"Does Congress ruled Delhi Sultanate not consider Gujarat to be a part of India?"
"Instead of accepting the contribution of Gujarat in the development of India, why is the Centre treating Gujarat like an enemy?"
"Gujarat Ministers question the misinformation spread by Congress on the development of Gujarat "
"Does Delhi Sultanate of UPA not consider Gujarat to be a part of India?"
"Instead of accepting the contribution of Gujarat in the development of India, why is UPA treating Gujarat like an enemy state? "
"After keeping the nation under darkness for 60 years, Congress has no right to speak about education "
"After giving the slogan of Garibi Hatao to winning power, Congress is getting impatient over giving a food security bill! Such a party has no right to speak about the poor "
"Lakhs of tonnes of grains are rotting in FCI godowns. Despite orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court to give the grains to the poor, the Centre gave the grains to alcohol manufacturers. Such a party has no right to speak about mid-day meals "
"Just recently Gujarat won the Prime Minister’s Award for its initiatives in Skill Development. It has won several national and international awards as well. Silence of Shri Ajay Maken and the Congress on this is an attempt to mislead the nation"


  • Congress spokespersons are making a determined effort to paint an incorrect and negative picture of Gujarat’s development journey. Such was the mess created by 45 years of Congress rule in Gujarat that it took a long time for the BJP government to fill the ditches. Rather than accepting their own mistakes and misgovernance in Gujarat, the Congress spokespersons are blaming the BJP government, under whom unprecedented development has taken place in Gujarat during the last decade.
  • Due to hardwork and efforts of the Gujarat Government in the last 12 years,  school enrollment in Gujarat stands at a commendable 99.25%. At the same time, dropout rate for Class VII has dropped from 37% to 7% and for Class V the dropout rate is only 2%.
  • Due to the Kanya Kelavani drive of the state government female literacy in Gujarat stood at 71% in 2011 as opposed to 58% in 2001. This is an improvement of 13%. During the same period, female literacy rate in India has risen from 54% to 65%.
  • According to Shri Ajay Maken, the number of universities in the nation under the UPA have increased from 17 to 44 but in the last ten years the number of universities in Gujarat have increased from 11 to 42.
  • Gujarat has made immense strides in tourism. What did not happen during 45 years of Congress rule in Gujarat has happened in the last ten years.
  • Due to the importance given to the tourism sector Gujarat has drawn tourists from all over the world.
  • Before stating facts about Gujarat’s progress on tourism, Mr. Maken should have asked his own Government’s departments. As recently as February 2013, the tourism ministry of the Government of India gave as many as 3 awards to Gujarat in tourism. This includes awards for best marketing, usage of technology to promote tourism. Prior to that, PATA has also awarded Gujarat tourism for their campaign to promote tourism.
  • The statistics shared by Mr. Maken are absolutely incorrect and misleading. As per a report of the Government of India dated March 2013, the number of working days for mid day meals in Gujarat stand around 94-95%. In the same way, in terms of utilization of food grains in Gujarat stands at 87% whereas the national average is 84%. In primary schools, as far as cooking gas facilities, drinking water and technology utilization is concerned the national average is 91% whereas Gujarat’s average is 96%. Before speaking about Gujarat, Mr. Maken should have checked with the report of his own government’s ministry of human resource development.
  • Gujarat have given great importance to sports in the last decade. In the SGFI games, in 1996-1997 Gujarat won 25 medals and in 1998-1999 26 medals. In contrast, due to efforts such as Khel Mahakumbh, Gujarat has won 154 medals in 2011-12 and 139 medals in 2012-2013.
  • A team of women athletes who won in the Khel  Mahakumbh hail from Sarakhdi village in Junagadh. Due to extensive coaching from the Centre of Excellence, they became the national champions. Similarly the Gujarat Volleyball team has won Bronze Medal at the national level.
  • Gujarat is a champion in skating, volleyball and Yoga. Gujarat is a champion in Yoga at the international level.
  • Gujarat has also established a Swarnim Gujarat Sports University which will provide a platform for coaching and training of the sportsmen, the results of which will become evident in the coming years.
  • Here are some of Gujarat’s sportspersons who have won laurels at the national and international level
  • In the individual games, Gujarat has champion players at the national level in Swimming, Shooting, Tennis, Table Tennis, Athletics and Billiards.
  • The Khel Mahakumbh initiated during the Swarnim Jayanti celebrations have instilled an atmosphere of sports in the entire state. In the first year 2010 there were 13.5 lakh participants, in 2011 there were 15 lakh participants and in 2012 there were 17.62 lakh participants.
  • Additionally special Centres of Excellence have been started for Archery, Kabaddi and Volleyball. Due to coaching being made available in the tribal areas of Gujarat, sportsmen like Dinesh Bhil have become national champions.
  • For the game of chess, Gujarat has arranged for extensive computerised coaching in 8000 schools. Even today Gujarat holds the Guinness World Record for maximum participants in a game of chess at one place, which is 20017 participants. Similarly, Gujarat holds the Limca Record for the Vivekanandwomens chess event where 34000 women participated.
  • Gujarat also holds a special Khel Mahakumbh for the specially abled. In 2011, 58000 and in 2012, 98000 specially abled sportsmen participated in it, which is also a world record. Recently, a specially abled sportsperson from Gujarat, Maya Devipujak won at the World Level in Hockey.
  • Neel Contactor- Winner at the National Junior level in 50, 100 metres free style and back stroke. He also represented India at the Asian Youth Championship.
  • Anshul Kothari- National Gold Medal winner in 50 metres free style and back stroke
  • Maana Patel- This 13 year old girl in the Junior Category has broken   the national record of 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke in the senior category.
  • Rahul Choksi- Winner of National Gold Medal in 200m and 400m butterfly.
  • Shooting- Gujarat’s LajjaGoswami has won the Silver Medal at the recently organised ISSP World Championship and made India proud.
  • Tennis- AnkitaRainais currently India’s no 1 player and is a member of the Indian team.
  • Table Tennis-Harmit Desai is a member of India’s national table tennisand a source of pride for Gujarat.
  • Athletics- Babubhai Panecha is the national champion in the 20kms walk.
  • Triathlon- Puja Choksi represents India in triathlon.
  • Billiards- Rupesh Shah is the current world champion in Billiards.

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Trade and beyond: a new impetus to the EU-India Partnership

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Trade and beyond: a new impetus to the EU-India Partnership

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May 08, 2021

At the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting today.

The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders of all the 27 EU Member States as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format. The meeting was the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.

The leaders welcomed the decision to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements. Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both agreements together. This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and the EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience, demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify economic engagement.

India and the EU launched an ambitious and comprehensive ‘Connectivity Partnership’ which is focused on enhancing digital, energy, transport and people-to-people connectivity. The Partnership is based on the shared principles of social, economic, fiscal, climate and environmental sustainability, and respect for international law and commitments. The Partnership will catalyse private and public financing for connectivity projects. It will also foster new synergies for supporting connectivity initiatives in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific.

India and the EU leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to strengthen joint efforts for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as providing means of implementation including finance in the context of COP26. India welcomed the EU’s decision to join CDRI.

India and the EU also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on digital and emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Quantum and High-Performance Computing including through the early operationalization of the Joint Task Force on AI and the Digital Investment Forum.

The leaders noted with satisfaction the growing convergences on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity and maritime cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and agreed to closely engage in the region, including in the context of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative and the EU’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific.

Coinciding with the Leaders’ Meeting, an India-EU Business Roundtable was organised to highlight the avenues for cooperation in climate, digital and healthcare. A finance contract of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail Project was signed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and European Investment Bank.

India-EU Leaders Meeting has set a significant milestone by providing a new direction to the Strategic Partnership and giving a fresh impetus for implementing the ambitious India-EU Roadmap 2025 adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020.