Showing posts with label India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India. Show all posts

23 February 2018

Bengalis Need To Know That Language Does Not Bridge Religious Divide

by Jaideep Mazumdar

It is religion, and not language, that is primary in Bangladesh, as it is in all Muslim-majority countries in the world.

To deny this and claim that Bangladesh’s primary identity is that of a Bengali nation would be living in a fool’s paradise.

Today (February 21) is International Mother Language Day, and Bengalis like to call it ‘Bhasha Divas’ or ‘Shahid Divas’. This day holds a special place in the hearts of all Bengalis; it was on 21 February 1952, that many students of Dhaka University laid down their lives to protest the imposition of Urdu and denial of official language status to Bengali by the ruling Punjabi elite of Pakistan. To commemorate this and promote all mother languages, the The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared 21 February as International Mother Language Day in 1999.

An Urgent To-Do List: What India Needs To Do In The World Of Digital Products

by Rajeev Srinivasan

To succeed in the world of digital products, Team India will need to do several things on a war footing. Here are some suggestions, and we better start moving fast. 

Let me acknowledge upfront that the information technology (IT) industry has accomplished a great deal. It largely put India on the map as a global leader in technology, although the reality is a little different. The IT industry also made a number of people and several companies quite wealthy, and earns revenues of some $150 billion. It employs perhaps three million people directly, and some 8.9 million indirectly. It accounted for about 7 per cent of India’s GDP in 2016.

The Benefits Of Aadhaar Far Outweigh Its Challenges

by Sanjay Swamy

Nobody has access to the biometric data— whether during enrolment or during authentication. This data is only visible to UIDAI; users need not worry.

It’s time for the country to rally behind the programme and make Aadhaar a success. It’s our responsibility to set aside our differences. 

Aadhaar has been built on the principle that the residents of India are honest, law-abiding and want fairness. 

A universally accepted national ID isn’t an option; it’s a must-have for all countries and its residents. Aadhaar has been designed to make life convenient and safe for residents of India. It is built on the principle that these residents are honest, law-abiding and in search of fairness.

The Indian government must let go of state-owned banks—but it just won’t

Sriram Iyer

The Indian government should cut its stake below 50% in state-owned banks.

That was the advice from the country’s chief economic advisor, Arvind Subramanian, as well as the industry lobby Assocham over the weekend. It was what the country’s central bank said in August 2016, and was repeated by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in December 2016. Of course, scores of editorials and expert opinions have been saying it for years.

Now, the alleged $1.77 billion fraud perpetrated by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi at Punjab National Bank (PNB) may be a wake up call.

22 February 2018

As China concerns grow, India looks to build military presence in Seychelles

By Steve George and Manveena Suri

New Delhi (CNN)The Seychelles is not typically associated with geopolitics. But beyond the white sandy beaches and tropical jungles, the tiny archipelago nation is emerging as a key player in India's battle to counter growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean.

Late last month, India and the Seychelles signed a revised agreement granting India permission to construct a military base on the Seychelles' Assumption Island, roughly 1,650 kilometers (1,025 miles) east of mainland East Africa.

Jammu terror attack: Does India have a game plan to counter Pakistan's misadventures?

Raj Chengappa 

Pakistan is like the bounceback toys sold in subcontinental markets. Hit them hard enough and they appear to topple, only to rebound and, if you are not watchful, whack you. As he nears the end of his fourth year as prime minister, Narendra Modi must be both exasperated and frustrated with the way his efforts to deal with Pakistan have turned out. Whatever he has thrown at Pakistan to bring it around, it never seems to learn, and keeps coming back for more punishment.

Indian investors offered dinner with Donald Trump Jr

Michael Safi

Prospective investors in a Trump Tower project near Delhi are being offered a conversation and dinner with Donald Trump Jras part of a marketing campaign that has drawn criticism from corruption watchdogs.

Full-page advertisements reading “Trump is here. Are you invited?”featured on the front page of three Indian national newspapers at the weekend ahead of a visit by the US president’s son to India this week.

From Make In India To Making In India: Q And A With Baba Kalyani

by Anupama Airy

Babasaheb Neelkanth Kalyani, chairman and managing director of the Kalyani group, speaks with Swarajya on indigenous defence production, Make in India, the guns and and engines developed by his group, and much more, in this interview.

When most top Indian defence companies were seen vying for orders under the government’s new “Make In India” initiative, this company seemed in no rush, and continued to invest and innovate. Today, the Kalyani Group — flagship company, the Rs 4,000-crore Bharat Forge Ltd — boasts of having developed a highly sophisticated indigenous gun to enable our artillery force to fight Indian wars with Indian solutions. The gun has successfully completed trials in deserts and is now under trial in hilly terrain.

21 February 2018

The story of ‘Sher Bachha’: braveheart soldier who saved Poonch

By Lt Gen H S Panag

Nestled between the Betar Nala to the west and Poonch river to the south, Poonch is a historical town along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. It’s a place that occupies an important place in our military history and also one that has produced some legendary characters, including two unforgettable members of the Indian Army, who were in their own way the Rajas of Poonch.

Our logistics base for 4 Sikh in Poonch was near the old palace of its former King that was designed like a European castle. Our Officers' Mess was called Joginder Mahal and was located in the house of a former jagirdar. Outside Joginder Mahal, under a Chinar tree, were the quarters of Havaldar Raja Singh, the unit mascot of 4 Sikh - a six-foot tall (when standing), 250 kg Himalayan black bear!

State of Play: Insurgencies in India’s Northeast

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Amid relative tranquility, little rebellions are continuing in India’s northeastern region. Headed by recalcitrant rebel leaders, some of whom have no inhibitions in aligning their ambitions with that of the anti-India policies of neighbouring countries, these movements have been responsible for the occasional acts of violence and a more persisting problem of disruption and instability. Directionless and protracted negotiations between the government and the pro-talk insurgencies have not helped. Although insurgency-related fatalities have dipped, for durable peace to return, New Delhi needs to do more. 

Nirav Modi blames PNB

Nirav Modi, at the centre of the ₹11,500 crore banking fraud, has said the Punjab National Bank’s overzealousness has shut the doors on his ability to clear the dues, which he claimed were much lower than the amount stated by the bank.

In a letter to the PNB management, a copy of which PTI has seen, Mr. Modi has pegged the amount that his companies owe the bank at under ₹5,000 crore.

Media frenzy

“The erroneously cited liability resulted in a media frenzy which led to immediate search and seizure of operations, and which in turn resulted in Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International effectively ceasing to be going-concerns. This jeopardised our ability to discharge the dues of the group to the banks,” said Mr. Modi, who left the country along with his family in the first week of January.

20 February 2018



NEW DELHI (AP) — India and Iran said Saturday that they would step up cooperation in combatting extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking in Afghanistan in an effort to restore peace and stability to the war-wracked country.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, talks to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, during later's ceremonial reception at the Indian presidential palace in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. Rouhani, who is on three days state visit to India has strongly criticized the Trump administration's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and urged Muslims to support the Palestinian cause. Hassan Rouhani also lashed out at the United States for imposing a ban on travelers from six largely Muslim countries. 

What ISRO will spend Rs 107.83 billion on

ISRO needs next generation launchers and new facilities to manufacture and launch them, including a new launch pad at the Sriharikota spaceport.

T E Narasimhan reports.

The Centre has allocated Rs 107.83 billion for the Department of Space for the financial year 2018-2019, against Rs 91.55 billion in the revised estimates for 2017-2018.

The allocation includes about Rs 89.63 billion for various space-related projects of the department, and also the targets to be achieved in the next fiscal year.

While the general perception is that the allocation should be more, considering the fact that the Indian Space Research Organisation is trying to increase its launches, experts pointed out this should be looked at in the backdrop of ISRO's efforts to form partnerships with private companies and the growing revenue of Antrix, the commercial arm of the government space agency.

19 February 2018

India’s Universal Basic Income: Bedeviled by the Details


The idea of a universal basic income (UBI)—periodic and unconditional cash payments to all citizens—has gained renewed attention amid growing concerns about technological unemployment in advanced economies.


The idea of a universal basic income (UBI)—periodic and unconditional cash payments to all citizens—has gained renewed attention amid growing concerns about technological unemployment in advanced economies. More recently, economists have made the case for a UBI in the developing world, where cash transfers distributed to all citizens, rich and poor, may cut through layers of red tape and lead to outsize gains in poverty reduction.

India’s defence industry lacks fire power


The ministry of defence has to be lauded for its proposed move not to make any further investments in the state-owned defence production sector which has, over the years, become a drag on the economy. Today India is the largest arms importer in the world and spends annually on an average about $3.6 billion, which is more than the combined imports of both Pakistan and China. Over seven decades of nationhood, the state-owned defence industrial combine, except for missilery, communication systems and some low technology items, has not contributed notably to self-reliance in defence production.

India’s defence industry constitutes eight defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) and 41 Ordnance Factories (OFs) besides 49 Defence Research and Development Organisations (DRDO) which were created to accomplish self-reliance in defence production. The decision to restructure state-owned defence was in view of their dismal performance; it should have been taken at least two decades ago.

India´s Response to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative

By Christian Wagner and Siddharth Tripathi 

According to Christian Wagner and Siddharth Tripathi, the threat posed by China’s Belt and Road Initiative has induced significant shifts in India’s foreign policy. For instance, India has now adopted a willingness to cooperate with other states like the US within South Asia, meaning it has dispensed with its policy of viewing the region as its natural sphere of influence. Further, India is also addressing China’s challenge by intensifying its efforts to cooperate with other states across its extended neighborhood in Asia, something that could create new opportunities for Germany and Europe.

18 February 2018

India in a corner: Beneath the foreign policy bluster is a great floundering

By Pratap Bhanu Mehta

The vigour of PM Narendra Modi’s travels can barely disguise the fact that in terms of India’s security objectives, he is looking very weak indeed. 

India finds itself increasingly cornered into a strategic cul-de-sac. Even as its diplomacy expands, its political options seem to decrease; even as it reaches out to look east and look west, the strategic space to address its core concerns does not seem to be expanding; and even as its bluster about a strong state grows, doubts about its military capabilities are growing equally louder. So, paradoxically, India finds itself in this position that even as it is globally recognised, it looks more helpless in its own backyard.

Maldives Crisis Could Stir Trouble Between China and India


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — As the Maldives’ autocratic president, Abdulla Yameen, cracks down on opposition to consolidate power ahead of another election, analysts and diplomats warn that the small nation’s troubles could provoke a larger crisis that draws in China and India, which have long competed for influence in the Indian Ocean region.

Mr. Yameen, who this month declared a state of emergency and rounded up Supreme Court judges and opposition leaders, has cozied up to China. He has invited heavy investment into the Maldives as part of Beijing’s ambitious “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the infrastructure program reviving land and sea trading routes that China is using to spread its influence around the globe.

India Gains Access to Oman's Duqm Port, Putting the Indian Ocean Geopolitical Contest in the Spotlight

By Ankit Panda

Duqm adds an important node to a growing network of facilities in the Indian Ocean held by actors with interests in preserving the status quo.

As a result of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent trip to Oman — part of a broader Middle Eastern tour — New Delhi and Muscat finalized an agreement that will see India gain access to the strategically located port of Duqm, on Oman’s southern coast. The port sits on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean and also provides easy access onward into the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aden.

Why India no longer cares about Pakistan's nuclear threats


For over quarter of a century, Pakistan’s undeclared war on India has centred on two pillars. The first is export of terror. The second is nuclear sabre-rattling. The strategic calculus of the Pakistanis is simple.

The terrorists are pushed into India without any fear of a similar pushback from India. This is so because unlike Pakistan, India doesn’t use terrorists as an instrument of state policy. India’s capacity to hit back using its conventional superiority has been severely constrained by the second pillar of Pakistani policy — nuclear weapons.