DUBAI: Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will make his first official visit to the UAE in the third quarter of this year, according to MK Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE.
The scheduled visit will be the first by an Indian head of the government since the 1981visit of then Indian premier Indira Gandhi.
Earlier, the Indian PM was scheduled to visit the UAE in March during Singh’s visit to Durban for the BRICS summit from March 25-27.
Lokesh had earlier informed the media that Singh was set to take Indo-UAE relations to a new height with his planned visit to the UAE at the end of March.
Lokesh told the media on Friday that Singh’s visit would be an important step towards inviting more investment in India and Indian investments abroad.
Speaking at a ceremony to honour senior journalists from India in Dubai on Friday, the ambassador said that a high-level task force has been set up and the dialogue continued to facilitate the visit of the Indian premier to the UAE after 32 years.
The Indian Media Forum (IMF) UAE honoured five veteran Indian journalists following a day-long media seminar in which they collectively urged the new generation of journalists to be responsive, accountable and preserve the journalistic ethics.
The five journalists are TVR Shenoy, Thomas Jacob, KM Roy, O Abdurahman and Washington-based KP Nair.
Lokesh urged the media to highlight the good things about India as journalism, a huge business in India, is a strong pillar of democracy and it has helped smooth functioning of democracy in India unlike other parts of the world.
The event was also addressed by Yousufali MA, managing director of EMKE Group, who pledged a token donation of Dhs100,000 for a new insurance package for the IMF members and family back in India.
The new insurance policy, which will benefit all IMF members and their families in Kerala when they go home, was declared during the public gathering by IMF President Vijay Mohan.
Y Sudhirkumar Shetty, chief operating officer, Global Operations of the UAE Exchange, also lauded the idea of the scheme and pledged the support of his company in all future endeavours of the forum.
Earlier, participating at the media seminar, Roy said that media men lost their credibility in front of the general public, especially due to the arrival of electronic journalism and sting operations.
“Journalists should not reveal in public what was disclosed off the record. That is unethical as it destroys the credibility of the journalist,” he said.
Jacob Thomas also pointed fingers at the electronic media for the current state of degeneration of trust.
“The electronic media started in 1992 in Kerala, and it is still young in India and has to undergo experiences through years of existence like the print media to earn credibility,” he said.
“The print media has to refurbish to withstand the influx of the electronic media. A repositioning is required for newspapers which now have no depth while TV channels have no credibility,” Shenoy said.
KP Nair, a veteran foreign policy specialist, added that the current foreign policy of India is worse than before.
“But all is not lost. There is still room for making up. In the meantime, media should not be apologetic for its mistakes.” They all hoped that the print media, which is going through challenges, would survive.