Most of us in Indian cities – metro or urban areas are constantly on our smart phones. We don’t realize what it means to be without data or mobile service. However, this is what citizens in rural areas are going through. Now government of India is planning to install over 5 lakh wifi hotspots in villages (gram panchayats) throughout India and with this, suddenly they too will get a reliable connection and get connection to the rest of the world. THIS IS A REALLY BIG DEAL – and just like what happens when roads get build, lots of other development and growth will happen.
Smaller gram panchayats would get 1 wifi hotspot while larger ones would get 5 or more. Such Wifi hotspots would be available for people in rural area who can also connect to public service institutions – schools, police stations, health centres, government websites, look at market prices and much more. They can also made broadband phone calls. THE REALLY EXCITING THING IS ONCE MOST IF NOT ALL OUR RURAL PEOPLE GET CONNECTED, THEY WOULD BE UP TO DATE WITH URBAN INDIA, WOULD HAVE INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO MANY THINGS AND WOULD BE SO MUCH MORE EMPOWERED. No doubt all this could take 2-3 years, but IT IS A REALLY BIG DEAL FOR INDIA…
Source: Financial Express
- 21 Jun 2018
Leading up to the just concluded Ramzan, JK Government wanted a ceasefire to the terrorist operations – Central Government agreed even though security forces did not want this. This suspension of operations was the first in 17 years. So what happened – the terrorist and their sympathizers saw this as a free run, even though it was Ramzan.
Indian Government said that, “It was expected that everyone will cooperate. While the Security Forces have displayed exemplary restraint during this period, the terrorists have continued with their attacks, on civilians and SFs, resulting in deaths and injuries,” he posted.” SO THIS WAS REALLY UNFORTUNATE.
BJP has decided to pull out of its historic alliance with PDP in ruling the state. The official reasons given were, “Fundamental rights of citizens including right to life and free speech are in danger“. While this is powerful in itself, there are many other unsaid reasons – illegal Rohingya settlements, one community (no surprise to guess this) and one region gets favourable treatment, corruption in the J&K government, and many others.
Source: Indian Express
- 19 Jun 2018
The Indian rupee to the US dollar exchange rate floats freely with the exchange rate or price changing just like the price of commodities, vegetables and others change. We don’t have a fixed exchange rate like some countries have with the US dollar.
After a long-time, the Indian rupee weakened below Rs. 68 per dollar due to several reasons: fears of a global trade war; such fears are causing people to panic and they in turn are selling indian rupees and other currencies and buying the US dollar; foreign investors are selling or shall we say dumping assets to recover their home currencies; higher oil prices are also putting pressure on the Indian rupee. All this is despite India’s strong economy and increasing interest rate. SO EXPECT THE INDIAN RUPEE TO FURTHER WEAKEN BEFORE BECOMING STRONGER...
Source: Money Control
- 18 Jun 2018
Till now, almost all government of India and even state level jobs are taken by those in the civil service ranks. They have taken the civil service exams in their 20s and generally with time get promoted and get senior positions, some out of turn through influence and some out of merit. Now Government of India wants to bring in talented senior executives directly into senior positions such as at the joint-secretary level. This is a great move for India but obviously create even more shocks for the civil service who look forward to getting into these plum and influential senior positions. No doubt there will be resistance but if it good for India, we should go ahead…
Source: Times of India
- 15 Jun 2018
NDA alliance, India’s dominant political party’s electoral wins after wins has obviously totally shaken up the opposition. Prime Minister Modi remains the most popular figure by far due to hard work and results. Most of the opposition parties (no need to name them since it includes most of them) have decided to form an alliance or MAHGATHBANDHAN supposedly a powerful word (but not found in the dictionary of any language) to fight against the ruling party. They call themselves secular as they are comprised of most religions but not the dominant one along with some caste groups and some of the electorate still votes along caste.
This odd and ill conceived alliance, is REALLY A FEAR ALLIANCE, to stay relevant in a fast changing era where each of the individual leaders and their parties in most states are being reduced to dust.
This alliance has only one objective to fool India and Indians to get elected. And if they do get elected, then god help this country…
- 14 Jun 2018
Surveys say majority of Indians feel India is on the right path, things are slowly but surely getting better. People feel the country’s leadership can be trusted even if people do not agree with every action, they work hard and do want to bring about transformative change to lives of all Indians.
So you would ask WHO WOULD WANT TO ASSASSINATE PRIME MINISTER MODI… and the simple answer is many many individuals and organizations:
- Maoists – they wanted to do a Rajiv Gandhi type assassination.
- Pakistan’s ISI and even its defence services.
- Numerous Islamic terrorist or terrorist sympathizer organizations. Several in Kashmir, Kerala and elsewhere both in India and outside.
- Numerous separatist and terror organisations in India.
- Foreign NGOs. They were sending so much money but now government of India is closing monitoring them. Per reports, much was spent in conversions, recruiting and inciting protests and numerous other anti-national activities.
- Some say China and Russia – but this is hard to accept but certainly a possibility.
