|HOME | NEWS | REPORT|
March 25, 2000
Bhakt Naidu sings a bhajan for Clinton
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
Friday was what Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had been waiting for, and he played host to American President Bill Clinton in Hyderabad with great -- some would say, gleeful -- relish.
Naidu could not hide his joy about sharing the dais with Clinton at an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Andhra Pradesh Government in the Hi-Tech City, where the American president addressed a select audience of 1,200.
"Two Bills in the world have created history. One is Bill Clinton. Within seven years' time, he has done historic work which others have not done in a century. The other is Bill Gates. He has done extremely good work in the information technology field. In 30 years' time, Bill Gates has become the world's richest man," Naidu said.
Welcoming Clinton warmly to Hyderabad -- nay, Cyberabad -- Naidu said, "I am very happy that an American president is visiting our city. A president who hails from the American South is visiting South India for the first time."
In the last seven years, the chief minister said, the American economy has grown at the rate of four per cent per annum. This has reached six per cent in recent months.
"The United States has prospered under your leadership. From a budgetary deficit of $ 209 billion in 1992, the US budget has shown a surplus of $ 123 billion in 1999. Unemployment has come down from 7.9 per cent to 4.2 per cent and you have created 19 million new jobs. The crime rate is the lowest for the generation," he told Clinton.
He reminded the visiting dignitary that India has the second largest number of English-speaking persons. "One-third of the software professionals in America are from India and 23 per cent of the Indian software professionals are from Andhra Pradesh," he said.
"Your golf shirts are made in Hyderabad. We are happy that in the mornings also, you remember us," he said.
Showering praises on Clinton, he said, "You have done so much for America and the world. Today, you are no more an American citizen. You are a global citizen."
Naidu said he was very touched when Clinton replied to his letter inviting him [the American president] to Hyderabad. In his 20-minute presentation, Naidu said the Andhra Pradesh government has formulated a Vision 2020 document.
"We are empowering everyone everywhere in the state through self-help groups. We have created self-help groups in several sectors. Through the stakeholders, we want to achieve progress. We have introduced Janma Bhoomi programme, with focus on the Motherland Concept. We have to make the environment clean and green for the future generations," the chief minister said.
Complimenting the United States for leading the information technology revolution, Naidu said that 'IT' meant 'idea transfer.' In today's world, he continued, neither communism nor capitalism was prevailing; economic reforms with a human face was what was being followed.
Naidu said the fast growth of the IT sector in India had created mind-boggling wealth. Wipro promoter Azim Premji is today the third richest man in the world. Ramalinga Raju, hailing from Hyderabad, has joined the ranks of billionaires.
Referring to the scenario in the 21st century, he said that it would be a technology-led development. "We are very strong in information technology, IT-enabled services and bio-technology. We have Biotek and Shanta Biotech here," he noted.
He said the new century would see the emergence of the information age and the knowledge society. "We cannot afford to miss the opportunity of leapfrogging into the future. We look forward to forging new partnerships in this endeavour. A number of American majors like Microsoft, Oracle, Motorola, Abbott, Du Pont, Merck and Pfizer are making important contributions to the economy of the state," he noted.
Andhra Pradesh was establishing institutions of excellence in the information age. The Indian Institute of Information Technology combines the expertise of companies like IBM, Oracle, Metamor, Motorola and Satyam with the academic strengths of a university like Carnegie Mellon. The Indian School of Business in Hyderabad is a collaboration between India's leading business houses and Wharton and Kellogg -- two of the leading American business schools.
The chief minister went on to say that he was committed to ushering electronic governance and Smart Government. "We are reinventing the government. We are planning to set up Global Institute for governance in the Information Age. We are seeking partnership in the Grey revolution. There was brain drain earlier. Now, it is brain gain for India. We seek your cooperation in establishing GIGA. Dare to dream and strive to achieve. That is our motto. Our only mantra in this state is dedicated hard work, " he said.
SINGLES | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | MILLENNIUM | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK