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INDIA AND WORLD

It’s time for India to play a bigger role in ASEAN : Indonesia envoy

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Building on their growing economy and a shared vision of a pluralistic and inclusive Asia, India and Indonesia are poised to chart new frontiers in their multi-faceted partnership. In this wide-ranging interview with Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India and World magazine and India Writes Network, Indonesia’s Ambassador to India Sidharto R. Suryodipuro outlines core values that bind India and ASEAN and maps a robustly optimistic trajectory of India-Indonesia partnership.

(Excerpts from the interview)
Q) India is hosting Special Commemorative Summit, where all the ASEAN leaders are going to be present and they are also the guest of honour at the Republic Day Parade. It is indeed a unique moment in India- ASEAN relations. How do you look at the importance of the summit and the way ahead?
A) We will be celebrating 25 years of the India-ASEAN dialogue relationship and the changes that have taken place. We will not only be celebrating the adding of years, but also the changes that have taken place in Southeast Asia and India. Twenty-five years ago, the India-ASEAN relationship was sectoral, now it has been upgraded to comprehensive strategic partnership. India has changed its “Look East” policy to an “Act East” policy. The commemorative summit would be an opportunity to add momentum to this growing relationship. It is an opportunity for India to further bolster its policy and also for ASEAN to do the same. It will also be an opportunity for India and ASEAN to address the changes that are happening in the world.

After Australia Group, NSG next frontier for India

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After gaining entry to two non-proliferation groups, MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) and the Wassenaar Arrangement, India has become the 43rd member of another, the Australia Group (AG). With this membership India is expected to further push its demand for an entry into the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) that has been stalled due to Chinese protests.
“India’s entry into the Group would be mutually beneficial and further contribute to international security and non-proliferation objectives” India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a statement.

Modi to showcase India Growth Story at Davos

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Buoyed by India’s growing economy and its rising global profile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is poised to pitch the India growth story to international political and financial elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos.Mr Modi’s overarching message at Davos will be “India is open for business,” also the theme of the promotional campaign India has launched in Davos. Mr Modi will speak on the theme for the 2018 WEF, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,” and India’s role in the world. In his plenary speech, PM Modi is expected to highlight pathbreaking economic reforms taken by his government which have led to enhanced ease of doing business. India jumped 42 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business last year.
“In recent years, India’s engagement with the outside world has become truly and effectively multi-dimensional covering the political, economic, people to people, security and other spheres… At Davos, I look forward to sharing my vision for India’s future engagement with the international community,” Mr Modi said ahead of his visit to the picturesque Alpine town of Davos that holds the annual meet.

Diplomacy/Defence

India concerned over Kabul hotel attack

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The savage terror attack at a hotel in Kabul has elicited strong outrage from India, one of major development partners of Afghanistan.In a sharply-worded statement, India has strongly condemned the attack and voiced grave concern at the spread of terror by the “internationally proscribed Haqqani Network” that is enjoying safe haven in the neighbourhood without naming Pakistan, which has called for greater cooperation in combatting terror.
It was 14 hours of terror that kept Afghan security forces and Norwegian troops engaged in a fierce encounter with gunmen who attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul on January 21. With Taliban claiming responsibility, this is a major attack against the international community after the March 2014 similar attack on another hotel in Kabul that left 9 people dead.Among the 18 people reported to have been killed, 14 were foreigners including 2 Venezuelan pilots of the privately owned airline KamAir, six Ukrainians and one Kazakh national.

