Home   Feedback                    F A Q Contact Us
  India, in a joint initiative with the African Union, has launched the Pan-African e-network project, which will support tele-education, telemedicine, e-commerce, e-governance, infotainment, resource-mapping and meteorological services *

News and Events

Detailed News Back

PRESIDENT`S ADDRESS AT THE ANNUAL LECTURE OF THE ASSOCIATION OF INDIAN DIPLOMATS :Past meets the present and creates the future (07-02-2007 : New Delhi )
Source : www.presidentofindia.gov.in

I am glad to deliver the Annual Lecture to the Association of Indian Diplomats consisting of great minds in this area who had represented our country in various parts of the world. My greetings to all of you. I am happy that the years of unique experience of all of you are made available to the younger generation by way of training programmes and publications and you are keeping yourself posted with the latest serving the interest of our country. I would suggest that you should bring out specific case studies of your rich diplomatic experience and the significant contribution made by our country in maintaining world peace. When I am with you, I was thinking what I can discuss with you. As I see the experience of the experienced amidst the current players of diplomacy with the energy of the future generation, I have chosen the topic of this lecture as "Past meets the present and creates the future".

Changing Phase of Diplomacy

      Diplomacy is a dynamic process. It depends upon the state of the country, the state of the world, the global technological levels and aspirations of the human society. In future we may also move towards getting material from Moon and creation of habitat in Mars. Above all we have to keep peace in space. From the earlier cold war era, the world has become uni-polar. A number of economic powers are emerging in the world such as South East Asia, Gulf Countries, Brazil, China and India apart from the existing USA, EU, Japan and Russia. The revolutions in integrated circuit technology, internet, communication and space technologies have shrunk the distances and created a global village and Genetic Engineering has created a new dimension for healthcare. Thinking globally and acting locally has become a reality. The technologies have revolutionized the communication and contact among the world citizens and large population has their realistic appreciation of situation in other parts of the world. The borderless world enables optimal utilization of talent across the world be it science, technology, industry, economy and business. India, in particular, has demonstrated its upswing in economic development, and also in the field of space, nuclear science, Pharma and auto industries on a strong foundation of its democratic process. We have become a software capital of the world and the contribution of the Indian Diaspora, business leaders and talents in arts and sports are becoming increasingly visible in various parts of the world. Multinational companies are evincing great interest in starting new joint ventures with Indian companies. However the pace of progress will further increase if the country adopts a single window clearance system for foreign investment. The interaction among the reputed academic institutions from all over the world with Indian institutions is on the increase. Indian companies based on their technological and managerial excellence are able to take over large industries abroad.
Now, I would like to share with you my personal experience in dealing with the foreign collaboration which was mainly possible by the counseling, guidance and effective follow-up on a mission mode by our diplomatic community.

Pan African e-Network

      During the year 2003-04, I visited African countries such as Sudan, Tanzania, Tanzania-Zanzibar and South Africa. I addressed the Pan African Parliament on 16 Sept 2004, at Johannesburg, South Africa which was attended by Heads of 53 member countries of the African unit. Based on my study of the communication, healthcare and education needs of the African countries, I proposed the concept of Pan African e-Network for providing seamless and integrated satellite, fiber optics and wireless network connecting 53 African countries.

The proposal was to use the core competencies of our country in the field of IT for providing at least one hub in each of the African countries through which various e-services like tele-education, tele-medicine and e-governance could be provided. Pan African e-Network project brings together the terrestrial network between India and Africa through the international under sea fiber cable network and also the African satellite network services to provide education and health care services from India and Africa to the 53 Pan African nations and also connecting the 53 heads of the state. The universities and Super Specialty hospitals of Africa will also use this Pan African e-Network to provide services and content. I am happy to inform you that this offer has been received very well all over the African Continent and 20 countries will be connected in the first half of 2007 and the rest will be operationalized by early 2008 at a cost of $100 million.

Role of Diplomacy in Programme Execution

      Now, I would like to give the sequence of events which took place before signing of the MoU between India and African Union for implementation of Pan-African e-network project. As soon as the project was announced, a technical committee was appointed by Prime Minister?s Office (PMO) to generate the project report. The project report was evolved in sixteen weeks? time coordinated by MEA with technical experts drawn from Department of Space, Rashtrapati Bhavan and Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL). MEA had also interacted with African Union (AU) and member countries in this period. After review by PMO, MEA organized presentation of the project report by a high level team to Chairman and members of the AU. AU also constituted a Technical Review Committee consisting of members drawn from AU and International organizations. The final presentation was made by the Indian team to the Technical Review Committee which observed that this proposal is in line with the missions and objectives of the African Union and provides tremendous potential for achieving the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) through the use of innovative ICT. Meanwhile, a presentation was made at Rashtrapati Bhavan to the 28 Ambassadors of Pan African countries stationed in Delhi. They also visited ISRO and also familiarized themselves with the operational tele-medicine facilities. I have seen the active contribution of MEA team members and the Indian Ambassador at Ethiopia in coordinating various activities connected with the project in a mission mode by comprehensively addressing the technical, programmatic, financial, contractual and international relationship angle. This enabled signing of the MoU on 27th October 2005.

