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Modi’s informal summits with Jinping, Putin : A big failure

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his tenure by pledging to take India to new heights by declaring it a power of South Asia but has ended into becoming subservient to China with a weak economy.

The informal summits undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Wuhan with Chinese president Xi Jinping and at Sochi with Russian President Vladimir Putin has been necessitated due to the rapidly changing global equations involving Korean Peninsula,China’s rise, China’s militarisation of the South China Sea, US-China economic estrangement and US withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Modi’s decision of making India a defence and logistically of United States has not brought any dividends rather President Donald Trump has reiterated its intention to undo the existing policy enabling spouses of H-1B workers to get work permits. Trump’s announcement of US unilaterally quitting the Iran deal also presented tough walk ahead for India.

Modi has realized how he has wasted his four years traveling across the world with inconsistent and random foreign policy initiatives as Americans have always kept their economic, strategic and military interests paramount even during their bilateral relations.

In his “America First” national security strategy, President Trump has explicitly named China and Russia as “competition” that seek to “challenge American power, influence, and interests” and attempt “to erode American security and prosperity”.

Last year, US President Donald Trump had signed a law, ‘The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’, CAATSA, imposing sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. China has invested heavily in the economies of Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka to the tune of more than $150 billion thus encircling India and it has huge trade

volumes with US and exports rebounded more strongly in April and outperformed other Asian trade-reliant economies amid a heated trade dispute with the United States. But Modi is again misguiding people of India as no country in South Asia is interested to build close ties with New Delhi.

The divergence in policy and ideas can be seen on the statements issued by India and China. There was no convergence between the two sides on terrorism as China made a mention of the word ‘terrorism’ only once and that too in a generalised form while India elaborately describes terrorism in Pakistan.

After displaying muscle power at Doklam, India sought mutual trust and ‘predictability and effectiveness in the management of border affairs but China justifies its actions by terming that it will never compromise on defending its sovereignty. Indian statement stressed that the trade should be balanced, sustainable and that we should take advantage of the complementaries between the two economies to enhance the trade and investment.

The word ‘balance’ was conspicuously absent in Chinese document .”India’s trade deficit with China increased more than two-fold (219 percent) from $16 billion in 2007-08 to $51 billion in 2016-17, according to the Commerce Ministry data.

China has begun large-scale mining operation in Lhunze county under its control adjacent to Arunachal Pradesh where a huge trove of gold, silver and other precious minerals has been found. Beijing has defended mining operations, saying that the area belongs to it India’s weak economy due to faulty decisions of Modi government has emboldened China who are constructing “permanent hangers” in upgraded airfields that include Hotan, Hoping and Lhasa -in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) that face India. China has 14 airbases in the Lanzhou and Chengdu regions, opposite to Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

It is right to mention that it’s the economy stupid that proclaim a country superpower and China has penetrated the global market with Xi Jinping’s OBOR initiative and has huge investments in different sectors like in digital, telecom, power, engineering in Indian economy as well. Modi has realised that time has slipped away and he cannot build strong economy through his personalised approach in the present scenario where only economic ties with rivals and other competitors can flourish Indian economy.

As India knitted close ties with the United States under Modi, Russia has stepped up its strategic ties with India’s arch-rival Pakistan. Russia in December 2017 also signed the joint declaration of the six-nation conference asking for resolution of Kashmir issue under the UNSC resolution. Modi’s informal talks with Putin focussed on defence ties including  the S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems which are required by India to counter the emerging air threats. AS major defence purchases from Russia would attract sanctions from US while delivery of the systems is to begin within 54 months from the date of signing.

Modi is in search of good slogans for 2019 Lok Saha elections, in these 4 years, Modi has described his critics as doomsayers, blamed the previous Congress government for India’s economic ills, painted himself as an outsider. He gets nervous about being criticised and showcases himself as a victim.

By Arti Bali,
arti

(Senior Journalist)

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Air India employees receiving PF dues within 30-60 days

Once the management is satisfied that there are no dues pending from the employee, the Company Contribution is also released accordingly”, Air India said.

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New Delhi, Sep 19 : National carrier Air India has clarified that it had already deposited the TDS and the PF dues for superannuated employees which are being released within 30-60 days.

There have been reports that Air India has defaulted on the deposit of TDS and PF dues since January this year.

Responding to IANS queries, Air India said it has already deposited the TDS.

“Distribution of Form 16 is also under process”, it added.

On the PF dues of employees, the national carrier said they are receiving them within 30-60 days.

“All our employees, getting superannuated, are receiving PF dues generally within a period of 30-60 days. The Employees’ contribution is paid at the initial stages after retirement- usually within a period of 30 days.

The Company’s Contribution is disbursed usually within 60 days after superannuation, depending on clearance and NOC by various departments like Finance, Personnel, Security, Vigilance.

Once the management is satisfied that there are no dues pending from the employee, the Company Contribution is also released accordingly”, Air India said.

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Centre to buy aircraft worth Rs 250 cr for weather forecast

It is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. Through this nodal agency, the people will get information about the weather.

