Asean leaders’ presence at Republic Day to showcase ‘Act East’ policy: Sitharaman. At the National Cadet Corps’ (NCC) Republic Day camp, she said it is the Prime Minister’s intention that the “Look East” policy be converted to an “Act East” policy….reports Asian Lite News

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a visit to NCC Republic day camp at Delhi cantt on Jan 22, 2018. (Photo: IANS/DPRO)

The presence of leaders of Asean countries at the Republic Day parade will display the Narendra Modi government’s “Act East” policy, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday.

At the National Cadet Corps’ (NCC) Republic Day camp here, she said it is the Prime Minister’s intention that the “Look East” policy be converted to an “Act East” policy.

“The Prime Minister’s intention that the ‘Look East’ policy should now be the ‘Act East’ policy is really taking shape.

“And, by the very presence of 10 leaders from Asean during the Republic Day celebrations, India will definitely showcase its ‘Act East’ policy,” said Sitharaman.

Leaders of all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) bloc have confirmed participation as guests of honour at India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26 (Friday) to commemorate 25 years of New Delhi’s close ties with the bloc.

The leaders from Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam will start arriving by Wednesday.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visits the Flag Area at the Republic Day NCC Camp 2018 in New Delhi on Jan 22, 2018. Also seen NCC DG Lt. Gen. B.S. Sahrawat. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

There will be a banquet hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind for the leaders to be followed by a plenary and a gala dinner hosted by Prime Minister Modi.

In her address, the Defence Minister complimented the NCC for doing exceptional work towards Swachhata Abhiyan.

She also complimented the NCC fraternity for making an invaluable contribution towards National integration and Nation Building through multifarious activities of the NCC.

“The youth of independent India are extremely fortunate that such an organisation exists in our country which devotes vast amount of resources towards their personality development.

“The NCC infuses and nurtures qualities like leadership, secularism, patriotism, selfless service, discipline, hard work and other character-building qualities in the youth of the country,” she said.

The Minister also conferred Raksha Mantri Padak and Commendation Cards to NCC cadets for their exemplary performance and devotion to duty at an impressive ‘Investiture Ceremony’ held at Cariappa Parade Ground here.

Raksha Mantri Padak was instituted in 1989 and is awarded to the most deserving cadet every year for bravery or exceptional service of highest order.

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu. (File Photo: IANS)

This year the Padak has been awarded to Cadet Priya of Uttar Pradesh Directorate, Raksha Mantri Commendation Cards have been awarded to CWO Bhuvnesh Rathore of Rajasthan Directorate, Capt. Arundati J. Patel of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Directorate and Cadet Soumarjit Ghosh of West Bengal and Sikkim Directorate.

Meanwhile. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday said that India will “be working closely” with other countries, particularly from the Asean region for an early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The minister spoke on the sidelines of the “Asean-India Business and Investment Meet and Expo” being held in New Delhi.

The mega free trade agreement — RCEP — is currently being negotiated between Asean member states — Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — and Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.




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