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Showing posts from October 17, 2021

India: Maoists face leadership crisis as top guns age

Siva G | TNN  |  Updated: Oct 20, 2021, 07:07 IST VISAKHAPATNAM: With virtually no fresh recruitment and fast dwindling support of villagers in the last few years, the Maoist Party is in leadership crisis. According to sources, 15 of the 24 members in the party  central committee  and  politburo  are over 60 years and recent pandemic coupled with vector-borne diseases in the jungles has further weakened the extremists. The recent death of Akkiraju Haragopal alias RK has added to the crisis.  Though the leadership baton was passed on to Basavaraj from Ganapati two years ago, the outlawed extremist group has been struggling. There has been no replacement to the Maoist leaders and cadre killed in encounters or due to ailments.. While six members of the central committee and politburo died, two others had surrendered to the police in the last six years leaving a big vacuum. Moreover, eight members of the 20-plus central committee, and four of the 12 politburo members are believed to be und

New Headache For India? China’s ‘Most-Powerful’ Missile Defense System Likely To Be Deployed Along Both LAC & LOC

New Headache For India? China’s ‘Most-Powerful’ Missile Defense System Likely To Be Deployed Along Both LAC & LOC  The latest defense collaboration between the ‘iron brothers’, Pakistan and China, may be seen as a fresh threat to India, whose military has long been strategizing to tackle two-front war challenges. The Hóng Qí-9 (HQ-9), literally the ‘Red Banner-9’, is a Chinese medium- to long-range, active radar homing SAM system. The weapon uses an HT-233 passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar system, which has a detection range of 120 km with a tracking range of 90 km. The system has four different types of radar — Type 120 low-altitude acquisition radar, Type 305A 3D acquisition radar, Type 305B 3D acquisition radar, and H-200 mobile engagement radar. In terms of capability, HQ-9 can be compared with the Russian S-300 and American Patriot air defense systems. Read more


Updated:  Jun 1, 2020 We have read the famous fairy tale of  Hans Christian Andersen 'Ugly   duckling'.  In the story, swan in the company of ducklings is seen as an ugly duckling. One day when it finds a company of beautiful swans, it realises its true identity. Then everyone else around acknowledges its beauty. The Handmade sector is facing an identity crisis like that of the swan in the tale. In the market, mass-produced imitation products are often sold as handmade products. Handmade products in the company of imitation products are  ugly   ducklings . However, this was not always the case. Handloom fabrics have survived over a century of onslaught from the power-loom sector in India. Power-loom units started operating out of Ichalkaranji for the first time in as early as 1904. By 1920 there were 0.12 Mn Power-looms which grew to 0.2 Mn in 1940 registering an increase of 69%. Despite the rapid growth in power looms (Mill sector), During the same period, handlooms grew from 

Ashoka, not a nice guy?:

Ashoka, not a nice guy?: Ravi Shankar Etteth on his latest book, ‘The Return of The Brahmin’ Subha J Rao 01 OCTOBER 2021 15:13 IST UPDATED: 02 OCTOBER 2021 21:01 IST         How Ravi Shankar Etteth’s The Return of The Brahmin looks at the famed king’s disruptive side Ravi Shankar Etteth’s  The Return of The Brahmin  (Westland), like its predecessor  The Brahmin  (2018), is a historical thriller. However, calling it just that would mean not acknowledging the vast storyscape Etteth creates for his main characters — all of whom have grown in age and stature since the first book. For the generations used to reading about India’s kings and emperors from popular comics, where they were distinctly white or black, this series shows what might have possibly been. In the process, the author also imagines how a king who perhaps did not show kindness or remorse is still revered centuries later. Food and drink occupy an important role in the proceedings, and Etteth laughs when you mention that. Thi

Guide to the India Office Records, 1600‒1858

Description A Guide to the India Office Records, 1600‒1858  is a short book intended for use by historians and other researchers, written by the registrar and superintendent of records of the India Office in London. The book is in five sections. The first covers the records of the home administrations, meaning the East India Company from the time of its chartering by Queen Elizabeth in 1600 to the end of its rule over India in 1858, and the Board of Control, or Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, which functioned in London from 1784 to 1858. Section two covers the records of the administrations in India, including Bengal, the government of India, Agra, the North-Western Provinces, the Punjab, Madras, and Bombay. Section three provides an overview of the records of the India Office relating to third countries and regions, for example, the Cape Colony, Persia and the Persian Gulf, and Egypt and the Red Sea. Section four deals with records relating to shipping. Section five c

Digital Army: Synergies on the Battlefield and the Development of Cyber-​Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA)

Author(s): Stefan Soesanto Editor(s): Jakob Bund, Kevin Kohler, Benjamin Scharte Series: CSS Cyberdefense Reports Publisher(s): Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zürich

Terra Calling: Defending and Securing the Space Economy

From Science to Fiction and Back to Reality Author(s): Stefan Soesanto Editor(s): Jakob Bund Series: CSS Cyberdefense Reports Publisher(s): Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zürich

COP26: Setting a benchmark for success

by Richard Joy 20th October 2021 At the end of October, leaders from across the world will gather in Glasgow for  COP26  to make commitments that will have a profound impact on the future of our planet. Unfortunately, the track record of these events over the previous 25 years has been characterised by compromise, voluntary targets, well-meant aspirations and enough loopholes to ensure that countries can avoid obligations that are seen as undesirable. The fear felt by many is that COP26 will, once again, result in bold announcements, a flourish of signed agreements and promises of action, yet in reality, little changes. Whether such an outcome should be attributed to the failings of our political leaders, inherent failings of our political processes or the inevitable consequence of an economic model that prioritises the economy over the environment, is debatable. While we are unlikely to influence the outcome, perhaps we can identify some of the things that we would like to be achieved

The outlines of a national security policy-Dr Subramanian Swamy

Once cybertechnology becomes a key variable in the defence policies of a nation, land size or GDP size are irrelevant  National security concepts have, in the two decades of the 21st century, undergone fundamental changes. These fundamental changes reveal that a large country, in terms of size of geography, population and GDP, will not deter any country. Cyber warfare has vastly reduced the deterrent value of these sizes since cyber weaponry will be available even to small island countries, and the capacity to cause devastation to a large nation by cyber warfare is within the reach of even small and poorer nations. ** read interesting article

NALANDA: Making meaning of the loss

At its peak, Nalanda had over 2,000 teachers and 10,000 students, both drawn from many parts of India and abroad. Viharas like it dotted the landscape of what is today called Bihar, which means that it was a great hub of educational, cultural, and intellectual activity for centuries. It is impossible to fully make sense of its loss. It is not just that a great institution of learning and an even greater tradition of philosophical and academic inquiry shattered, but that an entire civilisation was smashed and pulverised. Thousands of teachers and students were killed, millions of manuscripts and books charred to ashes. Sanskrit, which was the main language of instruction and research, also suffered a body blow. Some of the knowledge of the Nalanda tradition of Buddhism was preserved because several monks and precious manuscripts made their way to Tibet. With the exile in India of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, some of this precious knowledge has returned to the country of its birth and fr

China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Indo-Naga Conundrum

OPINION  -  October 19, 2021 By  Augustine R. There is a growing body of work examining the benefits, drawbacks, and consequences of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and given China’s global ascendance, the BRI is expected to have a significant impact on a vast and geopolitically important region. President Xi Jinping proposed the concept of a “Silk Road Economic Belt” in Kazakhstan (September 7, 2013), and the  following  month he proposed the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” in Indonesia (October 3, 2013). The above two proposals are known collectively as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), or formerly One Belt, One Road (一带一路 (yīdài yīlù) in Chinese). The BRI represents a significant strategic departure in China’s external policy, and stands as one of the world’s most ambitious economic initiatives, aiming to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks, thus improving regional integration, increasing trade, and stimulating economic growth. Furthermore,

Rise of Talibans will lead to Pakistan’s downfall

  A few weeks after the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 15, 2021 which appears to be Pakistan’s problematic victory in Afghanistan, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the Taliban victory in a statement as “breaking the shackles of slavery.” And Pakistani pro-Taliban groups and Pakistani media propagated the victory of Taliban as the victory of Islam! Is this a victory of Pakistan or the beginning of its downfall? Some important key points to assess the situation. 1- Shadow of the Taliban: After Taliban's [Big Brother's] victory in Afghanistan and the implementation of Shariah law in the occupied country, the Taliban's younger brother Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is also demanding Shariah law implementation within Pakistan. Pakistan in its core is a fundamentalist/radical Islamist ideological country and sponsor of terrorism, but for cover to show world that it (Pakistan) is a progressive and secular country it denies officially enforcing Shari

Book By RAW Officer’s Daughter On Kashmir's Trauma Kicks Off Debate, Irks Anonymous Scholars

The ‘anonymous scholars’ have unleashed an attack on Saiba Varma, an Indian anthropologist from the University of California, over the book, ‘The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir’, saying her father ‘create(d) the trauma’ in the valley. Saiba Varma (left), Cover of the book, 'The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir’ (right) Naseer Ganai   Published: 19 Sep 2021, Updated: 19 Sep 2021 10:07 pm An anonymous Twitter account’s attack on the author of a book on Kashmir accusing her of being the daughter of a RAW officer has created a fresh storm on the cyber space. The anonymous account @Settler_Scholar through a series of tweets, unleashed an attack on the author Saiba Varma, an Indian anthropologist from the University of California, after the release of her book, ‘The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir’ published by Duke University in the US and Yoda Press in India. The @Settler_Scholar alleged that her book is on the trauma in the Valley while

Book Launch: The Digital Silk Road

China's Quest to Wire the World and Win the Future Tuesday, October 19, 2021 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm The event will be webcast live from this page. From the ocean floor to outer space, China’s Digital Silk Road aims to wire the world and rewrite the global order. Join CSIS for a discussion with Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and author Jonathan Hillman of what China’s expanding digital footprint looks like on the ground—inside China’s surveillance state, rural America, and Africa’s megacities—and the economic and strategic consequences of a future in which all routers lead to Beijing Watch event here

Sadr and independents biggest winners under Iraq's new election law

The new election law was beneficial for large political blocs and independents, but it also harmed a number of large blocs whose presence in the new parliament has become almost marginal. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images Mustafa Saadoun @SaadoonMustaf Iraqi elections October 13, 2021 The results of Iraq's recent parliamentary elections came as a surprise to all, winners and losers included, indicating a new political era in the country. The Shiite Coordination Framework (a group including armed Shiite parties and forces, mostly from the Fatah Alliance)  issued a statement  Oct. 12 in which it questioned the results of the elections held Oct. 10 and threatened to take action. Less than an hour later, Abu Ali al-Askari, a security and military official in the Hezbollah Brigades,  issued a statement  challenging the elections and calling on “the armed resistance factions to prepare for a critical stage.” The Independent Electoral Commission results were somewhat shocking to politi

How China Avoided Soviet-Style Collapse

Pete Reynolds for Noema Magazine BY  ADAM TOOZE SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 CREDITS Understanding the shifting balance of social forces, interest groups and political factions is essential to see how China escaped the shock therapy that brought down the Soviet Union. Pete Reynolds for Noema Magazine BY  ADAM TOOZE SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 For three days in the middle of May 1989, the Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev visited Beijing. It was the first visit by a Soviet leader to China since the Sino-Soviet split. It would be the last.  After Gorbachev went home, the two countries’ paths divided. Over the next two and a half years, the Soviet Union and its alliance system were dismembered. A world power was relegated to the status of a Eurasian spoiler with an outsized nuclear arsenal. As the apparatus of Soviet command was dismantled, the economies of the former Union and its allies imploded. People suffered a disastrous collapse in their standard of living. The life expectancy of Russian wor