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Vol : 05 : #76 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

India slaps reciprocal restrictions

on visiting UK nationals

New Delhi : India on Friday decided to impose

reciprocal Covid-19 restrictions on UK nationals

arriving in the country. According to sources, the

new regulations will come into effect from

October 4 - the same day as the UK’s new rules,

and will be applicable to all UK nationals arriving

from the UK.

Citing the restrictions, a source said said that

from October 4 onwards, all UK nationals arriving

in India from the UK, irrespective of their vaccination

status, will have to undertake mandatory

measures, such as carrying the report of pre-departure

Covid-19 RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours

before travel, and undergo Covid-19 RT-PCR test

on arrival at any airport in India.

They are also expected to go for mandatory

quarantine at home or at the destination address

for 10 days after arrival in India, and on the 8th

day after their arrival, will have to take a second

RT-PCR test. The sources also said that the

Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Civil

Aviation have been asked to strictly enforce the

new measures and adequate arrangements must be

made at all international airports for this purpose.

Before issuing these mandatory Covid-19

restrictions for travellers from the UK, India had

given a warning to UK authorities that it would be

well within its rights to initiate reciprocal measures

if the UK does not ease the new travel rules

relating to Covid-19 vaccine certification for

Indian nationals.

The row between the two countries started

when the UK government placed Indians, who

have been vaccinated with Covishield - the

Indian-made AstraZeneca Covid vaccine - in the

category of "unvaccinated" and prescribed testing

and quarantine measures but after India hinted that

this might be reciprocated, the UK accepted

Covishield but did not change the testing and

quarantine rules.

Suriya’s Tamil courtroom

drama ’JAI BHIM’

to release on Nov 2

Chennai : Tamil actor Suriya’s much awaited film ’Jai Bhim’

will release digitally on November 2, just ahead of Diwali. Written

and directed by TJ Gnanavel and produced by Suriya and Jyotika

under the banner of 2D Entertainment, the highly anticipated Tamil

film has Suriya playing the character of a lawyer battling all odds

for the tribal communities. The announcement was made by Suriya

on his social media accounts on Friday. ’Jai Bhim’ is part of the

four-film deal with Amazon Prime Video and 2D Entertainment.

The movie has an ensemble cast of actors Prakash Raj, Rao

Ramesh, Rajisha Vijayan and Lijo Mol Jose. ’Jai Bhim’ has music

by Sean Roldan and has been co-produced by Rajsekar

Karpoorasundarapandian. ’Jai Bhim’ will also release in Telugu on

the streaming service starting November 2.

Was thinking of panel for complaints against

officials, especially police: CJI

New Delhi : Chief Justice of India

N.V. Ramana on Friday orally

observed that he had thought of creating

a panel to examine atrocities and

complaints against bureaucrats, particularly

police officers, headed by the

Chief Justice of the high court concerned.

"I have lot of reservations at the

way, how bureaucracy particularly,

how police officers are behaving in

this country.

"I was at one time thinking of creating

a standing committee to examine

atrocities and complaints against

bureaucrats, particularly police officers,

headed by the Chief Justice of

the high court.. I want to reserve that..

Don’t want to do now," he said.

A bench also comprising Justices

Surya Kant and Hima Kohli was hearing

a plea filed by suspended

Additional Director General of Police

of Chhattisgarh Gurjinder Pal Singh

seeking protection from arrest in criminal

cases - sedition, extortion, and

owning disproportionate assets -

against him.

On September 27, the top court told

Singh’s counsel that his client cannot

take protection from arrest in every

case, and pointed out that things take a

wrong turn when people start extracting

money, as they were close to the

government.

"When you’re good with government,

you may extract... then you’ve to

pay back with interest. This is too

much, why should we grant protection

to such officers?", the Chief Justice

had remarked, adding that such police

officers must not be protected but

must be jailed.

On August 26, the top court had

orally pointed out at a disturbing

trend, where police officials, siding

with the party in power, later getting

targeted when another political dispensation

comes into power.

The Chief Justice had said: "When

a political party is in power, police

officials side with it.... then, when a

new party comes into power, the government

initiates action against those

officials. This is a new trend, which

needs to be stopped."

Three special leave petitions have

been moved before the apex court

against the Chhattisgarh High Court

orders, where the court declined to

quash the FIRs against Singh.

A case was filed against Singh

based on a written complaint by the

state Anti-Corruption Bureau, based

on preliminary findings that he had

amassed disproportionate assets.

Certain documents were seized from

his possession, which pointed at his

involvement in a conspiracy against

the government.


2

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Has Mumbai ex-top cop Param

Bir Singh sneaked out of India?

Mumbai, . Five days before he

is summoned to appear before

the government-appointed

Justice (retired) K.U.

Chandiwal Commission of

enquiry, the political circles in

Maharashtra are agog with

speculation that the former

Mumbai Police Commissioner

Param Bir Singh, now

Commandant-General of Home

Guards, may have fled the

country.

Maharashtra Home Minister

Dilip Walse-Patil has said that

neither the state nor the Central

government's investigating

agencies have any inkling of

Singh's whereabouts and are

searching for him.

"A lookout circular (LOC)

has been issued against him

along with the Ministry of

Home Affairs (New Delhi), we

are also looking out for him,"

Walse-Patil said.

Admitting that while he has

also heard the IPS officer could

have left the country, pointed

out that as a government officer,

Singh cannot travel abroad

without official sanction.

After Singh failed to repeatedly

honour its summonses, the

Justice Chandiwal Commission

slapped him with fines thrice,

and issued a bailable warrant

against him twice with the State

CID failing to locate him at his

known addresses in Mumbai,

Chandigarh and Rohtak.

If the untraceable Singh fails

to appear before the

Commission's next hearing on

October 6, he faces the

prospects of a non-bailable

warrant.

The ruling Maha Vikas

Aghadi (MVA) government

ally Congress on Friday

accused the Bharatiya Janata

Party of "a definite role in giving

a safe passage" to Singh.

"If Singh has fled India, then

there has to be a definite role of

BJP in giving a safe passage to

him. Quite clear that saving

Singh supports the agenda of

BJP," state Congress

spokesperson Sachin Sawant

said here.

He pointed out how the

National Investigating Agency

(NIA) had probed the Antilia

terror threat case first and its

chargesheet clearly mentions

that dismissed cop Sachin Vaze

was reporting to Singh, who

paid Rs 5 lakhs to a cyber

expert to create an alibi.

"Still if Singh flees, then its

a failure of the NIA. What was

the chowkidar government

doing? How often do we find

chowkidar government napping

when people like Nirav

Modi, (Mehul) Choksi, (Vijay)

Mallya and Singh elope?"

Sawant pointedly asked.

In April, Singh created a

sensation by firing a 'lettermissile'

to Chief Minister

Uddhav Thackeray alleging

corruption by the then

Nationalist Congress Party's

Home Minister Anil

Deshmukh.

Soon afterwards, the

Bombay High Court ordered a

preliminary enquiry by the

Central Bureau of

Investigation leading to

Deshmukh's resignation, while

Singh proceeded on leave in

May. In June, the MVA hit

back by registering cases of

alleged extortion, cheating,

forgery, and set up a one-man

enquiry commission to probe

the charges against Singh.

Pakistan in talks

with banned TTP

for reconciliation

New Delhi. Pakistan Prime

Minister Imran Khan has said

the government is in talks with

some groups of the banned

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan

(TTP), seeking a reconciliation,

the Dawn reported. "There are

different groups which form the

TTP and some of them want to

talk to our government for

peace. So, we are in talks with

them. It's a reconciliation

process," Khan said during an

interview with the TRT World.

When asked if the government

is asking them to lay

down arms, the Prime Minister

responded: "Yes, we forgive

them and they become normal

citizens."

When asked why the TTP

was carrying out attacks on

Pakistani security forces when

they were in talks with the government,

Khan said it was just a

"spate of attacks".

"We might not reach some

sort of conclusion or settlement

in the end, but we are talking,"

he added.

Responding to another query

on whether the Afghan Taliban

were acting as mediators

between the TTP and Pakistan,

Khan said: "Since the talks

were taking place in

Afghanistan, so in that sense,

yes," the report added.

UP: 5 held for selling SIM cards on fake IDs

Prayagraj (Uttar

Pradesh), Five members of a

gang that sold SIM cards to

cyber fraudsters and criminals,

have been arrested by a

joint team of Army

Intelligence (Lucknow),

Special Operations Group

(Narcotics) and Kareli police.

The members were arrested on

Thursday while selling SIMs

to criminals near Lal Colony

Team AI :

Devinder Chander

Editor-in-chief

Columnists

V.B. Rawat

Farzana Suri

Arun Kumar

Rahul Kumar

Head Office

Samaj Media Enterprise Ltd.

46 Summer Road

Erdington, Birmingham UK

B23 6UR

+44 7878 456 484

+44 121 565 4810

Email :

info@theasianindependent.co.uk

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Enquiries

+44 7878 456 484

The Asian Independent is an

Intellectual Property of

Samaj Media Enterprise Ltd

in the city. The police have

seized around 1,000 SIMs and

forged documents from their

possession. The arrested persons

have been identified as

Abdul Khalid, Shriram

Chaurasia, Zishan Ahmad,

Vikas Kesarwani and Krishna

Kumar. Inspector (Kareli)

Anupam Sharma said the

arrested persons had sold SIM

cards to law-breakers at high

Amarinder Singh to form 'Punjab Vikas Party': Sources

New Delhi. Former Punjab Chief

Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is

soon going to announce a new party.

According to sources, the name of

Captain's new party will be 'Punjab

Vikas Party'.

According to sources, Amarinder

Singh will convene a meeting of leaders

close to him in a few days to consider

the formation of his new party, which

will include all the leaders of the anti-

Sidhu faction.

Earlier, the Captain had said that his

first goal is to defeat former Punjab

Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu.

In such a situation, a strong contender

will be fielded in the upcoming

Assembly elections against Sidhu from

his newly-formed party.

Meanwhile, Singh will also contact

all the farmers' leaders of Punjab. He

will also get in touch with small parties,

sources said. On Thursday, Amarinder

Singh said: "I have been in politics for

52 years, but they treated me like this.

At 10.30 Congress President Sonia

Gandhi asked me to resign. I did not ask

any question. At 4 o'clock I went to the

Governor and submitted my resignation.

If you still doubt me after 50

years... My credibility is at stake and

there is no trust, then there is

no point in being in the

party."

After this statement, he

announced that he was quitting

the Congress. He made

it clear that he was leaving

the Congress, but will not

join the BJP. He also said

that he was deeply hurt by

the humiliation that he had

to face from the top leadership

of the Congress.

It is not the first time that

Amarinder Singh has

announced to quit the

Congress party. In 1980 he

won the Lok Sabha elections

on the Congress symbol, but

after the Operation Blue Star

in 1984, he left the Congress

to join the Akali Dal. He

rejoined the Congress in

1998.

prices after creating fake IDs.

"The miscreants are experts in

generating fake IDs with a

mobile app and selling SIMs

to cyber criminals and others.

They sold at least two SIM

cards on a single ID. After

selling a SIM to a customer

with his original ID and activating

it, they used to call the

same customer pretending that

their ID, which they had submitted

for SIM, had gone

missing and sought another ID

for activation of the SIM

card," he said explaining their

modus operandi. The gang

was also expert in generating

fake IDs to sell SIM cards of a

prominent cellular provider

company. They were supplying

fake activated SIMs to

cyber criminals and a citybased

call centre.

* The Asian Independent and people associated with it are not responsible for any claims made by the advertisers and do not endorse in any products or services advertised. Please visit www.theasianindependent.com/tc for more information.


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Dalai Lama greets

President Kovind

on 76th b'day

Dharamsala. Tibetan spiritual

leader the Dalai Lama on

Friday greeted President Ram

Nath Kovind on his 76th birthday.

"I greatly appreciate your

dedication as President to the

nation's steady development

especially when it comes to the

well-being of the less privileged,"

His Holiness wrote to

Kovind.

"India has long been home

to a broad range of spiritual and

cultural traditions living in

respectful harmony, side by

side. It is the most populous,

vibrant democracy in the

world.

"The country's stature is

growing on the international

stage. As our world becomes

increasingly interdependent, I

look forward to seeing India

take a leading role in guiding

humanity towards peace.

"This may include sharing

the treasured principles of

karuna and ahimsa, time-tested

ideas that remain very relevant

today. I firmly believe that

India is the only country with

the potential to combine

ancient knowledge with modern

education and with a view

to creating a more peaceful

world," the Dalai Lama said.

"This year marks the 62nd

year of our life in exile. On

behalf of all my fellow Tibetan

brothers and sisters, I would

like to thank the government

and oeople of India for their

unparalleled generosity and

kindness. We remain forever

grateful." He concluded by

offering his prayers and good

wishes.

ASIA

3

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

Army Called In 6 Districts As West

Bengal Flood Situation Worsens

Kolkata . Incessant rainfall coupled with

the sudden release of water by the

Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) has

led to a flood-like situation in six districts

of West Bengal and the situation was such

that the Army and NDRF had to be called

in to assist the state government in the rescue

operation.

Chief Secretary H.K. Diwedi held an

emergency meeting with the District

Magistrates and Superintendent of Polices

of West and East Burdwan, Bankura,

Birbhum, Hooghly, and Howrah on

Thursday evening and took stock of the situation.

After that the state government

decided to deploy the Army in certain

areas. However, NDRF teams have been

kept on standby.

According to highly placed sources in

the state government, eight companies of

the army have been deployed so far with

three companies each for West Burdwan

and Howrah and two companies for

Hooghly's Khanakul and Arambagh area.

This is for the second time that the Army

has been called in to assist in the rescue

operation.

"Incessant rains for the last couple of

days has inundated major portions of South

Bengal and some areas of central Bengal

and the release of water by DVC has added

to woes leading to flooding in at least

seven districts of the state," a senior official

of the state secretariat said.

Due to the sudden release of 2.4 lakh

cusec water from the Durgapur barrage

since Wednesday night flood-like situation

occurred, Nabanna sources said.

Dwivedi asked the DMs about the flood

situation and wanted them to take proper

steps to rescue people and provide them

shelter in the relief camps and keep adequate

stock of dry food and relief materials.

The upper catchment area of Maithon

Ex-UK police officer handed life sentence for murder

London,. A former British

Metropolitan police officer

who murdered a woman after

kidnapping and raping her was

ordered to spend the rest of his

life in jail.

Wayne Couzens, 48, was

sentenced a whole-life order in

prison for the "grotesque"

killing of the 33-year-old marketing

executive Sarah Everard

under the guise of an arrest,

reports Xinhua news agency.

Sentencing at the Central

Criminal Court of England and

Wales in London, known as the

Old Bailey, on Thursday, Lord

Justice Fulford said the seriousness

of the case, which shocked

and outraged the whole nation,

was so "exceptionally high"

that it warranted a whole life

order.

"The misuse of a police officer's

role such as occurred in

this case in order to kidnap,

rape and murder a lone victim

is of equal seriousness as a

murder for the purpose of

advancing a political, religious

or ideological cause," he told

the court.

The court had heard how

Couzens used his police warrant

card and handcuffs to

snatch Everard as she walked

home from a friend's house in

Clapham, south London, on the

evening of March 3.

The firearms officer then

drove to a secluded rural area

near Dover in southeastern

England where he raped the

victim, strangled her with his

police-issue belt, and burned

her body before dumping the

remains in a pond.

Prime Minister Boris

Johnson said he was "sickened"

by the details that

emerged during sentencing.

"Our police are there to protect

us -- and I know that officers

will share in our shock

and devastation at the total

betrayal of this duty. People

must be able to walk on our

streets without fear of harm

and with full confidence that

the police are there to keep

them safe," he said.

Labour Party lawmaker

Harriet Harman has called on

Metropolitan Police

Commissioner Cressida Dick

to resign after the shocking

crime.

In a letter to Dick, Harman

said women's confidence in

the police "will have been

shattered" and it would be

impossible for the current

commissioner to oversee the

changes needed to rebuild

trust.

and Panchet dams received heavy rainfall

in the past 24 hours. "We released 1,86,100

cusecs of water around 1 p.m. on Thursday.

On Wednesday night, 55,950 cusec water

was released," a senior official of Durgapur

Barrage said.

"Due to the heavy rainfall, we released

32,000 cusecs of water in the past two days

to reduce water levels of Maihon and

Panchet dams," a DVC official said.

Meanwhile, several areas of Asansol

particularly Railpar and Kalipahari areas

were underwater for which the Army had

to be deployed in these areas. In Asansol

Municipal Corporation, 37 wards out of

106 were inundated. So far 5,850 people

have been evacuated and 36 relief camps

are opened in Asansol.

However, 900 people are stranded. The

Army came with three boats from

Panagarh while four teams of SDRF have

already started the rescue operation.

Valuables and cars and two-wheelers

parked were also submerged as people

were not prepared for such a flood.

Many people in Asansol took shelter on

the rooftops of their houses. Those living

close to Ajay river vacated the ground

floors of their houses. The National

Highway 2 near Kalipahari in west

Burdwan was also underwater and the

DRM office in Asansol was waterlogged.

"The areas under Asansol Municipal

Corporation were severely marooned.

Villagers of Talbahari in the Kanksa block

near Ajoy river were evacuated. 30 families

were shifted," Abhijit Shevale, ADM

(G) of West Burdwan, said.

Many areas in the Bankura were also

inundated as the Durgapur barrage water

reached Barjora. Bankura DM, K. Radhika

Aiyer and SP Dhritiman Sarkar visited the

flood-affected areas on Thursday.

While in Hooghly, water of the

Dwarakeswar river entered several areas in

Arambagh. Even Khanakul too had been

inundated and the water had also affected

traffic along Kalipur-Garbeta Road.

India, South Korea aim high - bilateral

trade could grow to $50 bn by 2030

New Delhi. As life rapidly comes back to normal

in India after being hit by a brutal second

wave of Covid 19, economic and trade activities

between India and South Korea are expected to

pick up steam. Bilateral trade between India and

South Korea touched $21.5 billion only in 2018

-- crossing the $20 billion mark for the first time

despite the trade pact --

Comprehensive Economic

Cooperation Agreement (CEPA) that

was signed in 2010.

"The target is to touch $50 billion by

2030," Chang Jae-bok, South Korea's

Ambassador to India told India

Narrative. "South Korea and India

have a special relation and we will

have talks (to figure out) how to boost

trade further," he said, speaking on the

sidelines of the 10-day ‘Korea fair in

India'.

The two countries are expected to

focus on ways that to strengthen political

and security co-operation as well.

Change said that several Korean companies

are interested in investing in India. "We also

need Indian companies to go to Korea and invest

there," he said.

There are about 750 Korean companies operating

in India. But the number is significantly

lower compared to other Asian countries such as

Vietnam, which has about 7000.

South Korean culture, music, food and even

language are gaining popularity like never before

in India.

"Korean language has been made part of the

school curriculum since last year, we hope that

more and more schools start teaching Korean,"

Change, who assumed charge in July, said.

Just before leaving India, former South

Korean ambassador to India Shin Bongkil said

that Covid-19 pandemic showcased India as the

next investment destination.

However, Shin also said that

while many global companies

across the world are looking to

invest in India, the country must

upgrade the essential infrastructures

and be better prepared in

the future to avoid any disruptions

caused by any crisis.

Foreign direct investment

(FDI) from South Korea into

India up to September 2020

stood at $6.94 billion.

South Korean major Seoul

Semiconductor in June

announced its keenness to set up a research &

development (R&D) facility in Haryana.

The company will expand its existing operations

to cater to the needs of the Indian market

and customers. Later it is expected to set up a

manufacturing unit in the state. South Korean

majors including Samsung Electronics, Hyundai,

LG Electronics, Doosan Heavy Industries are

among those that are already operating in India.

(The content is being carried under an

arrangement with indianarrative.com)


4

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Punjab CM Channi meets PM

Modi, discusses farmers' issues

New Delhi. Punjab Chief

Minister Charanjit Singh

Channi on Friday met Prime

Minister Narendra Modi and

discussed farmers issues. The

meeting was held at the Prime

Minister's official residence at

7 Lok Kalyan Marg here.

It is learnt that Channi in his

first meeting with the Prime

Minister after becoming chief

minister of Punjab requested

that the Centre take back its

decision to postpone paddy

procurement by 10 days. The

Centre has postponed the procurement

of paddy by 10 days

due to rain in Punjab and

Haryana. Earlier the procurement

was supposed to start

from October 1 but now it will

start from October 11.

"The chief minister has

raised the issue of postponement

of paddy procurement

and requested to withdraw the

order and immediately start the

procurement," sources said.

The sources said that the

Punjab chief minister also discussed

issues concerning the

development of the state.

It is learnt that Channi discussed

the three new farm laws

against which farmers have

been protesting for almost a

year. "Punjab chief minister

Channi has requested the Prime

Minister to repeal the three new

farm laws or find a solution to

end the farmers' protest,"

sources said.

Last month, the Congress

high command made Channi

the chief minister of Punjab

replacing Amarinder Singh.

Channi reached the national

capital on Friday afternoon

around 3 p.m. and later went to

meet the Prime Minister.

There is speculation that

Channi will meet former

Commandant Swati Sharma

selected for British govt's

Chevening Scholarship

Jaipur. Rajasthan

Home Guards Services

Officer, Commandant

Swati Sharma has been

selected for Chevening

Scholarship to pursue

her Masters in Risk,

Disaster and Resilience

from one of the world's

leading Universities --

University College

London, London.

Chevening

Scholarship is the UK

government's international

award scheme

aimed at developing

global leaders. This

highly competitive

Scholarship is funded

by the Foreign and

Commonwealth Office

(FCO) and its recipients

are personally

selected by British

Embassies and High

Commissions throughout the

world.

Commenting on this

achievement, Swati said, "In

the current scenario of increasing

natural and manmade disasters,

a disaster resilient society

is the need of the hour. Society

needs more professionals who

have expertise in optimum utilisation

of human resources,

efficient planning along with

knowledge of latest technology.

"I am grateful to the State

Government and the Rajasthan

Home Guards department for

their support and feel fortunate

enough to earn this lifetime

opportunity and take the pride

to represent India

and Rajasthan on

this renowned

international platform."

The National

level Pistol

Shooter, Swati

Sharma is a proud

veteran of the

Indian Army. She

joined the RHS

Cadre in 2012, as

the first women

officer.

Being a meritorious

Officer,

Commandant Swati

Sharma has also

been awarded

Director General

appreciation certificate

by the Chief

Minister in 2019

and recently awarded

with DG's Disc

from Ministry of Home Affairs,

New Delhi. She has qualified

for the Civil Defence and

Disaster Management Course

at National Civil Defence

College, Nagpur and gleaned

Diplomas from Army College

of Materials Management and

Symbiosis.

Congress President Rahul

Gandhi and other senior party

leaders before returning to

Punjab. Channi is likely to discuss

the ongoing crisis in the

Punjab Congress unit with the

party central leadership after

the resignation of Navjot Singh

Sidhu from the post of state

unit chief. Before coming to the

national capital, Channi met

Sidhu on Thursday.

New York : The

producer of the

Sundance prize-winning

Swedish documentary,

'Sabaya',

has defended himself

against an investigative

story published

in 'The New York

Times' claiming that

many of the Yazidi

women portrayed in

the film had never

agreed to be a part of

it, according to a

report in Variety.com.

The muchacclaimed

film,

directed, shot and

edited by Hogir

HIrori, follows the

actions of a group

that, braving all kinds

of risks, sets out to

rescue Yazidi women

held by the ISIS as

sex slaves in the

Midde East's most

dangerous Al-Hawl

camp.

In a statement issued on

Thursday evening, the producer,

Antonio Russo Merenda,

said that director Hirori and he

had "received written, verbal

or filmed consent from everyone

who appears" in 'Sabaya',

and from the legal guardian of

Three persons carrying

arms, ammo held in

J&K's KULGAM

Srinagar. Three persons

were arrested in J&K's Kulgam

district on Friday and a quantity

of arms and ammunition

recovered from them, police

said. According to police, following

specific information

about the movement of antinational

elements, police, the

Rashtriya Rifles, and the CRPF

set up a 'Naka' (checkpost) at

Malpora Mir Bazar crossing in

Qazigund area of Kulgam.

