Thursday, July 20, 2017

is dhume plagiarizing what i said about the presidential election?

sure looks like it :-)

to be honest, i don't believe he did plagiarize, but it is definitely a coincidence. i think politicians must be explicitly disbarred from contesting for the post.

here's dhume in the wsj after the election.


here's me in rediff before the election.

http://www.rediff.com/news/column/e-sreedharan-for-president/20170616.htm

--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Quick notes: Bad loans, Solar-powered coaches...

  • Bad-loans crisis: Even the best-case scenario for Indian banks is pretty awful. To recover over Rs4 lakh crore from the top 50 companies that haven’t been able to repay their debts, banks may have to take a haircut of as much as 60%, resulting in a loss of about Rs2.4 lakh crore.


  • Solar-powered coaches: A train with six solar-powered coaches could save around 21,000 litres of diesel every year, worth around Rs12 lakh.


  • Coming soon to India: Electric buses that can swap batteries at petrol pump-like facilities. Swappable batteries could be the potential game changer in India.


  • East Coast Greenway: The biggest infrastructure project in the US is a 3,000-mile bike path


  • Goa is phoren: No beef shortage in Goa, assures Manohar Parrikar.


  • Religious contributions: Christian, Muslim households top in donations for charity


  • Francois Gautier: Ten Things a Hindu Can Do While Using English Language
    1. Please stop using the word "God fearing" - Hindus never ever fear God. For us, God is everywhere and we are also integral part of God. God is not a separate entity to fear.

    2. Please do not use the meaningless term "RIP" when someone dies. Use "Om Shanti", "Sadgati" or "I wish this atma attains moksha". Hinduism neither has the concept of "soul" nor its "resting". The terms "Atma" and "Jeeva" are, in a way, antonyms for the word "soul".

    3. Please don't use the word "Mythology" for our historic epics (Itihas) Ramayana and Mahabharata. Rama and Krishna are historical heroes, not just mythical characters.

    3. Please don't be apologetic about idol worship and say “Oh, that's just symbolic". All religions have idolatry in kinds or forms - cross, words, letters (calligraphy) or direction. Also let's stop using the words the words 'idols', 'statues' or 'images' when we refer to the sculptures of our Gods. Use the terms 'Moorthi' or 'Vigraha'. If words like Karma, Yoga, Guru and Mantra can be in the mainstream, why not Moorthi or Vigraha?

    4. Please don't refer to Ganesh and Hanuman as "Elephant god" and "Monkey god" respectively. You can simply write Shree Ganesh and Shree Hanuman.

    5. Please don't refer to our temples as prayer halls. Temples are "devalaya" (abode of god) and not "prathanalaya" (Prayer halls).

    6. Please don't wish your children "black birthday" by letting them to blow off the candles that kept at the top of the birth day cake. Don't throw spit on the divine fire (Agni Deva). Instead, ask them to pray: "Oh divine fire, lead me from darkness to light" (Thamasoma Jyotirgamaya) by lighting a lamp. These are all strong images that go to deep psyche.

    7. Please avoid using the words "spirituality" and "materialistic". For a Hindu, everything is divine. The words spirituality and materialism came to India through evangelists and Europeans who had a concept of Church vs State. Or Science vs Religion. On the contrary, in India, Sages were scientists and the foundation stone of Sanatan Dharma was Science.

    9. Please don't use the word "Sin" instead of "Paapa". We only have Dharma (duty, righteousness, responsibility and privilege) and Adharma (when dharma is not followed). Dharma has nothing to do with social or religious morality. 'Papa' derives from Adharma.

    10. Please don't use loose translation like meditation for "dhyana" and 'breathing exercise' for "Pranayama". It conveys wrong meanings. Use the original words. Remember, the world respects only those who respect themselves! Please circulate so that people can understand about their Hindu Dharma....
  • #8 is missing?

