President Outlines Eight Steps for a People Centric Partnership Between India and China:-
Background:- The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee delivered a lecture at Peking University.
Excerpt from the Speech :-
- At a time of global economic uncertainty, India and China, despite the pressure of having 40 per cent of the world’s human population, have managed to maintain unity and growth. The joint contribution of the two countries to world economy as well as regional and global stability, cannot be underestimated.
- India and China are poised to join the ranks of leading global powers. It is incumbent on the two countries, as emerging economic powers to remain equally focused on nurturing regional and global prosperity
- Both countries are at the threshold of an opportunity to join hands and create a resurgence, a positive energy, an “Asian Century”. This will not be an easy task. Obstacles need to be resolved with fortitude. The two countries must persevere to realise this dream. They must join hands in a durable friendship.
- To build a people-centric partnership, there must be mutual trust predicated on mutual respect and a better appreciation of respective political and social systems. This can be achieved by closer contacts at all levels. There is need to enhance and strengthen co-operation to the mutual benefit of both peoples.
- Underling the steps for people-centric India-China relations, the President said both India and China are ‘young’ societies. Our youth share common aspirations and perceptions. Their annual exchanges have been fruitful but both sides need to synergize their potential.
- In a digital age, joint film productions could be useful instruments for creating positive perceptions among our peoples. Greater exchanges between institutions of higher learning, more cultural festivals and joint research and scholarship programmes can help dispel the notion that we need to look to the West and not to each other to make progress in education, science & technology.
- Travel can also be a very important binding factor between the two countries. Indians would like to have more opportunities to travel to their holy sites in China and, in turn, welcome more Chinese visits to Buddhist pilgrimage centres in India.
- By pursuing sustainable solutions and sharing experiences, civil societies on both sides can collaborate – duly respecting the parameters in which they are required to operate in our respective countries.
- We can use multilateral fora including the G-20, BRICS, EAS, AIIB, SCO and the United Nations to enhance public awareness of the desire of both our countries for a shared future shaped by us together. Trade and commerce can also be the most powerful agents in reinforcing our complementarities. He called upon India-China entrepreneurs to jointly innovate to create a new model for business.
India and China are the inheritors of a great legacy – borne of our intensive intellectual and cultural contacts since the first millennium.
- We cannot imagine our common history without the central contribution of Kumarajiva or Bodhidharma or the records and experiences of XuanZangand Fa Xian from China.
There are, of course, periods of which we do not have much information – perhaps these were stretches of time when there was less direct contact. However, it is a matter of great satisfaction that as we pay tribute to the outstanding legacy of these masters, we also vigorously re-engage to revive and re-connect this most satisfying aspect of our people to people relations.
- In the early years of the last century, when India and China were engaged in a common struggle to break free of foreign domination and regain their rightful place in the world order, we had drawn strength and inspiration from each other. Indians fondly remember the solidarity and support extended by China’s leaders to our freedom movement.
- Similarly, the Chinese people recall, with appreciation, the 1925 Resolution of the Indian National Congress in support of China after British-Indian troops had been dispatched to suppress an anti-imperialist struggle in China.
- The Medical Mission led by Dr. Kotnis in 1938 was yet another example of the genuine bonds of friendship and humanity between our people. His contribution under difficult circumstances is remembered and commemorated till this day both in India and China.
- In the last seven decades, our bilateral relations have been tested by difficulties and challenges; but the determination of the Indian people to safeguard their friendship with the people of China has visibly endured.
- It was demonstrated in India’s early recognition of the People’s Republic of China in December 1949, the establishment of our diplomatic relations in April 1950 and India’s constant public support through the ‘60s and ‘70s for the admission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN and the restitution of its Permanent Membership of the UN Security Council.
- Through this period, our relations have witnessed significant expansion and diversification. Our shared civilisational past and our common Asian identity have been at the core of this aspiration . Today, as India and China pursue their respective developmental goals we both seek to live in friendship and realise our common dream of an Asian Century. Both our nations have reaped rich political and economic dividends from this wise and judicious approach.
Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘ARUSH’ Commissioned
The Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Arush’, the seventeenth in the series of twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs), designed and built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited, was commissioned recently.
The ship has been named ICGS ‘Arush’, literally meaning ‘first ray of sun’, and will be based at Porbandar under the administrative and operational control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (North West).
