Tuesday, September 30, 2014

U.S.-India Joint Statement issued by the White House

U.S.-India Joint Statement issued by the White House

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2014

U.S.-India Joint Statement

The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the President of the United States of America Barack Obama met this morning.  Marking their first bilateral summit, the President recognized the Prime Minister's historic election victory in the largest democratic election ever held.    
The two leaders extolled the broad strategic and global partnership between the United States and India, which will continue to generate greater prosperity and security for their citizens and the world.  Prime Minister Modi emphasized the priority India accords to its partnership with the United States, a principal partner in the realization of India's rise as a responsible, influential world power.  Given the shared values, people-to-people ties, and pluralistic traditions, President Obama recognized that India's rise as a friend and partner is in the United States' interest.  They endorsed the first "Vision Statement for the Strategic Partnership" as a guide to strengthen and deepen cooperation in every sector for the benefit of global stability and people's livelihoods over the next ten years.  They committed to a new mantra for the relationship, "Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go."                        
The two leaders recognized that the bilateral relationship enjoys strong support in both countries, which has allowed the strategic partnership to flourish even as the governments change.  Welcoming the wide range of collaborative activities undertaken to improve their citizens' lives, both leaders agreed to revitalize the existing partnership and find new areas for collaboration and mutual benefit.
Economic Growth
Noting that two-way trade has increased fivefold since 2001 to nearly $100 billion, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi committed to facilitate the actions necessary to increase trade another fivefold.  President Obama and Prime Minister Modi recognized that U.S. and Indian businesses have a critical role to play in sustainable, inclusive, and job-led growth and development. 
In order to raise investment by institutional investors and corporate entities, the leaders pledged to establish an Indo-U.S. Investment Initiative led by the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Treasury, with special focus on capital market development and financing of infrastructure.  They pledged to establish an Infrastructure Collaboration Platform convened by the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Commerce to enhance participation of U.S. companies in infrastructure projects in India.  
In this context, the U.S. government welcomes India's offer for U.S. industry to be the lead partner in developing smart cities in Ajmer (Rajasthan), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh).  The Prime Minister will welcome two trade missions in 2015 focused on meeting India's infrastructure needs with U.S. technology and services. 
They also committed to a new partnership to advance the Prime Minister's goal of improved access to clean water and sanitation for all.  USAID, through the Urban India Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Alliance, will serve as knowledge partner to help leverage private and civil society innovation, expertise, and technology, such as with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to support the Prime Minister's  500 Cities National Urban Development Mission and Clean India Campaign.
The President welcomed the Prime Minister's ambitious plan to extend basic financial services to all its citizens, giving them powerful tools to manage their finances and more fully participate in India's growing economy.  The President and Prime Minister underlined the important contribution that U.S. locomotive technology, equipment to monitor rail system assets, and U.S. best practices can play in modernizing India's vast railway network, including accessing programs of U.S. Trade and Development Agency in this work. 
The leaders discussed their concerns about the current impasse in the World Trade Organization and its effect on the multilateral trading system, and directed their officials to consult urgently along with other WTO members on the next steps.  The leaders committed to work through the Trade Policy Forum to promote a business environment attractive for companies to invest and manufacture in India and in the United States.  Agreeing on the need to foster innovation in a manner that promotes economic growth and job creation, the leaders committed to establish an annual high-level Intellectual Property (IP) Working Group with appropriate decision-making and technical-level meetings as part of the Trade Policy Forum.  They recognized in particular the contribution of the Indian and U.S. Information Technology (IT) industry and the IT-enabled service industry in strengthening India-U.S. trade and investment relations. 
The two leaders committed to hold public-private discussions in early 2015 under the Commercial Dialogue on new areas of cooperation, including innovation in advanced manufacturing.  In order to share best practices in manufacturing and work toward greater harmonization of standards, the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership program will start a dialogue with Indian counterparts.  The two countries plan to work expeditiously through several joint initiatives to facilitate greater confidence in cross-border trade and investment. 
The President also offered to support the Prime Minister to achieve his goal of preparing young Indians for 21stcentury jobs through new partnerships to share expertise and global standards for skills development in India, including by reinvigorating the Higher Education Dialogue. 
The leaders look forward to the annual U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership in early 2015.   They also welcomed the expansion of the partnership in oversight of financial institutions, including between Reserve Bank of India and the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency.  They also agreed to reinvigorate the India-U.S. CEO Forum, and welcomed India's offer to host the Forum for the second time in early 2015.
Energy and Climate Change
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implement fully the U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation agreement.  They established a Contact Group on advancing the implementation of civil nuclear energy cooperation in order to realize early their shared goal of delivering electricity from U.S.-built nuclear power plants in India.  They looked forward to advancing the dialogue to discuss all implementation issues, including but not limited to administrative issues, liability, technical issues, and licensing to facilitate the establishment of nuclear parks, including power plants with Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi technology. 
Recognizing the critical importance of increasing energy access, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving resilience in the face of climate change, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi agreed to a new and enhanced strategic partnership on energy security, clean energy, and climate change.  They agreed to strengthen and expand the highly successful U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) through a series of priority initiatives, including a new Energy Smart Cities Partnership to promote efficient urban energy infrastructure; a new program to scale-up renewable energy integration into India's power grid; cooperation to support India's efforts to upgrade its alternative energy institutes and to develop new innovation centers; an expansion of the Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) program to unlock additional private sector investment and accelerate the deployment of cost-effective, super-efficient appliances; and the formation of a new Clean Energy Finance Forum to promote investment and trade in clean energy projects. 
Both leaders are committed to working towards a successful outcome in Paris in 2015 of the conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the creation of a new global agreement on climate change.
The leaders recalled previous bilateral and multilateral statements on the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).  They recognized the need to use the institutions and expertise of the Montreal Protocol to reduce consumption and production of HFCs, while continuing to report and account for the quantities reduced under the UNFCCC.  They pledged to urgently arrange a meeting of their bilateral task force on HFCs prior to the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol to discuss issues such as safety, cost, and commercial access to new or alternative technologies to replace HFCs.  The two sides would thereafter cooperate on next steps to tackle the challenge posed by HFCs to global warming.
They launched a new U.S.-India Partnership for Climate Resilience to advance capacity for climate adaptation planning, and a new program of work on air quality aimed at delivering benefits for climate change and human health.  
They also launched a new U.S.-India Climate Fellowship Program to build long-term capacity to address climate change-related issues in both countries.  The President and Prime Minister instructed their senior officials to work through the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue, U.S.-India Joint Working Group on Combating Climate Change, and other relevant fora to advance these and other initiatives.
The leaders welcomed the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Export-Import Bank and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, which would make up to $1 billion in financing available to bolster India's efforts to transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient energy economy, while boosting U.S. renewable energy exports to India.  The two leaders reiterated the importance of conserving India's precious biodiversity and agreed to explore opportunities for collaboration on national parks and wildlife conservation. 
Defense and Homeland Security Cooperation
The Prime Minister and the President stated their intention to expand defense cooperation to bolster national, regional, and global security.  The two leaders reaffirmed that India and the United States would build an enduring partnership in which both sides treat each other at the same level as their closest partners, including defense technology transfers, trade, research, co-production, and co-development.
To facilitate deeper defense cooperation, they welcomed the decision to renew for ten more years the 2005 Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship and directed their defense teams to develop plans for more ambitious programs and activities.  The two leaders also agreed to reinvigorate the Political-Military Dialogue and expand its role to serve as a wider dialogue on export licensing, defense cooperation and strategic cooperation.  
The leaders welcomed the first meeting under the framework of the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative in September 2014 and endorsed its decision to establish a Task Force to expeditiously evaluate and decide on unique projects and technologies which would have a transformative impact on bilateral defense relations and enhance India's defense industry and military capabilities.
The President and Prime Minister welcomed cooperation in the area of military education and training, and endorsed plans for the United States to cooperate with India's planned National Defence University. They also decided to expand military-to-military partnerships including expert exchanges, dialogues, and joint training and exercises. They also committed to enhancing exchanges of civilian and military intelligence and consultation. 
