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    INDIA AND WORLD

    All eyes in Kathmandu on Sushma Swaraj’s visit

    SUshma

    India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is headed on her maiden visit to Nepal July 25-27, her second trip to a neighbouring country after she took charge over a month ago.

    Swaraj’s visit has raised expectations in Nepal about a positive upswing in bilateral ties since the installation of the Narendra Modi government in New Delhi May 26.

    The talks are expected to encompass an entire spectrum of bilateral relations, including increasing investment in Nepal, developing Nepal’s hydro-power sector, strengthening cooperation in the defence sector and taking ahead negotiations on the settlement of border disputes.

    PM Modi to launch charm offensive in US

    modi-obama1

    After a promising debut on the global stage at the July 15-16 BRICS summit in Brazil, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the US in September is poised to be a blockbuster show. While the Obama administration looks set to roll out a grand welcome to the Indian leader in Washington, Mr Modi, known for his tech-savvy election-campaign and inspired oratory, will launch a major charm offensive in the country which once denied him a visa. He will address a gathering of around 20,000 people in New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden. The video will be broadcast live to crowds in 20 other cities in the US on September 28.

    It’s time for Latin America: Indian diplomacy on upswing

    brics-group-photo

    Distances never came in the way of love affairs from blossoming or diplomacy’s perennial drive to interlink dreams and destines. Invoking India’s sage poet Rabindranath Tagore and Pablo Neruda, the beloved poet of desire, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a multi-pronged Latin America charm offensive to deepen New Delhi’s engagement with this emerging growth pole of the world.
    In a well-received speech in Brasilia at the BRICS’ outreach meeting with the leaders of South American countries July 16, Mr Modi offered an exhilarating brew of trade, IT, tele-medicine and capacity building to South America, which he called
    “this great continent; of beauty, opportunities and warm people.”

    Diplomacy

    Gaza violence: India backs Palestine in UNHRC vote

    Asoke

    Amid the festering violence and mounting casualties in Gaza, India has voted in support of a UN Human Rights Council resolution to probe Israel’s offensive⋅⋅⋅
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    Why is India’s West Asia policy ineffective?

    Oil

    Foreign policy analysts in Delhi have often been frustrated in their attempts to decipher India’s policy towards the Middle East – a region that supplies⋅⋅⋅
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    India, Pakistan top diplomats to meet next month

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    Building upon the first meeting between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New Delhi two months ago, the foreign⋅⋅⋅
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    Politics / Policy

    How woman friendly is the annual Budget?

    Women

    Did anyone expect the recent Budget 2014 to have a serious content on women’s welfare and safety? Yes and no. In the aftermath of a⋅⋅⋅
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    Defence: Not really an ideal Budget

    Indian-Defence

    Even though the Narendra Modi Government started off with a proverbial military bang, and has received many bouquets for presenting a fairly “balanced budget” overall,⋅⋅⋅
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    Takeaways for Defence in the Union Budget 2014-15

    Delivering his maiden budget speech on 10th July 2014, the Finance Minister, who also happens to hold the charge of the defence portfolio, talked about⋅⋅⋅
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    The Quote Hanger

    I want Prime Minister Modi to succeed, because I want India to succeed. - US Senator John McCain

    In Conversation

    India must be inside UN Security Council, BRICS can help: Puri

    puri-hardeep

    you can’t have a country of India’s size: 1.2 billion people, a 2 trillion dollar economy, a country of Mahatma Gandhi and with a great story to tell, the world’s largest democracy, in which 660 million people turn out to vote, somewhat raucous sometimes, not be the member of the Security Council as a permanent member.

    On writing, South Asian taboos, beauty of the Nepali language

    Prajwal Parajuly

    Nepali-Indian author Prajwal Parajuly is a curious person. Laidback, he writes simply because he likes to. Yet, his stories are written with such forceful simplicity⋅⋅⋅
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    Reviving Southwestern Silk Route: India-China-Nepal trilateral a win-win for all

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    In this interview with India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org), Dr. Pradumna B. Rana, Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), highlights why reviving the Southwestern Silk Route is important, and how the India-China-Nepal trilateral cooperation can open up new possibilities for a seamless pan-Asia.

    BUSINESS

    India’s investment rating up in Japan

    modi and abe

    Giving a new impetus to increasing Japanese investments into India, Nomura, the Tokyo-based lender, has ranked India number one with regard to investment potential in⋅⋅⋅
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    Delhi-Moscow flight can boost tourism, business

    Air India

    The resumption of a direct Air India flight between New Delhi and Moscow, after a gap of 15 years, is poised to enhance business and⋅⋅⋅
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    CHINA CONNECT

    The View from Beijing: Chinese media slams West’s critique of BRICS

    China

    More than 100 Chinese journalists, cutting across print and electronic media, descended on the Brazilian port city of Fortaleza to track the sixth BRICS summit.⋅⋅⋅
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    China’s Maritime Silk Route: Implications for India

    trade-ethics

    In recent days, China’s proposal for a Maritime Silk Route (MSR) has been a subject of speculation and debate. Beijing’s plan for a maritime infrastructure⋅⋅⋅
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    Africa Rising

    BRICS back regional and inclusive solutions in Africa

    brics-bank-grpup

    Underlining the growing importance of Africa, the BRICS Fortaleza Declaration, which emerged from the sixth BRICS summit in Brazil, focused on the role of international⋅⋅⋅
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    Ebola epidemic ravages West Africa

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    As an unprecedented Ebola epidemic continues to wage havoc in West Africa, the international medical humanitarian organization, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), says it does not⋅⋅⋅
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    Peter Mutharika, lawyer and educator, is Malawi’s new president

    malawi

    Malawi, a land-locked southeast African country, is poised for change of guard with Peter Mutharika, brother of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, and a former⋅⋅⋅
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    Culture / Books / Ideas

    Culture

    The Spanish Way: Discovering Karma and Dharma in India

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    A tea stall hangs in the middle of the air. It is just a normal tea stall in the midst of a lonely highway. Dressed⋅⋅⋅
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    Glory moment: Indian-American academic to head top US law school

    sujit-law

    The long list of Indian-Americans, who now head elite academic institutions in the United States, has got a new addition. In a milestone for the⋅⋅⋅
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    Presence of the past: Buddha engravings found in Arunachal Pradesh

    tawang

    With the discovery of two engravings of Buddha in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, the state has rediscovered a link to its 400-century-old Buddhist⋅⋅⋅
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    BOOKS / POETRY

    Demystifying Tibetan culture: Uncle Tompa’s profane adventures

    tibet-book

    In these 20 stories Rinjing Dorji narrates how Uncle Tompa gets the better of others through his trickery. The ‘others’ here are usually the rich, the foolish, the virtuous, and the stubborn. While tales of Uncle Tompa are very similar to those of other tricksters like the Persian Mullah Nusruddhin, or the American Cayote, Uncle Tompa’s stories differ because of the centrality of sex in his adventures.

    Recreating ethos of the Tagore women

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    It is a book that immerses the reader in its rich descriptions of a life that ceased to be more than a century ago. It⋅⋅⋅
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    For Borges

    khatua

    Silence is a Forest. Rootless words Perch on filtered sunlight, shadows dance with rhythm of swaying distance, dead wind caresses.   You are welcome to⋅⋅⋅
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    Why Write?

    Don DeLillo: Understanding the rigors of novel-writing

    Don

    I was a semiconscious writer in the beginning. Just sat and wrote something, or read the newspaper, or went to the movies. Over time I⋅⋅⋅
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    Joan Didion: I write to find out what I’m thinking

    joan-didion

    “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.⋅⋅⋅
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    John Steinbeck: Six tips on Writing

    John Steinbeck

     John Steinbeck — Pulitzer Prize winner, Nobel laureate, love guru — with six tips on writing, culled from his altogether excellent interview it the Fall 1975 issue of The⋅⋅⋅
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    Travel

    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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    At the Equator: A tryst with Assange, Darwin and sea lions

    ecuador

    Ecuador is probably the only country in the world named after a geographical feature – the equator. Crossing over from the Colombian border post near⋅⋅⋅
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