India and Djibouti's geppolitical scrum

The visit of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind to Horn of Africa- Djibouti suggests India's giving special significance to the geopolitical essence of the place. Djibouti along with the sister states of Somalia, Ethoopia and Eritrea are considered pivotal regions of the world. Djibouti is a strategic geopolitical location solely becaue of its less population- lesser than a million and its location in the confluence of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean as well as the crossroads that connect Africa, Middle East and Asia. Ram Nath Kovind is the first Indian President or Prime Minister to visit Djibouti. The Indian President along with the Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh, aims at imporving bilateral relations between the two countries. India so far doesn't have an embassy in Djibouti- the visit of the Indian Prime Minister suggests there would soon be one and India is also looking forward to re-engage in the region. Recently, many countries have explored the region of Djibouti and implanted strategic projects in the Horn. Like Beijing infrastructure development in the Horn which boosted the Belt and Road Initiative by President Xi Jinping. One of the prime infrastructure projects by China include the 750 kms long rail link which would be built between Ethopia and Djibouti. Also as per an accord, China successfully secured the rights for creating a base in Djibouti which would be able to sustain 10,000 soldiers until the year 2026. Apart from China, France already has its largest concentration of foreign legions in Djibouti. The US too has a good military base in Djibouti created after the 9/11 attacks as a move for great war on terror. India on its part need to give an indepth look into the geopolitical scope of the Horn and invest well.

Media must take positions to strenngthen democracy, secularism

Media is the fourth pillar of democracy- which enthrusts it with a major responsibility of providing significant news having real essence and quality. However, the essence of media and news have drastically changed with time. As there were development in technology, there were development in the way news were presented. But this development should have ensured better quality news, not fast news. The current scenario of the news channels is who gets to report the story first to the people- be it also without confirming or even verifying facts and figures. As a fourth pillar of democracy, media has a big responsibility. Be it news or current affairs, the media channels should report everything well verifying the information and presenting it in a good way. Nowadays the scope for news and reaching the public has widened with online spaces available for creating news portals and also mobile applications which help the readers get easy access to the news at their fingertips. These spaces should be utilised well by the media houses by avoiding biased and fake news for their publicity.

From textiles to tech: wave of job losses hits new and old economy

Textile to capital goods, banking to IT, start-ups to energy, the economy’s downward spiral is leaving a trial of job losses across both old and new economy sectors.

58 killed, over 500 injured in worst US mass shooting

A 64 year old man armed with more than 10 rifles rained down gunfire on a Las Vegas country music festival on Sunday, slaughtering at least 58 people in the largest mass shooting in US history before killing himself.

Border infra cause for concern, says Rajnath

Expressing concern over migration from border areas, the government has decided to form an export group to stud the problems faced by those living near the India-China border, including issues impacting livelihood and the lack of roads, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.

Maoists spreading base to MP area, MHA finds

In an effort to expand base amid stepped up action by security forces in Chhattisgarh, Maoist rebels are trying to spread to new areas on the tri-junction of Chhattisgarh Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, particularly in Balaghat district of MP, according to a recent review on Left Wing Extremism (LWE) by the Union Home Ministry.

Govt plan recognises effect of climate change on wildlife

With India’s protected areas designed at a time when climate change was ‘hardly a criterion’ for wildlife conservation, the National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) 2017-2031 states that it ‘recognizes the concerns relating to climate change impacts on wildlife’.

Lingayat leap of faith

Their demand for minority status is also a move to construct identities more constricted and rigid. The agitation seeking minority status for Lingayats is once again revealing the politics of bad faith that often characteristics the construction of religious boundaries in India.

Powerful Challenge

Taking electricity to every household is a great idea. It will need t be done without imperilling the health of discoms.

India and Djibouti’s geopolitical scrum

With president Kovind’s visit, Delhi seems ready, at last, to jockey for influence in the Horn of Africa

Media must take positions to strengthen democracy, secularism

In the race to report first, fairness is the casualty. This must stop

Myanmar, Bangladesh to repatriate Rohingya

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on Monday to set up a ‘working group’ to plan the repatriation of more than half a million Rohingya Muslims refugees who have fled to Bangladesh to escape an army crackdown, the Bangladeshi foreign minister said.

Small firms with poor financials in vulnerable position: RBI report

A RBI study ha said liquidity starved small and medium sized firms with poor financials are in a ‘vulnerable situation’ and they need funding sources in arresting the next wave of non-performing assets.

First shipment of US crude oil reached Odisha’s Paradip port

As part of the two million barrels contracted by India, the first shipment of US crude oil arrived here at Paradip port in Odisha on Monday. The shipment follows the recent commitments to US oil purchases by India Oil (IOC) ad Bharat Petroleum (BPCL), both of which have placed orders for over 2 million barrels from the US.

India, EU may form joint group on FTA

Four days ahead of the 14th India-European Union summit on October 6, hectic negotiations are underway between officials from India and the EU to explore ways on how they will move forward on the stalled negotiations over a new and ambitious Free trade Agreement (FTA), which will encompass goods, services as well as mutual investment protection.


Powerful Challenge

The goal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide unviersal access to electricity is s good motive to begin with. In his first Independence Day speech in the year 2015, the Prime Minister promised that 18,500 villages would be electrified in the coming 1000 days next. Post his promise, in a span of two years, around 14,50 villages hve been electrified. However, this impressive record of electrifying has been bogged down by the fact that around a fourth of the households of the electrified villages have been reported to lack a power connection. The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or 'Saubhagya' scheme is seen as a reference to this context. Under the Saubhagya scheme, the beneficiaries applying for the electricity connections would be identified through the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data. The scheme also states that the unelectrified households which are not covered under the SECC 2011 would be given electricity connections as per the scheme on a payment of Rs 500. This amount would be recovered by the government by dicsoms in 10 seperate installments through electricity bills. Despite these efforts, the government should also keep in mind the other biggest challenge- the availabiity of power supply. Only providing a connection doesn't ensure progress, there should also be a continuous power supply with it. In addition to it, the government should also aim at improving the good health of the discoms.

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