World This Week
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and five other Indians figure among Foreign Policy magazine's sixth annual list of “100 Leading Global Thinkers”.
Also among the honourees divided into 10 categories in the issue “recognising a year of tumult, protest, inspiration, and new beginnings” released Monday are three Indian Americans.
“Each year, our list of leading Global Thinkers spotlights those who have translated their ideas into actions, impacting millions worldwide,” said David Rothkopf, editor and CEO of The FP Group.
Modi is listed among the “Decision Makers” “for enthralling the world's most populous democracy”, while Shah gets the honour “for engineering Modi's landslide”.
Other “Decision Makers” include Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Mexico's Secretary of Finance, Luis Videgaray.
“In a year when Russia annexed Crimea, and the Islamic State redefined the very nature of terrorism, a group of Indian scientists and engineers also showed the world how to send a spacecraft to Mars on a budget,” the magazine noted.
Aerospace engineer Mylswamy Annadurai, leading Indian Space Research Organisation's Mars Orbiter Mission team, is listed among the Innovators “for putting India into orbit on the cheap” and showing “that cosmic achievements don't have to break the bank”.
Listed among the Chroniclers or “the masters of storytelling”, is Shubhranshu Choudhary, founder of CGNet “for giving rural Indians a megaphone”.
Choudhary, who left his job as a BBC producer in 2010 to launch the mobile news service CGNet Swara “beat out leaker Edward Snowden for the Google Digital Activism Award”, the magazine noted.
“Journalism needs to become everybody's business,” he was quoted as saying when receiving the award.
Modi woes Fiji ahead of Xinping’s visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Fiji on November 19 night for a day-long visit, the first by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in 33 years, during which he will hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Frank Bainimarama. India and Fiji signed three agreements even as PM Narendra Modi announced visa on arrival for Fiji people.
Out of the 849,000 population in Fiji, 37 per cent people are of Indian-origin.The last Indian Prime Minister to visit the Pacific island nation was Indira Gandhi in 1981.
Addressing Fijian parliament, PM Modi called Fiji a leader in the region and highlighted the need to make make travel easier between the two countries.
PM Narendra Modi also announced a $5 million fund to promote small business and village enterprises in Fiji, after his talks with Fijian counterpart Frank Bainimarama.
“I regard Fiji as an important partner for India. We have deep and enduring ties of history and culture. Fiji is an influential voice in the Pacific Region and the developing world, and our partner in multilateral institutions,” PM Modi said after his meeting with Frank Bainimarama.
Calling for a stronger cooperation between the two countries, Modi said, “Our bilateral relations and international partnership has been strong. But, we are also aware that the relationship has at times been adrift; and that our cooperation should be much stronger than it is. So, I see this visit as an opportunity to renew an old relationship and lay the foundation for a strong partnership in the future.”
Relief for H-1B Visa Holders
Presenting a powerful moral argument that America is and will always be a nation of immigrants, US President Barack Obama announced on November 20 that he would exercise his executive prerogative to protect nearly four million undocumented immigrants from deportation while streamlining procedures to retain in the US skilled foreign tech students and workers, many of whom are from China and India.
In a 15-minute prime time address to the nation, Obama invoked some of the most fundamental ideals of the United States to make his case, reminding those who opposed immigration that, “We were strangers once, too.”
While the President's executive orders will largely pertain to an estimated 4.1 million undocumented parents of US-born children (and therefore citizens) and about 300,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the US illegally as children, he also announced broad procedural changes that will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to the American economy in a transparent effort to maintain US edge over other nations.