Friday, August 31, 2018

Quick notes: Afghan base, Blue light...

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Nagas Protest Against Vajpayee's Ashes

Naga tribals have protested against immersion of Vajpayee's ashes in a major local river, claiming that the ritual was contrary to secularism, forcing the selection of an alternate location:

Quick notes: Stolen idols, Business incubator...

  • S Vijay Kumar: An unlikely detective is fighting to bring back India’s stolen idols ... India Pride Project urges UK to ‘give back illegal Indian artefacts

  • Bhamashah Techno Hub, Jaipur: India’s largest business incubator. Seating for 700 startups. All facilities will be available free of cost for startups. Also hosts a digital museum and a tinkering lab for development of products, adaptive learning, and computational thinking

  • India made 160 kmph train: Semi-high speed 'Train 18' to be rolled out for testing in Sept 

  • Deluge of 1924: Kerala flood of 2018 less intense than deluge of 1924: So why was damage as great? ... According to an IISc study, the state lost 906,440 hectares forest land between 1973 and 2016. The hills became bald as trees were cleared for constructions, mining and quarrying, and plantations.... Partly a man-made calamity

  • Totalitarianism gives China it's high-tech edge: “A country like China, a more totalitarian regime, will perform better than the democratic countries,” said Tadashi Maeda, governor of the state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation. “We have a lot of problems gathering big data because of the privacy issue. China doesn’t have such an issue. So obviously they have some advantage. Democracies including the U.S., European nations and Japan need to counter the Chinese effort by establishing common rules for data use”

  • Muslims nations' silence on Uyghurs: Has China simply become too powerful for the world to protest its human rights abuses? “Business speaks louder than a humanitarian crisis”.

  • Ek nishad bihagda:

  • Telangana: Priests at Hindu temples to get salaries at par with govt staff

  • Weed Killer in your breakfast: Popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars come with a hefty dose of the weed-killing poison, Glyphosate, a herbicide linked to cancer...  Glyphosate use in India increased 1500% since genetically modified crops were introduced.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Quick notes: Cardinal sin, Free tuition...

  • Connect the dots:
    o Dec 2013: Kerala cardinals meet Sonia over green recommendations: Church leaders have been spearheading agitations against restricting commercial activities in ecologically sensitive areas.

    o Jayanthi Natarajan loses job: "After my removal as Minister, there was widespread coverage in the Kerala media that my removal was because I had notified the order on protection of the Western Ghats, the Kasturirangan report, on Dec 19, 2013, (just one day before my removal).  My successor Shri Moily, put my orders on hold".

    o P T Thomas gets dropped: "I was dropped because I stood for Western Ghats conservation"

  • Tamil Nadu's role:
    o Kerala tells Supreme Court: Sudden release of Mullaiperiyar waters by TN worsened floods

    o Cut the dam(n) height: Had TN started releasing water from the dam into Kerala when it had reached the critical level of 139 feet, the crisis could have been averted to some extent. “The 3 feet make a lot of difference. They contain 792 million cubic feet of water, which when released translates into a flow of about 9,000 cusecs, which got added to the flow caused by the rain”.

    o Second tunnel in Mullaperiyar dam? The maximum drawal from the dam through the tunnel is 2,300 cusecs. If this quantum is further increased with an additional tunnel, TN can evacuate more water during monsoons.

  • This is what causes floods and droughts:

  • NYU Makes Tuition Free for All Medical Students: School officials worry that rising tuition and soaring loan balances are pushing new doctors into high-paying fields and contributing to a shortage of researchers and primary care physicians.

  • Australia grows balls: Bans Huawei and ZTE because of national security concerns.

  • US tech giants plan to fight India's data localisation plans: They plan to intensify lobbying efforts against stringent Indian data localisation requirements, which they say will undermine their growth ambitions in India.

  • Ganga drying up in summers due to groundwater depletion: “The trend can lead to disastrous effect on the riverine ecology and lead to food scarcity for 115 million people in the Ganga basin.”

  • Belt and Road and Chinese imperialism: Instead of paying loans back gradually, Tajikistan is signing away land and mining rights. In 2011, Tajikistani ceded 1,100 square kilometers of land near the Afghan border to China. Not only was the land along the Wakhan Corridor— historically one of the most strategic junctions for Chinese access to the Indian Ocean and West Asia—it also purportedly contained gold and uranium deposits.

    That same year, Tajikistan allowed Chinese farmers to till 2,000 hectares of arable land—a scarce commodity in such a mountainous country—near the Uyghur Autonomous Region of western China. It is widely believed , albeit unofficially, that these deals were made in exchange for “hundreds of millions of dollars” in debt relief .