Seaweed in Cow Diet Can Reduce Methane Emissions

Scientists in Ireland have found that introducing a small amount of seaweed into the normal grass diet of cows can reduce their methane emissions by up to 99%:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/ireland-cows-methane-emissions-climate-change-supercows-james-cook-university-a7849646.html

India's Banking Sector Draws Global Capital

In spite of Arun Shourie's whining about the need for TARP, the fact is that India's banks aren't paralyzed, and are drawing global capital to do their lending:

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-07-19/india-s-banking-vigor-stokes-its-economic-boom

The drop in industrial output means that another rate-cut is likely in the future. With GST, more international investment will keep coming.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

NYTimes: ‘Ants Among Elephants,’ a Memoir About the Persistence of Caste

'Ants Among Elephants,' a Memoir About the Persistence of Caste https://nyti.ms/2vvrr9f

Sounds like whining from a converted SC, from a privileged, educated family. So she went from research associate at iitm to only being a Subway conductor in NYC, a semi skilled job? Perhaps she's facing severe discrimination in the US also based on race and color? 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

India Drills into Quake Zone

Indian geologists are drilling into a seismic fault line in Maharashtra to gain insights into Indian earthquakes:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-40628028

China Steps Up War Rhetoric, Says Its Patience Won't Last

China is communicating loudly to India and to other members of P5 powers that its patience with India won't last forever, and that it will forcibly expel Indian troops from Doklam if India doesn't withdraw unilaterally:

http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/fresh-threat-chinese-media-warns-india-of-all-out-war-along-lac-from-kashmir-to-sikkim/767934/

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/china-briefs-envoys-on-doklam-standoff-with-indian-troops-at-trijunction-our-troops-waiting-patiently-wont-do-so-indefinitely-pla-4755471/


Because Doklam is extremely close to India's vulnerable "Chicken Neck", the Siliguri corridor, this matter is vital to India's security. Likewise, because of its sensitivity, India has tens of thousands of troops near there, as compared to China's thousands. But because of that local asymmetry, China would likely resort to incursions on other parts of the border with India in order to make the whole border an active front.

PS: If they're going to attack, they'd better do it before the onset of winter forces a retreat.

Monday, July 17, 2017

ISRO Prepares for 2nd Test of RLV-TD

ISRO is preparing for the 2nd test of the RLV-TD reusable test demonstrator, which will take place in about a year's time - this time it will be a landing test:

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2017/jul/17/isro-gearing-up-for-second-prototype-test-of-rlv-td-1629732.html

ISRO sources said it may take another year for the model to be ready. They said the present plan is to launch the RLV-TD from Sriharikota and land it on an undisclosed Air Force airfield in the eastern sector. This is yet to be finalised though, they said.

The vehicle will be launched out of Sriharikota, like the last time, but this time it will have landing gear to allow it to glide back for a touchdown on a runway. The landing will most likely be done at an airfield in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The planned future TSTO (Two-Stage-to-Orbit) reusable launch vehicle which will be developed from the RLV-TD test program is intended to fly the same kind of flight path.



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fwd: Turkey arrests Amnesty International’s local director

india should probably arrest the local amnesty guy aakar patel for anti national activities.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The Economist News Desk <noreply@email.economist.com>
Date: Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 10:54 PM
Subject: Turkey arrests Amnesty International's local director
To: 


The latest from The Economist
View in browser | E-mail a friend
 
 
 
The latest from The Economist
 
 
 
 
Daily Dispatch | Friday | July 14th 2017
 
 
 
 
Turkey and the West: Travesty international
In 1998 Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then Istanbul's mayor, was jailed for reading out a poem. Amnesty International wrote to the government and demanded his release. Last week the Turkish government, with Mr Erdogan as president, arrested the human-rights group's local director. Tomorrow he will spend the first anniversary of Turkey's failed coup in jail. The West's silence over the repression in Turkey is becoming ever harder to maintain
 
 
 
 
Trumpcare: Version three
Is the Senate's revised health-care proposal a good bill? And will it pass? (Ideally these two questions would be related. But they are not.) It would probably leave more Americans without usable health care and it does not do much to reduce the cost or increase the quality of care. It is not a good proposal. Yet there is a 50:50 chance that the bill, or something like it, will become law, writes our United States editor
 
 
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
 
 
 
