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Narendra Modi's Eighth (8th) week in Office Analysis

Narendra Modi's Eighth (8th) week in Office Analysis

For the Narendra Modi government, this week was dominated by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit, even as significant Bills were passed in Parliament.

Modi bargains hard at the BRICS Summit

With the sixth BRICS summit hosted by Brazil, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his multilateral debut. When Modi left for the BRICS summit, there was definitely one prime objective on his mind – the launch of the new development bank and the contingent reserve arrangement. To a large extent, these objectives have been met.

The deadlock over the creation of a new BRICS development bank that has been continuing for two years ended at this summit with the launch of a $100 billion bank and currency reserve pool. This bank will fund infrastructure projects in developing countries and also act as a cash reserve pool.

The initial subscribed capital of $50 Billion will be shared equally by the five nations, preventing domination by any member by way of paying higher capital amount. The bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, China; the first president will be from India and the Board of Governors from Russia. The name of the bank will be New Development Bank – a name suggested by Modi.

For India, it is indeed a big success that has been achieved after driving a very hard bargain. The deadlock that lasted for over two years was mainly because China wanted a bigger share and control in the bank by way of higher contribution and India had opposed it. Both India and China had locked horns on the location as well. Modi’s determined tactical expertise seems to have worked well because he managed to achieve equal partnership as well as the authority to manage the bank for first five years. This was Modi’s first multilateral engagement. The launch of the bank and securing its presidentship by India is being hailed as a big victory.

Having said that, speculation is also rife on whether China is eyeing to become a super global power through this arrangement. This is something that the world will have to wait and watch.

Modi talks tough on terrorism

Addressing the BRICS Summit, Modi called for zero tolerance on terror. He said due to different yardsticks, terrorism has not been controlled effectively by the international community and emphasised the fact that all the terror forces should be isolated. He also made a mention about Iraq saying that BRICS must take a stand and not remain silent.

Modi meets Chinese President Xi Jinping

Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping were supposed to meet for 40 minutes, but the meeting went on for 80 minutes – a clear indication that both of them had lots to talk and share. They talked about amicably resolving the border issues. Modi is believed to have said that if India and China resolved the boundary question amicably, then they would be setting an example to the entire world as to how conflicts could be resolved peacefully. Modi also stressed on enhanced investment from China in India’s infrastructure sector and resolving the trade imbalance between the countries. Xi was also of the view that improved trade balance would lead to sustainable economic relationship. Modi also suggested an additional route for the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra. Xi accepted this suggestion for consideration and invited Modi for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meet in China in November. Xi also said that India should deepen its engagement with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which India readily accepted. Currently, India is merely an observer at SCO but said that it would be happy to take up additional responsibilities. Thus, the meeting between two of the world’s largest economies ended on a positive, fruitful note.

Modi meets Russian President Putin

In his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Modi appreciated Russia’s friendship and support in terms of economic development and security. Modi said that he is looking forward to deepening strategic ties and working closely with Russia in areas like space, defence, nuclear energy, trade and investment. He also invited Putin to visit the Kudankulam atomic power project in December.

Modi meets South African President Jacob Zuma

During the meeting between with South African President Jacob Zuma and Modi, both the leaders described the relations between the two countries as unique and special. Zuma is believed to have sought Modi’s support in the small and medium scale industries sector. Modi later invited South African representation for the centenary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India in January next year.

Lok Sabha passes TRAI amendment Bill

The amended Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Bill was finally passed in the Lok Sabha with Congress, RSP, RJD and AAP opposing it and Trinamool Congress consenting on the issue at the last moment.

The existing Bill restricted former TRAI chairmen to take up government jobs after retirement. They were only allowed to take up private jobs two years after retirement. Meanwhile other regulatory bodies like SEBI, Competition Commission did not have such a provision.

Though the government said that this initiative was to ensure parity among the regulatory bodies, the amended Bill paved the way for the government to appoint former TRAI chief Nripendra Misra as principal secretary to the Prime Minister. The amendment was, in fact, brought in to clear the legal hurdles surrounding Misra’s appointment.

AP Reorganisation Bill passed

The controversial Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill was passed amid protests from Telangana Rashtra Samiti and the Congress from Telangana. The Bill was first passed in the Lok Sabha and later in the Rajya Sabha.

The passing of the Bill allows seven mandals from Telangana to be transferred to Andhra Pradesh. This move is meant to facilitate the Polavaram irrigation project. The people of the seven mandals seemed satisfied with the Bill and were happy to be part of Andhra Pradesh once again.

Government proposes Sanskrit Week in CBSE schools

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) directed all the schools to celebrate Sanskrit Week, with a view to restoring and promoting one of the oldest languages of India. But Tamil Nadu came very strongly against this move saying that it is a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh agenda, which may lead to disintegration of the country.

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Last Updated on July 19, 2014, 11:49 am