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Rajasthan government to woo filmmakers in new tourism policy

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Rajasthan Secretariat

Jaipur, Aug 26 Rajasthan government will soon announce an attractive package to woo filmmakers in the state. This will be a part of the new Tourism Policy of the government which is on the anvil.

This was announced on Sunday by minister of state for tourism, Govind Singh Dotasara.

He was speaking as the chief guest at the PHDCCI Film Tourism Festival at Hotel Clarks, Amer.

The festival was organised in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan.

The minister said that while the processing charges have almost been waived off, new incentive package will also be announced in the new policy.

The process of taking permissions for film shooting will be further simplified.

If the major part of the film will be shot in the State, then the state government will also consider giving subsidy.

The Minister also announced that the policy will also include setting up of a film city, which has been long pending in Rajasthan. He said there is no better place than Rajasthan in the country for shooting films and has the best of locations.

In his keynote address, the well-known film director, Ramesh Sippy said that Rajasthan is a self-promoted destination owing to the fact that it has such rich culture and heritage. He said that the small suggestions made and inputs given, if implemented, could make Rajasthan a highly sought after film shooting destination.

Chairperson, PHDCCI-Rajasthan, Jayshree Periwal said that film tourism is an important ingredient which must be included in the marketing strategy of every tourism department.

The master of ceremony on the occasion was principal director, PHDCCI, Yogesh Srivastav. The panel discussions held were on the topics of – ‘Content: Script to Screen’, ‘Deep Focus: Making Rajasthan a Cinema Hub’, ‘Film Locations in Rajasthan’ and ‘One-on-One Government/Industry’.

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PM Modi gives call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat from Red Fort

Talking about inclusive development, he said we need balanced development where everyone gets the benefits.

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Modi Independence Speech

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of 74th Independence Day on Saturday gave a clarion call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat, saying it is need of the hour and that India will realize this dream.

The Prime Minister said now the time is to eliminate silos in the era of infrastructure and emphasized on “vocal for local campaign”.

“It is need of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. I am confident that India will accomplish this dream. I am confident of the abilities, confidence and potential of my fellow Indians. Once we decide to do something, we do not rest till we achieve that goal,” the Prime Minister said while addressing the nation from Red Fort.

Stressing on the “vocal for local” campaign, Prime Minister said, “After all, for how long the raw material from our country will be used by others to deliver us the finished products”.

The Prime Minister said, “To fulfil the Atmanirbhar Bharat dream, we need an integrated infrastructure.” For this, we have prepared a huge plan to connect the entire country through a multi-modal connectivity infrastructure, he added.

Talking about inclusive development, he said we need balanced development where everyone gets the benefits.

Modi also said India has always believed that the entire world is one family and that while we focus on economic growth and development, humanity must retain a central role in this process and our journey.

Talking about the people who have recovered from Corona, PM said, “Over 1,500 “coronaviruswinners” who recovered from the disease, are present at the function as a symbol of the citizens’ determination to fight the pandemic and emerge winners.

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Comment: What should India do in response to the US-China Rift?

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US President Donald Trump issued two executive orders on Thursday restricting Chinese social media networks TikTok and WeChat, on the grounds that they pose significant national security threats to the United States. These executive actions set a 45-day deadline to ByteDance, which owns TikTok, and Tencent, owner of WeChat, to sell the two platforms to American companies, or face a complete ban in the US.

ByteDance has already been in talks with Microsoft to sell the US operations of TikTok, an enormously popular video-sharing platform. Now by issuing the executive order, Trump has virtually ensured the certainty of that sale. WeChat, which is mainly used by the Chinese diaspora to communicate with their family members and friends in the mainland and make mobile payments, now faces a more uncertain future in the US.

Trump’s crackdown on TikTok and WeChat, and by extension, Chinese technology and business interests, opens up another front in the President’s on-going confrontation with China, which started with a trade war involving farming, dairy products and other American goods. More recently, the Trump administration has taken actions to restrict Huawei access in the US and the use of government funds to purchase Huawei products and services.

Does this latest phase in the Sino-American confrontation, which began on June 21 with the US ordering the closure of the Chinese consulate general in Houston, and China, in retaliation, closing the US consulate in Chengdu, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, benefit or provide an opportunity for India?

Several analysts in both Washington and New Delhi have observed that it does. It is easy to see the logic behind that argument. In restricting TikTok and WeChat, the US has merely followed India’s footsteps in banning these two and 57 Chinese apps in late June, in response to encroachments by People’s Liberation Army soldiers into Indian territory.

From a geopolitical standpoint, there is no doubt that the current US-China conflict has come at an opportune time for India, which has been engaged in multiple standoffs with China along the border in Ladakh since the beginning of this summer. It once again reinforces the convergence of security interests of India and the US on the China front.

There may be a temptation because of this to escalate the tension with China and in attempt to get concessions in Ladakh. Many armchair warriors have urged Prime Minister Modi to ally with the US and force China to the back foot, to use a cricketing term. Even though New Delhi and Washington have become closer strategic partners, especially in the past two decades, India has never openly aligned with the US on China, despite US pressure to do so.

The historic US-India civil nuclear deal, signed in 2008, was widely seen in Washington as a move to empower India as a bulwark against China. But, much to the frustration of the anti-China hawks in Washington, India has never been comfortable playing that role. This hesitancy continues till today. Notwithstanding calls by many in India and the US to do so, New Delhi has not rushed into Washington’s arms in the wake of the Galwan attack. This appears to be a quite prudent decision.

In any scenario, it is highly unlikely that the US will engage in a full-scale cold war similar to the one it waged with the erstwhile Soviet Union for much of the last half of the 20th century. China doesn’t pose any physical threat to the US, or its European allies, unlike the Soviet Union back then. Economically, the US and China are more integrated than perhaps any two large sovereign nations ever have. Besides being the source of many American goods, China also holds more than $1 trillion worth of US securities.

There is every possibility for a reset in Sino-US relations if Trump loses to Democrat Joe Biden in November. Even if Trump is re-elected, it is unlikely that he will pursue an all-out economic war with China during his second term.

Knowledgeable observers suggest that the immediate provocation for Trump’s TikTok and WeChat restrictions are not geopolitical, but domestic politics. With Covid-19 continuing to ravage the American heartland and the much anticipated US economic recovery not materializing, the President’s re-election prospects have dimmed considerably.

Having spent considerable efforts on boosting the stock market throughout his term, the economy was the primary issue Trump was planning to run on in his re-election bid. But, the impact of Covid-19 has cratered the American economy.

Indeed, the latest job report, released on Friday, revealed that more than 15 million Americans are still unemployed. And, over 30 million are receiving some type of unemployment assistance. These conditions dash any hopes for a meaningful and major economic turnaround before the November election.

In addition, Trump’s failure to develop a national plan and process to contain the spread of Coronavirus has raised serious questions among many voters about his competency. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, nearly three-fifths of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, and less than two-fifths approve.

Trump can never take the blame or assume responsibility for his own poor performance. In his mind, if he loses the presidency it will be solely because of China and its failure to contain the virus from spreading outside its borders. He began calling Covid-19 the “China virus” in an attempt to deflect attention from himself regarding his failed leadership in managing the response to the pandemic. This deflect and diversion tactic is classic Trump. It explains why the President has chosen the path of escalation with Beijing. It is not a deep-seated ideological or policy-based aversion to the Chinese. It is primarily a personal and politically motivated action taken as part of a re-election gambit.

Given this, India should engage in watchful waiting to see what the next move from Washington and Beijing will be and who will be elected President in the US in November. It should then determine how to proceed. And, do so with caution.

(Frank F. Islam is an entrepreneur, civic and thought leader based in Washington DC. The views expressed are personal)

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74th Independence Day: PM Modi unfurls tricolour, addresses nation

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Modi Independence Speech

New Delhi, Aug 15 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday unfurled the Tricolour at the Red Fort and addressed the nation amid Covid-19 induced new norms after paying tribute at the Raj Ghat on the occasion of 74th Independence Day.

Continuing the tradition of sporting bright-coloured turbans for his Independence Day speeches, the Prime Minister chose an off-white saafa with broad streak of orange for the second I-Day address of his second term.

Modi also extended greetings to the people of the nation. “Happy Independence Day to all fellow Indians. Jai Hind!” tweeted Modi from his official Twitter account.

The Independence Day function, this year, is relatively muted in terms of participation of people in view of the Coronavirus pandemic.

On his arrival at the Lahori Gate of Red Fort, Modi was received by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.

The Defence Secretary introduced General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra to the Prime Minister.

The GoC then conducted the Saluting Base in the presence of the Prime Minister, where a combined Inter-Services and Police Guards presented the general salute to him. Thereafter, Modi inspected the Guard of Honour.

He then proceeded to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he was greeted by Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General M.M. Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria.

On unfurling the National Flag by Modi, the National Guard performed the ‘Rashtriya Salute’ as the Army Grenadiers Regimental Centre Military Band played the National Anthem.

Major Shweta Pandey assisted the Prime Minister in unfurling of the Tricolour that was synchronized with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 2233 Field Battery (Ceremonial).

The National Flag Guard comprising 32 men and one officer each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police who presented the Rashtriya Salute.

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