Modi's diplomacy brings UAE closer to India

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Modi's diplomacy brings UAE closer to India

Sunday, 18 February 2024 | BK Singh

Modi's diplomacy brings UAE closer to India

In the realm of diplomacy, the synergy between Narendra Modi and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has blossomed into an extraordinary bond, propelling the relationship between India and the United Arab Emirates to unprecedented heights

Since ascending to the position of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has embarked on a remarkable journey, marked by seven visits to the United Arab Emirates since 2015. His tenure signifies a profound shift in diplomatic engagement, as no Indian Prime Minister had graced the shores of the UAE in three decades prior to his tenure. A pivotal moment unfolded when President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, formerly the Prince of the Monarchy alongside his five distinguished brothers, warmly welcomed PM Modi at Abu Dhabi Airport during his maiden visit to the UAE in 2015. This historic encounter heralded a new era of bilateral relations, symbolising the strengthening bonds between the two nations at the highest echelons of leadership.

In the realm of diplomacy, the synergy between Narendra Modi and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has blossomed into an extraordinary bond, propelling the relationship between India and the United Arab Emirates to unprecedented heights.

Responding to the fervent appeal of the Indian community, Modi sought the consent of Zayed Al Nahyan to construct a Hindu temple in the heart of Abu Dhabi. Without hesitation, the leader not only granted his approval but also allocated a sprawling 22 acre, chosen by the community.

Thus, amid the tranquil expanse of Abu Dhabi’s Abu Mureikha area, emerged the UAE’s hand-carved Hindu temple, boasting Nagara-style architecture adorned with breathtaking sculptures crafted from pink sandstone and white marble.

Its grand inauguration, presided over by Modi in a captivating evening ceremony on February 14 served as a poignant symbol of cultural reverence and mutual respect.

The auspicious occasion coincided with the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on January 22, imbuing the Indian diaspora with a profound sense of unity and pride both at home and abroad. During Modi’s recent sojourn to Abu Dhabi on February 13 and 14, the strategic collaboration between the two nations was further cemented with the signing of a landmark treaty, following the trailblazing Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) of 2022.

This momentous accord precipitated a remarkable 16 per cent surge in bilateral trade during the fiscal year 2022-23, while also solidifying the UAE’s position as the fourth-largest foreign direct investment (FDI) contributor to India.

Against this backdrop, the inauguration of the BAPS temple stands as a testament to the enduring friendship between the UAE and India, symbolising a harmonious convergence of cultural heritage and shared values, epitomising the UAE’s unwavering commitment to global harmony, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence.

In a transformative stride towards educational collaboration, the inauguration of IIT Delhi’s campus in Abu Dhabi represents yet another milestone in the burgeoning partnership between the two nations.

With classes commencing on January 29, 2024, for its inaugural batch, this monumental achievement underscores a shared commitment to fostering excellence in higher education and fostering a culture of innovation and research. Signed into fruition through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on July 15, 2023, the rapid establishment of the campus reflects the indomitable spirit of cooperation and mutual ambition.

Modi’s unwavering dedication to educational advancement was palpable during his earlier visits to the UAE, where he laid the foundation for this transformative initiative. Embodying a shared vision for knowledge exchange and human capital investment, the campus serves as a beacon of progress, heralding a new era of collaboration in cutting-edge technology and research.

Together, these initiatives underscore a shared commitment to fostering a dynamic partnership rooted in mutual respect, innovation, and progress, paving the way for a brighter future characterised by global cooperation and sustainable development.

Envision a transformative educational landscape, sculpted by the wisdom of the Radhakrishnan Commission report, which illuminates the path towards global excellence in higher learning, particularly in the realms of management and technology.

Embracing this vision, our pioneering education policy unfolds with resplendent ambition, aimed at erecting international bastions of knowledge affiliated with esteemed institutions such as the IITs, IIMs, and AIIMSs.

Witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of IIT Madras casting its scholarly gaze upon the shores of Zanzibar, while IIT Delhi’s illustrious presence graces the skyline of Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, the noble aspiration to extend the mantle of education beckons as plans materialise for another distinguished outpost of IIT Madras in the verdant landscape of Sri Lanka.

As we chart this illustrious journey, the aspirations and exigencies of the region stand as guiding beacons, shaping every facet of our curriculum and courses, ensuring a bespoke educational experience that resonates with the heartbeat of our communities.

Barely two moons have waxed and waned since the resplendent conclusion of COP 28 in the radiant city of Dubai, where the clarion call to liberate ourselves from the shackles of fossil fuel consumption resounded with unanimous fervour.

Behold the intrinsic symbiosis between electric power and our very existence, intertwined with the fabric of our livelihoods, as industrial growth unfurls its majestic wings, fueled by the tempestuous currents of power consumption.

Yet, amid this epoch of progress, the spectre of greenhouse gas emissions looms ominously, a harrowing testament to the heedless march of industrialisation, which has cloaked our planet in a shroud of warmth, rising by an imperceptible yet perilous 1.2 degrees Celsius.

Behold, then, the catastrophic ballet of nature’s fury, as the warming embrace of the oceans and earth catalyses a tempestuous crescendo of sea surges, floods, landslides, and droughts, weaving a tapestry of despair across the globe.

Henceforth, the clarion call for change echoes with unyielding resonance, beckoning us to cast aside the yoke of coal, oil, and gas, and embrace the verdant pastures of renewable energy. Behold the alchemy of progress, as the crucible of innovation kindles the flames of hope, birthing technologies that harness the elemental fury of nuclear fusion, the luminous promise of green hydrogen, and the celestial dance of solar and wind energy. Yet, amid this symphony of progress, a lamentation arises, for the bounteous fruits of alternative energy remain tantalisingly beyond our grasp, ensnared by the tendrils of inadequate research and finance. Thus, let us cast our gaze towards the radiant shores of Abu Dhabi, a beacon of hope and innovation, where the leviathan of progress strides forth, fuelled by the boundless ingenuity of human endeavor.

Gather, then, beneath the auspices of the inaugural programme at IIT Delhi’s hallowed Abu Dhabi campus, where the Master of Technology in Energy, Transition, and Sustainability stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment towards a greener tomorrow.

Let us behold with reverence the vanguard of progress, as students, sponsored by the custodians of oil and gas, embark upon a journey towards enlightenment and empowerment.

For in the crucible of knowledge, we shall forge a future teeming with possibility, where the economies of Abu Dhabi and her Gulf brethren shall transcend the shackles of fossil fuel dependency, ushering forth a new era of prosperity and sustainability.

Behold, then, the emerald tapestry of transition and sustainability, unfurling beneath the hallowed halls of IIT Delhi, where the sacred rites of research and innovation converge, illuminating the path towards a brighter, greener future for generations yet unborn.

(The writer is retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Head of Forest Force) Karnataka)

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