"During checking, three persons

on a motorcycle and in a

car were signalled to stop. "On

the young girl who is featured

in the film.

Merenda also provided

statements from one of the

main female protagonists of

'Sabaya', as well as from a

Syrian Kurdish filmmaker

who worked with Hirori. He

also presented a letter from the

seeing the search party, they

tried to flee from the spot, but

they were chased and apprehended,"

a police officer said.

The three disclosed their

identity as Obaid A. Mushtaq,

Aadil Jamal Bhat, and Danish

Rasool Bhat of Awantipora,

Pulwama, and on being

searched, four grenades, four

detonators, an IED, an IED wire,

an Ak-47, an AK-47 magazine, a

pistol, and 30 pistol rounds were

recovered from their possession,

police said. The vehicles have

also been seized.

Documentary on Yazidi sex

slaves lands in consent row

Swedish Film

Institute, which had

financed the documentary.

'The New York

Times' article, according

to Variety.com,

claimed the women

portrayed in the film

received the consent

forms electronically

and in English -- a

language they did not

understand -- almost

two years after they'd

been filmed and after

the movie had been

screened. The director

had said to the 'Times'

that he "initially

recorded verbal consent

from the women"

and planned on having

them sign the written

releases during his

next trip, but he had

been delayed because

of the pandemic.

Merenda said in his

statement that 'Sabaya' is "a

Swedish production following

Swedish law," which says that

"written, verbal and filmed

consent are equally valid." He

also said the releases "were

provided in both Arabic (the

official language in both Syria

and Iraq) and English."


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

5

Stalin advises civil services recruits

to remember Annadurai's words

Chennai. Tamil Nadu Chief

Minister M.K. Stalin has

advised the new civil services

recruits to remember the

words of former Chief

Minister late C.N.

Annadurai in their future

carrier.

Addressing a felicitation

programme for the successful

civil services candidates

of 2020 at the Anna Institute

of Management on Friday,

Stalin said that they should

work only for the welfare of

the people and their main

motto should be to uplift the

poor and downtrodden and

to be socially conscious.

Quoting DMK founder

Annadurai, said, "Go to the

people, live among them,

learn from them, love them,

live with them, serve them,

plan with them, start with

what they know, build with

Digvijaya questions NIA

credibility, seeks SC probe into

Mundra Port drug seizure

Jaipur. Former Madhya

Pradesh Chief Minister and

senior Congress leader

Digvijaya Singh on Friday levelled

serious allegations against

the National Investigation

Agency (NIA) and demanded

an inquiry by a Supreme Court

judge into the Mundra Port

heroin seizure, saying that he

has no trust in the NIA.

Speaking to the media at the

Congress state headquarters,

Digvijaya Singh said, "All

accused in Ajmer Dargah blast,

Mecca Masjid case, Samjhauta

blast, Malegaon blast were

acquitted. That's why we don't

trust the NIA. While the aim of

the investigating agency is to

send criminals to jail, the

Modi-Shah government has

acquitted all those who were

involved in terrorist activities,"

he added.

Singh said that the investigation

of heroin traced from

Mundra port should be done by

a Supreme Court judge, instead

of the NIA and this judge

should be appointed by a committee

consisting of the Leader

of Opposition and Chief

Justice.

He also commented on the

media and said that If 300-400

gram ganja (a drug) was seized

from Bollywood actors, it

would make big news, but even

after a huge stock of heroin was

seized at Mundra Port, there is

silence. Singh however

remained silent when asked

about cabinet expansion in

Rajasthan, the G-23 group in

the Congress and other national

issues of the party.

"I neither have any AICC

portfolio nor am I a Rajasthan

Congress spokesperson," he

said.

He charged that the ED and

IT department are raiding

opposition figures under

Modi's rule. Terming demonetisation

as the biggest scam, he

said, "Demonetisation was

introduced to end fake currency

and terrorism. If demonetisation

was done to stop black

money, then how did the currency

in the country increase

from 17 lakh crores to 26.7

lakh crores. The maximum

number of new currency notes

went to the Cooperative Bank

of Gujarat, which comes under

Amit Shah. The Special

Investigation Team report in

the matter is pending till date,"

he added.

what they have."

"Every civil servant must

keep these words in their

hearts and remember them

whenever faced with challenges,"

he added.

The Chief Minister also

said that success in civil

services exam is only a

passport and not a traveling

ticket, and called upon the

would-be officers to be

fiercely honest and clean in

their work.

He said, "You should not

forget that you have come

from small towns and you

should not assume that you

are part of those ruling and

should never misuse government

facilities."

State Finance Minister

P.T.R. Thiaga Rajan, Chief

Secretary V. Irai Anbu along

with other officials were

also present at the event.

'Impinges on liberty, privacy': SC

says can't force anyone for DNA test

New Delhi. The Supreme

Court on Friday said forcing a

person to undergo a DNA test,

would impinge on his personal

liberty and his right to privacy,

as it emphasised that Indian law

leans towards legitimacy and

frowns upon bastardy.

A bench of Justices R.

Subhash Reddy and Hrishikesh

Roy said: "When the plaintiff is

unwilling to subject himself to

the DNA test, forcing him to

undergo one would impinge on

his personal liberty and his

right to privacy." It added that

the court's decision, on the

aspect of DNA test, should be

rendered only after balancing

the interests of the parties -- the

quest for truth, and the social

and cultural implications

involved. The bench noted that

in circumstances where other

evidence is available to prove

or dispute the relationship, the

court should ordinarily refrain

from ordering blood tests.

"This is because such tests

impinge upon the right of privacy

of an individual and could

also have major societal repercussions.

Indian law leans

towards legitimacy and frowns

upon bastardy," it said in its

judgment. It further added that

the presumption in law of legitimacy

of a child cannot be

lightly repelled. DNA is unique

to an individual (barring twins)

and can be used to identify a

person's identity, trace familial

linkages or even reveal sensitive

health information. "The

possibility of stigmatising a

person as a bastard, the

ignominy that attaches to an

adult who, in the mature years

of his life is shown to be not the

biological son of his parents

may not only be a heavy cross

to bear but would also intrude

upon his right of privacy," the

bench observed. Against the

backdrop of these observations,

the top court set aside a high

court judgment, directing a

plaintiff in a suit to undergo

DNA test. The plaintiff had

filed a suit seeking declaration

of ownership of property,

which was left behind by Trilok

Chand Gupta and Sona Devi.

He claimed to be tje couple's

son and arrayed their daughters

as the defendants in the suit,

who disputed his claim and

denied his being son of their

parents.

The daughters filed an application

direction for the plaintiff

to undergo DNA test to

establish his biological link

with their family, which was

objected by him. He cited

documentary evidence to

establish his claim. The trial

court said he cannot be compelled

to undergo the test,

which was challenged the

high court. The high court

directed the man to undergo

DNA test, which he challenged

in the top court.

Madras HC directs TN govt to use CCTV cameras in rural local body polls

Chennai. The Madras High

Court on Thursday directed the

Tamil Nadu government to

ensure the use of CCTV cameras

in the rural local body

polls to be held in nine districts

of the state on October 6 and

October 9.

Hearing a petition filed by

the AIADMK seeking free and

fair polls, a bench of Chief

Justice Sanjib Banerjee and

Justice P.D. Audikesavalu said

that CCTVs are a must and

there must be no break in surveillance

of strong rooms and

protection of ballot boxes.

The Chief Justice said that

technology must be used to the

full to ensure free and fair

polls. "We have technology and

resources so that no person can

stand up and complain that he

has been wronged," he said.

Noting that Tamil Nadu

shows the way for free and fair

polls, he said: "This is a premier

state and we should be

proud of that. The celebration

of democracy taking place over

here should be an example for

others to emulate."

He also directed Advocate

General R. Shanmugha

Sundaram to consult his predecessor,

Vijay Narayan, and submit

before the court the measures

that could be taken for

electronic surveillance of the

elections.

Narayan, appearing for the

AIADMK in the case, told the

court that the opposition party

has received a "vague" reply

from the State Election

Commission on its petition

regarding electronic surveillance,

and that there was no

reply regarding video recording

of the election in critical

and vulnerable booths using

CCTV cameras.

He said that in certain such

booths, there won't be any

internet connection, and there

was no mention of the video

surveillance of transport of

ballot boxes from booths to

strong rooms and to counting

halls.


6 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Taliban PM orders fighters to stop entering

homes, grabbing properties, vehicles

New Delhi. The Taliban interim

Prime Minister, Mullah Hassan

Akhund, directed all ranks on

Thursday to refrain from entering

homes on the pretext of

'searches', grabbing public properties

and confiscating peoples'

belongings in the name of the

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

(IEA), the Express Tribune

reported.

The interim premier issued

the decrees for the first time after

taking charge of the office.

The two decrees came after

several complaints from various

parts of the country were

received regarding Taliban ranks

searching peoples' houses, taking

away their vehicles and also

stealing properties in the name

of the Islamic Emirate of

Afghanistan, the report said.

A decree issued by the interim

PM ordered all Taliban ranks to

stop conducting searches in

Kabul, and barred them from

violating the sanctity of the

houses.

"If a search is required in any

area of the country, a proper protocol

will have to be followed,

and local norms must be respected

by the employees. No one –

of any rank – is allowed to conduct

searches in the IEA," an

employee of the interim PM's

office stated, the report added.

The decision was taken after

scores of complaints were registered

with the complaint commission

established in the office

of the Ministry of Refugees in

Kabul.

"No one is allowed to enter

houses and offices in Kabul or its

surroundings under the pretext

of checking vehicles or equipment.

No one is allowed to take

vehicles or equipment in the

name of IEA," the order said.

The district government of

Kabul also issued an order concerning

houses in the upscale

localities that fell vacant after

the owners left following the

Taliban takeover of the country

in August. "People who have

fled Afghanistan will get back to

their houses again. The IEA has

prevented property theft by giving

their houses on rent, and special

accounts have been set up

for them in banks. The rental

money and their houses will be

handed over to them once they

return to the country," the statement

from the IEA officials said,

the report added.

Another order maintained

that all military personnel, all

staff of the interior ministry and

intelligence were to leave private

homes and shift to their respective

military bases.

In the wake of the Taliban

takeover of the country and the

ensuing uncertainty, some

employees of the ministries were

working from their respective

homes.

Communist China's debt trap:

An empire of lies and decei

China's latest investment of

an estimated $1.4 billion in Sri

Lanka's Colombo Port City project

is the largest single foreign

investment in the island nation's

history.

Dubbed as a public-private

partnership (PPP) between

the Government of Sri Lanka

(or its representative agencies)

and the CHEC Port City

Colombo (CPCC) Private

Limited, the project has been

much publicised for the

employment opportunities

and huge revenues, which it

would generate for the Sri

Lankans.

What is seldom spoken

about is the fact that of the

269 hectares of reclaimed

land, 43 per cent will be controlled

by the CPCC through

a 99-year lease agreement.

This is reminiscent of the not

too long-ago takeover of the

Hambantota port on a 99-year

lease by China Merchant Port

Holdings (CMPH). The port

is now operated 'jointly' by

the Sri Lanka Ports Authority

and CMPH, with the latter

holding 80 per cent stake in

the port and exercising near

total control over its operations.

Even more interesting,

however, is the Colombo Port

City Economic Commission

Bill passed by the Sri Lankan

parliament in May this year.

This law provides special

overarching powers of taxation

and new projects and

investments to the

'Commission', which itself

could possibly be composed

of foreign nationals.

Recently, there were reports

of Chinese personnel in military

uniforms being employed in

infrastructure work in

Hambantota. Sri Lanka is just

one example of how China uses

its economic power to ensnare

unsuspecting, and sometimes

complicit governments, in an

intricate web of debt and

dependencies.

The larger effort of China's

debt-trap diplomacy is visible in

Africa. It is reported that one-infive

infrastructure projects in

Africa are funded by China and

one-in-three are built by Chinese

companies. Often these projects

are taken up without appropriate

studies on their socio-economic

and environmental impact and

even their commercial viability.

One of the countries which is

already reeling under its consequences

is Angola, which is

repaying multibillion-dollar debt

to China with crude oil, creating

major problems for its economy.

Another glaring example of

this unviability is Kenya's 'railroad

to nowhere', as captioned in

a recent report. The Kenyan government,

realising the enormity

of the debt that was required to

be serviced on account of the

Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)

project from Mombasa to

Nairobi and further inland,

attempted to renegotiate the

terms of loan payments. The

result was a 'freeze' on fresh

instalments by China's Exim

Bank for other infrastructure

projects in Kenya. Worse, the

threat of takeover of Mombasa's

hugely profitable port is now

looming large -- a la Hambantota

-- given Nairobi's apparent

inability to service the debt.

Similar stories emerge from

Central Asia, where China has

made economic inroads to hedge

against its own political and

security vulnerabilities. As of

today, all Central Asian countries

are economically dependent on

China for both exports and

imports of goods, especially

medical equipment and pharmaceuticals

where Beijing is a

world leader; and the debt is

growing.

Although, the Central Asian

countries initially tried to balance

their trade with Beijing by

exporting gas -- Chinese imports

from Central Asia grew 1,000

per cent in the last ten years --

these measures have proven to

be insufficient.

On the contrary, Beijing has

seized several concessions from

these nations, notably the ceding

of 1,158 square km of territory

in the Pamir mountains by

Tajikistan and the increasing

presence of China's Private

Military Companies (PMCs) to

provide security to infrastructure

projects in Central Asia.

To gauge the extent of

China's increasing stranglehold

across the globe, one only needs

to look beyond Asia and Africa.

In Europe, Montenegro is struggling

to repay a multi-billiondollar

loan to China for a highway

constructed by China Road

and Bridge Corporation from

'nowhere to nowhere'. Only the

first 25-mile section of the proposed

270-mile road has been

completed and the host country

cannot afford to pay for the rest

of project.

This, incidentally, is only a

glimpse of what Chinese capital

could do in the larger context of

the Balkans, which is part of

President Xi Jinping's Belt and

Road Initiative (BRI). In the

Pacific, six countries are currently

debtors to China of which

three small countries -- Tonga,

Samoa, and Vanuatu -- are particularly

heavily indebted.

In the Caribbean and South

America, 19 governments have

subscribed to the BRI. The

Shanghai-based China Cosco

Shipping is building a new

US$3-billion port at Chancay in

Peru, while there are ambitious

proposals for a transcontinental

railway linking South America's

Atlantic and Pacific coasts from

Brazil to Chile. It is perhaps a

matter of time that China will

unleash its debt diplomacy in

this region.

All these, of course, are rooted

deeply in the culture of the

Chinese Communist Party

(CCP) to hide the truth and portray

an unrealistic picture of

hope. Millions of poor and suffering

Chinese have been fed

such lies since the Revolution.

The CCP has attempted to gloss

over its failures in preserving

human rights while depicting a

semblance of prosperity.

In the aftermath of COVID-

19, the CCP's censorship around

the Wuhan anniversary sought

to purge voices that questioned

the official narrative. Activists

were detained and outspoken

relatives of people who died

from the virus were harassed.

Foreign media persons have

been routinely prevented from

reporting facts, as evident most

recently in reporting the floods

in Zhengzhou this July.

Therefore, it is hardly surprising

that China tries to elaborately

gift wrap its ulterior

motives in seemingly benign

outreach to unsuspecting partners.

In 2018, the Center for

Global Development named

Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the

Maldives, Mongolia,

Montenegro, Pakistan, and

Tajikistan as "highly vulnerable

to debt distress" due to China's

Belt and Road Initiative. This

should serve as a warning to

these nations and to those which

run the risk of eventual bankruptcy

in this dangerous game

of geopolitics.

(N. C. Bipindra is Chairman,

Law and Society Alliance,

which recently published a

Research Report 'Mapping

Chinese Footprints and

Influence Operations in India'.

He can be reached at ncbipindra@gmail.com.

The views

expressed are personal)


www..co.uk

ASIA

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

7

AUKUS, Quad, China in Sri Lanka, and India's security concerns

Alliance gives new meaning

to political boundaries on physical

maps empowering coalitions

with political preferences

to work together. President

Biden does "not seek a new

Cold War", clearly expressing

at the UNGA and many other

leaders are with Biden, including

Indian Prime Minister

Modi, where the world divided

into two rigid blocks will only

limit progress and prosperity to

many nations. In reality, Cold

War structures will resurrect

when the rules-based order is

threatened, and robust partnerships

are required to maintain

the security balance.

President Biden established

a more structured alliance, the

AUKUS, a week before the

first-ever in-person Quad

Summit in Washington DC on

September 24. AUKUS, the

security alliance, will enhance

the capability of the US, the

UK and Australia on deterrence,

an expansion of underwater

warfare capabilities of

the nuclear-powered submarine

fleet to Australia for extended

patrols. With more military

capacity in Indo-Pacific and

substantial naval presence, the

like-minded nations in the new

security alliance will deter

China's aggressiveness in the

South China Sea and the surrounding

waters. Many likeminded

nations with democratic

values who subscribe to Free

and Open Indo-pacific (FOIP)

norms will be part of the

AUKUS security structure in

the future. While the security

alliances are usually heavily

structured, the primary informal

structure with a non-militaristic

space will be the Quad

which is more informal.

Michael J. Green from the

Center for Strategic and

International Studies (CSIS)

argues, "It's like a dimmer, not

an off-on switche It's a flexible

tool, including who joins. It's

flexible for a Korea or a New

Zealand or the UK. If they

decide they're upset with

China, they can send a frigate

to the next exercise." The flexibility

of the Quad made it easier

for nations like Singapore to

join military exercises a few

years ago with the Quad and

many other nations to follow

bilateral or trilateral naval exercises

to enhance the value of a

critical Quad goal, to maintain

a free and open Indo Pacific

(FOIP).

In the Western diplomatic

toolkit, Quad is at the forefront

due to the assertiveness of

China in the Indo-Pacific from

military expansion and stealth

economic takeover, 'strategic

trap' to shackle nations under

Chinese 'BRI' orbit. "The Quad

has come together due to

china's assertive behavioure

and economic dependence of

some countries", explains ORF

scholar Druva Jaishankar. The

Quad is a non-security arrangement

due to India's appeal to

leave security out of its core

agenda. Focused more on

securing supply-chain security,

semiconductors and vaccine

diplomacy was the primary

focus. China was not mentioned

during the summit due to

the Biden administration's idea

of Quad to project a positive

vision towards a vaccine, climate

change, critical technologies

and not a grouping to contain

China.

However, Raja C. Mohan

from ISAS Singapore

observed, "China's peaceful

rise has not been peaceful, a

concern to many nations... having

bitten once [by China] people

are finding alternatives."

China's assertiveness with military

expanse, the concern of

human rights and coercive economic

practices with stealth

takeover of strategic assets promoting

alternative governance

structures with more militaristic

regimes such as in Sri Lanka

would alter the core agenda of

the Quad. India, which preferred

a non-military configuration

for the Quad, would perhaps

be forced to bring insecurity

to the Quad agenda in the

future to defend and protect the

regional balance due to China

in its immediate neighborhood.

Quad, initiated in post-Asian

Tsunami in 2004, has been at

the forefront during the pandemic

to "play the role of a

force for global good".

Explains Prime Minister Modi,

"I'm confident that our cooperation

under Quad will ensure

prosperity and peace in the

Indo-Pacific and in the world."

Quad's informal arrangement

will allow other non-

Quad nations to join and support

the norms and values of

democracy and international

law in the future. The countries

that have been direct victims of

China's aggressiveness will

join the Quad to deter China in

the future. The informal structure

of Quad to protect and

bring democratic nations

together, to give protection to

nations that have become victims

of China's "debt trap",

such as Sri Lanka. It will also

be a balancing counterweight

to Chinese expansion. The

"strategic trap" is visible in Sri

Lanka from its long term 99

years leased out strategic infrastructure.

The Hambanthota

port and Colombo Port City

were the best examples of

strategic expanse. While

accepting and expanding the

Chinese loans, Sri Lanka

rejected substantial grants such

as the US MCC. Recently at

Carnegie Endowment, the Sri

Lankan Foreign secretary

explained the rejection of the

US MCC grant of $480m by

the government was due to

"democracy and people's

power" that scrapped the project,

defending that there was no

China hand behind. The foreign

secretary has forgotten the concocted

Presidential expert commission

report projecting a

national security threat.

Chinese sphere of influence

has now enlarged into Sri

Lanka's democratic space,

where the Sri Lankan regime

defends Chinese human rights

in Xinjiang, clear signs of

reciprocal arrangements to

receive assistance from China

to defend the grave human

rights concerns in Sri Lanka

raised by the UN High

Commissioner at the 48th

UNHRC session a few weeks

ago. The recent expression of

Foreign Secretary Jayanath

Colombage was "we wish to

remain neutral in our foreign

policy", which contravenes

with the Chinese bandwagoning

foreign policy posture

taken by the same regime.

Colombage further explained

that Chinese warship arrivals

are far less than India and

Japanese warship arrivals to Sri

Lanka, where 563 warships

have visited since 2009ehinting

a less significance of Chinese

presence and interest from the

volume of warship arrivals.

Unfortunately, the ill-logical

view does not capture the

broader strategic danger to the

Island nation and its neighbour

India. India will have two concerns

with Chinese aggression

and the strategic takeover of its

neighbouring nations. First, to

strengthen its external alliance

structure, such as from Quad to

bring in nations like Sri Lanka

towards the norms and values

of the international system

rather than allowing drift from

a Quasi-democracy to military

control autocratic regime. This

drift towards China will pose a

direct threat to India's security.

While economic practices and

standards are also part of Quad

dialogue, supply chain security

shows groups intention to work

together in the economic arena

where China's place in the

world economy would limit

how far the Quad could achieve

success in bringing standards to

economic practices. Biden

administration's focus on the

B3W (Build Back Better

World) initiative will complement

the economic infrastructure

standards and supply chain

security in the coming years.

Biden administration will

focus more on Quad and the G-

7, the two core organizing bodies

that will centre on the global

international system to

achieve tangible results. India

has a strong position and voice

in both of these platforms than

any South Asian nation. As

mentioned by PM Modi, India

is a "natural ally for the G7

countries in the fight againstauthoritarianism,

terrorism and

violent extremism, disinformation,

and economic coercion,

among other threats".

Second, to partner and support

security alliances, a more

formal structure such as

AUKUS will be of India's

interest since the mini-lateral

compliments India's vision

towards achieving a rulesbased

Indo-Pacific. ORF scholar

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

aptly capture "AUKUS is an

important development

because it signifies the capability

augmentation of one of

India's closest strategic partners,

with whom it has just

started a 2+2 ministerial dialogue.

A strong and capable

Australia is in India's interests,

that of the Quad and the broader

Indo-Pacific region".

These mini-lateral platforms

will crisscross the Indian

Ocean, where Sri Lanka, an

important maritime nation

located geo-strategically in the

Indian Ocean, will be a crucial

maritime partner to consider,

unfortunately in the present

context drifting towards

Chinese orbit. Nations like Sri

Lanka are essential due to their

open access to the Indian

ocean, where naval exercises

and maritime security will be

primary drivers for sustaining

the mini lateral military

arrangements. Sri Lanka's security

trilateral signed by the

Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime

with India and Maldives is a

mini lateral in the right direction

and will benefit Sri Lanka.

India would require a twopronged

strategy to its northern

borders and its South, the

Indian Ocean. India, the only

nation among the Quad nations

that share a physical geographical

border with China, is more

vulnerable than the other Quad

partners for confrontation, just

like in the past. India's challenges

from its western flank,

from Af-Pak, will grow with

the Chinese footprint expanding

in Afghanistan. From

India's South, the security balance

of the Indian Ocean will

be of primary interest where Sri

Lanka, Maldives and other literals

cannot be ignored.

The efforts of mini lateral

democratic alliances such as

Quad should focus more on targeted

nations like Sri Lanka by

the Chinese "debt and strategic

trap". Sri Lankan regime seeping

away from democratic

norms to a militarized rule has

drifted from the Indo-Pacific

configuration, a geographical

flashpoint in India's vicinity.

The Quad should actively

engage and seek commitment

from nations like Sri Lanka,

pulling towards the norms and

values of a rules-based order.

