Page 1



India in Fiji - 2017



Tamil Nadu

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji



• INTRODUCTION.....................................................Page 3

Indian Flagship Programmes • MAKE IN INDIA ...................................................Page 6 • WOMEN EMPOWERMENT - UJJWALA............Page 8 • e-GOVERNANCE ..................................................Page 11 • REACHING FOR THE STARS..............................Page 15

States in Focus • MAGNETIC MAHARASHTRA............................Page 17 • MANIPUR - JEWEL OF INDIA..............................Page 22 • PUNJAB - INDIA BEGINS HERE...........................Page 26 • ENCHANTING TAMIL NADU...............................Page 30

India in Fiji • NAMASTE PACIFIKA : A FESTIVAL OF INDIA................................................................................Page 35 • BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP.................................Page 38 • INDIA IN THE PACIFIC..........................................Page 41 • INDIA: A COMMITTED DEVELOPMENT PARTNER...................................................................Page 43 • INDIAN PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKINGS IN FIJI.........................................................................Page 47


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

INTRODUCTION It has already been one year since we inaugurated this annual magazine ‘Transcend’ last year. It is heartening to note that the inaugural edition received overwhelming response from all quarters. This appreciation not only boosts our morale but also calls for a yet another comprehensive edition this year encapsulating the overall gamut of our bilateral relationship as well as providing a round-up of events and activities on both sides of the spectrum - in India as well as in Fiji and in the larger region. Like last year, we also present a supplement on four Indian States to our readers in this issue.


This was an eventful year and a historical one in many ways for both India and Fiji. India completed 70 years of freedom on 15 August 2017. The Government of India has been celebrating the ensuing year as India@70. India is today a mature nation with a vibrant democracy, an independent judiciary and free press. Freedom for India came after a long and arduous struggle on the basis of Gandhian values. India has established itself as a nation with strong democratic credentials where there is equal place for all sections of its society.

and Vanuatu.


“This was an eventful year and a historical one in many ways for both India and Fiji. India completed 70 years of freedom on 15 August 2017. The Government of India has been celebrating the ensuing year as India@70.”

To mark India@70, the High Commission of India in Suva illuminated its office in Suva - the LICI Building - with the colours of Indian flag on 15 August 2017 and launched year-long celebrations to mark this important milestone in our country’s history, so that the hues of Indian tricolor last in the Fijian skies even after the lights go out. A six-month long cultural bonanza was launched by this High Commission as ‘Namaste Pacifika- A Festival of India’. The mega cultural fest is being held in Fiji as well as in six other Pacific Island Countries (PICs) of this High Commission’s concurrent jurisdiction, namely Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu

This historical Festival envisages mobilizing over 125 artistes from 12 renowned groups from all over India to present a bouquet of cultural presentations showcasing the varied and vibrant Indian culture to the Pacific audiences. It is a ‘first-of-itskind’ Festival at such a grand scale in the history of Indian presence in this region! The Festival was inaugurated by His Excellency Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote, the President of the Republic of Fiji on 28 October 2017

at Novotel, Lami, Suva in a colourful inauguration ceremony which saw soulful performance by worldrenowned Sufi/Bollywood singers, Sabri Brothers from India. A Food Festival of India was also organized at the iconic Grand Pacific Hotel by two Master Chefs from a leading five-star Hotel in India – The Ashok.


On the other hand, Fiji enjoyed its own share of pride and privilege in 2017. Having conquered the world in Rugby Sevens in 2016, Fiji shined on a different international platform this year – Fiji successfully co-hosted the Oceans Conference alongside Sweden in New York in June 2017 and took over the baton as the President of the 23rd Annual Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), more popularly known as COP23. Fiji conducted a tremendously successful COP23 in Bonn (Germany) in November 2017 with such ease and provided its able stewardship to this complex, mega event of historical proportions as a mature, dynamic and responsible leader of a world united against the challenge of Climate Change. Even in the events leading up to COP23, Fiji worked as a responsible

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


leader working with consensus on contentious issues and presenting a formidable case on behalf of the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and indeed on behalf of the entire humanity so that we could leave a better world to our future generations. Fiji demonstrated to the world the true sense of “Talanoa” – a word used in Fiji and indeed in the Pacific to define a process of sharing stories, ideas and working through consensus to arrive at wise decisions. India worked with Fiji all along in this process. India contributed US$ 1 million to Fiji’s COP-23 Presidency Trust Fund and our technical teams on both sides collaborated on diverse issues in the field of Climate Change.

“Having conquered the world in Rugby Sevens in 2016, Fiji shined on a different international platform this year – Fiji successfully co-hosted Oceans Conference alongside Sweden in New York in June 2017 and took over the baton as the President of the COP23.” The visit of Honourable Prime Minister of India His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi to Fiji in November 2014 was a watershed moment not only for India-Fiji relations but also for India’s relationship with all the 14 Pacific Island Countries as the first Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) was held in Suva during that visit. The Second meeting of the Forum took place in August 2015 in Jaipur (India) which was attended by Fijian Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama. Honourable PM Bainimarama also visited India in May 2016 and held cordial discussions with Prime Minister of India.


As a prelude to COP23 and building upon the successes achieved during the two FIPIC Summits, India organized the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference (IPISDC) in Suva on 25-26 May 2017 which was hosted by Minister of State for External Affairs, General (Dr.) Vijay Kumar Singh (Retired). The Conference saw high-level participation from all the 14 PICs countries and delegations from Government of India environmental agencies and research organizations. Details on the Conference is available in this issue.

INDIA AS A COMMITTED DEVELOPMENT PARTNER The year also saw India walking the talk and delivering on 4

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

the promises and commitments made during the above Conferences. We present here in the magazine a dedicated article on India’s role as a committed development partner of Fiji and the Pacific region.


India continued its support to the Fijian SME sector through its grant of US$ 2.2mn which was disbursed during the year. The Memorandum of Agreement for disbursing the balance grant of US$ 2.8mn is to be signed soon making the total amount of the grant US$5mn as committed by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi during his visit to Fiji in November 2014.


In 2016, India had gifted five tons of vegetable seeds worth US$ 1.2mn to the Fijian Ministry of Agriculture. These seeds of friendship between India and Fiji blossomed and bore fruits in 2017. Fijian farmers vouched for the high quality of these seeds as they reaped bumper crops of vegetables.


Staying on the subject of agriculture, India also stepped in to assist the sugar industry in Fiji by supporting the Government’s plan for revival of this sector. India gifted US$ 1.06mn as Government of India’s assistance towards Fijian Government’s strategic plan to revitalize the sugar industry in Fiji and specifically for procurement of agricultural equipment and vehicles to service cane growers’ needs in harvesting, haulage, planting and cultivation. The equipment to be procured from this funding includes five Tata lorries, five Mahindra tractors, Mechanical Cane Planters, and other agricultural implements.


We are working with our partners in the region on projects aimed at Climate Change adaptation and fostering sustainable development. As a big impetus to this effort India gifted US$1.1mn for solar efficient lighting for the urban District of South Tarawa of Kiribati in December 2017. The purpose of the project is to furnish South Tarawa households with solar lights to replace the use of kerosene lamps and to assist in improving energy efficiency in domestic residences. The project will help Kiribati save millions of dollars in energy savings by switching to solar powered lighting. The project will help reduce these communities’ dependence on kerosene lanterns and will also promote opportunities for school children by providing access to electricity to study at night.


India has undertaken the project of ‘Solar Electrification of 2800 houses in all the 14 Pacific Island Countries at the

cost of US$ 1.5mn. Refresher training for 43 ‘Solar Mamas’ from seven Pacific Island Countries has been completed successfully in Fiji in September 2016. Total 70 Solar Mamas from all 14 Pacific Island Countries finished their training till September 2017. This is a unique project, which not only fights climate change and helps harnessing solar energy, but also focuses on women empowerment.


India-funded construction of Seawall at the Anetan District of Nauru was completed during the year 2017. The Seawall will protect the communities in this district from adverse effects of sea-level rise and coastal erosion. Details of this and other development partnership projects are given in following pages.


One of the major initiatives of Government of India to help communities in the Pacific Island Countries fight Climate Change was taken during the year in the form of ‘Climate Early Warning Systems’ in seven Pacific Countries which was announced on 1 September 2017 under the India-UN Development Partnership Fund. India is committed to provide US$100 million to the Fund in next 10 years. In 2017, US$5mn have been provided. More details are given in this issue.


This Introduction to Transcend would not be complete without a few words on India’s contribution towards the Health Sector in Fiji and in all the other PICs of this High Commission’s jurisdiction. We have been holding health awareness campaigns during the year with Indian doctors providing free health screening. India is today a preferred destination for medical tourism. We have also promoted Yoga as an effective tool to fight Non-Communicable Diseases. The Third International Day of Yoga was celebrated in Fiji and in other PICs with great zeal and enthusiasm in June 2017 with participation of over 4000 persons in the main celebrations at Albert Park, Suva including 3000 school-children. The High Commission has also appointed a highly qualified India-based Yoga Teacher in the Indian Cultural Centre this year. There are tailormade programmes on Yoga for treating various diseases. I encourage the readers to contact the High Commission and join this movement towards healthier lifestyle.


In terms of Capacity Building and Human Resource Development, Government of India-funded training and scholarship programmes continued to work effectively

during the year with participants from all seven PICs participating in these programmes. Details of these programmes are given in the following pages.

One of the major milestones achieved during the year 2017 in the field of sustainable development and renewable energy was the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) coming into force in September 2017. Six countries of the jurisdiction of this High Commission – Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu became the signatories of this International Alliance which is the joint initiative of the Governments of France and India. Fiji, Nauru and Tuvalu became the Founder Members of the ISA by ratifying the ISA Framework Agreement. We look forward to a successful ISA Founding Conference and Solar Summit scheduled to be held in March 2018 in India.


Lest we forget, just like our last edition, we are also showcasing a set of four Indian States this time – Maharashtra, Punjab, Manipur and Tamil Nadu –for your consideration as a destination for tourism, trade and investment with opportunities in each field on display.


I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to acknowledge the wholehearted support to all our activities by the Government of Fiji as well as all the Governments of the six other Pacific Island Countries of the jurisdiction of this High Commission. I also thank the entire team of the High Commission for their tireless efforts and cooperation to make the above-mentioned projects a reality. I also acknowledge the support of the Office of India Tourism, Sydney who have provided high quality content and images on tourism in India for this publication. So, as we look up to 2018 being the year of further consolidation and strengthening of our partnerships in Fiji and beyond, I present this second edition of ‘Transcend’ with great pleasure, honour and perhaps with a touch of pride and look forward to receive your valuable feedback so that we can do better next year. I would like to conclude by extending Season’s Greetings to our readers.

(Vishvas Sapkal) High Commissioner of India to Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji



Transforming India’s Manufacturing Industry


he Make in India initiative was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi in September 2014 as part of a wider set of nation-building initiatives. Devised to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub, Make in India was a timely response to a critical situation: by 2013, the much-hyped emerging markets bubble had burst, and India’s growth rate had fallen to its lowest level in a decade. The promise of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) had faded, and India was tagged as one of the so-called ‘Fragile Five’. Global investors debated whether the world’s largest democracy was a risk or an opportunity. India’s 1.2 billion citizens questioned whether India was too big to succeed or too big to fail. India was on the brink of severe economic failure.

shift from issuing authority to business partner, in keeping with Prime Minister’s tenet of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’.



Make in India was launched by Prime Minister Modi against the backdrop of this crisis, and quickly became a rallying cry for India’s innumerable stakeholders and partners. It was a powerful, galvanising call to action to India’s citizens and business leaders, and an invitation to potential partners and investors around the world. But, Make in India is much more than an inspiring slogan. It represents a comprehensive and unprecedented overhaul of out-dated processes and policies. Most importantly, it represents a complete change of the Government’s mindset – a 6

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

“By saying Make in India, we are not only inviting companies for cost - effective manufacturing, but also giving them an opportunity of a large market for their products.” Narendra Modi Hon’ble Prime Minister of India

To start a movement, you need a strategy that inspires, empowers and enables in equal measure. Make in India needed a different kind of campaign: instead of the typical statistics-laden newspaper advertisements, this exercise required messaging that was informative, well-packaged and most importantly, credible. It had to (a) inspire confidence in India’s capabilities amongst potential partners abroad, the Indian business community and citizens at large; (b) provide a framework for a vast amount of technical information on 25 industry sectors; and (c) reach out to

a vast local and global audience via social media and constantly keep them updated about opportunities, reforms, etc. The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) worked with a group of highly specialised agencies to build brand new infrastructure, including a dedicated help desk and a mobile-first website that packed a wide array of information into a simple, sleek menu. Designed primarily for mobile screens, the site’s architecture ensured that exhaustive levels of details are neatly tucked away so as not to overwhelm the user. 25 sector brochures were also developed: Contents included key facts and figures, policies and initiatives and sector-specific contact details, all of which were made available in print and on site.













