excellence Award as CEO, felicitated at various forums, recognized as a key note speaker at diverse education conferences – these are some tangible outcomes of the meaningful and constructive role that Dr Farooq Wasil, CEO of Goldline Education, has played in his 30 years as an educator contributing to the education system in the Middle East.
An expert on the Middle East education sector, he has been witness, since the 1990s, to an exponential growth in the GCC countries in terms of increase in education spend as well as enrollment.

Government Support

To create a high level of awareness and a high standard of education in the Middle East, the Government of UAE has been extremely benevolent and supportive towards nurturing the education sector. Dr Wasil endorses the highly progressive vision of the UAE which currently devotes approximately 25 percent of the total federal government spending to education. The overall literacy rate in the UAE is 90%. The GCC governments, on average, spend about 3.3 percent of their GDP on education. Saudi Arabia in particular spends 5.6% of GDP on education.

Gender Parity

Statistics in Saudi Arabia show that more women are attending institutions of higher learning than men. Saudi women are studying abroad alone. Women are overcoming barriers and gaining more confidence and freedom, as female education and equality is on the rise in the Middle East.
Dr Wasil is enthusiastic about the developments, “Education is the only ladder to development for a nation, and contribution to this development comes from both genders. Particularly for women, education is a gateway to a better life, to better understand their human rights and to protect themselves against gender discrimination.”

UAE As a New Destination for Education

A remarkable feature of the 21st century is the fact that the world is now just one big village and the Internet makes us all think we are close irrespective of geographic distances or boundaries. With the increase in penetration of connectivity, today’s children are acutely aware of what is available as education not only in their own country but also across the globe along with a huge never-before exposure to the global employment markets as well as information on the skills necessary to succeed in these markets.
“Governments are also aware of the need for educational reforms as well as the need to inject the much-needed ‘new blood’ into education, so local education systems are at par with international standards,” observes Dr Wasil. “The UAE is a welcoming environment, which attracts international institutions to set up base in the GCC countries for the following reasons: strategic location of the United Arab Emirates within easy access to half the world’s population; a multi-cultural society in an increasingly globalized economy; degree recognition not only in the UAE and GCC nations, but also in the country of origin of the issuing institution; lower cost of living as compared to Canada, the US, Australia and the UK; offices of international businesses in the UAE, giving students a valuable opportunity for hands-on experience during their MBA programmes.”

Reflections on India

He has served as Chairman of the CBSE Gulf Council from 2002 to 2003. He notes, “The rules and regulations are the same in the Middle East and India. However, there is a vast difference in terms of cultural adaptability for our curriculum and schools which is an overarching priority for functioning in the Middle East. “Research-based evidence strongly suggests that no developing country can sustain high rates of growth without investing heavily in educating its young people, as education helps in the all-round development of the individual, makes them better prepared to face the myriad challenges of lives, and enhances people’s ability to lead happier, healthier and more productive lives.”

e-learning

Middle East’s education system is very advanced as they have already shifted to the e-learning mode. India has been cautiously moving towards it; however, whether the mode of learning is ‘e’ or otherwise, the watchword is quality. India is not very far behind in terms of creation of e-learning materials to suit the local curricula. Dr Wasil remarks, “While the phenomenon is mostly urban, with Digital India now gaining momentum, e-learning would also penetrate rural areas. This would be a plus for consumers since the Government would also initiate low-cost robust e-learning platforms and packages, which in turn will force private players to relook their price point.”

The Future

So, where is the future of learning spaces in the Middle East and India heading? As an educationist, he takes note of the research that old school facilities and the struggle of students & teachers with noise, glare, mildew, lack of fresh air, and hot or cold temperatures have a huge and often negative impact on children’s education. 25–30-year-old school designs must give way to new tools, techniques and teaching methods such as open and flexible floor plans with natural light to avoid Vitamin D and B12 deficiency, electronic chalkboards, portable computers, expandable networking and interactive video. Dr Wasil explains, “The difference can be similar to writing in the sand and surfing the Internet.”
In the future, the student population would be more multi-cultural, and teachers need to ensure that their individual teaching style encompasses students’ diverse cultural needs. To enable this shift to be successful, learning spaces and environments will need to be dynamic and fluid. A tech-rich environment and teachers as powerful facilitators and enablers in the learning process is the future.
Quoting the visionary leader of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, Dr Wasil sums it up, “The real asset of any advanced nation is its people, especially the educated ones, and the prosperity and success of the people are measured by the standard of their education.”

