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Place : Bengaluru Speech Date : 18-11-2010

  • Gujarat represents a state of business both in the physical and psychological form.
  • Our eyes are on a holistic change;our eyes are on the global benchmarks.
  • Our eyes are on the excellence in all spheres;our eyes are on the glitter on all faces.
  • I must also add here that the achievements of Gujarat are all–pervasive.
  • I invite you to be part of our development process which is robust and yet inclusive; fast and yet sustainable.
 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I feel very delighted in interacting with you here today. Bangalore has made its mark the world over because of its excellence in various activities, particularly the Information Technology. I am myself a firm believer in the strength of this technology. I compliment you for the progress you have made and the global pride which you have given to the whole country.

Friends! for the last few years, I was told that we in Gujarat are not doing so well in IT. But Gujarat's enterprising spirit kept driving us towards doing better in this field. Today, I am happy to say that Gujarat is doing equally well in ITES as it is doing in other sectors of the economy. Gujarat has a substantial presence of the Financial and other Business process outsourcing operations. We have dedicated institutes in this field like the Dhiru Bhai University. But we are doing even better on the use of IT. In fact, our e-governance projects have been recognised in the country and abroad. To give you a few examples- We have the largest Wide area Network in the Asia facific. We are the first State to provide broadband connectivity in all schools and villages. We are making maximum use of the video-conferencing including for trial of the prisoners. A few months back, our ICT based Grievance Redressal System called SWAGAT has got the United Nation's Public Service Award. In addition, in the last three months from September, we have received eleven national awards for our various e-services. This includes e-procurement, Tax information system, Hospital management system, financial management system, CSI-Nihilent e-governance awards for excellence, the official portal of the State Government and also my own portal for its most innovative use of the social media. Only last month, in the Bangalore IT Biz, Gujarat won the ‘Best Exhibitor' award. However, I do agree that there is a lot of potential to do better. I am also sure that the business spirit of Gujarat will make this sector a strong business and economic activity in the years to come.

Gujarat, as you know, represents a state of business both in the physical and psychological form. Its strength lies in catching the ideas and converting them into business propositions. That is why, since centuries, our people have gone all across the world and have proved their business acumen. They bring back home global experience and mix it with the inherent business spirit of the State. This, combined with the Government's pro-active business friendly role, has made Gujarat one of the most preferred business destinations in India. We also believe that for business to grow, our policies should be stable and transparent; our programmes should be oriented towards betterment of the society, economy and the environment on a long-term basis.

Friends! as you know, India is on the path of becoming an economic power in the world. However, for the country to achieve this position of eminence, the states have to perform better. I have personally been committed to ‘Gujarat's Growth for India's Growth'. This decade of Gujarat has been a decade of phenomenal growth. We have not only registered overall double digit GDP growth but our other important sectors also have registered double digit growth.

Industry has grown at 13%;

Our agriculture has grown at 12.8% in last five years and at 9.6% over last seven years. This is against the national growth of less than 3%.

The per capita income of the people has grown at 13.8%.

Friends! We have re-oriented the approach towards development process in general and industrialisation in particular. We have tried to make the development process a mass movement with the aim of quantum jump and qualitative leap on the one hand and on the people's participation on the other.

Our eyes are on a holistic change;

our eyes are on the global benchmarks;

our eyes are on the excellence in all spheres;

our eyes are on the glitter on all faces.

I will give you a few examples as to how this leap is taking place:

We have tripled the number of seats in our technical and management colleges on the one hand and on the other we have set up seven new world class universities and an IIT.

We have made massive progress in oil and gas exploration; and at the same time, have laid down a 2200 km long gas grid to take it to the industries and households.

We have made several lakhs of water harvesting structures, and also successfully implemented one of the world's longest canal system and water grid.

We have added substantial Megawatts to our electricity generation; and at the same time have taken it to each and every house hold making Gujarat the only State to supply round the clock uninterrupted power in the households of all villages.