An International Joint Venture ? BRAHMOS

      Similarly, I would like to recall the contribution of our MEA team in Russia in the signing of Indo-Russian Joint Venture agreement for BRAHMOS. BRAHMOS is a unique experience for design, development, production and marketing of a missile system - an Indo-Russian joint venture with equal scientific and technological and financial partnership. What we have achieved through this venture is the development and realization of a world-class product using the synergy of technological competence and consortium of industries of partner countries. The BRAHMOS missile is the first supersonic operational cruise missile existing in the world today and can be launched from any type of platform - land, sea, and air and precisely reach the targets either on land or at sea with high lethal effect. The missile has been inducted by the Indian Navy. In addition, the product being internationally competitive, it is able to service a large market with availability in time and state of the art performance at a competitive cost. This has enabled early entry of the product into the world market well before any competitor could emerge. This proves that if the core competencies of nations are combined, best of knowledge products can emanate well ahead of time. This being a new initiative, diplomacy had to play a unique role in visualizing the benefits of the programme to both sides while committing the co-operation and resources.

I am mentioning these examples to illustrate how our diplomatic community closely working with our technological and administrative segments of the Government can facilitate time bound accomplishment of mutually beneficial, multi-lateral, complex international collaborative initiative.

Nalanda Indo-Asian Institute of Learning

      Now, I would like to mention about another evolving international partnership as an Indian initiative. To recapture the past glory in the modern context, in keeping with Buddha?s teaching for seeking knowledge in a holistic way by understanding the interconnectedness of things in life and the Universe, it has been proposed to establish a Bodhgaya Nalanda Indo-Asian Institute of Learning in partnership with select Asian countries. I proposed this as one of the missions of Bihar to the Legislative Assembly on 28th March 2006. Bihar Government, MEA and our missions in the South-East Asian countries have a great opportunity to implement this in a mission mode. All of you, with tremendous experience in various countries may be able to support MEA in this mission. You may also be able to support the Bihar Government on the development of spiritual tourism circuits attracting tourists from the country and abroad and particularly the people of south-east Asian countries.

World Knowledge Platform

      During my visit to South-East-Asian countries in February 2006, I proposed a joint working programme called World Knowledge Platform. ?World Knowledge Platform?, will integrate the core competencies of the partner countries to develop knowledge products. This platform will enable joint design, development, cost effective production and marketing of the knowledge products in various domains based on the core competence of partner nations to international market.

Missions of World Knowledge Platform:
The convergence of Bio, Nano and ICT is expected to touch every area of concern to the humanity. The ?World Knowledge Platform? will take up the missions, in some of the areas given below, which are of utmost urgency to all of us to make our world a safe, sustainable, peaceful and prosperous place to live:

1. Energy: Leading to Energy independence using four types of energy systems; solar power using high efficient CNT solar cells, thorium based nuclear reactors and energy from bio-fuel such as bio-diesel and ethanol and hydrogen based fuel cells.

2. Water: Desalination, channelization and networking of rivers, layered wells for water storage in hill regions and flood control, water harvesting, water recycling, treatment and water management.

3. Healthcare: Diagnosis, drug delivery system, development of vaccines for HIV/TB, Malaria and Cardiac diseases, detection and cure of diabetics.

4. Agriculture and Food processing: Increased production of food grain in an environment of reduced land, reduced water and reduced manpower; preservation of food; food processing; cost effective storage and distribution.

5. Knowledge products: Hardware, Software and Networking and Storage Products including handheld micro and nano electronic devices.

6. Transportation systems: Fossil fuel free transportation systems using renewable energies, safety systems, Hardware and embedded software integration.

7. Habitat: Energy efficient, water efficient, pollution free habitat

8. Disaster Prediction and Management: Earth quake forecasting, assessing the quantum of rain for particular cloud condition.

9. Capacity Building: Quality human resource development for all the above areas including the development of personnel with world class skills.

The world knowledge platform will also evolve a virtual design centre with the participation of collaborating countries. India and partner countries can jointly take certain missions in the World Knowledge Platform. World knowledge Platform will be the launch pad for many innovations that are waiting to be unearthed only by the combined power of partnering nations. In addition to the above task, I foresee research on international peace and understanding with multi-country partnership could be a subject of common interest. This subject can encompass all areas of human development including enlightened citizenship and collective methods to combat obstacles to development particularly all forms of terrorism. I can see with your intimate knowledge of our country?s cultural and spiritual heritage and your exposure to multiple nations and their culture, you can contribute by assisting in evolution of Prosperous India and peaceful planet Earth.


      With the above background, I would like to suggest the following missions for the Association of Indian Diplomats:

1. Publication of case studies of effective diplomatic intervention in promoting business, science and social activities for mutual benefits to India and the partner countries.

2. Strategy for showcasing the current Indian development to the various parts of the world to generate joint programmes for mutually benefits. Apart from science, technology and industry based category of products for business promotion, our diplomats can study the core competence of every one of our Panchayats and try to link the core competencies of rural enterprises into a marketable export product in a sustainable manner.

3. 25 million Indians living abroad are bubbling with an urge, ?what I can give for India?. All of you with your experience in various countries may be able to suggest how this energy can be further channelised.

4. Members of Association of Indian Diplomats can take up a task to redefine the role of diplomacy when India is progressing to become a developed nation by 2020 for consideration of the Government.

5. Development of potential of India as a meeting of minds of human thinkers from various countries to develop enlightened citizenship as part of world knowledge platform.

6. The association of Diplomats may consider making suitable recommendations for further facilitating welfare of NRIs and mechanism for solving their issues so that our Ambassadors can win the confidence of the people of Indian origin in all countries.

7. Largest remittance is coming from the NRIs in Gulf Countries. The association of diplomats may like to study the special problems of people of Indian origin in Gulf countries and make suitable recommendations for their entry, working, living and exit.

My best wishes to all the participants of this Annual Lecture of the Association of Indian Diplomats and their families for success in their mission of better international understanding.

May God bless you.

 Powered By i-Grandee. Portal hosted by TCIL, New Delhi.