R.I.P. Lee Kuan Yew

During Lee’s more than three decades’ rule, Singapore transformed into the most prosperous nation in Southeast Asia.

Young and Dynamic Lee

Harry Lee Kuan Yew was born on September 16, 1923 in a wealthy English-educated Chinese family that had resided in Singapore since the 19th century.
Lee studied first at Singapore’s Raffles College (now National University of Singapore), excelled in the examinations, and went to England to study Law at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, where he graduated with double starred first-class honours in Law. Lee married a fellow Singaporean student in Cambridge University, Kwa Geok Choo, secretly in London in 1950, and then remarried her in Singapore on September 30, 1950. The same year, he was admitted as a barrister of the Middle Temple, England; however, he returned to Singapore and started the law firm Lee & Lee with his younger brother and wife in 1955.

“He is one of the legendary figures of Asia in the 20th and 21st centuries. He is somebody who helped trigger the Asian economic miracle.”

– Barack Obama

Surviving the Japanese Occupation

During World War II, the Japanese conquered Singapore from British and occupied it from 1942 to 1945. Lee learnt Japanese and worked as a Japanese translator during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, and learnt in those three years how government and power could be used as the vehicle for revolutionary change and how punishment could deter crimes. He and other young Singaporeans were determined that neither Japanese nor British had the right to “rule” them and they could govern themselves. He also observed that British had failed to defend Singapore from the Japanese, and he decided to omit his English name, Harry, and be known as Lee Kuan Yew.

Independence of Singapore

Lee didn’t become the Prime Minister of Singapore by chance or with ease; actually, he struggled hard and rose through the ranks of his country’s political system. On November 12, 1954, Lee founded with a group of English-educated men the People’s Action Party (PAP) in alliance with pro-communist trade unionists. Their aim was to attain self-governance and end the British colonial rule. In 1955, under the new Singapore Constitution introduced by the British, 25 out of 32 seats of the Council were made electable. In the elections that followed, Labour Front won 13 seats, and PAP won merely 3. Lee won the Tanjong Pagar seat, and became the opposition leader in the coalition government led by the Labour Front. Being part of the Council, he represented PAP twice in London during discussions over the future status of Singapore. In 1958, Lee helped negotiate what Singapore’s status would be as a self-governing State, and a new Constitution was formed, under which elections were held in June 1959.

“In the end, my greatest satisfaction in life comes from the fact that I have spent years gathering support, mustering the will to make this place meritocratic, corruption-free and equal for all races – and that it will endure beyond me, as it has.”

– Lee Kuan Yew

PAP won 43 of the 51 seats in the assembly, and Singapore was given a self-governing status except in matters of defence and foreign affairs. Lee was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of independent Singapore on June 5, 1959.
On September 1, 1962, Lee held a referendum in which the “NO” option was not allowed and 70% of Singaporeans voted that they wanted to be independent of the United Kingdom and make a federation with neighbouring States. Lee declared Singapore’s complete independence from Britain on August 31, 1963; dissolved the Legislative Assembly; and called for an election to form a new pro-merger government. Singapore joined Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia on September 16, 1963.
However, leaders of the State of Singapore and the Federal Government of Malaysia found themselves distrusting each other and frequent disagreements related to economics, finance and politics emerged between the Singaporean and Malaysian Federal governments. In July and September 1964, race riots between Chinese and Malays took place in which 23 people were killed and hundreds were injured. Amidst worsening ties, in 1965 the Malaysian Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, decided to expel Singapore from the Federation. On August 9, 1965, Lee held a televised press conference where he declared emotionally Singapore’s separation from Malaysia and declared its full independence. At the end of the conference, the Malaysian Parliament passed a resolution severing Singapore’s ties to Malaysia, and the Republic of Singapore was created.

