January 2015 will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi return home in a big way. The Gujarat government, in its annual 2014-15 budget, announced plans by the Centre to celebrate the next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the Indian government’s annual engagement with the Indian diaspora by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar in 2015. The event, hosted from January 7-9 every year since 2003 to celebrate the return of India’s best known pravasi, Mahatma Gandhi, from South Africa in 1915, will be held in Modi’s home state to coincide with the celebration of 100 years of Mahatma’s return, at the iconic Mahatma Mandir, the convention centre built by Modi in Gandhinagar.
The PBD is a distinguished gathering of Indians from across the world and is addressed by the President, Prime Minister, the overseas Indian affairs minister and other dignitaries. It has always been held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi so far.
This will be followed by the flagship investment event, the seventh edition of the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit (VGGIS) to be held at the same venue from January 11-13. Both events began in 2003. Giving out its priority countries in the forthcoming summit, the Anandi Patel government announced plans to set up international desks in the US, Singapore, Japan, Canada and China “to facilitate investment in Gujarat by foreign investors and for effective exchange of information”, said the budget statement. The government also announced that the VGGIS would have 107 seminars or summits in the upcoming edition.
Vadodara rewarded for Modi’s big win
Vadodara constituency from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi won with a huge margin in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, has been rewarded by the BJP government in the state with sops. The Lok Sabha seat will see a bypoll in October as Modi vacated it in favour ofVaranasi seat of Uttar Pradesh from where he also won by a huge margin.
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The Gujarat government has made provisions of around Rs 157 crore for Vadodara in its budget on Tuesday. These provisions have promised a number of benefits for the city, like a knowledge hub consisting of five universities, a convention centre, musical garden at Aajwa and development of MSU’s Engineering faculty.
Modi won by a record margin of 5.70 lakh votes. from Vadodara — the highest winning margin in the 2014 elections and second highest in any Lok Sabha elections. However, Modi retained the Varanasi seat. Gujarat Finance Minister Saurabh Patel, who happens to be from Akota Assembly segment of Vadodara, is also among the probable candidates to contest the Vadodara bypoll.
The state government has announced that it envisages an innovative and world-class knowledge hub that would be developed as a special education-cum-sports zone spreading over a large area in Vadodara. This hub will accommodate Children’s University, Teachers’ University, Sports University and Central University all of which are currently in Gandhinagar. The sports university is yet to be set up.
The state government is also planning to establish GSFC University on an approximate area of 25 hectares in Padra taluka of the district near the proposed knowledge hub. Besides, a provision of Rs 7 crore has been made to develop the infrastructure facilities at the engineering faculty of the MSU, which is completing 125 years of its existence. An international-level convention centre at an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore has also been planned for the district.
The government has allocated Rs 15 crore to develop a musical garden at the famous Aajwa Dam under the total project cost of Rs 35 crore which will be completed on PPP basis. An Overseas Employment and Career Guidance Centre has been also planned for Vadodara.
A provision of Rs 10 crore has also been made for the management of the newly-constructed Sport Complex in Vadodara. A provision of Rs 7 crore has been made for measuring all properties and getting the property cards prepared after checking the record of rights in Vadodara and Bhavnagar.