In a short space of time, the obsolete and obstructive frameworks of the past have been dismantled and replaced with a transparent

and user-friendly system that is helping drive investment, foster innovation, develop skills, protect Intellectual Property (IP) and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure. The most striking indicator of progress is the unprecedented opening up of key sectors – including Railways, Defence, Insurance and Medical Devices – to dramatically higher levels of Foreign Direct Investment. The Indian embassies and consulates have also been communicated to disseminate information on the potential for investment in the identified sectors. DIPP has set up a special management team to facilitate and fast track investment proposals from Japan, the team known as ‘Japan Plus’ has been operationalized w.e.f October 2014. Similarly ‘Korea Plus’, launched in June 2016, facilitates fast track investment proposals from South Korea and offers holistic support to Korean companies wishing to enter the Indian market. Various sectors have been opened up for investments like Defence, Railways, Space, etc. Also, the regulatory policies have been relaxed to facilitate investments and ease of doing business. Six industrial corridors are being developed across various regions of the country. Industrial Cities will also come up along these corridors.

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Today, India’s credibility is stronger than ever. There is visible momentum, energy and optimism. Make in India is opening investment doors. Multiple enterprises are adopting its mantra. The world’s largest democracy is well on its way to becoming the world’s most powerful economy.

In the last three financial years (2014-15 to 2016-17), 58 contracts were signed with foreign vendors for procurement of defence capital equipment for Defence Forces.

Make in India in Defence Sector ‘Make in India’ in defence sector, which is primarily driven by capital acquisition of defence equipment and other policy measures, has been introduced in all major areas of defence such as combat vehicles, combat aircrafts, warships, weapons, ammunitions, missiles, radars, electronic warfare systems etc. Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), the Research wing of Ministry of Defence has been set up with a mandate of developing cutting edge technologies and systems for Indian Armed Forces as per their specific Qualitative Requirements.


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

Annual increase in Defence Exports




ndia is home to more than 240 million households out of which about 100 million households are still deprived of LPG as cooking fuel. The smoke from burning wood, coal, kerosene etc. causes alarming household pollution and adversely affects the health of Women & children causing several respiratory diseases/ disorders. As per a WHO report, smoke inhaled by women from unclean fuel is equivalent to burning 400 cigarettes in an hour. In addition, women and children have to go through

the drudgery of collecting firewood. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi on 1 May

II The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi interacting with the beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, in Balia 1 May 2016. 2016 in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. Under this scheme, 50 million LPG connections were envisaged to be provided free of cost to women from poorest families. Ensuring women’s empowerment, especially in rural India, the connections will be issued in the name of women of the households. Rs. 8 billion (eq. US$123mn) has been allocated towards the implementation of the scheme. Hon’ble Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley has expanded the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (Ujjwala scheme) to include 80 million poor families who will be given free cooking gas connections. Over 30 million households have got access to cooking gas connections under the Scheme. The scheme allows the government to provide cooking gas connections to poor women along with financial assistance over a period of three years. Eligible families are identified through the SocioEconomic Census 2011 data. PMUY will result in an additional employment of around 100,000 and provide business opportunity of at least Rs. 100 billion (eq. US$ 1.54bn approx) over the next 3 Years to the Indian Industry. The scheme has also provided a great boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign as all the manufacturers of cylinders, gas stoves, regulators, and gas hose are domestic. The three fuel retailers—Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL)—are investing Rs. 300 billion (eq. US$ 5bn approx) to set up LPG infrastructure. This will include setting up of terminals to import LPG, laying pipelines, and building LPG bottling plants. Thanks to the revolutionary scheme, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, “nearly 80% of the Indian” households now have access to LPG gas and switched from traditional cooking fuels to this clean fuel. Only last year this figure was 56%. Between April 2015 and December 2017 the oil firms in the country added as 70 million new customers. This is expansion of their customer base by 50%. TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


II The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi interacting with the beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, in New Delhi on February 13, 2018.


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji



‘The Indian paradigm for citizen friendly governance’

uilding trust between governments and citizens is fundamental to good governance. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been recognized as an essential tool for achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by United Nations for the welfare of mankind. It is globally recognized that ICT promotes good governance. ICT can help build trust by enabling citizen engagement in the policy process, promoting open and accountable governance. Through e-governance, government services can be made available to citizens in a convenient, efficient and transparent manner. ICT can help in improving efficiency in mass processing tasks and public administration operations.

Digital India Program

‘Digital India’ initiative, announced as flagship program in 2015 by Govt. aims to transform India into a digital economy with participation from citizens, businesses and promises to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy with high intellectual capital. Among the nine pillars of ‘Digital India’, the government has inter-alia stressed upon to: 1. Create Broadband Highways; 2. E-Governance – Reforming government through Technology; 3. eKranti – Electronic delivery of services. Broadly Digital India initiative aims to help in achieving the vision of : 1. Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen 2. Governance & Services on Demand 3. Digital Empowerment of Citizens

The government has taken numerous initiatives on citizen friendly e-governance in recent years. Some of the initiatives can be termed as unique to our country since there is huge diversity in cultural, language and traits.

India’s Digital Identity Infrastructure

The government has initiated an ambitious e-governance project Unique Identification (UID) project by an organisation, The Unique Identification Authority of India. The UID aims to provide a real-time service for verifying the identity of any Indian resident through biometrics and demographic information by name called ‘Aadhaar’. The government has initiated delivery of services and several welfare schemes which have been intended to uplift and benefit the bottom line of citizens in society. Further, governments have been successful in linking Aadhaar number with several welfare scheme like LPG subsidy, scholarship to the students, pension and Public Distribution System (PDS) etc to pass the benefits to the authorised persons only.

Unified Payments Interface

Unified platforms and applications have been developed to promote and facilitate digital financial transactions by every stratum of citizens. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is one such system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. Introduction of Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app has enabled the masses to make digital financial transactions simpler, easier and quicker. Aadhaar number linked with mobile number makes the application an unique one.

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


India’s Payment Infrastructure Unified Mobile Application for New Age Governance (UMANG) application launched by the government provide a vast unified platform to citizens to access more than 200 e-Governance services from the Centre, States and even from local bodies and other private agencies on their mobile phone. UMANG services have been made available to the citizens in multiple channels like mobile app, web, IVR and SMS which can be accessed through

deployment is a key to Digital inclusion of citizens of the country. There has been direct correlation between penetration of broadband and GDP of the country. Recognising this fact, the government’s vision document, the National Telecom Policy 2012 (NTP-2012) envisages transforming the country into an empowered and inclusive knowledge-based society using telecommunications as a platform. One of the objectives of NTP2012 has been to enable citizens to participate in and contribute to e-governance in key sectors like health, education, skill

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi awarding the women working on digtial inclusion in rural areas smart phones, features phones, computers and tablets. UMANG also utilises Aadhaar based authentication mechanism. Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has been introduced by the government aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement. It provides the tools of e-bidding, reverse e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate the government users achieve the best value for their money. Role of telecom sector in implementation and sustenance of e-Governance a) Initiatives of the Government of India (GoI) Provision of Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund: The Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) has been envisioned since NTP-1999 to provide a balance between the provisions of Universal Service to all uncovered areas, including the rural areas. USOF so far has been able to help in deployment and strengthening of telecom infrastructure in rural,under-covered and inaccessible zones in the country. National Broadband Policy-2004: In order to provide ubiquitous e-Governance access to all citizens, availability of high speed, affordable Broadband as underlying telecom infrastructure is essentially important. In this dimension National Broadband Policy-2004 can be treated as first step on telecom infrastructure in reflecting the vision of the government to implement e-Governance. National Telecom Policy-2012: Broadband infrastructure 12

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

development, employment, governance, banking etc. to ensure equitable and inclusive growth. Digital India and implementation of BharatNet: As an initiative to strengthen broadband infrastructure, GoI set up National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) in 2011 to provide connectivity to 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats of the country in phased manner which would ensure broadband connectivity with adequate bandwidth. Services like G2C, B2B, P2P, B2C etc. covering e-education, remote health monitoring, e-governance, weather, agriculture etc. can be accessed by common man through NOFN. In order to further the goals and objectives under ‘Digital India’ initiative, NOFN has been eventually upgraded to a full-fledged project BharatNet.

“TRAI, in order to provide relief to masses and broaden financial inclusion, in November, 2016 lowered the ceiling tariff to a maximum of 50 paise (Eq. US$ 0.008) per transaction, each having 8 steps, from earlier rate of Rs 1.50 (Eq. US$ 0.023) per session, where each session comprised 5 steps.”

b) Initiatives by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to synergise the e-Governance initiatives by the government Delivering Broadband Quickly: TRAI in April, 2015 recommended to the Government for single-window and time-bound clearance for all Right of Way (RoW) proposals at the level of the States and in the Central Government for the proliferation of Broadband. TRAI has also recommended Governments to act as model users and anchor tenants through delivery of e-Government services including e-education, e-governance, m-health, m-banking and other such services provision of Broadband connectivity to Government schools in the rural and remote areas through subsidy from USOF. Implementation of BharatNet: TRAI in February, 2016 sent its recommendations to the Government on Implementation Strategy for BharatNet suggesting Public Private Partnership (PPP) that aligns private incentives with long term service delivery in the vein of the Build-Own-

Operate Transfer/Build-Operate-Transfer models as the preferred choice for the national broadband network, BharatNet. USSD based mobile banking transactions: There are large number of people in rural areas having feature (basic) phones. USSD based program can be used for making banking transactions using basic feature phones. TRAI, in order to provide relief to masses and broaden financial inclusion, in November, 2016 lowered the ceiling tariff to a maximum of 50 paise (Eq. US$ 0.008) per transaction, each having 8 steps, from earlier rate of Rs 1.50 (Eq. US$ 0.023) per session, where each session comprised 5 steps. Aadhaar based e-KYC norms: TRAI put forth its recommendations to the Govt to allow electronic KYC of Aadhaar as one of the valid documents for getting a new mobile connection. Consequently, the Govet issued e-KYC guidelines in August, 2016 to make the process of application and authentication faster and simpler for subscribers. Broadband penetration through public Wi-Fi: In order to increase Internet penetration in the country, TRAI in its latest release in March, 2017 on

‘Proliferation of Broadband through Public Wi-Fi Networks’ has inter-alia recommended Govt to overcome the regulatory and commercial constraints that potentially hinder the growth of scalable and ubiquitous WiFi in the country. Bridging the Affordability gap: In order to bridge the affordability gap in rural areas, TRAI sent its recommendations on ‘Encouraging Data usage in Rural Areas through Provisioning of Free Data’, in December, 2016, suggesting a reasonable amount of data, say 100 MB per month, be made available to rural subscribers for free. The cost of implementation of the scheme may be met from USOF. Various initiatives enumerated above will certainly help in proliferation of eGovernance services to the citizens. These will also help make India a digitally empowered society and bring in transparency and accountability in the systems.

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji



ndia has a rich tradition of using outer space as a tool for national development. The poorest of the poor have always been the beneficiaries of India’s space technologies, from farmers to fisher folks, Indian satellites touch the lives of almost the entire 1.3 billion population. As India celebrates its seventieth birthday it has already entered the golden era of space technology, sectors like satellite television, banking, smart city development, weather forecasting, smart phones, e-governance, satellite aided navigation are all catering to India’s unending appetite to deploy high technology to ease the life of the common man. India’s quest for space has been pioneered by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) set up in 1969 and today has an annual budget of about USD $1.4 billion. The country has a constellation of 44 satellites in orbit and can now on its own launch up to four tons of communication satellites into orbit. This gives India end to end capabilities in space technology from making its own satellites to launching its own rockets and has even sent an Indian made satellite Mangalyaan or the Mars Orbiter Mission all the way to the Mars travelling a distance of over 200 million kilometres.

“In 2013 India launched the Mangalyaan the country’s first mission to Mars and it hit Bulls Eye when on 24 September 2014 it entered the orbit of Mars and India created global history by becoming the first country to reach the orbit of Mars on its maiden attempt” The first satellite to be launched by India was way back in 1972 when the 360 kilogram Aryabhata satellite named after India’s legendary mathematician was lifted into orbit from the erstwhile USSR. This space science satellite paved the way for ISRO to reach for the stars. In the next few months this year India hopes to launch its heaviest ever satellite GSAT-11 that will weigh about 5725 kilograms. By launching `Bahubaali’ the Indian space agency entered into

a bold new world muscling its way to make its mark in the world’s heavy weight multibillion dollar launch market. ISRO chairman Dr A S Kiran Kumar a man of modest words said `we pushed ourselves to the limits to ensure that this new fully self-reliant Indian rocket succeeds in its maiden launch’. This heavy lift rocket is capable of placing up to 8 tons in a low Earth orbit, enough to carry India’s crew module. Incidentally this launch has `made in India boldly written all over it’. ISRO has already prepared plans of hoisting a 2-3 member human crew into space soon. India would become only the fourth country after Russia, USA and China to have a human space flight program. Incidentally ISRO asserts the first Indian to go into space could well be a woman! Kumar confirms `in principle it will be the GSLV Mk-3 or its variant that will be human rated in future’. India already has two operational rockets; the workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) that can hoist satellites of 1.5 tons into space and was the preferred vehicle for India’s maiden mission to Moon and Mars. The second the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II can hoist 2 ton class of satellites.

ISRO has done fifty launches and recently even earned a world record by successfully placing 104 satellites in orbit beating an old Russian record of hoisting 39 satellites in a single mission. Between them,

This year India embarked on space diplomacy like never before. For the first time New Delhi flexed its prowess of space technology by embarking on an unprecedented and un-chartered `stratospheric diplomacy’ through a special Rs 450 crore gift for 14

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

REACHING FOR THE STARS India’s quest for the outer space: Aryabhata to Mangalyaan

South Asians. India carved a very unique place in the universe, when New Delhi `gifted’ a heavy weight bird in the sky to its neighbours through the `South Asia Satellite’. India opened its heart out by extending its neighbourhood first policy beyond the stratosphere. This `gift’ of a communications satellite for use by neighbours at no cost has no parallels in the space fairing world, all other current regional consortia are commercial for-profit enterprises.

participating nations in addition since the region is highly prone to earthquakes, cyclones, floods, tsunamis it may help in providing critical communication links in times of disasters. In this unusual message of peace, six countries part of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) namely Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are part of this mission.

The `South Asia Satellite’ is a 2230 kilogram satellite is purely a communications satellite costing Rs 235 crores (USD 36.07 million). The uniqueness of this satellite is that it has a footprint that extends all over South Asia and India gifted this heavenly messenger to its neighbours. The South Asia Satellite has 12 Ku band transponders which India’s neighbours can now utilize to increase communications. Each country will get access to at least one transponder through which they could beam their own programming and there could be common `South Asian programme’ as well. Each country is developing its own ground infra-structure though India is willing to extend assistance and know-how. According to the government the satellite will `enable a full range of applications and services to our neighbours in the areas of telecommunication and broadcasting applications viz. television, direct-to-home (DTH), very small aperture terminals (VSATs), tele-education, telemedicine and disaster management support.’ The satellite also has the capability to provide secure hot lines among the TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


In 2013 India launched the Mangalyaan the country’s first mission to Mars and It hit Bulls Eye when on 24 September 2014 it entered the orbit of Mars and India created global history by becoming the first country to reach the orbit of Mars on its maiden attempt a fact that eluded global giants like USA and Russia. Made for a nominal mission life of 180 days this year the Mangalyaan completed 1000 days in orbit and continues to beam back data and some of its images like those of the full disc of Mars are so good that they featured on the cover of the venerated National Geographic magazine. Early next year India plans to hoist its second mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2 which will include landing its flag on the


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

lunar surface on an indigenous rover. Continuing with interplanetary exploration missions are also planned for Venus and a re-visit to Mars. Human space flight is also in the offing, India’s latest rocket the GSLV Mk III could be India’s vehicle of choice to launch `Indians into space, from Indian soil using Indian rockets’. This is only the beginning, reaching for the stars and exploring the wonders of the universe are all on the horizon but whatever it does India’s common man will continue to reap the maximum benefits of India’s capabilities in space.


Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus


aharashtra lies on the western coast of India. It is the third largest state in India, constituting approximately 9.4% of the country’s total geographical area and 2nd largest in terms of population. Mumbai, the state capital, is also known as the financial capital of the country. The state has a coastline of 720 km. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT)- the largest container port in the country, is connected to 34 Container Freight Stations (CFS) and 46 Inland Container Depots (ICDs). With 11 airports, 18 national highways and 6,000 km of rail network, the state is well connected to all major cities. Maharashtra has emerged as one of the largest contributors to India’s exports and is also one of the leading states in attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). The state is popular for being home to Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry in terms of viewership. History: The antiquity of the human habitation in the state goes back to the Stone Age period (1.27 million years ago). On 1st May 1960 the separate Marathi speaking state of Maharashtra was created. Since then the state has been leading in all fronts in the country. Climate - the State enjoys tropical monsoon climate. The hot scorching summer from March onwards is followed by

monsoon in early June. The rich green cover of the monsoon season persists during the mild winter that follows through an unpleasant October transition. Maharashtra is not just a geographical expression but an entity built on collective efforts of its people. Natural as well as cultural diversities have helped in the development of a unique Marathi culture. Well-developed infrastructure, abundant natural resources, connectivity to all major areas, skilled manpower and quality education make Maharashtra an ideal destination for setting up of new industries. The State has focused on development of infrastructure & smart cities.

Per capita income USD 2,252 (2015-16) FDI inflow USD 114 bn (2000-17) (includes Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu) Annual oil production capacity 18,500 MT (2015-16)

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Manufacturing Industry TEXTILE & GARMENTS Maharashtra accounts for 11.4% of India’s textile and apparel output. The sector is second largest employment generator for both skilled and unskilled labourers in the state. FOOD PROCESSING - Major processing industries in the state include sugar, milk, poultry, rice and flour mill, edible oil and fruit and vegetable units. Being the largest producer of grapes in India, the state also has a dedicated grape processing industry policy and wine parks to give impetus to grape processing and wine industry in the state.

worth USD 78 million annually. The state also contributes 20% to India’s pharmaceutical output. GEMS AND JEWELLERY Maharashtra is one of the key states in India with gemstone reserves and mining potential. ELECTRONIC SYSTEM DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING (ESDM) Maharashtra occupies a significant share of 30.5% of the industrial output of India’s ESDM sector. ESDM sector in the state is expected to reach USD $400 bn in value by 2020. The state has decided to set up three brown field electronic manufacturing clusters in Pune, Aurangabad and Navi Mumbai regions. Pune and Talegaon, two well-established ESDM hubs in the state also have geographical advantage of having excellent connectivity to two of India’s largest ports - Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Mumbai Port Trust.

“Potential + Policy + Performance equals Progress” Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi AUTOMOBILE & AUTO COMPONENTS - the state, with a strong presence of established manufacturers and a network of component suppliers and vendors, accounts for approximately 38% of the country’s output of automobiles by value. The major automobile centres in the state include Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur. INFORMATION SYSTEM Maharashtra accounts for more than 20% of India’s software exports. Pune is among top three cities in India in software exports. The state government offers incentives under its industrial policy for various infrastructure investments such as knowledge parks, exemption on filing patents etc. BIOTECHNOLOGY & PHARMARCUTICALS Maharashtra accounts for more than one-third of the biotech revenue in the country. Mumbai and Pune districts together generate revenues

Inauguration of GE Multi - Modal Manufacturing Facility 18

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

BOLLYWOOD Mumbai - Hindi cinema, often referred to as Bollywood, is the Indian Hindi-language film industry, based in the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Dadasaheb Phalke is considered the father of Indian cinema, including Bollywood. Indian cinema is the world’s largest film industry in terms of film production. KEY UPCOMING PROJECTS INCLUDE: •Navi Mumbai International Airport with an investment of USD $2.5 bn • National Investment and Manufacturing Zone in Nagpur • Smart Cities Mission, for which Nashik, Thane, Pimpri Chinchwad, Solapur, Kalyan-Dombivali, Aurangabad and Pune are cities identified in Maharashtra KEY UPCOMING INDUSTRIAL CORRIDORS: • Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), with about 18% of the project influence area in the state • Bengaluru Mumbai Industrial Corridor (BMIC), with principle approval from government of Maharashtra for development of Sangli or Solapur as a node. Atal Mahaaphan Vikas Abhiyan The state govt. of Maharashtra has launched Atal Mahaaphan Vikas Abhiyan for cooperative sector. Subsequently, this scheme will help the co-operatives to start new businesses. Accordingly, this scheme will give a boost to the non-banking businesses throughout the state. Under this scheme, the state govt. will provide funds for 5000 cooperatives for setting up of new business (Startups) and will also guide the society.

Climate Smart Village Programme A Climate Smart Village Programme for the Tribal Regions of Maharashtra was launched to promote these practices – such as zero-till farming, integrated nutrient and water management and proper harvesting and storage – targeting farmers across Maharashtra’s tribal belt. Chief Minister Krishi Sanjivani Yojana –2017 The state government of Maharashtra has launched Chief Minister Krishi Sanjivani Yojana – 2017 or Mukhyamantri Krishi Sanjivani Yojana amnesty scheme for 41 lakh farmers of the state. The objective of this amnesty scheme is to give forgiveness for

those farmers who are unable to pay their energy bills. Through this scheme, the state government will recover dues of Rs. 10,890 crore from 41 lakh farmers. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) The state government of Maharashtra has given its approval to construct 1,82,783 new houses in the state under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The housing scheme in the state is being implemented by MAHDA (Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority. The central government has selected the Maharashtra state to construct 19 Lakh houses till 2022 under PMAY.

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Makar Sankranti and Ratha Saptami have their origin in the movement of the sun, and they embody the promise of new beginnings. Makar Sankranti is enthusiastically brought in with flying kites,taking a dip in a holy river,a bath with sesame oil, propitiating ancestors with a sesame oil lamp, exchange of til gud (sesame and jaggery twin symbols of prosperity),etc. Ratha Saptami also marks the gradual increase in temperature across India and heralds the arrival of spring. Ganesh Chaturthi One of the most popular deities in India, Lord Ganesh is a symbol of wisdom and good luck. Displayed at gateways and on doors, either by visuals or symbols, generally facing the rising sun in the East, Ganesh (or Ganapati) is revered across India as Vighnaharta, the one who removes obstacles. Tripuri Pournima, the fifteenth lunar day of the month of Kartik according to the Hindu calendar, and the most important festival dedicated to Shiva after Shivratri.

Shravan, the fifth month in the Hindu calendar, opens up a number of avenues for such celebrations. But the ‘coconut festival’ is truly one of its kinds. This festival marks the end of the monsoon season in Maharashtra. It is celebrated on the first full moon day of Shravan. And since coconut is known as ‘naral’ in Marathi, this particular festival is popularly known as ‘Narali Pournima’. It is also known by other names such as ‘Shravani Pournima’, ‘Rakhi Pournima’ or ‘Raksha Bandhan’.

Celebrating Tripuri Pournima by lighting lamps

Maharashtra is the center of many religious and cultural traditions. In Maharashtrian villages, life revolves around fairs and festivals. While the most hugely visible festival maybe the Ganesh Chaturthi, due to the large processions and the colourful images of Lord Ganesha, there are many festivals celebrated with as much enthusiasm and spirit. Gudhi Padwa marks the beginning of the New Year and is one of the prominent festivals in India, especially celebrated in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

CUISINES Like the varied landscape, Maharashtra has a very varied culinary heritage too. Subtle and understated, the flavors are heavily dependent on the seasons - raw mango, kokum and coconut make their appearance in the heat of summer, vegetable coated in crispy gram-flour batter and fried in the monsoon season and rich sesame and jaggery based sweets in the winter. Every festival is an occasion to cook, something special to the season, and of course, the street food traditions like the ‘Bhel Puri’ and sandwiches of Mumbai are without parallel!


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

HERITAGE SITES Maharashtra has some of the most well-preserved ancient heritage sites which continue to provide a link to the past. Ellora One of the most fascinating archaeological sites in Maharashtra, dates back to about 1,500 years ago, and is the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 caves are actually Buddhist, Hindu and Jain religious monuments carved in the rock. They were given the status of World heritage Site in 1983.

Aga Khan Palace in Pune occupies a prime position in the history of India’s freedom movement for the fact that Mahatma Gandhi, his wife, secretary and others were incarcerated here from 1942. It now serves as the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial Society where the making of ‘khadi’ continues to be a prime activity. This imposing palace where one can feel an intense connection with the past is also known for its beautiful and serene gardens.