Building a Nation

“Lee helped Singapore transition from a developing country to one of the most developed in the world, transforming it into a thriving international business hub.”

– Ban Ki-moon

Lee guided Singapore through a traumatic split with Malaysia in 1965, and then in a single generation transitioned Singapore from the status of a third-world country under British dominance to a developed country. Lack of natural resources, very limited defensive capability and primary dependence on Malaysia for water supply were main challenges of the nascent government of Singapore. Lee first got Singapore international recognition by joining the United Nations on September 21, 1965, and then founded the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) on August 8, 1967 with four other South-East Asian countries.
Undoubtedly, Singapore needed a strong economy to survive as an independent country, so Lee introduced a five-year plan and encouraged foreign investment to work for urban renewal, new public housing, greater rights for women, educational reforms and industrialization, and soon transformed Singapore into a major exporter of finished goods. By the 1990s, Singapore had become one of the world’s most prosperous nations, with a developed economy, strong international trading presence and the second-highest per capita GDP in Asia after Japan.

Stepping Down

Lee had a choice of staying in office for as long as he wanted; however, on November 28, 1990 he preferred to hand over the reins of the country and the ruling party to the younger generation. Goh Chok Tong became the second Prime Minister of Singapore, and appointed Lee as Senior Minister, a post Lee held until 2004 when his elder son, Lee Hsien Loong, became the nation’s third Prime Minister. After 2004, Lee served as an advisory Minister Mentor until he left the cabinet in 2011 after a continuous ministerial span of 56 years. He served his Tanjong Pagar Constituency as an elected Member of Parliament for nearly 60 years, till his death in 2015.

The Last Days

In February 2015, Lee Kuan Yew was hospitalized with pneumonia, and in March, he was on a ventilator, in critical condition; dying soon after on March 23.
What is left behind after Lee is a bequest of an efficiently run country and of a leader who brought unprecedented prosperity to Singapore.

  • Singapore’s GDP Per Capita rose from $427.88 in 1960 to $36897.87 in 2014.
  • The unemployment rate in Singapore dropped from 13.5% in 1959 to 1.8% in March 2015.

AsiaOne 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asians

AsiaOne 40 Most Influential Asians Under 40 is a prestigious annual selection of the most prominent personalities globally. This list is entirely made of those who have made an indelible mark for other leaders to follow and generations to admire! To be held on 12th February 2020, Bangkok, Thailand.

40 is an age of achievements, maturity and triumphs – both at personal and professional levels. Through our “AsiaOne 40 Most Influential Asians Under 40” IPR, we do not highlight the wealth of our candidates. That is not the sole factor of success any more. Of course, we calculate the extent of influence, impact, success and contribution towards the improvement of society and the world in general; however, it is based on each candidate’s innovative ideas & practices, business acumen, and the spirited contribution – regardless of age – towards the good of other human beings rather than the accumulation of wealth, which is pro tem.

Though our list of “AsiaOne 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asians”, you’ll notice several relatively young turks making the mark, as the benchmark of personal and financial success has drastically changed over time. Our list is a reflection of influence, impact and spirit that these top-tier personalities have created worldwide.

How “AsiaOne 40 Most Influential Asians Under 40” are Chosen?

“AsiaOne 40 Most Influential Asians Under 40” are chosen annually through a passionate research, in which URS-AsiaOne’s editorial team and the research team scout 16 industries worldwide to cherry-pick only the most worthy from a seemingly unending expanse using both secondary and primary data. After a wide and in-depth research, we painstakingly create an exclusive list of special winners for our “AsiaOne 40 Most Influential Asians Under 40” IPR.

Lending the Hand that Cares

Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword. Businesses around the world are realizing the benefits from embedding it in their operations. Every company which incorporates Corporate Social responsibilty as its operations has to evolve the practices at regular intervals.

As an engine of social progress, CSR has helped companies live up to their responsibilities as global citizens and local neighbors in a fast-changing world. Acting in a socially responsible manner is more than just an ethical duty for a company, it is something that simply means giving back to the society.

