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

21 January 2018

Eastern India's Embrace of China

By Tridivesh Singh Maini

In recent years, a number of Indian states, including, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh have been proactively reaching out to Chinese provinces, seeking foreign direct investment. Chief ministers of various states, cutting across party lines, have been visiting China in recent years, such as Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh’s 2016 visit to China. The India-China Forum of State Provincial Leaders, which was inaugurated during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s China visit, was initiated with an eye on promoting robust links between Chinese provinces and Indian states. There have been efforts on both sides to explore new opportunities, and look at underexplored investment destinations. For India, that means looking beyond the usual destinations of Guangzhou or Shanghai; on the Chinese side, the effort has been to look beyond Maharashtra, Gujarat, and southern Indian states.

Why Haj Subsidy Is Not Comparable To What The Government Spends On Indic Religious Events

It is not surprising that as soon as the National Democratic Alliance government announced an end to the Haj subsidy earlier this week, the “secular” media popped the question: what about the subsidies paid for Hindu pilgrims going to Manasarovar? And what about the crores spent on the Kumbh melas? India’s rising mini-Jinnah, Asaduddin Owaisi of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, even asked what about Article 290A, which promises all of Rs 46.5 lakh to the Travancore Devaswom Board.

China’s clout grows in South Asia, but can India raise its game?

Harsh V. Pant

Harsh V. Pant says the Chinese offers of economic cooperation and infrastructural development in India’s own backyard are reshaping regional relationships, and are a test of India’s own global ambitions The past year has marked a turning point in Sino-Indian relations in more ways than one. If 2017 began with India taking a strong stance against China’s ambitious “Belt and Road Initiative”, it ended with China’s tightening grip in South Asia. In between was the 73-day long Doklam stand-off between Asia’s two giants. The year’s events underscore the challenges for this bilateral relationship in ways few would have anticipated in the recent past. India and China increasingly jostle with each other for strategic space. And South Asia is fast emerging a theatre of Sino-Indian rivalry.

INS Arihant Accident Raises Questions About the Sustainability of India's SSBN Force

By Robert Farley

As news emerged of an accident that may have damaged INS Arihant, it’s worth considering just how difficultgetting a sea-based nuclear deterrent off the ground (or under the sea) can be. India has embarked on the pursuit of an SSBN force much differently than any previous nuclear power, and even other navies have struggled to make it work. The idea of putting part of a nuclear deterrent on submarines emerged in the 1950s, as the United States and the USSR experimented with arming diesel-electric boats with rudimentary cruise and ballistic missiles. The value of nuclear propulsion was immediately obvious, as it allowed subs to remain on patrol for long periods of time.

India tests-fires Agni-V ballistic missile, a nuclear-capable ICBM

India tests-fires Agni-V, a nuclear-capable ICBM 

The nuclear-capable Agni-V is believe to be India’s most advanced ICBM. It was fired Thursday morning India time from Abdul Kalam island off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha, the ministry said in a tweet.It called the test a “major boost” to the country’s defense capabilities.‘Stepping up the complexity’ India is believed to have around 120 to 130 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, according to the Federation of American Scientists, compared to several thousand for the US. Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT who studies nuclear proliferation, said Thursday’s test did not demonstrate any “new capability, (this) was simply a developmental test before India inducts it into operational range."Narang said it’s possible India’s armed forces were testing the canister the missile is launched out of, as well as its ejection, flight performance and accuracy – a "regular technical test in that regard."Ajai Shukla, a New Delhi-based defense analyst and former Indian army colonel, said the country has been "gradually stepping up the complexity of the testing process."The Agni-V has been tested five times since 2012, with the most recent being in December 2016

20 January 2018

Modi govt saddling India’s military with more bureaucracy

By PRAKASH KATOCH

Recent media reports indicate that India’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has decided to allow private companies to manage and operate all Army Base Workshops (ABWs) and station workshops in eight cities across six states. The scheme is called GOCO (Government Owned, Contractor Managed). Ostensibly, the move is part of a major restructuring by the government of India to modernize the military. It claims that this will sharpen the teeth (fighting units), while shortening the tail (logistics). But if one takes a closer look the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, substantial reforms haven’t even taken off. The Modi administration, despite being in charge since May 2014, has not even commenced the process to define a national-security strategy.