The country-specific strategic

push from the Quad will assist

Sri Lanka to recalibrate its foreign

policy towards a more balanced

and progressive path with

international norms and values.

(Asanga

Abeyagoonasekera is a

geopolitical analyst, strategic

advisor on security from Sri

Lanka)

Taliban rolling back rights for women in at least 32 different areas

New Delhi. The Taliban are

"rolling back" rights for women

and girls in at least 32 different

areas, according to a new list

compiled by the Human Rights

Watch (HRW).

While restricting access to

education has been the most

high profile abuse, discrimination

is taking place systematically

across women's lives,

HRW said, The Telegraph, UK,

reported.

The acting director of HRW's

women's rights division,

Heather Barr, a leading expert

on Afghanistan, said the Taliban

were violating the rights of

women and girls across a number

of categories, including education,

employment, freedom of

movement, dress, gender-based

violence, access to healthcare,

and sport.

The list in more detail runs

from the closure of almost all of

the country's women's shelters,

for those fleeing domestic violence,

to banning women from

seeing male healthcare professionals,

dramtically restricting

their access to healthcare, the

report said.

A key concern is over freedom

of movement. When the

Taliban were last in power in

Afghanistan, between 1996 and

2001, they had a policy that

women could only leave their

homes if accompanied by a

mahram, or male member of

their family.

This has not officially

become the policy nationally,

but HRW research with women

in the city of Herat last week

showed that it was being

enforced at random by Taliban

officials and fighters on the

streets.

The list continues: For example,

there are no female members

in the Taliban's cabinet,

and while the Ministry of

Women's Affairs has disappeared

from government, the

Ministry of Vice and Virtue -

now the Ministry of Guidance

and Call, and better known as

morality police - is back.

Women have also been

harassed by Taliban fighters in

Herat for not wearing gloves

and banned from playing sport;

and the system to tackle genderbased

violence, alongside the

laws to tackle it, has effectively

collapsed, Barr said.

Despite the risks, many

brave women have protested,

despite bans, beatings, and

harassment.

Working women also face an

uncertain future, with The

Taliban dismissing all of the

female employees in the Kabul

government other than those

deemed irreplaceable, such as

the women cleaning the female

toilets, the report said.


8 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

'Misinterpretation of Constitution's basic structure needs to be prevented'

New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS)

There is every reason to be

proud of the basic structure of

the Constitution of India but

the "problem" lies in the way

its "basic structure is often

misinterpreted", says a veteran

bureaucrat who had put in his

papers as the Union Home

Secretary and Secretary Justice

in 1993 as "the last straw was

the demolition of the Babri

Masjid".

He also feels that "wide

ranging reforms of the parliamentary

system is the answer

to the present untenable situation"

and that the "unworkable"

institution of state

Governors should be abolished.

"The Supreme Court has

pronounced in the

Kesavananda Bharati case in

1973 that the power to amend

the Constitution under Article

368, wide as it was, did not

include the power to abrogate

the Constitution or alter its

basic structure or framework.

There is every reason to be

proud of the basic structure of

the Constitution. The problem

is with the way the basic structure

is often misinterpreted,"

Madhav Godbole, now 85,

who had 17 months to go in his

tenure when he quit the IAS,

told IANS in an interview of

his book "India - A Federal

Union Of States; Fault Lines,

Challenges and Opportunities"

(Konark).

"I have suggested amendments

for making a success of

the unique model of the Union

of States envisaged in the

China's continuous attacks on Tibetan ethnicity

The conflict between China

and Tibet is still an ongoing

issue that hasnt been able to

come to a fair and justified conclusion.

The illegal occupation

of Tibet by China has led the

long struggle which sums up to

more than six decades of struggle

seen mainly from Tibets

side whereas there have always

been clashes between the two

countries if traced back in their

respective histories.

The difference however is

that China has stuck to their

claims of always owning Tibet

whereas it is clear from both

the country's history that Tibet

was once a free country and

that the Chinese has tried to

conquer it in the past as well

but failed to do so successfully.

Tibet's sovereignty has been

denied by the China's

Communist government and

the brutality since the takeover

has remained and doubled in

years. China's destruction of

the Tibetan religious institutions,

monasteries, nunneries,

relics, settlements, land and

environment in Tibet is

unimaginable.

The Chinese Communist

Party (CCP) has bloomed since

Tibet's occupation and the

growth in the economy and

social life due to Tibet's land

and resources are beyond

measure. The Tibetans back in

Tibet stand as witnesses of the

wrath that China has unveiled

on Tibet since the 1950s and

the oppression that still goes on

in Tibet. China has however

laid various plans and imposed

several schemes to attack Tibet

and to uproot its authenticity

from the core by focusing on

cutting of its ethnicity once and

for all. The lack of rights to

practice one's religion and language

in Tibet is apparent and

this would mean a gradual fall

of the number of Tibetans who

would actually know about

Tibet's religion and language.

This would in turn help in the

sinicisation of Tibet.

China's plans to sinicise

Tibet has been on the go for

decades. The ban on basic

rights for Tibetans in Tibet, the

endless oppression and the

strict surveillance that is

strengthened ever so often are

all ways through which

Tibetans are kept from keeping

in touch with their Tibetan ethnic

roots. China's imposition of

the usage of the Chinese language

as the sole medium of

instruction in Tibetan schools is

a direct attack on the Tibetan

language.

The new regulations that

Constitution. They include,

among others, review of the

division of powers between the

Centre and the states in the

Seventh Schedule; operationalisation

of secularism; abolition

of the institution of Governor;

curbing the scope of state

domicile for reservation of

jobs for those domiciled in the

state so as to protect the fundamental

rights of citizens under

Articles 15 and 16; division of

Supreme Court into two divisions,

namely Appellate and

Constitutional; creation of a

workable alternative to the

Inter-State Council, and establishment

of a Trade and

Commence Authority of India

under Article 307," Godbole

added.

"The Constitution has been

amended over 200 times. Most

of the amendments were in

response to the demands of

changing socio-economic situations.

As Thomas Jefferson,

one of the founding fathers of

the American Constitution, had

said, ‘We may consider each

generation as a distinct nation,

with a right, by the will of its

majority to bind themselves,

but none to bind the succeeding

generation, more than the

inhabitants of another country'."

Godbole maintained.

He is a little more forthcoming

in the book.

While a way forward has to

be found, "this is not going to

be easy" for four reasons, he

writes.

Firstly, "the scheme of the

Constitution is not really

meant for a functioning, multiparty

democracy". Secondly,

the cycle of unsynchronised

elections to Parliament and

state legislatures "keeps the

country in a continuous election

mode" due to which "the

level of debates (during the

polls) has deteriorated and

become highly acrimonious".

Thirdly, these differences

are carried forward in all fora

such as the National

Integration Council, the

National Development

Council, the Inter-State

Council and even the NITI

Ayog and fourthly, "the states

opposed to the Centre, ganging

up on issues, even on matters

which are in the Central field,

has become far too common

and has increased the divide

between the Centre and the

states".

Question: Under the US

system of governance, the

House of Representatives and

the Senate pass their separate

versions on a law that the government

intends to bring.

were adopted during the third

session of the 11th People's

Congress of the Tibetan Region

on January 11, 2020. to establish

"model areas for national

unity and progress" in the

Tibetan Autonomous Region

has never been for the Tibetans

but for China to enforce their

Chinese centric lifestyle on the

innocent people of Tibet.

China's constant strengthening

of the surveillance in Tibet is

visible through its excessive

arrests on baseless grounds and

from projects such as the construction

of border villages.

This particular regulation

would also help China in raising

more informers for the

Chinese govt. and to maintain

their grasp on the Tibetan

These are then "married" and

passed by both Houses before

being forwarded to the

President. Is there need for

such a system in India because

even though every ministry has

a Standing Committee, the

government generally rams

through the Bills it presents in

Parliament?

"Wide-ranging reforms of

the parliamentary system is the

answer to the present untenable

situation. The wheel does

not need to be reinvented,"

Godbole said during the interview.

"A series of valuable suggestions

have been made by a

number of knowledgeable persons

and expert committees.

My book ‘India's

Parliamentary Democracy on

Trial' (2011) also contains a

number of suggestions.

Unfortunately, there is a lack

of political will to address the

issues seriously and in a timebound

manner," Godbole

maintained.

What replacement does he

envisage for the state

Governors?

"The guidelines suggested

by expert committees and

commissions for appointment

of Governors have been totally

neglected. Salutary principles

underling the institution of

Governor, made clear by the

Supreme Court, have also been

totally overlooked. As a result,

the institution of Governor has

become unworkable.

"I have analysed in my book

how the responsibilities

entrusted to the Governor can

regions. China's ever growing

control in Tibet is all being

done to gain complete power

over the Tibetans but the

Tibetans' connection and loyalty

towards their own true

ethnicity is what bothers

China and what they wish to

uproot. China has also made

claims in the past of how their

hold over Tibet is for the

land's own good since the

Communist Party aims

towards liberating Tibet's land

and its people. The higher

authorities have always made

statements regarding how

Tibetans have the full right to

live on their own terms and

have expressed how they wish

for the co-existence of the

Tibetans and Chinese. The

regulations passed on January

11, 2020, have come off as a

clear proof of how the Chinese

government never meant for

Tibet's growth and peace since

systematic discrimination is

openly announced and later

imposed.

Even while China and its

government officials made

such meaningless claims to

give Tibetans the space to

maintain their culture and

lifestyle, the truth was far

from what was promised.

Tibetans have always faced

discrimination and have never

ever been given access to the

fundamental rights. It stands

against humanity for people

from any nation to not have

their basic rights or the right

to life but this has gone on for

years with the Tibetans. The

further imposition of China's

dominant ethnic culture on the

people of Tibet who are subjugated

violates International

human rights standard. The

regulations further aim

towards brainwashing Tibetan

children from the preschool

days and to stem in them the

Chinese ideological propaganda,

meaning which there will

be more invasion of privacy

and lack of rights in the

Tibetan regions.

be discharged by other existing

authorities. Even for considering

whether there is a failure of

constitutional machinery in a

state as envisaged in Article

356, the report of the Governor

is not mandatory. In fact, in the

two situations in which the use

of Article 356 could have been

fully justified, namely before

demolition of the Babri Masjid

in 1992 and after the communal

riots in Godhra in Gujarat

in 2002, the Governors failed

to make recommendations for

imposition of President's rule.

"If a situation arises for

imposition of President's rule

in a state, a suitable person can

be appointed to take charge of

the state for the limited period,"

Godbole maintained.

As for his other suggestions

for "The Way Forward", principally

that "it is time to open a

new chapter on India's federalism

by pursuing the objective

of cooperative federalism,

which has remained in paper

so far except in the solitary

case of GST", he said: "I

would like to reiterate that

these sensitive and as some

would say politically explosive

issues need to be discussed

apolitically, keeping in mind

the larger national interest.

This will call for the highest

standards of statesmanship and

a spirit of open-mindedness, as

was seen in the compromise on

the language policy adopted by

the Constituent Assembly."

In this context, Godbole

was also highly critical of the

Pension Amendment Rules

notified by the Central government

on May 31 that have put

severe restrictions on the writings

of retired officers from

several organisations dealing

with security and intelligence.

"Rather than putting a blanket

ban on writings of retired

officers dealing with security

matters, it would be advisable

to deal strictly with cases of

compromise of national security,

on a case-by-case basis," he

asserted.

Godbole has so far written

26 books on public issues in

English and Marathi, of which

15 are in English and some of

which have been translated

into Marathi. Is he now working

on another book?

"Comparisons are often

made between the performance

of China and India. In this context,

I am looking at the manner

in which decisions are

arrived at in a democracy.

‘Price of Democracy - The

Indian Experience', is what I

propose to explore," Godbole

concluded.

(Vishnu Makhijani can be

reached at vishnu.makhijani@ians.in)

The CCP's way of dealing

with the Tibetans has always

been through extreme torture

and inhumanness. This issue

has however never received

the attention that it deserves

so that Tibetans can be given

a fair stand against China's

ruthless rule. The Tibetan

struggle has gone on for

years and is still going on

strong. There have been

developments throughout the

years but the needed international

support is still missing

and hasn't reached a strong

point. It is high time for the

other nations and the international

organisations who are

witnessing such inhumanity

and to call out China's faults.

China, being the powerful

country that it has always

sought out its way easily

from negotiations and especially

from accusations.

Tibetans have struggled

for years and will still live

under such dire circumstances

if they don't receive

immediate support and help.

Countries like China who

use sheer violence for their

own benefit should be held

accountable for their crimes

and the subdued should be

freed from such grief and

anguish.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 9

Guns, Girls, Booze: From 'Dr No' to 'No Time

to Die', vodka has kept 007 in high spirits

New Delhi. Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli, co-creator of

the James Bond movie franchise, had the foresight

to see that the 007 films, like the fine tastes of the

super spy, were going to be too expensive to be

sustained by box-office collections alone.

The Italian-American therefore launched the

Bond tradition of product placements, aggressively

continued till this day by his daughter Barbara,

making brands such as Aston Martin, Omega, Dom

Perignon, Beluga caviar and, yes, Smirnoff vodka

a part of every cinema buff's vocabulary.

A vodka brand that originated in Tsarist Russia

but has been made in America over the last eight

decades, Smirnoff was a struggling spirit label in

its adopted country - it was being marketed as "a

white whiskey" - till the No. 21 made its first

movie appearance in 'Dr No' in 1962.

And it shows up in the 25th Bond film, the

Daniel Craig-starrer 'No Time to Die', strategically

placed in a bar scene between the actor and 'Blade

Runner 2049' star Ana de Armas, who plays the

"badass" CIA agent, Paloma. Bond films, in fact,

turned the idea of a martini - London dry gin plus

dry vermouth - on its head by popularising the

genre of vodka martini.

It is said that if the invention of the cocktail

Moscow Mule gave Smirnoff its first big push in

America, the association of James Bond with

vodka martinis turned it into a global brand.

Ian Fleming's Bond would have balked at the

idea, for he drank mainly the old English favourite,

Gordon's gin, drove Bentleys and smoked

Moreland cigarettes, and his firearm of choice was

a Smith & Wesson. He did occasionally quaff a

Russian or Polish grain vodka, but the only brand

to ever find a mention in a Fleming novel - in

'Moonraker', his third - was the Wolfschmidt,

which used to be distilled in Riga, Latvia, and

patronised by the Tsars, and is now owned by the

TN political parties campaign extensively

for rural local body polls

Chennai. Political parties in

Tamil Nadu are campaigning

extensively for the rural local

body polls to be held in two

phases on October 6 and October

9.

The polls are to be held in

nine districts of the state --

Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu,

Vellore, Ranipet, Tiruppatur,

Villupuram, Kallakurichi,

Tirunelveli and Tenkasi.

The DMK has a lot at stake as

it has to prove that its 2021

Assembly election win was due

to the people's support towards

the programmes and policies put

forward by the party. Chief

Minister M.K. Stalin is directly

leading the campaign, which is

being executed at the grassroots

levels by the district office-bearers

of the party.

The AIADMK is also active

in the fight and with reports

coming up of a power feud within

the party between

Panneerselvam and K.

Palanisami. The party, which is

in a political alliance with the

BJP, is facing tough times following

the minority communities

coming out against it in several

areas of the state.

Recently Congress leader

Karti Chidambaram said that

unless the AIADMK snaps ties

with the BJP, the party will face

defeats in the elections.

The PMK has already

announced that it will contest the

elections on its own indicating

that all is not well on the

AIADMK alliance front.

The DMK is also cautiously

moving in the Northern parts of

Tamil Nadu, where the PMK and

the Vanniyar community have a

sizeable presence. The DMK

government has already issued

the Government Order (G.O) for

the 10.5 per cent reservation for

the Vanniyar community within

the Most Backward Caste

(MBC) quota.

The PMK has, however,

come out with the statement that

it has not snapped its ties with

the NDA and that as the time

was short for the rural local body

elections after the announcements,

it could not reach a consensus

on seat-sharing with the

allies.

The local leaders and state

leaders of the DMK, AIADMK,

BJP, PMK, and other parties are

actively campaigning at the

grassroots level in the nine districts.

The Makkal Needhi

Maiam (MNM), led by Superstar

turned politician, Kamal Haasan

will also have to prove the

party's standing in the state politics.

The actor-politician himself

campaigned in several constituencies.

The party is also

going it alone in the polls.

The Desiya Murpokku

Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK)

leader and actor turned politician

Vijayakanth has also announced

that his party would contest

alone in the local body elections.

This has made the contest wide

open as in certain pockets these

parties have their strongholds

and matinee idols have always

been a major vote catchers in

Tamil Nadu.

R. Padmanabhan, Director,

Socio-Economic Development

Foundation, a think tank based

out of Madurai while speaking

to IANS said, "The rural local

body polls in the nine districts of

Tamil Nadu will find the interesting

and tough contest and

almost all the main political parties,

as well as splinter groups,

are actively campaigning as

there are huge developments

taking place at the panchayat

level and the parties do not want

to be left out from these.

"The recent announcement of

PMK that it would go alone in

the polls has upset the AIADMK

calculations in North Tamil

Nadu. The DMK seems to have

an edge as the party in power in

the state will definitely have a

clear edge in rural and panchayat

elections," said

Padmanabhan.

Britt Ekland dismisses

'female Bond' suggestions

Los Angeles. Actress Britt

Ekland, who played Bond girl

Mary Goodnight in the 1974

film "The Man with the Golden

Gun" starring late Sir Roger

Moore as 007, hinted that the

legendary suave spy could

"absolutely not" be a woman

"because he is single".

In an interview on 'Loose

Women', Ekland said: "Bond is a

bachelor and will always be a

bachelor. Do you know what the

female word for bachelor is?

Old maid." However, the

Swedish actress, who attended

the world premiere of Daniel

Craig's final outing as 007, "No

Time To Die", in London, said

she has now ditched the term

Bond girls and uses Bond

women to refer to the female

characters in the long-running

film series, reports

femalefirst.co.uk. Britt said: "I

have always maintained that it

has to be a Bond girl but I've

American liquor giant, Beam Inc.

In a scene that drinks enthusiasts love to recall

from the novel 'Moonraker', set in Blades, the

fictional gentleman's club patronised by the spymaster

M on Park Street, "a quite backwater off

St James's", Bond has a Wolfschmidt straight up

with slices of raw salmon.

Bond doesn't have the drink without first stirring

a little bit of pepper into it in deference to an

old Russian practice - pepper was meant to soak

up the impurities in the spirit in the days when it

wasn't filtered multiple times as it is done today

(10 times in the case of Smirnoff, as its makers

would have us know).

Interestingly, the first cocktail to ever find a

mention in an Ian Fleming James Bond novel -

his first, 'Casino Royale' - is the Americano, a

refreshing summer drink that combines a measure

each of Campari and Cinzano served with a

generous helping of ice and a slice of lemon.

In the 1953 novel, the Americano precedes the

famous Vesper, named after the Russian agent

Vesper Lynd, whose ingredients include three

measures of Gordon's gin, one of vodka (no

brand names mentioned), half a measure of Kina

Lillet (a French aperitif, which in England of the

1950s was a much favoured addition to gin),

shaken until ice cold and served in a deep champagne

goblet with a large thin slice of lemon

peel.

Sadly for Ian Fleming followers, the Vesper

was overshadowed by the ubiquitous vodka martini,

and although Finlandia ('Die Another Day',

2002) and Belvedere ('Spectre', 2015) have

stepped in as the principal vodka brands in the

rare absence of Smirnoff, the original favourite

of James Bond since the time of 'Dr No' is one

name that follows 007 wherever in the world his

'licence to kill' takes him.

changed my mind. Last night,

the Bond women were just that

and they were incredible. They

were quick, fast, great actresses.

Very physical. They never

showed their bodies and they

were just great Bond women."

The star did maintain that the

legendary spy has to be played

by a man as it wouldn't be true

to Sir Ian Fleming's creation

otherwise. Ekland said: "It's

written as a man. It's a British

male institution. We can't

change that.

"We don't need to change

that. There are plenty of roles

for women have to be physical

but Bond has to be Bond."

She also praised Craig for

"loosening up" in his last

appearance as the character.

Ekland said: "He's finally

loosened up. He was

humourous. There were quick

one-liners. He was cheeky...

very desirable."


10 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

TN to set up Water Regulator

as part of World Bank reforms

Chennai. The Tamil Nadu government

is in the process of setting

up a Water Regulatory

Authority (WRA), and contemplating

a Water Act too. Sources

in the Government informed

IANS that the process is on and

this is being formulated after the

World Bank suggested reforms.

These reforms, according to

Water Authority department

sources, are part of the Chennai

City Partnership programme

project which would be implemented

between 2021-26. The

project will be pre-funded by the

Tamil Nadu government and

reimbursed by the World Bank.

The programme will support

the enactment of a Water Act.

The proposed Act will create the

legislative basis for the regulatory

authority as also for groundwater

management.

The proposed Act, according

to the water authority sources

will be instrumental for the operationalisation

of the regulatory

authority and for an evolving

system for reservoir management,

optimization, and monitoring.

The scheme will support the

Metro water in the implementation

of bulk metering, the establishment

of a baseline on nonrevenue

water, and create measures

to reduce the non-revenue

factors from the same. It will be

instrumental in developing a

phased increase in the number of

water supply connections as also

evolve in the quality and quantity

of the service to be provided.

The project calls for the posting

of two independent directors

on the Metro water board for

greater transparency and

improved services as also for

increased collection of service

charges and improvements in tax

systems.

The Water Regulatory

Authority (WRA) will have the

necessary powers to coordinate

water resource planning and

management as also to improve

water security.

Akhara Parishad mulls

panel of retired HC judges to

probe Mahant's death

Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh).

The Akhil Bhartiya Akhara

Parishad (ABAP) general secretary,

Mahant Hari Giri, has said

that the Akhara Parishad may

appoint a separate probe panel

comprising five retired judges of

the high court to investigate the

death of Mahant Narendra Giri.

The Mahant said the issue

was directly related to the safety

and security of all senior seers.

Mahant Hari Giri, who is the

chief patron of Juna Akhara, reiterated

that there was foul play in

Mahant Narendra Giri's death.

"Whatever be the outcome of

the CBI inquiry, I am not ready

to believe that Mahant Narendra

Giri, who had been my close

associate for over 30 years, can

commit suicide," said Giri.

"How can one digest that a

man of his calibre can take such

an extreme step? Because of this,

we sense that there is more to the

story for which a deep probe is

necessary. In the past, four seers

have died under mysterious circumstances

and barring

Narendra Giri, there has been no

probe whatsoever. No one is

interested in finding out what

happened," he said. On the issue

of Balbir Giri of Niranjani

Akhara being made the successor

of Narendra Giri, Hari Giri

termed it as an internal matter of

an Akhara. "It is our practice that

one Akhara does not interfere in

the decisions of another Akhara.

Even though his (Narendra

Giri's) disciple is being made the

head of Baghambari Math, it is

the moral responsibility of

everyone in Niranjani Akhara to

find out the truth behind the

death," he said.

Breastfeeding is 'inalienable

constitutional right' of a mother: HC

Bengaluru. The

Karnataka High Court

has observed that breastfeeding

is an inalienable

right of a mother and the

Constitution under

Article 21 guarantees this

fundamental right. The

right of the infant needs

to be assimilated with

that of its mother, the

court has underlined.

The high court bench

headed by Justice

Krishna S. Dixit gave the

order on Wednesday

while hearing a case of habeas

corpus petition filed by a woman

from Bengaluru, whose baby

was stolen from the hospital.

The mother pleaded with the

court that her baby should be

handed over to her from the couple

who are looking after the

baby presently.

A psychiatrist allegedly had

stolen the newborn and given it

away to the couple from Koppal

in May 2020.

The bench has directed the

authorities to hand over the baby

from the couple to the biological

mother.

The bench observed that it is

unfortunate that newborn babies

remained without being breastfed,

"in a civilized society such

things should not occur. It is to

be recognized that breastfeeding

is the inseparable right of a

Indian Overseas Bank taken

out of RBI's PCA framework

mother", the bench said.

The counsel appearing for the

foster mother contended that the

biological mother already has

two kids whereas the foster

mother had none and she has

nursed the baby with all the love

and affection.