WHEN A MARCH BECOMES A MOMENT

The term Corporate Social Responsibility was coined to create sensitivity amongst business houses towards the environmental and social responsibility of business. Today, the term is not only restricted to the office periphery but also describes the expansion of global movement, one that reflects the increasing alignment between the objectives of the international community and those of the private sector.

The Corporate World today is working on shared goals as building stable markets, combating corruption, safeguarding the environment and ensuring social inclusion, resulting in an unprecedented rise in partnerships between business, civil society, governments – and the United Nations. In fact in the present scenario funds and programmes are relying on business collaboration in one way or the other to address critical issues.

This new amalgamation of the society and the business fraternity is rooted with the notion that the corporate set-up of a developing nation like India should be made a part of the solution to global challenges.

At the same time it is very important for any economy to know if the CSR Strategies adopted by companies are aligned with the universal values urged by the society at large.

NURTURING THE LITTLE ONES

Through CSR Initiatives, the Corporates run a movement that captures the most fragile segment of the society, Children. Business impacts the wide range of children’s rights, which goes beyond child labor. But it also has enormous power to improve the rights of children and protect them from harm through the way in which it treats employees, operates its facilities, develops and markets its products, provides its services, and exerts its influence on economic and social development.

The concept of CSR goes way beyond philanthropy. Businesses today have the power to mould the lives for the most marginalized children. Despite the growth in corporate responsibility and the business and human rights agenda, children as stakeholders and their rights still are not being addressed explicitly within the private sector.

Some of the CSR initiatives which are completely Child-focused contribute to sustainable development, including the health and the welfare of children.

REPOSITIONING THE SOCIETY

Corporate Social Responsibility begins with a company’s value system and a principled approach to doing business. It then goes on to carry forward the operations in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Responsible businesses enact the same values and principles wherever they have a presence, and know that good practices in one area do not offset harm in another. By incorporating the Global Compact principles into strategies, policies & procedures, and establishing a culture of integrity, companies are not only upholding their basic responsibilities to people and planet, but also setting the stage for long-term success.

The responsibility of private businesses in furthering inclusive development comes in the wake of the increasing role of market economy and globalization in the lives of the people in every society and nation.

WORLD ON WHEELS

It was a beautiful evening of November 19, 2016, when HP Inc. announced a commitment to build and deploy 48 self-contained, Internet-enabled digital inclusion and learning labs aimed at driving digital literacy, education programming, entrepreneurship training, and other community services in rural India.

Each 20-seat, IT-enabled HP WoW vehicle is equipped with HP computing and printing equipment, such as HP Thin Clients, an HP Workstation, and an HP office jet all-in-one printer, as well as software suites, cloud integration and e-learning tools, like HP Classroom Manager, HP video book & HP Life.

HP WoW opens doors to Digital Literacy Training, EDP Training for youth, E education for students (K-12), Common Citizenship Activities, Financial Inclusions; Video conferencing etc to citizens in the remotest part of the country. Over weekends, HP WoW also acts as a mobile Common Services Center, where people can access social services such as applying for an Aadhaar identification card, opening an online bank account, paying bills online, applying for licenses, obtaining records, and participating in e-commerce. The lab can further be used for audio and video conferencing services, such as maternal and child health sessions for expectant and new moms, agricultural training for farmers, career counselling for students and youth, and remote volunteering opportunities like mentoring and skill sharing.

On the environment part, the vehicles are designed with leading technology to reduce emissions and maximize energy efficiency. Each mobile lab is powered by 10 high-efficiency solar panels and battery packs, generating and storing enough power to sustain the lab’s daily energy requirements even during cloudy/rainy days. The vehicle also has a silent generator installed below the deck. Needless to mention, entire vehicle could be connected to direct AC supply wherever available.

HP World on Wheels (HP WoW), is a part of HP’s global initiative to create opportunities in underserved communities and empower people everywhere to build a better, more prosperous life. It also supports the Indian government’s Digital India initiative to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledgeable economy. The program is expected to serve about 6,400 Indian villages, impacting more than 15 million people in the next six years.”

CREATING A BETTER TOMORROW

Today, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is India’s largest private sector enterprise with businesses across the energy and materials value chain and a strong presence in the rapidly expanding retail, telecommunications and media sectors.