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Preparing for Landing

New Delhi, Sep 19 : The government is planning to use more hi-tech methods for accurate weather forecast. Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said there is a plan to purchase an aircraft at a cost of Rs 250 crore, which will help in accurate weather prediction in different parts of the country.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ministry of Aeronautics and Technology is planning to purchase this aircraft. The information was given by Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Friday.

On Friday, an MP in the Lok Sabha had asked whether the government is considering a proposal to buy a special aircraft for conducting experiments related to the weather forecast.

Answering this question, Harsh Vardhan said that his Ministry is considering purchasing a special research aircraft for atmospheric process studies in the country. Equipped with scientific equipment, the cost of this aircraft system can be Rs 250 crore.

Harsh Vardhan said the aircraft is likely to be used to solve various atmospheric research problems in weather, atmosphere in different parts of the country. This will help with meteorological cloud physics data.

The minister said that apart from this, it can also be helpful in the evaluation of air pollution assessment and studies related to health, need, climate environment and hydrology.

He said that Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) Pune will work as the nodal agency for this entire scheme.

It is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. Through this nodal agency, the people will get information about the weather.

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Chinese imperialism poses incurable threat to the world

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Xi Jinping

New Delhi: Two viruses have taken over the world. One, a minuscule creature called Covid-19, has killed more than 8,00,000 people around the globe, but is slowing down and will most likely be eliminated in the coming months.

Vaccines have already been developed against it and once inoculated, citizens of the world can expect to go on with their normal lives. However, it is the second virus, that of Chinese imperialism, which poses a long term and a much more potent and incurable threat to the world at large.

China’s shadow looms large over the world. Not only geopolitically, but also in the economic and cultural realms, the Chinese are attempting to remake the world as per their conception of a master-serf relationship. Though in international relations, politics, economics and culture are interrelated, it is important to discuss them separately in order to bring out the nuances of Chinese imperialism.

The age of colonisation and imperialism ended for good in the wake of the breakup and reordering of the international order. This order was based on liberal principles of free trade, respect for international law, prevalence of democratic norms and a security architecture underlined by the presence of two superpowers. Intra and inter country disputes did happen but they were generally localised at best or limited to particular regions.

It is only with the entry of China on the world stage in force that global disruptions have started to manifest themselves brutally. The 2008 financial crisis decimated economies of the West and the East Asian Tigers but China emerged unscathed, riding on the success of its impervious wall which prevented (and still prevents) foreign investments unless approved by the Big Brother Xi. China by then had established mass manufacturing bases in major parts of the country and unimpeded by human rights or basic minimum wages, yoked its population to work tirelessly. The end result: China now mass produces everything from a needle to an airplane.

This has enabled it to dump its produce on other countries initially through the pretensions of free trade (now censored by the WTO) and later through the mega-ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). BRI has been used by China to weasel its way through national sovereignties like a hot knife through butter. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are best examples of what international observers euphemistically call “Debt Trap Diplomacy” but in reality is a gross usurpation of national authority.

China’s tentacles, unlike Covid-19’s, reach far and wide. In fact, Europe faces a double whammy of being repeatedly hit by the coronavirus and China almost simultaneously. With access to the Piraeus port of Greece, China has already started dumping products of all kinds in the European Common Market system. Italy’s untimely submission to Covid-19 was also made possible due to its proximity to the Chinese trading system. After all, Covid-19 and China have become synonymous with each other. In terms of politics, China has undertaken a multi-pronged attack across international borders of many countries.

India has been the first to bear the brunt of Chinese Janus-faced policies of illegal aggression on one hand, while calling for normalisation of trade and other relations on the other. However India is not the only one. The US faces a challenge of another kind. There is a real threat of China’s disinformation campaign affecting the outcome of the US elections in November.

China’s Thousand Talents Program has already ensured massive theft of data and exclusive technology from the US, the latest being Zhengdong Cheng of College Station, Texas who has been charged with making false statements and hiding his affiliations to the PLA. With Taiwan, China is playing the waiting game, pushing its ships and jets closer to the island nation with every passing week under the garb of exercises. Hong Kong for all matters has stopped existing as an autonomous region with only its nomenclature remaining unchanged.

China has also been active on the cultural front. The various China Study or Culture Centres opened in a number of countries act as both espionage and propaganda centres. There is a proactive effort to disseminate Xi Jinping Thought, a constricting ideology that aims to cement the Chinese President as the centre of China’s absurdist and all-encompassing universe.

The number of mushrooming Confucius Institutes all over the world teach everything but Confucian values. They are a front to propagate Chinese communist ideology under the facade of an educational institution and are now being investigated by a number of governments for their links to “The Party”. Chinese Students Associations have also been implicated in a number of countries to stifle criticism of Tibet and Xinjiang by expatriate Chinese students through use of violence and coercion.

Covid-19 is something that will ultimately have a cure. As it is, its lethality is very limited. However, the bigger virus of Chinese Communist Party keeps growing potent everyday and to counter it, the entire world needs to come together. The vaccination to get rid of the Chinese communist virus, though much more painful than the Covid-19 affliction, will have to be undertaken.

(Binay Kumar Singh is a columnist and researcher. Views expressed are personal)

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