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Intelligence is all about deciphering what lies ahead — analysis of what happened in the past and a capacity to determine what entails for the future in the goings-on of the present, certainly help but Einstein’s famous dictum ‘imagination is more important than knowledge’ also speaks of the relevance of the versatility of the human mind that could see beyond what the ‘facts’ presented to the analyst meant and thus enrich the assessment. All of this seems to have guided the US National Intelligence Council’s 20-year forecast of where the world would be, published recently.
It is a sobering thought that today strategic assessments have ceased to have a long life since the world could change faster than the calculated shifts and therefore the best that such an exercise could do is to project the trends and legitimately conclude where these, if unchecked, would end. Global readings are basically premised on the doings of human beings as a whole and the NIC has rightly identified five crucial areas in play where manmade changes would contribute to the shape of things to come — international relations, global economy, technology, environment, and domestic management of governance. Long-range trends can be established and their cumulative effect read through a competitive analysis in which legitimacy of ‘imagination’ as mentioned above would also play a part. But what about a crisis not directly created by man, like Covid? An infliction by nature that affected the entire humanity would set the clock back for the analysts in the sense that they would have to recalibrate their entire readings afresh.
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‘A more contested world’ is the total summation that the NIC report makes and regardless of the details that might have gone into this assessment, there is no denying the fact that this is a brilliant prediction of the direction in which international relations are headed. In a very broad picturization, it is prudent to consider the end of the Cold War as a reference point for examining what is shaping up the new global order ever since. The success of the anti-Soviet armed campaign in Afghanistan leading to the withdrawal of Soviet troops from there and a rapid dismemberment of the USSR, the mighty Communist superpower, that followed, brought down the curtains on the Cold War leaving the USA as the only superpower commanding all military and economic initiatives at the global level. The transformational event, however, was accompanied by three new developments that would further affect the world in the future. Still in play these, it is hoped, did get into NIC’s calculus.
One is the impact that the Soviet collapse made on China, the second most powerful Communist power. President Deng Xiaoping did not fail to notice that the USSR had cracked under its own internal economic contradiction, had acquired military strength but not built its economy, and had in fact moved towards an oligarchy. Deng was set on seeking the economic route to becoming a superpower, learning from the failed Soviet model and opening into the global economy in a controlled fashion. China has built a huge balance of trade in its favor, reached out to Western centers of knowledge through investments in the universities there, and harnessed technology in all fields.
The second transformative change that coincided with the end of the Cold War was the success of the IT Revolution that shifted the world from the Industrial Age to the Age of Information. The new age brought in the Knowledge Economy created borderless markets and set new benchmarks of competitiveness wherein a rival could appear from anywhere on the globe making better use of information that came into the public domain as soon as it was produced. There were no obscure corners in the world anymore as a global outreach accessed them all. The end of the Cold War interestingly produced a large number of border conflicts, insurgencies, and cross border offensives as many national identities that had been suppressed during the Cold War asserted themselves. This phenomenon is still at play in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and is a significant factor affecting international relations.
The third development — and this posed a lasting threat to world security — was the rise of the new global terror, a product of faith-based motivation from the same battleground in Afghanistan that had ousted the Soviet army from there. The anti- Soviet armed campaign was directed on the war cry of Jehad and led by the Pak-controlled Hizbul Mujahideen, the radical Taliban, and the Lashkar-e-Toiba of Osama bin Laden with equal force. The success of the Afghan Jehad was followed by the installation of the Afghan Emirate at Kabul in 1996, on the initiative of Pakistan, which was headed by the Taliban’s Mullah Omar working in close concert with Laden. That regime of Islamic radicals soon bared its fangs against the US-led West, the Shiites, and the idol-worshippers and compelled the US to oust it. This, in turn, laid the turf for Al Qaeda’s offensive of 9/11 and the subsequent launch of the ‘war on terror by the US-led World Coalition against Islamic radicals, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq.
With Islamic radicals enjoying considerable support within the Muslim world spread across Asia and Africa and in particular receiving shelter in Pakistan, the ‘war on terror’ leaves behind a lasting conflict between the West and radical Islam, rightly described by the likes of Samuel P. Huntington and his mentor Prof. Bernard Lewis as a ‘clash of civilizations. The rise of China, the advent of the cyber world, and the revival of radical Islam are thus the three paradigms that are shaping the world and pushing it in the direction of a new bipolar order. Even factors like economy, environment, technology, and internal governance are in some way adding to this new post-Cold War cleavage created by international relations.