China and India: An Emerging Gulf in Infrastructure Plans

By N. Janardhan

As 2017 drew to a close, Beijing made two surprising proposals to further the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): one, extending the China-Pakistan Economic Cooperation (CPEC) to Afghanistan; and two, linking Pakistan’s Gwadar and Iran’s Chabahar Ports. These propositions assume significance because as BRI continues to hog the global limelight, India has been quietly promoting its own North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC). These infrastructure plans not only intensify Sino-Indo competition — even potentially working at cross-purposes — but also risk duplicating partnership opportunities for several countries, including those in the Gulf interested in contributing to the projects.

19 January 2018

PM, Def Min Missing Army Day Event Sends Wrong Signal Before R-Day

C UDAY BHASKAR

In an unprecedented development with some curious overtones, the Army Day reception hosted by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Monday, 15 January, saw a visible political void with the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the annual event. The President, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was all alone at 4 Rajaji Marg, as the Vice-President was not present either. Many senior veterans and former service chiefs that one spoke to were unanimous in expressing their deep disappointment and anguish at this turn of events and noted that as much as they can recall, such a void – where the VP, the PM and the RM ‘skipped’ an Army Day reception – was never witnessed before. One of them wryly noted that this pattern of disparaging the military by the Modi government has now become par for the course.

18 January 2018

Fresh provocation: China’s building a 36-km long road in strategic J&K valley near Siachen

COL. VINAYAK BHAT (RETD) 

New Threat Spotted: China’s 36-km road, troop locations in PoK’s Saksham valley “gifted” by Pakistan. Gives Chinese Army access to Line of Actual Control near Siachen. 

Rebuilding on the Beatles, an Ashram in India Hopes for Revival


A meditation pod atop an ashram in Rishikesh, India, where the Beatles went to study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968. The mural by Miles Toland complements a planned new museum on the grounds dedicated to the band’s tenure there. In 1968, the Beatles and a crew of hangers-on traded hip London threads for kurtas and wreaths of marigold, trudging through dense forest to an ashram in Rishikesh, India, where they spent weeks writing songs. There was George Harrison, a devoted follower of Transcendental Meditation; John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who had started to feud over the band’s direction; and Ringo Starr, the band’s drummer, who was so perturbed by India’s famously spicy food that he packed a reserve of beans for his stay at the ashram. He lasted 10 days.

What's Next for the Indian Army's Anti-Tank Guided Missile Requirement?

By Ankit Panda

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently in India on a five-day visit, the first by an Israeli prime minister since Ariel Sharon’s 2003 visit and the second Israeli prime ministerial visit to India overall. While the bilateral agenda between the two countries continues to grow broader than ever, defense ties are particularly in the spotlight given India’s recent decision to cancel a $500 million deal with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. for Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM). The Indian decision was announced days into the new year and cast a bit of a pall over Netanyahu’s then-upcoming visit.

Telecom to lose more jobs; on course to cull 90,000 more: Report


Faced with uncertainty, the once-sunshine telecom sector will continue to witness decline in headcounts for the next six-nine months taking the total number of job losses to 80,000-90,000. The report is based on a survey among around 100 senior and mid-level employees of 65 telco and software and hardware service providers to telecom companies. Faced with uncertainty, the once-sunshine telecom sector will continue to witness decline in headcounts for the next six-nine months taking the total number of job losses to 80,000-90,000, says a report.

The sector, which has been witnessing rough weather in terms of profitability due to rising competition and lower margins, has witnessed large scale lay-offs making job scenario uncertain, said a CIEL HR Services in a report on Monday.

17 January 2018

Gamechanger: The Digital Payment Boom In India


What does a shoe shiner in India have in common with central bankers and finance ministers? They both can appreciate the digital-payment boom. It’s sweeping the world but has accelerated in India, where last November the government demonetized - declaring that 86 percent of the country’s currency in circulation would cease to be legal tender. Mobile payment platforms like Paytm, stepped in to fill the void left by demonetization, and in the process­- are bringing more people into the banking fold. In this podcast, Paytm Chief Financial Officer Madhur Deora says he was not all that surprised when the invitation came to speak at the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings.

Sheer Stupidity Almost Led to the Sinking of India’s Only Ballistic Missile Submarine

Jared Keller

The modern submarine is not a simple machine. A loss of propulsion, unexpected flooding, or trouble with reactors or weapons can doom a sub crew to a watery grave. Also, it’s a good idea to, like, close the hatches before you dive. Call it a lesson learned for the Indian navy, which managed to put the country’s first nuclear-missile submarine, the $2.9 billion INS Arihant, out of commission in the most boneheaded way possible. The Hindu reported [4] yesterday that the Arihant has been out of commission since suffering “major damage” some 10 months ago, due to what a navy source characterized as a “human error” — to wit: allowing water to flood to sub’s propulsion compartment after failing to secure one of the vessel’s external hatches.

Teen Murti street renamed after Haifa: All you need to know about the historical battle


Unlike most British battles in the region, the one at Haifa was fought by cavalry regiments of the Indian Maharajas and not the British army.  The Teen Murti Chowk and the Teen Murti Marg will henceforth be known as the ‘Teen Murti Haifa Chowk’ after the Israeli city of Haifa. The move has been made few months ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July and is an effort to pay tribute to a lesser known aspect of the history of India-Israel relations. The three statues that is the focal point of the Teen Murti Chowk, often misinterpreted as having connections with Mahatma Gandhi, are in fact a symbol of tribute to three famous Indian state forces who were part of the British imperial service cavalry brigade during the First World War, and had played a crucial role in overcoming Ottoman rule in Israel. The battle to conquer Haifa is commemorated every year in Israel and special homage is paid to the Indian soldiers without whom the modern state of Israel would never have come into existence.

16 January 2018

A Delhi traffic circle, a faraway port, and a tale of rare heroism, gallantry

by Sushant Singh

In September 1918, the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers won one of the most celebrated battles of World War I, capturing the present-day Israeli city of Haifa from the Ottoman Army. A century on, neither the Indian Army nor the children of Haifa have forgotten the bravery of the ‘Teen Murti’. The controversy around the renaming of Teen Murti Marg and Teen Murti circle in the heart of New Delhi — the New Delhi Municipal Council moved last week to include ‘Haifa’ in the names, but subsequently deferred the decision — has had an unintended consequence: it has reminded people of a slice of recent Indian history which has been all but forgotten now. It is the history of the armies of the princely states in British India, which contributed to the war effort of the British Empire.

For A Second Term Please Do The Right Things, Mr Prime Minister!


by Minhaz Merchant

This year will be crucial for the Narendra Modi government. His strategy must take into account the complex electoral math that will confront him in April-May 2019 and at the same time focus on a strong economic and governance agenda in the final year of his tenure.  The 2019 Lok Sabha election will set India’s political and economic agenda for the next decade. If the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is returned to office, it can execute many of the reforms it has begun. If the Congress, buoyed by its resurgence in the Gujarat assembly election, manages to stitch together a coalition government, India could be in for a spell of political instability.

15 January 2018

India’s opportunity in a multiconceptual world


Our world is undergoing a series of transformational shifts occurring at an exponential speed. These shifts bear promise as well as peril. Galloping progress in science and the advent of cutting-edge technological developments have made our environment more intelligent and interconnected than ever. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has created a unique inflection point for the world and smart innovations have enabled us to attain unprecedented accuracy and speed in information flow.

14 January 2018

Chief Of Defence Staff:To Be Or Not to Be

BHARAT KARNAD 

Referring here to the October 2016 note issued by MOD that equated the status of a 2-star rank officer of the armed services to that of Principal Director in MOD, with repercussions down the line. That this decision to thus downgrade Major Generals/Air Vice Marshals/Rear Admirals was taken by Manohar Parrikar’s well into his tenure as defence minister suggests he was not paying attention. Or, alternatively, was happy to be led by the nose by the ICS/IAS-wallahs who ever since 1947, after getting a reprieve from prime minister Nehru who once seriously considered dismantling the colonial-era ICS and starting anew, have relentlessly upped their relative status and benefits at the expense not just of the military services but also other, even technical, All India Services.

12 January 2018

Two borders, two disputes

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by Sushant Singh

While India-Pakistan shooting matches continue along the clearly-demarcated Line of Control, the last shot was fired 50 years ago on the far less well-defined Line of Actual Control with China.

The two major disputed borders India has are with China and Pakistan. With Pakistan, the disputed border falls in Jammu and Kashmir, a legacy of the 1948 war. When India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire on January 1, 1949, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire line (CFL). This line was not just marked on a map but was also agreed upon by the two sides on the ground with a joint survey by the two armies. The CFL, with minor variations, was converted into the Line of Control (LoC) during the Simla Agreement, following India’s victory in the 1971 Bangladesh War. Agreed upon both on the ground and on the map, the new nomenclature was meant to show that J&K was a bilateral dispute and some kind of final answer for the Kashmir problem would be found around the LoC.