Morning Brief: India-US To Work Towards Inclusive Growth: Ivanka Trump; $10 Billion Savings From Targeted Subsidies

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 24, 2017 06:19 AM +05:30 IST
Morning Brief: India-US To Work Towards Inclusive Growth: Ivanka Trump; $10 Billion Savings From Targeted SubsidiesUS President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump speaks at an event in Washington. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) 

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.

India And US Will Continue To Work For Inclusive Growth: Ivanka Trump: Ahead of her visit to Hyderabad for a global business summit, US President Donald Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump said India and the US will continue to work together to boost economic opportunities and inclusive growth. Ivanka Trump, 36, will lead a high-powered American delegation of officials, women entrepreneurs and businessmen for the three-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 in Hyderabad beginning 28 November. She would deliver the keynote address at the summit, which would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Entrepreneurship, domestically and abroad, is a key priority for this administration. The US recognises innovation and entrepreneurship as essential tools for job creation, economic growth and stability across communities, countries, and regions," she said. The summit will be attended by over 1,200 entrepreneurs, of which 350 are from the US, representing 38 US states.

Better Subsidy Targeting Through Technology Saved $10 billion: Modi: Direct transfer of government benefits using technology, bank accounts and biometric identifier Aadhaar has helped save $10 billion in subsidies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said and added that technology breaks barriers and has led to efficient service delivery, governance and improved access to education and health. The government is committed to empowerment through digital access, he said while addressing the Global Conference on Cyber Space in New Delhi. He also said that India is keen to find innovative and scalable solutions in education and healthcare using digital technology. On the issue of cyber terrorism, the Prime Minister said that nations must take responsibility to ensure that the digital space does not become a playground for terrorism and radicalisation.

Hafiz Saeed’s Release: Pakistan’s True Face Exposed, Says India: India slammed Pakistan for its decision to release Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said it is evident that Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non state actors, and its true face is visible for all to see. Kumar said the release of Saeed appeared to be an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists. Kumar said Saeed was not only the "mastermind" of the Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 Indians and foreigners but also the "prime organiser" behind the horror. India also blamed him for unleashing terror attacks against Pakistan's neighbours. Kumar said India and the entire international community was outraged that a self-confessed and UN proscribed terrorist was allowed to "walk free" and continue with his "evil agenda".

Digital India Policy: India Against Exclusivity, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad: Information Technology and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that Facebook and other social media giants cannot have exclusive access to programmes under the Digital India policy. He said India does not believe in any kind of negotiations when it comes to open access. "Our view is very clear. Internet access is not negotiable (and) no exclusive gate or walls will be allowed. The platform has to be inter-operable." The government has been pushing a massive digital outreach programme across the country, spending Rs 35,000 crore to provide direct optic-fiber connectivity across 2.5 lakh panchayats. While one lakh panchayats have already been connected, the government hopes to connect the remaining by March 2019. Prasad said "no free ticket" can be given to any company when it comes to such outreach programmes. He said the government's own initiatives, such as Aadhaar and digital locker, are also among programmes that will be used to drive internet penetration.

Modi Launches UMANG App: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched a unified app to serve e-governance through mobile devices. Called UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance), the app is developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and National e-Governance Division to offer services of the central, state, local bodies, and various government agencies right on Android and iOS-based mobile devices. The UMANG app bundles a list of Digital India services, including Aadhaar, DigiLocker, and PayGov. Additionally, the app provides citizens with all the major government services provided through app, web, SMS, and IVR channels. In terms of e-governance, citizens can use the Umang app to access their income tax filing, LPG cylinder bookings, and Provident Fund account. It has multilingual support with as many as 10 Indian languages in addition to Hindi and English and includes a payment-based transaction access.

New Plan To Transfer Surplus Godavari Water To Cauvery: Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday a meeting of chief ministers of various states will be held to evolve a plan on transferring surplus water from the Godavari to the Cauvery to address water scarcity in the south. "My ministry has decided to transfer surplus water from Godavari river to Krishna, to Pennar river (Karnataka) and finally to Cauvery," he said. The ministry was discussing with the states concerned, he said, adding "in near future we will come up with a concrete action plan." "I am going to call a meeting of Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and with their approval we will finalise the plan." Gadkari said 90 per cent of the cost will be borne by Government of India and 10 per cent by state governments. "We will treat these projects as national projects because this is a river connectivity project," he said'. "This can be a game-changer," he said.

Government To Reintroduce NCBC Bill In Parliament: The Union government will reintroduce a bill to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) in the Lok Sabha in the forthcoming winter session. The move will make the NCBC a constitutional body with full powers to safeguard the rights and interests of OBCs, top government officials said. “The government is committed to ensuring equity and social justice to Other Backward Classes and has decided to take up the bill in the forthcoming session of Parliament,” an official said on the condition of anonymity. The proposed Constitutional amendment bill was first introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha then passed the bill but with certain amendments. This resulted in two different versions of the bill being passed by the two houses. Therefore, the bill will now have to be reintroduced in the Lok Sabha.

India Asks Pakistan To Ensure Safety Of Jadhav's Wife And Mother: India has sought guarantees from Pakistan to ensure safety and security of the wife and the mother of Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav if they are allowed to visit him. The External Affairs Ministry said Pakistan has also been asked not to subject the two women to any questioning, harassment or interrogation during their stay in Pakistan. On 10 November, Pakistan had said it will allow Jadhav to meet his wife, months after India requested it to grant visa to his mother on humanitarian grounds. Earlier, Pakistan said it is also “considering” India’s request to let Jadhav’s mother meet him, apart from his wife. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and terrorism. The International Court of Justice in May halted his execution on India’s appeal.

Pakistan May Take Kashmir Issue To ICJ: Pakistan in Thursday hinted at taking the issue of Kashmir to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) following the footsteps of India, which took the matter of death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to the world court. When Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal was asked whether the country would take Kashmir issue to the ICJ, he indicated that the issue was being considered by the legal experts. "Regarding taking the matter of Jammu and Kashmir to ICJ, it is a complex legal problem. The attorney general is working on the matter and may update in due course," he said. Faisal said Pakistan was doing its utmost to highlight the issue of Kashmir to the international community.

MUST READ OPINIONS AND COLUMNS

Artificial Intelligence May Add More Jobs Than It Will Eliminate: According a report by research firm Gartner, AI will create 2.3 million new jobs while eliminating only 1.8 million jobs in 2020. Even though the popular perception is that AI is only going to be a job killer, reports say that 2020 onwards, AI will start adding more jobs than it would take away.

Partnership Of Ideas: Digitisation provides an opportunity to strengthen industry-academia ties. The new challenge will be to motivate young minds to innovate, especially in keeping with the demands of industry. This brings collaboration to the forefront.

Aam Aadmi Party: Five Years Of Inglorious Politics: Aam Aadmi Party will celebrate its five years of existence with an excellent self-report card, but the reality is that AAP seems to be directionless and in a state of political limbo.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

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We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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