Kaas Plateau is surrounded by a bounty of colourful flowers and nothing else for quite a distance. Kaas has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the reason is quite clear - it is acknowledged as home to endemic life forms that are found nowhere else in the world! But what truly amazes, and presents a breathtakingly colourful picture, is the blossoming of thousands of flowers during the monsoon season when the plateau becomes covered with sheets and drapes of innumerable tiny flowering plants in a riot of yellows, pinks, blues, purples, and so on. The show that starts sometime late in July continues, changing dramatically, throughout August and into September.

to records, this place was a well-known Jaina pilgrimage centre way back in 1156 CE and that the original statue of Bahubali erected at the hill-top is said to be that much more ancient.

Gateway of India - Designed by George Wittet, with an imposing gateway arch in the Indo-Saracenic style, built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India in 1911, also serves as the departing point for ferries plying to Elephant Island and other beaches across the port.

Vengurla is often referred to as the ‘gem’ of Sindhudurg district. More so because of its rich cultural heritage and its religious icons in the form of the temples dedicated to Shri Devi Sateri and Shri Rameshwar. These are the two most important temples of this region and there are many more, each one with its own unique heritage value and at least one legend attached to it. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus in Mumbai, is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture.

Kumbhoj is also famous as a tourist attraction because of the 28-feet high statue of Bahubali or Mahavira inspired after the great statue installed at Shravan-Belgola, Karnataka. According TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji



“Jewel of India”

Manipuri Dance


anipur literally meaning “A jeweled land” nestle deep within a lush green corner of North East India. It seems much like an exquisite work of art executed by superb hands of Nature and is indeed a state of exquisite natural beauty and splendors, the beauty of which once inspired Mrs. St. Clair Grimwood described it as “A Pretty Place more beautiful than many show places of the world” First Prime Minister Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru paid a fitting tribute by describing it as “Jewel of India”. “Manipur ranks #4 in terms of the number of looms in the country. One of the largest bamboo producing states in India”. History: Having a varied and proud history from the earliest times, Manipur came under the British Rule as a Princely State after the defeat in the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891. After independence of India in 1947, the Princely State of Manipur was merged in the Indian Union on October 15,1949 and became a full-fledged State of India on the 21st January, 1972 with a Legislative Assembly of 60 seats of which The State is represented in the Lok Sabha by two members and by one member in the Rajya Sabha. Demographics: 63% of Manipur’s population is in the working age group of 15-59 years. The total population of Manipur is 2.7 mn. Key upcoming projects include: •Projects focusing on modernising the food processing


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

industries. 37 projects are allotted under National Mission for Food Processing Scheme and 1 project each, under the Food Testing Laboratory Scheme and Integrated Cold Chain, Value Addition & Preservation Infrastructure Scheme •India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway, originating from Moreh in Manipur • Smart Cities Mission, for which Imphal is the city identified in Manipur

GSDP (Current price) USD 3 bn (2015-16) Per capita income USD 849 (2015-16) Share of renewable in energy 41% GSDP growth rate (YoY) 6% (2015-16)

Key Sectors Agriculture And Allied Sector Agriculture sector contributes a major share to the total State Domestic Product (SDP). According to 2011 Population Census, 52.81% of the total workers in Manipur are cultivators and agricultural laborers. Rice is the staple food and is grown in hill and plain areas, and it accounts for about 98% of the total foodgrain production of the state. Horticulture Manipur is suitable for the development of horticulture. The major fruits grown in the state are pineapple, orange, lemon,

banana, guava, peaches and apples. The average annual production of fruits and vegetables during the year 2013-14 was 0.52 mmt and 0.26 mmt respectively (mmt = Million Metric Ton) SERICULTURE Manipur has four varieties of Silk viz., Mulberry, Eri, Muga and Oak Tasar and the Manipur Sericulture Project was initiated to provide employment particularly to womenfolk. With the assistance of the Government of Japan through Government of India, 94.71% plantation was achieved. BAMBOO-PRODUCING INDUSTRIES Manipur is one of India’s largest bamboo producing states, and a major contributor to the country’s bamboo industry. Manipur accounts for about 25% of the total growing stock of bamboo of the North Eastern Region of India and 14% of the country.

UNIQUE HANDLOOM Manipur enjoys a distinct place amongst the Handloom zones in India. Handloom industry is the largest cottage industry in the State. This industry has been flourishing since time immemorial. One of the special features of the industry is that women are the only weavers. According to the 2017 National handloom Census Reports there are about 2.71 lakh looms in Manipur. UNIQUE HANDICRAFTS Since cane and bamboo are abundantly available basketry has been a popular occupation of the people of Manipur. Different shapes and sizes with different designs are manufactured for domestic and ritualistic use. Again, there are fishing equipment’s made of cane and bamboo. Pottery culture is very old in Manipur. Most of the pots are handmade and are of different colours (red, dark red and black). Pottery flourishes in Andro, Sekmai, Chairen, Thongjao, Nungbi and parts of Senapati District. Chakpa women are good potters and they make different types of pots are made for ritualistic and ceremonial purposes.

Chief Minister-gi Hakshelgi Tengbang (CMHT) Manipur government has launched Chief Minister-gi Hakshelgi Tengbang (CMHT) for Poor. Subsequently, this is a Health Assurance Scheme for the welfare of poor and disabled people. Accordingly, CMHT will provide cashless treatment to the needy ones at various govt. hospitals, health centers and empanelled private hospitals Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana The state government of Manipur has launched “Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana” or “SAUBHAGYA” to provide electricity for all the households in rural and urban areas. This scheme was launched by the Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy. Chief Minister-gi Shotharabasingi Tengbang (CMST) The Social Welfare Department of Manipur has launched Chief Minister-gi Shotharabasingi Tengbang (CMST) for the Persons with disabilities (PWDs). The primary purpose of this scheme is to raise the living standards of the differently abled persons and to ensure their inclusive development. TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Flora And Fauna Blessed with an amazing variety of flora and fauna, 67% of the geographical area of Manipur is hill tract covered forests. Depending on the altitude of hill ranges, the climatic condition varies from tropical to sub-alpine.

HERITAGE SITES Manipur is blended with the majestic Loktak Lake, the strategic location of Moreh town, the uniqueness of the floating KeibulLamjao National Park and the Sangai Deer, the beauty of the and Dzukou Lilies, along with the naturally formed limestone caves, pristine green hills and valleys, meandering rivers, cascading rapids, exotic flora & fauna complimented by a rich arts and culture, folklore, myths and legends, indigenous games and artistic handloom and handicrafts. These make Manipur a little paradise on earth and an enticing destination for a tourist to explore. Khangkhui Lime caves: This pre-historic cave is one of the major tourist attractions of Ukhrul district of Manipur. Excavations have discovered evidence of habitations of StoneAge communities. This limestone cave presents huge tourism potential and can attract lots of students, archaeologists and researchers from both within and outside the country.

Dzuko Valley: Located at the border with Nagaland at Senapati district of Manipur, the valley is famous for its wide range of flowers that blooms every season. It is also considered one of the best treks in the state and draws increasing number of domestic and foreign visitors each year. The valley stretches like a green carpet across the horizon and never fails to enchant its visitors.


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

Yangkhullen, Makhel and Willong in Senapati: The old village of Yangkhullen is a unique historical sight for every traveller visiting the district of Senapati. Built on a steep hill, Makhel, the place where the common origin of the Nagas is believed to have started is also an amazing experience for every traveller visiting Manipur. Willong Khullen is situated about 37 km from NH 39 and is home to structures similar to the Stonhenges in other parts of the world. It is largely unknown to many travelers. Ima Market: The Ima Market counted as one of the largest only women market in Asia is at a stone’s throw distance from the Western Gate of Kangla. It is a unique all women’s market, with over 3000 “Imas” (mothers) running the stalls. Men are not allowed to sell goods at this market. Vegetables, fruits, fishes and household groceries are sold in one section and exquisite handlooms and household tools in the other.

Khongjom War Memorial: is located at about 36 kilometers from Imphal on the Indo-Myanmar road. It was here that Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of the great warriors of Manipur proved his valor against the superior might of the invading British Army in 1891. The hillock at the foot of which he laid down his life in defence of the motherland, is reminiscent of the past heroic deeds of Manipuri warriors. A war memorial has been constructed atop Kheba hill. Khongjom Day is observed every year on 23rd April here.

Puja is to Bengal, Diwali in north India and Bihu to Assam. Cheiraoba: The Manipuri New Year - During the festival, people clean and decorate their houses and prepare special festive dishes which are first offered to various deities. Celebrated during the month of April, a part of the ritual entails villagers climbing the nearest hill tops in belief that it will enable them to rise to greater heights in their worldly life.

FESTIVALS, FAIR AND CUISINE Manipur is a land of festivities. Merriments and mirth-making go on round the year. A year in Manipur represents a cycle of festivals. Hardly a month passes by without a festival which, to the Manipuris, is a symbol of their cultural, social and religious aspirations. It removes the monotony of life by providing physical diversions, mental recreation and emotional outlet, helps one to lead a more relaxed and fuller life. Gang-Ngai: Celebrated for five days in the month of December/ January, Gang-Ngai is an important festival of the Kabui Nagas. The festival opens with the omen taking ceremony on the first day and the rest of the days are associated with common feast, dances of old men and women and of boys and girls, presentation of farewell gifts etc.

Lui-Ngai-Ni: It is a collective festival of the Nagas observed on the 15th day of February every year. This is a seed sowing festival after which tribes belonging to the Naga group begin their cultivation. Social-gathering, songs, dances and rejoicing highlight the festivity. The annual festival also plays a great role in boosting the moral and strengthening the bond of Naga solidarity. Yaosang: Celebrated for five days commencing from the full moon day of Phalguna (February/March), Yaoshang is the premier festival of Manipur. The Thabal Chongba – a kind of Manipuri folk dance, where boys and girls hold hands together and sing and dance in a circle, is particularly associated with this festival. Boys and girls and even old women collect donations from house to house and the money so collected is spent on parties and feasts. Indeed, Yaoshang to Manipur is what Durga

Ningol Chak-kouba: A social festival of the Manipuris - It is a remarkable social festival of the Meiteis. Married daughters of the family come to their parental house along with their children and enjoy sumptuous feast. It is a form of family reunion. It is celebrated on the second day of the new moon in the month of Hiyangei (November) as per Manipur Calendar system. Chumpha: Festival of Tangkhul Nagas - Celebrated for seven days in the month of December, the Chumpha Festival is a great festival of the Tangkhul Nagas. The festival is held after harvest. The last three days are devoted to social gatherings and rejoicing. Cuisines of Manipur: The Manipuris make their food mainly steamed and boiled rather than frying it. The Manipuri platter mainly consists of rice, vegetables, salad, a curry of fish and meat. The food definitely is tasty, but the aroma is more than heavenly. The people here are lovers of both vegetarian and nonvegetarian dishes. Some of the delicacies are Ngri, Chamthong, Eromba, Morok Metpa and many more.



TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji



India Begins Here

The Golden Temple


unjab is a state in the northwest region of India and is one of the most prosperous states. The name Punjab is made of two words Punj (Five) + Aab (Water) i.e. land of five rivers. These five rivers of Punjab are Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab, and Jhelum. Only Sutlej, Ravi and Beas rivers flow in today’s Punjab. The other two rivers are now in the state of Punjab, situated in Pakistan. Agriculture is the mainstay of Punjab’s economy. Other major industries include manufacturing of scientific instruments, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines etc. It contributes nearly two thirds to the total production of food grains and a third of milk production in the country. It is the leading producer of wheat, thereby contributing to the national food security.

TOTAL POPULATION OF PUNJAB IS 28MN • 75% of total population of Punjab is directly dependent on agriculture sector for their livelihood. • 65% of the population falls in the working age group of 15-59 years. • 37% Urbanization rate.

GSDP (Current price) USD 64 bn (2016-17) GSDP growth rate (YoY) 9% (2016-17) Per capita income USD 1,920 (2016-17) Arable land 83%

Infrastructure Punjab is considered to have the best infrastructure in India; this includes road, rail, air and river transport links that are extensive throughout the region. History: It is one of the most ancient civilizations in the world with a distinguished culture. Punjabi language has its origins in the Indo-European family of languages which included Persian and Latin. The Indian State of Punjab was created in 1947. Care Companion Programme The State government of Punjab has launched “Care Companion Programme” Healthcare Scheme. The aim of the scheme is to promote better health care services in the life of patients. This program will create awareness with the better family engagement and education across the state Annapurna Akshya Patra Yojana Annapurna Akshya Patra Yojana is a new meal scheme launched jointly by Haryana and Punjab government in Chandigarh. Under the scheme, the poor people are being provided food at lesser cost compared to market. The scheme has already gained a lot of popularity in Chandigarh.


