Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev on Tuesday, November 9, termed as "objectionable" the Union government's decision to deny permission to two officials from his department to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for preparing the Kerala pavilion at the World Expo there. The Minister, in a release, said that permission to visit the UAE from November 10 to 12 was denied by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) without giving any reason.
Instead the MEA said that if necessary the officials, identified as Principal Secretary Dr K Elangovan and Director S Harikishore, can go there in the first week of December, the release said. The Expo, which started in October and will end on March 31 next year, had been organised by the MEA and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Kerala pavilion is scheduled to be opened there from December 24 to January 6, 2022. According to reports, the MEA said that the officials from Kerala could travel to the venue in the first week of December, if required.
Rajeev, in the release, said that the Expo was an opportunity for Kerala to showcase its industrial and tourism potential to the international community and that is why the state government issued an order to send the two officials there to organise the initial activities.
The Dubai Expo is the first world expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. This year's Expo is also the first time in world expo history that each participating country has its own individual pavilion, with more than 200 in total to explore. In light of the recent pandemic, the six-month event has adopted the most stringent guidelines from the authorities to prioritise the health and safety of all of its visitors and staff.
Expo 2020 Dubai is significant for both the UAE and India to further integrate the India-UAE bilateral ties, it explores new opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-ups. The theme for the India Pavilion is 'Future is in India', reflecting upon the country's culture, heritage and technologies. The India Pavilion is also be hosting a series of contests, festival celebrations and key calendar dates, such as its special National Day on January 26, 2022, to coincide with the country's Republic Day, creating a moment to highlight the culture and achievements of India with a flag-raising ceremony, followed by speeches and cultural performances.