Monday, February 27, 2017

SpaceX to Send 2 Customers Around Moon

SpaceX has announced that it will be flying 2 paying customers around the Moon in late 2018:

This will approximately be around the time India sends its Chandrayaan-2 mission to land on the Moon.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fwd: News Digest 26-02-2017

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Capt.(Dr.) S G Naravane
Chidambaram's latest gaffe: Playing into Pakistan's hands
February 25, 2017, 7:16 PM IST Ashali Varma

How PM Modi inherited the reservation bomb
February 24, 2016, 6:50 PM IST Ashali Varma

The cost of casteism
The Prime Minister is right when he says India cannot move forward until UP does. But forgets that in 2014, this state gave him the 73 seats he needed to get a full majority.
Tavleen Singh | Updated: February 26, 2017

Meet Sunil Bansal, the 'invisible' man behind BJP's UP poll battle
ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS Updated: Feb 26, 2017 01:23 IST
Prashant Jha

Backed by China, Pak is unlikely to change support for terror substantially
ANALYSIS Updated: Feb 24, 2017 20:45 IST
Shyam Saran

Modi Plays Robin Hood with audacious land giveaways
By Yatish Yadav  |  Express News Service  |   Published: 26th February 2017

Sunday, 26 February 2017 | Kanchan Gupta
The larger point is the continuing decay and decline of India's only other (now increasingly notional) national party, as Rahul Gandhi leads it from disaster to unmitigated disaster. It voters are increasingly switching sides

The threat from within
Former Provost John Etchemendy, in a recent speech before the Stanford Board of Trustees, outlined challenges higher education is facing in the coming years. Following is an excerpt from that talk.
FEBRUARY 21, 2017

Sunday, 26 February 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta

Swachchta redefined
Tuktuk Ghosh, a retired IAS officer and comments on governance issues.
February 26, 2017

Show is on: Fighter India takes off
Ajay Banerjee in New Delhi
Feb 26, 2017
It's the inglorious tag of 'world's biggest importer' that saw such high-profile attendance at the Aero-India show in Bangalore. The interface between Indian manufacturers and foreign big players is aimed at creating a local industry where hi-tech defence assets could be built.

A plan to invade Bengal
ANEESH GOKHALE | Sun, 26 Feb 2017-08:00am , DNA
The great Ahom king Rudra Singha had mobilised 4 lakh soldiers to invade Mughal-ruled Bengal, but his untimely death stalled the campaign

Donald Trump can't afford to lose grip
The US intelligence community is convinced that his administration has been compromised by Russia.
Harsh V Pant

Wary of Donald Trump unpredictability, China ramps up naval abilities
By Reuters | Updated: Feb 26, 2017,

क्या मीडिया हिन्दू विरोधी है : मीडिया की निष्पक्षता का अवलोकन |
यदि मीडिया को केंद्र सरकार से या बीजेपी से परेशानी है तो, जो भी गलत बीजेपी करे, तो मीडिया हज़ार बार उनके खिलाफ छापे | मगर यदि सिर्फ बीजेपी को हराने के लिए हिन्दुओं के साथ पक्षपात किया जाए तथा उनके साथ हो रहे अत्याचारों को दबाया जाए तो यह गलत है |
Shubham Verma @theshubhamv
Hindi | 25-02-2017

Kishan S Rana: Why India needs smart diplomacy
The country's diplomatic machinery should have more resources for proactive external engagement
Kishan S Rana 
February 25, 2017

Neither Nehru Nor America, Lion's Share Of Blame For Tibet's Demise Lies With Its Own People
Jaideep A Prabhu - Feb 25, 2017
Tibet: An Unfinished Story details the sad history of the Roof of the World from its earliest mentions in the West to its conquest, annexation and subjugation by China.
Halper, Lezlee Brown, and Halper, Stefan. Tibet: An Unfinished Story. London: C Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2014. 367 pp.

Centre finalises measures to counter attempts to destabilise border states
By PANKAJ VOHRA | NEW DELHI | 26 February, 2017

India can provide hope to the Baloch struggle
By SHUBHABRATA BHA... | 25 February, 2017
With the present Khan of Kalat asserting that he would go to India to highlight the plight of his people, the struggle of the Baloch people enters a new phase.

A forgotten war technology could safely power Earth for millions of years. Here's why we aren't using it
Dave Mosher 
Humanity may face an energy crisis as the world's population rapidly grows.
Nuclear power plants can generate bountiful, carbon-free electricity, but their solid fuel is problematic, and aging reactors are being shut down.
A Cold War-era liquid-fueled reactor design could transform thorium — a radioactive waste from mining — into a practically limitless energy source.
US engineers proved such a system works during the 1960s. However, the military canceled the project and it was nearly forgotten.
Companies and governments are now trying to revive and evolve the design, but development costs, regulations, and nuclear-weapons concerns all pose hurdles.