26/11 Memorial: Baby Moshe & Netanyahu revisit horror and hope 

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More than nine years ago, when terrorists opened fire at Nariman House, it was a miraculous escape for two-year-old ‘Baby Moshe’ who was rescued by her Indian nanny Sandra Samuel. He has, since then, come to represent a story of tragedy, love and hope, marking an emotional connect between India and Israel. It was a moment of joy when the Jewish Chabad House, popularly known as Nariman House, hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and eleven-year-old Moshe Holtzberg for the unveiling of a state-of-the-art Living Memorial to commemorate the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror mayhem.
“What happened here represents the polar opposites of love and hate, the hatred perpetrated by the terrorists, but it also expressed tremendous love. The love of your parents Gabi and Rivky to you Moshe, and the love that is expressed by the Chabad House here in Mumbai and the love that is expressed by the embracing and loving attitude of the Chabad emissaries around the world which embraces and provides a loving home for every Jew around the world,” Mr Netanyahu told Moshe, who was accompanied by his paternal grandparents, Nachman Holtzberg and Frieda Holtzberg, maternal grandparents, Shimon Rosenberg and Yehudit Rosenberg, and uncle Moshe Holtzberg. His Indian nanny, who was awarded the title of ‘Righteous Gentile’ by Israel as the highest award presented to non-Jews, was also present at the occasion. Moshe, who now lives with his grandparents in the Israeli city of Afula, also read out a welcome speech for the Israeli prime minister.
Still bearing the bullet marks, Nariman House was where Moshe’s parents Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg lived.

Netanyahu pitches for India-Israel alliance of democracies

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Underlining the civilizational and democratic connects between India and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, in his speech at the third edition of the Raisina Dialogue talked about the need to build power in an increasingly insecure world.“The weak don’t survive. The strong survive. You make peace with the strong. You ally with the strong”, he said like a true realist.
The Israeli leader outlined four types of power- military, economic, political and the power of values- that democracies like India and Israel should focus on. Therefore, building submarines, cyber capabilities, science and technology, interceptors are an essential component of the developmental goals.


The Quote Hanger

“Rejection is an opportunity for your selection.” ― Bernard Branson

In Conversation

Competitive cooperation, not rivalry for India-China ties: Bhadrakumar

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After more than ten weeks of posturing and charged rhetoric during the face-off at Doklam plateau in Bhutan, India and China have signaled their intention to start afresh and improve their relationship. This was reflected in the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of the BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 5, when they decided to take a forward looking approach to the bilateral relationship.

In an interview with Soumya Nair, former diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar talks about India’s options in dealing with a rising China and the course of India-China relationship, post-Doklam.

Post-BRICS, India, China think anew: Manish Chand

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In an interview to AnchalAnand of News X, Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India and World and India Writes Network, decodes the Xiamen Declaration at the BRICS summit for the first time targets terror outfits in Pakistan, forcing China to toe India’s line on the terror issue.

Vietnam wants India to play a more active role in Southeast Asia: Envoy

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It’s a milestone year in India-Vietnam relations as the two strategic partners celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In this wide-ranging interview with Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network, Vietnam’s ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh outlines a vibrant picture of the trajectory of this crucial relationship and underlines the need for a more active role by India in Southeast Asia and the extended region. The envoy also underscored that the burgeoning India-Vietnam relations is not targeted at China or any third country and stressed on peaceful resolution of the South China Sea dispute through dialogue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described his Bharatiya Janata Party’s stunning victory in assembly elections in India’s biggest state Uttar Pradesh as historic and underlined

BJP’S UP VICTORY A VOTE FOR DEVELOPMENT: MODI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described his Bharatiya Janata Party’s stunning victory in assembly elections in India’s biggest state Uttar ...

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Basking in the glory of astounding electoral victory in India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh, the head of India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party Amit

UP VERDICT REJECTION OF POLITICS OF CASTE AND DYNASTY: AMIT SHAH

Basking in the glory of astounding electoral victory in India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh, the head of India’s Hindu ...

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It’s set to be a special ‘Holi’ for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party he leads. Saffron is the reigning colour as wild celebrations erupted outside the BJP’s national headquarters in Delhi and UP’s capital city of Lucknow. Swamped by fervour of this huge victory, party activists splashed a rainbow of colours, distributed sweets and set off crackers.

HISTORIC MOMENT FOR BJP IN UP, CONGRESS SCORES IN PUNJAB

It’s set to be a special ‘Holi’ for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party he leads. ...

