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US NAE selects four Indian Americans

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Washington: To provide valuable contributions to the society four Indian American engineers are selected to the US National Academy Engineering (NAE).

Anil K Jain, Dr Arati Prabhakar, Ganesh Thakur and Dr K R  Sridhar were formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, NAE president C D (Dan) Mote Jr announced in a statement.

Jain, a distinguished professor in the department of computer science and engineering at the Michigan State University in East Lansing, was elected for his contributions to the engineering and practice of biometrics.

A B Tech graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, his research interests include pattern recognition, computer vision and biometric recognition.

Jain has also been a consultant to the Indian government’s Aadhaar programme that provides a 12-digit unique ID number to the residents of India based on their fingerprint and iris data.

Prabhakar, director of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Virginia, was chosen for national leadership to advance semiconductor and information technologies.

Beginning her career as a Congressional Fellow, Dr Prabhakar has served on the National Academies’ Science Technology and Economic Policy Board. In addition, she chaired the Efficiency and Renewables Advisory Committee for the US Department of Energy.

As the founding director of DARPA’s Microelectronics Technology Office, she led a team of programme managers whose efforts spanned areas such as optoelectronics, infrared imaging and nanoelectronics.

Thakur, who is the president of Thakur Services Inc in Houston, Texas, was named a member for leadership in the implementation of integrated reservoir management techniques.

Sridhar, the Principal co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bloom Energy Corporation in California, was selected for the “contributions to transport phenomena and thermal packaging of electrochemical systems and generation of clean, reliable and affordable power”.

Prior to founding Bloom Energy, Sridhar was director of the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) at the University of Arizona where he was also a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Under his leadership, STL won several nationally competitive contracts to conduct research and development for Mars exploration and flight experiments to Mars.

His work for the NASA Mars programme to convert Martian atmospheric gases to oxygen for propulsion and life support was recognised by Fortune magazine which cited him as “one of the top five futurists inventing tomorrow, today.”

Along with the new members, the total US membership goes up to 2,275.

Election to the institution “is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer,” the statement read.

Founded in 1964, the NAE is a non-profit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation.

Its mission is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.(IANS) (image: 1000flags.co.uk)

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Diplomatic Moves Do Not Work against Terrorists

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo realised it once again how the diplomatic moves did not work against terrorists

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Diplomatic, Terrorists, US
Taliban has been exposed as an incorrigible set of Islamic extremists wedded to jihad to achieve their objective and so has been the collusive role of Pakistan in sheltering a whole lot of Taliban leaders. Pixabay

The year long efforts of Zalmay Khalilzad – US representative holding talks with Taliban to hammer out some sort of ‘Peace Accord’ between the two – primarily to facilitate withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan – have come apart with President Donald Trump rejecting the diplomatic exercise following a fresh terror attack by the Taliban in Kabul.

Khalizad has been recalled to the US and there is a new situation now in Afghanistan as that country’s General Election draws close. Taliban has been exposed as an incorrigible set of Islamic extremists wedded to jihad to achieve their objective and so has been the collusive role of Pakistan in sheltering a whole lot of Taliban leaders of Afghanistan on its soil- as given out now by Taliban leadership itself.

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo realised it once again how the diplomatic moves did not work against terrorists and gave up on Zalmay’s initiatives- they were even considering a continued strong military presence in Afghanistan. The US President was never too trusting of the Islamic militants wherever they were and the abandoning of the negotiation with Taliban would hopefully lead to a re-evaluation by him of Pakistan as the hub of Islamic terror groups.

Mohammad Suhall Shaheen spokesman of Taliban came on TV in Kabul to say a few things- in response to Donald Trump’s decision -that established how nothing had changed to the advantage of the US in the face of the creed of faith- based violence Taliban was committed to.

