'The closeness is evident'
Vipul, Consul General of India to Dubai
Vipul, Consul General of India to Dubai, speaks about the UAE-India trade and cultural ties
Congratulating all Indians living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of India's independence, Vipul, Consul General of India to Dubai, says that this is a day when we remember the leaders of our freedom struggle who got us independence from the British rule and taught us the virtues of personal sacrifice for the national cause.
He adds, "It is also the day when we look back upon the journey of independent India and commit ourselves to do our best for our country. In the last seven decades, India's journey has been fabulous and we have emerged as a shining example of democracy and development for the entire world."
Talking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landslide win in 2019 general elections and the return of the Modi government this year, he states that the showcase of democracy was on full display this year as India witnessed the mammoth exercise of national elections with great success. "There is great anticipation among all Indians that under the continued leadership of Hon'ble PM Narendra Modi India will become stronger and make swift progress in all areas."
Meanwhile, Vipul also adds that India and the UAE have made great strides in their bilateral relationship in the last five years, thanks to the vision and commitment of top leadership of both countries. He reiterates that the close friendship is evident from the constant exchange of high level visits between our two countries.
"The visits of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE in 2015 and 2018 and those of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, to India in 2016 and 2017 were truly historic.
This year too, we have had visits at the Foreign Ministry level from both countries. His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, paid a visit to India a few weeks ago, while our former External Affairs Minister, Late Sushma Swaraj, visited the UAE in March 2019 on the landmark invitation by the UAE to India to attend OIC Foreign Ministers' Meeting.
Her visit came on close heels of her earlier visit to the UAE in December 2018 for Joint Commission Meeting in which all areas of cooperation were reviewed. Such close engagement between our two countries has now become an enduring feature."
Speaking further about the UAE-India collaboration and ties, the CG feels that today there is virtually no field where both countries are not cooperating and collaborating - be it energy, trading, investments, human resources, skill development, food processing, new technology such as AI and blockchain or strategic sectors like defence and space.
"Our trade relations continue to be as strong as ever, with India being among the top two trading partners of the UAE, and UAE being the third largest trading partner of India. With the presence of the large Indian community in the UAE, the remittances from here are also very important.
Our growing partnership augurs well for the Indian diaspora as it opens newer areas of business and employment for them and enables both countries to address any issues quickly. This also means greater people-to-people and cultural contacts between the two countries. The Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi, celebration of International Day of Yoga across UAE and the Year of Tolerance have all been welcomed by everyone in the Indian community," he maintains.
With regards to Indian sentiments abroad, including the UAE, Vipul feels that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi all Indians abroad feel more confident, proud and reassured.
"Our Embassies and Consulates are doing their utmost to render best services to Indian diaspora and help any Indian in distress. Likewise, our Consulate, which serves perhaps the largest number of Indians abroad, makes a consistent effort to bring more efficiency in its service delivery and help people with compassion.
I am happy that in the last two years we have consistently maintained our timeline of about three to four days' service in passport delivery; the introduction of online application has further eased the process. We have also ensured that we reply to every case of distressed Indian that comes to us and provide assistance in accordance with local laws and customs."
Talking about Indian government's initiative to help distressed Indians abroad, he reveals that the 'Madad' portal of Government of India and social media channels have proven to be very effective in this regard. "We also maintain close touch with the Indian community through cultural, social and economic activities and events.
The Consulate in Dubai will continue the celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev for the remaining part of the year in coordination with the Indian community organisations. We also continue to work with Indian and the UAE agencies for India's big participation in Expo 2020 Dubai."
Message to the Indian community
I take this opportunity to thank the entire leadership of the UAE for their love and support for India and Indians. I once again extend my greetings to all Indians on Independence Day. Let us all work for the progress and development of India and India-UAE relations.