Violent extremism
Disrupt online radicalization and propaganda
The Internet has become both a battleground and a recruitment platform for violent extremists. Groups like ISIS use it to create propaganda, recruit new members, and spread fear. They use increasingly sophisticated social campaigns to identify those who might be susceptible extremist content. And by creating and publishing high-quality original content, extremist groups like ISIS have established themselves as global brands. But technology can help to interrupt the cycle of radicalization and divert young people away from extremism online.

U.S. Has New Neighbor in Djibouti: Chinese Naval Base
Feb 25, 2017
With tensions between the rivals increasing, American strategists worry that operations at the Pentagon's camp in the Horn of Africa nation will be observed.

Moscow is trying to tap the region's massive oil and natural gas reserves and encourage commercial shipping through an Arctic shortcut between European and Asian ports.

Why putin will be skipping the 100th anniversary of the russian revolution

A world turned upside down
Wind and solar energy are disrupting a century-old model of providing electricity. What will replace it?
Feb 25th 2017

In fintech, China shows the way
Advanced technology, backward banks and soaring wealth make China a leader in fintech
Feb 25th 2017

Where did Steve Bannon get his worldview? From my book.
Neil Howe February 24
Neil Howe is the author, along with William Strauss, of "Generations," "The Fourth Turning" and "Millennials Rising."

पं. दीनदयाल जी हमारे आदर्श हैं।

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: Pakistan: Water Crisis and the Indus Water Treaty+The reality of the India-China strategic dialogue+Taliban’s strange new friends

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

1. China should hire Indian science, high-tech talent to maintain innovation ability 24.2.17
SN – Hope GOI and Indians do not get in by this flattery.
2. South China Sea Imbroglio: PLA's Grand Strategy of 'Unrestricted Warfare' 23.2.17 by maj gen rajiv narayanan
3. Winning Hearts and Minds in J&K: At Whose Cost? 24.2.17 by brig deepak sinha
SN – We are a strange country. Kashmiris along with Pakis killed and drove out the Pandits, are responsible for violence, do not pay taxes and we are still trying to win their hears since 1947.
4. Pakistan: Water Crisis and the Indus Water Treaty 24.2.17 by Dr S Chandrasekharan
Put simply, if only India observes the treaty in letter and spirit in fully utilising the waters allotted to it, Pakistan will be in serious trouble.  This would need some explanation.
Though the Indian side is allowed to use 20 percent of the western rivers, it has hardly used more than 4 percent of the waters of the western rivers and more importantly Indian farmers have not fully utilised even the waters of eastern rivers either, thus letting the waters flow freely into Pakistan. Ironic that Indian Punjab would let go waters to Pakistan than share some with their own brethren in Haryana!Though the Indian side is allowed to use 20 percent of the western rivers, it has hardly used more than 4 percent of the waters of the western rivers and more importantly Indian farmers have not fully utilised even the waters of eastern rivers either, thus letting the waters flow freely into Pakistan. Ironic that Indian Punjab would let go waters to Pakistan than share some with their own brethren in Haryana!
The Baglihar project that was objected to by Pakistan was examined in detail earlier by a neutral expert. He had suggested a reduction of the dam's height by 1.5 metres but did not object to the right of India to construct dams- a point that has been lost sight of by Pakistan and its media.
Pakistan had also approached the Obama administration and now is getting China involved as part of "water security" in the CPEC project of China.  It is to be noted that neither the US nor China has any locus standi in the disputes arising out of the Indus Water Treaty. Even the World Bank comes in not as a guarantor but as a "facilitator."
5. The reality of the India-China strategic dialogue Editorial MINT 24.2.17 Good read
On paper, the countries have had a strategic partnership since 2005—but there are no areas of convergence in the foreseeable future.'
6. Trump's China challenge by Brahma C 24.2.17
7. Taliban's strange new friends by Brahma C 24.2.17
Russia and Iran, the traditional patrons of the Northern Alliance, are now openly mollycoddling the Taliban and giving it political succour. In this effort, they have the cooperation of China and Pakistan, thus creating a regional axis. This development represents a shot in the arm for the Taliban's fight against U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan and the government in Kabul.
In order to cultivate ties with the Taliban, whose top leadership remains holed up in Pakistan's Balochistan province, Russia is befriending Islamabad. '
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
to unsubscribe write back

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: War Clouds over Europe: Are we prepared?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vaidyanathan R

February 20, 2017 ·                                                                     Prof Vaidyanathan


War Clouds over Europe: Are we prepared?


I wrote in 2013 about "Europe Going Down"



"The European economic and social crisis is becoming worse with each passing day. One business channel asked me in 2008 how long it might take to recover and I responded saying 40 quarters — they never came back to interview. But now I forecast it may never recover.

Sri Aurobindo seems to have said that India will rise on the ashes of western civilisation and it seems to be coming true. It is important to recognise that the dominance of the West has been there only for last 200 odd years. According to Angus Maddison's pioneering OECD study, India and China had nearly 50 per cent of global GDP as late as the 1820s. Hence India and China are not emerging or rising powers. They are retrieving their original position. In 1990, the share of the G-7 in world GDP (on a purchasing power parity basis) was 51 per cent and that of emerging markets, 36 per cent. But in 2012, it is the reverse. So the dominant west is a myth.

