PM hails all-women IT centre as ‘glory of Saudi Arabia’

Riyadh, April 3 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday described an all-women IT centre set up by India’s Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) here as the “glory of Saudi Arabia”.

“I am meeting those professionals who are now the glory of Saudi Arabia,” said Modi in the first engagement of the second and last day of his bilateral visit to Saudi Arabia.

“This atmosphere I am witnessing here today has the potential to give a strong message to the world.”

Modi said that in today’s competitive world “we have to unite our strengths, both natural and human, for optimum progress”.

He said that when women power becomes part of the development journey, it gathers fresh momentum.

The prime minister said that the atmosphere he witnessed at the all-women’s centre on Sunday appeared to be a harbinger of a positive force for the world.

He invited the women IT professionals to visit India, and said their visit would make a huge impact even in India.

Modi emphasised the role of technology in governance, and said e-governance, for him, meant easy governance, effective governance, and economic governance.

He invited them to see the “Narendra Modi App” and even share their views on women empowerment in India.

“Vande Mataram. Matri Devo Bhavah (Salutations to Mother. Mother be the god)” wrote the prime minister on the message board at the centre.

Earlier, Modi was welcomed with cheers by the employees as he entered the centre.

Some of them took selfies with the prime minister.

The centre, opened three years back, initially had 80 people. The number has now grown to over 1,000.

Eighty percent of the employees are local Saudi women.

It is also the first BPO to be opened by any company in the world in Saudi Arabia and the significance is more so because it is run entirely by women.

Over 60 percent of graduates in Saudi Arabia are women.

Saudi Arabia is the third and last leg of Modi’s five-day foreign tour which also took him to Brussels and Washington, D.C.

In Brussels, he attended the 13th India-European Union (EU) Summit and held a bilateral meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, and then in Washington he participated in the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama.

This is the first prime ministerial visit from India to the oil-rich Saudi kingdom since the visit of Manmohan Singh in 2010.

The prime minister will leave for India on Sunday evening after talks with Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and signing of agreements between the two sides.

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