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojna - Punjab government has decided to extend its farm friendly free cashless health insurance scheme launched across the state, free health treatment is offered to eligible farmers under the scheme. Punjab government distributed 3,03,074 pre-active cashless farmers health insurance cards under Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojna in the first phase of project. KEY UPCOMING PROJECTS INCLUDE: • Ludhiana Mega Food Park, Mohali Knowledge City, Greenfield Light Engineering Park along Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and Chandigarh Medicity • Smart Cities Mission, for which Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar are the cities identified in Punjab

PROPOSED INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR • Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, with an electrified singletrack segment of 447 km between Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme Punjab government has finally launched Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme (1st phase) for debt-ridden farmers on 7 January 2018 at Mansa district. Subsequently, the state govt. is going to waive off loans of up to Rs. 2 lakh of small and marginal farmers.

LIGHT ENGINEERING Punjab leads in manufacturing of machine tools, hand tools, bicycle and bicycle components in India. It accounts for 15% of bicycle production and 80% of bicycle parts production in the country. TEXTILE AND GARMENTS Punjab accounts for 14% of the total cotton yarn production in India and textile contributes to 38% exports of the state. It is one of the leading exporters of yarn, hosiery and readymade garments. RENEWABLE AND NON-RENEWABLE POWER Punjab is a pioneer in the development of a state-level 400 KV ring main system of electricity distribution. The state has an estimated potential of generating 2400 MW of renewable energy by 2022.

STRENGTHENING LINKAGES Punjab has emerged as the leading hub for textile-based industries such as apparel manufacturing, spinning and hosiery exports. With the development of apparel parks, favorable textile policy and other incentives for the creation of textile infrastructure, the state offers multiple opportunities for investment. Further, engineering sector is a major contributor in the economy of Punjab. Over the last decade, it has grown more than 16%, and constitutes 23% of the total industrial output of Punjab. Key strength of Punjab is its thriving eco-system of wellestablished Micro, Small and Medium enterprises. Punjab is home to approximately 1.56 million MSME which are one of the most important pillars of the industrial growth. LARGEST AGRICULTURAL AREA UNDER IRRIGATION IN INDIA A power surplus state, Punjab offers best-in-class logistics and connectivity with highest road density amongst Indian states (133 km per 100 sq km). Punjab is well connected with all major cities through its 2,100 km of rail infrastructure, 64,000 km of roads and 5 airports. It offers a strong logistics backbone with 13 container freight stations and inland container depots easing exports and imports for the state.

FOOD PROCESSING Punjab is one of the highest contributors of wheat and rice to the national pool.

HISTORICAL SITES AMRITSAR AND ANANDPUR SAHIB are two most sacred places of the Sikhs in Punjab, closely linked with their religious traditions and history. Amritsar, literally meaning, a Pool of Nectar.

LUDHIANA founded during the rule of the Lodi sultans in the 15th century, Ludhiana is better known as Punjab’s manufacturing hub and home to the renowned Punjab Agricultural University, sprawled over 1500 acres. Nehru Rose Garden, established in the year 1967 is one of the most verdurous and greenest spaces in the vicinity of Ludhiana. It is the largest rose garden in entire Asia continent.

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


RAMBAGH GARDENS Is surrounded by Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s summer palace, now a museum. On display are weapons dating back to Mughal times, portraits of ruling houses of Punjab and a replica of the diamond Kohinoor.

PATHANKOT forms the gateway to the northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. A hub for traffic into the Himalayan foothills, it is connected by major highways and railway tracks to the plains of India.

GURDASPUR Punjab’s northern-most district, Gurdaspur, is flanked by the Beas and Ravi rivers and has many flavours of both historical and spiritual significance. Prehistoric caves along the Ravi River in Shahpur Kandi are said to be associated with the Pandavas, heroes of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharat.

FESTIVALS, FAIR AND CUISINE PATIALA is Punjab’s most well-known princely state. Its magnificent forts and palaces, museums and places of worship, gardens and wildlife sanctuaries serve up a perfect melange of history, culture, art and craft.

LOHRI a festival dedicated to fire and to the Sun God. People take various food items to places of religious worship to thank God for a good harvest. A key feature of Lohri is the bonfire. BASANT PANCHMI a custom to hold kite flying competitions during basant Panchmi in various parts of Punjab.It is common to see people dancing the folk dances of Giddha and Bhangra. Swings, stalls selling bangles, clothes, dupattas and various types of edible items are a common scene in the Basant Panchami Fairs. QUILA RAIPUR RURAL SPORTS FESTIVAL (Popularly known as Modern Rural Mini Olympics) Every year, the people of Quila Raipur celebrate by performing and competing in various games which are closely associated with the rural and village life of Punjab.

GOLDEN TEMPLE also known as Harmandir or Darbar Sahib, The temple is built on a 67-ft square platform of marble and is a two storied structure. The top structure of the temple is covered with pure gold leaf.


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

PATIALA HERITAGE FESTIVAL is held at the Sheesh Mahal Art Gallery premises in which various cultural and classical performances including plays are staged to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Punjab with special reference to Patiala.

GURU NANAK CHOLA MELA Gurdwara Chola Sahib commemorates the site where Guru Nanak is popularly believed to have created a water- spring during one of his journeys. MARTYRDOM DAY OF SHAHEED-E-AZAM BHAGAT SINGH The martyrdom day of Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh is celebrated every year as a state level event with the main event being conducted at Khatkar kalan, the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh.

PATIALA CRAFT MELA is held at the Sheesh Mahal Art Gallery premises in which the Master craftsmen and National awardees from across the country showcase their crafts, involving use of traditional skills and the multi-cuisine Food Courts which provides ethnic cuisines from all across India.

BAISAKHI is commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa in 1699. It is also a harvest festival and marks the new year for the Punjabis. A major attraction of the festival is the dynamic bhangra and gidda performances by men and women, respectively.

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji



MEENAKSHI TEMPLE, MADURAI TAMIL NADU - The History of Tamil Nadu has a Glorious past with geographically massive and exotic lush green landscapes, mountains; glittering seas, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. The Rich and Radiant cultural Heritage, speaks volumes about Tamil Nadu, its People, Places, Rulers, Life Style and Culture. It was named in the year 1969. Contributor: Tamil Nadu has a well-developed infrastructure with an excellent road and rail network. The state also has the second longest coastline in India, running 1,076 km, with 3 major ports and 17 non-major ports and seven airports that offer excellent connectivity. The state has a diversified manufacturing sector and features among the leaders in several industries such as automobile and auto-components, engineering, pharmaceutical, textile and garment products, leather products, chemicals, plastics, etc. GSDP (Current price) USD 191 bn (2016-17) Per capita income USD 2,284 (2016-17) FDI inflow USD 27 bn (2000-17) (includes Puducherry) GSDP growth rate (YoY) 12% (2016-17) 30

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

Demographically 66% of Tamil Nadu’s population is in the working age group of 15-59 years. Tamil Nadu is the 6th most populated state in India, constituting around 6% of the total population of the country. The total population of Tamil Nadu is 72.15 million. Key projects include: • Ennore LNG Project, with an expected capacity of 5 mt of LNG per annum, is being developed by Indian Oil LNG Pvt. Ltd. •GK Industrial Park, an upcoming 600.466 acres fabricationfocused industrial property in Tiruchirapalli •Smart Cities Mission, for which Tiruchirapalli, Tirunelveli, Thiruvananthapuram, Thanjavur, Tiruppur, Salem, Vellore, Coimbatore, Madurai, Thoothukudi, Chennai and Erode are the cities identified in Tamil Nadu. Key industrial corridors: •Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) is a 560 km long corridor, spread across more than 21992.38 acres in Tamil Nadu Key Sectors AUTOMOBILE AND AUTO-COMPONENTS The state contributes 21% to the total auto exports from India. It is also the export hub of passenger vehicles, accounting for 70% of India’s overall exports. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is one of the largest auto hubs of India. Tamil Nadu is the largest

tyre manufacturing state in India and home to over 80 auto component manufacturers. AEROSPACE Tamil Nadu is the only state in India to have 4 international airports. To utilise its comparative advantage, the state is planning Special Purpose Aviation Resource Cluster SEZs (SPARCS) to boost investments in the sector, expected to create

100,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities for highly skilled resources. The state has also earmarked 1,214 ha land in Perambalur region for setting up an integrated Aerospace Park with an estimated investment of USD 830 mn. PHARMACEUTICAL AND BIOTECHNOLOGY Tamil Nadu accounts for 10% of the total pharmaceutical production of the country and is the fifth largest producer of pharmaceutical products in India. The state has existing and upcoming SEZs and dedicated bio-pharmaceutical parks that offer research labs, advanced medical equipments and genetic engineering as some of the facilities. TEXTILE AND GARMENTS Tamil Nadu ranks first in apparel production and second in textile production in India. It houses India’s largest spinning industry, accounting for almost 40% of the total installed capacity of the country. Textile and apparel sector together provide employment to 35% of the state’s population. The state has around 6 upcoming textile parks and 2 upcoming apparel parks. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Tamil Nadu is the fourth largest software exporter from India. IT exports from the state account for more than 10% of the country’s total IT exports. The state has the largest telecom bandwidth and highest tele-density in India with 14.8 tbps. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, has about 1780 IT units and employs more than 400,000 professionals. FOOD PROCESSING

Tamil Nadu is a leading producer of variety of horticulture crops such as banana, grapes, tea and poultry products. The state has diverse soil types and 7 agro-climatic zones that provide ample opportunity to grow a variety of horticulture crops. Seafood and spices form a major part of agricultural exports from Tamil Nadu. RENEWABLE ENERGY Tamil Nadu has an advantageous geographical position that offers it a potential of 500 MW of biomass power and a solar incidence of 5.5 - 6 kWh/sq m/day. The state has highest renewable energy capacity in India and ranks 10th globally in installed capacity of wind power generation units.

The Government of Tamil Nadu planted 7 million trees across the state to contribute to a cleaner and greener Tamil Nadu.

Amma Marunthagam (Pharmacies) - In June 2016, then Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa launched an initiative called the Amma Marunthagam. The AIADMK government rolled out over a hundred pharmacies in Chennai and other districts such as Cuddalore, Erode, Kancheepuram, Madurai, Salem, Sivagangai, and Virudhunagar where medicines are sold at a discount of about 15 percent over market price.

On the 70th birth anniversary of Amma, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Amma Two Wheeler Scheme. This scheme will be beneficial for women across Tamil Nadu.

Amma Unavagam (Canteens) Amma Unavagam or Amma Canteens were launched in Chennai as a chain of highly subsidized government run restaurants or canteens which provide quality food at very cheap rates. The Amma Unavagam comes as a blessing to the city’s teeming rate population of laborers and lower income group families.

Ms Jayalalitha herself checking the quality of meal at the canteen in 2014

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji



Tamil Nadu is a land steeped in tradition, where ancient culture and heritage are still relevant in the modern age. In the temple towns of Thanjavur, Tiruchirapalli and Madurai, tall carved temple towers or gopurams pierce the sky. The beautiful hill resort of Kodaikanal, Land’s End at Kanyakumari and Chennai (a modern metropolis and cultural capital), all together, make a fascinating circuit in south India.

equaled with that of Big Temple of Thanjavur. The entire region is filled with refreshing landscapes, River and Green fields for miles around. The temple is noted for its massive and richly carved scultprues. A big Nandi , a Lion Headwell with a flight of steps and Gigantic Statues of Dwarapalakas [ entrance guards] are other special features of this temple. UNESCO declared Mahabalipuram as World Heritage site in the year 2004.

Chennai (or Madras as it was called before), on the Coromandel Coast, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. It is a major industrial, commercial, cultural, economic and educational centre of Southern India. Chennai City is the sixth largest populated in Indian cities. Beautiful Beaches, modern sea, airports, modern highways, convenient multi-transport system, theme parks, Industrial cities, and Hi –Tech software Silicon Valley parks among others are the glory of today’s Chennai. Airavatesvara temple at Drasuram is a well preserved temple of the 12th century Chola Kingdom. The columns of the temple have unique and excellent miniature sculptures. During the 14th century the large stone statues surrounding the temple was replaced with brick and mortar statues. UNESCO declared it as World Heritage Monument in its 2004 list.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway is another showcase of Heritage in India. This rail connects Udhagamandalam and Mettupalayam . The Journey is the most picturesque train ride that mesmerizes all age group of travelers. This train travels through 208 serpentine curves, 16 tunnels, 250 bridges, waterfall hood, cliff edges and Tea estates covering a distance of 26 km. In the year 2005, UNESCO declared the Nilgiri Mountain Railway as an extension to the World Heritage Site of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

Mamallapuram is 58 Kms South of Chennai. This has an exotic 20 Km Sea Shore that attracts both local and international Tourists. Gangaikonda Cholapuram is 70 kms from Thanjavur. Rajendra Chola-I the mighty king of Chola Dynasty established his new capital and built this magnificent temple for Lord Siva, 32

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

Sri Brahadeeswara Temple also called as Raja Cholan I [9851012] and Big Rajarajeswaram Temple cannot be separated from each other. This temple was built in 1010 A.D and celebrated its Millennium year of existence in 2010. Its Unique Architectural Excellence prompted UNESCO to declare this temple as World Heritage Monument in 1987.

