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New Cross-Border Corridor Between India And Pakistan For Sikh Pilgrims

India and Pakistan's independence's from Britain in 1947 divided the Punjab province where Sikhism was born.

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Indian Sikh pilgrims arrive at Wagha railway station to attend the birth anniversary of their spiritual leader Baba Guru Nanak, in Pakistan. VOA
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South Asian arch rivals India and Pakistan have agreed to establish a new cross-border corridor to enable religious devotees from India’s minority Sikh community to visit a historic holy temple on the Pakistani side.

Analysts said the gesture to build the entry point could help lower long-running border tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Thursday his government has already conveyed to New Delhi the decision to open the proposed Kartarpur Corridor for the 550th anniversary celebrations next year of the birth of Guru Nanak, the Sikhism founder.

“We welcome the Sikh community to Pakistan for this auspicious occasion,” Qureshi tweeted. He announced Prime Minister Imran Khan will lay the foundation stone next Wednesday to begin construction on the Pakistani side.

Sikh Community, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh
Children belonging to Sikh Community, Wikimedia

Qureshi’s statement came hours after India announced it had decided to build and develop its side of the corridor on the International border.

The Indian Foreign Ministry, in a letter delivered through the Pakistani diplomatic mission in New Delhi, said the government has “approached and urged” Pakistan “to recognize the sentiments of the Sikh community” and construct the Kartarpur Corridor with “suitable facilities” to facilitate visits of pilgrims from India.

The proposed border corridor aims to connect the Sikh Holy shrine at Dera Baba Nanak in India to the Kartarpur Gurdwara (temple) in the Pakistani town of Narowal. It is barely three kilometers from the border with India and considered to be the first gurdwara ever built. The place of worship is also known to be the final resting place of the Sikhism founder.

Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said India’s “endorsement” of his government’s proposition on building the corridor is a “victory” of the peace lobby in both countries. He noted that it is a step in the right direction, adding, “We hope such steps will encourage voice of reasons and tranquility on both sides of the border.”

Pakistan, Sikh
A man waits to cross a portion of track once shared with the Karachi Circular Railway line in Karachi, Pakistan. VOA

Kartarpur Gurdwara is visible on clear days from a viewing stage on the Indian side, where religious devotees gather every day to have a glimpse of it.

Earlier this week, India’s government announced plans to install a high-powered telescope to enable Sikh devotees to view Kartarpur Gurdwara in Pakistan to coincide with the anniversary of Guru Nanak’s birth.

Also Read: Religions For Peace Organisation Promotes Interfaith Forum

India and Pakistan’s independence’s from Britain in 1947 divided the Punjab province where Sikhism was born. The two countries have since fought three wars and mutual tensions often hamper pilgrims’ plans in terms of getting visas to visit the shrine. Two of those wars have been over the disputed Kashmir region, which remains at the center of tensions. (VOA)

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Oracle Witnessing Double-Digit Growth in India For Past 3 Years

The Oracle Autonomous Database now has the capability to automatically scan for security threats and apply security updates while running to help prevent cyberattacks and data theft

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Cloud major Oracle, which is seeing high demand in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), telecom and manufacturing sectors in India, has witnessed double-digit growth in the country for the past three years, a top company executive has said.

Start-ups and small and medium businesses (SMBs) are fast adopting Oracle’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in the country.

“We are seeing double-digit growth (on an average) in the country. In fact, that’s both in our NetSuite business as well as our enterprise business.

“The India Cloud business is really booming. Overall, the double-digit growth has been there for the last three years in the country, which has been the best-performing region in the Asia-Pacific for us,” Shaakun Khanna, India SaaS GTM Lead, Oracle, told IANS in an interview.

The company competes with major Cloud players like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure and provides services such as SaaS, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Data-as-a-Service (DaaS).

According to Oracle, as a corporation, the firm is on track to become the top SaaS company in the world.

The company offers innovative and proven Cloud suite of SaaS applications that enable customers to transform their business with the latest intelligent technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

“From a perspective of completeness of our enterprise applications, there’s no one who can compare with us. So, that’s pretty much our objective and vision in India as well,” Khanna added.

Oracle Launches Intelligence Map for Close Look at Internet.
Witnessing double-digit growth in India for past 3 years: Oracle. IANS

According to the company, going “autonomous” gave it an edge over rivals in the country.

Larry Ellison, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Oracle, in October unveiled the second generation Oracle Cloud with autonomous capabilities, improved security and upgrades for enterprises at the company’s annual user conference “Oracle Open World 2018” in San Francisco.

According to Khanna, autonomous is probably the biggest thing because, with autonomous, the ability to engage technologies like AI, ML, UI-UX, is there.

“I think the other advantage is our diversity, because if you look at it, we are the only company of our stature in the world that has everything — it’s not just the applications that are ours, the hardware, the infrastructure, the database, everything is Oracle,” Khanna noted.

Also Read- China, US Set To Take Action Against Each Other

The Oracle Autonomous Database now has the capability to automatically scan for security threats and apply security updates while running to help prevent cyberattacks and data theft.

“If you look at the way Oracle built its first set of Cloud infrastructure is very similar to how Google built it, how Amazon built it, how Microsoft built it, almost everyone built it and we are doing exactly the same.

“Larry and the other founders who started Oracle — they were working for a CIA project and then they came out and started Oracle. So we understand security from our DNA,” said Mitesh Agarwal, Vice President, Key Accounts, Oracle India.

“Almost all of our competitors have never managed to move an enterprise workload to the Cloud — not a single one of them. They all have peripheral applications that have moved to the Cloud. That’s still only about 5-6 per cent of the workloads in the world,” Agarwal informed. (IANS)