Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to forge collaboration on skills and CSR

Shri Manish Kumar, Managing Director & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), while on an invited visited to the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) yesterday, mentioned the “areas of synergy” and “common grounds” that both the organisations can identify for working together. He further said that the two organisations can collaborate in areas including but not limited to MSME, Corporate Governance, CSR, Business Innovation, E Governance and Corporate Communication. He also gave a detailed account of NSDC’s mandate as well as delivery mechanisms. The present visit was aimed at exploring synergy and partnership between the two institutions, which in turn, would lead to effective collaborative work.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sunil Arora, DG & CEO, IICA reiterated the possibility of both the organisations working together covering several domains. Highlighting the need for a close coordination and regular interaction, Shri Arora suggested that teams from both organisations should work towards closing a MoU within a specified period of time. He further articulated that areas of CSR, skill, entrepreneurship, innovation, MSMEs provided ample opportunity to both the organizations to bring together mutual synergies and contribute to policy priorities of the Government.
Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) is an autonomous organisation working under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Set up as the premier organisation that aims at providing astute and credible intellectual leadership in corporate regulation, governance and running sustainable businesses, IICA is a capacity development and service delivery institute. The institute works through a network of Schools and Centres based in its campus at Manesar in Haryana.
The National Skill Development Corporation, (NSDC) is a unique Public Private Partnership in India, working under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. It aims to promote skill development by catalysing creation of large, quality, for-profit vocational institutions. NSDC provides funding to build scalable, for-profit vocational training initiatives. Its mandate is also to enable support systems such as quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships.

Government takes pro-active step towards improving the Quality of Mobile Services

Call Drops reduced 7% in 3 Months

In order to obtain direct feedback from subscribers about Quality of Mobile Services, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) launched an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) in a phased manner between December 2016 and March 2017 covering all states in the country, through which, subscribers received an IVRS call from short code 1955 and were asked a few questions on the Quality of Mobile Services including problem of call drop, if any. The subscribers have been facilitated by the system to send a toll-free SMS to the same short code 1955, containing the name of city/town/village, where they face frequent call drops.
Since its launch, the IVRS system has made 26.97 lakh calls to subscribers of all Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) across the country, out of which 3.56 lakh subscribers (about 13%) participated in the survey. Remaining 87% subscribers, who did not participate, were either not willing or did not have problem of frequent call drops. Among those who participated, 2.15 lakh (about 60%) subscribers have reported experiencing frequent call drops. From the feedback it has been observed that the complaint is mostly indoors. The feedback is shared with the TSPs to take corrective action in a time bound manner and submit the action taken report (ATR) to DoT Task Force every fortnight. TSPs contact each subscriber, who has reported frequent call drops, through telephonic calls and SMS in English and locallanguages to collect further details required for resolution of the complaint.
On cumulative basis, since launch of IVRS, TSPs have resolved 13,631 cases related to call drop problem and also resolved another 7975 cases which were reported as frequent call drop problem but were found to be having other issues related to data, roaming, billing, MNP, mobile device etc.Out of these,1406 cases were resolved through optimization, rectifying hardware/power problems, through field visits etc. during the fortnight 15-31March 2017.
The results obtained through the IVRS platform and follow up efforts of DoT & TSPs are quite encouraging. The call drops reported by subscribers have dropped from 64% in Dec-2016 to 57% at the end of Mar-2017, a drop of nearly 7% in 3 months. In addition, the said initiatives of the Government have facilitated TSPs to identify black spots and plan new sites/ infrastructure to improve their services. TSPs have planned 987 new sites/boosters out of which 109 have been already installed and commissioned (Airtel-11, Idea-29, Reliance Jio – 69).
The Ministry of Communications regularly reviews the efficacy of the system and suggests further areas of improvements. This system has provided a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

PM Shri Narendra Modi will Flag-off First UDAN Flight under RCS

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will flag off the first UDAN flight under RCS on Shimla-Delhi sector on 27th April, 2017. Simultaneously, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will also flag off the inaugural UDAN flights on Kadapa – Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation is committed to providing air connectivity to currently underserved and unserved airports. To make air travel accessible to citizens in regionally important cities, the Ministry launched ‘Ude Deshka Aam Naagrik’ (UDAN) Regional Connectivity Scheme in October, 2016. The UDAN Scheme was developed through extensive consideration of various issues and consultations with stakeholders. This is a first-of-its-kind scheme globally to stimulate regional connectivity through a market-based mechanism.
The UDAN Scheme is a key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) which was released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on 15th June, 2016. The AAI followed a transparent bidding process by inviting interested bidders and airline operators to submit their Initial Proposals under the provisions of Regional Connectivity Scheme and subsequently inviting counter proposals against such Initial Proposals. The routes and networks are awarded to bidders who submitted valid proposals and quoted the lowest viability gap funding (VGF) from the government for such routes and networks.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency, have issued Letter of Awards for 27 proposals received under RCS-UDAN. Key features of the proposals awarded by AAI include:
•    Airports to be connected: 27 currently served airports, 12 currently underserved airports and 31 currently unserved airports (for a total of 70 airports) will be connected through these 27 proposals.
•    Geographical spread: There is a good geographical spread in the proposals: 24 airports in the western, 17 in north, 11 in south, 12 in east and 6 in north-eastern regions are proposed to be connected. 22 states and 2 Union Territories will be connected through these 27 proposals.
•    Routes and network: 16 awarded proposals are for single routes (connecting two cities) and 11 are for networks (connecting three or more cities). Six proposals have been bid with zero viability gap funding (VGF) reflecting the fact that there is potential latent demand.
•    VGF Outflow: 27 proposals will required a VGF of around Rs. 200 crores and will provide around 6.5 lakh RCS seats.
The airfare for a one hour journey of appx. 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs. 2,500, with proportionate pricing for routes of different stage lengths and flight duration. The selected airline operator would have to provide 50% of the flight capacity (subject to a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 40) as RCS Seats for operationsthrough fixed wing aircraft and a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 13 RCS Seats on the RCS Flights for operations through helicopters and would be given a three years exclusivity of operations.To reduce the cost of operations of airlines on flying such routes, a financial stimulus in the form of concessions from Central and State government, airport operators and the Viability Gap Funding to the interested airlines would be provided to kick-off operations from such airports, so that the passenger fares are kept affordable. State Government will provide a certain share of VGF (20% for States other than North-East States where the ratio will be 10% of VGF determined). In this regard, till now 19 States and 3 UTs have signed MoU whereas 5 more States have given consent to sign MoU.

PM reviews performance of key infrastructure sectors

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on Tuesday reviewed progress of key infrastructure sectors including roads, railways, airports, ports, digital, and coal. The review meeting, which lasted for about four and a half hours, was attended by top officials from PMO, NITI Aayog and all infrastructure Ministries of the Government of India.

In course of the presentation made by CEO NITI Aayog, it was noted that remarkable progress has been made in several areas and infrastructure sectors. In a broad overview of the progress in the roads and railways sectors, the Prime Minister called for a consolidated approach to existing projects, and working towards their completion within strict timelines.

The highest ever average daily construction rate of 130 km, has been achieved for rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. This has led to an addition of 47,400 km of PMGSY roads in 2016-17. 11,641 additional habitations have been connected with roads in the same period.

Over 4000 km of rural roads have been constructed using green technology in FY17. The use of non-conventional materials such as waste plastic, cold mix, geo-textiles, fly ash, iron and copper slag is being pushed aggressively.

The Prime Minister directed efficient and stringent monitoring of rural roads construction and their quality. For this, he emphasized on use of space technology in addition to the technologies already being used, such as the “Meri Sadak” App. He called for expeditious completion of vital links which will connect the remaining unconnected habitations at the earliest.

The Prime Minister directed the use of new technologies in road construction also. He asked NITI Aayog to examine global standards in the application of technology for infrastructure creation, and their feasibility in India.

In the highways sector, over 26,000 km of 4 or 6 lane national highways have been built in FY17, and the pace is improving.

