The second day of the Fourth Heads of Mission’s conference witnessed discussions on a wide range of issues which focused on India’s immediate neighbourhood, its multilateral engagements, energy security, the Euro zone crisis, India’s development partnership programme, the passport seva project and consular services. Presentations were made on National Manufacturing Policy and on Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). Also discussed were the outcomes of the six regional Heads of Mission meetings that were held across the world during 2012.
Taking cue from the Prime Minister’s inaugural address calling for engaging with our neighbourhood with renewed vigor and a fresh outlook, developments in our neighbouring countries were taken stock of and some intense brainstorming on their potential implications on our current relations and outlook for future engagement was carried out.
Speaking on the Euro Zone Crisis, Minister of State for External Affairs Smt. Preneet Kaur drew attention to the fact that the economic situation in Europe is unlikely to return to “business as usual” on its own . Rising unemployment and recession induced by top down austerity measures has already begun to take a toll. However the euro zone leaders are fully committed to saving the Euro and the measures taken by them will help the Euro zone emerge stronger with greater fiscal integration. Highlighting the likely adverse impact of the persisting Euro Zone crisis on India’s economy given the strong trade and investment links between India and the EU, she called for greater vigilance in safeguarding India’s interests.
Earlier Secretary ( Petroleum and Natural Gas) addressed the gathering, highlighting the steps being taken to strengthen the energy security for India and emphasized the important role played by Indian missions abroad in achieving this objective.
India’s engagement with multilateral organizations and groups and its complementarity and importance for our growing bilateral relations with various countries and regions was discussed at length. Permanent Representative of India to the UN, Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri provided an update on the ongoing process of UN Security Council reforms, including the approaches of the G4, C10, L69 processes and the current situation relating to India’s quest for permanent membership of the Security Council. Also discussed during the session were India’s Look East Policy in the light of the forthcoming ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, strategic importance of engaging with Indian Ocean Rim Countries, and our relations with other important multilateral groups like BRICS, IBSA, India-Africa Forum Summit and CELAC.
The efforts to streamline passport delivery systems through enhancing awareness of online applications through PSK’s, improving the amenities at PSK’s, pilot projects for integrating the Passport Seva Project (PSP) network with state police across some states and union territories and establishing call centres and help-desks to facilitate citizens were deliberated in the session on passport and consular services.
September 15, 2012