- Some members of opposition parties.
- Could be even individuals in the ruling party?
- Some Western governments – they may be feeling that India is getting strong and may be hard to control?
- Corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and individuals of the public.
- Many many more…
MULTIPLE ATTEMPTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN MADE ON HIS LIFE. LET US HOPE NO SUCH THING EVER HAPPENS…
- 12 Jun 2018
India is known for its religious tolerance, otherwise how else could so many religions grow and thrive over centuries. One expects religious leaders to pray for the well being of one and all without asking them or forcing them to charge their faith through hook or crook.
So, one is surprised and really shocked to see the Archbishop or lead priest says things such as:
- “as we look forward towards 2019 when we will have a new government…” – and appealing to the heavenly father for divine intervention.
- he goes on to say – “turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution and the secular fabric of our nation.” REALLY – most Indians would disagree with this. Per surveys, people say things are running smoothly and the country is on a positive path.
- Archbishop’s letter to be read by all priests in Sunday masses in their churches – is really talking politics?
- “Let the people of all castes and creeds, all denominations and persuasions live in harmony and peace steering far away from hatred and violence.” In India this is mostly the except when there is Love-jihad or forced conversions.
- “Let the poor of our country be provided with the means of livelihood. Let Dalits, tribals and the marginalised by brought into the mainstream of nation-building.” The government is working hard on this front with equal treatment to all.
So Indians don’t need these bhashans, directions or orders. It is such church leaders who need to change their attitude and open their eyes…
- 8 Jun 2018
Unlike many illegals in the US, most Indian and their families are in the US legally. The working spouse(s) (generally husbands) are on H1B visas while the spouse and dependent children if born outside USA are on H4 visa, and they apply for Green Card of permanent resident status. Anyone born in USA is automatically granted citizenship so there are no residency problems. Waiting times for Green Card which were two or three years about 15 years ago HAVE NOW GOT EXTENDED TO 10, 20 or more years. Spouses are part of the family Green Card application and so are their children till they turn 21. So as the 2 lakh or more Indian American children on the dependent H4 visas finish school and almost wrap up college, enter into THE SCARY SITUATION WHERE THEY ARE ON ILLEGAL STATUS AND HAVE TO START SELF DEPORTATION. Legally they do not qualify for jobs or military service.
Indian Americans in such situations have on occasions move to Canada if it accepts them or the next alternative is to return to India. This is not a bad option – however the only problem is they have either never visited India or have made only a couple of visits and of course have no idea about what India is, leave alone settling here. In almost every way, there are basically Americans…
Source: RealClear Politics
- 7 Jun 2018
“Walmart will invest over Rs. 100,000 crore to take majority control of Flipkart, and Amazon is in the midst of multi-year investments of over Rs. 40,000 crores to become India’s eCommerce leader. The toughest competition they face are from the lakhs and lakhs of our own local “Kirana” stores. We all Indians of course know it but the rest of the world is slowly learning about it. The local shops runs by the mom and pop owner provide among the lowest cost, fast checkout, speedy delivery and personal relationships. Now after demonetisation, many are taking mobile money, so one need not even carry cash.
One Kirana shop or a small local markets with a few shops, each of only 200 to 500 square feet, with 2-5 employees but they reportedly carry more than 1,000 different items. Almost any item of everyday need you can find there and the service is quick and payment fast, rarely are their long lines. The shopkeepers know their customers, take orders by phone and often to deliver too. Sometimes, they give the shoppers credit – we all know when the shopkeeper notes the bill in their book for future payment.
Tatas, Birlas and Reliance have their own retail chains but have not hurt our Kirana shops in a big way – our Kiranas continue to thrive and grow. Per reports, Kiranas are adapting to changes to stay on top. Now the multinationals – Amazon and Walmart re trying – LET US ALL PRAY THEY TOO FAIL!“
- 5 Jun 2018
J&K government asked CRPF and Indian Army for ceasefire during the ongoing Ramzan – they agreed. A CRPF vehicle all by itself is passing by and hundreds of stone pelters attack the vehicle on Friday afternon with stones, brick and iron rods – they tried to open the doors, climbed on it, started beating it. Ground reports say if they could have pulled out the passengers, they would have mob lynched them. The CRPF vehicle did not fire a single shot or retailate and got away to safety, but couple of violent stone pelters got injuries and now the driver of this vehicle is being accused of hit and run. Some media is only talking about the injured violent stone pelters. Such is the daily situation of our police and armed forces in Kashmir, a hugely pampered region.
Cricketer Gautam Gambhir expressed his anger with this tweet, “I have a solution:Make it mandatory for politicians to spend a week in troubled parts of Kashmir along with their families&without security. Only then they b allowed to contest 2019 elections. No other way to make them understand d plight of armed forces & a well-meaning Kashmiri”.
And, “Am devastated. Wonder if India still thinks there is room for talks with stone-pelters! Come on, let’s get real. Show me the political will and my armed forces.”