In the railways sector, 953 km of new lines were laid in 2016-17, as against the target of 400 km. Track electrification of over 2000 km, and gauge conversion of over 1000 km was achieved in the same period. More than 1500 unmanned level crossings have been eliminated in 2016-17. Among measures to enhance customer experience, Wi-Fi access was enabled in 115 railway stations, and 34,000 bio-toilets added. The Prime Minister called for speeding up of work related to redevelopment of Railway Stations, and greater creativity in the generation of non-fare revenue.

Progress of important projects in the roads and railways sectors, such as the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, Char Dham Project, the Quazigund-Banihal Tunnel, the Chenab railway bridge, and the Jiribam-Imphal project was also reviewed. In the aviation sector, the Regional Connectivity Scheme will connect 43 destinations, including 31 unserved destinations. The passenger capacity in the aviation sector has reached 282 million passengers per annum.

In the ports sector, under the Sagarmala project, 415 projects have been identified with investment of Rs. 8 lakh crore, and projects worth 1.37 lakh crore rupees have been taken up for implementation. The Prime Minister stressed on better outcomes for turnaround time of ships and clearance for Exim cargo. The highest ever capacity addition of 100.4 MTPA in major ports has been recorded in 2016-17. All 193 lighthouses are now powered by solar energy. Digitization of land records has been completed in all major ports.

In the digital infrastructure sector, 2187 mobile towers have been installed in districts affected by Left Wing Extremists, in 2016-17. Progress of the National Optical Fibre Network was reviewed. The Prime Minister emphasized that the emerging digital connectivity network, which will connect thousands of Gram Panchayats within the next few months, should be backed up by appropriate governance steps, so that it can lead to better quality of life, and greater empowerment of people in the rural areas.

In the coal sector, rationalization of coal linkages and movement yielded an annual saving of over Rs 2500 crore in 2016-17. Noting the decline in coal imports in the last year, the Prime Minister asked for even more vigorous efforts towards coal import substitution, and application of new coal technologies including gasification technology.

PM’s interaction through PRAGATI

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired his eighteenth interaction through PRAGATI – the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

The Prime Minister reviewed the progress towards handling and resolution of grievances related to Railways. Noting that a large number of complaints were related to corrupt practices of officials, he directed strictest possible action against Railway officials found guilty of corruption. He asked the Indian Railways to work towards a unified single telephone number for all grievances and queries, including helpline in the case of an accident.

The Prime Minister reviewed the progress of vital infrastructure projects in the railway, road and power sectors, spread over several states including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Nagaland.

Among the projects reviewed today are: the Mumbai Metro, the Tirupati-Chennai Highway, long-pending road projects in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Manipur, and important power transmission lines in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East.

Reviewing Mission Indradhanush for universal immunization of children, the Prime Minister asked for targeted attention in strict timeframes for the 100 worst performing districts in this regard. He said youth organizations such as NCC and Nehru Yuva Kendra could be involved in the outreach effort to ensure that no child was left without the benefit of immunization.

Reviewing the implementation of Swachhta Action Plans, the Prime Minister said that events such as Swachhta fortnights should be converted into movements towards permanent solutions. On the AMRUT Mission, the Prime Minister asked officials to quantify and document the gains achieved through the use of latest technology, such as LED bulbs, so that the benefits could be better appreciated by one and all.

The Prime Minister urged all Secretaries of the Government of India, and all Chief Secretaries of States, to come up with concrete plans and objectives for transformative change, to be achieved by the 75th anniversary of independence in 2022. With regard to cleanliness, he urged for maximum efforts ahead of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary by 2019.

Countries that invest in education, build strong consumer economies, have democratic institutions to deal with social change will benefit: Vice President

Delivers Lecture at the Yerevan State University

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that the countries that have invested in educating their populations, built strong consumer economies, and have democratic institutions that can deal with social change will benefit. He was delivering the Lecture at the Yerevan State University, Yerevan, Armenia today. The Minister of Education and Science, Armenia, Mr. Levon Mkrtchyan, the Vice-Rector of Yerevan State University, Mr. Gegham Gevorgyan and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that some of the newer technologies that would impact on human progress relate to energy, cyber technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum mechanics, gene-editing and space exploration. All of these have geopolitical implications in the future, he added.

In recognition of his outstanding public and political achievements and his contribution to development of India-Armenia relations, the Vice President was awarded with a degree of Honorary Doctor of the Yerevan State University.