Thursday, August 23, 2018


Anybody heard of Upword? It seems to be some new multimedia production group working on behalf of the Indic Collective Trust

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Swami Lakshmananda

Remembering Swami Lakshmananda on the 10th anniversary of his martyrdom..
The day was Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna; a day celebrated across India.  A group of armed men had descended upon the girls school, lobbing grenades and firing machine guns into the air. The headmistress of the school was gunned down as she attempted to shield the life of her mentor, the 82 year old monk and founder of the school, Swami Lakshmananda . A visiting parent along with two junior monks were also killed as the young students fled for their lives.

Brannon Parker's investigation into the nefarious designs of Maoists and Missionaries in tribal areas:

"A true renaissance man, the late 82 year old Swami Lakshmananda taught the Tribals organic farming and proper animal care. He opened free day & night schools for children and adults. He opened free clinics and accompanied frightened Tribals fighting for their lands to court hearings and Govt offices. He turned the people from alcoholism towards productivity. However he was assassinated as he prepared to celebrate Krishna's Birthday at one of the many free schools he had built. Kandhamal exploded into violence as the Kandha people reeled under the shock and terror of the assault.

After my first investigation into the Kandhamal crisis I wrote a 450 page report entitled 'Orissa in the Crossfire-Kandhamal Burning' Read online here

I went back for a follow up investigation in 2011. What follows is Part 1 of over 13 HOURS OF INTERVIEWS, unedited and raw. These are not interviews with merely the experts alone but are first-hand accounts from the native tribal people themselves. Hear them share their direct testimony and recollections of events as they actually happened. Learn of the ongoing efforts to dis-inherent them from their lands, their cultures and in many cases their very lives.

This investigation includes a 3 hr interview with the late Justice S C Mohapatra, who headed the Commission probing the 2008 Kandhamal violence, interviews with Orissa Govt Minister and KandhaTribal Manoj Pradhan and Kandha Tribal Chief Lambodar Kanhar among other community leaders.

Odisha, Commonly known as Orissa, has a history going back thousands of years, Odisha was once an ancient maritime power that conducted trade from Rome to Japan. To this day festivals like Bali Yatra and Japan's Ulumbana Festival remain as testaments to Odisha's ancient and broad cultural influence.

Odisha is home to a majority of India's Tribal people. The Kandha people of Odisha are one of India's major tribal groups and they are centered in the Kandhamal District. This region of Kandhamal was once home to some of the most ancient Shiva and Buddhist temples and monasteries in the world. The famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Huen Tsang traversed the Kandhamal trail on his way to the Buddhist sites of Bihar in the year 436 AD.

Regrettably Orissa's indigenous cultures have long been the target of various vested interests. In recent times foreign funded Maoists terror groups and foreign religious groups have ravaged the social fabric of the region. Recognizing the ongoing threats to the tribal people various Hindu groups and leaders have dedicated their resources towards the upliftment of India's Tribal communities.

One such Hindu leader was Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati. He Created an Indigenous Cultural Renaissance in Orissa's Kandhamal District. He restored many ancient tribal holy places and schools. Swamiji established Radha Krishna temples throughout the region along with over 380 Kirtan groups.

Swami Lakshmananda stated in a 2008 interview. "I was attacked on January 26, 1970. I had to hide myself in a school for over three hours. Nobody came to my rescue. Then I thought that so many Hindus were there as I was attacked but no one came forward at the time of the attack. It was then that I vowed to reignite the light of conviction in the hearts of the Hindus. I established Srimad Bhagavat classes, Radha Krishna deities and opened evening prayer and choir centers. I taught the people how to farm properly, how to worship Mother Cow and how to protect the forests."

He was later assassinated as he prepared for Janmashtami celebrations in August 2008 by Maoists and Christian Terrorists at a Girl's School he founded.The day chosen for his assassination was also seen as an intentional provocation. The day was Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna; a day celebrated across India. The location of the assassination also caused great anguish to the tribes people. A group of armed men had descended upon the girls school, lobbing grenades and firing machine guns into the air. The headmistress of the school was gunned down as she attempted to shield the life of her mentor, the 82 year old monk and founder of the school, Swami Lakshmananda . A visiting parent along with two junior monks were also killed as the young students fled for their lives. Orissa was stunned and the entire State went into mourning.

