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INDIA AND WORLD

India, UAE bolster infrastructure, cyber security cooperation

India-UAE agreements

Imparting a fresh traction to their burgeoning strategic partnership, India and the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf’s economic powerhouse, have signed pacts spanning cybersecurity, infrastructure investment, renewable energy and space cooperation. The pacts were signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in New Delhi on February 11.

Australia names Indian-origin diplomat as its envoy to India, upbeat on CECA

australia-julie

As India’s relations with Australia move to the next high-growth phase, Canberra has announced the appointment of Indian-origin diplomat Harinder Sidhu as the country’s next High Commissioner to India. It’s fitting that an Indian-origin diplomat is being sent to New Delhi to shepherd burgeoning bilateral ties when the two countries are in the process of implementing an ambitious multi-pronged agenda laid down during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Australia in November 2014.

Pathankot terror clouds India-Pakistan ties: Will Nepal bring a bit of sunshine?

Will the post-Pathankot ice thaw in Kathmandu next month? Even as the fate of foreign secretary-level talks remain uncertain in the wake of the long shadow cast by the Pathankot terror attacks, there is a strong possibility of a meeting between India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz on the sidelines of the upcoming SAARC Foreign Ministers’ meet in Nepal’s capital, scheduled for March 14-17.

Diplomacy/Defence

Syria support group aims for temporary truce in a week

ISSG

Trying to secure a ceasefire for the civil war in Syria has not succeeded so far with the peace talks put on hold. However, diplomats⋅⋅⋅
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Musharraf confirms Headley’s confession: ISI trains Lashkar, Jaish

Musharraf

Barely a day after David Coleman Headley had revealed that Pakistan’s ISI funds terror groups like Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Pakistan’s former president⋅⋅⋅
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India’s growing influence and ambition

Indian aircraft carrier Vikramaditya is seen during the final rehearsal of International Fleet review in Vishakapatnam, India, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Vikramaditya is a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier which entered into service with the Indian Navy in 2013. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces, will review a fleet of nearly 70 naval ships including several from foreign countries on Feb. 6, 2016.  (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

These developments come at a time when the United States is rebalancing towards Asia; Japan under Prime Minister Abe is modifying its post-war pacifist constitution;⋅⋅⋅
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The Quote Hanger

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.Marcus Aurelius

In Conversation

India hoping for consensus on constitution in Nepal ahead of Oli visit: S.D. Muni

SDMuni

India-Nepal relations have been in a churn since the Madhesis began an agitation nearly five months ago, demanding an inclusive constitution that accommodates their interests⋅⋅⋅
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World wants India to play a bigger extrovert global role: John Chipman

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The proactive and out-of-the-box foreign policy pursued by the Modi government has put the global spotlight on India’s growing role in the international arena and⋅⋅⋅
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Modi’s France visit to bolster strategic ties, focus on smart cities: Rakesh Sood

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India and France are set to galvanise their multifarious relations during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden trip to Paris. The two countries have a robust strategic partnership over the years, and are looking to push the envelope in a host of areas.

BUSINESS WITH INDIA

Hong Kong keen to spur India’s infrastructure development

Leung Swaraj meet

Underlining its desire to be part of the success of the India growth story, Hong Kong has said it is keen to partner India in⋅⋅⋅
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India overtakes US to become second largest smartphone market

India smartphone

India’s booming consumer driven economy has now made it the second largest smartphone market. The shipments in the country grew 23.3 percent to touch 100⋅⋅⋅
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CHINA CONNECT

China ups stakes in ‘Middle East,’ pitches ‘One Belt, One Road” project

Xi iran visit

The Middle East has traditionally been viewed through the lens of the interests of the West in the region due to their presence and involvement⋅⋅⋅
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New nuclear safety law to be drafted by China soon

nuclear safety

As geopolitical tensions continue to rise in the Asia-Pacific region, China is speeding up the drafting of a nuclear safety law and atomic energy law.⋅⋅⋅
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Africa Rising

Al-Qaeda strikes in Burkina Faso, 20 killed

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Around 20 people were killed and others were taken hostage when Islamist gunmen stormed a hotel in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso,  on⋅⋅⋅
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Post Africa summit, India must focus on implementation

IAFS Ministerial meet

The third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) was undoubtedly the biggest diplomatic event hosted by India in the recent times. The summit stood out in many⋅⋅⋅
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China unveils $60 billion surge in Africa

FOCAC

Marking a major upgrade in China’s surging engagement with Africa, President Xi Jinping has announced USD 60 billion in funding for development projects in the⋅⋅⋅
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Culture / Books / Ideas

Culture

E-visa boosts flow of tourists to ‘Incredible India’

E-Visa

E-visa has done wonders for Incredible India – over 445,000 foreign tourists visited this mind-bogglingly diverse country on electronic visas, which was launched in November⋅⋅⋅
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Knowledge bonding: Indian top source of engineers, scientists for US

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Expanding its global footprint, the Indian diaspora has been making remarkable progress in various professions, especially in the field of science and technology. According to⋅⋅⋅
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Tolerance/Intolerance debate: Dialogue of the deaf?

tolerance-writers

“Sare jahan se achha Hindostan hamara…” This ode to India by iconic poet Allama Iqbal still remains the most eloquent tribute to this country that⋅⋅⋅
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BOOKS / POETRY

And Then One Day: Naseeruddin Shah tells it all…

naseer-book

Naseeruddin Shah comes across as an actor who knows his craft but does not take filmdom or stardom with any degree of seriousness.

My Book Story: When Things Fall Apart…

chinua-book

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon⋅⋅⋅
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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

spillane-write

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

Sjohnson-eminent

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

Eudora-Welty-by-Losing-Battles

“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

Nevada tourism office-India

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

Arial photo of the bridge with ferry passing under

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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