EU bureaucrats: Expect the unelected
Eurosceptics are fond of referring to European Union officials as "unelected bureaucrats". But every government has bureaucrats, who are by nature unelected. If anyone proposed a direct EU-wide election for the president of the European Commission, Eurosceptics would surely reject it. Critics do have a valid case against the EU: not that its bureaucrats are unelected, but that they are too insulated from democracy, writes our Europe editor
 
 
 
Brexit and airlines: Prepare for a hard landing
Today EasyJet, Europe's second-biggest budget airline, revealed it will set up a subsidiary in Austria. Other airlines with British ownership are checking their options. They fret that a hard Brexit might strip British carriers of their right to fly routes within the EU. The most pessimistic in the industry say there is a real prospect that flights between Britain and the continent could be halted altogether in 2019, writes our business-travel editor
 
 
 
~6.20pm London
 
 
 
 
 
Keep updated
 
       
 
This e-mail has been sent to: rajeev@stanfordalumni.org if you'd like to update your details please click here (you may need to log in). Questions? Comments? Please contact us. Replies to this email will not reach us.
 
If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, unsubscribe here .
 
Copyright © The Economist Group 2017. All rights reserved. Advertising Info | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Help
 
Registered in England and Wales. No.236383
Registered office: 25 St James's Street. London, SW1A 1HG
 
                                                           
 

India Stands to Benefit from Yoga's Popularity

India stands to benefit from the popularity of yoga:

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/india-looks-to-capitalize-on-growing-popularity-of-yoga-in/article_3b616704-9134-5143-b0be-605b9c285a7b.html


This is why it's silly to worry about "taking back" yoga, "cultural appropriation", etc - let people be free to enjoy something they like, because it's all about freedom of choice.

why is ex-DGP senkumar being hounded by kerala's commies?

jati prejudice leaps to mind as one major reason.


i am reminded of the dreyfus affair too. see http://www.rediff.com/news/1998/jul/23rajeev.htm

--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Saturday, July 15, 2017

chinese 'science' meets western 'science'. result? mayhem

pretty capitalistic, eh? they give millions if  you publish in top journals. iims give a few lakhs, but that also motivates. heck, when i was in silicon valley, the press relations woman told me she'd give me $1000 for any published article, and so i was writing articles like mad.

how to deal with robots stealing jobs

Indian, Chinese Troops Face Off At Border

Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in confrontations at Dokla, near Sikkim:



Brahma Chellaney says that China's picked a bad place to challenge us, and will have to back down - it's a matter of giving them a face-saving way out.

Russell Peters on Indians & Terrorists

Comedian Russell Peters shares his thoughts on Indians and terrorism:



Quick notes: Indian Marxists, Border fence...

  • Yechury blames govt for Amarnath killings: “Usually terror groups in the state claim attacks immediately, we expressed puzzlement at why that was not the case this time. There were no answers from the government,” Yechury said. "Since that all sections in the Valley, including the separatist Hurriyat, had condemned the Amarnath terror attack, the govt should utilize this positive atmosphere to break the ice and talk to all stakeholders to bring an end to the unrest there".


  • Yechury blames India for Doklam standoff: "On behalf of the CPM, I told the government that there is a need for them to get to the depth of the reasons for the provocation, the changes in the govt's policy with China, India's growing strategic ties with US, and the joint military naval exercise along with the US and Japan in the South China sea," Yechury said. He also said India's "new permissions" to the Dalai Lama and hoisting of the Tibetan flag in India were other issues that irked the Chinese.


  • CPM sides with China: "Doka La is Bhutan's standoff with China, India should not interfere"


  • Designed for ease of use? Who designed the fence on our Bangladesh border?

  • Infantry combat helmets: Finally, Indian Army gets bullet-proof helmets


  • Fly vegan: PETA asks airlines to serve only vegetarian meals to flyers


  • Your gut bacteria don’t like junk food:  An undergrad student went on a McDonald’s diet for ten days and after just four days experienced a significant drop in the number of beneficial microbes.


  • Don’t hate your gut: It may help you lose weight, fight depression and lower blood pressure


  • Collaborizm: Virtual networking and learning environment for techies. Offering budding Indian entrepreneurs, engineers, and even coding enthusiasts a platform to share their knowledge and build on their expertise.