However, the court rejected

the demand of the counsel that

the baby should be handed over

to the custody of the foster mother.

The bench has underlined that

the court cannot recognize the

rights of strangers as opposed to

biological parents as far as an

infant is concerned.

The court also set aside the

comparison of the "Devaki Mata

(the mother of Lord Krishna)

and Yashoda Mata (Lord

Krishna's foster mother).

"Children are not chattel. The

distributive justice intends to

bridge the gap does not apply in

Mumbai. The Reserve Bank of India has taken the

Indian Overseas Bank out of prompt corrective

action framework (PCAF).

The bank was taken out of the PCAF, subject to

certain conditions and continuous monitoring.

The development comes after the Board for

Financial Supervision noted that the bank was not in

the breach of the PCA parameters, as per its published

results for the year ended March 31, 2021.

"The bank has provided a written commitment

that it would comply with the norms of minimum

regulatory capital, net NPA and leverage ratio on an

ongoing basis...," the RBI said in a statement.

"... and has apprised the RBI of the structural and

systemic improvements that it has put in place which

would help the bank in continuing to meet these

commitments."

this case," the court

underlined as it made it

clear that the right to

breastfeed one's child

can neither be taken

away from or given

away by the possessor.

Convinced of the

biological mother's

rights, the foster mother

from Koppal has

handed over the baby to

her. The biological

mother has agreed to

the visit by the foster

mother whenever she

desires.

Justice Dixit appreciating the

kind gestures from both mothers

belonging to different religions

said rarely he has come across

such incidents. The court also

observed that there will be no

action against the foster parents

in connection with the kidnapping

of the child.

The newborn child was

allegedly stolen from a maternity

home in Bengaluru. The

accused gave it to a couple from

Koppal for money claiming that

the child was born out of surrogacy.

However, the police cracked

the case and arrested the

accused psychiatrist and tracked

the child to Koppal. The court

disposed of the petitions filed by

both biological mother and foster

mother.

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 11

Shivpal gives ultimatum to Akhilesh after meeting Rajbhar, Owaisi

Lucknow. Pragatisheel

Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief

Shivpal Yadav on Thursday gave

an ultimatum till October 11 to

Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi

Party chief to decide on the

alliance between the two. This

comes after Shivpal's meeting

with Asaduddin Owaisi and Om

Prakash Rajbhar.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul

Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief

Asaduddin Owaisi, Suheldev

Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP)

president Om Prakash Rajbhar

and Bhim Army chief Chandra

Shekhar met Pragatisheel

Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief

Shivpal Yadav,late on

Wednesday night, ostensibly to

formalise an alliance for the

2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly

election. The meeting was kept a

closely guarded secret and the

leaders exited from the back

door to avoid the media. Shivpal

Yadav told IANS on Thursday

that he would wait till October

11 to get a response from

Samajwadi Party president

Akhilesh Yadav after which he

would decide his own course of

action. "There has been enough

talk and I have made all possible

efforts to strike an understanding

with the Samajwadi Party. If I do

Unemployment, Covid top most

worries for urban Indians: Survey

New Delhi. According to the

Ipsos 'What Worries the World'

global monthly survey, unemployment

(42 per cent) and coronavirus

(42 per cent) have

emerged as the biggest worries

of Urban Indians -- both tied at

the top spot.

Compared to the previous

month, coronavirus has declined

by 5 per cent in worry levels,

unemployment has increased in

worry levels by 2 per cent.

According to the survey,

urban Indians are most worried

about unemployment (42 per

cent), coronavirus (42 per cent),

financial/ political corruption

(28 per cent), crime and violence

(25 per cent), poverty and social

inequality (24 per cent) and education

(21 per cent).

Elaborating on the findings,

Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India

said, "We see uptick in worry

levels for unemployment by 2

per cent, while worry levels for

Covid-19 has seen a slight dip of

5 per cent -- but now both are

placed neck to neck -- Covid

impacted the job market considerably

due to the shutdown and

restrictions -- now with the cautious

reopening, worry levels

around jobs have not abated --

demand far outstrips supply --

and those who have lost their

jobs, many are still struggling to

gain a foothold. Covid-19 too is

far from over. It is a case of

cause and effect."

The survey showed that global

citizens worry about coronavirus

(36 per cent), unemployment

(31 per cent), poverty and

social inequality (31 per cent),

financial and political corruption

(27 per cent) and crime and violence

(26 per cent).

India is the 2nd most optimistic

market with at least 65 per

cent urban Indians believing the

country is moving in the right

direction. Saudi Arabia retains

its title as the most optimistic

market, with at least 90 per cent

citizens believing their country

is moving in the right direction.

Global citizens on the contrary

continue to remain pessimistic

with at least 65 per cent

believing their country is on the

wrong track. The gloomiest markets

that felt their country was

on the wrong track were

Columbia (89 per cent), South

Africa (85 per cent) and Peru

(81 per cent ).

Ipsos' What Worries the

World survey is conducted in

28 countries around the world.

It is based on 20,012 interviews

conducted between

August 20 and September 3,

2021 among adults aged 18-74

in the US, South Africa,

Turkey, Israel and Canada and

age 16-74 in all other countries.

Data are weighted to

match the profile of the population.

not get any response from

Akhilesh by October 11, I will

go my way and field maximum

candidates," he said. He said that

from October 12, he would

embark on his yatra from

Vrindavan in Mathura and travel

to all the 75 districts of the state.

Shivpal Yadav, according to

sources, has also conveyed his

decision to the leaders who met

him on Wednesday night.

Owaisi and Rajbhar urged

Shivpal to join the Bhagidari

Sankalp Morcha (BSM), an

alliance of nine smaller political

parties.

Besides AIMIM and SBSP,

the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha

includes Jan Adhikar Party led

by Babu Singh Kushwaha,

Rashtriya Uday Party president

Babu Rampal, Rashtriya

Upekshit Samaj Party of

Premchanda Prajapati and Janata

Kranti Party led by Anil Singh

Chauhan.

Bhim Army chief Chandra

Shekhar Azad has already given

his consent to joining the

alliance.

The Bhagidari Sankalp

Morcha leaders urged Shivpal to

finalise the alliance in order to

discuss seat-sharing for the

Assembly election.

Sri Lanka to maintain

inter-province travel ban

Colombo : Sri Lanka's Army Commander Gen. Shavendra

Silva said that the inter-province travel ban will remain in place

until further notice despite the lifting of the nationwide quarantine

curfew from Friday onwards.

Silva said no citizen would be allowed to cross the provinces in

a bid to prevent a further spread of Covid-19, reports Xinhua news

agency. Security guards will be deployed on all borders of the

provinces and no one will be allowed to go through except essential

workers and those employed in certain sectors including construction

and tourism. State Minister of Transport Dilum

Amunugama said inter-province train services and bus services

will also continue to be suspended for another two weeks till permission

is granted by health workers.

Amunugama said the Transport Ministry had been advised not

to resume the train services due to lack of seats in compartments

and most of the commuters travel by trains standing.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday instructed

authorities to lift the ongoing nationwide quarantine curfew on

Friday as the country saw a decline in the number of COVID-19

cases. Silva told Xinhua that the nationwide curfew would be lifted

on Friday under the President's directive but health guidelines

would be issued accordingly. A nationwide quarantine curfew

came into effect on August 20 as the country faced a rapid third

wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, triggered by the highly contagious

Delta variant, health officials said. The country has to date

detected 516,465 Covid-19 cases with 12,847 deaths.

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Ahead of UN climate talks, Tibetans

concerned over Tibet environment

Dharamsala. With just over a

month to go for the UN climate

talks (COP26) in Glasgow, the

Central Tibetan Administration

(CTA), the government in

exile, has expressed concern

over the deteriorating environment

in the highly fragile

Tibetan Plateau.

The latest publication of the

Environment and Development

Desk of the Tibet Policy

Institute, 'Tibetan Perspectives

on Tibet's Environment', was

released here on Wednesday by

CTA President Penpa Tsering.

He said the book was a

much-needed repository of

information and facts valuable

for the world to understand the

environmental issues of Tibet

over the last 10 years and its

relevance to global climate

change.

According to Tsering, having

such a comprehensive book

written solely by Tibetan

researchers, some of whom

have lived the experiences of

the changing ecology of Tibet,

offers an important aspect to

the issue that is necessary and

something that he noted is

rarely found in books written

by non-Tibetan researchers.

The book is an added value

and important source of reference

to the experts and

researchers on Tibet's ecology,

he said.

PoK resident apprehended after

crossing LoC in J&K's Poonch

Jammu. A Pakistan occupied

Kashmir (PoK) national was

apprehended on Friday by the

Army after he crossed the

Line of Control (LoC) in

Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch

district.

Lt. Colonel Devender

Anand, defence ministry

spokesman said, "Today, at

about 12.30 a.m. one POK

National(male) crossed LoC

and has been apprehended by

Indian Army troops along

Mendhar River in Balnoi area,

of Poonch district."

The spokesman said further

details were awaited.

Last month, one PoK

national was sent back by the

Indian Army after he inadvertently

crossed the LoC.

Tsering reiterated that the

book was equally a call out to

the Tibetans in exile to understand

the significance of preserving

Tibet's environment as

well as to act responsibly.

"It is imperative that more

Tibetan researchers, including

writers and experts, contribute

to disseminating factual information

about Tibet and its environmental

issues," he said.

He said the book also serves

as a potential mechanism for

the governments and world

leaders in framing policies and

making Tibet's environmental

issue a substantial case.

He noted the book will be a

contributing factor to those

attending the forthcoming

COP26 UN conference on climate

change.

Environment and

Development Desk Executive

Head Tempa Zamlha explained

the background context of the

book, which is a compilation of

reports, papers and articles prepared

from 2010-2020.

Tibetan spiritual leader and

Nobel laureate the Dalai Lama

has been saying his homeland

Tibet is currently vulnerable to

climate change.

He has been emphasising

that "climate change is not the

concern of just one or two

nations. It is an issue that

affects all humanity and every

living being on this earth and

that there is a real need for a

greater sense of global responsibility

based on a sense of the

oneness of humanity".

According to the

Intergovernmental Panel on

Climate Change's (IPCC) latest

report, mountain and polar glaciers

are committed to continue

melting for decades or centuries.

Glacier mass loss is a dominant

contributor to global mean

sea-level rise. It may also cause

low-likelihood, high-impact

outcomes, characterised by

deep uncertainty and sometimes

involving tipping points.

In the context of the Hindu

Kush Himalaya, the report says

the mountain glaciers like in

the Himalayas are included in

the assessment, and human

influence is responsible for the

retreat of glaciers since the 20th

century, and that is not only in

the two poles but also mountain

glaciers.

"Glaciers are also one of the

slow responding parts of the

climate system, so what we see

now is not the retreat to expect

from the warming we currently

have. So, even if we stop emitting

right now or admit to stopping

global warming at 1.5

degrees Celsius, we will see a

further retreat of glaciers. That

is, of course, an important climatic

impact driver because it

has huge implications for freshwater

availability in the

region," it says.

Border incidents with China to continue till

boundary dispute is resolved: Army Chief

New Delhi. Indian Army Chief

General Manoj Mukund

Naravane said on Thursday that

developments along the Line of

Actual Control (LAC) in

Eastern Ladakh add to the ongoing

legacy challenges on India's

"active and disputed borders"

on the Western and Eastern

Front.

Speaking at the 116th annual

session of PHD Chamber of

Commerce and Industry (PHD-

CCI), General Naravane said as

far as Northern neighbour is

concerned India has an outstanding

border issue.

Responding to continued

Chinese aggression at the border,

he said: "We are well prepared

to meet any misadventure

that may occur as we have

demonstrated in the past. Such

kinds of incidents will continue

to occur till such time a long

term solution is reached, that is

to have a boundary agreement...

That should be the thrust of our

efforts so that we have lasting

peace along our northern borders."

He also said that the unprecedented

developments at the

Northern Borders necessitated

large scale resource mobilisation,

orchestration of forces and

immediate response, and all this

in a Covid infested environment.

Concurrently, there was also

a need to reinforce the efforts of

the government in mitigating

the ongoing health crisis.

He said that the Armed

Forces contributed during this

highly challenging and sensitive

period towards the making of a

resilient India.

"You would appreciate that

each of the three Services -- the

Army, Navy and the Air Force -

- has its own set of challenges.

Because of our peculiar environment

of contested borders

and an ongoing proxy war in the

hinterland, the Indian Army is

in active operations throughout

the year, safeguarding the territorial

integrity and sovereignty

of our Nation," General

Naravane said.

Maintaining high levels of

readiness and operational preparedness

to meet contingencies,

is therefore part of the

Army's culture, he stated.

However, a challenge like

the Covid pandemic was unique

and unprecedented. "We had to

protect ourselves, only then

could we discharge our duties

and help others," he said.

Strict Force Preservation

measures were undertaken in

the initial days of the pandemic,

even as there was no dilution to

the ongoing operational commitments.

As the magnitude and

scale of the pandemic unfolded

over time, we realised that these

early actions to stay ahead of

the curve, had a strong bearing

on the future course of our operations.

The combined capabilities

of the three Services were

pressed into service to augment

the national effort. The Indian

Air Force undertook massive air

evacuation of our citizens

stranded in various countries

while at the same time ferrying

tons of medical supplies.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

13

B'desh: Four killed as boat capsizes in Padma river

Dhaka. At least four persons

were killed and 11 others went

missing when a boat carrying

around 50 passengers capsized

in the middle of Padma river in

Bangladesh.

The incident took place in

Shibganj Upazila of

Chapainawabganj of Bangladesh

on Wednesday noon. At least 20

people were rescued alive. The

rest were not rescued until the

evening. The rescue operation

was stopped around 6.30 p.m.

due to darkness.

An official said the rescue

operation will resume on

Thursday morning.

The boat was on the way to

Dasarshia Ghat from Pakar

Boglauri. Citing the survivors,

one Saber Ali Pramanik said, as

it was the market day in

Dasarshia, the boat carried potatoes,

eggplant sacks, and

coconuts. Also, several bicycles,

as well as passengers, were on

the boat. The passengers objected

but their protests were

ignored by the boatmen.

It is being suspected that boat

sunk due to overloading.

The four deceased have been

identified as Nilufa Begum, 50,

wife of Khairul Islam of

Bisharshia village, Maisha

Khatun, 5, daughter of Babu Ali

of Narayanpur in Sadar Upazila,

Asmaul, 5, and Ayesha, 3, children

of Fitu of Sadar Upazila.

Nilufa Begum's brother-inlaw

and Union Parishad member

Durul Huda said Nilufa's

husband Khairul Islam, grandson

Md. Asmaul (9) had two

more relatives in the boat, who

are missing. Citing the boatman,

Durul Huda also mentioned,

there was wind and

strong current in the river due

to a cyclonic signal.

Farid Hossain, OC of

Shibganj Police Station said all

the passengers drowned when

the boat carrying huge of goods

and overloaded passengers.

The locals rescued the bodies

of two of them from the river.

He mentioned BGB and fire

service divers are conducting

rescue operations.

The boatmen were yet to

identified, Dewan Azad

Hossain of the Fire Service

control room told IANS on

Wednesday night.

UK ends furlough scheme

as economy recovers

Ho Chi Minh City to resume

most activities from Friday

Ho Chi Minh City : Most of the normal activities and services

in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City will resume from Friday after

over four months of stringent social distancing measures imposed

in the country's biggest city and current Covid-19 hotspot.

According to a directive, facilities in the city allowed to resume

normal activities include industrial parks, construction sites,

wholesale markets, traditional markets and foreign representative

offices, among others, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, restaurants and eateries can still only provide takeaway

and delivery services, while hair salons, sightseeing tours,

arts and sports events, weddings and funerals, are allowed to run

in a limited size. Businesses considered as posing high Covid-19

infection risks will continue to be suspended, including bars, spas,

karaoke and massage parlours, cinemas, discos and others.

Till date, Ho Chi Minh City has recorded over 380,000 locally

acquired Covid-19 cases since late April when the latest and worst

wave of the pandemic hit the Southeast Asian country, according

to the municipal centre for disease control.

To curb the current wave of Covid-19, the city has adopted

social distancing measures at different levels since late May, with

the top level of restrictions put in place since July 7.

London : The UK has ended

its furlough scheme after

spending nearly 70 billion

pounds ($94 billion) to protect

workers from the worst of the

Covid-19 pandemic.

Over 18 months after its

launch and with over 68 billion

pounds spent, the scheme has

protected over 11.6 million jobs

during the toughest times of the

pandemic, the Treasury said in

a statement on Thursday.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak,

said: "With the recovery well

underway, and more than 1 million

job vacancies, now is the

right time for the scheme to

draw to a close," Xinhua news

agency reported. With the

majority of Covid-19 restrictions

removed and the economy

open again, the British government

is focused on investing

in jobs and skills -- with the

Plan for Jobs continuing to fuel

the economy's bounce-back by

supporting employers across

the country to create new jobs,

and workers to boost their

skills, according to the

Treasury. The scheme has been

seen as instrumental in protecting

British workers from the

worst of the crisis.

The Resolution Foundation,

a think tank, said this week that

it has "prevented catastrophic

rises in unemployment", and

there are now almost 2 million

fewer people forecast to be out

of work than was feared at the

height of the pandemic.

However, uncertainty remains

ahead for people who have not

yet fully returned to work, with

many forecasters, including the

Saif Ali Khan reveals son Ibrahim is working in Bollywood with KJo

Mumbai : Actor Saif Ali

Khan has revealed that his son

Ibrahim is assisting filmmaker

Karan Johar in a film to learn the

nuances of filmmaking.

Saif spoke with host Siddharth

Kannan in an interview for the

latter's YouTube channel.

While Ibrahim is ready to

enter Bollywood, Saif revealed

that he is first understanding the

filmmaking process by being

behind the camera.

Talking about the different

stages, his children Sara,

Ibrahim, Taimur and Jeh are at,

Saif said: "They are all different.

Ibrahim is assisting on a Karan

Johar movie and sharing that, and

talking about what his dreams

and ideas are."

Further he said: "Sara is older

and we have a very different

equation and of course, Taimur is

looking to you for guidance and

all that, Jeh is just smiling and

drooling (laughs), much more my

mental age than any of them. He's

the newborn of course. They are

different, luckily and interestingly,

as Sara said, every decade of

my life has had a kid. From the

20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, so that's

what it is. I'm different too."

While it is unclear which film

of Karan is Ibrahim assisting on,

it is said to be the filmmaker's

next 'Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem

Kahaani' starring Ranveer Singh

and Alia Bhatt.

Bank of England, expecting a

small rise in unemployment as

the scheme ended. Nearly 1

million workers were expected

to be on the scheme at the end

of September, according to

research by the Resolution

Foundation.


14 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

WOMEN can have a HEART

problem & not even realise it

New Delhi : Many people believe

that heart disease typically affects men.

Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

Coronary heart disease is the leading

cause of mortality not only among men,

but also among women. But women are

actually at greater risk if not detected

early, and this exacerbates the issue.

Signs of poor heart health do not

appear as visibly in women as it does in

men. What this means is that if a man

has a heart issue, there are specific

symptoms like angina which can be

spotted easily and the right course of

action be recommended. The same

issue in a woman may not result in a

sign or symptom that can be easily

spotted. So often, their symptoms go

ignored or unrecognised and they do

not receive timely intervention to correct

the problem. The issue is so acute

that today 1 in 3 deaths among women

is due to coronary heart disease.

There is also a significant lack of

self-awareness among women about

risk factors and the prevention of

CVDs. Women don't only attend to

matters of the home, but they hold positions

at leading companies, and continue

to rise to the occasion and meet

impossible demands on their time.

Through all of this, they take care of the

emotional needs of their family members

and loved ones; and still culturally

are predisposed to putting the needs of

others before their own. The stress they

experience, among other common risk

factors, often goes unnoticed by those

around them. And stress has a greater

influence on CVD risk in women vs

men. Along with stress, other factors

like diet quantity and quality also have

a greater influence on CVD risk in

women vs men. Additionally, women

are also impacted by female-specific

risk factors for CVD like polycystic

Ovarian syndrome PCOS, preeclampsia,

pregnancy induced hypertension

and gestational diabetes.

In such a situation where symptoms

of a heart problem do not manifest visibly,

it is extremely important for

women to be aware of their own risk

factors and adopt proactive measures to

take care of their heart health. For

example, one risk factor, stress has been

linked to a greater intake of energy and

nutrient-dense foods, mainly sources of

sugar and fat, and to poor diet quality.

Women can take simple steps like

reducing unhealthy fats and products

with high content of sugar and salt to

improve the quality of their diet.

Choose ingredients that are good for the

heart, like oatmeal, wholegrains, fiber

rich vegetables, blended oils with the

right balance of fatty acids, legumes,

soy products, and the like. Regular and

consistent exercise, adequate sleep, and

other such lifestyle modifications can

help maintain heart health in the long

term. Furthermore with signs of poor

heart health not manifesting visibly in

women, it is crucial that they get regular

health check-ups done to assess their

risk proactively. Self-awareness and

early identification of cardiovascular

risk factors can lead to better prevention

of CVD in women.

This World Heart Day, let's choose

self-care. Get a simple heart check-up

done and encourage other women in

yourselves too, to get the same done.

Take proactive steps for heart health

today.

Designate East Antarctica and Weddell

Sea as Marine Protected Areas: India

New Delhi : At a high-level ministerial

meeting, India has extended support

for protecting the Antarctic environment

and for co-sponsoring the proposal

of the European Union for designating

East Antarctica and the Weddell

Sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Union Minister of State

(Independent Charge) Science &

Technology and also Minister of State

for Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh

affirmed it while addressing the

Ministers of different countries of the

European Union during a meeting held

virtually.

Singh said, "India supports sustainability

in protecting the Antarctic environment."

The two proposed MPAs are essential

to regulate illegal, unreported and

unregulated fishing. He urged the member

countries of the Commission for the

Conservation of Antarctic Marine

Living Resources (CCAMLR) to

ensure that India remains associated

with the formulation, adaptation and

implementation mechanisms of these

MPAs in future.

Singh said the proposal to designate

East Antarctica and the Weddell Sea as

MPAs was first put forth to the

CCAMLR in 2020 but could not reach a

consensus at that time. He said since

then substantial progress has been made

with Australia, Norway, Uruguay and

the United Kingdom agreeing to cosponsor

the proposal. The Minister

added that by the end of October 2021,

India would join these countries in cosponsoring

the MPA proposals.

He informed the EU delegates that

India had embarked on an Antarctic

expedition in 1981, through the

Southern Indian Ocean sector and since

then, there has been no turning back.

Till date, India had completed

40 expeditions with

plans for the 41st expedition

in 2021-22.

"This is the first time

India is considering cosponsoring

an MPA proposal

at the CCAMLR and

getting aligned with countries

such as Argentina,

Brazil, Chile, Korea, New

Zealand, South Africa and

the USA, which are also

proactively considering

supporting the MPA proposals,"

a release from the

Ministry of Earth Sciences

said on Thursday.

The Minister said

India's decision to consider

extending support and cosponsoring

the MPA proposals

is driven by conservation

and sustainable utilization

principles and

adhering to the global

cooperation frameworks

(such as Sustainable

Development Goals, UN

Decade of Oceans,

Convention on Biodiversity, etc.) to

which India is a signatory.

The ministerial meeting was hosted

virtually by Commissioner for

Environment, Oceans and Fisheries,

EU, Virginijus Sinkevieius. It was

attended by Ministers, Ambassadors

and Country Commissioners from 18

countries. The meeting aimed to

increase the number of co-sponsors of

the MPA proposals and reflect on a joint

strategy and future actions for their

swift adoption by CCAMLR.

The CCAMLR is an international

treaty to manage Antarctic fisheries to

preserve species diversity and stability

of the entire Antarctic marine ecosystem.

It came into force in April 1982.

India has been a permanent member of

the CCAMLR since 1986. Work pertaining

to the CCAMLR is coordinated

in India by the Ministry of Earth

Sciences through its attached office, the

Centre for Marine Living Resources and

Ecology (CMLRE) in Kochi, Kerala.