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In a spectacular saffron sweep, the Bharatiya Janata Party is heading for a landslide victory in assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state and the epicentre of the country’s politics.

SAFFRON SWEEP FOR BJP IN UP, MODI WAVE SWAMPS RIVALS

In a spectacular saffron sweep, the Bharatiya Janata Party is heading for a landslide victory in assembly elections in Uttar ...

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Exit polls broadcast by Indian television channels have projected India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

EXIT POLLS UPBEAT ABOUT BJP’S PROSPECTS IN UP

Exit polls broadcast by Indian television channels have projected India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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What they Say

Will feel proud to tell success story of 1.25 bn Indians in Davos: Modi

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” Will feel proud to tell success story of 1.25 bn Indians in Davos ” Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for Davos on Monday⋅⋅⋅
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The Indian diaspora has climbed to appreciable heights in almost all the countries : Kovind

“The Indian diaspora has climbed to appreciable heights in almost all the countries where it has found a home. It has contributed to the well-being⋅⋅⋅
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The relations between India and the US are not only for mutual interest. It goes beyond that:Modi

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“The relations between India and the US are not only for mutual interest. It goes beyond that. It will be for the greater benefit of⋅⋅⋅
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BUSINESS WITH INDIA

India jumps 30 places on ease of doing business global ranking; Modi hails it as historic

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In a major boost to the government which has come under severe criticism on its economic policies lately, India has jumped 30 places to reach⋅⋅⋅
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You can become a soldier for a modern, prosperous India : Modi

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“If financial institutions (along with real estate) can help in making such infrastructure, it will lead to multiple benefits, you can become a soldier for⋅⋅⋅
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CHINA CONNECT

3 keys for unlocking India-China economic ties: New Steps, New Horizons

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President Xi’s report pointed out the right direction for developing China-India economic and trade relationship. In the future, following the principles of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, we will use three “keys” to unlock the potential of balanced and mutually beneficial China- India economic and trade cooperation in the “new era”.
With the guidance of our leaders and the guiding principles of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, India-China economic and trade cooperation will bring real benefits to our governments, business communities and ordinary people. It will become the bedrock and anchor of our bilateral relationship. With the development of this relationship, the day when “China and India speak in one voice, and the world listens” will come soon.

Arunachal row shadows India-China relations

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Ahead of the visit by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi to India, China has renewed its claims over Arunachal Pradesh. The visits by Indian leaders to Arunachal Pradesh, which is claimed in entirety by Beijing, has consistently elicited protests from China, and this time it was not different when President Ram Nath Kovind visited India’s easternmost state.

Africa Rising

Curtain falls on Mugabe’s rule: Rejoicing & concern

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Zimbabwe’s long-awaited moment of celebration has finally arrived with the 93-year-old strongman Robert Mugabe announcing his resignation after a reign of 37 years. On November 21 his letter, wherein he expressed his decision to step down from power to allow a peaceful leadership change, was read out by the speaker of the Zimbabwean parliament, Jacob Mudenda. With his announcement, Mr Mugabe has saved himself from the ordeal of an impeachment hearing that had been initiated against him.

CII-EXIM Bank conclave in Kampala: India eyes East Africa opportunity

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India is set to accelerate its economic engagement with East Africa, the fastest growing region in the African continent and home to a large Indian diaspora, at a regional business conclave in Kampala.
The two-day India-East Africa business conclave, organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and EXIM Bank, will be inaugurated by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni in the Ugandan capital on November 20. India’s Commerce Secretary Rita Teotia is leading the high-profile Indian delegation, which includes top investors in Africa like Shobana Kamineni, president, CII and Sanjay Kirloskar, CMD, Kirloskar Brothers Limited. Many ministers from East African countries will be participating in the conclave.

