‘One mission, one direction’ is our mantra: Modi

‘One mission, one direction’ is our mantra: PM Modi at BJP manifesto release for Lok Sabha polls

Releasing the BJP Sankalp Patra, or manifesto, for Lok Sabha elections 2019 on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government was moving ahead with ‘one mission and one direction. He said the development had to be flexible to suit the country’s diversity, it had to be multi-layered and multi-directional.

The party manifesto charted 75 milestones India @75 had to achieve, chief focus being on the farm sector, education, health and infrastructure.

Sankalp patra,BJP,manifesto

Party chief Amit Shah said, “In five years, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken 50 major decisions for the betterment of the country. From 2014-19, our government has transformed the country… these have been the golden years”

BJP released its party manifesto for Lok Sabha elections 2019. The party manifesto promises zero tolerance policy towards terrorism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government was moving ahead with ‘one mission and one direction.
 Others present at the function were ministers Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and other senior leaders.

The ruling party promised pension for small and medium farmers and shopkeepers, days after the Congress vowed to bring about several welfare measures, including a grant of Rs 72,000 to the poorest 20% households in the country, if voted to power.

Members of the BJP’s parliamentary board, its apex body, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its chief Amit Shah were present at the launch of the manifesto in New Delhi.

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had on Sunday unveiled campaign themes and other materials of the party’s election campaign. The party has chosen the slogan “Phir ek baar Modi sarkar” as its election tagline and its campaign will revolve around the Narendra Modi-led government’s achievements in the past five years.

And the Congress, on its part, has adopted the official campaign tagline of “Ab Hoga NYAY”, centred around its minimum income guarantee scheme and party president Rahul Gandhi.

The BJP crowdsourced its manifesto and held events across the country to get inputs from different sets of voters like farmers, youths, women, businessmen and others.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh-led manifesto committee of the BJP had decided to form 15 sub-panels to reach out to the different group of voters in January this year.

The 20-member Manifesto Committee includes Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Nirmala Sitharaman, Thaawarchand Gehlot, Piyush Goyal, and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. It also has former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Bihar’s deputy chief minister Sushil Modi, his Uttar Pradesh counterpart, Keshav Prasad Maurya, among its members.

Polling will be held in seven phases across the country from April 11 to May 19. The results will be declared on May 23.

– April 08, 2019 

Atalji’s way By- Ravi Shankar Prasad

Atalji’s way

By- Ravi Shankar Prasad 

Atalji’s way:  Atal Bihari Vajpayee left a profound imprint on the polity, public speaking and, above all, the democratic awakening of India. A leader who was away from the public gaze, who had not spoken or was not heard in public for many years, who left the office of prime minister more than 14 years ago, yet he could generate so much emotion, empathy and profound goodwill in his death — that is the true legacy of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

After the death of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, Atalji became the principal proponent of the ideology of the Jan Sangh and then the BJP. He travelled through the country, stayed in the homes of party workers, addressed public meetings and by the sheer strength of his persona and eloquence spread the message of the party. There will be hundreds of homes where Atalji stayed during his visits and developed family bonds. My home in Patna was one such home.

After Independence, the Congress led by Nehruji and Indiraji dominated the country’s politics. The left, of various shades, and socialists, had their own influence. It was a huge task to find space for the ideology of the Jan Sangh with its stress on nationalism, security of the country and proud adherence to our cultural and civilisational heritage, yet Atalji could manage to carve out that place.

Right from my childhood days I have heard him speak in Gandhi Maidan of Patna and I became mesmerised. It was not only the Jan Sangh or BJP supporters, but also people, including government employees and Opposition workers, who wanted to hear Atalji, not just for his Hindi or poetry but also on issues concerning the country. In some meetings people used to come with tape recorders. Ram Manohar Lohia was also a powerful speaker but both Lohia and Deendayal Upadhyay died young. In independent India, I have not the slightest hesitation to state that Vajpayee was the most powerful public speaker in Parliament or outside. Young people started emulating his style and there are hundreds of young workers who pride themselves as mini-Atals. In one public meeting in Delhi, a speaker in his presence emulated him very well. Atalji said, “if the duplicate is so good then why trouble the original?”

He always stressed on a few important principles. Be dignified in your utterances. “Rajneeti mein mat-bhed ho, man-bhed nahin hona chahiye”, he said. Have abiding trust in the heritage, and faith in the future of India. Proudly explain your ideology, criticise your opponents but don’t treat them as enemies. I remember when Indira Gandhi announced the election in 1977 (after Emergency), Atalji rang me up from Delhi and informed me that he was coming to Patna to meet Jayaprakash Narayan. From the airport I brought him to my house and during a conversation I said something in anger about Indira Gandhi, which was not very dignified. Being a product of the JP Movement and having fought during the Emergency and having seen the way political leaders including JP were treated, the anger was not unjust. But Atalji snubbed me and pointedly said that he did not expect this kind of language from me. Here was a man just released from prison, where he had undergone two surgeries, and yet he had no ill-will against Indira Gandhi. It left a powerful impact on me personally. During my parliamentary or public interventions at times I strongly criticise my opponents but once it is over, I never make it personal.

The sheer height to which he took parliamentary debate with the depth of his commitment, wit, humour and sarcasm, including the ability to laugh at himself, has become the stuff of legend. His speech in 1996 in the Lok Sabha just before he resigned after serving as PM for 13 days will remain one of the finest moments of Indian parliamentary debate. I still remember, while speaking in the Lok Sabha he said, “Somnath” and then paused and looking at the Opposition benches, said, “Somnath Mandir, Somnath Chatterjee nahin”. The late Somnath Chatterjee, a close friend of Atalji, laughed.

Apart from Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi, Vajpayee was the only PM popularly elected by the people of India. Rajiv Gandhi had won not on his own persona but because of the sympathy generated by the assassination of Indira Gandhi. As the first true non-Congress PM, Atalji led path-breaking initiatives for the country. The courage he showed when India undertook the nuclear tests and the way he held on against global pressure made us proud. He led the nation down the path of economic reforms, too, by choice and not under compulsion.

I had the privilege to serve in his council of ministers and for me it was a great moment that he had seen me as a child and also as minister in his government. He lent the weight of his personality to far-reaching reforms like the national highway programme, unleashing the mobile phone revolution, kisan credit card, higher spending on school education, rural roads etc. I still remember his prophetic words — “karna hai” — when there were some loud voices of dissent on the national highway project.

He had his own way of sending messages. There were baseless rumours in Lutyens’ Delhi about differences between Atalji and Advaniji. One day he suddenly rang up late Kamla Advaniji, said he was coming for lunch. A leading journalist, based upon information from a source in the PMO, wrote that Atalji will never make Advaniji the Deputy PM. On the same day, Advaniji was appointed as Deputy PM.

My father Thakur Prasad was a close associate of Atalji. He passed away in April 1994. Atalji had just returned from the US that evening and without even caring for jet lag he rushed to Patna to console my mother and attend his last rites.

During the Iraq war, it was widely expected that in view of the improving India-US relationship, some Indian forces would be sent to Iraq as well. Atalji put his foot down and refused to send Indian troops to Iraq. He told us, “If a soldier died defending India I would tell his mother that her son died for the country. If an Indian soldier died in UN peacekeeping mission, I would tell his mother her son died defending global peace. What would I tell a mother whose son died in Iraq?”

India has lost a great leader whose deeds will continue to inspire the coming generations. My respectful pranam to his soul.


Qualcomm to invest $8.5 million in India for digitisation

 Qualcomm to invest $8.5 million in India to support PM Narendra Modi’s vision of digitisation

Technology major Qualcomm has announced that it will invest $8.5 million in India, with an aim to expand its digital design initiatives in the country. The Design in India challenge was announced back two years ago in 2015 and had around 400 participating members. Today, at an event, three startups among the top 10 participants who were shortlisted, won a prize money of $100,000 each. The event was also attended by Union minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad and NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekhar.

QualcommThe startups which won the prizes were iFuture Robotics, Uncanny Vision and Carnot Technologies. During the event, John Han, senior vice president and GM, Qualcomm technology Licensing said that the company is very passionate about innovation and it is evident in the fact that it invests a lot of money in risky research and development projects. He added that Qualcomm is committed to supporting PM Narendra Modi to help the Indian ecosystem become a digitally empowered society.

At the event, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Indians are now more desirous of technology than ever before. He said that India is ready for innovations in digital designs. He asked the young entrepreneurs to work more towards India-focused research including rural health and education. He also talked about how Adhaar card’s technological prowess is now admired globally. Prasad also insisted on the need of more human resource in the area of research and talked about how the government is trying to create an ecosystem suitable for startups. He also asked Qualcomm to make a chip which is integral to the Aadhaar itself.

Among the prize winners, iFuture Robotics is a startup which makes industrial automation robots which read environment data to move and deliver objects in warehouses which reduce labour cost as well as human injuries from heavy machinery. Uncanny Vision demonstrated an intelligent surveillance camera which can solve many security problems in places like ATMs.

The camera uses machine learning to detect human actions for face and movement. Meanwhile, Carnot technologies is a telematics startup for low-cost bikes. The machine that they presented could connect a bike to a user’s smartphone which can be useful for the safety of the vehicle even during emergency situations.

In the next initiative, Qualcomm with its Design in India Challenge II will be supporting companies in fields like Rural technology, payment methods, agricultural technology, health, biometric and more. The company will also enable mobiles and Internet of Things vendors from India by giving them better Camera, RF and Audio design technology. The company said that it will launch a new Innovation lab in Hyderabad and expand its existing one in Bangalore.

Courtesy: http://www.financialexpress.com/| January 17, 2017

SC ruling quashing NJAC a setback for parliamentary sovereignty: Ravi Shankar Prasad

SC ruling quashing NJAC a setback for parliamentary sovereignty: Ravi Shankar Prasad 

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday that the Supreme Court verdict quashing the National Judicial Appointments Commission(NJAC) and restoring the collegium system for appointing judges was a setback for parliamentary sovereignty.

Prasad said the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was part of judicial reforms which was exercised after deep consideration. “In our view this exercise was done after deep consideration of more than 20 years which was part of judicial reforms. We will go through the judgment and come out with a structured response,” Prasad told reporters.

Prasad was speaking after the Supreme Court struck down the constitution’s 99th amendment and the NJAC Act as unconstitutional, restoring the collegium system for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

“We believe NJAC act would help strengthen judiciary,” Prasad added. “Various commissions headed by eminent judges, including Administrative Reforms Commission and different parliamentary committees had recommended NJAC,” said the communication minister, who is a lawyer by profession and a former law minister.

“Even former chief justice JS Verma had publicly raised misgivings on the working of the collegium system and had suggested a serious think,” he added.

Prasad said the NJAC bill was brought to Parliament in a “truly remarkable scenario”. “Our government brought about NJAC bill in a truly remarkable scenario in the country.

“There was complete political unanimity. The Lok Sabha passed it without a single dissent and in the Rajya Sabha there was only a single walkout. “Twenty legislatures of the states unanimously approved it despite the continuous divide in the politics of India,” he said.

Law minister D V Sadananda Gowda said the next course of action will be decided after consultations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cabinet colleagues. “We are surprised by the verdict of the Supreme Court,” Gowda told reporters in Bengaluru.

-TNN | Oct 16, 2015