The geopolitical contours of ‘a more contested world’ are getting crystallized, as viewed from India, along with three courses. First is the significant development of the advent of the Biden Presidency restoring the traditional US-NATO alliance which was weakened in the Trump regime. This is in line with the Biden administration looking at China and Russia as the antagonistic powers much like what the position was for the US in the Cold War. Biden apparently looks at Russia’s Putin with great distrust — Donald Trump gave the impression of being in a comfortable equation with the Russian President and perhaps regarded Russia as another white nation across Europe. The new level of energization of QUAD achieved in Biden administration was basically directed against the aggressive designs of China in the Indo-Pacific but it has evoked a sharp reaction from Russia and created a sense of strategic unity between Russia and China. Japan is the anchor of QUAD in the region and this has evidently led to Putin cautioning India against becoming part of an ‘Asian NATO’, particularly after the appearance of France on the scene through its participation in the naval exercises with QUAD.
Another course of global alignments that has a long-term implication is the divide between the democratic world and the autocratic regimes spawning across Asia in particular, which was of direct concern for India. The Chinese strategy of gaining influence in South and South-East Asia — through the Sino-Pak alliance on the one hand and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on the other — demands an effective counter-strategy from India. RCEP is a trading partnership of China with the ten ASEAN countries along with South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The challenge for India is that its political appeal to ASEAN as a democratic power is pitted against the overbearing economic pressure of the Communist neighbor which is testing India’s ‘Act East’ policy. India has to work for multi-polarity in Asia to counter China’s dominance here. India has to be in the democratic camp in Asia, on the side of the US and its allies in the region. The participation of Prime Minister Modi in the first QUAD summit was a sound decision in this context — it serves the cause of the security of the Indian Ocean as well.
It is the third geopolitical trendsetter however, that is perhaps the most important for India’s national security and international relations — the shifting alignments within the Muslim world that weighed in favor of Pakistan despite the falling image of that country as a principal harborer of Islamic extremism. This adds to India’s concerns as Pakistan is encouraged to step up its terror offensive against India and also cause internal destabilization here. This goings-on strangely does not bother the Biden Presidency so much — even though, ironically, the ‘war on terror’ against Islamic radicals was all along led by the US-led world coalition. The Sino-Pak alliance is working for Pakistan on the Afghan issue while a new grouping within the Islamic world — of Pakistan, Turkey, and Malaysia — is becoming supportive of Islamic radicals and recalcitrant towards the supremacy of Saudi Arabia, a committed ally of the US in the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).
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If President Biden withdraws US troops from Afghanistan with a half-baked truce with the Taliban, Pakistan will retain its sway in that country and cause further problems for India. Meanwhile, pro-Pak lobbies are active in the US on the issue of Kashmir and there is a meeting of minds between Pakistan and China on countering India’s hold in the Ladakh sector that was now directly administered by the Centre as a Union Territory. Also, there is a revival of Islamic radicalism in many parts of Europe including France and Belgium because of the history of colonialism and even the legacy of the Crusades. The US-led West and India have a convergence of interest against the threat of ‘radicalization’ but the NIC report does not seem to be impacted much by the latter. India does not have the comfort of distance that the US had on the threat from Islamic radicals — it has, therefore, to counter it largely on its own. Mobilization of the democratic world against the faith-based global terror has to be kept up. (IANS/KB)
By- Blogger Indifi
EMI is known as equated monthly installments. It is a fixed payment made by the borrower each month to repay the loan amount. The EMI is divided into two loan components. One is the principal amount, and the second is the interest amount. Whether you are applying for a personal loan, business loan, home loan, car loan, or education loan, EMIs are easy to calculate using the EMI loan calculator.
Three parameters based on which EMI calculator works:
- Loan amount.
- Repayment tenure.
- Rate of interest (offered by the lender).
Factors that affect the Loan EMIs
Above, we have discussed the main parameters on which loan EMI is based. Here are the factors that affect the EMIs.
Changes in the loan interest rate: There are three loan interest rates -- fixed, floating, and hybrid.
When an interest rate offered on a loan is fixed, in that scenario, there are no changes in the EMIs.
A floating interest rate is linked to the marginal cost of the fund-based lending rate and can change the loan EMIs. As the rate is flexible, it keeps changing per the repo rate.
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If you have taken the loan on a hybrid interest rate, the interest rate is fixed only for a particular tenure. After that, it is on MCLR to decide the interest rate, and based on the determined interest rate, the EMI changes.
Tenure: When you opt for a loan transfer from one lender to another, there may be a possibility of change in the loan tenure. It will also bring changes in the EMI calculations. If the tenure increases, it will decrease the EMI. In case the tenure is reduced, EMI will increase.
Sample loan chart of a business company Image source: wikimedia commons
The loan amount of repayment is also a reason that affects a loan's EMI. If you make a loan prepayment, it reduces the outstanding principal amount, based on which the EMI amount or tenure is changed.
Benefits of using an online EMI calculator:
- Find out exact EMIs to be paid monthly for any loan.
- Saves time.
- Get a detailed overview of loans applied using the amortization schedule.
- Plan your monthly finances well in advance.
You can set multiple schedules and loan tenures. After a detailed schedule comparison, choose the one that suits well with your financial requirements.
Significance of loan amortization schedule in EMI calculator
A loan amortization schedule data shows the EMI break-ups. It shows how much EMI you need to pay for interest and what you will pay as the principal amount. It is one of the most significant advantages of using the EMI calculator. The EMIs that you pay as principal will keep reducing the loan's principal amount. It will also result in decreasing the interest amount. You will get to know all these things when you use the EMI loan calculator frequently. The amortization schedule is one of the essential features of an EMI loan calculator that helps design the proper prepayment schedule.
The different types of EMI calculators
Home loan EMI calculator
Home loans are one of the most popular and common loans applied for in India. It has a long tenure and a sizable principal amount. Whenever you apply for a home loan, it is essential to do all the EMI calculations in advance. There are various home loan EMI calculators available online with every home loan provider. All that is required to calculate the EMI is the loan amount, tenure, and interest rate. Using a home loan EMI calculator can help you easily plan your finances.
Business loan EMI calculator
Like home loans, business loans also come with a massive principal amount and longer tenures. So, using the business loan online EMI calculator is a smart way to calculate the business loan EMIs. Requirements are the essential loan details, such as repayment tenure, interest rate, and the loan amount. Online, equated monthly installment is automatically calculated at the lender's website.
Personal loan EMI Calculator
Personal loans are multipurpose. It is the reason they are considered as the most applied loan to meet immediate financial requirements. For choosing the right loan amount, you must use the personal loan EMI calculator. It will help you to choose the best interest rate loan offer and tenure. Try to go with the shorter term to pay less interest on the principal amount.
Sample of External Loan amounts Image source: wikimedia commons
Education loan EMI calculator
Education costs increase each year and can cause financial strains on a family. If you are planning to send your child overseas for higher education by applying for an education loan, at that time, the EMI calculator proves to be the best online financial tool. It will help you to decide the right EMI amount where your daily expenses remain unaffected.
Simple interest loan EMI calculator
An EMI calculator is used to calculate the simple interest applicable on the loan amount for a specified tenure. It is one of the most accessible financial tools. All that is required is tenure, a simple interest rate, and the borrowed amount. After that, click on 'calculate' to know the exact EMI to be paid.
Loan against property EMI calculator
If you have any residential or commercial property registered in your name, you can apply for a loan against the property. It is a kind of secured loan, where the property is kept as collateral. To understand how EMI works under this loan scheme, use the loan against the property EMI calculator.
Overall, EMI loan calculators are one of the best financial tools to compare varied loan offers. It provides a clear picture of the total cost of the loan and respective EMIs to be paid monthly. Online EMI calculators are available on every lender's website; whether you are applying for a business loan online, home loan, car loan, personal loan, or any other loan, using the online EMI calculator can help. Just with a click of a mouse, you can keep control of your financial life.
The online EMI loan calculator has been programmed with the formula based on the loan applied. There is no need to worry about the accuracy of the result. All that you are required to share for the calculator to do its job accurately is the right amount, tenure, and interest rate offered by the lender.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
Keywords: Swastika, Symbol, Nazism, Hinduism, Adolf Hitler, United Nations, Buddhism, Jainism
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana