Many argued that stubble burning is the main reason for pollution and not firecrackers
This should not come as any surprise to those in India, where thanks to the weak application of rules, civil disobedience is a way of life for most of us.
You see it in the way we drive on our roads
It may be for sociologists to come up with theories as to why this almost brazen attitude towards the law is so prevalent in India and other nations in the neighbourhood.
It is not just about firecrackers here, it is about making citizens realise the importance of law and order.
Initiated judicial and police reforms
Ladakh proposal | ToI
November 6 - eighth round of Corps Commander level talks
Reports emerged that the two countries have finalised a set of proposals to withdraw tanks, armoured vehicles and troops from Fingers 4 to 8 in the Pangong Tso area.
The two governments are considering the proposals.
Victory of Joe Biden - promptness of US allies – has generated fear of diplomatic isolation in China
Also, the advantage gained by China in occupying Fingers 4 to 8 was partly offset by the strategic heights captured by our troops which allowed India to overlook the Chinese positions below.
China is now displaying softness towards the Asean states - “take a flexible and pragmatic approach” - South China Sea
China wishes to demonstrate that it is not isolated and can still work with countries in Asia to resolve mutual disputes.
China’s rhetoric towards Taiwan has softened
Lessons for India
Stand firm against Beijing’s dictates
Don’t allow yourself to be pushed into a weak position as China respects strength
Have some bargaining chips
Cooperation with the US is critical as it helps in softening the Chinese rigidities
Wait patiently for a strategic opportunity and don’t be in a hurry to expect results
In Ladakh negotiations, India should insist that Chinese troops must revert to the pre-April 20 positions in all sectors
Ensure reliable verification measures
We must prepare adequately to monitor China’s behaviour in future 24-by-7 and 365 days
We should be ready with a set of locations where Indian troops could easily advance into the strategic Chinese positions, so that India has some bargaining chips.
China has decided to seek military modernisation on a par with the US armed forces by 2027; therefore, future military engagements with China will be much tougher.
Chinese military planners will be undertaking suitable initiatives in developing AI (which is China’s forte), hypersonic, space warfare and other weapon systems such as sixth generation fighter and stealth aircraft, quantum radars, autonomous combat robots, biological weapons and others for each theatre to establish early superiority
The right lessons from Pulwama and Balakot
The ghost of Pulwama and Balakot has been exorcised nearly 20 months after the twin events happened (2019).
In Pakistan, former Speaker and Opposition MP, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, alleged in the Pakistan National Assembly last month that the PTI government, fearing an imminent missile strike from India, had capitulated and released the captured Indian fighter pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
The allegation was denied by the Pakistan government and the all-powerful military
The events of February 2019 need to be extricated from the electoral straitjacket to draw the right lessons.
On February 28, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced in Parliament that he was releasing the Indian fighter pilot and sending him back home “as a peace gesture”.
The full details of backroom happenings between the suicide car bombing of February 14 and Wg. Cdr. Abhinandan’s return on March 1 are not publicly available but 20 months later, there is definitely greater clarity.
The responsibility for the intelligence failure, violation of standard operating procedures by security forces and the possible involvement of disgraced Jammu and Kashmir police officer, Davinder Singh, remain unexamined.
The IAF also shot down its own helicopter in friendly fire, close to Srinagar.
In a healthy democracy, apolitical armed forces are supposed to follow the elected government’s lawful orders but do not work to further the partisan aims of the ruling party.
Unless corrected, this would set a wrong precedent for the armed forces and its senior leadership.
Two decades ago, the then Army Chief, General V.P. Malik, had lodged a strong complaint with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during the Kargil war about the use of the images of three service chiefs on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s election posters.
Neither the surgical strike of 2016 nor the Balakot air strike have infused deterrence or altered Pakistan’s policies, whether in the Kashmiri hinterland or on the LoC, where Indian security forces personnel continue to lose their lives.
However, the Balakot air strike was definitely a punitive move, a tactical act, which demonstrated India’s willingness to cross the threshold of using air power against Pakistan, that too on its mainland.
That the two countries could deescalate so quickly is a positive sign but the fact that any miscreant with a few kilos of explosive and an old car can bring these two nuclear weapon states to the brink of war should leave us worried.
Needed, a policy framework in step with technology
As technology has evolved in the latter part of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st century, the traditional boundaries between goods and services have blurred.
Information is the new currency powering economies.
The expansion of computing power has driven the pace of information gathering and analysis.
The new currency drives processes and decision-making across a wide array of products and services, making them more efficient and value accretive for consumers.
Let us look at a traditional good, the automobile.
A modern automobile has 40% of its component value from electronic-based products and a modern electric vehicle has close to 100 million lines of code, which is more than that used by a Boeing 787 or the Chrome browser.
There is increasing digitisation and electronification of industrial activities, products and services, influencing the evolving skill sets in industry.
This revolution is taking place across products, as information availability drives efficiency and creates value for customers by providing greater control over the product and its surrounding environment.
Working in silos
Governments have looked at economic development and industry as catalysts to progress
To address the needs of various stakeholders, governments have tended to build specialised departments and designed policies that govern those areas.
However, over time, as each of these departments grew, they have tended to operate in silos.
If you look at the automobile industry, policies are governed by the Heavy Industries and the Surface Transport Ministries, respectively.
However, increasing electronification and digitisation of the automobile are not covered by industrial policies that govern the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry.
There is increasingly a need for inter-departmental cooperation and synergy not only in policy framework but also in deployment.
A change in policy framework regarding economic development that enables various ministries to work together is essential.
More significantly, a nourishing ecosystem for industry, including the hard infrastructure and softer areas such as education, skilling, technical institutions, laboratories, testing centres, etc., has to be cultivated.
The policy, by and large, promotes and gives incentives for manufacturing, whereas the share of intangibles, even in traditional manufacturing companies, whether it be software, research and development or even servicing of products, are not adequately covered in industrial policies.
It is important to include these to encourage innovation and technological development.
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