Tag Archives: PoK

Rising Bharat National News Feed: October 11th 2020

  • POJK
  • कार्यकर्ता ने गिलगित बाल्टिस्तान लद्दाख के बीच स्कर्दू कारगिल रोड को फिर से खोलने का किया आग्रह

Key points:

  1. हुनजा धरना के बाद अब हमें गिलगित-बाल्टिस्तान और लद्दाख के बीच स्कर्दू-कारगिल रोड को फिर से खोलने पर ध्यान देना चाहिए। इस महीने की शुरुआत में, प्रदर्शनकारियों के स्कोर, जिन्होंने सिट-इन शुरू किया था, कम से कम 3,000 हुंजा निवासियों द्वारा शामिल हुए थे, जो 2011 के बाद से जीबी जेलों में कम से कम 14 राजनीतिक कैदियों को रिहा करने की मांग कर रहे थे, और संयुक्त जांच दल (JIT) द्वारा तैयार जांच रिपोर्ट 2011 सरकार द्वारा बुलाई गई, जिसने इस घटना की जांच की कि इन राजनीतिक और मानवीय अधिकार कार्यकर्ताओं को कैद किया गया था, उन्हें सार्वजनिक किया जाए।

(Dainik Jagran,11 October 2020) News Link

Rising Bharat International News Feed: October 7th 2020

  • Relation with Japan
  1. With eye on China, India and Japan discuss strengthening of security ties and supply chains

Key points:

  1. A day after the Quad countries led by the US came down heavily on China, leaders of India and Japan Wednesday discussed the strengthening of security ties and supply chain resilience with an eye on Beijing.
  2. “Discussions covered our cooperation in manufacturing, skills, infrastructure, ICT and health. Our special partnership can make a big difference in post-COVID recovery,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.
  3. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, both ministers “reaffirmed the importance of implementing Japan-India cooperation in third countries such as ASEAN and Southwest Asian countries”. 
  4. “They emphasised that a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region must be premised on diversified and resilient supply chains; and in this context, welcomed the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative between India, Japan, Australia and other like-minded countries,” stated a press release issued by India’s external affairs ministry.

(The Print, 7 October 2020) News Link

  • India, Japan finalise key cyber-security deal to boost cooperation on 5G, AI

Key points:

  1. India and Japan have finalised an ambitious agreement on cyber-security to boost cooperation on 5G technology and critical information infrastructure, and the two countries pledged on Wednesday to work for a free and open Indo-Pacific with diversified supply chains.
  2. The proposed cyber-security agreement will promote cooperation in capacity building, research and development, and security and resilience in critical information infrastructure, 5G, internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), the external affairs ministry said.
  3. “Recognising the increasing role being played by digital technologies, the two ministers highlighted the need for robust and resilient digital and cyber systems and in this context, welcomed the finalisation of the text of the cyber-security agreement,” the ministry said.
  4. The ministers “emphasised that a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region must be premised on diversified and resilient supply chains; and in this context, welcomed the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative between India, Japan, Australia and other like-minded countries,” the ministry added.
  5. “The problems faced by Hitachi Payment Services in 2016, when malware caused the breach of financial data and comprised the data of 3.2 million debit cards in India, is one example that shows the challenge of cyber-security is a joint one and can only be tackled through joint collaboration,” he said.
  6. “Reaffirming the similarities in their respective Indo-Pacific visions, that are based on rule of law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Japanese side agreed to be the lead partner in the connectivity pillar of the Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) and jointly take both countries’ respective visions for the Indo-Pacific forward,” the external affairs ministry said.

(Hindustan Times, 7 October 2020) News Link

  • QUAD
    • Quad meet: Eye on China, India seeks ‘respect for territorial integrity’

Key points:

  1. In a rare “in-person” meeting during the pandemic, the Foreign Ministers of the Quadrilateral grouping — US, India, Japan and Australia — met in Tokyo amid the five-month border standoff between India and China, with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar seeking “respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty” and “peaceful resolution of disputes”.
  2. “As vibrant and pluralistic democracies with shared values, our nations have collectively affirmed the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. We remain committed to upholding the rules-based international order, underpinned by the rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation in the international seas, respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty and peaceful resolution of disputes,” Jaishankar said at the meeting.
  3. Earlier, according to the US State Department, Jaishankar and Pompeo discussed ongoing “cooperation on topics of international concern”. They “look forward to the U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue later this year,” it said.
  4. Pompeo echoed the remarks in a tweet: “Productive meeting today with Indian Minister of External Affairs @DrSJaishankar. Together we are advancing U.S.-India relations, combatting COVID-19, and ensuring a secure and prosperous Indo Pacific for all.”

