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Last year Prime Minister NarendraModi paid a successful visit to Japan. He visited a number of cities including Kyoto that is regarded as the cultural capital of Japan. Extensive discussions and meetings were held with experts to revive & develop India’s cultural capital of Kashi (present day Varanasi) just like Kyoto –where ancient history and culture go hand in hand with modernisation. The ‘Kashi-Kyoto’ pact was signed between India and Japan for developing the Kashi as the sister city of Kyoto.

 

As soon as the deal was inked, flow of teams began from Varanasi to Kyoto and from Kyoto to Kashi to get ideas on how culture could be preserved along with modernisation. Talks were held at the Kyoto University to gain insights on environment and solid waste management. Focus was on geographical location, citizen services and development. Wide-ranging discussions were held regarding proper disposal of garbage, sewage management, supply of clean drinking water and river basin management.

A Japanese technology team recently paid a visit to Kashi for studying and analysing the developmental prospects in the region. The experts noted that innovative research to modernise Kyoto could also be used in the developmental process of Kashi, the ancient city which is thickly populated and dependent on the River Ganga. The team also encouraged a detailed plan to be made to for developing the region.

The heritage zones in Kashi would be the first to receive a makeover with assistance from Kyoto. Discussions have been held regarding places like Sarnath, which is a Buddhist Circuit to give a boost to tourism in the area.

The ‘Kashi-Kyoto’ pact aimed at strengthening the partnership and expansion of the technological know-how between the cities, preserving rich heritage and culture along with modernisation will go a long way in providing a fresh perspective in improving our cities.

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State Visit of Prime Minister to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa (July 23-27, 2018)
July 23, 2018
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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, will pay a State Visit to Republic of Rwanda (23-24 July), Republic of Uganda (24-25 July) and Republic of South Africa (25-27 July). This will be the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Rwanda and the first visit by our Prime Minister to Uganda in over 20 years. The visit to South Africa is in the context of BRICS Summit.

Prime Minister’s official engagement in Rwanda and Uganda include bilateral meetings with the Presidents, delegation level talks and meetings with the business and the Indian communities. In Rwanda, Prime Minister will visit the Genocide Memorial and participate in an event on "Girinka” (one cow per family), a national social protection scheme of Rwanda personally initiated by President Paul Kagame. In Uganda, Prime Minister will deliver a Keynote address at the Parliament of Uganda – the first Indian Prime Minister to address the Ugandan Parliament.

In South Africa, the Prime Minister will have bilateral meeting with the South African President and will attend the BRICS Summit and other BRICS related meetings. Bilateral meetings with participating countries on the sidelines of BRICS meetings are also planned.

India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Africa which are cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian Diaspora. A number of agreements and MoUs in the areas of Defence, trade, culture, Agriculture and Dairy cooperation are scheduled to be signed during the visit.

Over the last few years, there has been a significant intensification of our engagement in various fields with African countries and there have been as many as 23 outgoing visits to Africa at the level of President, Vice President and Prime Minister in the last four years. Africa has been the top priority of India’s Foreign Policy. The visit of Prime Minister to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa will further strengthen our relations with the African continent.