We have set up world class hospitals making Gujarat a global medical tourism destination, and at the same time, have ensured access for the mothers and children to medical facilities.

We have strengthened our primary and secondary schools with physical and ICT infrastructure, and have also emphasised on the quality of teaching and learning.

These are just a few examples to establish the fact that we have broken away from the traditional ways of governance where the pace of progress was slow; the delivery was sluggish and results were invisible.

Similarly, in the infrastructure sector, we have redefined the approach and the level of thinking and have started implementing some of the most ambitious projects. Many of our cities have been rated as environmentally best cities and economically fastest growing in the world. We are converting many of our roads to expressway standards. We have implemented the railway lines in private sector. We have established India's only two LNG terminals; to which we are going to add two more very shortly. We are not only upgrading our ports to make them world class. We are also adopting a holistic coastal development approach including development of new coastal cities. To develop the infrastructure, we have perfected the mechanisms for Public-Private Partnership which have been admired in the country.

Friends! on the fronts of the Industry and industrial infrastructure, Gujarat offers the best in the country. We house some of the biggest and the best industries world over. We are monopoly producers in the country in several sectors and a global leader in a number of products. Our industrial infrastructure, including the environmental infrastructure, is regarded as the best in the country. We provide hassle free environment of business which starts right from effective handholding for setting up projects. Transaction costs including the cost of living are low; labour problems are almost zero and there are absolutely no power cuts.

A favourable spirit of business, supportive infrastructure and stable Governance have made Gujarat a preferred business destination.

This is visible from the fact that many national and multi-national companies have made Gujarat their base.

This is visible from the fact that our contribution to industrial output is around 16%,

This is visible from the fact that we contribute to 22% of India's exports.

This is visible from the fact that we have global presence in several sectors and national monopoly in various others

We are committed to not only retain this position but to further improve it. With Tata Nano and Bombardier, we are emerging as a new auto and transportation manufacturing hub. With our limestone reserves, we are emerging as the biggest cement producer in the country. We have already emerged as a big steel and pipe producer in the country. Now, we are going to become global players in these fields. And the best asset which we have is our 1600 km long coastline dotted with world class ports. These ports are the gateways to Gujarat's prosperity and expressways for the progress of the northern hinterland of the country.

However, friends! we are not going to rest with this. If India has to become a premiere economy in the world, I believe that the States like Gujarat have to do even better. We are constantly expanding the horizon of our industrial infrastructure, our Governance, our policies and processes. On the industrial infrastructure front, we moved from our traditional industrial clusters to industrial estates and further to establish 60 SEZs which is the largest number in the country. We are further moving to set up truly world class and big size Special Investment Regions which we call the SIRs. We have planned for 12 SIRs which will be Global hubs of economic activity. They will be supported by world class infrastructure, premium civic amenities and right policy environment. Setting up of these SIRs is in tune with the upcoming Dedicated Freight Corridor and the Industrial Corridor between Delhi and Mumbai. Similarly, SIRs will have a great synergy with our upcoming International Finance City known as GIFT. I am fond of saying that each of these SIRs is going to become “a new Gujarat within Gujarat”. Friends! these developments are historic. These developments have the potential to give a quantum jump to the entire Indian economy and to influence the global economy. I would sincerely suggest that you should not miss this opportunity.

I must also add here that the achievements of Gujarat are all–pervasive. They are not region specific, sector specific or community specific. The State Government is playing the role of a catalyst and facilitator. I am satisfied myself that we are able to do that in the best possible manner. Gujarat has emerged as a model of Good Governance not only in the country but in the entire world. As I said earlier, almost on a weekly basis, we have been receiving national and international awards in various areas of Governance, scheme formulation and their outcome. These awards and successive support of the people to my Government are a testimony that we are in the right direction.

We are trying constantly for achieving higher and higher standards. Many of our Government offices, including my own office, are ISO certified.