NITI Aayog Launches 500 Tinkering Labs for Schools and 100 Incubation Centres
NITI Aayog is inviting applications from eligible schools/ organisations and individuals to apply for the three major schemes under Atal Innovation Mission: (a) establishing tinkering laboratories in schools (b) establishing new incubation centres and (c) scaling-up established incubation centres.
To foster creativity and scientific temper in students, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) will establish 500 Atal Tinkering Laboratories in schools. It will provide one time establishment grant-in-aid of Rs. 10 lakh for establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) in schools (grade VI – XII) across India. Further, an amount of Rs. 10.0 lakh would also be provided for each ATL over a period of 5 years for operational expenses of ATLs. Thus, an amount of Rs. 20 lakhs per Atal Tinkering Laboratory in each selected school will be spent. Young children will get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Competitions at regional and national scale will also be organised to showcase the innovations developed by the children.
SC erred in disaster relief order?
In a bid to protect lives of citizens reeling under severe drought in several states, the Supreme Court recently directed the centre to set up a National Disaster Mitigation Fund (NDMF) under a non-operational statutory provision.
What’s the issue now?
According to some experts, the court has committed a mistake by asking the centre to do so. For, Section 47 of the Disaster Management Act, which provides for setting up of NDMF for projects exclusively for the purpose of mitigation- measures aimed at reducing the risk of disaster, has not yet been notified.
As a result of this mistake, the SC ended up directing the Centre to implement a provision of law which for all practical purposes is non-existent.
Indian Ocean Rim nations to boost cooperation on SEZs
India and several other nations bordering the Indian Ocean have decided to evolve a regional mechanism for cooperation on Special Economic Zones (SEZ) – or duty-free enclaves with tax holidays — to boost exports.
This was decided at the recently held first-of-its-kind meeting between SEZ authorities from Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) nations at Chabahar, Iran. Notably, Chabahar houses a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) – a synonym for SEZs.
The meeting comes at a time of global economic and trade slowdown and attempts are being made by countries to boost growth through trade.
Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA):-
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), is an international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.
The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
It is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.
The Coordinating Secretariat of IORA is located at Ebene, Mauritius.
The organisation was first established as Indian Ocean Rim Initiative in Mauritius on March 1995 and formally launched in 1997 by the conclusion of a multilateral treaty known as the Charter of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation.
The Association comprises 20 member states and 7 dialogue partners, the Indian Ocean Tourism Organisation and the Indian Ocean Research Group has observer status.
ISRO to test rocket that takes its fuel from air
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to test an air-breathing propulsion system, which aims to capitalise on the oxygen in the atmosphere instead of liquefied oxygen while in flight.
Generally, vehicles used to launch satellites into space use combustion of propellants with oxidiser and fuel. However, the new Air breathing propulsion system aims to use oxygen present in the atmosphere up to 50 km from the earth’s surface to burn the fuel stored in the rocket.
This system would help in reducing the lift-off mass of the vehicle since liquefied oxygen need not be carried on board the vehicle.
This would also help increasing the efficiency of the rocket and also make it cost-effective.
It would also complement ISRO’s aim to develop a reusable launch vehicle, which would have longer flight duration.
Potassium bromate in same cancer class as coffee
According to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment, 84% of 34 bread types sold in India contain potassium bromate, a carcinogen. Potassium bromate is the chemical additive widely prevalent in bread and refined flour.Following this, food regulator FSSAI said it has decided to remove potassium bromate from the list of permitted additives.
A 1982 study in Japan stated that potassium bromate causes cancer. Following this, many countries including Japan, UK, China and Australian banned this compound.
It is added to wheat flour to strengthen the dough and to allow it to rise higher. It bleaches the dough and increases its elasticity by making tiny bubbles that help the bread rise.
However, the real problem arises when bromate flour isn’t baked for long enough or at a high enough temperature, or if too much potassium bromate is added in the first place.
- The chemical is said to cause renal tubular tumours (adenomas and carcinomas) thyroid follicular tumours peritoneal mesotheliomas in laboratory animals.
- Also, long-term carcinogenicity studies and in vivo and in vitro mutagenicity studies showed that potassium bromate was a “genotoxic carcinogen” or a chemical agent that damaged genetic information, causing mutations.