FESTIVALS, FAIR AND CUISINE Festivals are generally a great celebration either at home or at religious establishments in Tamil Nadu. The festival becomes a cause for religious, social and family gathering at different places on various occasions to worship, enjoy and have fun. PONGAL: also known as Makara Sankranthi. It is being celebrated as a thanks giving day dedicated to SUN GOD. It is because of its astronomical significance: that it marks the beginning of Uttarayana, the Sun’s movement northward for a period of next six month and enters into zodiac sign of Makaram. Pongal is generally celebrated as the Uzhavar Thirunal or the Farmers Festival. Medical Tourism: This is an Industry with billions of dollars annual turnover and also called as Health Tourism too. (travelling from one place to another or one country to another, in search of an affordable and good medical treatment). Medical Treatment in Tamil Nadu include: International Standard Hospitals, Departmental experts to take care of everything, this required reduced costs, availability of latest Technologies, Specially qualified Medical Practitioners, Emergency treatment or treatment at short notice, availability of Linguistic interpreters to make it more comfortable for patients puts the State of Tamil Nadu on top of this segment’s list.

RAMESHWARAM RAMESWARAM is a small Island and Major Pilgrim Centre in the Gulf of Mannar. It is connected to the mainland by Pamban Bridge. Every day, this island receives thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the Indian Sub-Continent to get absolved of their sins and also perform rituals for their ancestors. NATYANJALI FESTIVAL - CHIDAMBARAM: It was started in 1981 as an annual event, to revive and consolidate the art of Bharathnatyam and it takes place in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum of the temple. The Five Days event now features about 300 to 400 dancers performing Bharathnatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohini Attam, Kathak, Odissi. The festival organized by the Trust known as ‘Natyanjali Trust’ attracts International attention.

TAMIL NADU CUISINE comprises of pre-dominantly Rice Oriented Dishes. Locally available Grains, Lentils, Vegetables and variety of aromatic Spices add Flavor, Taste and Aroma to the recipes of the land . The food pattern of the Tamil Nadu is segmented as Tiffin/Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The Break Fast includes Steamed Idlies, Rice Pan Cakes, Vada[lintel batter dough], Pongal, Semolina Upma with Sambar, varieties of Chutneys and Chilli Powder as popular side dishes.

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


...Congratulations to His Excellency the President, the Government and the people of India not only for reaching your 70th anniversary, but also for maintaining an enviable reputation as the world’s largest democracy... The Namaste Pacifika Festival will undoubtedly open another chapter in our relationship.


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


A Festival of India

“Namaste Pacifika: Festival of india” Launch igh Commission of India in Fiji launched it’s first-ever such mega cultural festival, “Namaste Pacifika: A Festival of India” in Fiji and six other Pacific Island Countries under its jurisdiction (Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) on 28 October 2017. The six-month long festival is organized to commemorate India@70, that is, 70 years of India’s Independence in 2017 and ‘to present some colorful facets of diverse and rich Indian culture’ and to spread message of ‘peace, happiness, unity and integrity’. The Festival is being organized in association with Indian Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and public and private partnership.


“Main Hoona Na”, the Sabri Brothers performed in five cities in Fiji. They sang in Suva on 28 October 2017, in the presence of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Fiji; and successfully performed in Labasa, Ba, Lautoka and Nausori. Hon. Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fijian Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service & Communications was the Chief Guest at the Lautoka function, while Assistant Fijian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon. Vijay Nath graced the occasion at Nausori.

The Festival was inaugurated by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Fiji, Major General (Retd) Jioji Konousi Konrote. Inaugurating the Festival, His Excellency the President in his address, highlighted the contribution of the Girmitiyas in the development of Fiji and the message of harmony and peace imbibed in the Indian Culture.

Sabri Brothers on the launch of Namaste Pacifika

Food Festival of India (26 - 30 October 2017)

No Festival of India can be complete without the inclusion of Indian Cuisine. With this in mind, the High Commission of India flew two Master Chefs (Chef Prajit Prasanna Kumar and Chef Kedar Singh Rawat) from the finest Hotel in India, The Ashok to Fiji to showcase some of the choicest delicious Indian cuisine at the iconic Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva. Namaste Pacifika Inauguration Ceremony; From Left-Right: Chief Justice Anthony Gates, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon. Vijay Nath, Mrs. (Dr.) Sapkal, Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Veena Bhatnagar, His Excellency, the President of the Republic Fiji, Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote, and High Commissioner of India to Fiji, H.E Mr. Vishvas Sapkal

Guests at the Launch were treated to soulful performances by world famous Qawwal and Bollywood Singers, ‘Sabri Brothers’ from India. Simultaneously, two Master Chefs from premier fivestar hotel of India, The Ashok served mouth-watering delicacies to the guests including His Excellency the President of the Republic of Fiji and other dignitaries who enjoyed the delicious Indian food. Chief Justice, Hon’ble Anthony Gates, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Diplomats also graced the function. Namaste Pacifika is a cultural bonanza which is planned to last for six months (October 2017 - March 2018).

The chefs also conducted a workshop at the Indian Cultural Center, Suva on 29 October 2017. They served delicious food to a distinguished gathering that included Mr. Yogesh Karan, Permanent Secretary to Fijian Prime Minister Office at the Grand Pacific Hotel on 27 October. On 28th October 2017, the Food Festival ended on a high note with the presence of the His Excellency President of the Republic of Fiji, Major General (Retired) Joji Konusi Konrote. The event generated a lot of interest in the general public about Indian cuisine and drew appreciation from all quarters.

Sabri Brothers (23 – 30 October 2017)

The festival opened with soulful performances by legendary Qawwal/Bollywood Singers from India, Aftab Sabri and Hashim Sabri. They are living legends in the world of Sufi music, Gazal and Qawwali. The Sabri Brothers brought festive mood, spiritual flavor and rich colors of India’s Ganga–Jamuni Culture to their performance. Bringing the audience to their feet with their famous song like ‘Tumse Milke Dilka Jo Haal’ from the Sharukh Khan movie,

His Excellency, the President with Indian Chef during Food Festival held in Novotel, Lami

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Meera Das (1 – 12 November 2017)

One of the most celebrated solo Odissi artistes of India, Meera Das brought the graceful and sublime dance movements to Fiji. She captivated the audiences with her grace, creativity and indepth knowledge of this classical dance in Suva at Novotel Hotel on 05 November 2017. The dance was acknowledged by Hon. Ms. Rosy Sofia Akbar, Fijian Minister for Health and Medical Services who graced the event as the Chief Guest. Ms. Meera Das and her group, continued to ‘wow’ the crowds in Tonga, Vanuatu and Kiribati as they successfully introduced this Indian dance form to first-time viewers in the Pacific. She also conducted workshops for school children in Kiribati. Her Dance – Drama ‘Ahilya’ was especially liked by the audiences.

inaugural event in Suva on 24 November 2017 was graced by Hon. Jone Usamate, Fijian Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations which was held at the University of the South Pacific. The Fijian Minister for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, Hon. Parveen Bala was the Chief Guest at the Nausori function. Approximately 20,000 people enjoyed the performance live, while over hundreds of thousands watched it on social media in many parts of the world. It proved to be one of the most popular segments of Namaste Pacifika Festival.

Meera Das dance group

Jatayu Moksham- Ramlila (24 November – 1 December 2017)

In the backdrop of around 2000 Ramayan Mandlis in Fiji, bringing a Ramayana-based group was a natural choice for the High Commission of India. To bring the best in the field, the High Commission of India chose to showcase, Jatayu Moksham by Kalakshetra Foundation, from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India to perform in Suva, Labasa, Nausori, Ba and Nadi. Jatayu Moksham is a famous dance drama which belongs to the iconic six-part vintage Ramayana Collection choreographed by Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale. The dance drama depicts the turning event of Ramayana and shows the humane aspect of Lord Ram’s personality. The show named ‘Ram Lila’ created a big excitement in Fiji. Thousands of people in various cities of Fiji, namely – Suva, Labasa, Ba and Nadi turned up to witness the fascinating Ramayana based musical Dance Drama performance. The 36

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

Yugpurush Many have heard of Mahatma Gandhi, very few know how ‘Mohandas Gandhi’ became “Mahatma” (a person to be admired for high-mindedness, wisdom, and selflessness). Therefore, under the banner of ‘Namaste Pacifika’ the High Commission of India brought the world-renowned play, ‘Yugpurush’ to Fiji; a drama presentation depicting the special relationship between Mahatma Gandhi & his spiritual mentor, Shrimad Rajchandra. ‘Yugpurush’ has performed in over 230 cities across Asia, Europe and North America. It was performed in Suva on 29 November 2017 and in Lautoka at the Girmit Centre on 30 November 2017. The event was graced by Hon. Faiyaz Koya, Fijian Minister for Tourism and Assistant Minister for Health Hon. Veena Bhatnagar. A special programme was also organized at Indian Cultural Centre, Suva on 29 November to unveil the photograph of Gandhi ji and his spiritual mentor. This programme was graced

Jatayu Moksham dance drama

Jatayu Moksham dance drama

by Mrs Veena Bhatnagar, Hon. Fijian Assistant Minister for Women, Children & Poverty Alleviation.

Yugpurush drama held in Suva Ms. Meera Das with Her Excellency Rosy Akbar and the High Commissioner

Meera Das dance group artistes with His Excellency Jone Usamate, Minister for Employment

Indian Chefs Kedar Singh Rawat (left) and Prajit Kumar display an Indian cuisine they prepared during the Indian Food Festival at the Grand Pacific Hotel

Inauguration of Yugpurush drama by His Excellency Faiyaz Koya and Hon. Veena Bhatnagar

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


INDIA IN FIJI Bilateral Relationship

Hon. PM Modi alongwith EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj receiving Hon. PM Bainimarama, Fijian Ministers of Industry, Trade, Tourism and Health & Medical Services in Jaipur for FIPIC-II (21 August 2015)


ndia’s relations with Fiji are blooming. These are two countries separated by geography and united by historical and cultural linkages. Hon’ble Prime Minister of India H. E. Mr. Narendra Modi often invokes “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” i.e. “the whole world is one family”. India’s foreign policy is essentially based on this approach as well, which entails pursuit of international peace and welfare of all. In this effort, India and Fiji are sharing a great bond. India is a committed partner in Fiji’s development process. Our two countries are now engaged in the process of building a modern, multi-faceted partnership. High Level Exchanges The historic visit of Indian Prime Minister to Fiji in November 2014 had given a big impetus not only to this bilateral relationship but also to the relationship between India and all the 14 Pacific Island Countries as it paved the way for the first Summit of the ‘Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC)’ in Fiji. Prime Minister of Fiji, Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama also participated in the Second Summit of FIPIC held at Jaipur in August 2015. Honourable Bainimarama visited India in May 2016 and met Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Summit With exchanges at the highest level in the preceding year, 2017 was the year to further consolidate and build upon the progress made in the above-referred two Summits. This effort culminated into India organizing the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference (IPISDC) at Suva on 25-26 May 2017. The Conference was hosted by Hon’ble Minister of State for


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

External Affairs, General (Dr.) Vijay Kumar Singh (Retired) and was attended by high leadership of 14 Pacific Island countries. Hon’ble Minister General (Dr.) Singh handed over US$ 1.76mn assistance towards Fijian SME sector. As announced by Indian Minister of State, India provided US$ 1mn to Fiji’s COP23 Presidency Trust fund in June 2017.