Gautam – well said. We agree. Each of us needs to see for oneself what is happening in all these places. The only response has to be a tough response.
Source: Republic World
- 4 Jun 2018
The 778 kilometer Line-of-Control or LOC is almost constantly in a state of war. Defense ministry sources say the number of LOC violations this year to date has hit a new record in over 15 years. Already this year, there have been nearly 900 LOC ceasefire violations (CFV) in comparison to 860 for all of last year and a much lower 215 in 2016. This number zooms up if we also add to this the violations along the 200km international border in J&K.
India is putting a lot of pressure and taking a proactive approach to “dominate” the LoC through varying tactics. Pakistan is feeling the pressure even though both sides are seeing rising casualties – even if a higher number on the enemy side. India has to act as Pakistan’s terror factory of nurturing, training and pushing terrorists into India continues non-stop. Per anecdotes 30 or more terrorists entered India this year. Just in case one is wondering – how are these terrorists able to enter. The LOC border is nearly 1,000 kilometers with difficult terrain. It is difficult to seal off such a long and challenging border.
- 1 Jun 2018
Recently, RBI issued a policy that requires that all credit card and e-payment data of Indians made in India to be “stored in India” and gave all payment companies 6 months to comply.
No surprise – the western credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) companies have started an intense lobbying effort and want to get this reversed with reasons all not really strong such as:
* this will cost them millions of dollars in datacenters and other investiments. So what – are you not tapping a giant and fast growing market?
* foreign companies were caught off guard – why are you so surprised, sooner or later this was expected?
* companies say that this would hamper global fraud detection as they should be allowed to keep backup data overseas. Do these companies do the same for US and other countries data – keep a backup data in other countries? RBI said this does not cut it – and India is not a small island nation that would get entirely crippled by a single natural disaster. Well said!
* RBI’s rule does not meet global norms – well global norms are tailored to suit other-home countries. Both India and China are coming up with rules to suit their needs.
* how long to keep the data in India – indefinitely of course!
* RBI wants better monitoring, and possibly prevent foreign government from tapping this data. Hard to argue with this?
So the fight continues, RBI is holding its ground. It is about time global companies start paying attention to India’s needs and India’s Rule of Law…
- 31 May 2018
Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the invitation to speak at the convocation of RSS pracharaks… this is the RSS – which is the largest non-political organisation of its kind world over. The Congress party and all its leaders are shocked as Shri Mukherjee was with the Congress for over 50 years before being elected to become the President of India.
Congress which only highlights its secular credentials has decades, right from Nehru and Indira Gandhi been against the RSS and its ideology (no matter that it is all about nationalism), HAVE CONSIDERED THE ORGANISATION AS UNTOUCHABLE EVEN.
In recent years, the Congress party which has gone on to further please minorities and highlight its secular credentials. And as a result has been even more critical of the RSS – one is left to wonder if this is valid criticism, do they understand what this organisation’s goals are, what are its beliefs, what are its day to day activities, are they open and transparent or visible to the public, how do communities view them, what services and emergency assistance they provide and much else.
Congress leaders have now frantically written letters to the former President to cancel its acceptance, some are even suggesting as to what should be said during the convocation address. Most others are nervously waiting to hear the speech…
- 30 May 2018
In response to reporters questions, our foreign minister Sushma Swaraj made India’s fair and strong response, “India believes in UN sanctions but not in country-specific sanctions. New Delhi and India do not believe in “reactionary” policies and would not be dictated to by other countries. We don’t make our foreign policy under pressure from other countries.”
This was before her meeting with Iran’s foreign minister in Delhi. India will continue to trade Iran and Venezuela (despite the controversial presidential election) – India gets lots of oil from both of them.
India has lots of interest in Iran given our centuries old cultural bonds. India will complete the building of the port of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman – this is a critical port which allows us to establish trade routes that bypass rival Pakistan.
One must say that our growing self-confidence, clarity and clear expression on all foreign policy matters is visible and highly commendable!!!
- 29 May 2018
As the new Karnataka chief minister, who leads a coalition government was sworn in, leaders and several chief ministers of many opposition parties, unlike almost never before, were present to convey support.
The list reads like a who’s who of Indian Politics including: leaders of the JD(S) and Congress party, leaders of NCP, TDP, TMC, AAP, CPI(M), BSP, SP, RJD, Sharad Yadav, RLD, JVM, Kamal Haasan and host of other leaders. What is common amongst them – most of them claim to be secular – another name for minority appeasement.
Anything else – INDIANS ARE SMART ENOUGH TO RECOGNIZE THAT ALL ARE HUNGRY FOR POWER (CALL IT JOB SECURITY) AND LIMELIGHT HAVING ACHIEVED VERY LITTLE DURING THEIR PAST OR PRESENT GOVERNMENTS THEY RUN. They all are facing intense heat from the ruling and dominant BJP alliance in most of the country.
Lok Sabha election season will be upon us soon – so nobody is surprised.
Source: Daily Pioneer
- 25 May 2018