RIL’s diverse projects and operations touch lives of people in many ways and create value by helping in overall and holistic development of communities across multiple geographies. Through its various initiatives, the group endeavors to play a relevant role by serving communities and projects that address gaps in basic societal requirements.

PROMISING CHANGE

As a responsible corporate citizen, RIL has embarked on several initiatives of scale in the education, healthcare and livelihood domains. RIL endeavors to continuously learn from its experiences and adapt its policies and implementation strategy on an ongoing basis.

Conscious business decisions by the group have directly and indirectly created value for multiple stakeholders and helped in improving lives of the people. RIL has always believed in creating societal value by providing affordable products and services which have assisted in the growth of relevant industries. Across all its areas of operations, there are inherent linkages and interconnections with the immediate and long term societal impact.

In addition, RIL impacts lives particularly of several hundreds of thousand underprivileged people through our CSR activities. RIL seeks to continue its contribution to the society through its distinct value proposition that meets the needs of millions of people, enhancing their lives through healthcare, improving quality of living by providing education and enabling livelihoods by creating employment opportunities-through the following:

  • For the Business- value created for the society through business.
  • By the Business- value created through CSR initiatives across different operating facilities with appropriate linkages to local communities in which they operate.
  • Beyond Business- value created through interventions for the communities in diverse geographies across India.

Building a Strong Bilateral Culture

The leading men of both India & UAE have often seen greeting each other with warm series of hugs, vigorous double-fisted handshakes and smiles at their visits
to each other’s territory. With the recent visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, a lot is expected to propel the ties with India to a higher level.

Though India and the UAE have had historical and close ties, no Indian Prime Minister had visited the Emirates in over three decades, the last one being by the then Prime Minister Late Indira Gandhi in 1981. It was August, 2015 when Mr. Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the UAE in 34 years and set in motion a chain of events that would broaden the bilateral ties beyond being just a business relationship.

ACCELERATING MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP

The strategic nature of the bilateral relationship between these two traditionally friendly countries can be clearly anticipated with the nature of deals recently inked under the government-to-government partnership.

It’s also a partnership that New Delhi is pushing to move beyond just trade and people-to-people ties though this in no way undermines the role of the 2.5 million-strong Indian diaspora in the Emirates that sends valuable remittances home.

The Security Corporation amongst the two nations can definitely not be blinded as after agreeing to elevate the relationship to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ during Modi’s August 2015 visit to the UAE and looking ‘forward to the early signing of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement’ during Sheikh Mohammed’s February 2016 visit to India, both sides moved to draw up and finalize a framework agreement which was recently signed by both.

The countries seem to have clicked the right chord; with UAE focusing on knowledge based industries and with India emerging as world leaders in multiple sectors like space, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology etc there is a wide scope of corporation in technology transfer, R&D and for joint ventures.

India is the UAE’s largest trading partner, while the UAE is India’s third largest trading partner after China and the US. Trade between the two countries during 2014-15 was around $59 billion and UAE’s Jebel Ali Free Zone is home to more than 800 leading Indian companies. Today, there are many opportunities emerging as the oil-based Gulf states are focused on diversifying their economies.

Countries in the region are estimated to be spending more than $4 trillion in developing economic infrastructure suitable for nurturing non-oil business activities. More importantly, Expo-2020, the world’s third largest global event after the Olympics, is going to be held in Dubai and will boost infrastructure-related activities in the UAE, opening opportunities for Indian investors.

JOINING HANDS AGAINST TERRORISM

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, witnessed the exchange of the memorandums of understanding with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the sprawling Hyderabad House in the heart of the Indian capital New Delhi.

This is the second visit in the past year and during this visit, everyone witnesses the presence of a tangible reflection of the common path the two nations have chosen to trend in making Middle East a region of peace.

The two nations reject extremism and any link between religion and terrorism. They condemn efforts, MR. Navdeep Suri- Ambassador of India to the UAE Receiving an Honour including by States, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries. They also deplore efforts by countries to give religious and sectarian color to political issues and disputes, including in West and South Asia, and use terrorism to pursue their aims.

