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- China has been effectively using its civilians and consequently army troops to further its expansion into the Indian soil
- India has failed to deter China and it is crucial for the Indian government to adopt a new stance so as to counter the aggression
- Strengthening the border police exploring the vast number of economic opportunities will send a powerful message to China
June 17, 2017:
This article is influenced by Brahma Chellaney’s article “Countering China’s High-Altitude Land Grab” published in Project Syndicate. Mr. Chellaney is the Professor of Strategic Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He has also authored nine books.
The Sino-Indian War of 1962 resulted in India’s loss and China extending its territory inside the Indian border. There may have been no war between the two countries since then, however, the relationship has not improved either.
China and India compete for regional hegemony, aside from China’s regular aggression in the sea and land which makes the South Asian region under constant threat and insecurity. The smaller nations in the region worry as the two largest nations compete.
“For decades, Asia’s two giants have fought a bulletless war for territory along their high-altitude border,” says Chellaney. In his detailed article, the author also says that China is continuing its dream of expansion and “eating away” India’s Himalayan Borderland.
Mr. Chellaney estimates that on an average, China launches one stealth incursion in India in 24 hours. The People’s Liberation Army, the armed forces of the Communist Party of China, is highly active at the border. They seek ways to intrude into the vacant Indian territory with the intention of occupation.
A former official with the Indian Intelligence Bureau said that over the last decade, China has successfully gained an estimated 2,000 square kilometers.
In his article, the author has also elaborated China’s strategy that has been so advantageous. China uses civilian resources at sea in the form of fishermen. Chinese naval forces then push into the ocean and claim the part of the sea. Similarly, on land, Chinese civilians in the form of herders, farmers, and grazers are taken advantage of. Once these civilians have settled in the vacant land, the troops enter the area and establish their encampments. It is indeed remarkable how without firing a bullet China is meeting its objectives.
Although Chinese aggression in the South China Sea has garnered criticism and warnings both from the United States and International Court while the same cannot be said for its aggression on the land. China’s land expansion has gone unnoticed. There is no fuss about it even from the Indian leaders. It seems that Indian ministers are satisfied as long as there are no shots fired from either side.
Chellaney illustrates two worthy examples of this. First, current PM Narendra Modi, recently stated in Russia that even though the two countries have border issues, it is remarkable that not a single bullet has been fired. The foreign ministry of China acknowledges Modi’s “positive comments”.
Secondly, former PM Manmohan Singh has also used this rhetoric when he claimed that the 1962 war with China was the only war the two countries have fought since their 5,000-year history. “What this rose-tinted history failed to acknowledge was that China and India became neighbors only after China annexed the buffer Tibet in 1951,” writes Chellaney.
What the author suggests in his article is for India to adopt a different strategy, having been on the defensive stance for so many years. PM Modi’s narrative of border peace is not as strong to deter the plans of PLA or China.
In Modi’s tenure alone, China has experienced fast-growing trade surplus with India. In fact, it has doubled to almost $60 billion. This boosted China’s confidence, and unfortunately, their assertiveness. Since there is no clear distinction between the Indian territory and the Chinese territory, any incursion by Chinese troops into India is justified by the Chinese as PLA operating on their land. The promise to exchange maps with India in 2001 but that promise was never met.
India’s reluctant yet agreed bilateral ties have furthered PLA’s objectives of functioning in Indian territory.
The rising China is not only assertive on the land and sea but in the financial sphere a well. Chellaney notes how over the decade the country has become the largest trading and investment partner for almost all Asian economies. China is also trusted by the neighbors for “regional security and transport connectivity”. However, as PM Modi has emphasized on multiple occasions, India has a wide scope full of opportunities for India to delve into financial matters of the region.
India’s priority should also strengthen its border security to counter PLA incursions. The country’s Indo-Tibetan Border Police commanded by the Home Ministry is under-resourced. It is “a little more than a doorman”. It is essential to train and equip these units under the command of the army to signal China that India is changing its stance. China is more than capable of responding to that with more than just words, while the Indian border police don’t even carry weapons. “With such a docile response, China has been able to do as it pleases along India’s northern frontier,” points out Chellaney. He cites the example of Chinese support to Pakistani military in Kashmir area.
Thus, it is safe to criticize India’s soft tone and accommodating nature. Ending these incursions should be of prime importance to India if it wants Himalayan Peace. Self-praising that there have been no bullets from either side does not amount to India’s borders being secured. We need strengthened security and not what may be sincere words.
