70 years after
Singapore tribute to Gandhi
Sacred moment... Indian Government
representative John Thivy releases Gandhi’s
ashes into the sea off Clifford Pier on
REPORT ON PAGES 10 & 11
T H E H E A R T B E A T O F T H E I N D I A N C O M M U N I T Y
PAGES 4 & 5
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
MODI TO KICK-START
DIGITAL ERA IN GROWING
Singapore Press Holdings
(English/Malay/Tamil Media group)
V.K. Santosh Kumar
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Indian police investigate AirAsia
boss Tony Fernandes
INDIA’S federal police raided the
offices of budget carrier AirAsia in
major Indian cities on May 29 as
investigators accused the airline’s boss
Tony Fernandes of illegally obtaining
The Central Bureau of Investigation
said it was probing claims that
Mr Fernandes, a Malaysian, lobbied
Indian officials for favourable
treatment regarding licenses for his
Mr Fernandes was accused by
investigators of campaigning to have
aviation regulations relaxed in his
favour, the Press Trust of India (PTI)
One of these was the so-called 5/20
rule stipulating that companies must
have five years of domestic experience
and a fleet of 20 aircraft before being
eligible to operate abroad.
Vehicle distributing free food
to poor launched
NON-profit organisation Feeding India
has launched a vehicle that will
distribute food to the poor and hungry
round the clock in New Delhi.
The vehicle, running on electric
power, will collect excess food from
restaurants, housing complexes and
individuals and distribute it to the
needy. It will serve more than 800
The vehicle named “Dilli Ki Jaan”
was unveiled on May 27 in the
presence of celebrity chef Manjit Gill.
Kerala tourism to unveil world’s
largest bird sculpture
KERALA’S tourism department will
inaugurate the world’s largest bird
sculpture, Jatayu Earth’s Centre, in
Thiruvananthapuram on July 4.
The replica of the bird “Jatayu” – a
character in the Ramayana – is 200ft
long, 150ft wide and 65ft tall and is
positioned right at the top of a rock
situated 1,000ft above sea level.
The sculpture will house a museum
and a 6D theatre , which will be ready
in November. The tale of Jatayu is
being made in Hollywood and will be
screened for visitors to the sculpture.
24 pieces of ivory recovered from
two men in Guwahati
THE Directorate of Revenue
Intelligence recovered 24 pieces of
ivory weighing 5.8kg near Guwahati
railway station in Assam on May 26.
Suraj Kumar Das from West Bengal
was in the process of receiving the
package from Badrul Hussain from
Assam’s Hojai district, when he was
intercepted by officials from the
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.
Interrogation of the two revealed
that Hussain had picked up the package
containing ivory from a person at Hojai
and was supposed to deliver it to Das
who would have in turn handed it over
to another person at New Jalpaiguri to
be smuggled into Nepal through the
townships in north Bengal.
Facebook to train Indian women
on safe use of Internet
FACEBOOK has partnered with the
National Commission for Women
(NCW) to launch a digital literacy
programme aimed at training 60,000
women in universities across India on
the safe use of the Internet, social
media and e-mail within a year.
Launched in collaboration with
Cyber Peace Foundation, the pilot
programme will enable trainees to
differentiate between credible and
questionable information, Facebook
The training will be conducted in
vernacular languages. It will benefit
women in universities across major
cities in Haryana, Delhi-NCR,
Manipur, Sikkim, Meghalaya,
Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
New shelter in Vrindavan for
A NEW shelter for widows with a
capacity for 1,000 people, has been
constructed in Vrindavan, Uttar
Pradesh. The Union Women and Child
Development Ministry signed a
memorandum of understanding on
May 29 with Uttar Pradesh’s Women
and Child Development Department,
which has been assigned to look after
the functioning of the shelter.
The state will be responsible for
various activities including identifying
beneficiaries, providing residential
care to the widows and deploying staff.
‘Who are you?’, Thoothukudi
youth asks Rajinikanth
faced an embarrassing question when
an injured youth in Tamil Nadu’s
Thoothukudi asked him: “Who are
The celebrity was visiting those who
were injured in the police firing at the
anti-Sterlite Copper smelter plant
protest in Thoothukudi that left 13
dead. As he approached one patient’s
bed, a youth named Santhosh Raj
slowly sat up and asked him: “Who are
Rajinikanth then told the youth his
name. The video of this exchange has
gone viral on the Internet.
New series of books to mark
Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary
A SERIES of books and scholarly
readings on Mahatma Gandhi will be
published by the India office of Oxford
University Press to mark his 150th
birth anniversary next year.
New books will be commissioned,
acclaimed old titles re-published and
online contests as well as giveaways
will be used to promote these books
and create a deeper understanding of
Gandhi. Some of them will also explore
“newer angles” on the man.
The initiative, the publisher said,
will encourage discussions around
Gandhi’s socio-political contribution
to India and the world.
Odisha tea seller praised for
educating slum children
PRIME minister Narendra Modi has
hailed a tea seller in Odisha’s Cuttack
city for providing education to 70 slum
children. He spoke about Mr D.
Prakash Rao in his monthly radio
address Mann Ki Baat.