With OBOR on mind, India brands Asia-Africa Growth Corridor: People-centric & consultative

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Touted as an alternative and counterpoint to China’s One Belt, One Road project, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) is set to be accelerated in days to come, with India signalling its intention to fast-track this transformational connective project that will encompass the two emerging growth poles in the world.

Culture / Books / Ideas

Culture

People of the Pacific Pearl: Frames that capture the vibrant world of Lima

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The Art Gallery of the Embassy of Peru in India recently came alive with frames capturing the happening life of 19th century Lima, the Peruvian capital. Organized jointly by the Embassy and the Delhi Photographic Club, the Photo exhibition titled “Retratos de Lima” (Portraits of Lima) showcases selections from the rich archives of Eugéne Courret, a French photographer who settled in the Latin American city in 1860 and documented the teeming life of a busy metropolis through his lens.

International Day of Girl Child: Long way to go for India

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In a landmark verdict on October 11, upholding the rights of over 20 million child brides of India, the Supreme Court ruled that sex with a minor wife, in the age group of 15 to 18, would be considered as rape and will be treated as a criminal offence. The court order came even as India along with the rest of the world commemorated the International Girl Child Day around the theme of ‘The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030’ to celebrate and empower girl children around the world.

According to a United Nations Population Fund report last year, India accounts for a third of the world’s child brides. About 47 per cent of girls in India are married before they turn 18. Though the trend of child marriages has been declining, India still has a long way to go to eradicate the menace completely. The latest Supreme Court order is a major milestone towards achieving that goal.

As part of United Nation’s international day to create greater awareness on the issues impacting girl children around the world and to promote steps for their empowerment, several countries have undertaken major programmes to highlight and support girl children and to end gender discrimination.

Cultural diplomacy poised for a bigger role, to promote Brand India: ICCR chief Amarendra Khatua

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Politics divides, culture connects. In Shanghai, a pact was signed between India and China to recreate Raj Kapoor’s 1951 classic Awaara into a contemporary Chinese opera.
Amarendra Khatua, the new director-general of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), who was in Shanghai to deliver the keynote address at the 18th China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF), struck an upbeat note on long-standing civilisational ties and promoting cultural exchanges in Tier-II and Tier-III cities in India and China. The joint theatrical remake of Awaara, which remains the most popular Indian movie in China, hints at more such collaborative cultural tie-ups India is set to pursue in days to come.
“Cultural diplomacy is poised to play a bigger role in India’s foreign policy calculus in days and months to come and promote Brand India,” said Khatua, a veteran diplomat who is also famous as an accomplished poet who writes and translates in English, Hindi and other Indian languages.

BOOKS / POETRY

Nobel moment for Kazuo Ishiguro, digger of inner truths

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  It’s a time of rejoicing and celebrations for all Kazuo Ishiguro fans, and those who relish his uncanny talent for excavating abyss beneath the⋅⋅⋅
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Isthmus of Time: Poems by Anshuman Gaur

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An Anthem for the Fallen Once the storm has passed Once the dust has settled down Who remembers the blood-sworn vow? The cloud serpent Again,⋅⋅⋅
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Booker glory beckons Amitav Ghosh

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The Booker glory beckons Indian novelist and essayist Amitav Ghosh yet again. Having narrowly missed the Anglophone world’s most coveted literary honour in 2008, the⋅⋅⋅
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Why Write?

Mickey Spillane: The older, the better

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If you’re a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he’s good, the older⋅⋅⋅
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Samuel Johnson: Reading and making of a book

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The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make⋅⋅⋅
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Eudora Welty: Taking Life as it Exists

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“The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that⋅⋅⋅
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Travel

Nevada bets on India, to open tourism office soon

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Nevada, the US’ western state known for casinos and picturesque landscape, is betting big on luring more tourists from India. Nevada Lt Governor Thomas Hutchinson⋅⋅⋅
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Border-crossing: Supper in Sweden, Dinner in Denmark

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For those of us living in India, crossing over casually is a distant dream. Even though India and Pakistan were one over six decades ago,⋅⋅⋅
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