The government is planning to make PM Modi's foreign trips memorable by turning the chronicles into a coffee-table book. There's also the added motive of publishing the "concrete outcomes" of these trips that were criticised by the Opposition for their steep costs and frequency. Around 1,500 copies would be printed that will be distributed amongst politicians, diplomats and Indian embassies abroad. The coffee-table book would also include visits of foreign leaders to India during Modi's tenure.
"This publication will focus on India's multi-pronged diplomatic outreach since May 2014 and the transformative impact and the concrete outcomes flowing out of the visits which have enabled India to shape the global agenda," the government's proposal said.
Answer a question in the Parliament last month, the government divulged that the Prime Minister had gone on 48 foreign trips, which cost Rs 2,022 crore in total. Chartered aircraft for the trips cost Rs 429 crore, while Rs 1,592 crore was spent on hotlines operated abroad.
Talking about countries like Singapore, Japan, The Netherlands, US, UK, Germany, UAE, China, France and South Korea, the government said: "It may be noted that the following countries visited by the Prime Minister between 2014 and 2018 now figure among the top 10 countries from where India has received the maximum FDI inflows. The cumulative FDI inflows between 2014 and June 2018 stood at $136,077.75 million, compared to $81,843.71 million recorded cumulatively for the years between 2011 and 2014."
The coffee table book will be a documented version of each foreign trip and a list of the specific outcomes. Key agreements and progress in diplomatic relations with the corresponding countries will also be published in the book, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times.
Compared to PM Modi, former PM Manmohan Singh made 38 trips during the second term on a cost of Rs 1,346 crore, out of which Rs 493 crore was spent on the chartered flights and Rs 853 crore was spent on aircraft maintenance and hotline.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)