Another sponsor pulls out of Wharton meet

After Adani group, Hexaware Technologies, another Indian company, withdrew sponsorship for the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) on Wednesday and company chairman Atul Nishar opted out of the event.

The decision follows controversial cancellation of Chief Minister Narendra Modi's keynote address (through video conference) at the Forum by the host, Wharton School of Business.

"Mr Atul Nishar wouldn't be able to attend this Forum due to his other business engagements. The sponsorship matter is a call of the Marketing department and not of Mr Nishar," company spokesperson Sreedatri Chatterji said.

Nishar was to speak at the Forum while his company was a 'bronze sponsor' of the event. The name and logo of Hexaware Technology was removed from the portal of WIEF later in the day.

On Sunday, the prestigious business school cancelled Modi's keynote address after opposition from a section of university professors and students, triggering reactions in India.

Ahmedabad-headquartered Adani group's chairman Gautam Adani, who was the platinum sponsor of the event, withdrew the sponsorship, and opted out of the event, citing commitments here.

Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu also cancelled his visit to Wharton in protest against the decision to cancel Modi's address.

The remaining Indian entities sponsoring the event are Incredible India (Ministry of Tourism) and private entertainment channel Colors Viacom.

'Wharton move disappointing'

US Congressman Eni Faleomavaega has criticised the Wharton India Economic Forum's (WIEF) move to cancel Chief Minister Narendra Modi's keynote address, which was to be held later this month.

Faleomavaega, who serves as the Ranking Member of the Congressional Subcommittee on Asia and Pacific, has issued a statement terming the cancellation of the invite to Modi as "disappointing".

He noted that Wharton did so "in response to a protest from a segment of professors and students who are reaching beyond the law and coming awfully close to violating the rights of others who have a different view".

Modi gets copy of congratulatory statement

Meanwhile, the Alliance for US-India Business (AUSIB) Wednesday presented to Modi a framed copy of the statement inserted in the US Congressional Record by Faleomavaega where he has congratulated him for his re-election as chief minister, said a government release.

"In one of my first acts of the 113th Congress as the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.I rise today to congratulate Shri Narendra Modi on his re-election as Chief Minister of India's Gujarat state," reads Faleomavaega's statement dated February 13, 2013.

The statement lauded Modi for his "commitment towards inclusive development".

US academician hails Modi

US academician Minet Schindehutte on Wednesday praised Chief Minister Narendra Modi saying he has fostered a conducive business environment in the state. Speaking at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Schindehutte, an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University, New York, said, "I associate this area with entrepreneurship. Narendra Modi has been a big influence in making this a business-friendly environment embodying the spirit of entrepreneurship. Clearly, entrepreneurship was a fabric of Gujarat even before him, but he has expanded Gujarat's economy in a positive way." Schindehutte is a Fulbright-Nehru scholar hosted by the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (Goa campus) and teaches at the institute. She is conducting a research in India.

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