  • Harvard’s Sendhil Mullainathan: More economists should use machine learning to do their jobs better


Friday, July 14, 2017

Robert Kaplan On Indian Ocean Region

Robert Kaplan talks about the Indian Ocean region:






Here he talks about events around the world to a US audience:

VISA Offers $10K to US Restaurants to Go Cashless

VISA is offering $10,000 to restaurants and other small eateries in the US towards technology upgrades if they go cashless and only accept electronic payment:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/14/news/companies/visa-no-cash-restaurant-initiative/index.html


This is interesting in the context of Modi's & Jaitley's desire for India to go cashless in order to shut out the Black Money economy. After all, why do it merely through govt decrees, including things like demonetization, when instead it could be done through incentives? And the ones offering the incentives should be the companies that profit most from electronic transactions.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Quick notes: Low inflation, Halli Labs...

Hyperloop System Tested

Transportation startup Hyperloop One announced with much hype that it has just carried out its first full system test of its new transportation system:




Dubai is slated to be their first customer, since it has the empty land and the money to pay for such a venture. Once the technology matures, India should take a look at it, since it's designed to be a lot cheaper than bullet train technology.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ISIS leader is dead. again. this time on 11 jul 2017



--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

the people funding shekhar gupta's new venture theprint

they should be ashamed of themselves. but then, maybe shekhar has incriminating photos of them. let's remember what shekhar said when mumbai trains were bombed by pak terrorists: "it was in the first class compartments, so it was only gujarati traders were hurt" (i paraphrase)

what a creep!

also, he was mentored by barbara crossette of the ny times. first-class hindu-hater. she must have got him into the #deepstate payroll. 



--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

the danger from #bigdata and #junkdata. weapons of math destruction. don't trust computers blindly.

his book review was published in Swarajya magazine, March 2017. it is not online, so here's my actual copy.

lately, i've been seeing a lot of people swear by 'data'. this is another shibboleth with terrible implications. the west has the vanity that by reducing everything to data they can arrive at the truth. that is not true. data becomes information only when contextual information is supplied.

besides, there are problems with 'fat tailed distributions'. we assume, implicitly, that the phenomena we study are under the gaussian bell curve on normal distribution. if they aren't, and are fat tailed, then what we think are unlikely events will happen far more frequently than we thought: thus black swan events.

the other huge problem is the unconscious assumption that 'correlation = causation'.
we mess up on all these fronts.

what i call 'junk data' is data with incorrect assumptions that has been fed into computers, which will  produce circular reasoning that 'proves' the assumptions correct. there are also heavily biased data sources that ignore inconvenient data points.

briefly, excessive dependence on the infallibility of computers is a bad idea.

i wrote a companion piece to this in swarajya, on the ethical problems of bias in data selection for AI. https://swarajyamag.com/magazine/fatal-flaw-in-ai-the-robots-will-probably-be-as-biased-as-their-masters

The Danger from our Over-Reliance on Computers and Big Data

Rajeev Srinivasan (Book Review)

Can we trust computers? The evidence is mixed. Those in the business have seen enough ‘kludges’ and bugs that they would, if they were honest, be suspicious of a lot of things spewed out by computers. But do the infernal machines work, more or less, most of the time? They in fact do, and they do useful things, too. It is now possible to mathematically prove at least the core (or kernel) of operating systems, but on average we have to take things on faith.

The average person on the street, however, is often misled into thinking that anything that comes out of a computer must be true, because after it all, it has the weight of all those white-coated types chanting mysterious incantations or whatever that you see in the movies. So if the computer tells you your credit score is a tad low at 500, you take it in all humility and internalize the idea that you are a bit of a deadbeat who can’t get loans.

Not to be a neo-Luddite, but our excessive dependence on computers is a bit worrisome. Our faculties as a species may be getting eroded. For instance, all of us used to do arithmetic in our head, until calculators came around. We used to navigate ourselves, until Google Maps appeared. There was a controversy over a 2008 article in the US monthly the Atlantic “Google Is Making Us Stupid” because now we don’t need to know anything, as we can look it up.

