Dare not I call the mighty, to be US president a donkey or an elephant. But yes the fight is definitely between the Donkey and the Elephant. The 57th quadrennial United States Presidential election which is going to be held on November 6, 2012 will witness the contest between Republican Nominee Mitt Romney and incumbent Democratic President Barrack Obama. The voters will be voting either for Donkey, the symbol for Democratic party or Elephant, the symbol of the Republicans.
Winning in Texas recently by 69% of vote, Businessman and Former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney clinched his Republican Party White House nomination which he had lost to John McCain in 2008 elections. Texas happens to be the second most populous state of US. His competitors from the Republicans were Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.
Deh-han-min-ghuk is how Koreans love to call their country The Republic of Korea. With a long historical and cultural connection threaded between India and Republic of Korea, it is not a surprise for me to see the welcoming progress being made by them in building partnership and promoting trade.
The bilateral Trade between South Korea and India have grown multifold in these two years of our trade relation. On 1st January 2010, India and Republic of Korea entered into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement(CEPA).The trade crossed US$20 billion in 2011. Now in 2012 the Bilateral trade between the two countries have increased by about 70%. The working of CEPA is reviewed and updated as an when required by a joint committee which was instituted at the level of Commerce/Trade Ministers. The first meeting of this joint committee took place in Delhi on 20 January 2011 and the Second is scheduled to be held in Seoul later this year.
(Inset: Indian Prime minister Manmohan Singh with Chinese Premier Wen Jibao.)
For those who need an introduction to Stapled Visa, it is a Visa which is issued by the visiting country on a separate paper rather than on your passport. Often Immigration officers won’t stamp your passport if you are carrying a stapled visa. And that is what happened Jan 2011 when Abraham K Techi, Joint secretary of Indian Weightlifting Federation and another weightlifter from his state Arunachal Pradesh were not allowed by immigration officials at New Delhi’s IGI Airport because of the stapled visas issued to them by the Chinese embassy.
This is not the first instance. In 2007, China had denied visa to IAS officer Ganesh Koyu who hailed from Arunachal Pradesh. He was a member of 107 strong IAS officers team on a management programme to China. This programme which was a study visit to Beijing and Shanghai to learn more about Chinese economic growth and policies was cancelled at the intervention of the Prime Minister because of Beijing’s refusal to grant visa to koyu.
It was seven years back that I started using the above lines each time I started a conversation with one of my best friends from Brazil. Though in India you can find Students of Russia, Korea, US, Canada, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and many other countries, you would rarely find a Brazilian student. May be there numbers in India are too negligible. During my college life I came across lot of foreign students and even learnt quite a bit of their language, even turned certified in Korean but now out of college what I am going to miss is to say “Ola’ Como Vai?” in my campus.
“Ola’ Como Vai?” in Portuguese mean “Hello! How are you?”. Even one can us “E ai’” which would mean “whats up”.
Back in 2007, the nomination of Pratibha Devisingh patil as presidential candidate by UPA had come to me as a surprise. Unlike previous presidents, I hardly had heard her name, leave apart her contribution towards any major field of national interest.
With such comparatively less Personal Creditibility she Succeded the Missile man of India(kalam) and defeted a veteran(Bhairon singh shekhawat)to become the president of India only because of the fact that UPA which had a majority that time neither wanted Kalam for a second term nor they could find any high profile deserving candidate among them. And Ofcourse they couldn’t have voted for their opposition’s candidate.
Next month as she completes her 5 year term I look back only to find her name being highlighted for all wrong reasons. Her Retirement home on military land reserved for war widows to Lavisious and Quantitave Foreign trips with her large family members have all been a joke to the taxpayers hard earned money.
RTI records show President’s travel expenses to be Rs 205 Crores. Out of this Air India spent Rs 169cr on her visit and over Rs 36Cr were spent on her accomodation and ‘miscellaneous’ expenses. She has been accompanied by at least Three to as many as 11 family members in 14 domestic trips and four foreign trips in space of a year. And till now President patil has undertaken 12 foreign trips, covering 22 countries across 4 continents spending 79 days abroad. Her present trip to Seychelles and South Africa is her 13th.(Above image shows president with her grand daughters in south africa)
As the office of the President of India is preparing to bid adieu to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the political race for the new president has started. Along with vice president Hamid Ansari, several other prominent names including Former president APJ Abdul kalam and veteran congress leader and present Finance Minister of India Pranab Mukharjee are being popped up by different parties. Recently Former Lok sabha speaker P A Sangma jumped into the fray raising the issue of president from a tribal community.
The name of Former president Abdul kalam whose second term was opposed by majority UPA in july 2007, was proposed this year by Samajwadi party chief Mulayam singh yadav. While no one can question on the integrity of Dr. Kalam, his support from other major parties like TMC and DMK are missing.
P A Sangma has already lost his creditability by suggesting his own name for the post. His argument of a Tribal President this year is improper. The post of the president is not a child’s play and cannot be reserved for a certain class. NCP leaders are also against the call by sangma.