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Northeast India can be ‘central actor’ in water co-operation

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Kolkata: India’s northeast could be the “central actor” in water and energy co-operation in the sub-regional grouping of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) given its rich resources and connectivity to the neighbouring countries, experts said here on Thursday.

“Northeast connects the east, rest of India to neighbouring countries and it is resource rich in every respect – borders, natural resources, plantation.

“If you are able to grow tea in the northeast like we do in the tea gardens of north West Bengal, we will be the highest producer of tea in the world,” said Mahendra P. Lama, an expert on south Asian co-operation.

“I see the Indian government giving huge emphasis on linking northeast in politics of growth and integrating and inter-linking rivers,” said Lama, chairperson of Centre for South, Central, Southeast Asian and Southwest Pacific Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Echoing Lama, Madhukar Upadhyay, the former poverty-environment initiative adviser at the National Planning Commission, Nepal, said BBIN framework will help address issue of depleting water resources and trans-boundary water sharing.

“What we are seeing is more water in the monsoons and you have less water in the dry season so you don’t know what to do with the water in the wet season. The need of the BBIN initiative would be to understand the water science in mountains and in the plains.

“Bhutan and Nepal have similar problems which will affect countries like India and Bangladesh downstream,” he said at the ‘Advancing the BBIN Agenda: Exploring possibilities in Trade, Transit, Energy and Water Cooperation’ organised by the Observer Research Foundation and The Asian Foundation here.

However, Upadhyay, a climate change consultant, warned India’s ambitious river inter-linking project could be a “blunder” since it would create ‘negative floods’ instead of ‘positive floods’ that ensure nutrient flow.

Deliberating on Nepal’s contribution to BBIN in terms of water co-operation, Hari Pandit, an expert in water resource engineering, said 80 billion cubic metres of water stored in Nepal’s reservoirs during monsoons could be mobilised for the region during the water-deficient months.

(IANS)

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India successfully test fires n-capable Agni-V ballistic missile

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

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Nirbhay
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said the Nirbhay missile test was "successful".(Representative image) VOA
  • India successfully tests the Agni-V ballistic missile on Thursday
  • This was the fifth test that missile underwent
  • With this success, India is now in ranks with US, UK, China and Russia

India on Thursday successfully tests fired its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V — the most potent and with the longest range in the Agni series – that can reach targets as far as Beijing.

The test took place at the Abdul Kalam Island facility off the Odisha coast. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted about its success, congratulating its makers DRDO, the armed forces and the defence industry.

You may also like: Ballistic missile Agni-IV test fired as part of user trial

India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons
India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons

She said the successful test of the 5,000-km-range missile that can carry a one-tonne warhead, was “a major boost to the defence capabilities of our country”.

“The Made in India canistered missile, having three stages of propulsion, was successfully test fired,” she tweeted.

Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Agni-V is the most advanced version of the Agni series, part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that started in the 1960s.

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

This was the fifth test of the missile and likely to be its first user trial, though there was no official word on it.

India is developing new technologies everyday to strengthen its defence.
India is developing new technologies every day to strengthen its defence.

Thursday’s test brings the missile closer to its induction in the tri-service Strategic Forces Command.

The missile has a much longer shelf life, with its container being made of special steel that absorbs the blast of the takeoff.

In the canisterised launch, a gas generator inside ejects the missile up to a height of about 30 metres. A motor is then ignited to fire the missile.

Also Read: Nikki Haley says North Korea Could Face Stronger Sanctions due to its 7th Missile test in 2017

With this missile, India joins the super-exclusive club of ICBM (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500 km) capable countries of the US, Russia, the UK, France and China. IANS