Europe is facing three types of crisis – economic, demographic, civilisational and it is not in a position to come out of these. All three are not recent ones; they were developing over a period and are now culminating into a catastrophe.

The Debt to GDP ratio of most of Europe is at unsustainable levels with our own Britain having above 500 per cent — I say our own since we are going to have to help them run their country sooner than later. There are three major constituents of debt — Government debt, corporate debt and household debt. Of the three, we find household debt has reached nearly 80 to 100 per cent of GDP in most of these countries. The reason is simple — unlike India, households in Europe and USA have forgotten one simple word — savings. They live on debt and are interned by debt.

The situation is made worse by the unemployment situation. Youth unemployment has reached 55 per cent in Spain and hovering above 30 per cent in most of the other countries. Youth is defined as being between the ages of 16 to 24, unlike in India where even a 43-year-old is a 'youth icon'. The overall unemployment is at more than 25 per cent in most countries and it is creating social turmoil.

Along with this is the demographic crisis. The population of Europe during the First World War was nearly 25 per cent. Today it is around 11 per cent and is expected to become 3 per cent in another 20 years. This is mainly due to low reproductive rates and in some countries is as low as 1 when 2.1 is considered as equilibrating rate. Europe will disappear from the world map unless migrants from Africa and Asia take it over. That is why Europe is being referred to as Eurobia and London as Londonistan.

The root cause of the issue is the attempt in Europe to nationalise families and privatise business. Old age issue/ health issues/ child care issues are all normal family activities that have been taken over by the state and the state is broke. Funded security schemes are facing crisis since not enough numbers are getting in to labour force due to low reproductive rates and unfunded
security system is in difficulty since taxes are not adequate due to low population growth.

Coupled with economic and demographic crisis is the crisis of civilisation in Europe. It has renounced the Church and has become secular. Church attendance has fallen significantly and churches have become tourist attractions rather than places of worship.

Most of the migrants, particularly those doing 'brown colour work' – like garbage removal, cleaning plates in restaurant, porter jobs, and grape-picking — are people from Mauritania/ Somalia/ Algeria etc and most are Muslims by faith. Due to a high degree of unemployment, there is resentment against migrants and this anger is turning into anger against Muslims. Added to this is the new front started by France in Mali to fight Islamic fundamentalists. Africa may become a new Vietnam for Europe.

Europe is sitting on a time bomb and any small spark could ignite it. Remember that all conflicts in the last 2000 years have started in Europe and became 'world' conflicts. India has already given $10 billion or Rs 56,000 crore – nearly one per cent of GDP to help Europe. Not a single European paper or leader has thanked us openly. One can only hope that we need not give more of our GDP or become cannon fodder in Anglo-Saxon conflicts."


Again in 2016 about– How the idea of Europe is dead



"Brussels Airport attacks by Jihadists again bring to life challenge faced by Europe as we know. Europe of   Mozart and Goethe and Schopenhauer and Sartre and Beethoven is dead.

The cultured European having his wine and enjoying concerts and Opera is passé.

Today Every European walks with his eyes turned on his back and ears listening to any changes.

In small towns new neighbours are looked at with suspicion and old neighbours are expected to behave. The sound of screeching cars at night makes them awake and sirens and cops are normal scene.

The Radical Islam is not fighting Christianity –which anyhow is dead in Europe—but it is fighting the modernity. Islam is frightened of modernity destroying their religion and culture how so ever unacceptable it may be to European liberals. It is concerned about pre-marital sex/contraception/homosexuality/adultery/ "unprotected" women etc.

Europe does not know how to handle it. The rise of rightwing forces –le Pen in France and PEGIDA in Germany-is going to lit the fires of newer European conflicts. Europe thought– a la Merkel– that they can buy peace with radical Islam by "requesting" them to integrate. But integrate with what? Integrate with "immoral" Europe where women are exhibited as "open meat" [in the words of the Australian Imam] who are "poisonous"

Europe has seen Crusades and 100 years wars-between Christianity and Islam. But never has it had seen a conflict of this nature between "modernity" and Islam. The ongoing tussle in Turkey enlarges the conflict in the underbelly of Europe. Already Europe has 50% unemployment among youth groups and everyday 10000 are marching in the name of refugees. Remember some 200 years before entire Spain and up to the gates of Vienna it was Andalusia Empire and thousands of mosques were converted to Churches after Europe was "cleansed" of Islam.

This time the Europe which is facing crisis is different. It is not the Pews and Stained glasses but concert halls and swimming pools and whole night parties opposed by Radicals.

The issue is regarding life style and one likes it or not radical Islam is "Global moral policeman". He knows the place of women in society and also the place of Europeans.