Diplomatic, Terrorists, US
The year long efforts of Zalmay Khalilzad – US representative holding talks with Taliban to hammer out some sort of ‘Peace Accord’ between the two – primarily to facilitate withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Pixabay

He confirmed the widely known fact that Taliban derived sustenance from Pakistan for pursuing ‘Islamic interests’. Shaheen’s statement demonstrated how Islamic radicals can never be expected to leave the path of violence and how Zalmay might have allowed himself to be duped by the Taliban – Pakistan combine on the questions of ‘ceasefire’ and Peace Agreement- this axis was all the time working for restoration of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan relegating the democratic rule of Ashraf Ghani to the background.

It was a strategic error on the part of the US interlocutor to hold talks with Taliban totally at the back of the present democratic regime in Afghanistan. Diplomacy can never succeed if it handles only the peripherals without tackling the main problem. In the absence of a ‘ceasefire’ US troops had rightly kept up their counter-terror operations and the Taliban revealed its true colour as a violent Islamic force by carrying out a suicide attack on a US army truck at Kabul killing an American soldier.

Apparently this happened when Zalmay had already submitted the draft ‘peace pact’ to the US President without sorting out the vital issue of ‘ceasefire’. The Taliban spokesman justified the retaliatory act at Kabul showing how the Taliban was totally recalcitrant about not accepting the cessation of its violent methods as a precondition for peace accord.

These developments in Afghanistan underscore the need for the democratic world to wake up to the continuing threat of Islamic terror emanating out of the Muslim world. Zalmay’s mission is a telling example of how diplomacy runs into limitations when dealing with advocates of violence blinded by fanaticism.

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The world must call for an express denunciation of Jehad as an instrument of pursuit of political objectives in today’s world, by individual Islamic countries and by the Organisation of Islamic Conference chaired by Saudi Arabia itself. It goes to the credit of Trump’s presidency that the artificial distinction- promoted earlier by narrow political interests — between ‘ good terrorists’ and ‘bad terrorists’ had been abolished and to the great relief of India , Pakistan was called out by the US upfront for providing safe haven to Islamic militants across the spectrum — from Al Qaeda to Lashkar-e-Taiba.

India, the US, Russia and European countries that see the menace of this new terror must work together in Afghanistan to install a democratic regime there. The world must take the ‘war on terror’ to its logical conclusion. It is becoming difficult to get any voice from the Muslim world that upholds a Democratic Republic as the obvious preference over an Islamic State.

The inherent political asymmetry between a democratic India — that houses more Muslims than their number is in Pakistan — and the Islamic state of Pakistan is a fundamental roadblock between the two countries and the situation is becoming worse with Pakistan projecting Kashmir as a Muslim issue and openly calling for jihad there to bolster its sinister game plan against India. The case of Afghanistan shows how diplomatic instruments will not succeed against those who had taken to terrorist violence to get their way on political issues.

India must firmly stick to the policy of ‘terror and talks do not go together’ and use its diplomatic prowess to convince the democratic nations- and this is not difficult- that the challenge for India in Kashmir was to protect the Kashmiris from the onslaught of hardened Pak terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba infiltrated from across the LoC who were destroying the cultural values of Kashmiriyat and browbeating the law abiding Kashmiris into submission to the oppressive Salafism.

Diplomatic, Terrorists, US
Khalizad has been recalled to the US and there is a new situation now in Afghanistan as that country’s General Election draws close. Pixabay

As the terrorists are beaten back the people in the valley would be willing to come out in freedom and markets would start opening up -overcoming the sense of fear of the militants. The world should know that during this short period of prohibitory orders in Kashmir there have been no casualties.

Also Read- YouTube Working to Overhaul its Verification Programme

The Centre has taken the direct responsibility for providing development and security to the people of Jammu and Kashmir that they were kept from- because of the Pakistan sponsored cross border terrorism. India is committed to restoring the statehood of J&K in course of time. Kashmir is all about people falling victim to terror and not a case of denial of Human Rights. Pakistan’s failed attempt to muster any strength in UNHRC vindicates India’s transparent stand on Kashmir. (IANS)