Greetings, (Namaskar)

I warmly welcome Mr. President, his family and the delegation. It is a matter of great pleasure that two months after our meeting in Buenos Aires, I have this opportunity to welcome you today in India. On this occasion, I once again congratulate President Macri and his team for the efficient and successful hosting of the G-20 Summit in 2018. The leadership of President Macri was important for the successful hosting of the Summit. During the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires President Macri made the pleasant announcement that during the 75th year of India’s independence in 2022 India will be hosting the G20 Summit. For this I am thankful to him.


Friends,

My fifth meeting with President Macri today reflects the fast and growing importance of bilateral engagement between the two countries. We have proved that the distance of 15,000 kilometers between the two countries is just a number. This visit of President Macri is taking place in a special year; This is the 70th year of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. But the mutual relations of our people is older than this. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore had traveled to Argentina in 1924. The immense effect of that journey has become immortal through his creations. Considering our shared values and our interests to promote peace, stability, economic progress and prosperity both the countries have given their relations the status of a strategic partnership. I and President Macri agree that terrorism is a very serious threat to global peace and stability. The brutal terrorist attack in Pulwama shows that the time for discussions is over now. Now the whole world unitedly needs to take concrete steps against terrorism and its supporters. Hesitating to act against terrorists and their anti-humanitarian supporters is also equivalent to promoting terrorism. As the G-20 countries, it is also important that we implement the 11-point agenda of 'Hamburg Leaders' Statement’ on countering terrorism. In this regard it is important that, we, both the countries are issuing a special declaration against terrorism after our discussions today. Our cooperation in the field of space and peaceful use of nuclear energy is continuously increasing. The Memorandum of Understanding signed today in respect of Defense Cooperation will give a new dimension to our cooperation in the defense sector.


Friends,

India and Argentina are complementary to each other in many ways. It is our endeavor to take full advantage of this for our mutual benefit. Argentina is the powerhouse of agriculture. India sees it as an important partner for its food security. The work-plan of Agro-Industrial Cooperation between us today is an important step in this direction. India's success in the ICT field, especially JAM i.e. Jandhan-Aadhaar-Mobile trinity and digital payment infrastructure, we are ready to share with Argentina. We have set a goal in India that by 2030 at least 30% of our vehicles will run with electrical batteries. Argentina is a part of the Lithium Triangle, and it has approximately 54% of the world's lithium reservoir. Our joint venture 'KABIL' has started discussions with Argentina for cooperation in the mining sector.

Friends,

In the last 10 years, our bilateral trade has more than doubled and have become in excess of US $ 3 billion. There are possibilities for significant increase in many sectors such as agriculture, metals and minerals, oils and gas, pharmaceutical, chemicals, motor vehicles and services. Today we have identified specific methods to enhance our commercial engagement. I am glad that representatives from many important Argentine companies have come with President Macri. I am confident that his talks with business leaders in Delhi and Mumbai will be useful. India was the first country to sign a Preferential Trade Agreement with MERCOSUR in 2004. During the present Presidency of Argentina, today we discussed several measures for the expansion of the India-MERCOSUR trade.

Friends,

There are millions of fans of Indian art, culture and spirituality in Argentina. Argentina's Tango dance and football is very popular in India. In order to bring people closer, agreements have been made between tourism and Public Broadcasting agencies for cooperation and exchange of cultural programs.

Friends,

India and Argentina have good cooperation in international forums. For global peace and security and economic and social advancement of all people we accept the need of reformed multilateralism. Argentina has strongly supported India's membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime, Wassenaar Arrangement, Australia Group and the Nuclear Suppliers Group. South-South Cooperation holds great importance for us. I am happy to say that India will actively participate in the second high level conference of United Nations on South-South Cooperation in Buenos Aires in 2019. Our views are similar in the fight against climate change. I am very happy to welcome Argentina as a new member in the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

Excellency,

I once again express my gratitude for accepting my invitation to visit India. I hope that this journey is enjoyable for you and your family.

Thank you.


MuchasGracias

 

*****

AKT/VJ/SBP

Read more: English Rendering of Prime Minister’s Press...

Modern Coach Factory (Raebareli) as a shining example of “Make in India”

In August 2014 the first coach was rolled out and since then it has doubled production almost every year. It is expected to produce 1,422 coaches in 2018-19 of which 1,220 coaches have already been produced till date. MCF has least cost among all Production Units of Indian Railways for coaches produced. New concepts such as extensive use of Robotics, automation etc. are being implemented in MCF. To augment production, it is planned that Vande Bharat Express train sets too will be manufactured here.

Foundation Stone of Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareli was laid in February 2007. But construction began only in May 2010. The factory was slated to produce 1,000 coaches. However, between 2011-14, it only did minor work on some coaches brought from Kapurthala. Only 375 coaches were thus refurbished between 2011 to 2014 when it should have been manufacturing coaches completely.

Since, 2014 the unit has been a priority area. In July 2014, MCF was declared a Production Unit of Indian Railways. Within a month it started production of fully formed coaches. Since then it has doubled production almost every year: 140 coaches in 2014-15, 285 in 2015-16, 576 in 2016-17,  711 in 2017-18. It is expected to produce 1,422 coaches in 2018-19. 1,220 coaches have already been produced till date.

On 16th December, 2018, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi flagged off the 900th coach produced this year, and a Humsafar Rake, which was also produced in MCF.

This turnaround was possible only through better management of resources, coordination and focussed leadership. Machines which were uncommissioned were commissioned. Civil work completed went up from 33% in 2013-14 to >90% in 2018-19. Better management of resources led to proper utilisation of allocated budget from 45% spent amount in 2013-14 to 85% spent amount in 2018-19.

Due to economies of scale, as more coaches are being produced in MCF, per unit cost of production is also coming down. MCF has least cost among all Production Units of Indian Railways for coaches produced. This benefit will be passed on to passengers and will lead to more affordable services.

MCF is a shining example of ‘Make in India’. New concepts such as extensive use of Robotics, automation etc. are being implemented in MCF.

Rs. 480 crore has been sanctioned in Budget 2018-19 for augmentation of production capacity of MCF from 1,000 to around 3,000 coaches per year by 2020-21.

New generation safer LHB coaches are being built in MCF - contributing to railways and passengers safety. Production of Humsafar coaches was also commenced from this factory. MCF has also rolled out smart coaches, providing better safety and passenger amenities as well as enabling predictive maintenance. MEMU, EMU &Metro  coaches will also be produced here. In future, coaches for Bullet Train can also be built in MCF if all requirements are met.

It is also planned to manufacture Aluminium coaches at MCF, the first such manufacturing in India. Aluminium coaches have many advantages over stainless steel coaches including light weight, better aesthetics and less cost per year over the life of the coach. To augment production, it is planned that Vande Bharat Express train sets too will be manufactured here.

MCF will become 1st Rail factory to meet Zero-Energy Mega Factory standards by 2020-21. Solar energy capacity will be raised from 3 MW to 10 MW which will help achieve ‘Energy Neutral’ standards for the unit and the township.

MCF has boosted local economy of Raebareli. It has created employment opportunities for local youth and invigorated industries in vicinity. Goods worth Rs 667 crore were procured from MSMEs in 2018-19. Purchase from local units in Raebareli was less than Rs 1 crore in 2013-14; it has now become Rs. 124 cr in 2018-19. Further, training centers have been developed to provide skill development opportunities to local youth.

*****

SVS/ENS

Read more: Modern Coach Factory (Raebareli) as a shining...

Calling the Kumbh Mela the biggest cultural event in the world, the Vice President said that it was the largest gathering of Dharmik and Spiritual people. It is one of the greatest wonders of the World, he added.

The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Kumbh has projected the magnificent “Soft Power” of India to the world. He said that it would develop Prayagraj and adjoining historical places into tourist destinations.

Shri Naidu, was on a day-long visit to Prayagraj, where he felicitated the volunteers at the Yuva Kumbh Sammelan. He also addressed the Kiva Kumbh Mela where representatives from Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Netherlands, Brazil etc were in attendance.

Addressing the Yuva Kumbh Sammelan, Shri Naidu stressed upon the need to educate and inform people about the importance of cleanliness and sanitation especially during events such as the Kumbh where more than 19 crore people offered prayers to the river Ganga.

Asserting that peoples’ participation was crucial in achieving the objectives of programmes such as Namami Gange and Swachh Bharat, he called upon the volunteers to educate the devotees on the importance of keeping rivers clean and of avoiding the use of plastics.   For this, he wanted them to become Swachhta guards.

Later, speaking at Kiva Kumbh Mela, the Vice President highlighted the need to evolve a social behavior which was compatible with nature. He further said that such behavior, if in consonance with nature, would be called as ‘Sansktiri’ or Culture and if it destroys the fragile balance of the nature, it would be called ‘Vikriti’ or perversion.

Shri Naidu said that humans have tinkered with nature through the relentless pursuit of industrial growth, unmindful of environmental consequences. He added that for development to be sustainable, it has to be compatible with nature. 

The Vice President lamented that the pollution of the air, water and food resources and degradation of forest resources have created a situation where human and animal life was becoming increasingly unsustainable.  ‘Our future is tied up with how we respect nature and preserve it’, he reasoned.

There is a cultural dimension as well, he said. ‘In my view, cultural ethos that promotes peace, harmony, tolerance and inclusive growth tends to be the best foundation for sustainable future’, he added.

Observing that the holy land of Prayag holds great relevance in our tradition, Shri Naidu said that the city has been the seat of culture, learning and literature.

Talking about the relevance of the Kumbh, the Vice President said that it conveyed an important message; that it is the river that sustains us like divine nectar or ambrosia. ‘It is divine. So, we must worship it, not defile it.  It is life giving. So, we have to preserve it’, he asserted.

Earlier in the morning, the Vice President visited the holy Sangam at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh and offered prayers on the occasion of Kumbh. He was accompanied by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh Shri Ram Naik, Health Minster of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Sidharth Nath Singh and others.

The Vice President appreciated the state administration for taking up massive urban renewable mission and for providing facilities to crores of devotees visiting Kumbh.

Paying homage to the CRPF martyrs who lost their lives in the recent terrorist attack in Pulwama, the Vice President  said that the neighbour has committed a heinous crime and expressed confidence that the Indian Army would a teach befitting lesson at the time and place of its choice.

On the two occasions, the Vice President and the gathering had observed silence in the memory of the martyrs.

Vice President also called upon world community to work together to uproot the menace of terror. He urged the United Nations Security Council to conclude their discussions and come out with a comprehensive action plan against terrorism

 

***********

AKT/BK/MS/RK

Read more: Kumbh is the world’s largest gathering of...

 

The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Maha Kumbh has projected the magnificent “Soft Power” of India to the world. He said that it would develop Prayagraj and adjoining historical places into tourist destinations.

Shri Naidu, was on a day-long visit to Prayagraj, where he felicitated the volunteers at the Yuva Kumbh Sammelan. He also addressed the Kiva Kumbh Mela where representatives from Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Netherlands, Brazil etc were in attendance.

Addressing the Yuva Kumbh Sammelan, Shri Naidu stressed upon the need to educate and inform people about the importance of cleanliness and sanitation especially during events such as the Kumbh where more than 19 crore people offered prayers to the river Ganga.

  1. that peoples’ participation was crucial in achieving the objectives of programmes such as Namami Gange and Swachh Bharat, he called upon the volunteers to educate the devotees on the importance of keeping rivers clean and of avoiding the use of plastics. For this, he wanted them to become Swachhta guards.

Later, speaking at Kiva Kumbh Mela, the Vice President highlighted the need to evolve a social behavior which was compatible with nature. He further said that such behavior, if in consonance with nature, would be called as ‘Sansktiri’ or Culture and if it destroys the fragile balance of the nature, it would be called ‘Vikriti’ or perversion.

Shri Naidu said that humans have tinkered with nature through the relentless pursuit of industrial growth, unmindful of environmental consequences. He added that for development to be sustainable, it has to be compatible with nature.

The Vice President lamented that the pollution of the air, water and food resources and degradation of forest resources have created a situation where human and animal life was becoming increasingly unsustainable. ‘Our future is tied up with how we respect nature and preserve it’, he reasoned.

There is a cultural dimension as well, he said. ‘In my view, cultural ethos that promotes peace, harmony, tolerance and inclusive growth tends to be the best foundation for sustainable future’, he added.

Observing that the holy land of Prayag holds great relevance in our tradition, Shri Naidu said that the city has been the seat of culture, learning and literature.

Talking about the relevance of the Kumbh, the Vice President said that it conveyed an important message; that it is the river that sustains us like divine nectar or ambrosia. ‘It is divine. So, we must worship it, not defile it. It is life giving. So, we have to preserve it’, he asserted.

  1. in the morning, the Vice President visited the holy Sangam at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh and offered prayers on the occasion of Kumbh. He was accompanied by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh Shri Ram Naik.

The Vice President appreciated the state administration for taking up massive urban renewable mission and for providing facilities to crores of devotees visiting Kumbh.

Paying homage to the CRPF martyrs who lost their lives in the recent terrorist attack in Pulwama, the Vice President said that the neighbour has committed a heinous crime and expressed confidence that the Indian Army would a teach befitting lesson at the time and place of its choice.

 

***********

AKT/BK/MS/RK

Read more: Maha Kumbh projected India’s soft power to the...

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