India’s Growing Soft Skills

LAUNCH OF SOUTH ASIA SATELLITE: SIGN OF GROWING INDIA’S SOFT POWER

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 5 May 2017 successfully launched the communication and broadcasting spacecraft- South Asia Satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh.

The project involves six countries of the region- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives- and is an outcome of India’s intention to leverage its supremacy in the space sector for deepening external relations.

Instances of India’s presence in science and technology fields at the global level:

  • Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme: India has become the part of a bilateral programme which has the aim to touch 161 developed and underdeveloped countries in Asia, Africa, East Europe, Latin America as well as the Pacific and Small Island countries.
  • India’s membership in ITER: The ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is an experimental fusion reactor being constructed presently at Cadarache, in the South of France. It’s a step towards future production of electricity from fusion energy. ITER-India is the Indian Domestic Agency(DA), formed with the responsibility of contribution to ITER.

Benefits to India:

The potent mixture of diplomacy and leadership status in cutting edge technologies has been helpinf India in following ways:

  • Membership in multilateral institutions: India has become the 35th full time member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Further India’s aspirations to join other influential institutions such as Nuclear Supplies Group (NSG), Wassenar Arrangement and Australia Group is based on India’s expertise in nuclear and related sensitive technologies.
  • Trade Relations: Leadership in state of the art technologies helps the country in giving greater depth to foreign trade. Enhanced services exports, including the launch of satellites of other countries, in recent years gave a boost to India’s export earnings.
  • Growing India’s Prestige: The USA has selected India for the Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) Mission, Spaceward Bound Programme on the basis of India’s achievements in the space sector. Similarly, Russia agreed to partner with India on the development of 5th generation fighter plane.
  • Technology Transfer: For instance, the recently proposed Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO-India) project aims to move one advanced LIGO detector from Hanford, the USA to India. This technology transfer has become a reality because of India’s expertise in ‘Gravitational Waves’ detection.
  • Strengthening Strategic Relations: India’s ability to develop cost-effective technologies will help in strengthening bilateral and multilateral ties.

Conclusion:

India’s ability to leverage the achievements in various fields of science and technology to nurture its soft power, and in some instances its hard power, is a sign of India’s growing prestige across the world.

Advertisements

The Hindutva Firebrand

Born in Garhwal, Uttarakhand, in a Thakur family and third amongst eight siblings. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Srinagar, Uttarakhand . And then at the age of 21 became a disciple of Mahant Avaidyanath. There has been no looking-back after that on his journey to success.
Five-time Parliamentarian, flag-bearer of Hindutva, UP’s controversial child, Mahant of Gorakhpur Math and the list goes on for him. In the past, he has been a power centre on his own, with an on-off relationship with BJP. But his influence on the people has been ever capturing.He radiates his principles on Hindutva as the sun radiates its energy, does Yoga accordingly and preaches about building a Ram temple at the disputed land of  Ayodhya.
He is the most populous leader in eastern UP and the poster boy during elections. In his speech he staunchly talks about love jihad and conversion to Hindu. According to reports a close aide of him has said “There used to be a market called Mia Bazar here; when maharaj became an MP, he renamed it Maya Bazar. Similarly Urdu Bazar was renamed Hindi Bazar and Ali Nagar became Arya Nagar.”
Though according to him, there is no animosity with anyone including the Muslim community. Yes, I am talking about the saffron clad man – Yogi Adityanath; the newly elected Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Eager to see what he does for the people of UP and how he changes the course of celebrations and worship which he has bragged about in his speeches.

-Shivani Shah

21st Century’s Saviour : EQ

EQ means Emotional Quotient – the ability of one human to recognize feeling of other human in any specified situation and act accordingly, which is nowadays seen as the main criteria to check the human’s mental stability for him as well as for other humans whereas IQ means Intelligence quotient which is used to check how intelligent the human is compared to other humans. In today’s world, we have advanced a lot by using modern technology in every field from nano-sized machines to technology available to make life possible on Mars. Humans have arrived at that stage of evolution that their intelligence is increasing beyond limits due to advancing technologies in order to achieve unlimited number of goals.

But with increase in Intelligence Quotient, there’s decrease in the Emotional Quotient in people’s life. People are getting more frustrated towards other human beings in order to make themselves superior from others. Today’s generation has become more fragile which easily breaks down with a stroke of little wind. One of the reason behind the fragility is the over usage of technology which has made humans totally lazy. Humans are not able to see other humans progressing and they are constantly fighting to make themselves more valuable than others.

The world is now standing on a switch, where if it gets off the life on earth would be destroyed  by nuclear wars and the reason behind the switching off the switch is the steep fall of the Emotional Quotient. Taking the recent examples where people show their EQ is below its minimum limit i.e. the fights on the street due to silly issues like accidents, quarrels, using abusive languages, etc. .People have started showing their immense anger on petty issues rather than controlling themselves and making a pit out of a hole. Mental stability has decreased to such a extent that there’s increase in the life threat to other person.

So, now its very important to see our EQ rather than IQ and we have to see ourselves in the mirror in order to find out about where we stand in EQ. IQ would definitely be on increasing stage so there’s no worry about it but along with that we have to keep a constant check on our EQ and improve it on daily basis by controlling ourselves and maintaining our gesture and posture to proper mark in any situation of life.

Earlier, talking about our previous generations i.e. at the time of our grandparents, their IQ was comparatively less than ours but they were very strong with their EQ. They did everything to maintain their mental stability in all the situations and finding one or the other way to overcome it without any threat to any human beings ( Taking any situation ).

So EQ is the most important thing which would be required by us in the 21st century in order to live a happy and peaceful life where in just few years from now all the things would be taken up by the technology and would make humans ideal and if there’s no feeling of brotherhood from one human to human, that would be the last day of human life on earth where technology would overpower us which we created for our betterment.

“Just focus on your EQ” – IQ is going to increase without any doubt.

-Devang Sheth

Up Above the World So High !

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The theme this year is #BeBoldForChange. So, let’s be very bold and applaud some of the women who have been brave enough to break barriers and go beyond the usual.

Here are some women who took India to space while working with ISRO.

Ritu Karidhal

ritu

The project manager of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). She is a mother of two who worked on most weekends, brainstorming with ISRO engineers.

Moumita Dutta

mouimitta

She read about the Chandrayaan mission as a student. Today, she is heading a team to make indindigenousogress in optical sciences as a part of ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Nandini Harinath

nandini

Nandini Harinath served as deputy operations director on MOM. Her first job was at ISRO and 20 years later there has been no looking back.

Anuradha TK

anuradha

As a Geosat Programme Director, she is the senior-most woman officer at ISRO.

N Valarmathi

n valarmathi

She led the launch of India’s first indigenously developed the radar imaging satellite, the RISAT-1.

Minal Sampath

minal

For two years, Minal Sampath, a systems engineer working on India’s mission to Mars, worked flat out in a windowless room, often for 18 hours a day, to be ready for the country’s most ambitious space project to date.

Kriti Faujdar

kriti

She is a computer scientist who works at the Master Control Facility, keeping satellites in their proper orbits.

Tessy Thomas

tessy

She has played key roles in many nuclear projects of India and headed the Agni IV and Agni V mission. And is fondly known as the missile woman of India or Agni Putri.

Image Source :http://www.bbc.com/news

–  Shivani Shah

Medal Of Freedom

mof-2Barack Obama bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Joe Biden, the man he called  “the best vice president America has ever had”.

Joe Biden was not only a friend of Obama but also a close adviser for the last eight years. The Medal, highest civilian honor in the United States, was awarded “with distinction”, an extra level of veneration for the first time in presidency.

The previous three presidents awarded the higher level of the award to only one person each: John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan and Gen. Colin Powell, Obama said. He called Biden “an extra ordinary man, with an extraordinary career in public service”. Biden turned away from the cameras, wiped away the tears and stood stoically as Obama draped the blur and white ribbon around his neck.

mof-1There were standing ovations – several of them – at what had been billed as a modest farewell ceremony for Biden but evolved into a surprise bestowal of the Medal of Freedom, the last time Obama will present the honor. The famously plainspoken Biden has long said he only agreed to the job after Obama agreed he would the last person in the room before major decisions were made. It was reunion for the many staffers and colleagues who worked with Biden over the years. Obama traced the history of Biden’s nearly half-century-long political career, from chairing the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees to the “cancer moonshot” effort he started recently and plans to continue. Obama praised his vice president for his work on the economic stimulus, middle-class issues and curbing violence against women.