The leaders agreed to intensify cooperation in maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and unimpeded movement of lawful shipping and commercial activity, in accordance with accepted principles of international law.  To achieve this objective, the two sides considered enhancing technology partnerships for India's Navy including assessing possible areas of technology cooperation. They also agreed to upgrade their existing bilateral exercise MALABAR.
The leaders reaffirmed their deep concern over the continued threat posed by terrorism, most recently highlighted by the dangers presented by the ISIL, and underlined the need for continued comprehensive global efforts to combat and defeat terrorism.  The leaders stressed the need for joint and concerted efforts, including the dismantling of safe havens for terrorist and criminal networks, to disrupt all financial and tactical support for networks such as Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, the D-Company, and the Haqqanis.  They reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai to justice. 
They pledged to enhance criminal law enforcement, security, and military information exchanges, and strengthen cooperation on extradition and mutual legal assistance.  Through operational cooperation through their law enforcement agencies, they aimed to prevent the spread of counterfeit currency and inhibit the use of cyberspace by terrorists, criminals, and those who use the internet for unlawful purposes, and to facilitate investigation of criminal and terrorist activities.   The leaders also committed to identify modalities to exchange terrorist watch lists.  President Obama pledged to help India counter the threat of improvised explosive devices with information and technology.  The leaders committed to pursue provision of U.S.-made mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles to India. 
The President and Prime Minister looked forward to easing travel between their two countries, as India introduces visa-on-arrival for U.S. citizens in 2015 and works toward meeting the requirements to make the United States' Global Entry Program available to Indian citizens. 
High Technology, Space and Health Cooperation
Fundamental science and high technology cooperation has been a critical pillar of the strategic partnership, the two leaders confirmed, and they looked forward to renewing the Science and Technology Agreement in order to expand joint activities in innovative technology.  The Prime Minister welcomed the United States as a partner country, for the first time, at India's annual Technology Summit in November 2014. In addition, they committed to convene the ninth High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG).  They plan to launch new partnerships to source and scale innovation for the benefit of citizens in both countries and to harness innovation to solve global development challenges. 
The President welcomed India's contribution and cooperation on high-energy physics and accelerator research and development with the U.S. Department of Energy.  The President thanked the Prime Minister for his offer to have U.S. institutions partner with a new Indian Institute of Technology. 
The leaders committed to partner on the Digital India initiative, with the goal of enhancing digital infrastructure, deploying e-governance and e-services, promoting industry collaboration, and digitally empowering India's citizens.  The President welcomed India's proposal to establish the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN, or Knowledge) under which India would invite and host up to 1,000 American academics each year to teach in centrally-recognized Indian Universities, at their convenience.
The two leaders exchanged congratulations on the successful entry into orbit of their respective Mars missions, which occurred two days apart.  They welcomed the establishment and planned first meeting of the NASA-ISRO Mars Joint Working Group under the U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group.  The leaders also look forward to the successful conclusion of a new agreement to support the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, to be launched in 2021. 
The United and India also intend to start a new dialogue on maintaining long-term security and sustainability of the outer space environment, including space situational awareness and collision avoidance in outer space. 
The President and Prime Minister recognized the extensive ongoing cooperation in the health sector which they will put to use in preventing the spread of the Ebola virus.  The President welcomed India's contribution to the UN Fund and donation of protective gear to the effort against Ebola, and thanked the Prime Minister for encouraging Indian-owned businesses in West Africa to contribute to the fight against Ebola.  The Prime Minister also offered to deploy Indian expertise in the fight against Ebola, including by investing its resources in producing modelling of the spread of the disease, jointly producing rapid deployable diagnostics, and considering joint training of response personnel.  The United States stands ready to amplify India's efforts to achieve a further reduction in preventable child and maternal deaths, including replicating India's successful approaches in other countries. 
The leaders agreed to launch a new phase of the India-U.S. Vaccine Action Program to develop affordable vaccines for dengue, malaria, and tuberculosis, and the establishment of an adjuvant development center.  They also agreed in principle to initiate cooperative activities to increase capacity in cancer research and patient care delivery, including by developing collaborative programs for and with India's upcoming AIIMS-National Cancer Institute.  The President welcomed India's offer to take a leading role in the Global Health Security Agenda. 
Global Issues and Regional Consultations
Highlighting their shared democratic values, the President and Prime Minister recognized the critical role that women play in India and the United States, as shown by India's "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" ("Save Daughters, Celebrate Daughters, Educate Daughters") initiative.  They looked forward to holding a Women Empowerment Dialogue in order to exchange best practices to enhance the role of women in their countries, and they asserted zero tolerance for violence against women. 
As a critical step in strengthening global nonproliferation and export control regimes, the President and Prime Minister committed to continue work towards India's phased entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.  The President affirmed that India meets MTCR requirements and is ready for membership in the NSG.  He supported India's early application and eventual membership in all four regimes.  
As active participants in the Nuclear Security Summit process, the United States and India welcomed progress toward reducing the risk of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons or related materials, and noted their shared commitment to improving nuclear security nationally and globally.  They reviewed their bilateral dialogue on nuclear security and endorsed working through India's Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership to reinforce safe and secure use of nuclear energy worldwide.  They also pledged to strengthen their efforts to forge a partnership to lead global efforts for non-proliferation of WMDs, to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs, and to promote universal, verifiable, and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament.
Noting India's "Act East" policy and the United States' rebalance to Asia, the leaders committed to work more closely with other Asia Pacific countries through consultations, dialogues, and joint exercises.  They underlined the importance of their trilateral dialogue with Japan and decided to explore holding this dialogue among their Foreign Ministers.
The President and Prime Minister emphasized the need to accelerate infrastructure connectivity and economic development corridors for regional economic integration linking South, Southeast, and Central Asia.  The President reiterated that the United States, through its New Silk Road and India-Pacific Economic Corridor, is promoting the linkage of India to its neighbors and the wider region to enable a freer flow of commerce and energy. 
The President and Prime Minister noted the success of their countries' collaboration on agricultural innovation in three African countries. They announced a new agreement to expand joint development initiatives in third countries in a range of sectors, including agricultural productivity, clean energy, health, women's empowerment, and disaster preparedness. They also look forward to continuing the productive cooperation in Afghanistan on promoting women's economic empowerment.
The Prime Minister and the President reaffirmed their shared interest in preserving regional peace and stability, which are critical to the Asia Pacific region's continued prosperity.  The leaders expressed concern about rising tensions over maritime territorial disputes, and affirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, especially in the South China Sea.  The Prime Minister and President called on all parties to avoid the use, or threat of use, of force in advancing their claims.  The two leaders urged the concerned parties to pursue resolution of their territorial and maritime disputes through all peaceful means, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
India and the United States pledged to consult closely on global crises, especially unfolding events in Syria and Iraq.  The two leaders committed to exchange information about nationals returning from these conflict zones, and to seek cooperation in protecting and responding to the needs of civilians stranded in the middle of these conflicts. 
Recognizing the importance of their respective strategic partnerships with Afghanistan, the leaders asserted the importance of a sustainable, inclusive, sovereign, and democratic political order in Afghanistan, and committed to continue close consultations and cooperation in support of Afghanistan's future. 
They stressed the need for diplomacy to resolve the serious concerns of the international community regarding Iran's nuclear program, and called on Iran to comply with its UN Security Council-imposed obligations and to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency. 
The two leaders expressed concerns over the continued development by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, including its uranium enrichment activities.  They urged DPRK to take concrete actions toward denuclearization and other goals, as well as to comply fully with all its international obligations, including all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and to fulfill its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. 
The President expressed appreciation for the contributions of Indian peacekeepers to global peace and stability for the past 60 years, and welcomed the partnership with India to train third country peacekeepers at India's training center in New Delhi.  The President reaffirmed his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member, and both leaders committed to ensuring that the Security Council continues to play an effective role in maintaining international peace and security as envisioned in the United Nations Charter. 
The President also affirmed his commitment to enhancing India's voice and vote in international financial institutions, and ensuring that resources are made available and are used creatively through multilateral development banks for infrastructure financing.
The President thanked the Prime Minister for the gracious invitation to return to the great nation of India.  In conclusion, the two leaders affirmed their long-term vision for a resilient and ambitious partnership through the first "Vision Statement for the Strategic Partnership," which they will hold up as the guiding framework for their governments and people. 

