Posts tagged ‘British Raj’

08/08/2016

This Is Why It Is Difficult to Make in India – India Real Time – WSJ

PHOTO: Employees worked on the cabin of a Sikorsky S-92 at the Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. facility at Adibatla in the south Indian city of Hyderabad, June 07, 2016.

Having signed a string of multibillion-dollar orders from foreign firms to make parts for helicopters, jet fighters and trains, India is struggling to find people with the skills to build them.

In a $3.3 billion push, it is racing to equip 15 million people by 2020 with the skills necessary to realize Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aim to bring more high-grade manufacturing to the country.

But the challenges are significant at a time when foreign suppliers including Boeing Co., Airbus Group SE and Alstom SA often can’t find the employees with the training and experience to help fulfill Mr. Modi’s ‘Make in India’ program.E

More than 80% of engineers in India are “unemployable”, Aspiring Minds, an Indian employability assessment firm, said in a January report after a study of about 150,000 engineering students in about 650 engineering colleges in the country.

A lack of specialized courses mean companies have to train their own people from scratch. At one training center outside Hyderabad in southern India, young workers in their early 20s toil with high-precision hand tools as they are taught for the first time how to fix rivets on aircraft-grade aluminum sheets as part of a year-long training program.

Source: This Is Why It Is Difficult to Make in India – India Real Time – WSJ

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14/03/2015

Mahatma Gandhi gets London statue near nemesis Churchill | Reuters

Britain will unveil a statue of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi on Saturday in London’s prestigious Parliament Square, a space packed with monuments to men who defended the British Empire which Gandhi helped destroy.

In an ironic twist, Gandhi’s likeness will sit close to that of Britain’s former wartime leader Winston Churchill, a man who strained to thwart Indian independence and who despised Gandhi and everything he stood for.

Churchill famously called Gandhi “a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal palace.”

But almost seven decades after India won independence from Britain in 1947, in large part thanks to Gandhi’s peaceful civil disobedience campaign, relations between the two countries are strong with both nations keen to boost economic ties.

via Mahatma Gandhi gets London statue near nemesis Churchill | Reuters.

11/01/2014

Seeing India by Luxury Train – India Real Time – WSJ

WHEN WE STEPPED off the train at the small station of Pachora, 250 miles northeast of Mumbai, Lord Ganesha was waiting.

A man costumed as the Hindu god was carried by turbaned attendants and accompanied by folk dancers who whirled to ancient stringed instruments, reedy horns and hand drums. Ganesha sported a pinkish elephant head, complete with trunk and oversize ears, but he blessed us with a very human hand. Locals must have felt like the circus had arrived in town, for despite the early hour, they had come to watch the welcome arranged specially for us.

It was appropriate to be greeted by the god of good fortune: We were a lucky group—passengers taking a 2,000-mile journey from Mumbai to New Delhi on the Maharajas’ Express, one of the most luxurious trains in the world.

Roger Toll

Guests playing elephant polo in the private garden of the Maharaja of Jaipur.

The train’s name conjures images of hilltop forts, bejeweled scimitars and armies on camels and elephants— for good reason. The maharajas (“great kings”) ruled India’s hundreds of princely states from as early as the 1600s to the mid-20th century. In Rajasthan, in particular, the warrior-kings built impressive cities they named for themselves: Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur. Their heirs, allying themselves with the British Raj, continued a sumptuous style of living until Indian independence in 1947. (While the princely families lost their power post-Raj, they kept most of their palaces and forts.)

The Maharajas’ Express pays tribute to that regal lifestyle. Nearly half a mile long, the train is a glossy burgundy on the outside. Inside, guests sleep in cabins that feel like upscale hotel rooms, with silk window treatments, carved wood paneling and marble-tiled floors. Travelers feast off fine china and crisp linens in the two dining cars. The staff seems almost to outnumber the guests, which total 88 at full capacity. In the morning, valets brought tea to our rooms. When we trundled through the long line of cars to dinner, staffers folded down our beds, delivered clean laundry and left behind chocolates or a flower. Upon our return from outings, they greeted us with fresh juice or cocktails and cool, damp cloths for wiping the dust from our faces.

via Seeing India by Luxury Train – India Real Time – WSJ.

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31/12/2013

BBC News – India country profile – Overview

The world\’s largest democracy and second most populous country emerged as a major power in the 1990s. It is militarily strong, has major cultural influence and a fast-growing and powerful economy.

Map of India

A nuclear-armed state, it carried out tests in the 1970s and again in the 1990s in defiance of world opinion. However, India is still tackling huge social, economic and environmental problems.

The vast and diverse Indian sub-continent – from the mountainous Afghan frontier to the jungles of Burma – was under foreign rule from the early 1800s until the demise of the British Raj in 1947.

The subsequent partition of the sub-continent – into present-day India and Pakistan – sowed the seeds for future conflict. There have been three wars between India and its arch-rival Pakistan since 1947, two of them over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

A peace process, which started in 2004, stayed on track despite tension over Kashmir and several high-profile bombings until the Mumbai attacks of November 2008, carried out by Islamist militants overwhelmingly from Pakistan and organised by the Pakistani movement Lashkar-e-Taiba. India announced that the process was on pause the following month.

Communal strife

With its many languages, cultures and religions, India is highly diverse. This is also reflected in its federal political system, whereby power is shared between the central government and 28 states.

However, communal, caste and regional tensions continue to haunt Indian politics, sometimes threatening its long-standing democratic and secular ethos.

In 1984 Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was gunned down by her Sikh bodyguards after ordering troops to flush out Sikh militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

And in 1992, widespread Hindu-Muslim violence erupted after Hindu extremists demolished the Babri mosque at Ayodhya.

Economic progress

Independent India\’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, dreamed of a socialist society and created a vast public infrastructure, much of which became a burden on the state.

From the late 1980s India began to open up to the outside world, encouraging economic reform and foreign investment. It is now courted by the world\’s leading economic and political powers, including its one-time foe China.

The country has a burgeoning urban middle class and has made great strides in fields such as information technology. Its large, skilled workforce makes it a popular choice for international companies seeking to outsource work.

But the vast mass of the rural population remains impoverished.

Their lives continue to be influenced by the ancient Hindu caste system, which assigns each person a place in the social hierarchy. Discrimination on the basis of caste is now illegal and various measures have been introduced to empower disadvantaged groups and give them easier access to opportunities – such as education and work.

Poverty alleviation and literacy campaigns are ongoing.

Nuclear tests carried out by India in May 1998 and similar tests by Pakistan just weeks later provoked international condemnation and concern over the stability of the region.

The US quickly imposed sanctions on India, but more recently the two countries have improved their ties, and even agreed to share nuclear technology.

India launches its own satellites and in 2008 sent its first spacecraft to the moon. It also boasts a massive cinema industry, the products of which are among the most widely-watched films in the world.

via BBC News – India country profile – Overview.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/2013/12/31/bbc-news-china-country-profile-overview/

30/03/2012

* More Chinese investments in India soon

Times of India: “China has committed to facilitating Indian exports into Chinese markets to address the yawning trade imbalance between the two countries. Chinese president Hu Jintao said this to Manmohan Singh in his hour-long meeting with the PM at the end of the BRICS summit on Thursday. This will be Hu’s last summit as Chinese president.

In return, the PM invited Chinese investment in manufacturing and infrastructure projects in India. Chinese companies are kept out of several strategic sectors, but there is a significant change in the Indian government’s approach to Chinese investment.

With the two leaders kicking off a year of friendship celebrations, the overwhelming sense from the meeting was that the two nations are determined to get along, despite many difficulties and differences of outlook. Singh and Hu announced “expanded” foreign office consultations, and launched three new dialogues with China – on West Asia, Central Asia and Africa. India and China pursue markedly different policies in Africa, though with the same stated aims.”

via More Chinese investments in India soon – The Times of India.

Related page:

In the 50s, PM Nehru and PM Chou met and agreed Panchsheel, the five principles of peaceful coexistence. The press coined a phrase Hindi Chini bhai bhai, meaning Indians and Chinese are brothers.  It looked like the slogan was reflecting reality until in the late summer of 1962, due to the long-standing border dispute (legacy of British Raj) Chinese tanks rolled over the Himalyas and reached the oil fields of Assam in the East and also in Ladakh in the west.  Since then matters have thawed. BRIC (and now BRICS) was invented. This news release is good news, at least for India and China.

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