– By Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394
The Centre will launch a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in the undulating landscape of Jammu and surrounding areas from Saturday with a focus on vaccines delivery initially. "This is going to be a pilot project for the area. The drone is developed and manufactured entirely by our scientists," Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh told mediapersons. Singh said he himself will be launching the project at Jammu.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an autonomous Society that is headed by the Prime Minister. For now, the delivery would be limited to Covid vaccines and once successful, it would be expanded to be used for regular delivery of medicines in the remote, hilly areas.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). | Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash
Jammu and surrounding areas are sensitive in terms of the strategic importance. Some months ago, there was an attack on an Army installation using drones. Will the 'drones for vaccines' be permitted in such a case? Allaying fears, a top official from the Ministry of S&T said, "The drones would be deployed by authorised agencies such as hospitals, not anybody can use it, nor would any random person be permitted to use it."
NAL has called the drone as 'Octacopter' and it can fly at an operational altitude of 500 m AGL and at maximum flying speed of 36 kmph. It can be used for a variety of BVLOS applications for last mile delivery like medicines, vaccines, food, postal packets, Human organs (such as heart for heart transplantation) etc. NAL Octacopter is integrated with a powerful on-board embedded computer and latest generation sensors for versatile applications like agricultural pesticide spraying, crop monitoring, mining survey, magnetic geo survey mapping etc., S&T officials had said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Jammu, Vaccines, Medicines, Deliver, Drones, Centre
Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan shares how he feels when people compare him with his father Amitabh Bachchan on the singing reality show 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'. He also requests contestant Rajshree Bag to sing a track 'Bahon Mein Chale Aao' featuring his mother Jaya Bachchan.
Abhishek said after looking at the performance of Rajshree, who is often compared with Lata Mangeshkar on the show, that she reminds him of being compared with his father. "Rajshree, whenever I have got the chance to watch the show, I've seen people compare you to Lata didi. It actually reminded me about how people compare me with my father and ask me how I feel about it."
According to him Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor in the industry and this is what he says to everyone making these comparisons. "My answer to them is that there's no greater actor in this film industry than Amitabh Bachchan and if I'm being compared to him, I am sure I must have done something good."
"Similarly, your voice has a different kind of magic like Lata ji and that's why people are comparing your voice with her. I feel you should always take this as a compliment," he concluded. 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' airs on Saturday and Sunday on Zee TV. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Rajshree Bag
Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country. Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality -- we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point -- the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.
Celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, strongly advocates this need of eating seasonal produce. He says, "The beauty of our food is in our seasonal usage of fruits and vegetables. If you realise, Gajar ka halwa is made aplenty during winters as this is the season when beautiful red carrots hit the market or mango pickle is made during summer, thanks to its availability. Despite people and sometimes, even me, suggesting that we should eat fresh as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables, we do not know what chemicals are sprayed on them to keep them safe while they are growing. When this produce hits the market, there isn't a certifying agency like the FSSAI that will help people understand what vegetables and fruits are free of pesticides and germs and which ones don't. Hence, the onus lies on us to make them safe for consumption. ITC's Nimwash is a good solution."
When it comes to winters, the Chef recommends eating these fruit and vegetables:
* Purple Mogri -- Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country. But you can spot them during the winters in local markets in northern India where women pick them up to make raitas, curries and stir fries. Rich in magnesium, calcium and copper, the vegetable is known to aid people from digestive problems.
Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country, but you can spot them during the winters | Pixabay
* Sweet Potato -- A re-discovered favourite, Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. With its diverse addition in burgers, chips and even chat, the root vegetable is filled with nutrients such as fibres and vitamins.
Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. | Wikimedia Commons
* Avarekalu -- Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. Bangalore is famed for its Averakalu mela during the winter months, where you can find these beans in dosas, Pani puri and even Jalebis! Thronged by crowds from all over the city, the food fest is a gourmand's delight.
Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. | Wikimedia Commons
* Amla -- The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. High in Vitamin C, it is known to be immunity building and extremely beneficial for the skin and hair. There are multiple ways to eat Amla -- it is pickled, made into a fruit preserve called as Murraba or even eaten by sprinkling salt over it.
The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. | Pixabay
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: winter, Sanjeev Kapoor, chef, Indian gooseberry, Sweet Potato, Radish pods