Unfortunately Europe has lost the will to fight and stand for whatever are its values. Its own idea of "freedom" is going to devour it when it is offered to Radical Islamists. Europe as we know is dead. Amen."


Merkel did a major mistake in opening the doors for the "refugees" and same with EU. The numbers are swelling and expectedly a million more waiting. One section of them would prefer Sharia and rule of Caliphate. Social tensions increasing and the forces which are anti-immigrant –more particularly anti-Muslim are on the rise. The new forces reject the current EU but may build a new EU based on different set of values. The meeting of all these forces like Le Pen/Greet wilders/AfD at Koblenz in Germany –where MSM was not allowed-

[] is a path breaking effort.

Marine Le Pen claims 'Anglo Saxon world waking up' as Europe's far-right parties meet after Trump inauguration. 'Yesterday, a new America. Today – a new Europe,' anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders tells cheering crowds.


The conflict has given rise to war clouds over Europe between Global moral policeman "radical Islam" and "modern Europe"

This war is going to be catastrophic if Turkey falls to radical Islam.

Actually the origins of the conflict can be traced to Globalization which rejected Westphalian idea of sovereignty of nations. Both Radical Islam and Global corporations/Hege funds embraced this rejection. Local populations were against globalization which affected them. This we will see in another article.

This impending social strife and civil war in Europe will have implications for India.

  1. US will send troops to Europe to keep peace and arm twisting of India will start. Remember that India is largest contributor to "global peace keeping "role of UN.

But India is never consulted about the conflict zones or location & the need for peace keeping. India must not get involved in "peace keeping" given its internal demographic composition. India must demand membership of UNSC before even considering any request.

  1. Saudi wants to finish Iran in the process and USA has been stupidly convinced that Iran is a major danger. Saudi is also member of -believe me- UN human rights council- and a major financier of Amnesty International. Let India remember that civilisationally we have more in common with Iran than Saudis or their poodle terror central Pakistan.
  2. India has opportunity to scrap article 370 in J&K and allow all Indians to settle down in the valley. Each settler can be given Rs50 lakhs and a gun. Neither Trump nor Le Pen or AfD is going to bother about it. Within India except some TV warriors none would oppose it.
  3. Any war in European theatre will create huge number of our own Indian-refugees from ME and Europe into India. We need to be prepared for it
  4. There would be attempts by ISIs to recruit from India on a large scale by giving attractive stipends and Insurance to their families. India must crush such attempts with all its might.
  5. Indian businesses should be alert since most funds would pull out of India for war efforts in European theatre. Those businesses which have export/import links with US/Europe will be maximum affected unless their export products are useful for war.
  6. Of course Sensex and Nifty will be affected since our markets are not linked to our economy but to US and Europe situation since market movements are decided by Foreign funds.
  7. India has to take a stand –howsoever painful—that this war is not our war but between desert cultures.
  8. We have been sucked into 1st and 2nd world war due to colonialism. Even though the colonial genes are still strong in our body polity –we must not put the boots of our soldiers on European soil under any pretext.
  9. It will not be a conventional war but a war between terrorists/snipers/belt bombers and right wing militia men of Europe and US.
  10. Left liberals as usual will be with belt bombers but alas they will be the first one to be swallowed by the Radical Islam.

Breaking India forces can be crushed due to evolving global situation. Are we ready and do we have a plan?





               Prof. R.VAIDYANATHAN                                               



sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: The terror Frankenstein+Pakistan acquiring helicopters to fight terrorists+China, India hold strategic dialogue+Assam raising second line of defence to tackle influx