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N77AXnJ8Bsw
Source: https://www.nbcnews.com

Demonetisation – Our role

On 8th Nov, an announcement was made by the prime minister Narendra Modi where ₹500 and ₹1,000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series ceased to be legal tender in India from the very next day. He also announced the issuance of new ₹500 and ₹2,000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi New Series in exchange for the old banknotes.

The procedures to encash your money into your accounts or to withdraw it, were made clear by Mr Prime Minister.

This move was mostly an effort to stop counterfeiting  of current notes used for funding terrorism, to crack down black money in the country.

Now the question was – Will our country have the patience to go through all the govt mentioned procedures and stand in queues at the ATM for their own money?  Can people actually appreciate the move? Was it worth? Or Was this a scam of 8 lac crore as mentioned by Mr Kejriwal?

Although nothing can be said with conviction, most of the reactions of people suggested that they are happy with the decision. They see the long term benefits of the country. They believe in the efforts made by Mr Modi and they want to give him all the chances. Even some of the top political authorities called it a Brave & Bold Move.

Well, the decision almost made the whole population of the country out on the roads for their money. The long tiring queues has been seen at all banks and ATM’s. Yes! There have been outrage and discomfort in many parts of the country. Yes, there have been casualties that can not be ignored. People have even died ! And our condolence is surely with them.

But we as a citizen need to realize that to change the system of such a huge country takes time. It is not spontaneous. Do we have a will to change for the betterment of our own country? Cant we atleast appreciate the efforts done by our prime minister regardless of whether he would actually prove his say?

It is a matter of choice. Your individual choice might now affect anyone but collectively, all the individual choices will decide the fate of our nation.

Choose wisely.

-Parth Choksi

#MASTERSTROKE

On Tuesday, 8th November 2016, in an unscheduled live televised address to the nation at 8:15 pm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a 40 minute long speech announced the demonetization of existing notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 with immediate effect. In the announcement, Mr. Modi declared circulation of all 500 and 1000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series as invalid from 8th November 2016 midnight. He further announced the issuance of new 500 and 2000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi New Series in exchange for the old bank notes effective from 9th November 2016. Mr. Prime Minister announced that the notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 “will not be legal tender from midnight tonight” and these will be “just worthless pieces of paper. PM also urged people to ‘join this Mahayagna against the ills of corruption.

What is demonetization of currency?

Demonetization for us means that Reserve Bank of India has withdrawn the old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes as an official mode of payment. According to Investopedia, demonetization is the act of stripping a currency unit of its status as legal tender. Demonetization is necessary whenever there is a change of National Currency. The old unit of currency must be retired and replaced with a new currency unit.

Similar measures have been taken in the past. In January 1946, currency notes of 1000 and 10,000 rupees were withdrawn and new notes of 1000, 5000 and 10,000 rupees were introduced in 1954. Notes of 1000, 5000 and 10,000 rupees were again demonetized on 16 January 1978 as a means to curb forgery and black money.

A recent example of demonetization occurred when the nations of the European Monetary Union adopted the euro. In order to switch to the euro, authorities first fixed exchange rates for the varied national currencies into Euros. When the euro was introduced, the old national currencies were demonetized. However, the old currencies remained convertible into Euros for a while so that a smooth transition through demonetization would be assured.

What was the reason?

The reasoning given by Modi was:

1) To tackle black money in the economy.

2) To lower the cash circulation in the country which “is directly related to corruption in our

Country”, according to PM Modi.

3) To eliminate fake currency and dodgy funds which have been used by terror groups to fund

terrorism in India.

4) The move is estimated to scoop out more than more than  Rs 5 lakh Crore black money from

the economy, according to Baba Ramdev, a staunch Modi supporter.

After the official announcement by Prime Minister Modi, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of IndiaUrjit Patel and Economic Affairs secretary, Shaktikanta Das explained in a press conference that while the supply of notes of all denomination were increased by 40% between 2011 and 2016, the 500 and 1000 banknotes increased by 76% and 109% respectively in this period owing to counterfeit money. This was then used to fund terrorist activities against India. As a result the step of eliminating the notes was taken.

