Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Look East promise
India needs to balance its diverse alliances as it looks forward to strengthening the East Asia pivot for economic gains
Prime minister Narendra Modi's visit to Manila for the ASEAN-India Summit, the East Asia and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Summit has brought India to the centre-stage in the Asian region for various reasons. The Look East policy formulated about a quarter of century back by India has been on the slow move till the last few years despite the fact that this was considered to be the best alliance for strengthening its ties with the Far East countries. This brings it to the fore that India has been ignoring for the past many years for economic partnership that could be seen as mutually beneficial for both the parties. In fact, Asian region now referred to as 'Indo-Pacific' corridor puts the ties with United States in centre-stage in India's Act East policy in all the three ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Saffron farmers in distress
Efforts to conduct research and increase production of this costliest spice has been bogged down by lack of foresight and proper perspective
The saffron farmers of Kashmir appear to be in severe distress like farmers of other traditional crops in the country as the crop failure is staring them due to various reasons. On the face of it, the saffron fields at this time of the year would present a colourful look as farmers prepare for harvest by picking up the full bloom flowers. But the barren look in the fields where few odd flowers are blooming, the farmers are a sad lot as the production is likely to be lowest in many years. The funding of a massive project involving about Rs 400 crore mission to improve saffron production in the state also does not appear to be of any help to the farmers since its inception almost ten years back. In fact, successive governments at the centre and J&K appear to be deeply involved in politics o...
Kashmir Times News Report
Talks and interlocution
Govt should generate confidence, make the talks process more transparent and reach out to the alienated masses, Hurriyat
It may be premature judging the first visit of Government of India's representative for interlocution on Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma to Jammu and Kashmir. But there is enough reason to believe why it did not get off to a good start. Leaving aside his career span which is at odds with the nature of his present assignment, his visit came after the Centre's double speak of talking to everybody without pre-conditions and equating autonomy demand with azadi, diminishing the hopes of goodwill that the exercise could have generated even before it started. Secondly, the terms of reference of the interlocutor are still not clear but certainly a process begun by a former intelligence sleuth is hardly a substitute for dialogue. At best it remains a process of assessing the situation and mood of the pu...
Kashmir Times News Report
The Arabian Twist
The sudden spree of arrests, cracking of princely whip and West's silence carry ominous signals for the already fragile middle east
The Saudi purge inspires cause for concern in the Middle East and is likely to have long term ramifications with possibility of intensifying the sectarian divisions and the gulf's proxy wars. Shockingly, it has so far been met with lukewarm concern or complete silence by global powers. Saudi Arabian state last week arrested at least 11 Saudi princes and four ministers. The crown prince, Mohammed bin Salim, claimed the arrests were part of his anti-corruption drive and as a step forward to more open economy. The crown prince who wants to introduce reforms and push Saudi Arabia on the road to modernization is the man behind the decision to allow women to drive and visit sports stadiums to watch men's sports. He has also set in motion a Dubai-like development process with beach resorts and ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Toxic air we breathe
Solution to increasing pollution is not in knee-jerk response to repercussions but to addressing the causes holistically
Pollution in and around Delhi, impacting peoples' health and contributing to climate change severely, has been an acknowledged fact for long. Air pollution is the leading environmental cause of death worldwide and results in 1.1 million early deaths in India according to the Global Burden of Disease report. That is why, it is difficult to overlook the criminal negligence of the successive governments in dealing with this crisis non-seriously and without a proper scientific assessment of the pollution, its causes and without planning to effectively deal with it. With the Centre almost washing its hands off the problem and leaving it to the Delhi state government to deal with it through piece-meal efforts, knee jerk reactions and efforts that at best are aimed at combating the consequences ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Dynamic petroleum prices
Slippery prices of petroleum products and fixing of rates through dynamic pricing mechanism has provided no respite to Indian consumers
The introduction of dynamic pricing mechanism for fixing of retail rates of petroleum products in the Indian market by the NDA-government does not appear to have provided any respite to the consumers during the past three and a half years. In fact, the retail prices of the fuel oils have been quite high for the Indian consumers despite slippery oil prices in the international market. There has been massive decline in the prices of crude in the international markets during the past four years but the consumers in India have continued to pay a high price for the petroleum products. The petrol, diesel and kerosene oils have witnessed a slight variation in their prices during this period when the prices in the international market are just one-third of what they used to be four years back. It...
Kashmir Times News Report
Economy down, insurgency up: So much for note ban!
By Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal
A year ago, the country was caught in the midst of chaos when Narendra Modi government announced the demonetization of high currency notes, banning the 500 and 1000 rupee notes without making adequate arrangement and alternate cash. The nation was asked to be patient for 'a good cause' as the government took the high moral ground of justifying the note ban policy with the logic that this was aimed to end black money, counterfeit notes and terrorism. One year down the line, there is sufficient data to comfortably say that the move fulfilled none of the cited and promised goals. What happened instead is a sagging economy, declining growth rate, dismal GDP, weakening of unorganized sector and increased unemployment. The saga is reminiscent of a Hollywood comedy from the nineties 'Mouse Hunt'...
Kashmir Times News Report
A year of demonetisation
The demonetisation of high value currency notes almost a year back has miserably failed in curbing the black money
The NDA-government's decision to demonetise the high value currency notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 almost a year back was perhaps the worst in developing country like India, which was still coming to grips with slowdown affected by both the internal as well as the external factors. The tall claims of the union finance minister Arun Jaitley that withdrawal of high value currency notes striking a severe blow to the militancy related activities in Kashmir particularly stone-pelting and incidents of attacks on para-military and security forces in other parts of the country have fallen flat. In fact, the figures and assessments of the security experts on Kashmir have pointed out to continued incidents of stone-pelting particularly when cordon and search operations and the encounter sites. Besides...
Kashmir Times News Report
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