3rd India Fiji Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi (February 21, 2017)

Other Important Visits and Agreements/MoUs Signed During the Year During the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference at Suva on 25-26 May 2017, India signed MoUs for setting up of Centres of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) with Fiji, Cook Islands, Nauru, Samoa and Niue. India and Fiji also signed three MoUs for cooperation in the field of Youth Development, Renewable Energy and Information and Broadcasting. An MoU for cooperation between ‘Election Commission of

Group photograph at the Inaugural session of India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference​in Suva ​​​(May 25, 2017)

Visiting Delegation from Indian National Defence Academy pay a courtesy call on H.E. the President of the Republic of Fiji 21 May 17

Signing of Agreement with Fiji in IPISDC

Minister of Defence of Fiji reviewing the Triservices Guard of Honour in New Delhi on 29 May 2017

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Hon. Attorney General Mr. Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum met with Hon. Minister for External Affairs Ms. Sushma Swaraj India’ and ‘Fiji Elections Office’ was signed on 24 January 2017 which will enhance cooperation between the two democracies. In March, during the visit of Hon. Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, Minister of Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Services & Communications to India, both countries signed Air Services Agreement. Similarly, Jet Airways and Fiji Airways signed codesharing agreement paving the way for more people-to-people exchanges. Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Minister of Defence and National Security of Fiji visited India in May 2017. An MoU on cooperation in the field of Defence was signed during the visit. Fijian Minister of Agriculture and COP23 Climate Champion Hon. Inia Seruiratu participated in FICCI’s Business and Climate Summit alongwith Fiji’s COP23 team on 31 August - 1 September 2017. Both sides also conducted a review of bilateral relationship during the Third Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi in February.

School’ Scheme and provided US$ 1.3mn to Fiji for renovation of the adopted schools in February 2017. International Solar Alliance One of the major milestones achieved during the year was Fiji becoming the Founding Member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). This joint initiative by India and France came into force in 2017 and holds promise to unlock the solar energy for the benefit of all ISA Members. Fiji has signed and ratified the Framework Agreement of the ISA which came into force in December 2017.

International Day of Yoga The Third International Day of Yoga was celebrated in Fiji with great zest and fervour which saw participation of over 4000 persons, including 3000 school-children in the main event which was held at Albert Park on 21 June 2017.

Haryana Delegation visit to the High Commission of India

A delegation led by Mr. Om Prakash Dhankar, Haryana’s State Minister for Agriculture, Development & Panchayat, Mines & Geology, Animal Husbandry & Dairying and Fisheries, visited Fiji on 19-20 June to explore the cooperation opportunities especially in the agriculture sector of the Government of Fiji. India adopted 20 Fijian schools, which got damaged during the Tropical Cyclone Winston, under Fijian Government’s ‘Adopt a 40

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Pacific island Leaders with India PM during FIPIC at Jaipur

Meeting with Cook Islands during IPISDC

Cook Islands Mr. Mark Stephen Brown, Minister of Finance led the delegation from Cook Islands to the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Summit held at Suva on 25-26 May 2017. India signed MoU for setting up of Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) in Cook Islands during the visit. India provided US$ 690,846 to the Government of Cook Islands for 16 community development projects including a hospital in Cook Islands on 1 March 2017. The International Day of Yoga 2017 was celebrated in Cook Islands on 22 June at the National Stadium, Rarotonga. A senior officer from Ministry of Health also took part in the celebration. Kiribati High Commissioner Mr. Vishvas Sapkal presented credentials to H.E. Mr Taneti Maamau, President of Republic of Kiribati on 27 March 2017. Hon. Tekena Tiroa, Member of Parliament led the delegation from Kiribati to the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Summit held at Suva on 25-26 May 2017.

High Commissioner presented credentials to H.E. Mr Taneti Maamau,President of Republic of Kiribati on 27.3.2017

Kiribati signed the Framework Agreement of International Solar Alliance and thus became one of the signatories of this important agreement which came into force in December 2017. Under the banner of Namaste Pacifika Festival, world-renowned Odissi Dance exponent from India Ms. Meera Das performed in Kiribati on 11th November, 2017 at the Batio Sports Complex. The Chief Guest for the event was the Secretary for Cultural Affairs. The International Day of Yoga 2017 was celebrated in Kiribati on 21 June 2017 at National Sports Complex, Batio, Tarawa. The President and the First Lady encouraged the event by personally participating in it. Also present was Education Minister and many government Secretaries. Nauru High Commissioner Mr. Vishvas Sapkal presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Nauru His Excellency Mr. Baron Divavesi Waqa on 22 March 2017. India provided US$ 450,175 for construction of Sea Wall in TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Tuvalu High Commissioner Mr. Vishvas Sapkal presented his credentials to H.E. Sir Iakoba Taeia Italeli, Governor General of Tuvalu on 12 April 2017. Hon. Maatia Toafa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Economic Development led the delegation from Tuvalu to the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Summit held in Suva on 25-26 May 2017. Tuvalu has signed and ratified the Framework Agreement of

Signing Agreement with Nauru in IPISDC

Anetan District of Nauru in August 2015. The project was launched by President of Nauru and High Commissioner on 23 March 2017. The President of Nauru led the delegation to the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Summit held at Suva on 25-26 May 2017. India signed MoU for setting up of Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) in Nauru during the visit. The International Day of Yoga 2017 was celebrated in Nauru on 23 June 2017 at Civic Centre. President himself attended the event as the Chief Guest. Nauru has signed and ratified the Framework Agreement of International Solar Alliance and thus becoming the third Founding Member of this important international Alliance (after co-founders India and France). Tonga High Commissioner Mr. Vishvas Sapkal presented his credentials to His Majesty Tupou-VI, the King of Tonga on 8 February 2017.

High Commissioner with Hon. Prime Minister of Tuvalu at the Pacific Climate Conference at Suva 3 July 2017

International Solar Alliance and thus becoming one of the Founding Members of this important International Alliance to harness more and more solar energy. The International Day of Yoga 2017 was celebrated in Tuvalu on 23 June 2018 at Town Hall, Funafuti. Yoga received an excellent response in Tuvalu. Ms. Lanieta Faleasi, Assistant Secretary to Ministry for Home Affairs also took part during the celebration. India has provided an assistance of US$ 275,122 to Tuvalu in November 2017 for construction of three Government buildings. Vanuatu Hon. Ham Lini Vanuaroroa, Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazard, Environment, Energy and Disaster Management led the delegation from Kiribati to the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Summit held in Suva on 25-26 May 2017. Vanuatu signed the Framework Agreement of International Solar Alliance and thus became one of the signatories of this important agreement which came into force in September 2017. Under the banner of ‘Namaste Pacifika’ Festival, world-renowned Odissi Dance exponent from India Ms. Meera Das performed in Vanuatu at the Convention Centre in Port Villa on 07th November, 2017. The event was attended by over 1200 persons and Acting Prime Minister was the Chief Guest at the event.

Hon. Semisi Fakahau, Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forests & Fisheries led the delegation from Tonga to the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Summit held at Suva on 25-26 May 2017. Tonga signed the Framework Agreement of International Solar Alliance and thus became one of the signatories of this important agreement to put up fight against Climate Change. The International Day of Yoga 2017 was celebrated in Tonga on 24 June 2017 at Civic Centre. Under the banner of ‘Namaste Pacifika’ Festival, world-renowned Odissi Dance exponent from India Ms. Meera Das performed in Tonga on 3rd November, 2017 at the Tanoa Hotel in Nuku’alofa. The Chief Guest was the Hon’ble Lupeolo Halaevalu Moheofo Virginia Rose Tuita, who is also the daughter of the Princess of Tonga. 42

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

High Commissioner with Dy. Prime Minister of Vanuatu at the Pacific Climate Conference at Suva 4 July 2017


Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Hearts of India and Fiji beat synchronously. India also felt the pain of Fijians after the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston in February 2016. Indian relief assistance worth US$ 3mn reached Fiji on the sixth day after the Cyclone hit Fiji. India also contributed US$ 1mn to the Fijian Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation & Relief Fund and also participated in Fiji’s ‘Adopt a School’ Programme. US$ 1.3mn was donated to Fiji for repair of 20 schools in February 2017. Indian Air Force C17 Aircraft Arrives in Nadi, Fiji, With Relief Supplies - 27 February 2016 for Tropical Cyclone Winston Victims

India and Fiji have traditionally enjoyed warm and cordial relations on the strong foundations of historical and cultural linkages. Therefore, these are two geographically distant yet culturally and historically close nations. They are not only partners in their development processes, but also act in tandem on various international forums to further each other’s interests and common goals.

High Commissioner handed over a Cheque of FJ$2.17mn (eq. US$1.3mn) for Renovation of 20 Schools Under ‘Adopt A School’ Program

Assistance to SME Sector India has manifested, time and again, that it is a committed development partner of Fiji. One example, among many, of such partnership is India’s continued support to Fiji’s SME sector. During his visit to Fiji in November 2014, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi announced US$ 5mn assistance for Fiji’s SME Sector. On 13 September 2017, High Commissioner of India to Fiji Mr. Vishvas Sapkal handed over a cheque of FJ$ 580,904.38 (eq. US$289,000 approx.) to H.E. Mr. Faiyaz Koya, Hon’ble Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources towards third such instalment which brought the total assistance to Fiji at FJ$ 4.7 million (eq US$ 2.2mn). The Memorandum of Agreement for release of a further amount of US$ 2.8mn is going to be signed shortly, which will bring the total amount of assistance to US$5mn. The Government of Fiji is utilizing this grant to fund its Small and Micro Businesses Grant Facility, an initiative of the TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Fijian Government designed to provide grants to recipients for start-ups for micro and small businesses as well as assistance to existing micro and small businesses. The Grant covers applicants from a vast range of activities such as canteen businesses, poultry, bee keeping, livestock farming, market vending, bakery, sewing, roadside stalls, tailoring and handicraft businesses etc. amongst others by providing them FJ$1000 each to start these activities. Assistance to Agriculture & Sugar Industry Indian Naval Ship Sumitra visited Fiji in October 2016 and five tons of vegetable seeds worth US$ 1.2mn carried by INS Sumitra were handed over to Minister of Agriculture, Government of Fiji. The farmers of Fiji have much appreciated the high yields from these vegetable seeds.

industry in Fiji and specifically for procurement of agricultural equipment and vehicles to service cane growers’ needs in harvesting, haulage, planting and cultivation. The equipment to be procured includes 5 Tata lorries, 5 Mechanical Cane Planters and 5 Mahindra Tractors – all ‘Made in India’. Ten mill engineers from Fiji Sugar Corporation completed a thirty weeks training at the Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI), Pune on December 21, 2017. The graduation ceremony was attended by the Chief Operating Officer, Navin Chandra who expressed FSC’s gratitude to the Government of India for the ongoing support.

Fight against climate change by harnessing solar energy assistance to 14 PICs on 16 August 2016 High Commissioner Handing Over 5 Tons of Vegetable Seeds to Agriculture Minister of Fiji 27 October 2016

India continues to provide its assistance to the Fijian Sugar Industry. The US$ 70mn Line of Credit (LOC) for the ‘Cogeneration Power Plant at Rarawai’ is in the process of implementation. Earlier, India extended US$ 50.4 million Line of Credit in July 2005 for up-gradation of sugar mills in Fiji. Another fresh LOC of US$ 5.38mn for Up-gradation of sugar industry has been provided. However, Government of Fiji is currently in the process of restructuring these LOCs to make optimum utilization of the financing.

High Commissioner Handed Over Assistance to Hon PM of Fiji US$ 1.06mn to Fiji Sugar Corporation

In addition to financing under LOCs, on 7 December 2017, High Commissioner of India to Fiji Mr. Vishvas Sapkal handed over a cheque of FJ$ 2,172,576.35 (US$ 1.06mn) to H.E. Rear Admiral (Retired) Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji as the Government of India’s assistance towards Fiji Sugar Corporation’s strategic plan to revitalize the sugar 44

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

Assistance for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation India is also committed for providing assistance in ‘Climate Change Adaptation’ process. India will be carrying out solar electrification of 200 houses in each of the 14 Pacific Island Countries, including Fiji. Ministry of External Affairs has signed an agreement with Barefoot College, Rajasthan for implementation of this project with an estimated cost of US$ 1.5mn. Under the project, GOI is to provide six-month long training to 70 ‘Solar Mamas’ at Barefoot College, Rajasthan. Such training is happening since year 2012. Earlier, 43 ‘Solar Mamas’ completed such training. They needed refresher training of one-month considering the design changes etc. In the project, under first phase, 43 solar mamas had been given one-month refresher training at Centre for Appropriate Technologies and Development (CATD), Nadave, Fiji in August-September 2016. Another batch of training of 70 ‘Solar Mamas’ have been completed in September 2017. The second phase is of providing ‘solar electrification of 200 houses each in 14 Pacific Island countries’ for that solar electrification equipment will be supplied by Barefoot College and then assembling has to be done in the respective countries. Assistance for Human Resource Development and Capacity Building Every year, more than 100 Fijian officials avail scholarships under ‘Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC)’ Scheme which provides training in various courses ranging from sanitation, management, water resources development, information technology, etc in prestigious Indian institutes. More than 30 Fijian students avail scholarships for Graduation/ Post-Graduation/ Doctoral courses in renowned Indian universities also. Several Fijian students take advantage of the ICCR scholarship as well to pursue higher education in premier Indian institutes every year.

Minister of State for External Affairs General (Dr) V.K. Singh (Retd) while handing over Grant Cheque in Suva on 26 May 2017

Countries of Concurrent Accreditation of HCI, Suva India provided US$ 690,846 to the Government of Cook Islands for 16 community development projects including a hospital in Cook Islands on 1 March 2017. Earlier in 2015-16, Government of India provided US$124,332 to Cook Islands for ten community development projects.

project will help in reduction of the use of dangerous kerosene lanterns that could result in risks of accidental fire and loss of properties and life. It will also promote opportunities for school children without access to electricity power to study during night. In the past, Government of India has given US$ 534,108 to Kiribati since 2006 for various community development projects ‘for improving government press, purchase of generators/cherry picker truck/health equipment for hospitals, renovation of clinics, etc.


Government of India has increased Grant-in-Aid to all Pacific Island Countries to US$200,000 annually to be rolled over to provide a wider scope for development cooperation. Recently, India has provided US$ 1.1mn to Kiribati for solar efficient lighting for the urban District of South Tarawa in December 2017. The purpose of the project is to furnish South Tarawa households with solar lights to replace the use of kerosene lamps and to assist in improving energy efficiency in domestic residences. The project will help Kiribati save millions of in energy savings and also help to reduce carbon dioxide emission which contributes to greenhouse gas. Use of LED lights will eliminate use of fluorescent tubes which contains mercury. The

India provided US$ 450,175 for construction of Sea Wall in Anetan District of Nauru in August 2015. The project was launched by President of Nauru and High Commissioner on 23 March 2017. Government of India has also approved AUS$ 39,268.82 (eq. US$ 31,180 approx) for procurement of a Mahindra vehicle for Nauruan Parliament. The vehicle has been handed over to the Speaker of the Nauruan Parliament by High Commissioner on 30 Janaury 2018. India also provided TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Project for Seven Pacific Countries under India-UN Development Partnership Fund

The High Commission of India in Suva and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Suva launched the Climate Early Warning Systems in seven Pacific Island Countries Project on 1st September 2017. This is the first such project launched under the India-UN Development Partnership Fund which will be managed by the UN Office of South-South Cooperation and implemented through UNDP, Fiji. India is committed to provide US$100 million to the Fund in next 10 years. In 2017, US$5 mn have been provided. It is a multi-country project. The Cook Islands, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Nauru, the Solomon Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga are the partner countries. The project aims to increase resilience from natural disasters of these seven Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and will be catalytic towards achieving the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda and Goal 13 in particular which relates to action against Climate Change. US$ 41,419 towards uniforms of Nauru Police on the occasion of celebration of their 50th Anniversary of Independence on 31 January 2018. Government of India provided US$ 300,000 for Tsunami Alert System in July 2014 to Tonga. US$ 115,000 was provided in October 2014 for ‘Upgrade to the Office of the Public Service Commission ICT Infrastructure’ and US$ 71,627 was provided for ‘Spectrum Monitoring including Detection of Interference and Illegal Transmission in September 2015. We have provided an assistance of US$ 275,122 to Tuvalu in November 2017 for construction of three Government buildings. India has also provided airfares (US$ 35,767) for six-member Tuvalu delegation to COP23 in Bonn, Germany in November 2017. Also, in November 2017, we provided a grant of AUS$ 10,000 (eq. US$ 7837) to the Government of Tuvalu for holding SME trade fair in Tuvalu. Following Cyclone Pam in March 2015, India gave a grant of US$ 250,000 to Vanuatu as humanitarian assistance. During his visit to Vanuatu in October 2016, the then Indian 46

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

Minister of State for Power Mr. Piyush Goyal handed over a cheque of US$ 1,90,000 to Vanuatu Foreign Minister for procurement of IT equipment for 76 schools in Vanuatu. In January 2018, India has given US$ 200,000 grant assistance to Vanuatu for purchase of LED bulbs and energy efficient equipment.


A Saga of Vision and Enterprise

It has been a long and eventful journey of Bank of Baroda for more than a century across 25 countries. Starting in 1908 from a small building in Baroda to its new high rise and hi-tech Baroda Corporate Centre in Mumbai; This represents a saga of vision, enterprise, financial prudence and corporate governance. It is a story scripted in corporate wisdom and social pride. It is a story crafted in private capital, princely patronage and state ownership. It is a story of ordinary bankers and their extraordinary contribution in the ascent of Bank of Baroda to the formidable heights of corporate glory. It is a story that needs to be shared with all those millions of people - customers, stakeholders, employees & the public at large - who in ample measure, have contributed to the making of an institution. Bank of Baroda has started it’s journey in Fiji in 1961 with opening of its First Branch at Mark Street in Suva. Now Bank of Baroda continues to grow in Fiji with the support and bonding of its almost 100,000 customer base having provided uninterrupted/ unhindered service to them since then. Bank has a roboust IT platform and wide network of branches across Fiji to serve the customers and their requirements. In the 58 years of operation in Fiji, BOB has provided affordable banking services, participated in the socialeconomic development by extending credit to large business houses, Microfinance Entrepreneurs, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), retail, trading, manufacturing units, agriculture based activities, allied activities such as fisheries, dairy, poultry etc. Bank is also providing Micro finance & financial literacy programmes under the guidance of Reserve Bank of Fiji/Government of Fiji to the poor sections of the society. Bank Of Baroda Fiji has been committed to the development of the Fijian economy in it’s endeavour to achieve newer heights in economic growth for the country.

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


The Life Insurance Corporation of India started operations in India and Fiji in the same year viz 1956 and has completed 61 years of service. Popularly known as LICI, the Company has been a part of Fiji’s economy as the market leader in Life Insurance, with a market share of 63% in policies and 71% in premium. LICI has its main office in Suva and has a branch office in Lautoka and a marketing office in Labasa. It has 10 Sales and Service Points which are rendering important services to our customers. LICI has 15 Products on sale catering to all the segments of the population. Its most popular products are Money Back Policies and New Bula Gold which have a free insurance cover for an extended term beyond the date of maturity. Also, Target Classic plan is a popular tool for retirement planning. LICI also has Permanent Disability Benefit, Term rider, Critical Illness Rider and Funeral Expense Benefit as the attractive features/riders in different Policies. Every calendar year it completes around 10,000 New Policies and in the year 2017, a record 11173 new policies have been completed, and now it has a total of 63,133 policies in force as on date. The most important aspect of LICI in Fiji has been its consistent and high level of bonus declared year after


TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji

year. It paid out over F$ 67 million as Policy payouts during 2017, and the bonus declaration of F$ 9.44 million for the year 2017. LICI has an asset base of over F$ 608 million, and has contributed handsomely in the development of the Fijian economy with an investment of over approx F$ 557 million, till date, mostly in the infrastructure sector of the economy. As an Organization LICI’s commitment expands beyond life insurance policies. LICI’s has taken a step to adopt a school (by paying F$ 40,000 through Government of Fiji) which was affected by Cyclone Winston. LICI remains committed to providing all Fijians with the best service by making its service more accessible. It has also commenced with the Alternate Channels of Premium Payment to facilitate the policyholder to pay the premium anywhere in the country. LICI has tie up with BOB, ANZ, HFC, BSP, Westpac, and Bred Bank. LICI also has tie up with Post Fiji and Vodafone. Recently LICI has also been recognized with FIJI Business prize 2017. LICI at every stage of Life ...

... For every age of Life

The New India Assurance The New India Assurance (NIA) is a premiere general insurance company majorly owned by Government of India. Nia has been operating in fiji since last 64 years and is the largest general insurance company in Fiji on net premium basis thanks to the whole hearted support of fijian economy.

It has been always NIA’s priviledge to associate our activities with HCI and look forward to more fruitful interactions in time ahead.

Nia has the largest branch network in fiji amongst all general insurers and has its branches at Suva, Nadi, Lautoka and Labasa. Nia is the largest general insurer in Fiji total assets-wise and our solvency margin is highest amongst Fiji based general insurers. Nia is the only general insurer in Fiji who enjoys ‘a’(excellent) credit rating by A.M. Best company of U.S.A. NIA is majorly dealing with property, automobile and liability insurances and has been always a first preference for industry, trade & commerce and general public at large. Being a Government of India undertaking, it has been always our pleasure to channelise our efforts through High Commission of India, Fiji (HCI) to foster the cultural ties of indians and fijians especially indian descendents. During the year 2017, NIA has extended its support to HCI in following activities: (1) International conference on climate change and sustainable development hosted by Government of India under the leadership of H.E. Mr. V.K. Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India held in May 2017 (2) 3rd International Yoga Day celebration on 21.06.2017


(3) Series of events under “Namaste Pacifica” program to celebrate 70th year of free India including Food Festival of India in October 2017. (4) Our Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Subhash mehta, participated in international conference on climate change in may 2017 as one of the guest speaker Also played a vital role in formation of Indo-Fiji Friendship Forum to strengthen cultural ties of both the countries. We also helped IFFF in organizing holi event in march 2017. Also New India Assurance has been actively associated with HCI in the following activities during the year 2017:


(1) Republic day celebration at India House (2) Independence day celebration at India House (3) Gandhi Jayanti celebration at ICC (4) 126th Ambedkar Jayanti (5) Hindi day celebration at ICC and in NIA in september 2017 (6) Diwali celebration at India House

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji



SUCCESS STORIES IN FIJI WAPCOS Ltd (WAPCOS Ltd (A Govt. of India Undertaking) is a Global Leader in Consultancy, Engineering, procurement and Construction (EPC) providing integrated and customised solutions for sustainable development of Water, Power and Infrastructure Projects. In December 2015, got awarded the work “Professional services – Clients representative for design and build contract – upgrading water and waste water pipe network – Central/Eastern and Western urban Centres” from Water Authority of Fiji (WAF). Thereafter on the basis of high standard services rendered to the WAF, WAPCOS got awarded Professional services works for Road, Bridges and Jetties from Fiji Roads Authority and Up-gradation of Government Shipping Services Sea Wall from Ministry of Economy, Fiji. Water Authority projects (18 nos) are successfully completed. One Bridge assessment report for FRA is successfully completed and others are under progress. The tendering works for Survey and Geotechnical Investigations for Ministry of Economy is under progress. WAPCOS also submitted proposals in various departments in Fiji and very much hopeful to get awarded the projects. Few successful project photographs of Fiji are attached below:




Fijian contingent makes for one - third of 44th Know India Program

KIP participants with Minister of External Affairs Hon. Smt. Sushma Swaraj and Hon. Mr. M.J. Akbar 50

TRANSCEND - Vol - 2 - High Commission of India, Suva, Fiji


Editor in Chief : Vishvas Sapkal - High Commissioner Executive Editor : Sanjay Kumar - Attache Publicity Creative Director : Ravi Kant Yadav - Assistant Section Officer Art, Research and Design : Sonia Khan - Assistant Program Officer, Sereima Drotini - Assistant Publicity Officer, Yogendra Kumar - Librarian Special Thanks : India - Tourism, Sydney

High Commission of India, LICI Building, Level 7, Butt Street, Suva, Fiji Tel : + (679) 3301125 | Fax : + (679) 3301032 | Emergency Contact: + (679) 9921474 E-mail: hc.suva@mea.gov.in | Website : http://www.indianhighcommissionfiji.org/



India In Fiji

Third International Day of Yoga

School Children at the 3rd International Day of Yoga at Albert Park in Suva, Fiji

VIP Guests at the 3rd International Day of Yoga at Albert Park in Suva. L-R: Minister for Waterways, Hon’ble Mahendra Reddy, Chief Guest and Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Fiji, Hon’ble Dr. Jiko Luveni, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon’ble Mereseini Vuniwaqa and High Commissioner of India to Fiji, His Excellency Vishvas Sapkal

Chief Guest and Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Fiji, Hon’ble Dr. Jiko Luveni speaking at the event

3rd International Day of Yoga in Nauru with the presence of His Excellency the President of Nauru, Mr. Baron Waqa (first row- middle)

3rd International Day of Yoga in Kiribati with the presence of His Excellency the President of Kiribati, Mr. Taneti Maamau and the First Lady

Profile for hc.hcisuva

India in Fiji 2017 TRANSCEND - volume 2  

India in Fiji 2017 TRANSCEND - volume 2  


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded