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Showing posts from June 27, 2021

Vajpayee Told Me Not To Toe RSS Line On Economic Policy - Yashwant Sinha

Premiered on 30 Jun 2021 Amid much political attention, Sharad Pawar earlier this month hosted a meeting of leaders of eight Opposition parties apart from some eminent personalities at his residence here, where a decision was taken to formulate an “alternate”, “inclusive” vision for India. The meeting was called under the banner of Rashtra Manch established by Yashwant Sinha. Sinha was earlier in BJP and had also served as the Union Finance and External Affairs Minister during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's prime ministership. However, earlier this year, he joined TMC. In this episode of the Editorial, our Managing Editor Mr Sujit Nair discusses these issues with senior leader Yashwant Sinha.

Deep Dive: China’s Triple Tech Crackdown

Trivium China Deep Dive Trivium China Deep Dive China: policy, politics, econ & tech KNOW CHINA BETTER. Trivium China Deep Dives are curated content, pulled from our paid research services for companies and investors. There's A TON more where this came from. If you are an executive or investor  and you want a gander at the good stuff, send us a note at , or click the link below to request a free 30-day trial. REQUEST A TRIAL   deep dive The three-for-one tech crackdown Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that China’s big tech companies are facing a regulatory reckoning. The rumbling began following an ill-advised speech by Alibaba founder Jack Ma last October, in which the billionaire entrepreneur criticized financial regulators at an industry summit in Shanghai. And it’s been a steady stream of regulatory smackdowns since then  – with news breaking overnight of a cybersecurity investigation into the ride-hailing company Didi, just two days aft

European policy toward Russia begins in the East

New Atlanticist   by   Nicolas Tenzer French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel look on as they give a news statement in Berlin, Germany, on June 18, 2021. Photo by Axel Schmidt/Pool via Reuters. The Franco-German proposal for a European Union (EU) summit with Russia—doomed from the start and  rejected on June 25 —sheds light on deep dissension within the European Council on relations with Russia and the work that must still be done to develop foreign policy in Brussels. At least three issues hobbled the idea championed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel: a lack of consultation, no articulation of expected results, and a dose of suspicion. Central and Eastern European members of the EU questioned the motivations of the two nations and Austria,  whose chancellor supported the proposal , given perceptions of German stubbornness in completing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and appeasement of Moscow; France’s project for a “se

Programs that write programs

Bryan Walsh , author of  Future Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios A new AI tool can work with human programmers to analyze computer code they've written and generate new matching code to complete programs. Why it matters:  The tool can help take some of the scutwork of programming off human experts' hands, leaving them freer to focus on the more creative parts of their jobs. But it also opens the door to a world in which programs could one day fully write programs, which may be bad news for some of the humans that currently do it. What's happening:  Called Copilot, the new tool was launched this week by Microsoft, the collaborative coding platform Github and OpenAI, a machine-learning company that developed the  text-generating model GPT-3 . GPT-3 is a natural-language model trained on a massive quantity of text, which it can use to predict the relationship among words and sentences, allowing it to generate astoundingly convincing text when given a prompt. Copilot was bui

Long report on corruption in Zimbabwe and tie ins with corrupt businesses in South Africa

Interesting but Long report on corruption in Zimbabwe and tie ins with corrupt businesses in South Africa and among top politicians in various African nation states... Quote<<< Reports analysing corruption and State Capture in Zimbabwe seem to be coming thick and fast. Maverick Citizen has obtained a new report published on Thursday that zooms in on the burgeoning offshore business empire of Kudakwashe Tagwirei, Zimbabwe’s richest businessperson and a close adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa. >>>End of Quote Read more a/article/2021-07-01-dismantli ng-zimbabwes-kleptocracy- report-lifts-lid-on-kuda- tagwireis-offshore-dealings- and-sanction-avoiding- strategies/

Cyber Superpower: Critical weaknesses put Beijing well behind the US

. Quote<<< Critical weaknesses put Beijing well behind the US. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato recently warned that cyberattacks should be expected during the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, due to start on July 23. Yet Japan's defenses in this sphere remain somewhat immature, creating cause for concern given escalating threats and reports about shifting power balances, both in cyberspace and more broadly. In this debate, China is often portrayed as a world-leading cyber power based on its massive and highly successful espionage operations. But for now, according to a new assessment by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the U.S. is still ahead of China on that front and has a much stronger track record. Alongside political will, cyber power depends on three factors: how well organized each country is -- strategy and doctrine, and command and control; how well it can defend itself through its own cybersecurity or through international p

Chinese unmanned vehicles with artificial intelligence (AI) could disable Taiwan air defenses and carriers

Jun 23rd, 2021 WASHINGTON –  The question OF whether Taiwan can or should be defended by the United States in the event of Chinese military aggression has caused considerable debate in recent months within the U.S. defense and foreign policy communities. The Diplomat reports.  Continue reading original article The Military & Aerospace Electronics take: 22 June 2021 --  Discussions on this subject have been made more difficult as a result of emerging military technologies, especially in  artificial intelligence (AI) , cyber, robotics, and hypersonic systems, and questions about how they will influence the quantitative and qualitative cross-strait military balance between China and Taiwan, as well as between China and the United States. One scenario involves possible future military conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan in 2030, with the potential Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) employment of  unmanned  aerial vehicle (UAV) swarms to degrade Taiwanese air-

EDITORIAL: Union of states & a subtle reminder

BJP’s somewhat overheated response, accusing the DMK of nursing secessionist sentiments, illustrates that the Dravidian major has made its point. Published: 02nd July 2021 12:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st July 2021 11:28 PM   |  Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin (Photo | EPS) Since the DMK came to power in Tamil Nadu, a rather esoteric debate has emerged in the state. A strong commitment to federalism has always been one of the features of the Dravidian movement. Having assumed power after a decade, the DMK started using the Tamil phrase for “ Union government ” rather than the one for “ Central government ”. The change did not go unnoticed, but the DMK has maintained that the phrase is used in the Constitution, the first article of which terms India a union of states. While the phrase has now gained some currency, its usage has raised the hackles of the BJP that leads the Union government at Delhi. The DMK has brushed off criticism of its decision on entirely logical and perfectly accurate grou

Indian Navy signs pact with Bharat Electronics Ltd to develop emerging technologies

"The broad charter of the TIF includes technology development in the domain of weapons and sensors, information technology and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, quantum computing, autonomous platforms/robotics, image processing and cognitive radio," it said in a statement. PTI   June 30, 2021, 16:29 IST The  Indian Navy  inked a pact with premier DPSU  Bharat Electronics Limited  on Tuesday to develop emerging technologies related to artificial intelligence, quantum computing and robotics. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) provides for the setting up of a  technology incubation forum  to jointly work on developing new technologies. "The Technology Incubation Forum (ITF) reflects the joint vision of the Indian Navy and Bharat Electronics Limited towards innovative and creative thinking and fostering the development of emerging technologies," the defence ministry said. "The broad charter of the TIF includes technology

Culture: Decorative or Useful?

This episode probes one of the core elements of national image and reputation—culture—and asks how a nation state can best incorporate it into its foreign policy. Cases include countries with magnificent cultures but weak images such as Iran and countries whose cultures are admirable but disconnected from contemporary relevance like Greece. Simon and Nick discuss the cultural element as a missing dimension for Ukraine in 2014 but a saving grace for Mali in 2012. The cultural relations approach of the British Council is advanced as a model, and the current state of UNESCO is bemoaned. In the final analysis, Nick and Simon agree that it isn't enough just to be admired for one's culture; the nation state needs to do something to address the world's shared problems. With great soft power comes great responsibility.

Mapping China’s semiconductor ecosystem in global context - Strategic dimensions and implication

MERICS, Berlin Semiconductor components and chips are the foundation for many of the electronics that we use daily. You will find them in many more devices than just computers. They are the building blocks for cars, household appliances and phones. The coronavirus pandemic and the delays in supply chains caused by a week-long blocking of the Suez Canal have brought to light just how interdependent local economies are with the Chinese economy. The shortages sustained during this time are still noticeable to this day in semiconductor dependent supply chains. And China is one of the big players in this industry. Governments in the EU and the US are currently reviewing the challenges of this interwoven dependency on China’s semiconductor supply chain. How has China structured this complex ecosystem? What risks does the high-level integration of China’s semiconductor industry pose on the international system? The risks and implications of this industry is the focus of the new joint study  “

Wolves gone wild

TRIVIUM China Aggressive Wolf Warrior diplomats are torpedoing China’s image abroad. According to the Wall Street Journal, the foreign ministry is trying to do something about it: “The Foreign Ministry is taking steps to pull back on the aggression, including by drafting guidelines for diplomats on the use of Twitter.” Some context:  The Wolf Warriors are a controversial bunch within China’s foreign policy establishment. Many highly placed officials have been trying to rein them in over the past year. There’s just one problem.  It’s not clear that Xi Jinping wants to put a leash on the Wolf Warriors. “In a May meeting with senior party officials, he urged efforts to cultivate a ‘credible, lovable and respectable’ image for China abroad.” “At the same time, the people say, he has maintained demands that diplomats show ‘fighting spirit’ as they defend the country against insults.” Get smart:  The May Politburo study session acknowledged that China’s image abroad needs improving (see  Jun

Industrial policy with American characteristics

On Monday, the US House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation to complement the Senate’s China competition bill.   Some context : On June 8, the US Senate passed the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) (see  June 10 Tip Sheet ). It features Large budget bumps for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Energy (DoE) Measures to counter Chinese influence abroad The House chose to break up the USICA and pass independent bills, including the following two policies focused on boosting tech competitiveness: The NSF for the Future Act (passed 345-67) The DoE Science for the Future Act (351-68) US President Joe Biden is a big fan  (White House) : “By rebuilding those domestic sources of strength, we can out-compete China and the rest of the world for years to come.” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is less enthusiastic  (Bloomberg) : “How the U.S. develops itself is its own domestic affair. However, we firmly oppose efforts to target and use Ch

A Dictionary of the Pathan Tribes on the North-West Frontier of India

Download   Dictionary Pathan is a British term for Pashtun (also seen as Pushtun and Pukhtun), the people who inhabited the region along the border between British  India  and Afghanistan. Today they constitute the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and the second largest in Pakistan. During much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, British  India  sought to control the Pathan areas in order to secure  India ’s northwestern border with Afghanistan.  A Dictionary of the Pathan Tribes on the North-West Frontier of  India  was compiled by James Wolfe Murray (1853–1919), a British officer who was at the time an assistant quartermaster general in the intelligence branch in  India . The book was published in Calcutta in 1899. The dictionary provides a detailed index of the Pathan tribes and their subdivisions. It does not include details on Pathan history or genealogy. The dictionary uses a hierarchical classification that starts with the tribe on top, followed by the clan, the division

Top 10 Defence Startups Making India Aatmanirbhar in Defence Technology

Published on 20 May 2021 Between 2015 and 2019, India was the second-largest arms importer in the world, behind only Saudi Arabia. With 50-55% of India's defence needs being met through imports, it's heavily reliant on countries like Russia, France and Israel for its defence technology. But all that is about to change as India is working towards becoming aatmanirbhar in defence. They have already set aside 63% of their defence budget for FY22 which is $9.7 billion to procure locally produced weapons and systems. Let's take a look at the top 10 defence startups in India making India aatmanirbhar in defence technology.  Watch.   #10 Big Bang Boom Solutions: Founded by R. Shivaraman and Praveen Dwarkanath in 2018, Big Bang Boom Solutions is among one of the youngest defence startups in India. The company is working on multiple technologies for the defence sector. Its flagship product which is called a 360 Advanced Battle Interface is focused on

Jammu attack: Why stealth drones pose lethal threat to key installations in India

TIMESOFINDIA.COM  |  Updated: Jun 27, 2021, 21:47 IST NEW DELHI: In perhaps the first such attack from across the border, suspected Pakistan-based terrorists on Sunday dropped bombs on an IAF station at Jammu airport using drones.  Two Air Force personnel suffered injuries in the twin drone strikes, which happened within a space of six minutes. READ ALSO: Terror attack at IAF station in Jammu: What we know so far Jammu & Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh later confirmed that it was a terror attack, with intel sources saying that drones were possibly launched from a location within few kilometres of the airbase. 'Lethal threat' The use of drones to attack a vital military installation has led to some concern within the security establishment. The defence and internal security matrix of the country has been talking about threats posed by small and remote-controlled unmanned vehicles for the last two to three years. There have been occasional incidents of Pakistan-sponsored armed drone