Posts tagged ‘prime minister of india’

18/08/2016

India ready for Pakistan talks; U.N. alarmed by Kashmir violence | Reuters

India is ready to send its top diplomat to Pakistan for talks focused on fighting cross-border terrorism, sources at foreign ministry said on Wednesday, after a spike in tension in the disputed northernmost region of Kashmir.

Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was willing to attend talks on the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart, the sources said, stressing cross-border terrorism was central to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir state.

The olive branch comes after 40 days of violent protests in Indian-ruled Kashmir set off by the killing by security forces of a field commander of Pakistan-based Islamic militant group Hizbul Mujahideen who enjoyed wide support.

At least 64 people have died and thousands injured in clashes with security forces, denounced by Pakistan, which also claims the right to rule Jammu & Kashmir in a territorial dispute that dates back to partition in 1947.

The Indian sources, who declined to be identified, made it clear, however, that India “rejects in their entirety the self-serving allegations regarding the situation in J&K, which is an integral part of India.”Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is the name of India’s only Muslim-majority state that includes the disputed Kashmir region.

A spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry declined to comment late on Wednesday, saying the government was preparing a response to the proposed Indian visit.

A U.N. human rights official expressed “deep regret” at the failure of both the Indian and Pakistani authorities to grant access to the separate parts of Kashmir that each run to investigate allegations of serious human rights violations.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement issued in Geneva it was unfortunate that sincere attempts by the United Nations to independently assess the facts in relation to reports of human rights violations had failed.

“Without access, we can only fear the worst,” said Zeid.

The nuclear-armed neighbours, which have fought three wars since independence in 1947, both claim Kashmir in full but rule it in part.

In the latest violence on Wednesday, militants killed three members of the security forces when they ambushed an army convoy and then fired on a police jeep that came to the scene.

In a worrying escalation the previous day, security forces fired live rounds at a crowd of stone-throwing protesters in Baramulla district, killing five and wounding 10.

Earlier, police and troops trying to control crowds had resorted to the use of shotguns, whose pellets are meant to incapacitate but not kill.

But residents of Kashmir say the shotguns have inflicted severe injuries and even blinded hundreds of people including bystanders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ratcheted up tensions in his annual Independence Day speech on Monday, accusing Pakistan of glorifying terrorism.

In a tit-for-tat escalation in the war of words between the neighbours, Modi said he had received messages of support from leaders in restive regions of Pakistan, in particular the troubled southwestern province of Baluchistan.

India accuses Muslim Pakistan of supporting Kashmiri fighters while Pakistan accuses India of meddling in Pakistani trouble spots, in particular of helping separatists fighting the Pakistani state in resource-rich Baluchistan.

Both sides deny the accusations.

Source: India ready for Pakistan talks; U.N. alarmed by Kashmir violence | Reuters

16/08/2016

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day Speech in 10 Quotes – India Real Time – WSJ

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday made the annual Independence Day speech at Delhi’s Red Fort.

With the end of his colorful turban blowing in the wind, he outlined his government’s achievements and took a swipe at Pakistan.

Here are 10 quotes from the 90-minute speech, based on the official translation from Mr. Modi’s office:

On India’s progress:   “India is not 70 years old but this journey is 70 years long.

”On governance:   “Now turning self governance to good governance is the resolve of 1.25 billion countrymen.”

On India’s problems:   “If India has thousands of problems, it also has 1.25 billion brains that have the ability to resolve them.

”On economic growth:   “As far as GDP growth rate is concerned, we have left behind even the big economies of the world.”

On the goods-and-services tax:   “The GST regime is to become a powerful tool to strengthen the economy.

”On toilets:   “More than 20 million toilets have been constructed in our villages. Over 70,000 villages have been free from open defecation.

”On stalled projects:   “Blocking projects, delaying them and wasting money amounts to criminal negligence.

”On inflation:   “I will not allow the poor man’s dish to become costlier.”

On Pakistan and the Kashmir region:   “The way the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir praised me, has enhanced the prestige of my 1.25 billion countrymen.”

On caste and minority divisions:    “Serve all people without discrimination. Do not disregard anyone for his age or caste, Respect all.”

Source: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day Speech in 10 Quotes – India Real Time – WSJ

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

27/07/2016

Why India’s Lack of Toilets Is Hurting Its Children’s Development – India Real Time – WSJ

India’s lack of toilets and poor access to sanitation are holding back its children, causing stunted growth and curbing their development, a new report says.

Is India Winning the Fight Against Childhood Malnutrition?

Why Is Indian Children’s Growth So Stunted? It’s Not Why You ThinkT

he country has more than 48 million under fives with impaired growth, the largest number in the world, the report from London-based international development charity WaterAid said.

India also has 774 million people without access to adequate sanitation, and 76 million without safe water, the report said.

Children who are stunted because of malnutrition tend to be shorter and lag behind their peers cognitively. Poor access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene cause diarrhea and expose children to other intestinal infections during the crucial first two years of life.

Around 140,000 under-fives die in India every year because of diarrhea and other diseases caused by lack of access to these basic services, the report said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said in the past that he would rather build toilets than temples — setting a goal for every home in the country to have a place to go to the bathroom by 2019. But the program has suffered challenges: some Indians prefer to relieve themselves outdoors.

India is making some progress, however. The report said the percentage of its children who were stunted reduced from 48% in 2006 to 39% in 2014, the year Mr. Modi came to power.

Pakistan, India’s closest neighbor, ranked third with more than 9.8 million children who are stunted, according to the WaterAid study.

Source: Why India’s Lack of Toilets Is Hurting Its Children’s Development – India Real Time – WSJ

30/06/2016

India to get over $1 billion from World Bank for Modi’s solar goals | Reuters

The World Bank said on Thursday it would lend India more than $1 billion for its huge solar energy programme, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought climate change funds from its visiting head.

Modi is banking on India’s 300 days a year of sunshine to generate power and help fight climate change rather than committing to emission cuts like China.

The World Bank loan is the global lender’s biggest solar aid for any country and comes as India has set a goal of raising its solar capacity nearly 30 times to 100 gigawatts by 2020 and is attracting mega investment proposals from top companies and institutions.

“Prime Minister Modi’s personal commitment toward renewable energy, particularly solar, is the driving force behind these investments,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement released after he met Modi. “The World Bank Group will do all it can to help India meet its ambitious targets, especially around scaling up solar energy.

“India is the largest client of the World Bank, which lent it around $4.8 billion between 2015 and 2016.

Modi’s office said he told Kim about the need for climate change financing for countries like India that are “consciously choosing to follow an environmentally sustainable path”.

India wants the share of non-fossil fuel in total installed power capacity to jump to 40 percent by 2030 from 30 percent currently, but there are challenges including weak finances of state distribution companies forced to sell subsidised power, difficulties hooking up solar projects to grids, and access to affordable capital.

Still India reckons its renewable energy industry could generate business opportunities worth $160 billion this decade, making it a lucrative market that has already attracted big global players such as Japan’s Softbank Corp, Taiwan’s Foxconn, First Solar, Trina Solar Ltd and Finland’s state-controlled utility Fortum Oyj.

German development bank KFW has already agreed to offer India low-interest loans of around 1 billion euro over the next five years to fund roof-mounted solar panels, and the construction of solar energy farms and self-contained solar power facilities not connected to the grid.

Source: India to get over $1 billion from World Bank for Modi’s solar goals | Reuters

16/06/2016

India Is Making Progress on Reducing Malnutrition But Now Has a Diabetes Problem – India Real Time – WSJ

While India has dramatically reduced its rate of child malnutrition, a new report points to the increasing burden of diabetes in the world’s second most populous country.

According to the 2016 Global Nutrition Report released Tuesday, India is reducing childhood stunting at double the rate it was a decade ago. Stunting, or low height for age, is caused by insufficient nutrient intake and frequent infections.

“That is highly significant given that India is home to more than one-third of the world’s stunting children,” the study said.

However, the country is facing a new health issue. India has a 9.5% prevalence of diabetes, putting it ahead of the U.K., with 7.8%, and the U.S., with 8.4%, the report showed.

Experts say the high sugar and trans-fat diet Indians consume are a key cause of the growing occurrence of diabetes, which is caused by a deficiency or inability of the body to effectively use insulin. Genetic factors and environmental influences exacerbate the issue.

In April, the WHO said that in India, more men die from diabetes than in any other country. The condition accounted for 2% of all deaths across age groups in India.

As a region, Asia has the highest prevalence of the condition, according to the Global Nutrition Report. Globally, one in 12 people have type 2 diabetes, the report said.“We must stem and tide,” Corinna Hawkes, co-chair of the Global Nutrition Report’s independent expert group said in a statement.

India also has a way to go to reduce stunting. India has the 18th highest prevalence, 38.7% among children under five, of 137 countries included in the Global Nutrition Report. That rate is down from 47.9% recorded a year earlier.

Indian states must set specific targets to help them meet global nutrition goals, while the federal government should devote $6 billion a year to combat nutrition, 13% more than it currently does, the report said.“At current rates of decline, India will achieve the current stunting rates of Ghana or Togo by 2030 and that of China by 2055,” the report said.

Source: India Is Making Progress on Reducing Malnutrition But Now Has a Diabetes Problem – India Real Time – WSJ

10/06/2016

Is China Rattled By the India-U.S. Love-In? – India Real Time – WSJ

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made strengthening ties with the U.S. one of his key foreign-policy objectives, as the two countries seek to counterbalance China’s growing footprint in Asia.

In a speech to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress Wednesday, the conclusion of a three-day trip to the country, Mr. Modi didn’t directly mention China, but said: “In Asia, the absence of an agreed security architecture creates uncertainty.

”A strong India-U.S. partnership can “help ensure security of the sea lanes of commerce and freedom of navigation on seas,” he added.

So is the beefed-up alliance between the two countries making Beijing uncomfortable? The country’s press provides some clues.

Source: Is China Rattled By the India-U.S. Love-In? – India Real Time – WSJ

08/06/2016

In boost to Paris climate pact, India says it aims to join this year | Reuters

India has agreed to work toward joining the Paris Agreement on climate change this year, India and the United States said on Tuesday, giving a jolt of momentum to the international fight to curb global warming.

At a time of heightened tensions in Asia over China’s assertive pursuit of territory, the two countries also pledged to expand military cooperation and outlined principles for cooperation on cyber issues.

President Barack Obama welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House for their seventh meeting since Modi took office in 2014, underscoring the warm relationship between the leaders and the world’s two largest democracies. Modi is to address the U.S. Congress on Wednesday.

“We discussed how we can, as quickly as possible, bring the Paris Agreement into force,” Obama told reporters. Climate change is a legacy issue for the U.S. president who leaves office in January.

India’s potential entrance into the agreement this year would help accelerate its enactment, perhaps years ahead of schedule. India is the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter after China and the United States.

The two countries also welcomed preparations that could lead to the building of six nuclear reactors in India by U.S.-based Westinghouse, in what would be the culmination of some 10 years of work to resolve civil-nuclear issues.

The joint statement said India and the U.S. Export-Import Bank were working to complete a financing package for the project and that the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Westinghouse had confirmed engineering and site design work would begin immediately.It said Westinghouse and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India would work toward finalizing the contract by June 2017 – a year later than Westinghouse’s chief executive, Daniel Roderick, said he hoped for in an interview with Reuters in late March.

Modi told an event organized by the U.S. India Business Council that relations between India and the United States were “closer than ever.” He said the planned reactor purchases would mark new era in nuclear and scientific cooperation.Modi’s address to a joint session of Congress will be a significant personal step. Although this has become a tradition for Indian prime ministers, he was once banned from the United States over massacres of Muslims.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in sectarian riots in Gujarat in 2002 when Modi had just become the state’s chief minister. Modi has denied any wrongdoing, and India’s Supreme Court in 2010 ruled there was no case.In the joint statement, the United States said it now recognized India as a “Major Defense Partner” and would work on technology sharing “to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.

“The text of a logistics agreement, which will allow the countries’ militaries to use each other’s land, air and naval bases, would be signed soon, a U.S. official said.

Tensions between the United States and Pakistan as well as regional concerns about China have served as a backdrop to increased security cooperation.Senator John McCain, chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, said the address to Congress was “entirely appropriate” given the new partnership.”

There’s no doubt there are significant tensions and challenges in the region, which argues for closer coordination between our militaries,” he said.While Modi is generally popular with U.S. lawmakers, they criticize what they see as lingering unfriendliness to U.S. firms and a stifling bureaucracy, in spite of Modi’s pro-business image. They also question New Delhi’s record on human rights.Modi got a boost on Tuesday when Amazon Inc AMZN.O Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said his company would invest an additional $3 billion in India, boosting its committed investment in the country to over $5 billion.

Source: In boost to Paris climate pact, India says it aims to join this year | Reuters

08/06/2016

Amazon Plans $3 Billion Investment in India – India Real Time – WSJ

Amazon.com Inc. plans to invest an additional $3 billion into India, which is emerging as a critical area of growth for the e-commerce giant.

Chief Executive Jeff Bezos announced the plan at a meeting of business leaders Tuesday with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington. Amazon sees “huge potential in the Indian economy,” Mr. Bezos said in a statement.

The announcement brings Amazon’s total planned investment in India to $5 billion, since it announced a $2 billion infusion in 2014. An Amazon spokesman declined to provide details such as how the new funds would be allocated or over what period.

Amazon operates a pure marketplace in India, due to local rules, selling only goods offered through its website by third parties. It nonetheless has warehouse and delivery technologies there that are particularly attuned to the local market, where internet connectivity can be spotty or nonexistent and many consumers don’t have credit cards.

Source: Amazon Plans $3 Billion Investment in India – India Real Time – WSJ

07/06/2016

Here’s How Indians Are Rating Narendra Modi’s Programs – India Real Time – WSJ

Two years into his five-year term, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is asking his countrymen to rate a series of initiatives undertaken by his government.

Among the top scorers so far: an effort expand and modernize the railways and a program to build more roads. Toward the bottom of the favorability rankings: Mr. Modi’s Clean India campaign, which, among other things, aims to get people to use toilets instead of defecating outside.

Mr. Modi has become known for introducing a series of high-profile initiatives, from Make in India, which seeks to promote manufacturing, to pledges to build scores of so-called smart cities across the country.Of 21,770 respondents who had participated in the online survey on the government’s mygov.in website as of Tuesday morning, 70% gave a five-star rating to the government’s efforts to upgrade the rail system. People are asked to grade programs on a scale of one to five.

In the latest federal budget, the government earmarked $17 billion to improve the state-run railroad. Wi-Fi services are being rolled out at stations. And late last year, a deal was struck with Japan to help build India’s first high-speed rail line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

The government’s efforts to build more highways and improve the condition of roadways have also been popular with the people. More than 65% of the respondents to the survey gave these initiatives a five-star rating. The target this year is to build 9,300 miles of highways.People taking the survey also seemed satisfied by the government’s attempts to make electricity more accessible.

One of the worst performing programs, according to the current results of the survey, which is ongoing, is Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, or the Clean India Mission. Only 33% of the respondents gave it a five-star rating. About 16% gave it score of one or two.

India’s Competitiveness and Prosperity Rankings Rise Under ModiIn October, a year into the program, another national survey also hinted at the public’s disappointment with its impact. More the 70% of those polled in that survey said the availability of public toilets hadn’t improved and their cities hadn’t become cleaner.

Mr. Modi is no stranger to crowdsourcing. He regularly encourages Indians to submit their thoughts for his weekly radio show. Prior to delivering his speech on India’s Independence Day last year, he asked citizens to submit their suggestions on what they’d like to hear him speak about. And they did, in hordes.

Source: Here’s How Indians Are Rating Narendra Modi’s Programs – India Real Time – WSJ

Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India