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

2. The terror Frankenstein 23.2.17 by G Parthasarathy
'Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, an Ismaili Shia by birth, proudly proclaimed, just prior to Pakistan's independence, that the country he founded on the basis of religion would not discriminate against any of its citizens on the basis of religion.'
The most revered Sufi shrine in Pakistan, where thousands of people of all sects and religions congregate and worship, is the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar at Sehwan, in northern Sindh. The shrine, built in 1356, was established in memory of the 13th century Sufi, Saint Syed Usman Marwandi, popularly known as Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, whose ancestors were devotees of the Imam Hussein, the Prophet's grandson.
The TTP was a tool of the ISI used to wage jihad against the Americans and pro-government forces in Afghanistan, post 9/11. The situation in Pakistan changed when the army, led by the ubiquitous Gen Raheel Sharif, saw the TTP establishing a presence over large areas beyond its traditional habitat and launched large-scale operations against it. This was done without General Sharif's bothering to secure parliamentary approvalThe TTP was a tool of the ISI used to wage jihad against the Americans and pro-government forces in Afghanistan, post 9/11. The situation in Pakistan changed when the army, led by the ubiquitous Gen Raheel Sharif, saw the TTP establishing a presence over large areas beyond its traditional habitat and launched large-scale operations against it. This was done without General Sharif's bothering to secure parliamentary approval
 New Delhi should remain firm on issues of terrorism by reiterating that there can be no question of reverting to business as usual till our concerns on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in India and Afghanistan are addressed.
India would do well to use these developments for stepping up economic and military assistance to Afghanistan and expediting the operationalisation of the Chabahar Port.
New Delhi has done well to facilitate participation by Indian writers in the Karachi Literary Festival. Reaching out to people getting disillusioned with Wahhabi extremism and violence in Pakistan, while standing firm on terrorism, enhances our credibility internationally.'
3. Nagaland and the pandomenium box 23.2.17 by sudeep chakravarti
SN – MSM and people keep on referring to Nagas as Tribals. They were tribals. Post conversion to Christianity why are they still being called tribals and given exemption from Income-Tax. In Christianity there is no concept of tribals and Scheduled Tribes.
The decision by Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao to facilitate the opening of an Indian outpost in Taiwan in March 1995 was one of his many far-sighted and pioneering diplomatic initiatives.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government continued that practice. As a result, Taiwan became a source of confidence-building between India and China instead of a cause for mistrust and friction as it is becoming now.
Fortunately, those who run China policy in the MEA do not share the enthusiasm of the new political class for irretrievably damaging relations with Beijing.
SN – Govt is only sending a message to Beijing that it can needle them too if China fails to address India's concerns. As long as the lakshan rekha is clear should India be worried? 
5. India-China Strategic Dialogue – both have core interests 20.2.17 by bhaskar roy
5a. China, India hold strategic dialogue 23.2.17
India always wants to portray Pakistan as a 'supporter of terrorism' in the international community, which makes it easier for the country to link counter-terrorism issue to Sino-Pakistani relationship and blame China's support to Pakistan for some issues," Lin said, adding that India does not understand the significance of Sino-Pakistani friendship. '
6. Patrons of terrorists in Afghanistan 22.2.17 by ali sukhaver
SN – the Pakis forget that every road has two-way traffic. Any doubts they should ask the U.S.
6a. Pakistan acquiring helicopters to fight terrorists 23.2.17
7. Assam raising second line of defence to tackle influx 23.2.17
Warm Regards

sanjeev nayyar
to unsubcribe write back

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

godhra, 27th feb 2002

what i said then, in two parts:

the predatory intelligentsia is still the same

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

McMaster Appointment Meant to Appease Deep State

The appointment of General McMaster as National Security Advisor signals Trump's relinquishment of control over foreign policy back to the Deep State:

Perhaps Trump is deciding which battles he can win, and which he must step back from. After Nawaz Sharif returned to power, he too began embarking on major foreign policy changes such as thawing relations with India, when suddenly the Pak military rapped him him on the knuckles, and arm-twisted him into relinquishing control of foreign policy back to the military.

It's only once Trump builds up more political power for himself by winning on other fronts (improving America's economy, reducing unemployment, improving education, infrastructure, etc) that he'll be able to Bell the Cat and bring the Deep State to heel.

But of course America's Deep state has its flunkies in the US Congress too, just like ISI has flunkies among Pak parliamentarians. There seem to be various Republican Congressmen who keep mentioning the need for special inquiries into Trump's ties with Russia. The goal is to keep Trump struggling on the ropes until he can be ousted in 4 years time.

The question is - how will Steve Bannon handle the situation? He has obtained an unprecedented role for himself on the US National Security Council, but will now be facing in McMaster someone who is outspoken with views very different than his own.

Twitter Being Overtaken by Chinese Competitor

Twitter is being overtaken by a Chinese competitor, Weibo

What local competitors does Twitter have in India?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bannon in the Eyes of Critics

Steve Bannon is being vilified by Left-wing media as the evil Rasputin-like figure who acts like a power behind the throne. Whereas Amit Shah is derided as Modi's henchman, Bannon is portrayed as the puppetmaster who pulls Trump's strings - ie. the real power in the Whitehouse. The caricatures are being piled on.

Stratfor on China-India-Pakistan

Stratfor analyst looks at India's and China's disagreement over Pakistan:

Friday, February 24, 2017

'Nationism' vs Globalists

UKIP leader Nigel Farage speaks on why he feels 'Nationism' has emerged as the rightful backlash against Globalists:

C25 Cryo Engine Test Firing

Here's a video of the C25 cryogenic upper stage engine test firing conducted recently by ISRO. This engine will be used to propel the upper stage of the GSLV-Mark3.

Besides being used in the GSLV-Mk3, the system may one day be adapted for use on the upper stage of the TSTO (Two-Stage-to-Orbit) Reusable Launch Vehicle.

Indian Shot Dead in Kansas

2 Indians have been shot, 1 of them fatally, at a bar in Kansas by a local man:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quick notes: Solar tariffs, Cognitive computing...

  • Solar tariffs hit all-time low: Rs2.97/unit. It couldn’t be a worse time for the coal-fuelled power plants in the country as India’s current installed capacity of 3,10,005 MW and the projects under construction are expected to meet the country’s electricity demand till 2026. This effectively means that there will be no requirement for new coal fuelled power plants in the country till then.

  • Cognitive computing: Watson helps treat heart disease by looking at medical images

  • Clogged cities: On an average, 353 new cars and 1,372 new bikes joined Bengaluru’s slow-moving traffic every day in 2016, taking the total number of vehicles to 66.65 lakh. "No amount of infrastructure will be adequate if private vehicles are not reduced".

  • Tackling smog: London to charge all pre-2004 cars $27 to enter on weekdays

  • Manu Prakash: Saving lives with simple Engineering

  • 17 equations that changed the world:

Bannon is the Strategic Brain

At the annual CPAC convention for American conservatives, the top men of the Trump Whitehouse showed up to speak to the attendees. Steve Bannon articulated the vision underpinning the Trump agenda, which commentator Dr Charles Krauthammer said showed he was the brains of the operation.

It remains to be seen how Bannon will get this agenda implemented at the National Security Council, where a new seat has been created for him. Will the establishment be successful in opposing the new reforms?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

India Becoming Smartphone Manufacturing Hub

India is starting to become a hub for smartphone manufacturing, which makes sense given that it's got one of the largest smartphone consumer markets in the world:

This is a key area where India can make the leap into electronics manufacturing, and develop its own thriving ecosystem for homegrown hardware innovation. This in turn would have tremendous ripple effects on other sectors like defense and aerospace, as well as Make-in-India as a whole.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Uranium Extraction from Seawater Improved

A team at Stanford has managed to obtain a nine-fold improvement in the extraction of Uranium from seawater

This technology could reduce India's dependence on external suppliers of Uranium.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Trump Appoints McMaster as NSA

US President Donald Trump has appointed General H R McMaster to replace Michael Flynn as his NSA:

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has staked out a decidedly more hawkish position on Russia and gone out of his way to assert that the war against terrorism must not turn into a war against Islam.
McMaster's worldview and positions are significantly different than Michael Flynn's. The Lefties at CNN, etc are thrilled:

If pro-establishment establishment forces are successful in veering Trump back towards establishment policies of appeasement towards Islam, then India will have to look for strategic alternatives.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

PSLV-C37 Onboard Camera Footage

Here's footage from the onboard camera of PSLV-C37, showing the various operations executed during the mission, including the deployment of all 104 satellites:

Some private customers (private Indian and private Japanese) will be paying ISRO to send their lunar rovers to the Moon, which should be happening by year's end:

ISRO will also be sending its own rover to the Moon with the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

Quick notes: Technology shift, Helical model...

  • Tech Shift: Half of Indian IT workforce may become irrelevant in 3 years: McKinsey

  • Cutting Meat Without Cutting Muscle: Science finally settles the issue: If muscle-building protein is what you seek, plant protein is just as good as animal protein. ...Dangal got this wrong!

  • Scientific Superstition: “As there is religious superstition, so also there is a superstition in the matter of science. …As soon as a great scientist’s name, like Darwin or Huxley, is cited, we follow blindly. It is the fashion of the day. Ninety-nine per cent of what we call scientific knowledge is mere theories. …Just as we should be careful with the priests, so we should be with the scientists. Begin with disbelief. Analyze, test, prove everything, and then take it.” -Swami Vivekananda

  • The Helical Model - our solar system is a vortex

Saturday, February 18, 2017

leaving twitter

i wanted to point out that i am basically leaving twitter, though i am not deleting my account. i have some forwards from other sites that will automatically come to it, but i have ceased to be active on twitter. i'm the same way with facebook: no active participation, just forwards. i thought could be a substitute, but it's not anywhere near as popular or useful.

twitter has become highly politicized, in a way that #freedomOfExpression has now become: you are free to express my opinion. 

which opinion they hold you can imagine, when they have a kashmiri separatist as their man in india, and the failing twitter is 10% owned by a saudi.

there is an account named @bhaktslayer which apparently has a direct line to twitter india. it consist entirely of tweets about how they have reported certain accounts to twitter, and lo and behold, 100% success: every such account is suspended, regardless of merit. 100% success is very unusual, except if you are, say, a dictator in kazhakstan or zimbabwe; it typically means there are other considerations.

the last straw has been the harassment of sonam mahajan, apparently a kashmiri pundit (who would thus have a grievance) who was posting aggressive but not severely offensive and objectionable content. twitter suspended her first account @asyounotwish, and then her new account @isonammahajan.

twitter obviously has the right to suspend or dismiss anybody (we signed an agreement saying they can do this when we signed up), but there has to be transparency and fairness. they do not say exactly what it is that they object to; nor do they act even-handedly in suspending those who are offensive on the other side. 

even though i like twitter as a newsfeed, there's no reason for me to enrich it with my time. it is anyway failing, which means that the #FoE that i once thought was possible through social media is no longer quite the case. i was once quite positive about it (and amitabh bacchan, the great one himself, liked this piece too). 

but social media, in the hands of facebook and twitter, have gone the #DeepState way, as far as india is concerned. of course, @therealDonaldTrump is using it quite a lot, and it's his way of disrupting the existing system, and more power to him.

but as for me, i have ceased to spend time on twitter, which is probably good for my well-being as well as my time management.  