In recent years, UAE, like Saudi Arabia, have embarked on a closer relationship with India on security and counter-terrorism in addition to growing business relations. Security experts who are keen observers of sub continental geopolitics say that the visit will further deepen the strategic partnership between India and the UAE. Clearly both countries seem eager to seize the opportunity to expand bilateral ties as they see growing synergies in a rapidly transforming world.

The UAE has also enjoyed a tremendous respect in the comity of nations and played the role of mentor and diplomat. Its voice of reason for a small country resonated loudly in the forums of the world especially in the GCC and the Middle East where its leaders have been accepted as fair and balanced mediators. This credibility factor has a major influence in New Delhi and now that the UAE endorses India’s right to protect its borders as it did after the Uri attack the relationship takes on a more positive dimension.

14 BILATERAL AGREEMENTS

The 14 bilateral agreements signed during His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s three-day visit underscores the breadth of engagement that now exists between the two countries. Agreements were signed for cooperation in defense, cyber, space technology, trade and investment, energy, infrastructure, and agriculture, among others. The joint statement affirmed a commitment to a “comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century” and hoped to build on momentum from both Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UAE in 2015 and Zayed’s visit to India through regular high-level exchanges between the two countries.

The list of the Bilateral Agreements is as follows:

  • Agreement on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and UAE
  • MoU between Ministry of Defence, India and Ministry of Defence, UAE on cooperation in the field of defence industry
  • MoU in Institutional Cooperation on Maritime Transport
  • MOU between Directorate General of Shipping, India and Federal Transport Authority- Land and Maritime, UAE on Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency as per the provisions of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping Convention (STCW78) and amendments
  • MoU between Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, India and Federal Transport Authority, Land and Maritime, UAE on Bilateral Cooperation in road, transport and highways sector
  • MOU on cooperation in prevention and combating of human trafficking
  • MoU for cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and innovation between Ministry of Economy, United Arab Emirates and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoSMSME), India
  • MoU between Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, India and Ministry of Climate Change & Environment, UAE in agriculture and Allied sectors
  • MOU on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of diplomatic, special and official passports
  • MoU between Prasar Bharati, India and Emirates News Agency (WAM), UAE for cooperation in programme exchange
  • MoU between Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India and Ministry of Economy, UAE on trade remedial measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest
  • Agreement on Oil Storage And Management between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
  • MOU between National Productivity Council and Al Etihad Energy Services Co. LLC
  • MOU between National Security Council Secretariat, India and National Electronic Security Authority, UAE

TAKING IT AHEAD WITH VIBRANT GUJARAT

In the overall realignment of its foreign policy goals, India sees it relations with UAE central to its coordinated strategy in international relations spanning, economic, political and strategic interests. Shaikh Mohammad’s visit comes at a time when the Indian economy is opening up more sectors to foreign investments and is seen as among the few bright spots in a world economy that is witnessing a slowdown.

India’s economy is recovering strongly, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said in its latest assessment of global growth, bumping up the country’s growth forecast for the current and next year as it warned of subdued global growth that could fuel protectionism.

A high-level delegation from the UAE is participating in the 8th eighth Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit which kicked off on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 – under the theme of ‘Sustainable Economic & Social Development’ and will run until the 13th in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat state in Western India. The group is headed by H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad, Minister of State, and accompanied by H.E. Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry and H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India. They discussed the promotion of mutual investments and ways to
deepen economic cooperation taking into consideration the development goals of the two countries during the summit’s opening day.

Senior Indian diplomat Navdeep Singh Suri, the new Indian Ambassador to UAE is now playing a vital role in strengthening the relationship. The UAE is participating as a country partner of the summit for the first time along with 12 other countries. The ongoing edition was opened by H.E. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, with heads of state, leading government figures and experts set to discuss cooperative and investment opportunities in a number of areas, most notably manufacturing, innovation and technology, small and medium enterprises, renewable energy, and tourism, among others.

During the summit’s opening session, H.E. Dr. bin Fahad emphasized the importance of the historic ties between the UAE and the Republic of India, which he said are driven by deep and strategic economic ties and common interests and visions in many development sectors. He also referred to their countries’ close social H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Banna- UAE Ambassador to India and cultural bonds.