“He has opened a school named
‘Asha Ashvaasan’, spending 50 per
cent of his income for children living in
slums and hutments. He ensures
education, health and meals for all the
children coming to this school”, said
Mr Modi, terming the life of Mr Rao, a
tea vendor for the past five decades,
“an inspiration to us, our society and
the whole country”.
First phase of Delhi-Meerut
THE first phase of the Delhi-Meerut Ex-
pressway was inaugurated on May 27
by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Once the entire project is completed, it
will take 60 minutes to travel from
Delhi to Meerut. The total length of the
expressway is 82km, of which the first
27.74km will have 14 lanes, while the
rest will be a six-lane expressway.
Mr Modi also flew to Baghpat to inau-
gurate the 135-km Kundli-Ghaziabad-
The new expressway will reduce traf-
fic time between Kundli and Palwal in
Haryana from over four hours to
around 72 minutes.
Queen of Netherlands meets Mumbai’s ‘dabbawallas’
QUEEN Maxima of the Netherlands met Mumbai’s famous
“dabbawallas” (lunchbox delivery men) on May 30 during a
four-day visit to India.
According to the Times of India, she learnt how their
impeccable delivery system, which has won global acclaim,
works during the meeting at the Andheri railway station.
The 47-year-old arrived in India on May 28 in her capacity as
the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for
Inclusive Finance and Development.
She met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Prime
Minister’s Office in New Delhi as well as other dignitaries.
The queen also visited the Cricket Factory in Meerut, Uttar
Pradesh, where she was presented with her very own bat.
June 1, 2018
New initiative... Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Narendra Modi meeting
a young innovator at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre yesterday.
Focus on digital growth
V.K. SANTOSH KUMAR
NDIAN Prime Minister Narendra
Modi arrived in Singapore yester-
day (May 31) from Kuala Lumpur
where he had discussions with
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohammad on further cementing ties
between the two nations.
It came a day after he agreed to step
up cooperation with Indonesia in a
broad range of areas, particularly de-
fence and economy, following a meet-
ing with President Joko Widodo at the
Merdeka Palace in Jakarta.
After his first trip to Indonesia and a
relatively short stop-over in Kuala
Lumpur, Mr Modi arrived in Singapore
for a three-day visit – his second official
visit here following his maiden one in
Soon after his arrival, he was at the
Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre
to attend a business-community event
where he met young innovators and, to-
gether with Singapore’s Prime Minis-
ter Lee Hsien Loong, toured an exhibi-
tion of local and Indian start-ups in ar-
eas such as artificial intelligence, fin-
tech and cyber security.
Later, he mingled with nearly 6,000
members of the Indian community in
Singapore during a dinner and held a
round-table discussion with top CEOs.
There will be no let up in Mr Modi’s
engagements over the next two days
when he will launch a new digital era in
the long-standing relations between
Singapore and India.
Tomorrow, during a visit to the In-
dian Heritage Centre, he will use the
RuPay card to make a purchase – sym-
bolically launching the card which will
enable Indians to do cashless transac-
tions in Singapore.
The transactions will be hosted by
the Indian government’s National Pay-
ments Corporation of India (NPCI) –
an umbrella organisation for all retail
payment systems in India – and Singa-
pore’s equivalent system, Network for
Electronic Transfers or Nets.
It will signal the start of mutually ac-
ceptable digital wallets between Indian
and Singaporean citizens.
There is already close and broad-
based cooperation between Singapore
and India in the areas of business and
Mr Modi will aim to strengthen it fur-
ther by initiating opportunities in the
new areas of digital technology and the
Fintech, alongside initiatives for
skills development and collaboration
over smart cities, is being seen as a new
pillar of the ties that revolve around an
annual bilateral trade of about $25 bil-
Mr Modi’s three-year-old push to
digitise India, for example, can open
up a billion-strong market for Singa-
pore’s fintech ventures.
The mutual recognition of Nets and
RuPay will initially target up to five mil-
lion Indian visitors who transit through
Several MOUs and agreements will
be signed by the two prime ministers
during their official meeting at the Is-
Mr Modi, who is accompanied by
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval
and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale,
will aim to build on the Strategic Part-
nership signed in 2015.
Observers expect both countries to
seal the reviewed Comprehensive Eco-
nomic Cooperation Agreement
(CECA) which has been under review
for the past six years.
The reviewed CECA is expected to
see more Indian banks and profession-
als getting opportunities in Singapore
with more and more businesses from
Singapore venturing into the Indian
Regular visits by Indian naval ships
to Singapore, as well as the region, are
part of the growing defence ties be-
tween the two countries.
These ties will be strengthened fur-
ther with more pacts expected to be
Importantly, Mr Modi will deliver
the keynote address at the Shangri-La
It is expected to be attended by top
leaders from more than 50 countries.
He will, for the first time, be address-
ing world leaders since his extensive
one-to-one dialogues with govern-
ment heads of China, Russia, France as
well as Commonwealth heads of gov-
ernment who had gathered in London
It will also be a first time for the
Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s premier
defence summit, to hear an Indian
Prime Minister sharing his wide-rang-
ing views on a world facing great uncer-
tainties and flux.
Mr Modi’s packed schedule tomor-
row includes a visit to the National Or-
chid Garden where an orchid will be
named in his honour – Dendrobium
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