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Showing posts from November 7, 2021

The Casteism I See in America

   A raft of evidence shows that caste discrimination has been imported from India to the United States. By Vidya Krishnan About the author: Vidya Krishnan is a writer and journalist based in Goa, India. Her first book, Phantom Plague: How Tuberculosis Shaped our History, will be published by PublicAffairs in February 2022. Indians and indian americans are often held up as a “model minority” in the United States. Members of this community are more likely to be highly educated and to have health insurance, make more money, work in more senior positions, and have lower rates of poverty than both the average immigrant and the average American. They are well represented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—the so-called STEM subjects—and more and more of them occupy roles of political and social influence, including Vice President Kamala Harris. This group, so the narrative goes, exhibits the promise of the American dream. But two lawsuits in the past year, as well as two s

Depressive disorders high among PhD students

  KERALA SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,   NOVEMBER 12, 2021 20:10 IST UPDATED:  NOVEMBER 12, 2021 20:10 IST Study identifies key factors affecting mental health and inhibiting academic performance A survey conducted among PhD students in two public universities in Kerala has reported that close to 70% of the students suffer from mild to severe depressive disorders. While 41.7% suffered from mild depression, 17.9% had moderate, 6.7% moderately severe, and 2.1% severe depressive disorders. Students belonging to economically weaker sections, those having limited knowledge of local language and those earning less than ₹20,000/month were more likely to report moderate to severe depressive disorders. The study, which surveyed 240 PhD students using a self-administered patient health questionnaire, followed by in-depth interviews, also reported that financial hardships, disagreement between student and supervisor, lack of student support services, and concerns about an uncertain jo

India’s answer to China’s ports in Sri Lanka

CHULANEE ATTANAYAKE Adani’s multimillion-dollar investment in Colombo not only makes commercial sense, it’s a strategic game-changer, too. Colombo Port (Allison Joyce/Getty Images) Published 9 Nov 2021 12:00   On 30 September, Adani Group, India’s largest private port operator, signed what has been reported as a  US$700 million agreement  to build a new container terminal in Sri Lanka. The deal to jointly develop the Colombo West International Container Terminal (CWICT) with Sri Lanka’s largest listed company, John Keells Holdings and the Sri Lankan Ports Authority, will function under a “build-operate-transfer” arrangement for 35 years. Adani Ports will hold a 51 per cent stake in the terminal partnership, while John Keells would hold 34 per cent and the SLPA 15 per cent. As the first-ever Indian port operator in Sri Lanka, and the largest foreign investment in Sri Lanka’s port industry, the deal has geopolitical significance. Even though Colombo Port was a regional hub that primarily

Evolving Australia–Japan cooperation in dealing with the ‘three Cs’

8 Nov 2021 | Yuma Osaki North of 26° south Amid global uncertainties, strengthening like-minded nations’ bonds to deal with those challenges is vital. In the Indo-Pacific region, cooperation between Australia and Japan has been where the action is. There are three defining challenges—the so-called three Cs—that these key US allies are facing: climate change, China and Covid-19. In recent decades, the relationship between Australia and Japan has been built on economic ties, but more recently the two countries have been  layering cooperation channels  to collectively respond to an increasingly Balkanised politico-economic landscape. Importantly, this trend has been fairly linear despite their respective leadership merry-go-rounds over the past decade or so. Why has Australia–Japan cooperation been so critical? And, given Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s  abrupt resignation , how can new PM Fumio Kishida drive a joint response to these challenges with Australia? The first concern

CHINA: It’s talent, stupid!

TRANSLATE Central Conference on Talent Work 2021 Adam Ni  and  Emily Weinstein Nov 10 4 Source:  The Central Conference on Talent Work was held on September 28 and 29 in Beijing. At the conference, Xi called for a redoubling of efforts to build up China’s talent in support of its national ambitions in technology and science. He also set goals for talent work for 2025, 2030, and 2035. The conference outcomes highlight the critical importance attached to talent by the Party. Subscribe Translation by Adam Ni, Introduction by Emily Weinstein I. Introduction The Central Conference on Talent Work was held on September 28 and 29 in Beijing. A translation of the  conference’s summary from Xinhua  is below in Section III.  At the conference,  Xi Jinping emphasized  the importance of talents in achieving the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. For Xi, talent cultivation is paramount to achieving China’s technological self-sufficiency goals, as

DENIED BY BIRTH: An incident at the residence of Indian Prime Minister

By Mohan Guruswamy I was once having lunch at the home of a Prime Minister, along with a very small and rather eclectic group. I looked around and realised that I was the only non-Brahmin. The talk veered around to the preservation and dissemination of traditional Hindu culture and arts, and the role of the Brahmins in it. About how the top artists and sculptors, musicians, writers and poets, historians etc were mostly Brahmins(largely true). And about how it was the responsibility of the Brahmins to preserve our national identity. At some stage I noticed that the conversation changed from the third person to the first person. Instead of "the Brahmins" the discourse began employing "we/us". So I asked the lady sitting next to me as to why they were talking in terms of us and them, when I was not a Brahmin. She expressed surprise and said that given my name, education and attainments, it was always assumed that I was a Brahmin. She then told the group that the topic


MOHAN GURUSWAMY:    When Farooq Abdullah said what is to be said by advocating  a settlement along the LoC. He got tons of brickbats from the usual sources. As usual there is little application of mind, half knowledge or mostly even less, and an incorrect understanding of history.  Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of South Asia. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The name Kashmir derives from the Sanskrit Kashyapmeru. The Greeks knew it as Kaspeiria. Herodotus called it Kaspatyros. Emperor Ashoka, who called it Shrinagari, founded the capital near present day Srinagar. The ruins of this Ashokan city still stand. Kashmir evolved with a strong Buddhist tradition, but Buddhism here like in the rest of India drowned in the wave of Hindu revivalism initiated by Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century AD. Muslim rule was ushered in by Shamsuddin Shah Mir (1339-42), a cour

The Green Belt and Road Initiative

 November 12, 2021 Posted by China Briefing Reading Time: 8   minutes A China-led effort, greening of the Belt and Road Initiative involves development projects aligned with the 2030 UNSDG goals that also present climate action-positive investment opportunities. Since it was first proposed in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has taken on many forms. A clear-eyed strategy to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks, the BRI’s primary goals are regional integration and stimulating trade and economic growth. Yet, these goals are not been limited to any singular aspect of trade, logistics, and infrastructure but encompass digital connectivity, healthcare systems, and green goals through technology, capacity building investments, and sharing information. These facilitate both Chinese companies and BRI participants to innovate, sell, install, and operate telecom infrastructure; invest in healthcare programs, medical assistance, and medical supply chains;