Friends! we are presently celebrating the Golden Jubilee year of formation of the Gujarat State. We are working hard to make this era of Gujarat a golden era.

With this objective:

We are re-designing our systems and structures

We are re-visiting our priorities and processes

We are re-orienting our energies and aspirations

During this year, we all have taken a pledge to convert Gujarat into a globally preferred place to live in and to do business. I am confident that we will be able to do it.

Friends! we are repeating our organised efforts in the investment promotion activities also. Under the banner of Vibrant Gujarat, we have institutionalised a biennial investment event since 2003. The fifth chapter of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit is being held on 12th and 13th January, 2011. I have primarily come here to personally invite you to visit Gujarat and be our guest during this event.

This event:

Is no longer a mere investment promotion event; it has become a growth propelling event.

Is no longer just a business meet; it has become an international knowledge sharing platform.

Is no longer a State level event; it has become a Global event.

In the last event, which was held in 2009, there was participation of around forty seven countries, with heads and representatives of various countries. This was in addition to a large number of national and international delegations from varied sectors. This event, which was held in the backdrop of a global recession, surprised everyone with investment agreements of US Dollars 240 billion. However, investment flow in the State is only a small part of the objective of this event. The bigger objective is to do global networking for knowledge and technology sharing; learn the best practices and involve and encourage our people to think big and take up challenging projects. Now our intention is to further expand the scope of the event. This time, we have invited the Indian States as well as other countries to make use of this platform for business and technology tie ups and agreements for their respective locations. I once again invite you to this event with your near and dear one ones; with your desires and ambitions; projects and projections.

I always say that Good Infrastructure attracts investments; Good Governance affirms it and Good Quality of life sustains it. Gujarat is a rare combination of all this. In addition, Gujarat has a unique spirit of business. We are constantly on job to further improve this eco-system. Our existing potential and future strategy offer enormous opportunities for you. I invite you to be part of our development process which is robust and yet inclusive; fast and yet sustainable. You may have a lot to benefit from it. You may find a lot to enjoy in it.

On my part, I assure you that I will be there to help you reach where you want to reach. And will make you reach faster than you anticipate.

Thank You!

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Namaskar!

Wishing you all a very Happy 7th International Yoga Day!

Today, when the whole world is battling the corona pandemic, Yogahas remained a ray of hope. Even though no major public events have been organized in countries around the world and in India for almost two years, the enthusiasm for Yoga Day has not diminished a bit. Despite Corona, the theme of this year's Yoga Day "Yoga for Wellness" has intensified the enthusiasm for Yoga among crores of people. I pray that every country, society and individual stays healthy, and let's all come together to become each other's strength.

Friends,

Our sages had termed Yogaas "समत्वम् योग उच्यते"i.e., remaining steadfast in every situation. They had made restraint a parameter of Yoga, being resolute in happiness and sorrow. Today Yoga has proved itin this global tragedy. In these one and a half years, so many countries, including India, have faced a huge crisis.

Friends,

Yoga Day is not the age-old cultural festival for most of the countries of the world. People could easily forget and ignore it in this difficult time. But on the contrary, the enthusiasm and love for Yoga has increased among the people. In the last one and a half years, there have been lakhs of new Yoga seekers in every part of the world. Everyone is trying to implement the first synonym of Yoga, which is said to be restraint and discipline, in their life.

Friends,

When the invisible virus of Corona hit the world, no country was prepared for it, from the point of capabilities, resources, or mental toughness. We have seen that Yoga became a great medium of self-confidence in the face of adversity. Yoga helped people to muster confidence to fight this disease.

When I talk to frontline warriors and doctors, they tell me that they also made Yoga their protective shield in the fight against Corona. Doctors also made themselves strong with Yoga, and also used it to help their patients recover quickly. Today, one finds so many stories from hospitals where doctors and nurses are teaching Yoga to patients, and patients sharing their experiences. The experts of the world are also stressing the importance of breathing exercises like ‘Pranayama’ and ‘Anulom-Vilom’ for strengthening our respiratory system.

Friends,

The great Tamil saint Thiruvalluvar has said: "नोइ नाडी, नोइ मुदल नाडी, हदु तनिक्कुम, वाय नाडी वायपच्चयल" i.e., if there is a disease, diagnose it, go to its root, find out what is the cause of the disease, and then ensure its treatment. Yoga shows this way. Today medical science also lays equal emphasis on healing and Yoga is beneficial in the healing process. I am satisfied that today experts from all over the world are conducting various types of scientific research on this aspect of Yoga.

Many studies are being done on the benefits of Yoga to our body, on the positive effects it has on our immunity. Nowadays we see that in many schools, children are being taught Yoga-Pranayama for 10-15 minutes before the start of the online classes. It is also preparing the children physically to fight against Corona.

Friends,

The sages of India have taught us-

व्यायामात् लभते स्वास्थ्यम्,

दीर्घ आयुष्यम् बलम् सुखम्।

आरोग्यम् परमम् भाग्यम्,

स्वास्थ्यम् सर्वार्थ साधनम् ॥

That is, by doing Yoga, we get good health, strengthand a long happy life. For us health is the greatest fortune, and good health is the means of all success. Whenever the sages of India have spoken about health, it is not only physical health. That is whythere is so much emphasis on mental health in Yoga along with physical health. When we do ‘Pranayama’, meditate andperform other yogic activities, we experience our inner-consciousness. Through Yoga, we experience our inner strength which is so strong that no problem of the world, no negativity can shatter us. Yoga shows us the path from stress to strength and from negativity to creativity. Yoga takes us from depression to ecstasy and from ecstasy to blessing.

Friends,

Yoga tells us that so many problems might be out there, but we have infinite solutions within ourselves. We are the biggest source of energy in our universe. We do not realise this energy because of the many divisions that exist. At times, the lives of people exist in silos. These divisions reflect in the overall personality as well. The shift from silos to union is Yoga. A proven way to experience a realisation of oneness is Yoga. I am reminded of the words of the great Gurudev Tagore, who said and I quote:"the meaning of our self is not to be found in its separateness from God and others, but in the ceaseless realization of Yoga, of union."

The mantra of वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्’, which India has followed since ages, is now finding global acceptance. We all are praying for each other's wellbeing, if there are threats to humanity,Yoga often gives us a way of holistic health. Yoga also gives us a happier way of life. I am sure Yoga will continue playing its preventive, as well as positive role in healthcare of masses.

Friends,

When India proposed the International Day of Yoga in the United Nations, the spirit behind it was to make this Yoga science accessible to the entire world. Today, India has taken another important step in this direction along with the United Nations and WHO.

Now the world is going to get the power of the m-Yoga app. In this app, many videos of Yoga training will be available in different languages of the world based on the common Yogaprotocol. It is also a great example of the fusion of modern technology and ancient science. I am sure the m-Yoga app will play a big role in expanding Yoga across the globe and making the efforts of One World, One Health a success.

Friends,

It is said in the Gita:

तं विद्याद् दुःख संयोग-

वियोगं योग संज्ञितम्।

That is, Yoga is liberation from suffering. We have to carry forward this journey of humanity, which is Yoga, by taking everyone along. No matter what the place, situation, age, Yoga definitely has some solutionfor everyone. Today the number of people who are curious about Yoga is increasing very much in the world. The number of Yoga establishments in the country and abroad is also increasing. In such a situation, it is necessary that the basic philosophy of Yoga should reach every person while keeping intact its foundation and core.And this work should be done by the people associated with Yoga, the masters of Yoga andYoga preachers together. We ourselves have to take the pledge of Yoga, and we have to connect our loved ones also with this resolution. This mantra of 'Yoga to Cooperation' will show us the way to a new future and will empower humanity.

I wish you and the entire human race the very best on International Yoga Day.

Many thanks!