The World Remained Silent and instead focused on the predictable response of his enraged followers-The Kandha Tribals-the most warlike tribe in Indian history. I was able to expose the false narrative that had been developed by the media. The US State Dept revised its take on the crisis in conjunction with my report stating, 'The underlying causes that led to the violence have complex ethnic, economic, religious, and political roots related to land ownership and government-reserved employment and educational benefits.'

Monday, August 20, 2018

Astronaut Training Centre to Come Up in Bengaluru

Bengaluru will be the site of India's future Astronaut Training Centre:

However, for the current mission, which is on a tight timeline, foreign training facilities will be used.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1924-2018)

Former Prime Minister and BJP co-founder Atal Bihari Vajpayee has passed away:

Quick notes: Inappropriate contact, Christian Right...

  • Never say ”rape”; say “inappropriate contact”: The Catholic Church’s way of covering up abuse... If a predator’s conduct becomes known to the community, transfer him to a new location where no one will know he is a child abuser.

  • Turkey today, India tomorrow..? Seeking Brunson’s release has been a major cause for the powerful evangelical community in America and Trump needs all the help he can get from the Christian right.

  • Anti-Gadgil campaign proved disastrous for Kerala: “The church was spreading rumours and was engaged in fear mongering during the anti-Gadgil campaign. The MP who took a bold stand in favor of the report had to face the ire of the church and did not contest again. Joice George of the anti-Gadgil campaign contested and won the elections in 2014 from Idukki.. Pick all the operative parts of the Gadgil report and implement them in toto. Or else disaster is round the corner.”

  • Turning blessing into curse: Kerala had lost 906,440 hectares of forest land between 1973 and 2016. This was more than 50% of the present forest area. The Modi govt is yet to take a call on the reports of the two committees. 

  • Silent Valley -- testimony of an ecological triumph: When the Kerala govt sent its minister to Delhi in 1976 to get clearance for the hydel project that would submerge 240 sq km of area along the Western Ghats that formed one of the most ecologically diverse forests on the planet, one man's telegram saved the copious forest. Dr V.S. Vijayan, then a scientist at Kerala Forest Research Institute, sent a telegram to the Union Power Ministry to put on hold the sanction till the KFRI ecological impact report was received. The ministry consented and the rest is history.

  • Atalji departs:

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Spacesuit- 'Made in India'

Pallava Bagla reports on the Gaganyaan mission, giving a preview of the Indian spacesuit that will be used:

Personally, I love the distinctive orange color of the Indian spacesuit, and don't find it to be "gaudy" at all.

De-platforming in India Imminent

Media outlets run by Alex Jones, a libertarian independent journalist, whose subscriber base was instrumental in getting Trump elected, have been de-platformed in a brazenly coordinated move by Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter, among others.

To kick a man further when he is down, the main portal – was also brought down by hackers.

Nationalist forces will face this Orwellian unexistence unless they push back strongly. The Modi administration needs to rein in Big Tech before it tries its dirty tricks here. Indulging the likes of Schmuckerberg at public forums, and intertwining government machinery with these private platforms does not help at all.

A bit of b***h slapping of these entities, including that Sundar Pichai guy (slimeball) is in order, lest they are entertaining such thoughts.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Modi Announces 'Gaganyaan', India's First Manned Spaceflight by 2022

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech, has announced that India will carry out a manned spaceflight mission by (or before) 2022:

For India, this is as momentous as JFK's speech exhorting Americans to go to the Moon.

The mission will be called Gaganyaan.

Quick notes: Citizens' data, Sinking Jakarta...

  • India looks to curb U.S. tech giants’ power: India wants to slap new rules on Amazon, Google, Facebook and other firms, using a page from China's playbook to take control of citizens' data. Draft rules call for companies to store local user data in India and make it accessible to govt.

  • Jittery Islamabad: India to help build a dam in the Kabul river basin in Afghanistan. Islamabad views the proposed dam, as well as similar projects on the Kabul river and its tributaries in Afghanistan, reducing the flow of water into Pakistan.

  • Jakarta, the fastest-sinking city in the world: When groundwater is pumped out, the land above it sinks as if it is sitting on a deflating balloon - and this leads to land subsidence.

  • Swachh Bharat should recruit these: A crew of crows has been trained to pick up trash

  • Poison or cure? Arsenic can help treat cancer, study finds. That’s ironic because arsenic itself is a carcinogen

  • Major Success: India's missile defenses can now take on decoys. That's a Really Big Deal.

  • Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar: The man behind Nasa's mission to touch the Sun. "Chandra, as he was popularly known, is another astrophysicist with his name tagged to a space mission, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory"

  • Daily Vision Routine :

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Quick notes: South China sea, Jihadi wives...

  • Confrontation looming? Japan will soon help Vietnam extract gas from the South China sea. How will China respond? .... China has spent much of the past two years fortifying these islands, including placing missiles on the Spratly island chain.

  • Wives of Jihadis: Wave of ‘disappointed’ wives are divorcing ISIS jihadis

  • Rohit Prasad: The Indian engineer who is the brain behind Alexa

  • Indra Nooyi: “Whether you are from the IITs or the IIMs, the Indian education system dishes to foreign companies the best and the brightest. In today’s world, as we CEOs look for truly global leaders who can pilot through all of the volatility in the world, Indian leaders are rising to the top. So every time we go out to look for leaders there are usually four or five people who have been educated in the IITs or the IIMs that show up.

    So the big question that I keep asking myself is if people who have been educated in India always bubble up to the top then why is it that these leaders want to leave India? Doesn’t India need these leaders? Even if they leave India, shouldn’t there be a round trip ticket for them to come back to India, so they can help India get to a better place. So I think one of the big issues we should talk about is not just lessons in leadership or what the leaders need to do today but what can India do to bring those leaders back to India, so India itself can become an even more powerful economy going forward.” 

  • Certified pSecular: Andhra govt officially organizing Jesus event..?

  • Lithuanian and Sanskrit:
    Sanskrit: Kas tvam asi? Asmi svapnas tava tamasi nakte. Agniṃ dadau te hridi tada viśpatir devas tvam asi.
    Lithuanian: Kas tu esi? Esmi sapnas tavo tamsioje naktyje. Ugnį daviau tau širdy, tada viešpatis dievas tu esi.
    English: “Who are you? I am a dream in your dark night. I gave you fire in heart, then you become a God”.

  • Bolava Vitthal - Ranjani Gayatri

  • Zuck wants to own you: Facebook wants your banking information, too. Banks are worried about the breadth of information being sought.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Quick notes: Peaceful fall, Helicopter UAV...

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Quick notes: Choking India, Akshay Venkatesh...

  • How Chinese goods are choking Indian industry: In the life-saving drugs category, the dependence on Chinese imports is as much as 90%. China has increased the prices of bulk drugs 1,200% during last two years.

  • Stop this dependence on China: India recalls rabies vaccines made by tainted China firm

  • From trade war to currency war: The yuan's recent depreciation is nothing less than an import tariff of 7% across the board, not just a retaliatory tariff on selected US goods

  • The mistake of letting China into WTO: Trans-Pacific Partnership could negotiate new rules of trade, cutting tariffs and covering state-owned enterprises, import surges, subsidies and other issues relevant to China. “Then China would need to make a decision. It can come on board, or it can decide it doesn’t want full access to 60% of the global economy.” .

  • Check on predatory pricing: India’s e-commerce policy may end the Flipkart-Amazon discount war

  • A number theorist who bridges math and time: Akshay Venkatesh wins a Fields Medal for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics.”

  • Facebook: A way for you to feel jealous of people you haven’t seen in years.”

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Fwd: A long term strategy to reduce oil imports+What ails India’s defence forces+Imran Khan’s Afghan Cell+ ARSA attack on Assam Rifles - New phase in sub-conventional conflic

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

1. Rafale and the Reliance Conundrum by Maj Gen Mrinal Suman
2. Imran Khan's Afghan Cell 31.7.18 by C Raja Mohan
If —a very big "if" indeed — Pakistan can nudge the Taliban towards a reasonable political accommodation with Washington and Kabul, Rawalpindi's international stock would dramatically rise. So will the personal prestige of Imran Khan, who is now the political face of Pakistan. That in turn might significantly alter the way the Pakistan army views the context of the relationship with Delhi and define the boundary conditions for Imran's India policy.
Rather than debate India's future with Imran in terms of "loves me, loves me not," Delhi should focus on strengthening its position Afghanistan, which once again is poised to shape Pakistan's relations with India.
3. Islamadbad's Worldview under Imran Khan 31.7.18 by Shahid Burkhi
4. What ails India's defence forces 27.7.18 by Bharat Karnad
5. Time to downsize and more 27.7.18 by Lt Gen P R Shankar
6. A long term strategy to reduce oil imports 31.7.18 by Akhil Bansal
SN – A 20% reduction in imports shall have multiple positive effects on the Indian economy.
7. ARSA attack on Assam Rifles - New phase in sub-conventional conflict? 31.7.18 by Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar

sent from xiaomi redmi note 5, so please excuse brevity and typos

do we overestimate china's tech capability? and lessons for india too

sent from xiaomi redmi note 5, so please excuse brevity and typos