Following is the text of Vice President’s Lecture:

” I am happy to be in this enchanting city and grateful to the Rector and the faculty of the Yerevan State University for inviting me today.
I have come to a land some distance from India but not far from the individual and collective memory of Indians. I myself was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), and spent many years in the city. Amongst its historic features are Armenian churches and other signs of its Armenian inhabitants.   Father Michael Chamich’s History of Armenia was translated and published in Calcutta in 1827. More recently, historians like Mesrovb Jacob Seth and George Bournoutian have recorded the Armenian contribution in India to trade and commerce as to various cultural and charitable activities.

Less known but nevertheless a part of spiritual history of my land is the personality of Armenian descent known in medieval chronicles as Sarmad, a mystic of who travelled from somewhere in this region to India, led an unconventional life and was executed for blasphemy in 1660 because he espoused a creed that distinguished between states of ‘negation and affirmation’. One of the leaders of our freedom movement and a close aide of Mahatma Gandhi, Abul Kalam Azad, was deeply influenced by Sarmad’s free thinking and humanitarianism.

It is thus evident that well before modern times; the flow of people, trade and ideas was not an unusual occurrence. My purpose today, however, is to talk about the future, not the past.

The older generation in this audience knows and the younger ones have been told that the 20th century was a period of organized insanity characterized by metamyths and megadeaths. These led an eminent historian to conclude that ‘our world risks both explosion and implosion;’ hence ‘it must change’.

The expectation that the changes in the last decade of the century would bring forth a more harmonious world in which international cooperation in solving international problems would be addressed by peaceful means in conformity with the principles of justice and international law did not materialize. On the contrary, older patterns of thought and practice persisted and, aided by newer technologies, resulted in explosions as well as implosions in different parts of our world. The promise of globalization also showed its limitations; the financial crisis of 2008 demonstrated, in the words of one analyst, a ‘systemic vulnerability to unregulated greed.’ Both, in the final analysis, exhibited failures of governance at national and global levels.

Nor was the crisis limited to matters strategic and financial. Climatic catastrophes and pandemics demonstrated the vulnerability of human existence to forces beyond its control despite the immensity of scientific advances.

The conclusion is unavoidable that individuals, societies, and the global community as a collective, need to re-think the parameters of their future. In this endeavour, the first step necessarily is to identify the likely challenges; the next is to assess the impact that scientific and technological advancement would have in resolving them; and the third would be to assess their impact on our lives and patterns of behavior. Our focus has to be on the possible and the probable; however, the possibility cannot be excluded of delving into the preferable and the undesirable.

I hasten to add that there is nothing unique about such speculative ventures. All through recorded history, the human mind has sought to visualize both utopias and doomsday scenarios. I am nevertheless emboldened to venture down this path today in the presence of a youthful audience eager to dream of a better world.

A general categorization of challenges to our world of today is premised on a normal desire to live, live well, live in peace, live without human or natural threats. The devil, as always, is in details. The right to live, universally conceded as a basic human right, implies the right to breathe, to food and water, to health. These, together, necessitate sustainable development and the need to address the totality of challenges of climate change. Alongside are the problems of population, disease, energy and resources.

Supplementary to these, but inseparable from them, are all the requirements that humankind, by virtue of being both social and political creatures, need for living in society, be it local, national or global and the growing realization that these challenges transcend national boundaries and can only be addressed through global cooperation in which burden sharing is equitable. Consequently, the old doctrines and dogmas of national decision-making, and state sovereignty stand abridged in good measure.

These emerging imperatives have two-fold implications: technological and socio-political.

Today, more than ever before, there is a general realization in all societies that solutions have to be sought through science and technology. The prospects are fascinating in some respects, disturbing in others.

Some of the newer technologies that would impact on human progress relate to energy, cyber technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum mechanics, gene-editing and space exploration. All of these have geopolitical implications in the future.

Allow me to dilate on the implications of some of these.

Human civilization, as it has developed, is energy-centric and newer technologies would increase our demands of energy. The 20th century was the century of hydrocarbons. Towards the end of the century it was realized that hydrocarbon resources were finite and this had political implications in terms of global tussles.

The big shock to the energy industry came with ‘fracking’, a new set of techniques and technologies for extracting more hydrocarbons from the ground. Though there are concerns about environmental damage, these increased the outputs of oil and gas, caused the usurpation of old-line coal-fired power plants, and dramatically reduced dependence of some countries on foreign oil.

Scientists also came forth with other sources, principally nuclear. It has its benefits and challenges.
The demand for clean energy is growing. Solar and wind are now advancing on an exponential curves. Every two years, for example, solar installation rates are doubling, and photovoltaic-module costs are falling by about 20 percent. Even without the subsidies that governments are phasing out, present costs of solar installations will, by 2022, halve, reducing returns on investments, to less than four years. By 2030, solar power will be able to provide 100 percent of today’s energy needs; by 2035, it will seem almost free — just as cell-phone calls are today.
A tantalizing prospect emerged when men of science looked beyond the planet Earth. Many years ago Soviet astronomer Nokolai Kardashev propounded the theory of stages of civilization in terms of sources of energy and categorized the present, based on fossil sources, as sub-zero type, to be followed by Type I that would harness power of an entire planet, Type II from a star and Type III from a galaxy.
As futurist Ray Kurzweil says, when an exponential technology is at one percent, you are halfway to 100 percent, and that is where solar and wind energies are now. Another surge of growth would spell the imminent extinction of the fossil-fuel industry, and with it the geo-strategic significance that hydrocarbon rich states have enjoyed. This will have a cascading impact on the regional security architectures in many parts of the world as well as pan-global ramifications.
Cyber technology has overwhelmed us and its impact on every level of human organization is evident. It is not threatening in itself but most societies are already beginning to cope with threats emanating from it. The very benefits of its use in social, financial, industrial and military sectors have, as one strategic thinker has observed, ‘revolutionized vulnerabilities.’

Robotics and digital manufacturing are no longer on distant horizon and have implications for countries and economies. The outsourced world manufacturing to Asia, which fuelled the economic revival in Asia and created massive demands for energy and other material resources, will likely diminish as robotic factories and other disruptive manufacturing techniques like 3-D printing become cheaper and widely available.  Foxconn has already announced that it would replace most of its workers with robots. A newer generation of robots such as ABB’s Yumi and Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer are dexterous enough to thread a needle and cost as much as a car does. Robots are also uniformly productive irrespective of geography. As manufacturing centres will shift closer to consumption centres, the geostrategic significance of trade routes and demand for transportation will also diminish.

These changes can create long term downward wage pressure on the present day manufacturing led economies.  It will also drive down commodity and energy prices, and could result in destabilization of some economies. This can have a cascading effect, as strong, global deflationary force will impact all economies. Some governments may attempt to impose reactionary Protectionism. They may increase human wages which in the end may just increase the rate at which cheaper machines permanently replace human workers.

Technological developments will have a deep impact on the socio-economic structure of society. Greater automation can free a larger number of people from the drudgery of repetitive tasks, providing more leisure. Introduction of measures like universal basic income and taxation of machines may demand a very different fiscal mechanism from that what we have today. On a positive note, greater leisure time can open the possibility of a larger number of people taking to creative pursuits, searching for new knowledge and to the deepening of our understanding of the universe. On the other hand, more leisure can also lead to greater hedonism and pursuit of more selfish goals. To ensure that humanity treads the path of positive, we may require a universal set of values and belief system.
The geopolitical implications of these changes are far reaching. The US economy will reinvent itself just as does every 30-40 years; it is, after all, leading the technology boom. Yet, others are not far behind. The Economist magazine indicated last month that in the field of quantum computing and quantum cryptography, the list of patent pending applications is headed by China, not the United Sates. Economic historians have also drawn attention to the fact that in the span of world history, the distinction between industrialized and developing countries, or rich and poor countries, is relatively recent. It is not a constant and has been changing in recent decades.
Technology and its applications is one aspect of the matter; the human response to it is another. This galloping new world has already demonstrated that traditional frontiers of thought and action are no longer sacrosanct. At the same time, it is evident that the impact of new techniques and technologies would not be uniform in all societies since they are at different levels of development and do not have equal capacities of absorption.

How then do these societies and their state structures respond to them?

It is evident that countries that have invested in educating their populations, built strong consumer economies, and have democratic institutions that can deal with social change will benefit — because their people will have had their basic needs met and can figure out how to take advantage of the advances in technology.

At the same time, domestic correctives would be most productive if they are accompanied by a genuinely reformed world that is global, structural and juridical, an order that transcends the perspective and requirements of any one region or nation. Only then would actions of countries be harmonized in the attainment of common ends.

It is a distant horizon towards which we must continue to walk. As young people, you have the will and capacity to do so, for your own good and for humanity at large.

President of India’s message on the eve of National Day of Sierra Leone

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to the Government and people of the Republic of Sierra Leone on the eve of their National Day (April 27, 2017).
In a message to His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the President has said, “It gives me great pleasure to extend warm greetings on behalf of the Government and people of India and on my own behalf to you and to the Government and the people of the Republic of Sierra Leone on the occasion of your National Day.
India and Sierra Leone have a long tradition of close and friendly ties.  I am confident that our multi-faceted relations will continue to strengthen and deepen in the coming years.
I take this opportunity to convey our good wishes for Your Excellency’s good health and well-being as well as for the progress and prosperity of the friendly people of the Republic of Sierra Leone”.

President of India’s message on the eve of National Day of Togo

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to the Government and people of the Republic of Togo on the eve of their National Day (April 27, 2017).In a message to His Excellency Mr. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, the President of the Republic of Togo, the President has said, “It gives me great pleasure to extend warm greetings on behalf of the Government and people of India to you and to the Government and people of Republic of Togo on the occasion of your National Day. Despite the geographical distance between our countries, the peoples of India and Togo have always enjoyed close and warm relations.  It is our endeavour to continuously strive to ensure that our bilateral partnership is strengthened in the years to come.I take this opportunity to convey heartfelt thanks to Your Excellency for the release of five Indian nationals from a Togolese jail in February, 2017.Please accept, Excellency, my best wishes for your good health and well-being as well as for the progress and prosperity of the friendly people of the Republic of Togo”.

President of India’s message on the eve of Freedom Day of South Africa

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa on the eve of their Freedom Day (April 27, 2017).
In a message to His Excellency Mr. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the President of the Republic of South Africa, the President has said, “On behalf of the Government and the people of India and on my own behalf, it gives me great pleasure to extend to the friendly people of South Africa, warm greetings and felicitations on the occasion of your Freedom Day.
India and South Africa share common values and strong historical linkages that form the bedrock of our close friendship. This year, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the historic signing of the Red Fort Declaration that elevated the relationship between our two countries to a strategic partnership. Our partnership is nurtured by our multifaceted and vibrant engagement in diverse sectors of our mutual interest. Our cooperation in the frame work of IBSA, BRICS and BASIC respectively have added value and substance to our engagement. The visit of Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi to South Africa in July, 2016 and Your Excellency’s participation in the ninth BRICS Summit in Goa in October, 2016 have contributed substantially to our joint efforts to strengthen and deepen our cooperation and will serve to reinforce the ties between India and South Africa in the coming years. I look forward to working with you to further strengthen our bilateral cooperation for the benefit of our two nations.
Please accept, Excellency, my good wishes for your personal well-being, as well as for the progress and prosperity of the friendly people of South Africa”.

President of India’s message on the eve of King’s Day of Netherlands

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to the King, Government and people of the Netherlands on the eve of the King’s Day of the Netherlands (April 27, 2017).
In his message to His Majesty Willem-Alexander, the King of the Netherlands, the President has said, “On behalf of the Government and the people of India, I extend warm felicitations to you, the Government and the people of the Netherlands on the occasion of ‘King’s Day’.
India and the Netherlands enjoy a long history of friendship and fruitful cooperation in a wide range of areas of our common interest. As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries, I am confident that our bilateral ties will be further strengthened in the years to come – to the mutual benefit of our two peoples.
Please accept, Your Majesty, my best wishes for your good health and personal well-being – and for the continued progress and prosperity of the friendly people of the Netherlands”.