(Indian Expres, 7 October 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Burma
  • India funds restoration of Myanmar pagodas; a look at some of the famous pagodas in the country

Key points:

  1. Nearly four years ago, Myanmar suffered some severe damage because of an earthquake and several ancient pagodas (religious centres housing Buddhist relics) were destroyed. Now the Indian government is helping the country with financial aid for restoration and conservation of pagodas in Myanmar that were harmed. The project is completely funded by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The restoration work was supposed to begin in January 2020, but it got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. However, the Indian government has restarted the restoration work in Myanmar now. In the first phase of the restoration work, the Archeological Survey of India will be renovating 12 pagodas in the ancient city of Bagan, also a UNESCO World Heritage City.
  3. However, the Indian government has restarted the restoration work in Myanmar now. In the first phase of the restoration work, the Archeological Survey of India will be renovating 12 pagodas in the ancient city of Bagan, also a UNESCO World Heritage City.

(Times of India , 7 October 2020) News Link

  • India’s Kachin connection in Myanmar

Key points:

  1. India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla and army chief General M M Naravane recently visited Myanmar to strengthen bilateral relations. According to media reports, the focus of the visit was to discuss India’s connectivity projects in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State, and the situation of displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh.
  2. Still, both Myanmar, a third-party state that shares a border with China and India –at the Walong trijunction that remains heavily militarized and contested– and the Kachin, who are demographically scattered across India, north Myanmar, and China, have maintained a studious silence on the ongoing standoff.
  3. If full-scale military hostilities break out between India and China, especially in the eastern sector, how Myanmar responds –and equally, how armed outfits in north Myanmar, such as the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), who control pockets of territory near the trijunction, respond– will have consequences for India.
  4. Despite having its headquarters in Laiza near the China border, the KIO has demonstrated policy independence and refuses to take strategic direction from Beijing. If anything, historically, and even now, the Kachin seek stronger relations with India. But New Delhi has shied away from strengthening such a relationship out of fear of upsetting Naypyidaw, and because of a complicated history of failed outreach.
  5. But this is not the case for the Kachin, who are straddling the trijunction and have no option but to engage with Chinese and Indian forces on the ground, and their border security dynamics.
  6. According to a retired senior KIO official privy to the PLA outreach and interviewed by this author, the Kachin, though open to engaging with China, were more interested in support from democratic India – their first choice of external patron.

(Orfonline, 7 October 2020) News Link

  1. India’s rice exports could jump to record on Thailand drought effects

Key points:

  1. India’s rice exports could jump to 14 million tonnes in 2020, up from last year’s 9.9 million tonnes, the lowest in eight years, said B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association.”Thailand’s shipments are falling due to the drought. Vietnam is struggling because of lower crop. That share is naturally coming to India,” Rao said.
  2. Thailand, the world’s second-largest rice exporter, suffered through a drought earlier this year that has affected the rice crop. Shipments in 2020 could fall to 6.5 million tonnes, the lowest in 20 years.
  3. India was offering 5% broken parboiled rice at $380 per tonne on a free-on-board basis, while Thailand was offering the same grade at $490 per tonne, dealers said.

(Business Standard, 7 October 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Taiwan
  • A winning partnership with India

Key points:

  1. However, in spite of the existence of several positive determinants, India-Taiwan relations continue to be characterized by underutilized potential and political inertia. The reason for this is often located within India’s alleged sensitivities toward China or an implicit support for the “one China construct.”
  2. While this outlook recognizes Taiwan as a concern within India’s “China policy,” it certainly does not convey any appreciation for Chinese designs or self-serving constructs. Moreover, India’s approach toward Taiwan is guided by its larger vision of peace, security and stability in the region, and should not be linked to any border situation with China as is being increasingly demanded by some quarters.
  3. It is within the fine print of existing strategic concerns, common national interests and mutual respect for each other’s sensitivities that a India-Taiwan partnership needs to be realized.
  4. Though the scope for a significant politico-strategic dynamic remains limited at present, India-Taiwan relations have advanced upon the constructive template of economic convergences and ideological affinities. The ideological dimension of India-Taiwan relations is underscored by the democratic ethos of their polities and societies. (Taipeitimes, 7 October 2020) News Link
  1. Great potential for growth in India-Canada agriculture trade: Tomar

Key points:

  1. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar  said this in his inaugural address at the two-day India-Canada Agri-Tech virtual seminar organised by the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC) in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Ministry of External Affairs of India.
  2. Indicating the rapid growth in agri-trade between India and Canada, Tomar said India is the fifth largest importer of Canadian vegetables and raw agricultural materials and the seventh-largest importer of leguminous vegetables, called “Vegetarian Protein”.
  3. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Government of Canada, Mary-Claude Bibeau highlighted that “Canada and India have a proud history of strong bilateral trade and collaboration in agriculture, with a vibrant trading relationship in agriculture and agri-food, valued at over USD 1.5 billion”, the statement added. PTI MJH BAL BAL (Outlook India, 7 October, 2020) News Link
  1. Annual India-Russia summit may be deferred amid covid-19

Key points:

  1. The annual India-Russia summit that was expected to be hosted by India this year is unlikely to happen given the covid-19 pandemic situation in the country
  2. In 2000, India and Russia had agreed to hold annual bilateral summits alternatively in the two countries. It was expected that Putin will travel to India this year for the summit but the surge in the number of covid-19 cases in India seems to have postponed the visit for now. India has recorded more than six million cases and crossed 100,000 deaths last week due to covid-19.
  3. During his conversation with Putin, Modi “appreciated the personal role that the latter (Putin) has played in nurturing the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two nations,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said.
  4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday for his 68th birthday, “expressed his keenness to welcome President Putin in India, as soon as possible after the normalisation of the public health situation,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said. “Both leaders agreed to remain in touch over the coming days, including on the challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic,” it said.

(Live Mint, 7 October, 2020) News Link

  1. UK-India economic ties: Deeper cooperation can accelerate govt’s aim of self-reliant India

Key points:

  1. During the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed that India awaits the partnership of the global business community in its efforts towards an atmanirbhar (self-reliant) Bharat. This reinforced my belief that deeper UK-India economic cooperation would accelerate the government’s aim of a self-reliant India, while bringing benefits to the UK as well.
  2. Linked by our shared past and a set of common democratic values, but more forcefully by our shared ambitions of an exciting future, India and the UK are two great allies and very close and significant economic partners.
  3. India is the second largest investor into the UK, behind only the US. At the same time, the UK has been the second fastest growing G20 investor into India in the last decade. Trade between the two countries rose by nearly 10% (to £24 billion) in 2019—much faster than the growth in global trade. Indeed, the Indian government understands the importance of global economic inter-linkages, made clear by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s insistence that atmanirbhar Bharat means “integration, not isolation.”
  4. In manufacturing, the UK already has a great presence in India, with the likes of Perkins Engines, JCB, BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline and Rolls-Royce well established. The UK’s rich research and development ecosystem, coupled with the desire of UK businesses—from SMEs to large conglomerates—to enter and expand in India, is a recipe for further success. At the same time, Indian businesses like Tata, TVS and many others are simultaneously establishing and expanding in the UK. (Financial Express,7 October 2020) News Link
  • Relation with US
  1. Donald Trump announces new US H-1B visa rules, Indian techies likely to be hit

Key points:

  1. The United States Administration of President Donald Trump has announced a tightening of rules for immigration visas used widely by the technology firms, claiming the ”new system would be better for American workers”.
  2. The Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday the new regulations for so-called H-1B visas for highly skilled workers, which allow up to 85,000 immigrants annually.
  3. The move to cut back H-1B visas for foreign skilled workers and tighten wage-based entry barriers citing “data” that more than 500,000 Americans have lost their jobs because of “H1B non-immigrants” is likely to affect the Indian techies the most
  4. India and China account for the lion`s share of H-1B visas. As per US government data, India accounts for upwards of 70 per cent, most years. In a call with reporters, Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said about one-third of the people who have applied for H-1B visas would be denied under the new rules.
  5. The DOL rule will raise the four salary tiers for employees on H1Bs and other professional visas, which currently begin at the 17th percentiles for each industry, to the 45th percentile.

(Zee News, 7 October 2020) News Link

  1. On the boil: Pakistan, India tussle over basmati rice origin

Key points:

  1. Pakistan on Monday said it would give a “befitting reply” to, and oppose, India’s move to geographically label basmati rice and grain as its own in the EU.
  2. Developing countries are increasingly using geographic labeling to boost the value of products ranging from carpets to rice, raising rural incomes and protecting farmland.
  3. A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographic origin, which gives them certain qualities or a reputation, such as Champagne and Darjeeling tea
  4. India applied for a GI for basmati rice last month. In a meeting chaired by commerce adviser Abdul Razak Dawood on Monday, Pakistan announced it would oppose India’s application.
  5. It now has under three months to respond to the Indian application and file a counter application with the EU. The country’s rice exporters face the risk of losing a substantial European market if India succeeds in the geographical labeling, exporters said.

(Arab News, 7 October 2020) News Link

  • Twitter user asked Gautam Gambhir if he is anti-Pakistan. Here’s what he said

Key points:

  1. A user on Twitter asked cricketer Gautam Gambhir why he is so anti-Pakistan. “I’m not! I don’t think any Indian is,” Gambhir responded to the user and wrote, “when we have to choose between the lives of our soldiers and anything else, we are all on the same side.”

(Hindustan Times, 7 October 2020) News Link

  • India Pakistan trade gunfire along LoC in north Kashmir

Key points:

  1. The armies of India and Pakistan on Wednesday morning traded gunfire in Hajipeer sector of Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, reported a local news agency, Global News Service (GNS).
  2. In a statement issued to GNS, Defence Spokesperson Rajesh Kalia said that the “Pakistani Rangers resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing mortars and other weapons”, which as per the statement was given “befitting response.”
  3. “Pakistani rangers violated ceasefire and targeted the forward post of Indian army along the line of control (LoC) areas,” the statement read.
  4. “However no loss of life or damage to property has been reported so far,” the statement reads.

(The Kashmir Walla, 7 October 2020) News Link

Rising Bharat National News Feed: October 7th 2020

  • POJKOutrage against Pakistan’s attempt to make Gilgit Baltistan its fifth province

Key points:

  1. Anger is mounting high in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan against Islamabad’s attempt to change the political status of the occupied region.
  2. Recently, Pakistan’s minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, Ali Amin Gandapur, reignited the contentious issue of grant of provincial status to Gilgit Baltistan. He also revealed about the commencement of work on Moqpondass Special Economic Zone under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This is fuelled resentment among the people of occupied PoK and Gilgit Baltistan.
  3. Gilgit-Baltistan, earlier known as Northern Areas has been governed by “Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order of 2009”, that established an electoral framework.
  4. Elections have been held in the region under the Order that provides for only limited autonomy. The sudden announcement of the inclusion of Gilgit-Baltistan as the fifth province of Pakistan and underlying reasons for the same are much wider and its implications are bound to set the tone for exacerbating tensions, that is already being played out in the east along the LAC on Indo-China border.
  5. Located on a strategic location, Gilgit Baltistan has a large landmass and covers an area of over 70 thousand km. The Area has been under illegal occupation of Pakistan along with a part of Kashmir that lies to its South.

(Times of India,7 October 2020) News Link

  • China’s helping hand to Pak: New surface-to-air missile sites spotted in PoK

Key points:

  1. China is helping Pakistan set up sites for surface-to-air missiles as troops from two armies are carrying out joint patrols in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, recent Indian intelligence reports say.
  2. “The construction work for the installation of surface-to-air missile defence system was being carried out by Pakistan Army and PLA at Pauli Pir near Lasadanna Dhok of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” said an intelligence report.
  3. The control room for the missile system is to be located at Bdel Bagh.

(India Today,7 October 2020) News Link

  1. राम मंदिर के लिए तमिलनाडु से पहुंचा 613 किलो का घंटा, 10 किमी तक सुनाई देगी आवाज, निकलेगीकी ध्वनि

Key Points:

  1. राम मंदिर के लिए तमिलनाडु से चलकर अयोध्या पहुंचा 613 किलो का घंटा
  2. बजने पर 10 किलोमीटर तक सुनाई देगी आवाजा, घंटे से निकलेगी ओम् की ध्वनि
  3. 4500 किमी की यात्रा तय करके अयोध्या पहुंचा घंटा, 10 राज्यों से होकर गुजरा
  4. तमिलनाडु की लीगल राइट काउंसिल की ओर से राम मंदिर को किया गया भेंट
  5. वर्ल्ड रेकॉर्ड बना चुकी बुलेट रानी के नाम से प्रसिद्ध राजलक्ष्मी माडा रामरथ चला कर घंटे को लकर अयोध्या पहुंची हैं। तमिलनाडु की रहने वाली राजलक्ष्मी मांडा विश्व में दूसरी महिला हैं जिन्होंने 9.5 टन वजन खींचने का वर्ल्ड रेकॉर्ड बनाया है। रामराम रथ में जहां एक ओर कांस्य से बना 613 किलो वजनी विशेष घंटा रखा गया है, वहीं भगवान श्रीराम, मां सीता, लक्ष्मण, हनुमान जी के साथ गणपति की कांस्य से बनी प्रतिमाएं रख कर लाई गई हैं।
  6. विशेष आकार के घंटे का वजन 613 किलो है। यह विशेष कांस्य से बना हुआ है। इसकी चौड़ाई 3.9 फीट है और इसकी हाइट 4 फीट है। राजलक्ष्मी मांडा का कहना है कि भगवान श्रीराम के रथ को वे तमिलनाडु से अयोध्या तक खुद ड्राइव करके आई हैं। उनको बहुत खुशी है कि बुधवार को वह रामलला के दरबार में इस विशेष घंटा और मूर्तियों को भेंट करेंगी। उनका कहना है कि उनका जीवन धन्य हो गया है।

(Navbharat Times, 7 October 2020) News Link

  1. Inland Waterways: Environment and Coastal Livelihoods Sidelined for Modi Government’s Pet Project

Key points:

  1. Over the past six years, the Modi government has actively pushed for environmental overhauls, with the latest being the draft Environmental Impact Assessment notification. While there has been a furore about the draft EIA notification, another government project has attracted the ire of activists.
  2. Activists say that the adverse environmental impact due to the waterways and their intervention into the depleting fresh water systems of India deserves more attention and  scrutiny. One of the major concerns being raised is the ability of private players to surpass environmental clearances. The recently-proposed draft EIA notification puts inland waterways in Category ‘B2’ projects, which only need an Environmental Permission, with or without  appraisal and a public hearing. An expert committee of the environment ministry in 2017 recommended inland waterways to be slotted into Category A. However, this has not been done.
  3. Avli Verma, a researcher at Manthan said that the project was launched with “grand claims and promises. It was claimed that national waterways were ideally suited for bulk and hazardous cargo and that these are more cost-effective and environment friendly as compared to railways or roadways. But these claims are not universal for all waterways. The development and maintenance of waterways and movement of large barges on the rivers represent massive interventions in the riverine ecosystem. Dredging, noise generated by vessels, leakage of fuel, accidental spills – all of these adversely impact the fish population, thereby directly affecting the livelihood of inland fishworkers.”

(News Click, 7 October 2020) News Link

  • Future shock: The leaning towers of Najafgarh Jheel

Key points:

  1. Almost 85 per cent of the world’s wetlands have disappeared owing to anthropogenic pressures. Without immediate intervention, the Najafgarh jheel too will join this ignominious list.
  2. As one moves around the jheel, two narratives are evident. The Delhi side, separated by an embankment for the most part, has been earmarked in the Delhi Master Plan. No largescale construction activity is permitted in this zone.
  3. However, on the Haryana side of the jheel, an altogether different story emerges. Globally, no construction activity is permitted within the High Flood Level (HFL) line attained in a water body in the last 100 years.
  4. While similar views have been enunciated in the guidelines of the state environment impact assessment authority of Haryana, it omits to mention the HFL value of 212.5 metres above mean sea level (mamsl) for the jheel, as recorded by the department of irrigation and flood control of Delhi. This omission enables project proponents to affirm compliance to this clause in letter, without adhering to it in spirit.

(Down to Earth, 7 October 2020) News Link

  1. SCERT conducts 2nd Webinar on NEP-2020

Key points:

  1. State Council of Educational Research and Training Jammu and Kashmir conducted its 2nd Webinar on National Education Policy-2020, Challenges and Opportunities vis-à-vis J&K.
  2. Both the presentations discussed the challenges and bottlenecks in implementation of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in J&K.
  3. The Chairperson of the session, Prof Usha Sharma deliberated too on the topic and laid emphasis on the implementation of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy that contributes directly in transforming India into a vibrant knowledge society by providing quality education to our future generation.

(The Kashmir Images, 7 October 2020) News Link

  1. NEP 2020 will be implemented in phased manner, says Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra

Key points:

  1. Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra said the inclusion of national sentiments and nationalities necessary for education is being reflected in the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020.
  2. Mishra said a preliminary blueprint has been prepared for implementing the new National Education Policy in the state universities. Feedback will be taken from the vice-chancellors of all universities and a three-day chancellor dialogue will be held from October 21 to 23. The new NEP approved by the Union Cabinet in July replaces the National Policy on Education framed in 1986 and is aimed at paving the way for ‘‘transformational reforms’‘ in schools and higher education systems to make India a ‘‘global knowledge superpower’‘

(Hindustan Times, 7 October 2020) News Link

Rising Bharat National News Feed: October 6th 2020

  • POJK
  • Pak crackdown on oppn continues: Sedition case against Nawaz Sharif, PoK ‘PM’ and graft charges on Asif Ali Zardari

Key points:

  1. Ahead of a planned opposition rally, Pakistan government on Monday registered a sedition case against former premier Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam and Pakistan occupied Kashmir ‘premier’ Raja Mohammad Farooq Ahmed Khan. Separately, a court in Islamabad charged former president Asif Ali Zardari in two corruption cases.

(Hindustan Times, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. NGT refuses to quash EC granted to 1,320 MW Khurja Thermal Power Project in UP

Key points:

  1. “The public hearing was held as per norms and video graphed. In the first meeting, the Expert Appraisal Committee sought clarifications and did not accept the EIA report as it is. In the second meeting, the clarifications were duly evaluated,” the NGT said
  2. The National Green Tribunal Tuesday refused to quash the environmental clearance granted to 1,320 MW coal-based super critical Khurja Thermal Power Project in Uttar Pradesh saying concerns for air and water pollution have been duly addressed.
  3. The green panel said the procedure laid down as per Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2006 has been duly followed and detailed EIA report has been prepared by an accredited consultant dealing with all environmental issues exhaustively.
  4. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by an NGO, SAFE seeking quashing of the environmental clearance granted to the Rs 9,747.5 crore project in Bulandshahr district which is to be implemented by state-run THDC India Ltd (THDCIL) and the UP government.

(Energy World, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. Hyderabad: SNIST to hold meet on NEP

Key points:

  1. The main agenda of the conference will be to collect views from all the young citizens of the country regarding inclusion of robotics in education curriculum through NEP and focus on finding the best implementation strategy of the education policy

(Telangana Today, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • Implementation of NEP challenging: Dattatraya

Key points:

  1. Himachal Pradesh Governor Dattatraya said that the Government of India has implemented a new National Education Policy in the country after 34 years.
  2. “In the current perspective, this new national education policy, which provides affordable education, skill development education to all, has many features but its implementation is also challenging,” he said.
  3. The Governor said that it is an important opportunity for Himachal Pradesh to take the lead in the field of education. Himachal has always excelled in the field of education and the state may work better in some educational reforms suggested in the National Education Policy, he added. He said that there is a need to identify areas in which the state could take an edge.
  4. Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur said that the cooperation of teachers is expected in the implementation of National Education Policy effectively in the state. He said that the New Education Policy has been announced after much deliberation, which is teacher and student centric.

(The Statesman, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • AMU faculty delivers a lecture on language and NEP 2020

Key points:

  1. Speaking on “New Education Policy-2020 and Language”, Dr Taher H Pathan, Incharge, Marathi Section, Department of Modern Indian language, Aligarh Muslim University said that the use of mother language in education has caught everyone’s attention due to the fact that mother tongue is compulsory up to class fifth and regional language up to class eight, as per as the New Education Policy 2020. The three-language policy has been retained and different languages of India have been given equal importance in the national policy.

(Indian Education Diary, 6 October 2020) News Link

The Perils of the Interlocutor’s Report on Kashmir

Source : Organiser


$img_titleFlaying the report presented by three-member interlocutor team appointed by the Central Government, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on June 1 said the move is a precursor of gifting Kashmir to Pakistan. While addressing a press conference in Nagpur’s Reshimbagh Sanghsthan organised for briefing about the Tritiya Varsh Sangh Shiksha Varg, RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale criticised the timing of the declaration of the report by the Centre.
Though the interlocutors had submitted the report much earlier, declaring this report at the time of spiraling prices and rising corruption is the deliberate and cunning attempt by the Central Government to divert people’s attention from Kashmir issue, he said.
A careful study of the recommendations made in this report will reveal that these recommendations exactly contradict the policies that were adopted by the Government of India till now. Demand for self-government by Mufti Mohammad’s PDP, National Conference’s demand for overall autonomy and demand for separate nation by Hurriyat groups have been approved indirectly in this report.
Shri Hosbale expressed utter surprise over the mention of Pak occupied Kashmir (PoK) as Pak administered one in this report by the interlocutors and raised doubt that whose language these people are speaking. He further informed that after an in-depth study of the report, the RSS would decide over its next mode of action.


Dustbin is the place for Kashmir interlocutors’ report

The report of the government nominated interlocutors on Kashmir mostly went along the expected lines. Except when they made atrocious suggestions which would throw the state politically back into the pre-1953 days.
The three interlocutors, to begin with had no locus standi on Kashmir. Two members of the three-member team were thoroughly exposed, when information came that they had accepted the hospitality and patronage of Ghulam Nabi Fai, the international lobbyist (now in US jail) for Pakistan on Kashmir. He is an ISI mole and was stationed abroad, mainly in the US to influence people and decisions in favour of Pakistan. Dileep Padgaonkar, and Radha Kumar, had been guests of Fai, the former more regular than the latter. The third member of the team was former information commissioner M.M. Ansari. He wanted to quit after the other two were exposed as Fai proteges.
The report by these three was put out on the Home Ministry website, a few hours after the parliament session ended. It was an obvious ploy to avoid a serious discussion in Parliament. The interlocutors claimed that they had met hundreds of people from all walks of life to come to any conclusion and suggestions on Kashmir.
The most unacceptable suggestion is to review all the rules and laws passed after 1952-53, the period which strengthened the position of Kashmir as part of India. After the campaign launched by the charismatic leader of Jan Sangh, Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee against the state of Jammu and Kashmir having a different emblem, flag and motto, than the Union of India, the Indian government acted to end this ‘duality.‘ Till then the chief minister of the state was called the prime minister of Kashmir. In this fight to integrate Kashmir into India irrevocably, Dr Mukherjee lost his life, in prison. Suspicions of foul play have been in the air since, not ever resolved.
The interlocutors want to undo this. They have suggested a return to the titles of Wazir-e-Azam and Sadar-e-Riyasat for the chief minister and governor of the state. In a most abhorrent stand, the Indian government nominees, paid from the Indian tax payers‘ money have sought to change the position of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to Pakistan Administered Jammu and Kashmir. This extends the area of Pakistani operation to Jammu and ‘occupation‘ has become administration. How very smooth! It contradicts the sentiment of the Indian parliament, which in a 1994 resolution promised to win back the territories occupied by Pakistan.
The report glosses over the prevailing extremist communal atmosphere in the state, as dictated by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists which prevents Hindus and Sikhs from going back to their homes. It has no solutions to offer on ending terrorism in the valley. On the other hand, the report promotes ‘separateness‘ of the Kashmiris from the others. Kashmiriat is an old, cliched, meaningless expression, which is being flaunted whenever there is talk of diluting such laws as Article 370, which keep the state a sore thumb of the Indian Union.
The BJP and the RSS have wholly rejected the report and rightly so. The BJP, which took note of this report during the National Executive meeting in Mumbai passed a resolution condemning and damning the report. It highlighted six points in the report which made it absolutely unacceptable. The interlocutors have suggested that Article 370 should be made permanent.
The interlocutors’ report comes at a time when there are rumours that the UPA government is working on a secret agreement with Pakistan on withdrawing troops from Siachen, that it is mulling over the proposal to cut back troops in Kashmir and under pressure from state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is planning to open free movement across the LoC, especially between PoK and Kashmir.
The state government too is doing its bit to bring Pakistan closer to Kashmir. The Chief Minister holds his cabinet meeting at LoC and kow-tows to the terrorists on the duration of the Amarnath Yatra.
The report of the interlocutors should be confined to the dustbin because the motive and commitment of at least two of its members are suspect. The team, to begin with, had no political sanction. The members were selected by the government probably because of their Fai-Pakistan connections. Kashmir is not a game for experimenting. There is but one way forward on Kashmir. And that is to integrate it fully into the Indian Union, by removing Article 370 and other special privileges bestowed upon it.

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