Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called technology a “big medium of global change” and said governments must use it for development, not destruction. Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Modi described his reforms towards “e-governance”. The “E”, he said, stands for “effective, efficient, easy, empowered and equitable”.
He described his government’s work during his keynote address, and spoke about the Goods and Services tax, Aadhaar, soil health cards for farmers, and Start-up India scheme among others.
Earlier in the day, he attended the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first Hindu temple to be built in Abu Dhabi, PTI reported.
The Prime Minister arrived in the United Arab Emirates capital on Saturday. He interacted with the Indian community on Sunday at the Dubai Opera House, where the foundation ceremony was live-streamed.
At the temple’s inauguration, Modi said: “I believe this temple will not be only unique in terms of architecture and splendour, but will also give a message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ to people across the world.”
The temple, to be built on 55,000 square metres of land, will be hand-carved by Indian temple artisans and assembled in UAE, PTI reported. It will be completed by 2020.
“A temple is an agent of peace and harmony,” Modi said, according to NDTV. “UAE has respected our culture and it is our responsibility to uphold the principles of peace and tolerance.”
During his address to the Indian community, Modi spoke about India’s Ease of Doing Business rank. “The leap from 142 to 100 is unprecedented, but we are not satisfied at this, we want to do better and we will do whatever it takes to make it possible,” he said.
He also said India had changed in the past four years. “The situation has changed from ‘What will happen’ to ‘When will it happen’.”
Making a veiled attack at the Opposition, Modi said, “We have to bring India at a par with the rest of the world. When we demonetise currency, the poor understand but there are some who are still crying.”
This is Modi’s second visit to UAE since he became the Prime Minister. On Saturday, the Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan received Modi at the Abu Dhabi airport. The two leaders signed five agreements for energy, railways, manpower and financial services, NDTV reported.