As Human being,we have been reduced to Bajrangi,Karsevak and we support ethnic cleansing of Adivasi People and all those who happen not be Hindu.We wait for Netanyahu to fix India in Gaza mode and readjust our demographyASHAMED I am.Are you?

As Human being,we have been reduced to Bajrangi,Karsevak and we support ethnic cleansing of Adivasi People and all those who happen not be Hindu.We wait for Netanyahu to fix India in Gaza mode and readjust our demographyASHAMED I am.Are you?

इस शर्मिंदगी का शरीक होगा कौन कि हम सारे बजरंगी हैं,कारसेवक भी हैं और आदिवासियों, विधर्मियों के सफाये के पक्षधर भी हैं?

पलाश विश्वास

जो मोबाइल ऐप्पस हैं,जो सोशल नेटवर्किंग में केसरिया वर्चस्व है और जो कारपोरेट मीडिया है,उनके जरिये मोदी ओबामा शिखर वार्ता की जो सबचनाएं और व्याख्याएं आप तक पहुंच रही हैं,वह या तो सरासर झूठ है या अर्धसत्य।हमने बांग्ला और अंग्रेजी में अब तक परदे के पीछे की हरकतों से ही भारतीय आम जनता को वाकिफ कराने की कोशिश की है।

आज अंबेडकरी आंदोलन में रिपब्लिकन पार्टी के अछावले धड़ में घटस्पोट की एक और वारदात पर मराठी में लिखने की इच्छा थी।इसी सिलसिले में आंनद तेलतुंबड़े से शाम को घंटेभर मोबाइल पर बात हुई।मराठी में मैंने उनसे लिखने का आग्रह भी किया और लोक के लालन रवींद्र हश्र पर चर्चा भी हुई।

मैंने उनकी राय मांगी की भाषाओं के फेंसतोड़कर संवाद हो सकता है या नही,तो उन्हंने भी कहा कि बिंदास लिखा जाये।लेकिन मार्के की बात उन्होने यह कही कि अंबेजकरी आंदोलन स्थाईभाव में भाववादी है और उसमें सामाजिक यथार्थ और अर्थव्यवस्था की समझ के अलावा इतिहास बोध नहीं है।इसलिए अंबेडकरी दुकानदारों के कामकाज का कोई महत्व है नहीं।उनपर वक्त जाया न किया जाये तोही अच्छा।

विडंबना यह है कि भारत में वैज्ञानिक विचारधारा से जुड़ी सक्रियता भी उसीतरह भाववादी हो गयी है और उसी तरह समामाजिक यथार्थ से कटी हुई है कि हम कब तक लिख पायेंगे या इस समाज में जी पायेंगे,शक है।

गौर करें कि ओबामा मोदी शिखर वार्ता हो रही है,जिनकी समामाजिक पृष्ठभूमि और उत्थान की कथा भी डुप्लीकेट हैं।

मोदी ओबामा शिखर वार्ता के अलावा मोदी की इजरायली नेता नितान्याहु से भी परदे के पीछे बातचीत हुई है,क्या बातचीत हुई है,अभी उसका ब्यौरा उपलब्ध होना नहीं है।नितान्याहु ने मोदी को तेलअबीब न्योता है।

जाहिर है कि नितान्याहु भी नईदिल्ली तशरीफ लायेंगे।इस परिघटना को मोदी ओबामा शिखर वार्ता के साथ जोड़कर समझें तो बहुत सारी बातें साफ हो जानी चाहिए।

हमारी नजर में मोदीबाबू होंगे प्रधान स्वयंसेवक राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ के,होंगे गुजराती पीपीपी माडल के ब्रांड एंबेसेडर राकस्टार और हो सकता है कि वे संघ परिवार,भाजपा और राष्ट्र की कमान संभालने के बाद हिटलरी शक्ति से इतने बलवान हो जाये कि संसदीय प्रणाली का खात्मा करके राष्ट्रपति प्रणाली के तहत भारतीय सैन्यशक्ति के सुप्रीम कमांडर हो जाये।

जो चाहते हुए भी इंदिरा गांधी बन नहीं पायीं।

यह मुद्दा बहरहाल भारत का आंतरिक मामला है।

उन्हें जनादेश है और वे कुछ भी करने को स्वतंत्र हैं और समर्थ भी।लेकिन वे सिर्फ संघी नहीं है,स्वतंत्र संप्रभु भारत गणराज्य के प्रधानमंत्री भी हैं।

भारत के प्रधानमंत्री की हैसियत से इजराइल और अमेरिका के सात क्या राजनयिक संबंध होंगे,वे ही तय करेंगे।हम उसके पक्ष विपक्ष में बोलते लिखते रहेंगे।

यह साफ है कि भारत अमेरिकी संबंध और भारत इजराइली संबंध अब यूपीए जमाने की तरह शाकाहारी नहीं होंगे।भारत अमेरिका,नाटो और इजराइल के युद्धों में भी बराबर हिस्सा लेने की उड़ान भरने जा रहा है, इस त्रिशुल का मूल लक्ष्य यही है।

इसपर चर्चा से पहले जो बात अबतक हमने नहीं कहीं,वह कहने को मजबूर हूं और आप हमें इसलिए माफ करें।

1980 से पेशेवर पत्रकार हूं।1991 से जनसत्ता में हूं।1973 से हाईस्कूल पास करते ही हिंदी में राष्ट्री पत्र पत्रिकाओं में निरंतर लिखता रहा हूं।मेरी जो भी हैसियत है,इसी पत्रकारिता की वजह से है।मेरी रोज रोटी पत्रकारिता से चलती है।

लेकिन मैं अब इस पत्रकारिता के लिए शर्मिंदा हूं।मैं कहीं प्राइमरी स्कूल का मास्टर होता या फिर अपने खेत जोत रहा होता या कहीं मजदूरी कर रहा होता तो मुझे यह शर्मिंदगी नहीं होती।यह शर्मिंदगी मुझे मोदी के इस अमेरिका के प्रवास की वजह से है।

आप में बतौर भारतीय थोड़ा बहुत संप्रभुता और स्वतंत्रता का अहसास होगा तो आप हमारी शर्मिंदगी समझेंगे।

वरना माहौल यह है कि कोई भी कहीं भी,मोदी राज की आलोचना की जुर्रत करेगा तो उसकी जूतम पैजार तय है।

मोदी ओबामा शिखर वार्ता के सिलसिले में राजदीप सरदेसाई के साथ जो हुआ,वह अशनिसंकेत तो है ही,मीडिया का एक बड़ा तबका इस बेशर्म कारगुजारी का जिस जोश खरोश से बचाव कर रहा है,वह बेहद शर्मनाक है।

पहलीबार इस देश के प्रधानमंत्री को बाजार के विज्ञापनी माडल बतौर पेश किया जा रहा है।

पहलीबर प्रधानमंत्री के राकस्टारअवतार पर मीडिया पुरजोर केसरिया कारपोरेट दोनों है।

हमने चूंकि मुक्तबाजारी अर्थव्यवस्था में जीना मरना मान लिया है,हम चूंकि क्रयशक्ति की अंधी दौड़ में विकासकामसूत्र पहनकर चलने लगे हैं कि भोग का कोई अवसर बेकार न चला जाय,हम देख नहीं सकते कि इस देश के कोने कोने में कैसे कैसे नर्क बने हैं,बन रहे हैं क्योंकि हम तो स्वर्ग के वाशिंदे हो गये हैं।

ऐस परिवेश में प्रधानमंत्री का राकस्टार कायाकल्प ही हश्र होना है।

मोदी बाबू बांसुरी बजाये या ड्रम,गाये या नाचे या सीधे प्रवचन दें,हम हस्तक्षेप की हालत में नहीं है।लेकिन उनकी कोई आलोचना मोदीभक्त कतई बर्दाश्त नहीं करेंगे और दो बालिश्त छोटा कर देंगे,इस बुलेट ट्रेन के शैतानी गलियारे में डिजिटल देश में अमेरिकी निगरानी में हमारा जो होगा,सो हागा, बहिस्कृत बहुसंख्य जनगण और जनपदों का ,अस्पृश्य भूगोल का क्या होगा,गैर नस्ली और विधर्मी जनता का क्या होगा,इसे समझने लिए तो माननीय नितान्याहु के चरण चिन्हों का ही अनुसरण करना होगा।

हमारी कारपोरेट पत्रकारिता जाति वर्चस्व की है,इसे हम झेलते रहे हैं।

हमारी कारपोरेट पत्रकारिता पेड न्यूज का कारोबार करती रही है मालिकान एफडीआई के मोहताज हैं और पत्रकारिता के अलावा दूसरे फायदेमंद धंधों मसलन रियल्टी के कारोबार में सत्ता का रक्षा कवच चाहते हैं,समज में आती है।

यह भी समझ में आती है कि मजीठिया भी जब सुप्रीम कोर्ट के आदेश के बावजूद सही सही लागू हो नहीं पाता,तो भुक्खड़,नेगं फटीचरों की जमात क्या क्या नहीं कर सकती।

लेकिन सपने में नहीं सोचा था कि पत्रकारिता में लोग विकास के लिए समूची आदिवासी आबादी के सफाये की वकालत करने लगेंगे।

लेकिन सपने में नहीं सोचा था कि  विकास के बहाने पत्रकारिता में लोग निरंकुश बेदखली,अबाध पूंजी,कालाधन,आर्थिक सुधारों के साथ साथ भोपाल गैस त्रासदी और फुकोशिमा और केदार जलप्रलय को भी अनिवार्य मानेंगे।

आदिवासी भूगोल को माओवादी बताने में मीडिया आगे है।पूर्वोत्तर को अलाववादी बताने में भी मीडिया आगे है।दक्षिण भारत और उत्तर भारत में विभाजन का पक्षधर भी मीडिया है।

कश्मीर में मानवाधिकार हनन,कश्मीर और पूर्वोत्तर में सशस्त्र सैन्यबल विशेषाधिकार कानून का भी मीडिया समर्थन करता है तो आंतकवाद उग्रवाद निरोधक कानूनों का,फर्जी मुठबेड़ों  और आधार परियोजना का भी।

हमने मेरठ में छह साल पत्रकारिता की है और दंगों का भूगोल इतिहास जिया है,उसमें मीडिया कारपोरेट भूमिका भी देखी है।हमने सिखों का नरसंहार देखा है और बाबरी विध्वंस भी।

लेकिन सपने में नहीं सोचा था कि पत्रकारिता में लोग सीधे बजरंगी हो जायेंगे और कारसेवक बनकर विधर्मी धर्मस्थलों के विनाश और विधर्मियों के सफाये की विचारधारा के अंध समर्थक हो जायेंगे।

गुजरात नरसंहार मामले में मोदी को साफ सुथरा बताना वैसा है जैसे वेदीकी साहित्य को भारतीय इतिहास बताना और साबित करना।

हिंदुत्व के तर्क पत्रकारिता का सौंद्रयशास्त्र बानायेंगे,यह लेकिन सपने में नहीं सोचा था।

ऐसे लोग इस अपमान को क्या खाकर समझेंगे कि हमारे प्रधानमंत्री को विदेश की धरती पर किसी शातिर अपराधी की तरह मुंह चुराने के लिए अमेरिकी राजनयिक रक्षाकवच की आड़ लेनी पड़ी क्योंकि एक अदद अमेरिका अदालत ने उनके खिलाफ गुजरात नरसंहार के मामले में सम्मन भेजा है।

गौरतलब है कि यह वही मामला है जिसके हवाले शिखर वार्ता के दूसरे पक्षकार बाराक हुसैन ओबामा भारत की बोगडोर संभालने से पहले तक मोदी को अमेरिका में अवांछित मानकर लगातार लगाता वीसा देने से निषेध करते रहे हैं।

इस पर मजा देखिये,अमेरिकी वीसा के लिये लोहे के चने का जायका ले चुके हमारे प्रधानमंत्री नें अमेरिकी नागरिकों के लिए वीसा ऐट एराइवल का ही बंदोबस्त नहीं किया है,बल्कि स्थाई वीसा की पेशकश की है।

हो सकता है कि अमेरिकी कंपनियों के सीईओ समग्र के साथ बैछक में जो टैकस् रियायतों के पैकेज पर समझौता हुआ हो,उसमें यह प्रावधान हो।

हो सकता है कि भारतीय खुदरा बाजार अमेरिका के हवाले करने को आकुल व्याकुल शंघपरिवार को अमेरिका भी भारत से ज्यादा स्वदेश नजर आता हो।

भारतीय कृषि का सत्यानाश करने के लिए जैसे पवार अवतार का अवदान है वैसे ही भारत में खुदरा कारोबार के कफन पर कीलें ठोंकने के लिए परम आदरणीय राकस्टार कल्कि अवतार असंभव भी नहीं है।

मुक्त बाजार माना है तो कंडोम,जंक,फास्टफुड,पिज्जा,डियोड्रेंट,ईटेलिंग,माल,सेज महासेज कारीडोर बेदखली सब कुछ मान लेना है।

अमेरिका और इजराइल के पार्टनर हुए और व्हाइट हाउस,नाटो और पेंटागन के साथ गोपनीयता के उल्लंदन निजता हनन के नजरदारी समजौते के साथ नितान्याहु निर्देशन में मोसाद हवाले देश होना है  और विधर्मियों का सफाय भी होना है।तेल युद्ध में झुलस जाने से क्या डरना है।

मिनमम गवर्नेंस दरअसल अबतक की सर्वश्रेष्ठ मार्केटेंगि युद्धक रणनीति हैं,इसे आत्मसात कर लें तो बाकी जो आर्थिक रणनीतिक राजनयिक सैन्य समझौते हो गये,उससे हाजमा खराब होने की वजह से नारफ्लाक्स टी जेड का इस्तेमाल करना नहीं है।
हम तो अपनी बिरादरी की मौत का मातम मना रहे हैं.जो जाति पूछकर ही किसी को भाव देते हैं और नस्ली भेदभाव के भी अभ्यस्त रहे हैं शुरु से।हमने उनके बीच पूरी जिंदगी बिता दी है।लेकिन वे मोदी राज में हिंदुत्व के कारसेवक स्वयंसेवक होकर एंटी मुसलमान एंटी आदिवासी होकर इथेनिक क्लींजिंग के इजरायली विशेषज्ञता के भी मुरीद बन जायेंगे,ऐसा सपने में नहीं सोचा था।

भरतीय संविधान के मुताबिक संविधान के दायरे में कानून बनाना भारतीय संसद का विशेषाधिकार है,उस विशेषाधिकार हनन के सात राकस्टार प्रधानमंत्री ने भारतीय कायदे कानून को थोक भाव से खारिज करके नये कानून बनाने की जो घोषणा की है,जाहिर है कि इस पर अंध भक्तों को शर्म आयेगी नहीं और न मीडिया बजरंगियों,कारसेवकों को इसकी कोई परवाह है,लेकिऩ भारतीय जनगण को जरुर पुनर्विचार करना चाहिए कि शाकाहारी प्रधानमंत्रित्व के हिंदुत्व एजंडे में आदगे जो गुल खिलने वाले हैं ,उनसे कितना आबाद रहेगा यह गुलशन हिंदोस्तां हमारा,हमारा भारतवर्ष।

Mars mileage handed over! Making up India with plastic surgery.Let Netanyahu come!