Unfortunately, this is coming precisely as computers are getting smarter. All those chess, Go, and poker players who have been bested by computers can tell you that. In fact, we now have to worry about the ethics of artificial intelligence and self-driving cars, as I mention in a companion piece in this issue. At least we think that’s in the future, but this book, Weapons of Math Destruction (Allen Lane/Penguin Random House, 2016) by Cathy O’Neill, a PhD mathematician-turned-data-scientist, suggests we are already feeling some of the deadly effects of Big Data.

A part of the problem comes from the confusion of statistical correlation with causation. The computer models make assumptions – for example that a broken family is associated with increased tendency towards violent crime – which are in the bowels of the algorithm, and are opaque and cannot be questioned by their victims. These proxies may not have a causal relationship with the outcome, but their use is widespread. A recent study by Daniel Hamermesch et al suggests there is a correlation in the US workforce between race and laziness, but undoubtedly, it will be taken to mean causation that blacks and Hispanics are inherently lazy precisely because they are blacks and Hispanics.

O’Neill’s villains are the big algorithms that increasingly run our lives. In a dystopian vision, she produces example after example of big pieces of software that have become a sort of Deep State, one whose workings are incomprehensible except to the code-jockey boffins who run them; and said boffins often have no idea of the devastation they can wreak on individuals and society.
 
We are generally familiar with the trading software that has caused ‘flash crashes’ and the algorithms that led to the sub-prime lending debacle in the US. But O’Neill (who had a ring-side view of the market meltdown as a quant jock at hedge fund D E Shaw) points out that that there are several others that have equally sinister outcomes, often because there is a self-fulfilling prophesy – people who are deemed undesirable by algorithms in fact become undesirable as a result.

O’Neill starts with a rating scheme for convicts called LSI (Level of Service Inventory); unfortunately, says she, the parameters used to rate them, and the questions in the questionnaire, are biased against the poor and especially against blacks. Thus unemployment and criminal convictions among friends and family seem reasonable enough questions, but they end up giving them longer terms and likely greater difficulty in finding a job upon release. This creates a vicious cycle.

Then O’Neill goes on to several other case studies, all of which may seem innocuous enough to begin with. But we begin to succumb to total dependence on the ratings spewed out by algorithms, the connection with reality begins to recede. The software guys doing the coding may have no idea of whether the assumptions they are making are appropriate. And the field guys who do know that stuff will soon be defeated by the complexity of the algorithms.  

One result is the Black Swan effect that Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote about so evocatively. Events with very low, but non-zero, probability will soon be excluded from the calculations, with the result that when such events occur (as they did in the 2008 meltdown) the entire edifice on which the algorithms rest will crumble catastrophically.

O’Neill talks of “haphazard data gathering and spurious correlations, reinforced by institutional inequities, and polluted by confirmation bias”. In addition, she wonders if “we’ve eliminated human bias or merely camouflaged it with technology”. She talks of “pernicious feedback loops” that lead to “toxic cycles”, and she concludes that these are the mathematical analogs of Weapons of Mass Destruction, hence the title of the book.

As examples, O’Neill offers up several algorithms. One is used to rate schoolteachers, which seems to grossly distort the incentives for teachers to focus largely, or entirely, on test scores, thus devaluing various other things a good teacher can offer: such as inspiring students, or taking time with a slow starter.

Another is the pernicious role played by a US News and World Report ranking of colleges, which has outlived the magazine itself. Apparently an objective measurement of the ‘quality’ of the college, this metric has now become so widely adopted that colleges focus exclusively on the fifteen parameters it considers. So much so that they went on a spending spree, building stadiums, grand campuses, attracting star football players, and so on. But college fees were not part of the metric; and these soared, as well.

Today, toxic student loans are a huge overhang on the US economy, as big as the bad mortgage problem. In addition, entrepreneurs created rip-off private for-profit colleges which deliberately targeted poor and military-veteran students, as well as non-whites. Again, clever advertising techniques using Big Data allowed these colleges to sell essentially useless but expensive, loan-led ‘education’ to these people.