An MPA is a marine protected area

that provides protection for all or part of

its natural resources. Certain activities

within a MPA are limited or prohibited

to meet specific conservation, habitat

protection, ecosystem monitoring, or

fisheries management objectives. Since

2009, CCAMLR members have developed

proposals for MPAs for various

regions of the Southern Ocean.

CCAMLR's scientific committee examines

these proposals. After CCAMLR

members agree upon them, elaborate

conservation measures are set out, the

release added.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

15

STUBBLE BURNING: Farmers

can generate Hydrogen for EVs

New Delhi : With the countdown to the monsoon

withdrawal officially started, apprehension

of bad air quality days has started. And, amongst

the many sources that cause pollution is 'parali'

(stubble burning) by farmers in Punjab and

Haryana.

Now, the farmers can look forward to not just

earning from this agri-waste but also help in the

generation of hydrogen.

Researchers from Pune have developed a

unique technology for direct generation of

Hydrogen from agricultural residue. This innovation

can promote eco-friendly hydrogen fuelcell

electric vehicles by overcoming the challenge

of hydrogen availability.

Of the several steps that India has promised

the world community as part of its Nationally

Determined Contributions (NDCs), the action to

be taken to limit carbon emissions to restrict

global temperature rise, India has set a target of

450 GW of renewable energy by 2030.

Researchers all over are working towards

renewable energy solutions which should be sustainable

with a limited carbon footprint. One of

the most economical ways to achieve this is to

produce hydrogen from a cheap, abundant, and

renewable source.

Agricultural waste, which faces a great challenge

for disposal, could be one of the sources of

AIIMS stops collecting

samples for TB tests as

key chemical runs out

New Delhi : India's premier health institute, the All India

Institute of Medical Sciences, here has stopped collecting samples

for TB tests at its DOT Centre in absence of chemical reagents.

The cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test (CBNAAT),

which diagnoses TB and rifampicin resistance within 2 hours, is

not available at the DOT centre for the last one and half months

now. An official communication said that the First Line LPA,

MGIT culture and DST services at the Intermediate Reference

Laboratory (IRL) have been temporarily suspended with immediate

effect, and will resume as the chemical regents becme available.

A lab staffer, on the condition of anonymity, said that several

tests for tuberculosis has been shut at the centre from last one

month and an average of 70 to 80 patients on daily basis return

empty-handed. The CBNATT test has been closed for one month

now and other tests for TB like LPA culture test and DST also have

also been closed in absence of chemical reagent cartridge, he

added. The chemical cartridge is being supplied under the national

tuberculosis programme to all DOTS centres.

Apart from AIIMS, the IRL lab, under the Department of

Medicine, gets the sample from four other centres - Nehru Nagar,

Deen Dayal, Moti Nagar and NDMC Chest polyclinic - for testing.

The DOTS centre has now stopped collecting samples from

patients as the lab technicians are unable to test in absence of

chemical reagents. One lab staffer said that apart from the chemicals'

unavailability, there is also shortage of staff with the IRL having

two microbiologists and one technician only.

Meanwhile, TB continues to be India's severest health crisis.

hydrogen production, and this could solve the

dual problem of energy generation and waste disposal.

A team of researchers from Agharkar

Research Institute (ARI), Pune, an autonomous

institute of the Department of Science and

Technology (DST), government of India, in collaboration

with Sentient Labs of KPIT

Kolkata : West Bengal

Chief Minister Mamata

Banerjee on Friday hit out at

the Damodar Valley

Corporation (DVC) for

releasing water without

informing the state government,

leading to flood-like

situation in the state.

The state government later

informed that more than 22

lakh people have been affected

because of the flood situation

in seven districts of the

state.

"They have released more

than 1.5 lakh cusecs of water

without even informing the

state government. At the dead

of the night, when all people

are asleep, DVC has released

the water. This is sin. This is a crime. I

have told them many times to inform us

before releasing water so that we can

evacuate the people," a visibly angry

Chief Minister said.

Terming the flood as 'man-made',

Banerjee said, "There are several dams in

Maithon-Panchet that are lying dysfunctional

because of lack of dredging. The

state government has written to the

Jharkhand government several times to do

the dredging but they are reluctant to do

so. We are suffering because of them.

Whenever there is heavy rain in

Jharkhand, our state is the worst-affected".

Later in the day, the Chief Minister held

a high-level meeting with the district

administrations and took stock of the situation.

"More than 22 lakh people across seven

districts have been affected because of the

flood. The water of various rivers, including

Ajay, is flowing over the danger line.

More than one lakh houses have been

damaged and agricultural land has been

flooded," a senior official at the state secretariat

said. "More than four lakh people

have been evacuated. The state has started

1,500 relief centres where more than two

lakh people have been given shelter," he

added.

The Chief Minister will go for an aerial

survey to inspect the flood situation personally.

Earlier on Friday morning, the state

government said that incessant rains coupled

with the sudden release of water by

DVC have led to a flood-like situation in

six districts of the state.

The situation was such that the army

and NDRF had to be called to assist the

state government in the rescue operation

in these areas. The situation is worst in

Technologies, have developed the technology at

lab-scale to extract hydrogen from agricultural

residues. "Our technology is 25 per cent more

efficient as compared to conventional anaerobic

digestion processes used today. The two-stage

process eliminates the pre-treatment of biomass,

thus making the process economical and environment

friendly. This process generates a digestate

that is rich in nutrients, which can be used as

an organic fertilizer," said Director of the ARI,

Dr Prashant Dhakephalkar.

The developers of the technology explained

that the hydrogen fuel generation process comprises

the use of a specially developed microbial

consortium that facilitates biodegradation of cellulose-

and hemicellulose-rich agricultural

residues, such as biomass of paddy, wheat, or

maize, without thermo-chemical or enzymatic

pre-treatment. "The process generates Hydrogen

in the first stage and Methane in the second. The

methane generated in the process can also be

used to generate additional hydrogen," the developers

added.

"This breakthrough of generating hydrogen

from unutilised agricultural residue will help us

to become self-reliant on energy resources. It

will also add a major stream of revenue to the

farmer community," chairman, Sentient Labs,

Ravi Pandit said. Scientists, Dr S.S. Dagar and

Pranav Kshirsagar from Maharashtra

Association for Cultivation of Science (MACS-

ARI) and Kaustubh Pathak from KPIT-Sentient,

contributed significantly towards the development

of the process, a release from the Ministry

of Science & Technology said on Thursday,

adding, an Indian Patent application has been

filed to protect the IPR.

Mamata criticises DVC for releasing

water without informing state

districts like West and East Burdwan,

Bankura, Birbhum, Hooghly and Howrah.

According to highly-placed sources in

the state government, eight companies of

army have been deployed so far with three

companies each for West Burdwan and

Howrah and two companies for Hooghly's

Khanakul and Arambagh areas.

Several areas of Asansol, particularly

Railpar and Kalipahari, were underwater

for which the army had to be deployed in

these areas. In Asansol Municipal

Corporation, 37 wards out of 106 were

inundated. So far, 5,850 people have been

evacuated and 36 relief camps have been

opened in Asansol.

The army came with three boats from

Panagarh while four teams of SDRF have

already started the rescue operation.

Valuables and cars and two-wheelers were

also submerged as people were not prepared

for such a situation.

Many people in Asansol took shelter on

the roofs of their houses. Those living

close to the Ajay river vacated the ground

floors of their houses. The NH2 near

Kalipahari in West Burdwan was also

underwater, while the DRM office in

Asansol was waterlogged.

"The areas under Asansol Municipal

Corporation have been severely

marooned. The villagers of Talbahari in

Kanksa block near Ajay river were evacuated.

Thirty families were shifted," Abhijit

Shevale, ADM (G) of West Burdwan, said.

Many areas in Bankura were also inundated

as the Durgapur barrage water

reached Barjora. In Hooghly, water of the

Dwarakeswar river entered several areas

in Arambagh. Even Khanakul was inundated

and the water also affected traffic

along the Kalipur-Garbeta Road.


16 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Aus to reopen int'l border in Nov

Canberra : Australia's international

border will reopen in

November after being closed for

18 months amid the coronavirus

pandemic, Prime Minister Scott

Morrison announced on Friday.

According to Morrison, international

travel to and from

Australia will resume as states

and territories approach 80 perc

ent of the adult population fully

vaccinated against Covid-19,

reports Xinhua news agency.

Under the reopening plan,

fully vaccinated Australian citizens

and permanent residents

will be able to quarantine at

home for seven days on arrival

in the country rather than for 14

days at hotels.

It is reliant on states and territories

reaching the 80 percent

vaccination milestone for their

over-16s and agreeing to implement

home quarantine, trials of

which are currently underway in

South Australia (SA) and New

South Wales (NSW).

"It's time to give Australians

their lives back," Morrison told

reporters.

"We must work together to

ensure that Australians can

reclaim the lives that they once

Taliban's ability to use Pak

as a sanctuary in 20 yrs

major issue: US generals

New Delhi : General Mark Milley, Chairman of

the US Joint Chiefs of

Staff, described the

Talibans alleged ability

to escape to

Pakistan during the 20

years of American

presence in

Afghanistan as a

major strategic issue,

Dawn news reported.

"Not effectively

dealing with Pakistan

as a sanctuary, major

strategic issue that we

are going to have to really unpack," he told the US

Senate committee.

Gen Milley made a similar demand in a Senate

hearing on Tuesday, saying: "We need to fully examine

the role of Pakistan sanctuary."

The US military chief has informed American

lawmakers that the loss in Afghanistan was a cumulative

effect of 20 years of wrong decisions and bad

planning and was not caused by any single factor,

such as the Taliban's alleged sanctuary in Pakistan,

the Dawn news report said.

In their latest testimony before the House Armed

Services Committee on Wednesday, top US generals

also blamed the administration of former President

Donald Trump's agreement with the Taliban for

accelerating the fall of Kabul on August 15.

He also cited some major decisions, by successive

US administrations, that he believed contributed

to the loss. Those include letting Osama bin

Laden escape from Tora Bora.

"We knew where he was. He was a thousand

metres away, could have ended perhaps right there,"

he said. Another mistake, according to him, was

shifting focus from Afghanistan to Iraq in the early

stage of the war. "Pulling all the troops out of

Afghanistan with the exception of a few others,

major strategic decision. Pulling off intelligence

advisers (and by doing so) we blinded ourselves to

our ability to see" how the war was going, he added.

had in this country."

The changes mean that fully

vaccinated Australians will be

able to freely leave and enter the

country for the first time since

March 2020.

It marks an end to international

arrival caps that have left tens

of thousands of Australians

stranded overseas unable to

secure flights home.

The Therapeutic Goods

Administration (TGA) has

advised that China's Sinovac and

India's Covishield will be considered

"recognised vaccines",

paving the way for the return of

Ottawa : Canada marked its

first National Day for Truth and

Reconciliation to honoUr lost children

and survivors of the notorious

indigenous residential school system

in the country. The day was

made a federal statutory holiday

by the government earlier in June,

as the truth and Reconciliation

Commission (TRC) recommended

in its 94 calls to action in 2015. It

will be observed annually on

September 30, reports Xinhua

news agency.

An estimated 150,000 indigenous

children attended residential

schools, which were designed to

strip them of their culture and language,

between the 1860s and

1996.

The TRC documented stories

from survivors and families and

issued a report in 2015. The report

detailed mistreatment at the

schools, including emotional,

physical and sexual abuse of children,

and at least 4,100 deaths.

Hundreds of people gathered at a

ceremony held on Parliament Hill

in Ottawa to mark the day on

Thursday.

Wakerakatste Louise

McDonald Herne, a condoled Bear

Clan Mother for the Mohawk

Nation Council, called on

Canadians to "know the history of

this country and the corruption it

was built upon," saying "You need

to correct the wrongs and you have

to own your own truth". Algonquin

Elder Claudette Commanda said

the discovery of unmarked graves

international students to the

country.

Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca

and Janssen vaccines have previously

been approved by the

TGA.

Morrison said the federal

government would provide support

to states that follow SA and

NSW in implementing home

quarantine.

"To maximise the number of

Australians who can return, our

government is also offering

facilitated flights into any state

or territory that agrees to commence

seven day home quarantine

trials for returning

Australians," he said.

In a media release on Friday,

Australian Airports Association

(AAA) Chief Executive James

Goodwin said airports would be

ready to welcome back increasing

numbers of Australians from

overseas when quarantine

arrangements begin to ease and

passenger caps are lifted from

November. "This is just the first

step to reopen Australia with

work needed now on the next

phase of the framework where

we can welcome back international

tourists and other important

cohorts such as business

people, students and skilled

workers," he said.

near former residential school sites

has awakened the country to its

history. "Two-hundred and fifteen

little voices woke the country, 215

voices spoke to the world,"

Commanda said in reference to the

remains of 215 children that were

first discovered near a former residential

school site in Kamloops,

Canada in May.

Hundreds more graves have

been found since near other former

school sites, prompting calls for

justice that have resonated beyond

Canada's border.

She called on Canadians to

open their hearts and listen to the

truth to move forward with reconciliation.

Prime Minister Justin

Trudeau released a statement on

Thursday, pointing to the hundreds

of unmarked graves near former

school sites that have been discovered

in May and June this year.

"The tragic locating of

unmarked graves at former residential

school sites across the

country has reminded us of not

Russia, US hold 2nd round

of strategic stability talks

Geneva : Russia and the US on Thursday held the second

round of their bilateral strategic stability dialogue in Geneva,

some two months after their first such meeting in the Swiss city

on July 28. The dialogue, led by Russian Deputy Foreign

Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Deputy Secretary of State

Wendy Sherman, was held here behind closed doors, Xinhua

news agency reported. In a joint statement issued after the meeting,

the two sides said that the discussion was "intensive and

substantive." "The two delegations agreed to form two interagency

expert working groups -- the Working Group on

Principles and Objectives for Future Arms Control, and the

Working Group on Capabilities and Actions with Strategic

Effects," the statement said. It also informed that the delegations

have agreed that the two working groups would commence their

meetings, to be followed by a third plenary meeting.

In a joint statement issued following their Geneva summit on

June 16, US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart

Vladimir Putin reaffirmed their commitment to arms control and

risk reduction. The two leaders also agreed that diplomats and

military experts from both countries would meet for what was

called a "Strategic Stability Dialogue" to lay the groundwork for

future arms control and risk reduction measures.

Canada marks first National Day

for Truth and Reconciliation

only the impacts of colonialism

and the harsh realities of our collective

past but also the work that

is paramount to advancing reconciliation

in Canada," Trudeau said

in the statement. "Today, we also

recognize the harms, injustices,

and intergenerational trauma that

Indigenous peoples have faced -

and continue to face - because of

the residential school system, systemic

racism, and the discrimination

that persists in our society.

"We must all learn about the

history and legacy of residential

schools. It's only by facing these

hard truths, and righting these

wrongs, that we can move forward

together toward a more positive,

fair, and better future," Trudeau

said in the statement. Mary Simon,

Canada's first indigenous governor

general, said that the holiday is a

poignant one for her.

Simon said Canada's legacy of

colonization is "hard to accept,"

but necessary to address as the

country works towards reconciliation.

"Reconciliation is a way of life,

continuous, with no end date,"

Simon said. "As we strive to

acknowledge the horrors of the

past, the suffering inflicted on

Indigenous peoples, let us all stand

side-by-side with grace and humility,

and work together to build a

better future for all."

The UK's Queen Elizabeth II

issued a statement to mark the holiday,

saying that Canada's history

in regards to its treatment of

indigenous people is "painful".

"I join with all Canadians on

this first National Day for Truth

and Reconciliation to reflect on the

painful history that Indigenous

peoples endured in residential

schools in Canada, and on the

work that remains to heal and to

continue to build an inclusive society."

In a joint statement from

Indigenous Services Canada, several

Canadian ministers called residential

schools a "shameful part

of damaging racist and colonial

policies" and acknowledged that

the government has "more work to

do" in addressing the calls to

action outlined by the TRC.

Despite the marking of

September 30 as a national holiday,

several provinces, including

Alberta, Saskatchewan, New

Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario,

have chosen not to recognise it,

meaning that schools and provincial

offices in these provinces will

remain open, according to CTV on

Thursday.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Sunita Savarkar is a PhD candidate

in the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

Marathwada University in Aurangabad.

Besides being a researcher, her life is

dedicated to the mission of annihilation

of caste of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.

She is researching into the broader

development of the Ambedkarite movement

among various communities

including Adivasis and non- Mahar

castes. She was motivated to write this

book because of three reasons:

1. The communist while working with

the Adivasis claim that Babasaheb

Ambedkar and his movement did

nothing for the Adivasis. So when

she was doing her fieldwork, she

gathered all the evidences and linkages

between Ambedkarite movement

and the struggle of Adivasis.

2. She also observed that some of the

scholars dismissed Babasaheb

Ambedkar's movement as the movement

of one caste. But she found that

the Ambedkarite movement involved

people from all over the castes in different

proportions and she wanted to

reclaim the legacy of the

Ambedkarite movement that not

only Babasaheb Ambedkar, but also

second line leadership was also

involved in the movement and

mobilisation of the Adivasis. She

wanted to break this stereotype of

Ambedkarite movement as limited

one caste.

3. She was trying to find the standard to

judge how deeper the movement has

gone into the Grassroots. She was

inspired to know that the Adivasi

community was scattered in the hills

and forests and they were away from

the settlements. She found that the

Ambedkarite movement had entered

into the communities that are away

from the settlements. She also found

that the Adivasi women also composed

the songs of the movement and

on Babasaheb Ambedkar. It is not

easy to compose the songs of the

movement if one is not involved in

the movement on a deeper level. This

creative cultural manifestation

demonstrates that the Adivasi

women were deep into the

Ambedkarite movement and considered

themselves as the part and parcel

of Ambedkarite movement.

Her book published in Marathi on the

spread of Ambedkarite movement in

Khandesh and that to among the Bhill

and Adivasis is therfore an important

NEWS

contribution in the anti-caste movement.

Books like this not only enriche

knowledge about the movement, but

also helps to broaden the base of the

movement for the liberation of Dalits

and Adivasis through much needed solidarity.

Sunita argues that from the beginning

of the movement, Dr. Babasaheb

Ambedkar was focussed on the

depressed castes without focussing on

one caste. This approach is evident from

his advocacy for both the Dalits and

Adivasis when he was the member of

Start Committee which was set up to

look after the interest of Dalits and

Adivasis. The Start Committee led to

important initiatives for the backward

classes.

Advocacy for Dalit and Adivasi

Rights through Ambedkarite newspapers

like Bahishkrit Bharat and Janata:

Sunita documented how the newspapers

like Bahishkrit Bharat and Janata

became the mouthpiece for raising and

amplifying voices of the Adivasis and

advocating rights of the Adivasis. This

was in 1920s and 1930s indicating how

the Ambedkarite movement was taking

up the issues of all castes affected by the

heinous caste system from the start.

Participation of Ambedkarite

Activists (second line leadership) like

Jadhav?, Birhade, and Lalingkar:

The movement cannot survive without

the activists and they take movement

to the various communities and

regions through their leadership and

activism.

Birhade,Jadhav and Lalingkar were

in the forefront to work with the Bhill

Adivasis community in Khandesh.

The local newspaper 'Dalit Bharat'

raised various issues of the Adivasis.

Dhanaji Birhade was writing on the

issues of Adivasis and particularly Bhil

community regularly.

Bhagirathi Bai Lalinkar, wife of

Punaji Lalinkar, was also deeply

involved in Adivasi movement.

Sunita narrates an important rally

where the majority of the participants

were from the Bhil community and the

Bhil women were chanting and singing:

•ÊÉÊÊ«Ë ø‹apple ÷Ë◊⁄UÊ¡Ê

Á¬¿Ê«Ë ŒÁ‹ÃÙ¥∑§Ë »§ı¡Ê

Aghadi chale Bhimraja,

Picchaadi dalitonki faujaa.

(The King Bhim in the forefront,

leading the army of the oppressed.)

The book is an essential read for the

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

The depth and width of Ambedkarite movement:

Sunita Savarkar's book on Ambedkarite movement

among Bhil Adivasis in Khandesh, Maharashtra

Japan's new ruling

party leader unveils

executive lineup

Tokyo : Fumio Kishida, the new leader of Japan's ruling Liberal

Democratic Party

(LDP), unveiled a lineup

of party executives on

Friday. Kishida was

elected LDP President

on Wednesday and is

guaranteed to be

installed as the new

Prime Minister when

Parliament convenes for

an extraordinary session on October 4, with the ruling coalition controlling

both chambers, reports Xinhua news agency.

Many key positions were filled with close allies of former Prime

Minister Shinzo Abe, including Secretary-General Akira Amari, 72,

and policy chief Sanae Takaichi, 60, local media reported.

Amari, a veteran lawmaker who has held a number of Cabinet

positions, resigned from economic and fiscal policy minister in

January 2016 because of graft allegations involving over 14 million

yen ($126,000), and Opposition parties said on Friday they would

launch a team to re-investigate the allegations.

Amari is part of the so-called 3As, a trio of LDP heavyweights

also including Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso, who was named

the LDP's vice president. Takaichi, who aimed to become Japan's

first female prime minister and ended up losing the LDP leadership

election, is also close with Abe and holds conservatives views.

She will be responsible for drawing up the party's campaign

pledges for the general election as chairwoman of the Policy

Research Council. Tatsuo Fukuda is set to become chairman of the

General Council, the LDP's decision-making organ.

The 54-year-old man is a relative greenhorn serving only his third

term in the House of Representatives. His father, Yasuo Fukuda, and

grandfather, the late Takeo Fukuda, both served as Prime Ministers in

the past. Kishida has said he would find a good balance of young and

veteran lawmakers in choosing his executive lineup.

Toshiaki Endo, 71, a former minister in charge of the Tokyo

Olympics and Paralympics, was named head of the Election Strategy

Committee. Taro Kono, 58, vaccination minister who went to a

runoff against Kishida in the LDP election, was appointed head of the

Public Relations Headquarters.

Tokyo : Japan's job availability in August

worsened for the first time in four months

with the expansion of the state of emergency

against the surge of Covid-19 infections,

government data revealed on Friday.

According to the Ministry of Health,

Labour and Welfare, the job-to-applicant

ratio inched down from 1.15 in July to 1.14,

which means there were 114 openings for

every 100 job seekers, reports Xinhua news

agency.

The ratio rose 0.02 from June to July

before this latest decline.

According to data from the Ministry of

Internal Affairs and Communications, the

jobless rate in the reporting month was 2.8

percent, unchanged from July, when it

dropped 0.1 points from June for the second

consecutive monthly decline.

Due to a resurgence of Covid-19 infections,

Tokyo entered a state of emergency on

July 12. In addition, with the spread of the

highly contagious Delta variant, the emergency

measures were repeatedly expanded

and eventually targeted 21 out of Japan's 47

prefectures by the end of August. The emergency

dragged down consumption and worsened

the damaged economy, as establishments

serving alcohol or offering karaoke

services were asked to suspend their business,

and those not serving liquor were

requested to close at 8 p.m.

The total number of unemployed people

in August increased 10,000 from the previous

month to 1.91 million, and people in

work dropped 320,000 to 66.76 million. The

seasonally unadjusted figures showed that

workers in the accommodation and restaurant

service sectors decreased 6.4 per cent

year-on-year to 3.66 million. It was a sharper

drop than any other industry. Meanwhile,

17

activists for following reasons:

1. It shows how Babasaheb Ambedkar

and the movement he launched was

concerned with the rights of all the

depressed classes (Dalits and

Adivasis) from the beginning.

2. Not only the newspapers of the movement,

but also the activists were also

in the forefront to reach out to various

castes in different regions including

communities living in the forests

and hills.

3. The books shows how the

Ambedkarite movement was supported

by the Bhils in Khandesh. The

poor Bhils from Khandesh also made

donation to the Janata newspaper.

4. That not only Bhil men, but also Bhil

women were participating in the

movement for liberation.

Sunita Savarkar clearly established that

Ambedkarite movement was the

movement of many castes of Dalits

and Adivasis and that it had reached

to distant corner in Khandesh area.

As in her research work, so in her life

Sunita's aspiration is to rekindle the

spirit of Ambedkarite movement to

bring together all castes and tribes

for their common struggle against

oppressive caste system.