Mars mileage handed over!
Making up India with plastic surgery.Let Netanyahu come!

গর্বে ভরে যায় মনপ্রাণ,তবু লজ্জায় ঢেকে যায় মুখ।

মার্কিন মুক্তবাজারে অভূতপূর্ব প্রধানমন্ত্রী ভারতের,যার বিরুদ্ধ বক্তৃতার আগে দাঙ্গার অভিযোগে সমন জারি করল মার্কিন আদালত।
এবং তিনি বললেন দেশের সব আইন খারাপ,সব আইন পালটে দেবেন,সার্বভৌম রাষ্ট্র ভারতেরপ্রধানমন্ত্রীর বিদেশে মাটিতে অভূতপূর্ব যুদ্ধঘোষণা ভারতীয় সংবিধানের বিরুদ্ধে।
গণসংহারের অভিযোগে অভিযুক্ত প্রধানমন্ত্রী বললেন মুক্তবাজার,পিপিপি মডেল এবং মার্কিন নাগরিকদের ভারতে  ঢালাও সুযোগ,সুবিধা ও ছাড়ের।
হরিকথা অনন্ত,আসুন আমরা পায়দল ফৌজ মহোত্সবে মাতি,অশ্বমেধে যারা মরার জন্যই জন্মজন্মান্তরের পাপে অভিশপ্ত,তারা মরুক আগে।

সাবধান যেহেতু  রীতিমত তালিম নিয়ে পুরোদম প্রস্তুতির ফসল হিন্দি ইংরেজি ও সংস্কৃততে তিনি খারিজ করলেন ভারতীয় সংবিধান,পেশ করলেন মুক্তবাজারি মনুস্মৃতি বিধান।

অথচ দক্ষিন এশিয়ার যুদ্ধোন্মাদি ধর্মজিহাদি পরিবেশ বদলানোর জন্য প্রধানমন্ত্রীর মার্কিন সফর পুরোপুরি ব্যর্থ।

Palash Biswas
Unprecedented Modi in America!Let there be Modi in Israel and let Modi come India to make India a full fledged Gaza.Not the Hindutva forces,I am very very sorry to be a part of Indian media for four decades that I have to pronounce this that Anti muslim Indian media wants Netanyahu to readjust Indian demography for the Hindutva agenda and this anti Muslim, anti Adivasi,anti Dalit media makes a rocking rockster of a first time OBC prime minister of India.

I am just ashamed.

I am just ashamed that the fantastic achievement of our Indian scientists,the Mars mileage has been handed over to NASA,NATO and Pentagon.

I am ashamed as a citizen of free,democratic,sovereign people’s republic India,that the nation,the national resources,the manpower on wholesale have been auctioned in America by an Indian Prime minister.

Unprecedented that a seniormost journalist was hackled as MODI in America was questioned.

Unprecedented that a larger section of Indian pro America pro Israel pro activist Hindutva corporate FDI fed media justifies the blatant brutal attack on the freedom of expression.

Unprecedented that Indian Prime minister is reduced to a rocking rockster.

Unprecedented that the Indian prime minister dismisses Indian law on a foreign soil and promises to change all.

Unprecedented that role of government is zeroed down to open all the doors and widows of foreign capital,foreign companies and foreign interests.

Unprecedented that American citizens get VISA at arrival,permanent VISA and every concession,an Indian citizen might never never imagine.Keeping in mind that Narendra Bhai Modi had been denied US VISA quite reluctantly until he managed the landslide mandate.

Unprecedented that the Indian Prime minister lost no opportunity to showcase global hindutva.

Unprecedented that an Indian prime minister had to cover himself with US diplomatic umbrella because of a summon issued against him by an American court in a case related to Gujarat genocide for which hitherto he had been denied US VISA.

গর্বে ভরে যায় মনপ্রাণ,তবু লজ্জায় ঢেকে যায় মুখ।

মার্কিন মুক্তবাজারে অভূতপূর্ব প্রধানমন্ত্রী ভারতের,যার বিরুদ্ধ বক্তৃতার আগে দাঙ্গার অভিযোগে সমন জারি করল মার্কিন আদালত।
এবং তিনি বললেন দেশের সব আইন খারাপ,সব আইন পালটে দেবেন,সার্বভৌম রাষ্ট্র ভারতেরপ্রধানমন্ত্রীর বিদেশে মাটিতে অভূতপূর্ব যুদ্ধঘোষণা ভারতীয় সংবিধানের বিরুদ্ধে।
গণসংহারের অভিযোগে অভিযুক্ত প্রধানমন্ত্রী বললেন মুক্তবাজার,পিপিপি মডেল এবং মার্কিন নাগরিকদের ভারতে  ঢালাও সুযোগ,সুবিধা ও ছাড়ের।
হরিকথা অনন্ত,আসুন আমরা পায়দল ফৌজ মহোত্সবে মাতি,অশ্বমেধে যারা মরার জন্যই জন্মজন্মান্তরের পাপে অভিশপ্ত,তারা মরুক আগে।

সাবধান যেহেতু  রীতিমত তালিম নিয়ে পুরোদম প্রস্তুতির ফসল হিন্দি ইংরেজি ও সংস্কৃততে তিনি খারিজ করলেন ভারতীয় সংবিধান,পেশ করলেন মুক্তবাজারি মনুস্মৃতি বিধান।

অথচ দক্ষিন এশিয়ার যুদ্ধোন্মাদি ধর্মজিহাদি পরিবেশ বদলানোর জন্য প্রধানমন্ত্রীর মার্কিন সফর পুরোপুরি ব্যর্থ।


Modi is here to sell a new New India, with himself as the man who can be trusted to deliver on its promise His speech at Madison Square Garden telegraphed a wish list on the eve of his first meeting with President Obama, while also deftly rallying an influential diaspora to his side The report wondered “whether he is willing or able to bridge India's wide differences with the United States on tax policy, climate change, outsourcing, intellectual property rights and other issues.“
Modi will arrive in Washington Monday a hero to a majority of the region's large and successful Indian American community. But he will also face protests from some Indian minority groups who call him a Hindu extremist and say he failed to control deadly religious riots a decade ago.
Modi, speaking in Hindi, used the rally that included members of Congress and other dignitaries to list what the world's most populous democracy offers to the world and to point out common ground with the United States, the world's first democracy

Sep 30 2014 : The Economic Times (Kolkata)
THE MARS CLUB - After all, 2's Company


Nasa says keen on sharing maven Mars data with India's Mangalyaan probe
Nasa'sMAVEN spaccraft began orbit ing Mars on Sunday,on a mission to study how the Red Planet's climate changed over time from warm and wet to cold and dry. The unmannedorbiter has traveled more than 10 months and 442 millionmiles (711 million kilometers) to reach Mars for a first-of-itskind look at the planet's upperatmosphere. “Wow, what a night.You get one shot with Mars orbit insertion and MAVEN nailed it tonight,“ said project manager David Mitchell. The data from the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraftaims to help scientists understandwhat happened to the water on Mars and the carbon dioxide in itsatmosphere several billion years ago.How Mars lost its atmosphere is one of science's biggest mysteries. The answers couldshed light on the planet's potential to support life -even if that was just microbial life -long ago.
MAVEN's findingsare also expected to help add to knowledge ofhow humans could survive on a future visit to the Red Planet, perhaps as early as 2030.“Mars is a cool place, but there is not much atmosphere,“ said John Clarke of the MAVEN science team.“It is very cold, it is well below zero.The atmosphere is about half a percent of what we are breathing,“ he added. “But we know that Mars could change and it was probably different in the past. There is a lot of evidence of flowing water on the surface from Mars' ancient history.“
Next, MAVEN will enter a six-week phase for tests. It will then begin a one-year mission of studying the gases in Mars' upper atmosphere.“We are looking at early November as the official start of science,“ said MAVEN principal investigator Bruce Jakosky. Much of MAVEN's year-long mission will be spent circling the planet 3,730 miles above the surface. An Indian spacecraft, Mangalyaan, is expected to reach Mars.“We are anxiously awaiting the arrival in two days of Mangalyaanand we are hoping for their success,“ said Jakosky.“We are sending them the best wishes from the entire MAVEN team .“