O’Neill suggests that greed is a major factor. The folks over on Wall Street who have been making up ever cleverer mathematical models to make money often don’t realize that money comes from screwing over real people, as was the case with sub-prime mortgages and the related credit-default swaps and Collateralized Debt Obligations. Or even if they do, they don’t care. She points out that despite major convulsions, in large part the big Wall Street firms a nd banks and hedge funds did all right, often at taxpayer expense.

O’Neill goes on to give a litany of other examples of malevolent data exploitation, for instance in hiring, loan processing, worker evaluation, voter targeting and even health monitoring. It’s chilling to think of how these will play out when applied to the relatively trusting and naïve populations of rural India. These algorithms, which are “opaque, unregulated and incontestable”, can be truly weapons of mass destruction. They take your privacy and individualism away from you, and whatever they decide about you, you have no appeal. Truly a frightening Big Brother scenario.

1250 words, 10 February 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

the scariest thing in this article is that hans think they've won in AI. they may have

they're far ahead of us. our vaunted s/w companies have done nothing other than create s/w factories full of coolie labor. not one creative thing has come from them.

malabar exercises by india-us-japan, while pak and china hook up

http://www.newsweek.com/us-military-trains-japan-india-pakistan-china-634364

--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Indian Policy Towards China is Evolving

Indian assertiveness towards China is part of our evolving policy:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/sikkim-standoff-china-is-angry-because-india-has-changed-the-rules-of-the-game/story-KTfW5296YkNuDkguL1A3SN.html

Chinese copying us. Again

We have cow thieves. They have dog thieves. 

Thursday, July 06, 2017

welcome to the third world, US southwest. plague, eh?

i've been hearing of plague outbreaks (was it in yosemite national park in Calif?)



and why is south india shown as plague country? even the alleged outbreak in surat some 25 years ago may not actually have been plague, if i remember right. but i remember that, hilariously, lebanon was the first country that imposed sanctions on india. i didn't even know we traded with lebanon!



--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

pink floyd, "dark side of the moon", time

got my stereo all connected. it had been in storage for a while.

listening to my favorite track on one of the greatest albums of all time. in my opinion, THE greatest album of all time, with their own "wish you were here" a close second.

after 40 years, it's still fabulous. still have this CD i bought 20+ years ago.



"Time"

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away, across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spell


--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

what doctors make in the US

no wonder all the desi kids want to become doctors. compassion, my foot. also see how it more than keeps pace with (low) inflation. this at a time when everyone's aware of galloping health care costs and taking steps to tamp them down.



--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

my fisking of tony joseph on his 'aryan' invasion bullshit

http://indiafacts.org/narrative-meta-narrative-tony-josephs-opus-aryan-invasion-theory/

narrative: white aryans defeated dark dravidians
meta-narrative: we church guys and communists want to destroy hinduism

--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: Modi’s passage to Israel + Sikkim standoff + Sino-Russian partnership solidify amid uncertain ties with US


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


1. Sikkim-Tibet border: an historical perspective 4.7.17 by R S Kalha http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/n6zmZR8ytunvsV6FQk79UI/SikkimTibet-border-an-historical-perspective.html
There is no question of India bending to Chinese 'demands', for like in 1967, it must stand its ground firmly
As in the past, what is the political import of this stand-off and what are the Chinese trying to convey? The Chinese decision to cancel the Kailash Mansarovar yatra through Nathu La is a piece of theatrics by which they hope to keep the issue alive in the public domain. Nothing more. The timeline of initiating this incident indicates a high level of pre-planning, possibly at senior levels of the PLA as well as the Chinese government. The Chinese are probably hoping to drive a wedge between Bhutan and India and to break the steadfast support that each gives to the other. To recall, Bhutan was the only South Asian state that did not participate at the 14-15 May Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, along with India.
 
2. Modi's passage to Israel 3.7.17 by harsh pant http://thediplomat.com/2017/07/modis-passage-to-israel/
 
3. The Sikkim patrol clash 4.7.17 by ajai shukla http://ajaishukla.blogspot.in/2017/07/the-sikkim-patrol-clash.html
'As China's foreign ministry spokesperson spelt out in tedious detail last week, the 1890 Anglo-Chinese Convention Relating to Sikkim and Tibet specifically mentioned Mount Gipmochi as tri-junction of China, India and Bhutan. True, Beijing rejects as "colonial impositions" other British era agreements, like the 1914 Simla Convention that birthed the McMahon Line. But, there is a difference – China actually signed the 1890 agreement, and not the 1914 one. Beijing also argues that Jawaharlal Nehru endorsed the 1890 agreement in a 1959 letter to Zhou Enlai.'
 
SN – From an earlier article ''The Dalai Lama's visit to the controversial area, especially Tawang... will affect relations between China and India,' it said. By making such points, the 'Chinese expert' appears to have forgotten the 2005 agreement signed between the two countries on the 'Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question', which stipulates that 'the two sides shall safeguard due interests of their settled population in the border areas'.
India's former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal had written, 'In 1996, China agreed to 'clarifying the alignment of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) in those segments where they (the two sides) have different perceptions'. In 2002 (when the writer was foreign secretary) China decided to repudiate this agreement unilaterally.'
 
4. India provoked China during Modi's US visit to win favor: expert 3.7.17 http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1054708.shtml
SN – The message seems to be that China dislikes Indo US having good relations under the Trump regime.
 
 
6. Doklam Plateau Faceoff: The Way Forward 3.7.17 by maj gen sb asthana http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/doklam-plateau-faceoff-the-way-forward
'The current faceoff has different strategic dimensions. Despite Bhutan issuing a demarche to China to stop further road building into their territory, China continues to do so aggressively. It violates the understanding of 2012, of no unilateral change of status quo at strategic tri-junction of border of the three countries.
To learn from history, China has to realize that Qing dynasty is not the benchmark, which the world can be forced to follow. If India claims entire Pakistan as its territory based on pre 1947 history, the world will call it naïve and irresponsible. Indian Army is battle hardened and has not lost any war after 1962. Even 1962 was an aberration based on some political and strategic miscalculations. PLA on the other hand after a 'Not so Impressive show' in 1979, is yet to have any operational experience. The modernization drive based on other Armies experiences do not make a force operationally experienced, because it is the man behind the gun, which matters.
 
7. Modi visit to DC – Bravely bear the gifts by Kanwal Sibal July 10 issue http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/bravely-bear-the-gifts/299069
 
8. Sino-Russian partnership solidify amid uncertain ties with US OPED 4.7.17 http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1054767.shtml
The China-Russia relationship is the most significant factor in the current global strategic balance, and should continue to develop in the direction of an all-weather strategic partnership. The more balanced the world is, the more active world powers will seek friendly ties with each other. Washington may someday get bored of its geopolitical calculations and divert its attention to its internal affairs.'
 
9. U.S. lifts laptop ban for Etihad flights 4.7.17 https://tribune.com.pk/story/1448946/us-lifts-laptop-ban-etihad-flights/
 
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
to unsubscribe write back



--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: India’s quest for armed drones+Reclaming India's leverage in Tibet+India will suffer worse losses than 1962 if it incites border clash


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


1. If New Delhi Is Wary Of Israel's Ties With China, Jerusalem Is Looking At India And Iran As Well 4.7.17 by jaideep prabhu https://swarajyamag.com/world/if-new-delhi-is-wary-of-israels-ties-with-china-jerusalem-is-looking-at-india-and-iran-as-well
Today, trade between Israel and China stands at over $11 billionalmost three times that between Israel and India. Chinese firms have invested substantially in the Israeli economy, acquiring a controlling stake in several companies and donating to Israeli universities and research labs to establish technological academic institutes.
 
'Given India's complex security challenges, UAVs have the potential to aid the Indian military not only in fighting wars but also in intelligence and surveillance.'
 
2a. India will suffer worse losses than 1962 if it incites border clash OPED 4.7.17 http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1054925.shtml
'India should look in the mirror. It was not able to refute the evidence of illegal border-trespassing and coerced its small neighbor Bhutan to shoulder the blame. India has long treated Bhutan as a vassal state, a rare scene under modern international relations.
If New Delhi believes that its military might can be used as leverage in the Donglang area, and it's ready for a two-and-a-half front war, we have to tell India that the Chinese look down on their military power.
The more unified the Chinese people are, the more sufficient conditions the professionals will have to fight against India and safeguard our interests. This time, we must teach New Delhi a bitter lesson.
 