Patel also informed that the decision was made about six months ago and printing of new currency notes of denomination 500 and 2000 had already been started. However, only the top members of the government, security agencies and the central bank were aware of the move

Reactions:

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitleysaid that demonetisation would clean the complete economic system, increase the size of economy and revenue base
  • CM of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee called the new declaration as “drama”
  • Indian National Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala welcomed the move but remained sceptical on the consequences that would follow
  • Former World Bank Chief Economist, Kaushik Basu, said that the ‘damage’ is likely to be much greater than any possible benefits
  • Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar supported the move.
  • The demonetisatioin also got support from Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Nara Chandrababu Naidu.
  • Former Chief Election Commissioner of India  Y. Quraishi said demonetization could lead to long term electoral reforms
  • The decision was both praised and criticised by businessmen, bankers and politicians. Businessmen Anand Mahindra(Mahindra Group), Sajjan Jindal(JSW Group), Kunal Bahl (Snapdeal and FreeCharge) also supported the move adding that it would also accelerate e-commerce.
  • According to MD & CEO, ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar, “this move will definitely bring about a whole amount of transition to no cash or low cash kind of transactions,”.
  • “A parallel black economy will collpase,” one of the leading lawyers in taxation laws, Harish Salve told ET Now.
  • Narayana Murthy, founder of the InfosysBSE -1.78 %, welcomed the government’s move in its fight against corruption. Murthy also added that “the dishonest will have to suffer; absolutely that is the right thing.”
  • The opinion of the masses varied both ways on micro-blogs and social media sites like Twitter. In general, the move to demonetise and try to hinder black money was appreciated, but the manner in which it was carried out by causing hardships to common people was criticised.

 Aftermath:

  • About 85% of all currency in circulation has just been turned into coupons that can only be exchanged in specific places. These notes can be converted into currency again only with identity proofs (which hundreds of millions don’t have) and the additional hardship of standing in many queues for many hours.
  • Over half of India’s population doesn’t have any sort of bank account at the moment and about 300 million don’t have basic ID such as Aadhaar either and hence, cannot access the banking system at all. About 130 million Indians have mobile wallets (about 25 million have credit cards) and there are maybe 550-600 million debit cards in circulation. So access to cash is very, very important for average Indians.
  • Lineups at banksand ATMs are long.
  • Demand for goldis up giving some jewelers a temporary albeit welcome windfall. Perhaps most telling is that at Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai old notes were going at a 60% discount–that is a very heavy discount. Other sources, however, indicate that discounts can be had for as low as 20%. Discounting, however, is illegal and the government is cracking down.
  • Major highway toll junctions on the Gujarat and Delhi-Mumbai highways also saw long queues as toll plaza operators refused the old banknotes.
  • Income Tax departments raided various illegal tax-evasive businesses in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and other cities that traded with demonetised currency.
  • The scarcity of cash due to demonetisation has led to chaos and long queues at ATMs and banks across India.
  • The move also crippledNaxalite financing through money laundering. Mumbai Police reported setback to Hawala operations. Hawala dealers in Kerala were also affected
  • Large sum of cash were seized in different parts of the country. Bag of burnt notes was found in Uttar Pradesh following demonetization. In Chhattisgarh cash worth of 44 lakh was seized. In Malda, a large sum of cash deposits in dormant accounts were reported. According to National Investigation Agency the district is transit for fake Indian currencies.
  • According to the RBI directive, citizens are allowed to exchange old banknotes upto a value of 4000 with new 2000 and 500 banknotes and 100 banknotes only once till 24 November 2016. However, there have been reports of people circumventing the restriction by making multiple such transactions at different bank branches.

– Yash H. Doshi

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/demonetization.asp

http://marginalrevolution.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_500_and_1000_rupee_currency_demonetisation

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

How did Donald Trump win the 2k16 Election?

A populist wave that began with Brexit in June reached the United States of America on 9th November, 2016. In one of the biggest upset in American political history, Donald Trump won a truly historic victory in the U.S. presidential election. Trump’s win stunned most of the political pundits, people across the globe and even Americans. Although he consistently had the highest unfavorable rating of any major party nominee,he managed to get a seat at the Oval office and that naturally raised the question among us that how did Trump win the 2016 election?

So here are a few factors that partially explain his win:-

  •  There really was a silent Trump vote that the polls failed to pick up on. It seems to be equally reasonable to conclude that many Trump voters kept their intention to themselves and refused to cooperate.Trump’s victory demonstrated that the polls simply cannot be trusted and effect of exit poll and pre-poll before election of voters is negligible.
  • Speaking about rural America, they have not seen their fortune improve during the Obama administration. Hillary never talked of those people. Trump did and was the only candidate who did. Utterly abandoning large number of electoral votes did bad as they are the one’s who are going to vote for presidential election and not immigrants.
  • Our Facebook feed was filled with Trump haters and everyone are shocked. Holy shit! How could he win if there is a protest against Trump after election? That’s because they are living in a completely different world than those Trump supporters. It’s easy to criticize Trump’s policy about immigrants without knowing facts. The American media like India always talk about big cities far away from common lower middle class Americans and they are ignored as if they don’t exist. No one speak’s for them, but Trump did.
  • They could drive a truck for $8k a month few years ago but now the illegal immigrants are willing to do it for $3k. The Americans lost their job.
  • They could work in a factory for $5k a month but now the job goes to Chinese and Mexicans.
  • When they are losing their jobs and falling prey to poverty they tend to stay at home and turn on the TV, see Obama and Hillary speaking “The biggest problem we are facing is climate change”.But when they switch to the next channel they see Trump speaking “We need to rebuild our inner cities, we need to bring jobs back” and thus Trump won the heart of this ignored people and that made him win.
  • Another point which helped Trump is that Democrats missed the legacy of Obama. They thought it was the best ever and that was self-explanatory. Apart from his effort to quicken the recovery post financial crisis there was not much positive growth in 8 years. USA completely missed a cycle in 8 years there has not been a roaring growth. The relationship with Russia and China worsened. Racial relation has worsened and so is the shooting of blacks. Education continues to not be fixed. Of course he was not worst but he was not spectacular either. Democrats missed the need to reach out a lot of people, some of whom never recovered from 2008.

On a final note people who voted for Trump were silent majorities. They didn’t care about LGBT, BLM or climate change. They are not racist or homophobia. People rioting against Trump even after he is elected for President need to throw away their arrogance and start to care about those people. They have no other methods to let you hear them. They only have their ballots. That is the power of democracy and that’s why democracy is great as it never ignores anyone.

– Chintan Bavishi

Surgical Strike

army-7592India claimed to have made “surgical strikes” against militant bases in Pakistani-held territory on September 29, claiming to have killed 9 Pakistani soldiers and up to 50 militants. According to Indian officials, soldiers targeted areas near the Line of Control (LoC). Initially, artillery were fired across the frontier, in order to provide cover to commandos and para-commandos (special force). Army source stated that special forces team traveled 1 to 3 kms on foot along with grenades and rocket launchers. Firstly there was a debate on whether the government should publish videos or photographic evidence of the strike after Pakistan claimed that no such strike had taken place.

Midnight Action

2 A.M
In cover of total darkness, para commandos took down launch pads with explosives, shoulder fired rocket launchers and grenades. Indian posts along the Line of Control had provide firing  to support teams operating across the border.


4:30 – 8 A.M
Para Commando teams exited combat zone under the cover of fire. Two Indian soldiers injured in the firing but all were safely evacuated to the Indian side of the LoC.


10 A.M
Political leadership briefed in detail on the action, decision taken by PM Modi to make the raids public. Pakistani DGMO informed about the strikes along the LoC, told that target was terror, not Pakistani military.


12 Noon
Indian army announced that had conducted surgical strikes in PoK to take down terror launch pads.


New Delhi: Director General Military Operations (DGMO), Ranbir Singh salutes after the Press Conferences along with External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup, in New Delhi on Thursday. India conducted Surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Kashmir on Wednesday night. PTI Photo by Shirish Shete (PTI9_29_2016_000022B) *** Local Caption ***

Officials said that the strike, carried out by at least two para commando units, targeted seven launch pads and were planned over the past week. The Director – General of Military Operations, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, informed his Pakistani counterpart of the strike with an assurance that the target was terror infrastructure and not the Pakistani establishment. India announced the strikes after the CCS meeting on Thursday morning, where the army briefed the political leadership on the details of the mission.

A range of briefings on the strikes took place through the day, with the President, Vice-President, former PM Manmohan Singh and the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Governor informed about the details. India also briefed the envoys of 25 nations.

ctirffuxeaecref
While the number of causalities is not immediately known, it is estimated that 30-35 terrorists were at the locations targeted by special forces. Late on Thursday evening, India confirmed that a soldier belonging to an anti-infiltration unit had inadvertently crossed over the other side of LoC. After reports in Pakistani media that an Indian soldier had been apprehended, officials said the jawan from 37 Rashtriya Rifles had indeed crossed over. The Indian side, however, rubbished Pakistani reports that eight Indian Army personnel had been killed.