  1. Rajdeep Sardesai Scuffle: Journalist Seen Hitting Back at Modi ...

  2. International Business Times, India Edition-3 hours ago
  3. Senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, who was caught in a much-publicized scuffle with a group of pro-Modi supporters outside Madison Square ...
  4. Daily News & Analysis-29-Sep-2014
  5. Firstpost-21 hours ago
  6. Financial Express-29-Sep-2014
  7. Times of India-28-Sep-2014
  8. Explore in depth (74 more articles)

Sep 30 2014 : The Times of India (Ahmedabad)
Sep 30 2014 : The Economic Times (Kolkata)
Aryan Migration Theory may Soon Become History
Ritika chopra
New Delhi:

DU's Sanskrit dept kickstarts project to prove Aryans were not foreigners
Delhi University's Sanskrit department has thrown its weight behind a project that could possibly re write history to fit the Sangh Parivar's view of India's past -a move that's likely to gain political colour considering the resounding victory of the Narendra Modi-led BJP in the general election.
Here's what most history books tell us -first there wa the Indus Valley Civilization that flourished in places such as Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. Then, around 3,500 years ago, this went into decline as the Aryan nomadic tribes crossed the mountains and s entered India. But the Hindu nationalist narrative, as es poused by the Sangh Parivar and its affiliates, says the Aryans were an indigenous people -not migrants.

NAMORICA - Modi pledges stable tax policy to woo US business

New York New Delhi

`We Can Use Coalgate Verdict To Clean Up Past'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday pitched for investments from some of the largest American corporations with the promise of a stable tax policy and an assertion that he wants to convert the Supreme Court ruling on coal block allocation into an opportunity to move forward and “clean up the past“.
“It is my conviction that tax stability is essential for confidence building,“ said Modi, who hosted 11 CEOs for breakfast. The Prime Minister's comment on a stable tax regime comes amidst severe criticism of the policies followed during the UPA regime, including retrospective amendments to the law to claim taxes from Vodafone that acquired Hutch's telecom assets in India. Modi and his colleagues have not shied away from referring to the policies as “tax terrorism“.
His candidness extended to the coal block allocations as well since the court ruling is seen to be harsh by corporates as it impacts awards go ing back two decades and comes at a time when the government is keen to boost investor sentiment.
The PM -who has given economic turnaround top billing in his scheme of things -told CEOs including Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi, GE's Jeff Immelt and drugmaker Merck's Kenneth C Frazier that the government is open to suggesti ons to speed up activity in Asia's third largest economy.
While hearing out the concerns expressed by business leaders, Modi assured them that his government would address the problems and try to make the overall environment more businessfriendly. “India is openminded. We want change.Change that is not one-sided.Am discussing with citizens, industrialists & investors,“ Modi was quoted as saying in a tweet by the MEA spokesperson.
He flagged infrastructure development as a key activity for overseas investors, arguing that it creates jobs and improves the quality of life.The government is keen to ensure that every village has 24x7 electricity supply, road development picks up speed again, ports have enough capacity to boost trade and airports are modernized.
Modi repays ban with visa on arrival
In a rather ironic twist to a well-chronicled episode, Modi on Sunday announced visa on arrival facility for Americans, whose government revoked his US visa and kept him out of the country for nearly a decade.Modi has made no direct reference to the ban, but is showing his host country his power base in the US despite a decade-long absence.
Obamas too may skip food at dinner
At the time of going to press, PM Modi had not yet begun his ''private dinner'' with the Obamas. The buzz was that in keeping with his fast, he would only be offered hot water, lemon juice, perhaps some tea, and honey from the White House's own beehive to lace any of the beverages. Even the First Couple were expected to not be chowing down any dinner.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged infrastructure development as a key activity for overseas investors, arguing that it creates jobs and improves the quality of life.The government is keen to ensure that every village has 24x7 electricity supply, road development picks up speed again, ports have enough capacity to boost trade and airports are modernized.
In the past, tax administration and frequent changes in government policies have been cited as major hurdles to investing in India. In recent years, even Indian business houses have often shunned investing in the country and gone overseas.The Modi government is keen to revive the investment cycle and is wooing investors, especially in the manufacturing sector, although the PM made it clear last week that the government does not believe in doles and concessions to attract flows into the country .
Describing the meeting as “excellent and very good“, business leaders said that the PM heard their concerns and listed out the government's priority areas.“He answers questions brilliantly and is very focused on improving India. So, we are thrilled to be working with him,“ Nooyi said. TNN & AGENCIES For the full report, log on to http:www.timesofindia.com

Sep 30 2014 : The Economic Times (Kolkata)
BOOST TO MANUFACTURING- Foreign-Funded Cos Making Here may Sell Online
Dilasha Seth & Shambhavi Anand
New Delhi

Retailers such as Fabindia, with 34th local manufacturing, to benefit the most
The government is likely to allow foreign-funded Indian companies to sell goods online if they make more than three-fourths of their product range themselves at home as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's wider push to promote manufacturing and in order to boost homegrown brands such as Fabindia.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in his July 10 budget that manufacturers will be allowed to sell goods online even if they have foreign investment provided they manufacture locally. The existing foreign investment policy does not allow any foreign direct investment (FDI) in ecommerce.It also does not define `manufacturing'.
Fabindia, which makes 80% of the merchandise it sells on its own but is registered as a single-brand retailer, has written to the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) asking to be treated as a manufacturer. This would enable the Indian-owned and controlled garment, fabric and furnishings company to take advantage of the budget proposal and also freely access foreign funds for expansion. Fabindia couldn't be immediately reached for comment. “We are trying to find some solution to that and help an Indian brand grow big. Those manufacturing in India should be allowed to sell online. We will need to tweak the policy suitably ,“ said a DIPP official who didn't want to be named. “In normal cases, money comes through foreign brands, Gucci or L'Oreal. All those are foreign brands coming. Here it is a reverse process. We should permit this. It must be promoted and the government is looking at it positively,“ he added.
Just before leaving for the US, the prime minister had on September 25 kicked off the `Make in India' campaign in the presence of CEOs and industry captains, promising a transparent and secure environment to do business in the country as part of a strategy to boost domestic manufacturing, create more jobs and thus add to the growth impetus.
Fabindia is 60% owned by Indian shareholders while JLB Canton holds a 23% stake and WCP Mauritius has 16%. The company procures 98% of the products it sells from India, of which 80% come from its own manufacturing units and the rest from small and medium enterprises. It sells some goods through ecommerce using permission obtained in the early 1990s.
“It is an Indian brand, producing in India. But they are also sourcing from other places...organic teas and all. It is not allowed under the existing policy. But we are determined to sort it out,“ said the official cited above.
The government is not keen on opening up ecommerce to FDI as it sees this as a backdoor entry for overseas investment in multi-brand retail.

Sep 30 2014 : The Economic Times (Kolkata)
Offline March of the Online Brigade
shelley singh

More and more niche e-commerce players are setting up physical stores to build brand awareness, trust and the market. The big idea is to not just drive traffic online, but also to see if they can leverage their online equity in the physical retail space, reports Shelley Singh
In mid-October, online furniture retailer Pepperfry will do something it never imagined: open a 2,500 sq ft store at Powai in Mumbai. An “experience centre“, the two-year-old company calls it. Here, buyers can check out about 25 pieces of sofas and dining sets. They can obtain interior-design tips.They can engage with iPad-wielding staffers and see the entire 10,000-odd Pepperfry range online.
Its rivals on the web have a similar idea.Fabfurnish, which already has four physical stores, plans to increase it to nine, across four cities, in the next 12 months.And Urbanladder, for the past two months, has been sending three single-seater sofa samples to homes of interested buyers so that they can feel first-hand aspects like make, foam, inners and spring. “We cannot address furniture completely online -it's a pain point,“ says Rajiv Srivastava, COO and co-founder of Urbanladder. “That's how the `trial room' idea came about.“
Their online peers in other specialised shopping categories have similar designs.On August 24, jewellery retailer CaratLane opened its fourth store, in Bangalore. Child products retailer Firstcry will hit 100 franchisees in December. Eyewear retailer Lenskart has 25 stores and 100 optometrists -diploma holders, not doctors -who come home to do eye-checkups. “Going offline is important for us as an element of eye checkup is involved in our business,“ says Peyush Bansal, co-founder-CEO of Lenskart. “It's also a good way to build trust for the brand.“
The narrative is of online players trying to change mindsets about Internet shopping in a country that has just begun its online initiation. So, they see these stores not as outand-out shopping hubs, but as spokes that feed the online hub by giving users a `live' experience, building brand awareness and watering the online habit.
But, at some level, it's also about diffusing the boundaries between online and offline, at times even the bold ambition of building a national brand that is equally dominant and omnipresent in both spaces. “Smart digital retailers are starting to recognise they too need a broader, multi-channel approach for many of the same reasons as offline retailers need to go online,“ says Pragya Singh, associate vice-president, retail & consumer, Technopak, a retail consultancy.“Customers don't come only online or only offline -they come anywhere.“
Nature Of Niche
Players in niche product categories -like furniture, jewellery and child products --are at the forefront of this offline drive. These are categories where look and feel matters to a consumer, more so as the product value increases. An online-only presence was not facilitating the conversion of customer clicks to sales at the scale or frequency they would have liked.
The solitaires at CaratLane, for example, start at Rs 50,000 and go up to Rs 4 crore.“Buyers want to see and try before they pay,“ says Calvin John, vice-president, marketing, CaratLane. “Virtual try-rooms do not complete the experience.“ Supam Maheshwari, co-founder of Firstcry, too cites the shopping experience. “For any couple, parenting is a new experience and they like to go out to shop,“ he says. “Only online does not complete the experience that new parents look forward to.“
Anil Jaggia, CIO of HDFC Bank, offers an analogy from the banking sector as another compelling reason why a physical presence helps. “Today, I can take banking to the masses via smartphones and Internet banking,“ he says. “But a customer in a remote town is unlikely to open an account with a bank he can't physically see. So, I need to open a branch in a city. It adds to trust and comfort.“
One estimate of how much that comfort adds up to comes from John of CaratLane.“We have seen the bill value triple when the customer has an option to try and buy,“ he says. CaratLane stocks about 125,000 solitaires on its webstore, but just 40-60 pieces in its physical stores.
Cost And Benefits
A similar variance in product range is seen across all e-commerce players that are establishing an offline presence too. Lenskart, which expects about 20% of its business to come from offline sales, has 4,000 spectacle frames on its webstore, but 400 in its shops. At Firstcry, the split is 70,000 online and 2,000 offline. “For example, we have 60 (baby) car seats online and only the fast-selling four or five in stores,“ says Maheshwari.
Product range is a function of store size. Lenskart's strategy is to open 200-300 sq ft. And increasingly, it is looking to go beyond metros, to towns like Agartala, Bhubaneshwar, Nagpur and Tinsukia.
“Lenskart is in a niche,“ says Sanjeev Aggarwal, senior managing director of Helion Venture Partners, a VC fund that has invested in the company. “Repeat buyers is a problem. Hence, it's tapping the offline market as well.' Costs are a limiting factor for these of fline plays. Each CaratLane store requires an investment of Rs 60 lakh, plus running e cost of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh a month, though John expects break-even from year one.
Similarly, Pepperfry is paying a rent of Rs 3.75 lakh for its store in Powai, Mumbai. “If we go to a mall, the rental will be thrice that,“ : says Ambareesh Murty, founder & CEO of Pepperfry.
The other option is to take the franchisee route, as Firstcry and Fabfurnish are doing.
Each Fabfurnish store is about Rs 5,000 sq ft in size and requires the franchisee to spend about Rs 15 lakh to set it up. According to Vikram Chopra, CEO of Fabfurnish, its physical stores average 100 customers a day, against 150,000 online. “I can't open a 30,000 sq ft store (typical size of furniture stores) on a high street,“ he says. “Also, my USP is a 60,000 products catalogue online. Instead we are focusing on 5,000 sq feet stores to build the brand and build customer connect.“
National Ambitions
While brand building for online traffic is their primary objective to set up physi cal stores, some businesses harbour the hope this can evolve into a one-two punch.
Fabfurnish, Firstcry and Lenskart all see an opportunity to build a national brand of some scale, which is currently absent in their respective segments. “Retailing in India is still unorganised,“ says Maheshwari of Firstcry. “There's no nation al retail chain catering to babies. We also see an opportunity to capture that space.“
Companies are framing that opportunity not just in the online context, but are also seeing it through the prism of organised re tail. Retail in India is a $500 billion industry; of this, organised retail accounts for 8% and web stores 0.5%. “We have leapfrogged from unorganised retail to e-commerce,“ says Mukul Arora, vice-president of SAIF Partners. “Penetration of organised retail in the US is 70% and less than 10% in India. It is a unique opportunity for Indian startups to grab the offline space as well.“
Furniture, for example, is a $20 billion market in India, across unorganised and organised. According to Srivastava of Urbanladder, the online segment has increased from 0 to Rs 250 crore in two years, and he expects it to double this year. And it's also powering offline sales. “70% of our (Urbanladder's) sofa business is online, while 30% is offline,“ adds Srivastava.
Today, in a new market like India, customer addition in the online space is brisk, but it will normalise at some point.“If India follows a similar pattern as developed markets, online retail will be no more than 10% of the total business,“ says Rachna Nath, leader, retail & consumer, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India.“There's plenty of headroom for e-tailers to grow. But most shoppers come offline and that's where setting up shops fits in.“
There are global precedents. Mielele, the largest online furniture seller in China, also has 250 stores. In the US, garment retailers Indochino and Bonobos, and eyewear maker Warby Parker, run what they call `guide shops' and `pop-up' physical stores to get buyers check out collection offline.“Vertical players have strong margins -40-50% -to forge a strong offline play,“ says Niren Shah, managing director of Norwest Venture Partners.
For now, though, these niche online businesses are unsure of a full-scale offline play.“There are certain advantages that online offers -like I can display all products without paying high retail rentals,“ says Murty of Pepperfry. “Besides, we are a marketplace and don't want to take the focus off our core strength.“

Sep 30 2014 : The Times of India (Ahmedabad)
NAMORICA - Modi's master card: Easy visas for US
Chidanand Rajghatta
New York:

Country That Denied Him Visa To Get Smooth Entry
Mastercard worldwide is headed by an Indian (Ajay Banga), but it was visa (albeit with a lower case v) that's talk of the town among PIOs, Indian-Americans, and American Indophiles. In a twist to a now well-chronicled episode, Narendra Modi on Sunday announced visa on arrival in India facility for Americans, whose government revoked his US visa and kept him out of the country for nearly a decade.
PM Modi has made no direct reference to the ban on him, but he's showing his host country his power base in the US despite his decadelong absence. “You've given me a lot of love. This kind of love has never been given to any Indian leader, ever,“ Modi told an adoring crowd at Madison Square Garden, his words seemingly aimed at Washington, where successive administration ostracized him and was deeply respectful of his predecessors, PMs Manmohan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Some 40 American lawmakers and politicians were on hand to witness (and carry home to Washington and their constituencies) the adoring reception Modi received in New York City , from the moment he alighted at the New York Palace Hotel to the Madison Square Garden gala.With a median annual income of $ 88,000 (national average $ 54,000) Indian-Americans are by far the wealthiest ethnic group in the US (more than white native-born Americans or even Jewish-Americans), and their political lolly is as important to American pols as their skills and the positive mood and image they can generate is to India.
Which is why Modi is almost falling over his fasting self to please this constituency , announcing everything from visa on arrival (to US citizens) to life-long visa to those with the PIOOCI card (which will soon be merged).The logistics and timeline for this is yet to be laid out, but home ministry and internal security officials tasked with keeping the next Dav id Coleman Headley out of India are tearing their hair out at how to construct the filters while fulfilling Modi's sweeping promises. Mercifully for the Election Commission and others, it does not for now include the right to vote and the dual citizenship some PIOs have long sought.
The background to Modi's deep affection for Indians in America goes back to his visits to this country in the early 1990s, as first reported in this newspaper. The story goes that during his first America visit, Modi bought a Delta Airlines ticket that in those days al lowed unlimited month-long t flying within the continental s US (there had to be an empty seat on the flight and you were r the last to board). That is how d he travelled across the country (29 states) going from Califore nia to Texas to Florida, often s taking a redeye to save on lodging.s In many places, he stayed with friends, mostly Gujarati (Gujarati columnist emeritus Kanti Bhatt once told this correspondent in the 1990s he could have a free meal and bed in any US town by looking up the phone book for Patels and Shahs). Modi did pretty much the same, arriving with a thaila (sling bag) with one spare set of clothes. Some of those hosts, like Indiana physician Dr Bharat Barai and his wife Panna, are now key frontpersons of Modi's overseas fan club that's expanded vastly because of its disappointment with the previous political dispensation, and its hopes in this one.
This is the constituency (which turned up in strength at Madison Square Gardens) that Modi is rewarding with the `'Visa...whenever you want to come'' announcement, although it will mean challenges for the security bureaucracy at a time they and their counterparts are facing growing threats. But the PM sees it as an opportunity to bump up tourism, one of the world's largest foreign exchange earners, hoping to see Americans stream into India and travel the same way he trawled across the US. “Terrorism divides, tourism unites,“ he said at Ambassador S Jaishankar's reception, asking Indians in America to each send at least five American families to India for holidays.

Sep 30 2014 : The Times of India (Ahmedabad)
PM charms 2 powerpuff girls
Indrani Bagchi
New Delhi:

Among Narendra Modi's numerous meetings in New York, two stood out for the quality of his interlocutors. Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu Congresswoman (from Hawaii), gifted the PM the copy of the Gita she used to take oath of office.
His second meeting was with Nikki Haley, the feisty Republican governor from South Carolina, a child of Punjabi immigrants, whose political future is particularly bright.
Gabbard became a practising Hindu from her mother who practises Chaitanya Vaishnavism propagated by ISKCON. Her father, a Christian, is believed to be a singer of kirtans. She is not only the first Hindu but also among the first combat veterans, having served two deployments in the Middle East.
Gabbard is a passionate yoga practitioner, and, according to the MEA spokesperson has enthusiastically greeted Modi's suggestion that the world celebrate an international yoga day . Gabbard will probably make her first visit to India as a guest of the PM.
“She discussed her approach towards issues of defence as well as international cooperation in terms of working against common threats that are posed through terror,“ The MEA spokesperson said.Actually, in the face of the ISIS threat, Gabbard has proposed that the US revoke its visa-waiver programme for UK, France and Germany, given the number of their citizens who have embraced the global terror group.
Haley, on the other hand, burst on the US political scene after she was elected South Carolina governor. She plans to lead a trade delegation to India in November and was one of the 30-odd politicians who listened to Modi in Madison Square.
Haley is currently the youngest governor in the US and with Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, the shining brown hope of the Republican Party -both will be people to watch out for in the run-up to the 2016 presidential elections.

Rajdeep Sardesai Scuffle: Journalist Seen Hitting Back at Modi Supporters [VIDEOS]

Journalist Rajdeep SardesaiTwitter
Senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, who was caught in a much-publicized scuffle with a group of pro-Modi supporters outside Madison Square Garden ahead of Narendra Modi's speech on Sunday is also facing the heat from several netizens on social media after videos showed him getting abusive as well.
According to reports, a mob of supporters of Modi were peeved at the journalist for taking up touchy issues about the Prime Minister even as thousands of Indians had assembled at the iconic venue for his address. Sardesai was interviewing several members of the Indian community in the run-up to Modi's speech, when the first incident occurred.
While the video of the first assault on Sardesai outside the venue was circulated online, he also reportedly came under a second line of assault on the same day, as narrated by a fellow journalist.
However, another video has also surfaced showing Sardesai himself getting down to a fistfight with one of the members in the crowd, also hurling abuses at him, to which the crowd reacted angrily.
What had reportedly angered the crowd was Sardesai's tweet earlier in the day, about businessman Gautam Adani staying in the same hotel as Modi's in New York.
Sardesai had tweeted on Saturday, saying, "Guess who is the high profile Indian staying in the hotel where Indian PM is and attending all events?" And later followed it up with another tweet
- "Ans to yday question: Gautam Adani is the other VIP guest at Hotel New York Palace. Many of you got it right!"
The crowd hurled abuses at Sardesai with the chant "Rajdeep Sardesai Murdabad."
Here is the video of the incident that was posted on Youtube showing Sardesai being assaulted. However, its authenticity has not been verified.
Another video shows Sardesai getting aggressive at the crowd.
However, Sardesai's ordeal was not over with that incident, and he came under a second round of abuse by a group of Indians towards the end of Modi's speech as well, as brought out by journalist Achint Sharma in a Facebook post in which he describes the "Story Part II'.
Sardesai's fellow journalist Achint Sharma has come out with a post about the incident that he himself witnessed, in which he highlights how a mob of 50 people attacked the journalist and the camera person.
Here's an excerpt from the post:
The Story Part II ( Right after the event at Madison Square Garden)
I was at Times Square when I heard or in fact read about it as the screen out there flashed a tweet about Rajdeep's episode earlier in the day.
Once done interviewing and usual stuff, I took a walk down to the Madison Square Garden, the Venue where Rajdeep was heckled in the morning.... while I interviewed the last family, I hear some noise, quite different from 'Har Har Modi' or the 'Modi Modi' chant across the 7th Avenue. I turn around only to find Rajdeep Sardesai and a senior cameraperson in the middle of a mob trying to calm down a group of approximately 50 people around him."
"I barge in, just to check if Rajdeep was alright. Yes, he was. Smiling, calm, and trying to reason out a crowd which wasn't prepared to listen to anything he said. Then the pushing and shoving begins. A barrage of abuses follow.
Why? Probably because of Rajdeep's tweet about an influential person staying in the same hotel as Narendra Modi's.
The mob called him names and hurled the choicest of words towards him. When I tried to shield the fellow journalist, I realised, that I became a target as well. This went on for good 10-15 minutes. The NYPD was right there, but won't blame them for not knowing what was going on in the middle of that crowd of 50-odd people. The cameraman had to ensure his equipment was safe, so he was trying his best to fend off a few people who tried to come closer to Rajdeep. This went on for good 10 minutes.
Despite my repeated requests to stay away from Rajdeep, the mob continued to shout pro-Modi slogans right in his face to instigate him. A particular person wearing glasses, and an orange attire, almost shoved his phone into the cameraman's lens to which Rajdeep protested."
Sardesai has urged people to read the account.
Earlier on Sunday, Sardesai had taken to Twitter to vent about the first assault incident.
Rajdeep Sardesai