'The vast Tibetan plateau, encompassing an area greater than Western Europe, separated the two civilizations throughout history, limiting their interaction to sporadic cultural and religious contact. Today, Tibet remains at the center of the China-India divide, fueling territorial disputes, diplomatic tensions and feuds over river-water flows.
The more accommodative that India has become of China's claims and concerns over Tibet, the more assertive Beijing has been in upping the ante. For example, in ratcheting up the Arunachal Pradesh issue in recent years, Beijing has contended that the region -- almost three times larger than Taiwan -- must be "reunified" with the Chinese state to respect Tibetan sentiment. The flimsy basis of its historical claim has been exposed by the Dalai Lama, who has publicly declared that Arunachal was never part of Tibet.
According to Aquastat, a database maintained by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 718 billion cu. meters of surface water a year flows out of the Tibetan plateau and the Chinese regions of Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia to neighboring countries. Of that amount, 48.33% runs directly into India. In addition, Nepal's Tibet-originating rivers drain into India's Gangetic basin. So no country is more vulnerable than India to China's current focus on building cascades of large dams on international rivers.
India can reclaim its Tibet leverage by emphasizing that its acceptance of China's claim over Tibet hinged on a grant of genuine autonomy to the region. A braver Indian approach would include showing Tibet in its official maps in a different color from the rest of China and using expressions such as "the Indo-Tibet border," instead of "the India-China border."
 
3. Modi-Trump meet: Tangible gains for US, intangible benefits for India 5.7.17 by d ravikanth http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/9TZ8LeJV7VOnZhHNvjsYJP/ModiTrump-meet-Tangible-gains-for-US-intangible-benefits.html
'The latest deals between the US and India seems like a balance sheet of material deliverables bagged by the US, and the uneconomic brownie points scored by India. But why blame the US when the smart foreign policy mandarins of India are prepared to negotiate such smart deals with Washington in which economics takes a back seat while illusory political/strategic objectives propel the outcomes. Unfortunately, today's politics is driven by economics. '
 
4. Modi in Israel, refines ties 5.7.17 by lt gen ata hasnain http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/modi-in-israel-redefines-ties/431677.html
 
5. Pakistan foreign policy challenges 5.7.17 by talat masood https://tribune.com.pk/story/1450261/foreign-policy-challenges-4/
 
'Further, the slow pace of the Chabahar port project has irked the Iranians and they have indicated that despite India developing the project, it won't be exclusive to the country. Pakistan and China might also be invited to get involved.'
 
 
 
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
to unsubscribe write back



--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Monday, July 03, 2017

Quick notes: Temple loot, Drone swarms...

  • 171 temples under GST: Guest houses provided to pilgrims on nominal rent and other services to be adversely affected by GST. Not so for Muslim and Christian organizations.


  • When can we see Indian drones? The future of the Air Force is fighter pilots leading drone swarms into battle. Cheap, unmanned wingmen could add punch and protection to fighter formations.
    http://www.popsci.com/future-air-force-fighters-leading-drone-swarms?dom=rss-default


  • Airbus Vahana: Self-propelled air-taxi.


  • Language war: Efforts on to unite southern states against Hindi imposition


  • Aadhaar cards, Voter IDs and PAN cards not a problem : Bangaldeshis running prostitution racket near Bengaluru


  • A Ticking Time Bomb: The presence of the Rohingya Muslims in Jammu and nearby areas poses a threat to the national security


  • Church endorsement of political candidates: GOP wants churches to have the right to endorse political candidates while keeping their tax-free status. Some worry that the measure could allow churches to use their tax-free status to funnel money to political candidates.


  • Ford GoBike: Dock-based bike-share program starts in Silicon Valley. To have a fleet of 7,000 bikes soon.
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/ford-gobike-launches-in-the-bay-area-starting-tomorrow/?ncid=rss