PM’s US Visit in September: Insight and Impact
By Editorial Staff
With an agenda to include India as a permanent member of United Nations Security Council, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to United States last month . He was greeted by hundreds of supporters and visitors, just after arriving in New York on 24 September. In his five-day visit to US, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed world leaders at the United Nations general assembly, hosted G-4 leaders and held several bilateral meetings.
Arriving in New York he stayed at Waldorf Astoria hotel along with other leaders such as Russian president Vladimir Putin, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping. A special programme was set to celebrate 70th anniversary of United Nations in New York. After a bilateral meeting with Modi at United Nations Headquarters, President Barack Obama recalled his India visit and started lecture by saying “ it is a great pleasure to meet once again with my good friend, Prime Minister Modi. Our meeting builds on the progress that was made during the wonderful visit that I was able to make to India, to the Prime Minister’s invitation, and the historic participation that I had with Republic Day. We’ve elevated our ties. We’ve committed ourselves to a new partnership between our two countries.”
PM Modi also thanked him for the U.S. support for India’s permanent membership of a reformed U.N. Security Council and said “I expressed our appreciation for continued U.S. support for India’s membership of the International Export Control Regimes within our targeted timeframe.”
In this US trip, PM Modi has successfully propagated his Make in India, Digital India and Skill India campaigns. Modi opined India is ready to welcome the CEOs with both hands and this is the perfect time for them to invest in the world’s largest democratic country. He met 47 chief executives of Fortune 500 companies at a dinner in New York. Fortune Editor Alan Murray moderated the discussion. “Reform in governance is my number 1 priority. We are for simplified procedures, speedy decision making, transparency and accountability,” Modi told the CEOs over dinner. Indicating successive growth of Indian Economy, Modi said “FDI all over the world has fallen but in India it increased by 40 percent. This reflects confidence in the Indian economy.”
The Prime Minister also met Mr. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc. He mentioned that India has a special place for the company, as Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc., went to India for inspiration. They discussed about Digital India initiative.
“Digital India is an enterprise for the transformation of India in a scale unmatched in human history. Nothing else will do in a country with 800 million impatient youths waiting for change,” Modi told business leaders in San Jose.
Mr. Modi also met the CEOs of Indian Origin and many other tycoons. Mr. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, Mr. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, Mr. Shantanu Narayen of Adobe attended the party. Mr. Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm and Mr. John Chambers of CISCO later joined him for the Digital India Dinner Programme.
The first Indian-American Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Microsoft’s plan is to be a partner of the Indian government to introduce low-cost broadband connectivity to five lakh villages in India. “We believe that lost-cost broad band connectivity coupled with the scale of cloud computing intelligence that can be harnessed from data can help drive creativity, efficiency and productivity across governments and businesses of all sizes,” he added.
At the event Prime Minister outlined his vision for Digital India. He said “ In this digital age, we have an opportunity to transform lives of people in ways that was hard to imagine just a couple of decades ago. This is what sets us apart from the century that we have just left behind. There may be still some who see the digital economy as the tool of the rich, educated and the privileged. But, ask the taxi driver or the corner vendor in India what he has gained from his cell phone, and the debate gets settled. I see technology as a means to empower and as a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity. Social media is reducing social barriers. It connects people on the strength of human values, not identities.”
“ Today, technology is advancing citizen empowerment and democracy that once drew their strength from Constitutions. Technology is forcing governments to deal with massive volume of data and generate responses, not in 24 hours but in 24 minutes. When you think of the exponential speed and scale of expansion of social media or a service, you have to believe that it is equally possible to rapidly transform the lives of those who have long stood on the margins of hope. So, friends out of this conviction was born the vision of Digital India. It is an enterprise for India’s transformation on a scale that is, perhaps, unmatched in human history. Not just to touch the lives of the weakest, farthest and the poorest citizen of India, but change the way our Nation will live and work ” he added more.
Arriving in California on 26 September, Narendra Modi visited Tesla Motors, which was started by a group of engineers in 2003. The company believe that electric vehicles are better than gasoline driven vehicles. Mr. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors received him. He pointed various innovations done by Telsa Motors. Renewable energy, Tesla’s battery technology, and innovations in energy storage figured in the discussions between the Prime Minister and Mr. Elon Musk. Modi also visited the factory floor of the company and met employees of Indian origin who work at Tesla.
After arriving in Silicon Valley, PM explained rich Indian political history in favour of Silicon Valley and tech tour. To promote Indian start-ups among Silicon Valley investors, Modi emphasized Make in India initiative and invited tycoons to invest in India. Being invited by Zuckerberg, PM also visited Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarter and participated a pre-scheduled question & answer forum . He met Sheryl Sandberg, other Facebook employees and guests invited by the Indian Embassy.
Modi announced that Google had agreed to provide free and high speed public Wi-Fi in hundreds of Indian railroad stations. Chip maker company Qualcomm, which has thousands of employees in India, promised $150 million to finance Indian start-ups. As an immediate response, Microsoft also launched commercial cloud services from its three data centres in Mumbai, Pune and Chennai in India.
(Courtesy: PMO, MEA and Office of the Press Secretary, White House)