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PARTICIPANTS OF THE ANNUAL HEADS OF MISSIONS CONFERENCE CALL ON THE PRESIDENT; YOU DON’T JUST REPRESENT THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, YOU REPRESENT 1.3 BILLION INDIANS, AND THEIR HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS; PRESIDENT TELLS THE HEADS OF MISSIONS

Rashtrapati Bhavan : 30.06.2018

Participants of the annual Heads of Missions Conference called on the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, today (June 30, 2018) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Addressing the gathering, the President said that there are tectonic shifts taking place in the world, and not just in the realm of geopolitics and geoeconomics. Technology, communication and societal mores are also changing rapidly. Terrorism and nonconventional threats pose a constant challenge to our security. To manage India’s rise in such an environment is not an easy task. As Heads of Missions, they have to be masters at strategic thinking, nimble-footed action and be able to quickly adapt to change.

The President said that the government has a clear and well marked approach to diplomacy today. The litmustest of our engagement with the external world is what we are able to do to propel domestic growth and development. Our diplomats are doing well on this account. And as they do so, there is expectation for much more, especially when the country aspires for transformational change. The Indian growth story and our flagship programmes, be it Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Smart Cities or Start-up India, have a multilayered connect with the external world. As diplomats, it is part of their mandate to secure new investments, scout for appropriate technologies, create markets for Make-in-India products and bring the best of business practices to India.

The President said that engaging the different States of India is a vital part of our diplomacy today. He stated that he sees real value of "twinning arrangements” in promoting people-to-people relations between our States and diaspora countries. Today, there are higher expectations from us as a country from our citizens living outside. He complimented the External Affairs Minister for her exemplary leadership and work in this regard. He stated that the EAM has given a new confidence to our people abroad in the ability of our Government to reach out to them when in need. Our Missions and our Ambassadors are seen as responsive to public needs, always ready to give a helping hand to our citizens and to members of the Indian diaspora. Our E-Visa scheme, similarly, has come in for praise.

The President said that our diplomats should remember that they don’t just represent the Indian state and the Government of India. They represent 1.3 billion Indians, and their hopes and aspirations. They represent our diverse and plural culture, they represent the richness of our 5000 year old civilization and they represent a society that in its essence is a force for good and for stability in an unpredictable world.

This release issued at 2000 hrs.

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