Celebration of diversity and tradition of peace on 58th Republic Day
The sun shone on yet another grand celebration of India's cultural diversity and its tradition of peace as millions around the country commemorated its 58th Republic Day on January 26.
The grandest spectacle of them all unfolded in capital, New Delhi, where a clockwork-perfect march past by the three wings of the armed forces at the central vista of Rajpath cast a spell on thousands of onlookers, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was the chief guest.
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who unfurled the national flag, took the salute, and also present on the occasion were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, Opposition Leader L.K. Advani as well as ministers, bureaucrats and the diplomatic community.
What really brought a smile to many faces was the musical camel contingent of the Border Security Force (BSF).
The march past was followed by the colourful tableaux of various states. For instance, the Jammu and Kashmir tableau highlighted the prominent shrines of the main faiths of the state while India's first freedom movement of 1857 was the theme of the Uttar Pradesh tableau. The Orissa tableau won the top prize.
Schoolchildren delighted with well-coordinated drills and dances, a fruition of months of practice.
Security was tight not only at the parade grounds but also across the city, with snipers being positioned in key positions in central Delhi. In other parts of the city, barricades were erected and vehicles stringently checked.
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Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown visits India
U.K.'s Chancellor of Exchequer, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, MP, visited India from January 17-19. He travelled to Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
In Bangalore, Brown delivered the Keynote address at the CII Partnership Summit's Plenary Session. He also visited Wipro's Electronic City Campus. In New Delhi, Brown called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi. With Indian Finance Minister Mr. P Chidambaram he discussed the Indo-British Economic and Financial Dialogue. In Mumbai, Brown met with leading businessmen, visited Yash Raj Studious and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link Construction site.
Gordon Brown held talks in New Delhi on January 18 with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and launched the 'India-U.K.
Economic and Financial Dialogue' - an initiative to promote two-way trade and investment taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his British counterpart Tony Blair last year. "The dialogue will help build a strong partnership and will serve as a forum for exchange of issues on bilateral and global issues, the financial system, climate change and energy security," Finance Minister Chidambaram said at a joint press conference with Brown in New Delhi.
Brown, the Labour Party's possible future Prime Minister, underlined enhanced cooperation between India and Britain in the crucial areas of combating terrorism in all its forms by striking at the financial sources of terrorists.
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India should be identified with Mahatma Gandhi's message : PM
Stressing that the values of peace and tolerance upheld by Mahatma Gandhi - whose death anniversary was observed on January 30 - were relevant in today's world, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the essence of his philosophy was the empowerment of every individual, irrespective of caste, class, creed or community.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of the two-day international conference that commemorated the centenary of Gandhi's Satyagraha, the Prime Minister said Mahatma Gandhi's message could be associated with the teachings of all the great religions in the world.
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Infosys tops 'Reputation Index'
For the fourth consecutive year software major Infosys has topped the ACNielsen Corporate Reputation Index, according to the 2006 ACNielsen Corporate Image Monitor. Wipro and TCS featured among the top 10, while the IT industry retained its position as the most reputed sector.
The report is an annual syndicated study conducted by ACNielsen ORG-MARG. The study is conducted and designed to measure key perceptions of the performance of leading corporations in India, to help benchmark company image and reputation.
"The IT sector is very well perceived by Indians. This year, even auto and steel companies have started to make their presence felt," said Prasenjit Das of ACNielsen, India.
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