US Carriers Start Routine Patrols in South China Sea

The US is sending aircraft carrier battle groups to start routine patrols in the South China Sea:

US President Donald Trump has vowed not to let China claim the South China Sea as its own.

ISRO Tests C25 Engine

ISRO tested its powerful C25 cryogenic engine for a duration of 640 seconds

This powerful upper stage engine will be used on the new GSLV Mk-3.

India's Only Volcano Active Again

India's only volcano, in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, is now active once again, showing small eruptions every 5-10 minutes:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Elon Musk Pursues Tunneling Technology

Tech wiz and market disruptor Elon Musk is looking to revolutionize how underground tunnels are made, with an eye to building underground transit networks which could decongest cities:

Musk is has targeted this particular sector because he feels it's ripe for innovation and disruption, since the technology hasn't advanced in over half a century. India should look at applying any revolutions in this field towards improving its own infrastructure.

I know Rajeev feels urban concentrations go against India's traditional village existence, but on the other hand, big cities can function more efficiently by concentrating large numbers of people in close proximity to infrastructure and resources. "3D cities" could enable more people to live within close proximity of work to ease their commute, while also making more efficient use of mass transit. Previously it was the rise of the automobile and cheap gas which facilitated suburban sprawl, while in the future the opposite scenario may be favored.

Additionally, India has some of the highest mountainous regions in the world, located in remote and highly disputed boundary areas. The ability to tunnel deeply into mountainsides could help in creating more fortified and impregnable defenses, as well as in improving logistical transport supply lines to these remote areas.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Air India Bomber Freed

Inderjit Singh Reyat, convicted of the 1985 bombings which destroyed an Indian airliner and 329 passengers, as well as 2 baggage handlers in Tokyo, has been released by Canadian authorities to go free :

US Intelligence Eavesdropping on Trump Whitehouse

The US intelligence is perhaps leaning towards Musharraf's "doctrine of necessity" by emulating the ISI in wiretapping the Whitehouse and leaking private discussions by Trump's officials:

When the Deep State feels threatened by the winds of change, they seem to have claimed their own right to undermine the Trump Whitehouse, for the purpose of preserving their own policy agenda. The American Left are very gleeful about it, of course.

Fwd: New Delhi will suffer loses if it plays Taiwan card+Windfall for Chinese on coal fired projects+Make In India’ Fighter Aircraft: Strategic Options+Managing scarce water resources Pak

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

1. IAF expanding at rapid pace says Air Chief Marshall Dhanoa 13.2.17 Interview with Nitin Gokhale
2. Pakistan based counterfeters circulating fake Rs 2000/ notes on Indo Pak Border 13.2.17
SN – Cattles worth thousands of crores smuggled into Bangladesh every year. Is it paid for in gold, fake notes, dollars or hawala. I met a businessman from Kolkata who exports to Bangladesh and receives payment thru hawala. He said there are Bangladeshis on both sides of the border, sometimes brothers, that had made hawala and some sort of barter work freely.
3. JeM chief block shows China's determination to shield Pakistan from terrorism scrutiny 13.2.17 by Kanwal Sibal
4. New Delhi will suffer loses if it plays Taiwan card 15.2.17 by Yu Ning
A female "parliamentary" delegation from Taiwan, at the invitation of India, began a visit to the country on Monday, the first such visit since the Tsai Ing-wen administration took office. High-level visits between India and Taiwan are not very frequent, so why did India invite the Taiwan delegation to visit at this time?
India wants benefits from the development of trade with Taiwan and Taiwanese investment. But it should be wary of Tsai's political intentions and avoid being used to confront the mainland. The best way for India to develop is by participating in the Belt and Road Initiative and attract more investments from the mainland.
5. HAL's Gamble – Will the "Advanced Hawk" break into the Export market? 13.2.17 by sanjay b maharaj
6. Global Balance of Power 2017 weighted heavily against China-Russia Nexus 14.2.17 by dr subhash kapila
While dwelling on the issue of the global balance of power in relation to the China-Russia nexus it is also for consideration that while Russia adds strategic ballast to China, the same is not true of China adding strategic ballast to Russia, in global power equations'.
7. Make In India' Fighter Aircraft: Strategic Options 15.2.17 by air marshal anil chopra
8. Mehbooba proposes 9 modifications in LOC trade 15.2.17
9. Windfall for Chinese on coal fired projects 15.2.17
In what appear to be heavily China-favoured deals, Pakistan has offered up to 34.5 per cent annual profit on equity invested in coal-fired energy projects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and loans have been obtained at six per cent interest rates, excluding insurance cost.

The official documents revealed that by including the cost of insurance, also paid to a Chinese insurance company, the cost of borrowings would surge to 13 per cent. Adding insult to injury, the government has already exempted income of Chinese financial institutions from dividend income tax.'