Job availability in Japan worsens

New Delhi : Unknown

assailants gunned down a Sikh

'hakeem' (traditional doctor)

near the Charsadda Bus Stand in

Peshawar, Dawn news reported.

The police identified the victim

as hakeem Satnam Singh who

was attacked at his clinic on

Thursday in the limits of

Faqirabad police station. A

police official said that unknown

assailants, whose number could

not be ascertained, opened fire

on the victim and managed to

escape from the scene, the Dawn

news report said.

A brother of the victim told

the police the attack took place

after Singh had left for clinic

from his home in Mohallah

Jogan Shah, adding that the victim

had no enmity with anyone.

Faqirabad SHO Ejaz Nabi said

that they were investigating the

medical and welfare worker numbers rose

3.5 per cent to 8.91 million, and the official

said the surge in demand might be caused by

the promotion of the Covid-19 vaccination

campaign across Japan. As the number of

infections nationwide declined steadily,

Japan lifted fully its state of emergency on

Friday.

The relaxation of restriction along with

more fully vaccinated people would raise the

hope of a foreseeable economic recovery.

Sikh shot dead at his clinic in Peshawar

incident. He said it was not clear

at this moment whether this was

a case of targeted killing or had

some other motive.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief

Minister Mahmood Khan has

strongly condemned the murder

and directed the city police to

immediately trace and arrest

those involved.


18 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

India : UK Healthcare Conference 2021

The Consulate General of India in

Birmingham, in partnership with the

Department for International Trade,

Government of UK, University

Hospitals Birmingham, India Inc,

Birmingham City University, Infosys,

Federation of Indian Chamber of

Commerce, Confederation of Indian

Industry and several other organisations

organized the India-UK Healthcare

Conference 2021 at the Edgbaston Park

Hotel, Birmingham on 21st September

2021. The Conference was preceded by

a curtain raiser event the previous

evening. Dignitaries like Prof Dr

Balram Bhargava, Secretary,

Department of Health Research and

Director General of Indian Council for

Medical Research, Deputy High

Commissioner of India to UK, Mr Sujit

Ghosh, The Lord Lieutenant of West

Midlands Mr. John Crabtree, Vice

Chancellor of Birmingham City

University Prof. Philip Plowden, British

Deputy High Commissioner Andhra

Pradesh and Telangana, Mr. Andrew

Fleming along with several others

graced the occasion.

This year’s Healthcare Conference is

especially important as the world has

been suffering with the covid19 pandemic

for the last eighteen months.

India and UK, both have played important

parts in combating the pandemic,

the development of Oxford-Astra-

Zeneca-Serum Institute of India vaccine

demonstrates the success India-UK collaboration.

The conference this year

provided an important platform for discussions

and exchange of ideas between

health care practitioners, administrators,

policy makers and industry players. It

brought together several key stakeholders

of both countries to share their experiences,

deliberate on solutions, and

explore ways & means to further

increase the collaboration in the healthcare

sector. It also showcased the successful

projects where British organizations

are operating in India and vice

versa.

Healthcare has been identified as a

priority sector for the India-UK relationship.

This presents a unique opportunity

to India and UK, as both have

robust core strength areas in the sector

to work together not only for the benefit

the health systems of both countries but

to enhance global health security and

pandemic resilience. With technological

advancements, Indian innovators and

disruptors can take advantage of the

British ecosystem to solve healthcare

challenges and similarly British side can

learn from the steps taken by India as it

embarks on its journey to ensure health

care for all through unique initiatives

like Ayushman Bharat and National

Digital Health Mission.

The Conference was held at the

Edgbaston Park Hotel, it consisted of a

Plenary Session with three Panel

Discussions followed by seven simultaneous

Breakout Sessions in the afternoon.

The panel discussions on Future

of Digital Health, Accelerating

Innovations and Partnerships &

Investment opportunities were moderated

by Prof. Manoj Ladwa, CEO and

Founder India Inc and Mr. Tim Jones,

Chief Innovation Office, University

Hospitals Birmingham. This session

had some of esteemed speakers like the

Lord Prior, Chairman of NHS England,

UK, (Dr.) Prof Balram Bhargava,

Secretary to the Government of India,

Department of Health Research,

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare &

Director- General, Indian Council of

Medical Research India, Government of

India, Deputy High Commissioner Mr.

Sujit Ghosh, Rt Hon’ble Jacqui Smith,

Chair of University Hospitals

Birmingham, Professor Sudhesh

Kumar, Dean of the Warwick Medical

School and Director of the Institute of

Digital Healthcare at University of

Warwick, Mr. Madhukar Bose, Deputy

Head of Healthcare Digital Health,

Department for International Trade, Mr

Roshan Shetty, Head of Insurance, Life

Science and Healthcare, Infosys, UK,

Mr. Jagtar Singh, Chair, NHS Coventry

& Warwick Partnership, Dr. Praveen

Gedam, Additional CEO, National

Health Authority of India & Mission

Director, National Digital Health

Mission, Government of India, Dr.

Naresh Trehan, Chairman and

Managing Director, Medanta, India, Mr.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry

of Health and Family Welfare,

Government of India. Dr. Sangita

Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo

Hospitals Group, India, Mr. Varun

Sood, Vice President, Invest India were

among the other dignitaries who joined

virtually. Wide arrays of topics like the

Current pandemic crisis, scopes of collaboration

in tele-medicine, digital

Health, Challenges, Regulatory

Framework, partnerships, importance of

multilateral cooperation & global governance

was covered. The panelists

gave an overview of India UK

Healthcare landscape & discussed synergies

between India-UK in Healthcare

for the future. They highlighted the

emerging areas of healthcare development,

where the UK has already made

significant growth and where the potential

is truly significant & yet untapped,

they particularly mentioned what’s happening

in India as a huge opportunity

and UK should capitalize it.

Consul General Dr. Shashank

Vikram said that Healthcare sector provides

a huge opportunity for collaboration

between India and UK. ‘We are

hopeful that these deliberations will

help provide concrete outcomes in

ensuring robust cooperation in the area

to ensure quality healthcare for people

across India and UK’. He remarked that

‘Healthcare has become one of India’s

largest sectors both in terms of revenue

& employment. Recently, despite the

pandemic hurdles, the Indian stock market

has outperform showing the emergence

of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.

This was soon followed by seven

Breakout Sessions which ran in parallel

in seven different rooms. The sessions

covered a wide spectrum of health sector

including Covid-19 and strategies to

combat future waves, Health Tech,

Digital Health and AI, accessible health

care for all, cooperation in Pharma sector&

Life Sciences Sector including

Vaccine development and training &

mobility of Healthcare Professionals.

There were two special sessions on contribution

of medical professionals of

Indian origin in the UK & India during

pandemic & beyond and Holistic

approach to healthcare. The sessions

had both physical and virtual participation.

Some very interesting and important

observations were noted during the

conference, like the ‘Collaborative &

collective efforts are needed to respond

effectively to the COVID19 pandemic’,

‘The economic effects of the pandemic

which has aggravated the vulnerability

of all age groups in the labour market

facing higher risk of job losses and

income generation’, ‘Emphasis on digital

health technology which has been

around far longer than recent mainstream

adoption, the pandemic has

helped pole-vault the biggest obstacle to

digital adoption’. The sessions highlighted

the importance of reinstating

health care resources especially health

care workers for current & future challenges

for the nation and also across the

globe including UK. Gave an excellent

summary of help available to UK

exporters, stressed how the modern

Technology is fast changing the

approach to Healthcare & how India –

UK can collaborate using each other’s

strength. The contributions of the strong

diaspora Medical professionals in UK

and the relevance of Yoga & Ayurveda

in Mental & Physical wellbeing was

also deliberated. The conference was a

big leap to promote further exchange

between India and UK, of ideas, technologies

and innovations in all the fields

of healthcare be it administration of

healthcare organizations, training of

personnel or investment in medical and

pharma industries. The Health

Conference provided a platform for discussing

opportunities for UK institutes

to collaborate, partner or enter into academic

tie-ups with Indian institutes to

address the critical workforce challenges.

Over 200 guests participated in

the conference and fantastic topics were

discussed for maximum mutual benefit

for both economies.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

19

Is Xi Jinping playing Don Quixote in Tibet?

Going by the hysteria of the

Chinese establishment at the

sight of Tibetan spiritual leader,

the Dalai Lamas photos, the

efforts of President Xi Jinping to

occupy Tibetan religion from

within appear to be another

replay of Don Quixote.

Some contradictions are quite

difficult to understand, especially

when they reflect deep rooted

fears in the conduct of powerful

governments and their almighty

leaders. The schizophrenic reactions

of President Xi and his allinvasive

communist security

apparatus merely at the sight of

the Dalai Lama's photo in the

hands of their Tibetan subjects is

one such glaring example.

According to the Chinese

laws and rules, as practiced in

today's Tibet, possessing the

Dalai Lama's photo is illegal and

considered as a 'threat' to the

national security of China. For

this 'crime' one can be sentenced

up to seven years in jail in addition

to losing basic privileges

like job, medical support and

children's school admission.

The Chinese government

uses extreme kinds of expletives

like 'a wolf in the robes of a

monk', 'gang leader of bandits',

'a serf owner' and a 'splitist' for

the same the Dalai Lama who is

the winner of the Nobel Peace

Prize and has topped the international

popularity charts since

decades. The most hilarious part

of this contradiction is that

President Xi has announced it to

the world that the Communist

Party of China (CPC) will have

the exclusive rights to identify

and install the next incarnation

of the Dalai Lama after he passes

away.

Latest news from China's

Sichuan province show that

large contingents of China's

dreaded People's Armed Police

(PAP) and agents of the Public

Security Bureau (PSB) have

been swooping on Tibetan

homes and temples in the

DzaWonpo town of Kardze to

confiscate photos of the Dalai

Lama. By the first weekend of

September they had arrested 121

Tibetans who were found guilty

of possessing the photos either

in printed form or in their

mobile phones. The arrested

persons included six monks

from the DzaWonpoGaden

Shedrup Monastery.

Similar police raids and

arrests were reported in early

March this year when the troops

of Snow Wolf Commandos, an

anti-terrorism elite unit of PAP

had raided houses, the local oldhome

and the community temple

of DzaWonpo to search for

and confiscate photos of the

Dalai Lama. When China occupied

Tibet in 1951, its supreme

spiritual leader and ruler Dalai

Lama was just a teenager, 16

years old to be exact. China

claims that it was 'peaceful liberation'

of Tibet, based on a '17-

Point Agreement' which was

drafted by Beijing itself.

However, China's supreme

leader Mao and his mighty

People's Liberation Army (PLA)

broke every single promise

which they had made to the people

of Tibet and the Dalai Lama

through this 'Agreement'.

In 1959 when the Tibetan

people stood up against their

colonial masters, the PLA killed

more than 80,000 Tibetans

which forced the Dalai Lama to

secretly escape to India. In spite

of 70 years of colonial control

over Tibet and 62 years of

absence of Dalai Lama from

Tibet, the Chinese rulers have

failed both in winning the hearts

of their Tibetan subject as well

in weaning them away from

their deep faith in the spiritual

leader. In recent years over 150

Tibetans, most of them youths,

monks and nuns committed selfimmolation

to express their

longing for Tibetan freedom and

return of the Dalai Lama.

During the first four decades

of Tibet's occupation, the

Chinese government tried every

trick from the communist history

to tame the Tibetans. At the

time of occupation in 1951, they

had promised the Tibetans that

they will respect their culture

and would not interfere in the

social and religious system of

Tibet. In one of the 17-Points it

was expressedly promised that

the CPC and the PLA would pay

even for "needle or thread"

which they take from Tibetan

people. But very soon Tibet was

pushed into a situation of serious

food shortage, sky rocketing

prices of essential commodities

and starvation when the PLA

started taking away food stocks

to feed its ever increasing number

of soldiers.

The things went to extreme

when Chairman Mao's crazy

campaign "Great Leap Forward"

pushed the entire mainland

China into a serious drought,

industrial failure and economic

catastrophe.

Confiscation of lands and

properties of monasteries and

wanton killing of protesting

Tibetans made it worse. The

Tibetan public's anger resulted

into a mass uprising in 1959

which was crushed with a heavy

hand by the Chinese army. Ten

years of Cultural Revolution

which followed the "Great

Leap" saw near total destruction

of almost everything which represented

Tibetan culture and

identity. It was during this

decade when Mao's Red Guards

worked zealously on the premise

that a Tibetan minus faith in

religion would make a perfect

Chinese patriot.

The two campaigns ended up

with 30 to 50 million unnatural

deaths in China and killing of

about 1.2 million Tibetans from

a total population of 6 million.

This period marked the end of

whatever faith was left among

the Tibetan masses in their colonial

masters. It was only after

the massive Tibetan uprising

and anti-China public demonstrations

in 1987 and 1989 when

Beijing leaders realised that it

was impossible for them to kill

Tibetan people's faith in Buddha

Dharma and the Dalai Lama.

This led to Beijing's new

approach and policy of using

religion as a tool to control the

Tibetan minds and hearts. In

1992 and 1995, Beijing officially

organised religious exercises

of searching and installing reincarnations

of two prominent

Tibetan Gurus namely the

Karma Pa and the Panchen

Lama who had died in 1981 and

1989, respectively.

The CPC, which has been

following and promoting late

Chairman Mao's belief that

"religion is opium of the masses",

appointed search committees

of Lamas under overall

supervision of a senior communist

leader each to find out the

new incarnations.

The committee, appointed to

look out for the reincarnation of

16th Karma Pa identified a

seven-year-old boy Apo Gaga.

Under his new name

UgyenTrinley Dorje, he was

installed in a colourful ceremony

for which China invited followers

of the previous Karma Pa

from Europe and America. The

ceremony was telecast live on

the national TV channels of

China.

The other committee too

identified a six-year-old boy

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the

new incarnation of the 10th

Panchen Lama in 1995. But

Beijing rejected this boy and

arrested him and his parents

because the monks involved in

the process had leaked out the

information to the Dalai Lama in

exile and had sought his

approval for this boy.

Angry communist rulers

installed another 5 year old boy

of their own choice as the new

'Panchen Lama'. Beijing has

since refused to either free the

arrested boy or make any information

public about him.

In reaction to this the ordinary

Tibetan masses too refused

to accept the Chinese sponsored

Panchen Lama as a 'fake' and a

'Chinese stooge'. As fate would

have it, the Karma Pa quietly

escaped from Chinese control

on the new-year night of 2000

and landed up in Dharamsala on

January 5, 2000 to join the Dalai

Lama in exile. But these developments

could not stop the communist

rulers of Tibet from

going ahead with their new policies

on religion. Over the past

three decades, Beijing has

installed over 870 incarnate

Lamas belonging to various traditions

of Tibetan Buddhism.

In September 2007, Beijing

announced a new law which

brought all reincarnations of

Tibetan lamas, including the

Dalai Lama, under the direct

control of the CPC. As per this

law, the entire process of

appointing search committees,

identification of new incarnations

and installing them shall be

the exclusive prerogative of

CPC which will execute this

authority through its respective

branches of the Buddhist

Association.

The Dalai Lama has warned

the Chinese government against

these plans.

Following a joint conference

of all senior monks and scholars

of various Tibetan Buddhist traditions

in Dharamsala, he

declared: "Bear in mind that,

apart from the reincarnation recognized

through legitimate

methods no recognition or

acceptance should be given to a

candidate chosen for political

ends by anyone, including those

in the People's Republic of

China."

Expressing full support to the

Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people,

the US government passed a

new law entitled 'Tibetan Policy

and Support Act-2020' last year

which warns the government of

China and its leaders against

interfering in the reincarnation

process of the Dalai Lama.

The European Parliament too

has put on record its support for

the spiritual leader's rights to

decide about his reincarnation

and has asked China "to respect

the Dalai Lama's succession in

accordance with Tibetan

Buddhist standards".

But China still hopes that by

installing a Dalai Lama of its

own choice after the current

Dalai Lama passes away, it will

be able to control its Tibetan

subjects effectively.

On the personal initiative of

President Xi, aimed at establishing

'Buddhism with Socialist

Values,' a massive campaign is

being run in all monasteries

across Tibet which aims and

training the monks in communist

philosophy. In Tibetan

schools too, Tibetan language

has been replaced by Mandarin

as the main medium of learning.

History of Tibet and China, written

from communist Chinese

angle is being taught in Tibetan

schools with the hope that a

'patriotic' generation of Tibetans

with full commitment to China

shall take over. But going by the

near complete rejection of

Beijing appointed 'Panchen

Lama' by Tibetan masses and

hysteria of the Chinese establishment

at the sight of Dalai

Lama's photos, the efforts of

President Xi to occupy Tibetan

religion from within appear to

be another replay of Don

Quixote.

By Vijay Kranti

1st Covid outbreak deliberate, occurred in Oct 2019: Chinese whistleblower

London : A Chinese whistleblower

has claimed that the first

Covid-19 outbreak was intentional

and took place in October 2019

at a military tournament in Wuhan

-- two months before China notified

the world about the deadly

virus, media reports said.

Ex-Chinese Communist Party

insider Wei Jingsheng said that

the World Military Games in

October 2019 may have acted as

the virus' first superspreader

event, where some international

athletes reportedly became sick

with a mystery illness, Daily

Mail reported. While coronavirus

cases surged in

China, the country reported

the outbreak to the World

Health Organisation only

on December 31. "I thought

the Chinese government

would take this opportunity

to spread the virus during

the Military Games, as

many foreigners would

show up there," Jingsheng

was quoted as saying in

Sky News documentary

'What Really Happened in

Wuhan'. The whistleblower

claimed he had heard of the

Chinese government carrying

out an "unusual exercise" during

the games.

"(I knew) of the possibility

of the Chinese government

using some strange weapons,

including biological weapons,

because I knew they were doing

experiments of that sort," he

said. His claims were supported

by Miles Yu, the former

Principal China Adviser to the

US State Department, the report

said. Yu said French, German

and American athletes were

among those to fall ill at the tournament

with Covid-like symptoms,

but were never tested for

the virus. "We see some indications

in our own dataa that there

was Covid circulating in the

United States as early as early

December, possibly earlier than

that," David Asher, ex-US State

Department Covid-19 investigator

was quoted as saying.

Jingsheng also claimed he

took his concerns about the

unfolding situation to senior figures

within the Trump administration

in November 2019 but

was ignored, the report said.

He said he made the approach

as whispers of a "new SARS

virus" began circulating on

WeChat and other Chinese social

media platforms. More than a

year into the pandemic, the

debate whether Covid-19s origins

originated naturally or was

leaked from a lab continues. The

global coronavirus caseload has

topped 230 million, while the

deaths have surged to more than

4.71 million, according to Johns

Hopkins University latest update

on Thursday.


20 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Auto fuel prices

rise simultaneously

after a day’s break

New Delhi : Auto fuel petrol and diesel prices rose simultaneously

after a day’s break on Thursday amidst volatility in global oil

prices with benchmark crude remaining at a high level of $78 a barrel.

Accordingly, diesel prices increased by 30 paise per litre in the

national capital to Rs 89.87 per litre on Thursday while petrol

prices increased by 25 paise per litre to Rs 101.64 a litre, according

to Indian Oil Corporation, country’s largest fuel retailer.

Diesel prices have now increased for five days in the last one

week taking up its retail price by Rs 1.25 paise per litre in Delhi.

Diesel prices were raised on Friday by 20 paise per litre and again

25 paise per litre each on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5 but oil

companies finally raised its pump prices this week given a spurt in

the product prices lately.

The OMCs had preferred to maintain wait and watch policy on

global oil situation before making any revision in prices. This is the

reason why petrol prices were not revised for the last three weeks.

But extreme volatility in global oil price movement has now

pushed OMCs to effect the increase.

The wait and watch plan of OMCs had come to the relief of consumers

earlier as no revision came during a period when crude

prices were on the rise over shortfall in US production and inventories

and a pick up in demand. This would have necessitated an

increase of Rs 1 in price of petrol and diesel.

In Mumbai, the petrol price increased by 21 paise per litre to Rs

107.73 per litre while diesel rates increased to about Rs 97.50 a

litre. Across the country as well petrol and diesel prices increased

between 20-30 paisa per litre but their retail rates varied depending

on the level of local taxes in the state.

Fuel prices in the country have been hovering at record levels on

account of 41 increases in its retail rates since April this year. It fell

on few occasions but largely remained stable.

After rising over three year high level of $80 a barrel earlier this

week, global benchmark has now come down to $78 a barrel. Oil

rates are up two per cent for the week and this is the fifth weekly

gain. Since September 5, when both petrol and diesel prices were

revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is

higher by around $6-7 per barrel as compared to average prices

during August.

Under the pricing formula adopted by oil companies, rates of

petrol and diesel are to be reviewed and revised by them on a daily

basis. The new prices becomes effective from morning at 6 a.m.

The daily review and revision of prices is based on the average

price of benchmark fuel in the international market in the preceding

15-days, and foreign exchange rates.

But, the fluctuations in global oil prices have prevented OMCs

to follow this formula in totality and revisions are now being made

with longer gaps. This has also prevented companies from increasing

fuel prices whenever there is a mismatch between globally

arrived price and pump price of fuel.

10% of medicines ’overprescribed’

in ENGLAND : Report

London : About 10 per cent

of medicines dispensed in primary

care in England were

"overprescribed", increasing the

risk of adverse effects, a government

report has revealed.

The report led by Keith

Ridge, chief pharmaceutical prescribing

officer for England,

found 10 per cent of prescription

items dispensed through primary

care in England are either inappropriate

for those patients’ circumstances

and wishes, or could

be better served with alternative

treatments, reports Xinhua news

agency. The report, released on

Wednesday, also found that

about one in five people aged 65

and over are being admitted to

hospitals in England suffering

adverse effects of medicines prescribed

by doctors.

It showed that 15 per cent of

people are taking five or more

medicines a day, increasing the

Bangkok : Thailand plans to

postpone the reopening of the

capital Bangkok and other major

tourist destinations to foreign

visitors until November, citing

that the Covid-19 vaccination

rate in these regions were still

behind the targets.

The planned reopening to

fully-vaccinated foreign visitors

without quarantine of major

tourist destinations including

Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya and

Chiang Mai in October could be

extended to November 1, the

Tourism and Sports Minister

Pipat Ratchakitprakan told local

media. He added that the ministry

would submit the adjustment

to the Centre for Covid-19

Situation Administration

(CCSA) for approval on

September 27, reports Xinhua

news agency.

"From the assessment of the

current Covid-19 situation and

the overall readiness in various

fields, we would like to postpone

the reopening timeline of these

risk of adverse effects.

"The more medicines a person

takes, the higher chance

there is that one or more of these

medicines will have an unwanted

or harmful effect.

"Some medicines, such as

those to reduce blood pressure,

can also increase the risk of falls

amongst the frail and elderly,"

said the report. Responding to

the report, UK Health Secretary

Sajid Javid said: "This is an

incredibly important review

which will have a lasting impact

on people’s lives and improve

the way medicines are prescribed.

"With 15 per cent of people

taking five or more medicines a

day, in some cases to deal with

the side effects of another medicine,

more needs to be done to

listen to patients and help clinical

teams tackle overprescribing."

Thailand likely to delay reopening of key tourist destinations

key cities further," said Pipat.

"One of the important criteria

that we have to meet before

reopening is to have at least 70

per cent of the population in

those areas fully vaccinated, but

this target has not been met," he

said. According to Bangkok

Governor Aswin Kwanmuang,

about 44 per cent of the residents

have been fully inoculated so far,

and the capital city’s is now

accelerating the pace of vaccine

roll-out to achieve the 70 per

cent immunisation coverage.

The reopening plan was part

of Thailand’s efforts to boost

tourism, a key engine of economic

growth before the pandemic,

and strike a balance

between ensuring lives and

livelihood. The Southeast Asian

nation aims to inoculate about 70

per cent of its nearly 70 million

population by the end of the

year.

Till date, 22.6 per cent of the

population has been fully vaccinated,

according to the CCSA.

China loans to Pakistan at

commercial rates, not grants

New Delhi : A substantial chunk of

Chinese development financing under the

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

consists of loans that are at or near commercial

rates, as opposed to grants, according to

AidData, a US-based international development

research lab, Dawn reported.

China committed $34.4 billion in development

finance to Pakistan between 2000

and 2017. Islamabad is the seventh largest

recipient of Chinese overseas development

financing with 71 projects worth $27.3bn

currently under way. The interest rate is 3.76

per cent for an average loan with 13.2 years’

maturity (when full repayment with interest

is due) and 4.3 years grace period, it said.

In addition, the report claimed Pakistan

received about half of all Chinese development

finance in the form of "export buyer’s

credit" i.e. money lent by Chinese institutions

to Pakistan in order to facilitate the purchase

of equipment and goods to be bought

by Chinese implementation partners, the

report said.

As much as 40 per cent of China’s lending

to Pakistan is now directed to state-owned

companies, state-owned banks, special purpose

vehicles, joint ventures and private sector

institutions. These Chinese loans do not

appear on the government’s books "for the

most part", the report claimed.

"However, they often benefit from an

explicit or implicit form of government liability

protection, which blurs the distinction

between private and public debt," it said,

noting that the government has issued sovereign

guarantees in some cases. This means

the national exchequer will repay the loans if

non-government borrowers fail to generate

sufficient revenue to meet their financial

obligations.

"In other cases... the government has provided

a so-called guaranteed return on equity

to borrowers. This type of guarantee is

effectively a form of hidden debt to China...

These financial arrangements are attractive

to the government because they need not be

disclosed as public debts," the report said,

adding that the economy is already in the

"danger zone" based on the public debt-to-

GDP ratio of 92.8 per cent.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

Operation clean must continue in the Congress Party

Most of the manustream media had declared Rahul Gandhi as Pappu as if it is a crime if somebody is called Pappu.

The narrative spread by Sangh Parivar went unresponded by the senior leaders of Congress Party and today when the

same Pappu is trying to organise the party, these leaders have started ‘questioning him’ or Sonia Gandhi.

21

It is not the fault of Rahul Gandhi

but the Congress culture and it can happen

anywhere. What we are witnessing

in the form of ‘rebellion’ by the

absolutely spineless and baseless leaders

of so-called G-23 is a reflection that

you can not keep ‘chamchas’ out of

work for long. Manywar Kanshiram

wrote a book, ‘Chamcha age’. Baba

Saheb Ambedkar had warned against

hero worshipping in politics but then

India’s politics has turned in such a way

that without ‘brand’ nothing is possible.

India’s political system has already

been hijacked by the ‘brands’ which has

serious risks for the future of democracy

here.

Punjab’s political crisis has given

opportunity to Rahul Gandhi bashers to

target him. One thing I don’t understand

is how ‘manustream’ media

became so ‘concerned’ about Congress

party that one of the anchors used highly

objectionable word against the

Congress leader. Clearly. all the channels

and their C grade anchors have

been told to humiliate the Gandhis day

in and out. At their ‘prime times’, they

have BJP netas, Sangh Parivaris and

their darbaris, some others who will

come in the name of ‘experts’ and they

will laugh and joke about the Gandhis.

My question is if the Gandhis have lost

everything and are nothing why are the

Sanghis so much concerned about

them. Let the Congress go the way it

wants, why do those whose perceptions,

lies, narratives are well known so

much worried about the Gandhis.

Modi and Amit Shah know it well

that as long as Gandhis are there, they

will face a challenge. Hence their only

aim is to humiliate them and berate

them. Congress’s opportunists’ leaders

are the best friends of the Sangh

Parivar. There is one dirty reality of our

political system and that makes

Narendra Modi stronger is that disdain

and hatred in the political circle for the

Gandhi Parivar. Perhaps, every one of

these G-23 and some others think they

are ‘better’ than the Gandhis. It is the

same people who during the heydays of

Congress Party would utter “ If madam

ask us to clean the floor, we would be

happily doing so’.

Congress is paying the price for promoting

mediocre, rootless leaders

whose only ideology were to protect

their business and family interests. The

problem with Chamchas is that they can

not remain without work or patronage

for long. Chamchas will do everything

for you as long as you are in power and

as long as he or she has hope you will

obtain. Congress had the culture of

Chamchas during Indira Gandhi and

Rajiv Gandhi’s time but that time the

party was stronger and brute majority

so the Chamchas were ‘created’ to create

pressure groups within the party.

The Chamchas would be used by the

central leadership against the elected

chief ministers if the High Command

wanted to remove them. When the UPA

came to power, Sonia Gandhi accommodated

Chamachas despite their

defeats. Who can ignore that Shiv Raj

Patil was made Home Minister despite

defeat in the Lok Sabha election?

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni,

Salman Khursheed, Anand Sharma, and

many more in the cabinet were the persons

who neither had a mass base nor

they worked to strengthen the party.

Most of them emerged from Rajya

Sabha and due to their ‘legal competence’

were in great ‘demand’ everywhere.

I have asked many times that

Congress needs to work on an internal

document of the party and assess the

work of UPA-II and the Ministers there

and I can vouch that most of those talking

about ‘transparency’ would be

found guilty. A lot of non-issues

became national issues because of highly

personalised forms of work by P

Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee.

Chidambaram’s policies were responsible

for a more oppressive regime and

centralisation of power and virtual decimation

of civil society organisations

while Pranab

Mukherjee wanted the

government to fail

because of his lifelong

desire of inability to

become ‘prime minister’.

The party promoted Jyotiraditya,

Sachin Pilot, Manish Tiwari, Sanjay

Nirupam, Milind Deora and many others.

The Delhi media felt that they are

‘future’ of Congress and an image of

Rahul Gandhi was damaged by those

enjoying power because many of them

felt that their own privileges would end

if they took over the congress as there

was a big difference between the working

pattern of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul

Gandhi. Sonia was surrounded by the

old coterie and ‘trusted’ old loyalists.

There was not much focus on grassroot

leaders but on managers. Congress had

completely abandoned ideology and

therefore ‘power brokers’ became the

top leaders of the party.

It is a well-known fact that Anna’s

movement was an RSS supported and

industrialists sponsored movement who

were upset with Congress’s land bill.

Anna Hazare neither had honesty nor

an ideology and all those surrounding

him actually got fully rewarded.

Kejriwal now rules Delhi and eying for

all those states where Congress is in

direct fight with BJP. Actually, Anna’s

movement created a situation where

Congress became the biggest villain on

corruption but more than that the

party’s image was completely dented

by the Sanghi propaganda. Videos,

blogs were written against Nehru,

Indira Gandhi and today they have

crossed all the limits of decency and we

know how despicable are the opponents

who reduce the debate to a gutter level.

Congress leadership between 2011-

2014 never tried to defend Sonia

Gandhi and other members. Even

today, when Rahul Gandhi was lampooned

and attacked, there is not a single

statement by the likes of Ghulam

Nabi, Anand Sharma, Manish Tiwari or

Shashi Tharoor. All of them actually

were enjoying the moment that

Gandhi’s will hand over the baton of

the party to them like Sonia did to Man

Mohan Singh.

Leaders like Pranab Mukherjee, P

Chidambaram, Kapil Sibol, Anand

Sharma mismanaged the entire

episode. Each one was worried

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

about their own position. The 2014

defeat of Congress party was made

to look like a defeat of Rahul Gandhi

and that way the corrupt leaders saved

their skins as without understanding the

level of corruption and mismanagement

in UPA-II, you won’t be able to judge

the culprit. By the time, Rahul Gandhi

tried to improve it was too late. The socalled

old guards thought that the party

might return to power in 2019 but it

failed as the party was in deep shambles

because those in power since Indira

Gandhi days were not ready to leave the

position voluntarily. Rahul Gandhi

campaigned while the G-23 leaders

were not speaking on anything except

attacking the party leadership. They are

not bothered about Congress but their

own positions. None of them ever bothered

to meet the karykartas.

Today, we all know that BJP and its

sponsored media have been let loose

against the Gandhis. Each day, the

media is waiting for an issue to come

up with the Congress party so that they

have a full day to discuss the ‘future’ of

Congress party or Gandhis. The media

does not have time to ask questions to

the government as to how the Chinese

have transgressed our territory in

Uttarakhand. The media has no time to

speak for the rights of the woman who

lost her husband in

Gorakhapur when the

police raided the hotel

he was staying in. The

media does not have

time to ask questions to

the ruling party because

the only work it has

been asked to do is to

target, attack and smear

Gandhis and Congress’s

netas have not been able

to defend their leaders.

Just a couple of days,

Navika Kumar on

Times Now abused

Rahul Gandhi but we

have not heard

Congress leaders with a

few exceptions, in

defence of Rahul Gandhi.

It is election season and the wellknown

fact is that BJP is poaching congressmen.

Their aim is to weaken congress

and wherever they stand no

chance, create other groups to weaken

the party. Punjab’s farmers took the

lead against the corporate sponsored

farm laws. Punjab Chief Minister

Amrinder Singh, though, is a serious

person of governance yet deeply feudal

in nature. He was never available to the

party MLAs and that is why dissent

against him was growing but captain

knew what language the ruling BJP and

its media love hence he always spoke

that language. It is not surprising that

many of the Congress leaders including

Manish Tiwari

have raised the

bogey of ‘border

state’ and impact

of Afghanistan

and Pakistan.

This is so disturbing

as we don’t

hear any of these

leaders speaking

on incursion in

Ladakh and

Uttarakhand and seeking a response

from the government.

Unfortunately, Navjot Singh

Siddhu’s idiotic act provided the opposition

a much bigger breather. As a

chief of Punjab Congress, Siddhu was

responsible for the ouster of Captain

Amarinder Singh yet he remained sulking

when Charanjeet Singh Channi was

made the Chief Minister. Siddhu wanted

everything so fast that he forgot that

political acumen is not like the dialogues

that he speaks at the Kapil

Sharma Show. Siddhu should have the

curtsy to work harder.

Former Chief Minister Amrinder

Singh’s open flirtation with BJP has

been exposed. During the last elections,

he asked people to vote for him as it

was his last tenure ( He is 80 Plus) but

now he did not want to leave. Congress

appointed Charanjeet Singh Channi as

chief minister and made the party's

agenda clear to the people. With

Kanhaiya Kumar and Jignesh Mevani

joining Congress, Rahul Gandhi seems

to be interested in bringing more people

from outside in the Congress to

strengthen it ideologically to take on

BJP while least bothering about those

who are damaging the party from within.

Perhaps, the Gandhis know it well

that it is time to clean the party as a

majority of those raising the issue are in

fact weakening the party from within as

they have rarely spoken to the party

workers and on the issues concerning

the party.

I am not a Kanhaiya-Jignesh

Mewani enthusiast. In fact, I rarely

wrote about them in the last five years

but I personally feel that they made the

right choice at the moment. Both of

them may not have a mass following

but they show political maturity.

Congress needs to get more and more

young voices into its party fold and

give them opportunity to lead. If these

youngsters who have dynamism work

cohesively and with party discipline

then the future will be theirs but if they

continue to be in a hurry to grab the

‘opportunity’ then not only the party

but their own identity will be in the crisis

as happened with Siddhu as each

party had problems with him as every

one knew that he is short tempered and

has not shown maturity to handle the

crisis.

Punjab crisis may be blown out of

proportion by the opponents of Gandhis

but it seems that they are now working

on cleaning the party. I think they must

continue to clean it before it becomes

difficult to handle. Despite all shortcomings

and past sins, Congress needs

to survive as it will be good for democracy

and for the people of India. BJP

knows it well that it can handle every

other party, regional groups but

Congress is the only party that can provide

it the real challenge. No alliance in

India will be possible against Hindutva

or BJP without the lead position of

Congress party.

A Mamata trying to enter Goa or

north east or an Arvind Kejriwal in

Punjab, Goa, Gujarat or Uttarakhand

will not help any one except to massage

the ego of politicians and at the end will

only help BJP. This is true that BJP has

used the narratives against Gandhis and

Congress in such a way that most of the

regional kshtraps including Mamta,

Arvind Kejriwal, Akhilesh Yadav,

Mayawati or now Amarinder Singh feel

that Congress is their main ‘opponent’.

This is the biggest irony of our democracy

and it looks that our political leaders

are not looking beyond their own

personal interests.

In the meantime, we hope Congress

will be able to put its house in order but

definitely it needs a cohesive party

under the Gandhis which can take the

BJP head on. At the time when

Congress is opening up and taking a

right ideological stand, it needs to be

strengthened. Congress party’s

‘Operation clean’ must continue so that

the party grows stronger and has leaders

who are able to fight on the street

and work with the masses and not

through the TV channels.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social

and human rights activist. He blogs

at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com

twitter @freetohumanity

Email: vbrawat@gmail.com


22 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Adani Green Energy to

acquire 40 MW solar

project in Odisha

Bhubaneswar : The

Adani Renewable

Energy (MH) Limited

(AREMHL), a whollyowned

subsidiary of

Adani Green Energy

Ltd (AGEL), will

acquire a 40MW operating

solar project in

Odisha.

The AREMHL has

signed definitive agreements

with Essel Green

Energy Pvt Ltd to

acquire 100 per cent

economic value in a

special purpose vehicle

(SPV) that owns the

solar project in Odisha,

the company said in a

statement on Thursday.

The project has a long-term

Power Purchase Agreement

(PPA) with Solar Energy

Corporation of India (SECI) for

Rs 4.235 per unit, with remaining

PPA life of about 22 years,

the company said. The closing of

the transaction is subject to customary

conditions. The acquisition

of the project is at an enterprise

valuation of Rs 219 crore.

Vneet Jaain, managing director

& CEO of Adani Green

Energy Ltd., said, "With the

acquisition of this project in

Odisha, AGEL will now have its

footprint across 12 States in

India. We are on an expansion

path that will make us the

world's largest renewable player

by 2030."

With this acquisition, AGEL

will achieve a total renewable

capacity of 19.8 gigawatts

(GW). The total portfolio

includes 5.4 GW operational

assets, 5.7 GW assets under construction

and 8.7 GW near construction

assets.

Duke, Duchess of

Cambridge hail 'special' Bond

movie 'No Time To Die'

What are ideal BP levels to prevent

repeat strokes, heart attacks?

New York : People with diabetes

who have a stroke, there

may be an ideal target blood

sugar range to lower the risk of

different types of vascular diseases

like a stroke or heart attack

later on, finds a new study.

The study found that people

admitted to the hospital with

A1C levels -- a test to determine

average blood sugar level --

above the 6.8 per cent to 7 per

cent range had an increased risk

of having a vascular event like a

heart attack, as well as having

another stroke.

"We know that having diabetes

may be associated with an

increased risk of having a first

stroke," said researcher Moon-

Ku Han from Seoul National

University College of Medicine

in Korea.

"But our results indicate that

there is an optimal blood sugar

level that may start to minimise

the risk of having another stroke,

a heart attack or other vascular

problems and it's right in the 6.8

per cent to 7 per cent range,"

Han added.

For the study, published in the

journal Neurology, the team

involved 18,567 people with diabetes

with an average age of 70.

All participants were admitted

to the hospital for an

ischemic stroke, which is caused

by a blood clot. Upon admission,

researchers used a test called the

hemoglobin A1C to determine

people's average blood sugar

level over the past two to three

months.

This test measures a percentage

of hemoglobin proteins in

the blood coated with sugar. A

level below 5.7 per cent is considered

normal; 6.5 per cent or

higher generally indicates diabetes.

The participants had an

average A1C of 7.5 per cent.

Researchers then followed up

one year later to find out if there

was an association between A1C

levels with the risk of having

another stroke, a heart attack, or

dying from these or other vascular

causes.

Of all participants, 1,437, or

about 8 per cent, had a heart

attack or died from the vascular

disease within a year of starting

the study, and 954, or 5 per cent,

had another stroke.

India's highest EV charging

station set up in Himachal

Shimla : Againt the picturesque

backdrop of the

Himalayas in Himachal

Pradesh's Spiti Valley, India's

highest electric vehicle (EV)

charging station was set up by a

company on Thursday.

The Pune-based company,

goEgoNetwork, has set up two

EV chargers for two and fourwheelers

in Kaza, some 350 km

from here. Subdivisional

Magistrate Mahender Partap

Singh told IANS over phone that

tourists often complain of lack of

EV charging stations in the Spiti

Valley. "This is the first station in

the valley. If the station gets good

response, more such stations

would be set up. It will also help

check vehicular pollution," he

said. Two electric scooters have

been provided by the company to

the local administration to promote

e-vehicles in the valley.

Singh also said that two riders

rode on e-scooters from Manali

to Kaza. "They covered the distance

of 320 km from Manali to

Kaza by charging the vehicle at

three-four points," he said.

As per the riders, the e-scooters

didn't face any problem while

crossing the Kunzum Pass

(4,551m). The EV charging station

lies at an altitude of 3,720m,

the highest in the country, as

Kaza is located at an altitude

higher than Leh, where temperatures

plummet below minus 20-

degree Celsius in winter. Not

accessible by road throughout

the year, the picturesque Spiti

Valley remains cut off from the

world for more than four months

a year due to heavy snowfall. It

reopens once the snow starts

thawing after mid-April.

London : Duke and Duchess

of Cambridge, Prince William

and Kate Middleton, have hailed

the "inspirational" efforts of the

cast and crew. The Prince of

Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall

along with William and Kate

attended the world premiere of

the new Bond film 'No Time To

Die'.

The Royal couple said in a

post on their Twitter account

@KensingtonRoyal: "Wonderful

to see @007 back on our big

screens! No Time To Die is the

25th Bond film and Daniel

Craig's last after 15 years in the

role. "It showcases the inspirational

work of actors, musicians,

directors, cinematographers and

all those involved in making the

film so special."

Funds from the world premiere

have been awarded to

charities that support serving and

former members of the UK's

intelligence agencies, reports

femalefirst.co.uk. The royals

have welcomed the news in their

Twitter post. The tweet added:

"Tonight's world premiere will

benefit charities supporting serving

and former members of the

three intelligence agencies: the

Secret Intelligence Service, the

Security Service, and @GCHQ."

The Duke and Duchess were

joined at the premiere by Daniel

Craig, who is making his lastever

appearance as James Bond

in the movie.

The 53-year-old actor said to

being "greatly relieved" that 'No

Time To Die', which had previously

seen its release delayed by

the Covid-19 pandemic, is now

finally ready to be released in

cinemas, after so many months

of frustration.

Reflecting on the lengthy

delay, Craig said: "We've had

Covid so everything has to be

put into perspective doesn't it?

"I am greatly relieved: we

make Bond movies for the cinema

and we're here and I couldn't

be happier about that."


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

23

A farewell note for Professor Yogesh Tyagi

A new vice chancellor has been

appointed in Delhi University (DU)

after a wait of six months. Prof. Yogesh

Singh will conduct the affairs of DU

from the vice chancellor office. His

predecessor Prof. Yogesh Tyagi, in the

last phase of his tenure met with a serious

illness. Unfortunately, at such a

time he also became a victim of an

internal power-struggle within BJP’s

teachers’ front NDTF. The controversy

borne from the power-struggle, in which

the HRD ministry also playing a role,

had gained considerable momentum and

publicity for some time. Ministry of

Human Resource Development

(MHRD) accused Prof. Tyagi of not

performing his duties as vice chancellor.

On the recommendation of the ministry,

a committee was constituted by

the Visitor to investigate the allegations

after suspending him on 28 October

2020. The details of what happened to

the allegations and the investigation are

yet to be revealed.

While under suspension, Prof. Tyagi

relieved himself from his post by writing

a letter to the Visitor on 9 March

2021 on completion of the fixed tenure

of five years. There was no formal or

informal farewell ceremony for him. No

teacher, educationist or university/ministry

official even cared to write a

farewell note for him in the press.

It had become clear at the time of the

controversy that the entire episode was

manufactured to get him out of the vicechancellor’s

office for the remaining

tenure. Actually, at the time of Prof.

Tyagi’s appointment as the vice-chancellor

of DU in 2016, it was rumoured

that he was not the choice of the

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)

for the post. He was selected for the post

under pressure from a BJP leader from

West Uttar Pradesh. The government

had to do this because the BJP had a

massive electoral victory in western

Uttar Pradesh for the first time.

The RSS pracharaks had already

become active in Delhi University during

the tenure of Prof. Tyagi’s predecessor

Prof. Dinesh Singh and his partner

Prof. Umesh Rai, Director South

Campus. The RSS had also succeeded

in securing several appointments in university

departments and colleges during

the same period. The RSS assumed that

it was the opportune moment to saffronize

Delhi University. That is why it

wanted to bring its own vice-chancellor

in DU as it did in Jawaharlal Nehru

University (JNU).

Prof. Tyagi, in fact, was not outside

the RSS. But he was in favor of working

under the directions of HRD ministry’s

education department and UGC, and not

under the dictat of the RSS. He did not

form his team, which was ultimately

Shimla : In a daring operation at an

altitude of 18,000 feet, Indo-Tibetan

Border Police (ITBP) troopers on

Thursday retrieved two bodies of West

Bengal trekkers, who died in Himachal

Pradesh's Pin Valley this week, and

brought them on stretchers to the base

camp, trudging 32 km.

The bodies were handed over to the

civil administration in Kaza, some 320

km from here, Sub-Divisional

Magistrate Mohan Dutt told the media.

Four porters were also evacuated by

them. Dogra Scouts personnel were also

never fully formed, and due to which

the administrative work of the university

was largely blocked, with the candidates

proposed by the factions of NDTF.

It also came to the fore that he wanted to

take all the teachers’ fronts of DUTA

with him. He was also accused of having

sympathies with DTF, the teachers’

front of the CPM. Due to all this the

RSS perceived a hindrance to its agenda

in DU.

It was the time when there was a

buzz in the university circles that the

government had offered an important

post at the United Nations to Prof. Tyagi

since he was a reputed scholar of international

law. But Prof. Tyagi it is said,

declined the offer. However, he did keep

attending the programs of the RSS and

at the same time continued implementing

the policies of the government/UGC

in DU.

From keeping in abeyance the

appointment of about four and a half

thousand ad-hoc teachers to making

rules for implementing contractual

teaching, he thoroughly followed the

policies of the government/UGC. The

process of appointing guest teachers in

the colleges of DU implemented during

his tenure was, in fact, a rehearsal for

contractual teaching. If the vice-chancellor

was not concerned about the promotion

of permanent teachers, and the

delay in the cases of pension of retired

teachers, then the government was not

either.

The New Education Policy (NEP)

was such a factor due to which it

became necessary for the government to

oust Prof. Tyagi from the office of the

vice-chancellor. His serious illness and

operation provided that opportunity to

the government. After four and a half

part of the rescue operation.

A team of six trekkers from Arete

Mountaineering Club in Kolkata, along

with a guide and 11 porters were stranded

at Khemenger Glacier in Lahaul-

Spiti district. A day earlier, the ITBP

rescued 11 members of the team. The

deceased were identified as Bhaskardeb

Mukhopadhya and Sandeep Kumar

Thakurta, both residents of Kolkata.

The trans-Himalayan Buddhist-dominated

Spiti has a rich treasure of

monasteries. It attracts globe-trotters

not only for nature-based activities but

years of dealing with Prof. Tyagi, the

government may have felt that he would

not be amenable for complete obedience

to make DU the first laboratory of the

NEP.

The government was adamant to

accomplish this task immediately. If

Prof. Tyagi was even ready, in the event

of illness, things would not have worked

in that direction with the same urgency

as was seen after his departure. The

farce going on at present to appoint professors

and senior professors

in the departments of

various faculties and colleges

of DU should be

seen as linked with the

‘quality’ of the NEP. Prof.

Tyagi might not have let

this happen.

I have never met Prof.

Tyagi. I was abroad for

teaching at the time of his

appointment. Even after

returning from there, I

never needed to interact

with him. I believe that

essential works of teachers, administrative

staff and students were delayed or

not done during Prof. Tyagi’s tenure.

The contractual practice in administrative

work and ad-hocism in teaching

continued incessantly during his tenure.

The logo of DU is an elephant. The

University itself comprises about 100

colleges/institutes, and it is indeed a elephantine

endeavour to run its affairs.

Effective management of this vast university

requires constant dedication of

the vice chancellor and his team, so that

the other participants – principals,

teachers, administrative staff, students

etc. – remain active in their respective

roles. Unfortunately, Prof. Tyagi never

also for exploring ancient monasteries

like Tabo, which is over 1,000 years old.

The entire area, populated mainly by

tribals, remains cut off from the rest of

the country for more than six months in

a year due to snow.

formed his complete team.

Despite all this, to my mind, Prof.

Tyagi made a significant contribution to

the DU. To understand his contribution,

one has to look at the tenures of his two

predecessors.

Prof. Deepak Pental’s tenure (2005-

2010) saw the infamous cobalt scandal

in which two people were killed. It was

not just an accident; it was a criminal

act. At that time, there was a demand to

arrest the vice-chancellor and others

involved in that scandal

by registering a criminal

case against them. DUTA

had organized a huge

demonstration at the

Delhi

Police

Headquarters on this

demand. But the vicechancellor

got the advantage

of high access in the

Congress and the government,

and such a serious

matter got shredded.

Prof. Pental had been surrounded

by allegations of

plagiarism during his tenure. Using the

position of vice chancellor, he kept

obfuscating this serious matter under

the carpet. Later the matter reached the

court and as per the court’s decision, he

had to spend a night in Tihar Jail. Prof.

Pental did not hesitate to break the rules

and regulations of the university, suppress

the instructions and orders coming

from institutions like UGC.

After Prof. Pental, Prof. Dinesh

Singh’s tenure (2010-2015) is known

for many controversies/accusations. He

was also known for his autocratic attitude.

Prof. Dinesh Singh also used to

call himself an old and close member of

the Congress family. As soon as he

Dr. Prem Singh

joined, he made the vice-chancellor

office a den of ‘Caste Panchayat’. For

the first time in the history of DU, there

was a direct intervention of the vicechancellor’s

office and the South

Campus Director’s office in every

appointment made in the colleges. Prof.

Dinesh Singh’s behavior was full of

malice and arrogance towards Delhi

University Teachers Association

(DUTA). He often used to refuse meeting

DUTA representatives. He also used

to pressurize the college principals for

not providing auditoriums for the meetings

of DUTA. When DUTA planned to

set up its tent for the sit-in, hunger

strike, demonstration, his ‘bouncers’

used to misbehave with the teacher representatives.

‘Dinesh-Umesh’ duo used

to directly threaten the Delhi University

Appointed Teachers participating in the

action programs of DUTA, or supporting

the side of the elected teacher representatives

in the Academic Council

(AC) or Executive Council (EC) meetings.

He was so enamored and performance-loving

that he arrived riding an

elephant in the ‘Anterdhwani’ exhibition

used to held at the university

grounds during his tenure. (I did not see

that scene with my own eyes. Only have

seen the photos. My mind is not ready

till today to accept that any vice chancellor

can reach the event by sitting on

an elephant!) A white paper regarding

the financial and administrative misdeeds

of Prof. Dinesh Singh’s tenure

was prepared by DUTA and the same

sent to the Visitor. The Visitor had

issued him a show cause notice. By then

the power at the center had changed. To

avoid action against him, Prof. Dinesh

Singh rushed straight to RSS chief

Mohan Bhagwat begging his shelter.

I have reluctantly given the above

brief account of Prof. Tyagi’s earlier

two predecessors. The facts are known

to teachers of DU and available on

internet.

Two things are clear from that narrative:

One, both persons brought down

the dignity of the post and the office of

the Vice-Chancellor of DU. Two, the

persons who bring down the dignity of

the post and the office of vice-chancellor

are not only confined to the BJPregime.

The credit goes to Prof. Tyagi that he

restored the dignity of the post and the

office of the vice-chancellor in the

University of Delhi. This is his significant

contribution. The new vice chancellor

Prof. Yogesh Singh now inherits a

dignified vice chancellor office, thanks

to Prof. Tyagi.

Hence, this farewell note.

(The author taught Hindi at Delhi

University)

ITBP retrieve two bodies of trekkers from 18,000 ft in Himachal


24 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Captain Should Play a Higher

Role Than High Command

(Asian Independent)- I do not generally

opine on the internal affairs of any

political party. Hence, I have no comments

on the machinations of leadership

change in Punjab and the strength

or potential of the new leadership. I will

only say that Captain Amarinder Singh,

a veteran leader of about 80 years, was

punished by the Congress high command

for not visiting Delhi time and

again, and for treating two national

Congress leaders – Rahul Gandhi and

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra – as ‘children’

and ‘misguided’.

Captain must have noted that the

new chief minister Charanjit Singh

Channi described Rahul Gandhi as a

revolutionary leader. He must have also

read the proclamations of some overzealous

political analysts that the sound

of the bugle of a Punjab ‘revolution’ has

reached Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh

– the suggestion being, that in one master

stroke, Rahul Gandhi has come into

full form. In other than words, one

should soon expect similar Punjab-like

revolutions like in Rajasthan and

Chhattisgarh!

Captain must come out of his

despondent mood of ‘humiliation’ and

seen that the traditional Dalit vote-bank

has started gravitating to the Congress

kitty no sooner than he resigned! He

might have also accepted the truth, told

to him after nine and a half years of

service as, that he was a useless

Congress chief minister who kept away

from the public and his task. Now

Captain who has great self-esteem

should understand the power of the

high command which can convert a raja

into rank and a rank into raja. The

multi-talented Captain, who has seen

many ups and downs in his 52-year

political career, must also accept that

the high command culture in India’s

democracy is acceptable not only to

MLAs-MPs but also to most analysts

and experts.

In this article the episode of leadership

change in Punjab has been considered

in the context of two issues. One

issue is of long-term importance, and

Dr. Prem Singh

the other of immediate importance. Let

us first consider the issue of immediate

importance which is related to the

ongoing peasant movement.

There is no need to forward further

arguments to state that this movement

originated from the womb of Punjab,

and Captain Amarinder Singh as chief

minister played an important role for its

strength and longevity. Like the leaders

of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a

constituent of National Democratic

Alliance (NDA), Captain was also not

particularly concerned about the agricultural

laws at the time of their formulation.

But when the movement against

the laws arose in Punjab, he played his

part in favour of the movement with

understanding, maturity and objectivity.

All opposition parties today are

active in trying to take political advantage

of the peasant movement. A large

number of farmers in Punjab have been

associated with the Akali Dal. Despite

this, it was believed that the Congress

could benefit the most from the farmers’

agitation in the coming assembly

elections in Punjab. The manner in

which the high command has removed

Captain in a humiliating manner by

throwing in the hat for a graceless

entertainer, may create confusion

among the agitating farmers.

A distinct lack of commitment for

ideology is the central character of contemporary

corporate politics. Due to

this, the distinctions in the houses of all

political parties have gone hazy. Any

number of times a leader or a wannabe

can move in or out of any house. He can

tamper with and subvert the

Constitution and the basic values of

humanity for the sake of power.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

formed by the children of the Ford

Foundation is basically a party of corporate

politics. Therefore, it naturally

advocates openly for ideological

manoeuvrability in politics. Navjot

Singh Sidhu, who came from BJP to

Congress, has links with AAP. When

the high command was trying to make

him the state president, Sidhu had loftily

claimed that “Aam Aadmi Party

understood his vision.” It’s obvious

there is no place for farmers’ movement

in his ‘vision’. Perhaps that is why the

farmers opposed the decision of the

high command to make Sidhu the state

Congress president.

Right now, the battle raging in the

Congress is about who will be the chief

minister’s face in the assembly elections.

The way the high command has

placed its hand on Sidhu’s back, he is

quite clearly the face of both the election

campaign and the chief minister. It

will be his endeavour that after the election

results, he along with his supporters

and AAP become the next chief

minister.

This situation fits the high command’s

objectives as well because

Channi, who was made the chief minister

in place of Captain, was not their

first and direct choice. Channi was

made the chief minister as a consensus

candidate to tide over the moment. The

task of formation of a new cabinet

under his leadership has been performed

by the high command in Delhi.

Always conscious of his dignity,

Captain has repeatedly stated he will

oppose Sidhu at any cost. Akali Dal and

AAP will try to take full advantage of

this confusion. Both support the peasant

movement with a selfish motive.

Whichever party wins or stays ahead in

the assembly elections, there is always

a fear of setback for the peasant movement

based on the axis of Punjab. The

leadership of the peasant movement

and its supporters should prepare to

deal with such a danger.

Let us now turn to the issue of longterm

importance which is related to

security. It is important to note that

while Punjab is a border state of the

country, it needs to be noted more seriously

that Punjab had been in the grip

of extremist/separatist movement for

almost a decade. Even though the

ground for that movement was prepared

here in the country by the mistakes

of the leadership, a large base of

its support and assistance is rooted

abroad including Pakistan. That base

remains strong to this day. The fundamentalist

elements of the Sikh community

settled in countries like

America, Britain, Canada etc. are supportive

of the demand for a separate

Khalistan from India. From the beginning,

some separatist leaders have

been conducting their activities from

Pakistan. There are intermittent

reports of separatist activities and

arrests from Punjab and other parts of

the country. This shows that fundamentalist

tendencies and elements do

exist in Punjab, which are exploited by

the extremists sitting abroad.

It is the perception of the separatists

sitting abroad that the goal of Khalistan

cannot be achieved without breaking

the supremacy of Akali Dal and

Congress in Punjab politics. During the

last general or assembly elections, there

have been reports in the media that separatists

sitting abroad supported AAP in

many ways. There are also frequent

reports of AAP leaders colluding with

the fundamentalist elements existing in

Punjab. It is to be noted that the leaders

of the separatist movement run in the

name of Khalistan never faced any

shortage of funds. On the contrary, they

provide funds to break the Akali-

Congress supremacy to power hungry

elements in politics.

Some analysts called the statement

of Captain a hasty one in which he has

called Sidhu as pro-Pakistan. But in the

context of Punjab’s separatist movement,

Captain has been naming

Pakistan as a threat in the past as well.

(Otherwise, he has been an advocate of

cordial relations between East and West

Punjab, divided between India and

Pakistan. In his first chief minister

tenure, he hosted the chief minister of

Punjab in Pakistan.) In his congratulatory

message to Channi on being made

chief minister he drew his attention

towards only one issue that is security.

Captain served only three years in the

army, but he is a graduate of the

National Defence Academy (NDA) and

the Indian Military Academy (IMA).

The training and service of the Army

has not only influenced his personality

and style of functioning, but has also

shaped his outlook on national security

and unity. The RSS/BJP leaders, including

Narendra Modi, admire Captain’s

nationalist allegiance. But while doing

so they forget that Captain is a secular

nationalist.

The RSS/BJP government and leaders

have repeatedly accused those participating

in the farmers’ movement of

being Khalistani. This is a very sensitive

and emotional issue. In the politics

of the country, the game of playing with

the sentiments of the people for power

is going on shamelessly.

In the midst of all this, the supporters

of Khalistan are waiting for the

opportunity. Due to the Khalistan

movement, the countrymen have suffered

terribly in Punjab and beyond. It

should not be repeated, it is the responsibility

of the sensitive leaders of all the

parties including Captain to guard

against this.

Captain once said that he would

write a book on the experience of that

dreadful dark decade. He is a leader of

stature. Instead of wasting his energies

fighting the dwarves, if he focuses on

the security of the nation and Punjab, he

will do a yeoman’s service to his commitment

towards the country.

'Deadlock' persists between Punjab CM, Sidhu even after meet

Chandigarh : The crisis in the Punjab

Congress between Chief Minister Charanjit

Singh Channi and state chief Navjot Singh

Sidhu seems to be continuing despite their first

face-to-face meeting on Thursday since the

latter resigned from the post.

The meeting lasted for over two hours and

the issues raised by Sidhu will be put before

the Cabinet on October 4, sources in the party

said. After the meeting at Punjab Bhavan,

where AICC observer Harish Chaudhary was

also present, both Channi and Sidhu left the

meeting venue without talking to the media.

After meeting the Chief Minister, Sidhu

held a closed-door meeting with his close confidantes,

legislators Pargat Singh, Raj Kumar

Verka, and Kuljit Nagra.

A day earlier Channi said he has spoken to

Sidhu and invited him to have a chat and sort

out differences, if any.

"Whoever is party President is head of the

family. I had called him and told him that the

party is supreme.

I have spoken to him on phone and told him

to let's sit, talk it out and resolve the issue," he

had told the media here.

Days after the 'deadlock' between Channi

and Sidhu over the appointments of the

Director General of Police and Advocate

General, besides re-induction of a 'tainted' legislator

in the Cabinet, Sidhu, ahead of the

meeting, indicated that he was ready to end the

impasse. He especially came from his hometown

Patiala to meet Channi in Chandigarh.

Ahead of the meeting, Sidhu tweeted:

"Chief Minister has invited me for talks will

reciprocate by reaching Punjab Bhawan,

Chandigarh at 3:00 PM today, he is welcome

for any discussions !" A day after his resignation

as the Congress chief, Sidhu on

September 29 said he will fight for truth till his

last breath as the fight is for principles that he

won't compromise with. "I will fight for truth

until my last breath," Sidhu had said in a video

message posted on his Twitter handle. "It is

not a personal battle but a fight for principles.

I won't compromise on principles," Sidhu had

said categorically. Without mincing words, he

had said he would not accept tainted ministers

being brought back into the newly constituted

state cabinet led by Channi. In the video message

in Punjabi, the cricketer-turned-politician,

who said his only religion is to make

people's lives better, had said he had fought for

justice and for Punjab's agenda.

Unhappy over the expansion, allocation of

portfolios and appointments on crucial posts,

including the Advocate General, Sidhu on

September 28 resigned from his post after

remaining at the helm for 71 days.

As his decision pushed the state Congress

into deeper crisis, Sidhu, however, maintained

that he would not be leaving the party.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

Covid lockdowns

had major impact on

diabetes control: Study

London : The effects of the Covid-

19 pandemic on people with Type 1

diabetes (T1D) and Type 2 diabetes

(T2D) were very different, according

to a research.

A systematic review and metaanalysis

of 33 studies looking at how

diabetes control changed with the onset

of lockdowns in over 4,700 patients

from 10 countries suggest that glycaemic

(blood sugar) control substantially

improved in individuals with

T1D. In contrast, lockdown contributed

to a short-term worsening in

blood sugar control and weight gain in

many with T2D. "Our analysis has

revealed that lockdown improved the

way people with Type 1 diabetes managed

their condition," said lead author

Claudia Eberle from the University of

Applied Sciences in Fulda, Germany.

"However, people with Type 2 diabetes

paid a heavy price, with many

experiencing deteriorating glycaemic

control and weight gain -- which are

associated with many of the common

types of cancer, blindness, amputations

as well as heart attacks and strokes,"

Eberle added.

In this study, published in the journal

Diabetology and Metabolic

Syndrome, researchers searched for all

studies published in English or German

which reported the impact of Covid-19

lockdowns on glycaemic control in

patients with either T1D or T2D. In

total, 33 peer-reviewed studies up to

March 2021 were included in the

analyses. The researchers found that in

25 studies including 2,881 individuals

with T1D, 18 studies (72 per cent)

showed clear improvements in glycaemic

control, 4 (16 per cent) showed

no changes, while 3 studies (12 per

cent) reported a deterioration -- possibly

due to an interruption in health care

services, as seen in India where insulin

was in short supply.

In contrast, the analysis found that

in 8 studies including 1,823 individuals

with T2D, half the publications noted

short-term worsening in blood sugar

control during lockdown, while a quarter

(2 studies) showed some improvement.

Overall, HbA1C levels increased

by an average of 0.14 per cent through

the lockdowns. Moreover, 3 studies

reported increases in body mass index

(BMI) of between 0.3 kg and 0.95 kg,

while one reported a substantial

improvement in BMI.

01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021

25

Myanmar extends

suspension of int'l flights

Nay Pyi Taw : Myanmar's Ministry of Transport and Communications has

further extended the suspension

of international

flights until the end of

October.

As part of measures to

curb the spread of Covid-

19, the Central Committee

on Prevention, Control

and Treatment for Covid-

19 also announced the

extension of the period for

anti-pandemic measures

to October 31, reports

Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, the military

has extended the suspension of military operations for five more months

from October 1 this year to February 28, 2022, in efforts to effectively carry out

prevention, control and treatment activities of Covid-19 across the country, and

to restore perpetual peace in the entire nation as well as to boost the peace

process.

According to the Ministry of Health, Myanmar reported 1,468 new cases in

the past 24 hours, bringing the tally in the country to 464,076 .

A total of 53 more deaths were newly reported, which increased the overall

fatality toll to 17,735. According to the Ministry, the number of recoveries has

increased to 418,329 so far. Myanmar detected its first two positive cases of

Covid-19 on March 23 last year.

Manjhi hits back at

BJP after his

controversial statement

on Lord Ram

Patna : Jitan Ram Manjhi, the former chief minister of Bihar, who

is facing criticism for his controversial

statement on Lord Ram,

retaliated on Thursday by saying

that they should also speak about

Dalit entry into temples. Manjhi

was referring to the Karnataka

incident where the temple administration

imposed a fine of Rs

23,000 on a Dalit father, who was

offering prayer outside the gate of

temple but his two-year-old son

entered into it on September 4.

"The religious mafias would

not say anything about such an

incident. They become silent about

it. No one will speak on banning

Dalit community to enter into the

temples. They do not like Dalit people to enter temples or read religious

books," Manjhi said in a tweet in Hindi, while tagging IANS

stories. "Whatever I am saying... is the result of the pain of centuries...

We have not expressed our anger so far," Manjhi further said

in the tweet. Manjhi on Tuesday said that he has no objection to the

inclusion of Ramayan in the school syllabus of Bihar. But he created

controversy by saying that the story of Ramayan is not based on

truth. "Ramayan has many good things which can be used to educate

our children and women. Respecting our elders and women are the

features of this book. I have no objection in including Ramayan in the

syllabus but I personally believe that it is an imaginary book and I

don't think Ram was a great person and he was alive," Manjhi said.

Following his statement, BJP MLA Haribhushan Thakur said:

"Manjhi put question mark on the existence of Ram. I want to ask

question to Manjhi that why his parents named him Jitan Ram

Manjhi. Why he is not replacing his middle name with "Rakshas". He

is doing cheap politics in the name of Maryada Purushottam

Bhagwan Sri Ram," Thakur said on Wednesday.

Nikhil Anand, the national general secretary of the OBC wing of

the BJP said: "Jitan Ram Manjhi is a senior leader of Bihar and he

should avoid giving statements on anything that has chances of polarising

the people. His statement is against every great man who came

from this soil. Whatever he said against Lord Ram, may hurt a large

number of people of the country. It was just cheap politics of Jitan

Ram Manjhi." The Ramayan is included in the syllabus of the schools

of Madhya Pradesh and discussion is currently underway in Bihar to

introduce it in the syllabus here as well.


26 01-10-2021 to 15-10-2021 WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Taliban-IS(K) rivalry suspected

in blasts, shootings in central

AFGHAN province

New Delhi : A number of explosions

followed by some shootings were reported

on Friday from Charikar district in

Afghanistan's central Parwan province.

Some local sources claimed that Taliban

fighters exchanged fire and blasts with

Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-K)

fighters in the area. Casualties from both

sides are expected, Raha News Agency

reported.

However, some other sources said it was

due to an operation of Taliban fighters

against a local warlord associated with the

ousted government. The Taliban are yet to

make any comment.

As per earlier reports, Daesh fighters

have been sighted in Herat province.

"Since some days, fighters associated

with Daesh have been seen in

Obe city and nearby areas, especially

the main bazaar of the

city," said local sources in Herat,

Raha News Agency reported.

Riding horses, Daesh fighters

were seen moving to different

areas of the city, the local residents

added.

Rejecting the claim, a Taliban

official said that Islamic Emirate

forces are everywhere to establish

security at all areas of Herat

province.

After the Taliban takeover of

Afghanistan, Daesh had

described them as 'infidels' and

announced that they will target

the Taliban leaders.

Since then, in several attacks

in Jalalabad, the capital of

Nangarhar province, many Taliban fighters

have been killed.

This comes as General Mark Milly, the

chief of staff of America's army, told the

Senate that Al-Qaeda has not cut ties with

the Taliban. He said in 12 to 36 months,

under the Taliban, Al-Qaeda will rebuild

itself, the report said.

Premier of Aus

state resigns after

corruption probe

Sydney : Premier of Australia's New South Wales (NSW),

Gladys Berejiklian on Friday announced that she would be resigning

from public office, effective as soon as the state elects a new

leader. The news came after it was revealed earlier in the day that

she was under investigation by the Independent Commission

Against Corruption (ICAC), regarding a conflict of interest around

grant funding she oversaw, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Resigning at this time is against every instinct of my wellbeing...

I love my job and serving the community but I have been

given no option following the statement," said Berejiklian.

The ICAC will probe whether Berejiklian breached the public

trust and was liable to encourage the corruption of her former

partner, former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire.

Public hearings for the investigation would begin on October

18 when the premier is expected to front the commission.

"Serving you has been the greatest privilege of my life. Please

know that every day I gave it my all and worked as hard as I could

to create a better future for the state and its people," said

Berejiklian. The 51-year-old has served as the 45th NSW Premier

from January 23, 2017.

Cheap Afghan meth taking heroin smuggling

route through IRAN to int'l markets

New Delhi : Europe should be better

prepared for the prospect of

methamphetamine coming from

Afghanistan, according to a report by

the EU drugs agency, European

Monitoring Centre for Drugs and

Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Evidence suggests that large quantities

of low-cost methamphetamine

are manufactured in specialised facilities

in Afghanistan by more skilled

operators, known as 'cooks'.

The "full extent of ephedrine and

methamphetamine production in

Afghanistan remains unknown, but it

could be considerable", the report

said.

EMCDDA research points to the

availability of 'cheap Afghan meth'

across consumer markets in Iran at

very low retail prices.

Seizure data suggest that Afghan

ephedrine and methamphetamine

(sometimes in liquid form) are potentially

being reprocessed in Iran, raising

concern that the phenomenon is

growing and has the potential to

spread.

While the availability of Afghanorigin

methamphetamine in regional

and international markets is difficult to

estimate, chemical profiling by law

enforcement agencies suggests that it

may have become available in consumer

markets as far afield as East

Africa and Australia.

Production inside Europe (located

mostly in the Netherlands and Czech

Republic) seems to be more than sufficient

to satisfy the current demand

among European consumers. But the

production of comparatively cheap

and pure methamphetamine in

Afghanistan remains a significant

threat, as the drug could enter the

European market via the well-established

trafficking routes for smuggling

Afghan heroin (notably the Balkan

route via Iran and Turkey). Afghanorigin

methamphetamine is seen to be

making its way to the other consumer

markets (e.g. in East and Southern

Africa, South-East Asia and Oceania).

Iran has a longer history of

methamphetamine production than

neighbouring Afghanistan but there

are signs that it is shifting from a producer

to a transit nation.

Since 2010, methamphetamine producers

in Iran have faced growing economic,

regulatory and law-enforcement

pressures that have limited

domestic production and led to a

growing reliance on cheaper imports

from Afghanistan.

The Iranian authorities are reported

to have played a key part in making

domestic production riskier and less

profitable, the report said. Seizures of

methamphetamine in the EU have

increased in the last 10 years, although

not to the levels observed elsewhere in

the world.

The current market for methamphetamine

in Europe is much smaller

than for other stimulants (e.g. cocaine

and MDMA), with consumption

restricted to specific countries, regions

or user groups.

"Nonetheless, there are concerns

that interest in the drug may be growing

and that it could have the potential

to play a greater role in Europe's future

drugs problem," the report said.

The expansion of the methamphetamine

industry in Afghanistan in

recent years follows the realisation by

Afghan drug traders that ephedra

plants (growing wild for centuries in

the country's central highlands) are a

natural source of ephedrine, a precursor

chemical used to make methamphetamine.

The report explains that methamphetamine

production was already

occurring in the country between 2013

and 2017, but was based on ephedrine

extracted from imported medicines

(e.g. cough syrups) in a costly process

requiring specialised chemists.

The country's move into large-scale

ephedra-based methamphetamine production

from 2017 appears to have

occurred relatively rapidly, resulting

in a 'thriving cottage industry' for the

extraction of ephedrine from dried

ephedra crops by relatively lowskilled

workers.

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