10. Managing scarce water resources 14.2.17 by talat masood GOOd read.

What is not well known that India having the advantage of being the upper riparian is cleverly utilising the ground water to its advantage! In Pakistan, unlike India, there is absence of laws for ground water usage to ensure equitable distribution among provinces.Pakistan is also faced with the danger wherein in certain areas saline water is mixing with sweet water.

The Indus River basin aquifer spans the two countries and when the Indians carry out excessive abstraction it results in starving the Pakistani side and lowering the water table. This in turn creates a favorable situation for Indian Punjab as water starts flowing to their side having a lower water table. This in turn adversely affects the water availability and quality on the Pakistani side.

When sanctity of treaties are violated then it could well open up a Pandora's box with China similarly exercising the option of diverting the Brahmaputra River!When sanctity of treaties are violated then it could well open up a Pandora's box with China similarly exercising the option of diverting the Brahmaputra River!'

warm regards

sanjeev nayar

to unsubscribe write back


sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

what we don't know: how much did xi bargain away?

Donald Trump grants China's fervent wish The "one-China" policy is back. Who blinked? Feb 13th 2017

we may well see a less aggressive south china sea policy. that would mean trump has managed a nice bargain

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

atlanticists and deepstate are going to keep beating trump with russia/putin

Russia: The scandal Trump can't shake 27 minutes ago Throughout the confusion of Donald Trump's campaign and the chaotic events of his early days in the White House, one controversy has clung to the Trump train like glue: Russia.

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

the west is beginning to close ranks and form a white christian bulwark against muslims

Trump, Islam and the clash of civilisations The hostility to Muslims is finding adherents across the western world YESTERDAY by: Gideon Rachman

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

are we investing enough in defense?

Defence budget: The central government has talked smart, not acted smart
ANALYSIS Updated: Feb 14, 2017 01:45 IST
Bharat Karnad

Not On A War Footing
The defence budget, 2017-18, raises serious concerns
Amit Cowshish, The writer, former financial advisor (acquisition), Ministry of Defence, is a distinguished fellow with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
 | Published:February 14, 2017 

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

ISRO Launches Record 104 Satellites

ISRO has achieved a world record by successfully deploying 104 satellites in a single launch:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Michael Flynn Forced to Resign

US General Michael Flynn has been forced to resign as Donald Trump's National Security Advisor:

Looks like the Deep State has claimed its first main casualty - they'd managed to undermine Flynn by claiming that he'd talked to the Russians about possible lifting of sanctions against them. So by that standard, should Kissinger and Nixon have been labeled traitors by the Washington establishment for opening secret talks with China? Of course not - when Atlanticists dominate the Deep State, then all is forgiven in the interest of confronting Moscow - and that's what the imperialists in Rawalpindi and Beijing always bank on.

In the meantime, Trump's team has scheduled General David Petraeus for an interview, with an eye to having him replace Michael Flynn.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Kejriwal and Khalistan

If Kejriwal comes to power in Punjab, I foresee a return of Khalistan militancy - and if that happens, then not only will Pak/ISI get involved, but China will as well, because both nations are very committed to achieving the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and destabilization of Punjab would be very instrumental in helping them do that.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

perils of demonetization: my piece in swarajya

how feminism has been perverted: rajeev in swarajya mag

my piece on the trump visa regulations

forbes says demonetization seems to have produced positive economic news

wharton on effect of H1B visa stuff on businesses

Tears in the Rain - A Blade Runner Short Film

Somewhere in the future, an early forebear of Deckard's sits down to break the news:

Friday, February 10, 2017

Japan's Changing Relationship With USA

Japan's relationship with the USA is undergoing change:

US Commander Urges 'Holistic Review' of Policy On Pakistan

The commander of US forces in Afghanistan has urged a full review of US policy toward Pakistan:

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Quick notes: Economy in 2050, Carbon tax...

  • PwC report: China, India to overtake U.S. economy by 2050.

    Largest GDP-PPP in 2050:
     1. China
     2. India
     3. U.S.
     4. Indonesia
     5. Brazil
     6. Russia
     7. Mexico
     8. Japan
     9. Germany
     10. U.K.
     11. Turkey
     12. France
     13. Saudi Arabia
     14. Nigeria
     15. Egypt
     16. Pakistan (..please ignore this, there will be no Pakistan in 2050)
     17. Iran
     18. South Korea
     19. Phillippnes
     20. Vietnam

    GDP purchasing-power-parity calculations aren't the gold standard for most U.S. macroeconomists.

  • Republican Group Calls for Carbon Tax: $40 per ton of carbon dioxide produced.

  • Renewables Boom, Emissions Plunge: Since 2007, U.S. GDP has grown by 12 percent, while energy consumption has fallen by 3.6 percent.

  • BJP's Uttarkhand miscalculation: “The BJP was certain to get a decisive mandate had we not indulged in toppling Rawat. Now, we have welcomed even the liabilities of the Congress into our fold.”

  • Om Shreem Shriyei: