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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Indian social media’s call to boycott our goods hasn’t hurt us: Chinese media

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China’s media today said that social media calls in India to boycott Chinese goods haven’t worked with rising sales of Chinese smartphones in India and growing bilateral trade.

A commentary in the Global Times, a nationalist tabloid published by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said that “regardless of the passionate boycott in India and Indian media’s hysteric reports of a ‘doomsday’ for Chinese products, Chinese goods have never been condemned by Indian government and are popular across the nation.”

“The boycott has not achieved success,” wrote Zhen Bo, a scholar at the Center for South Asia-West China Cooperation and Development Studies, Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan University.

“Sales figures for Chinese products on the top three Indian online retailers in the first week of October hit a new record. Amazingly, the Chinese mobile phone company Xiaomi sold half a million phones in just three days on the Flipkart, Amazon India, Snapdeal and Tata CLiQ platforms.”

“China’s investment in India,” he added, “soared to around $ 870 million in 2015, six times what it was in 2014.”

Calls to boycott Chinese goods have gone viral in recent days, triggered by anger over its move on September 30 to extend a technical hold preventing the sanctioning of Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorist Masood Azhar.

READ: After blocking India’s move to ban Masood Azhar, China now wants action against global terrorists

Several local trading bodies have issued calls to boycott goods, especially China-made firecrackers, ahead of the festive season.

“Chinese products are often the victim when regional situations get tense, and this phenomenon has been existing for quite a few years,” the commentary said.

“There have been at least two prominent Indian boycotts of Chinese goods in the past few months. The first happened in April. It was caused by dissatisfaction over China’s stand on the issue of.. Azhar who is accused of committing terrorist acts in India. The second was in July and because of China’s lack of support for India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Now Chinese goods are on the stage again due to the Kashmir issue.”

Zhen argued that “enhancing economic ties would be a preferable way to promote the comprehensive bilateral relationship”. “The more economic cooperation exists, the more opportunities there will be for Chinese products to enter the Indian market,” he said. “India is a big potential market, and people using smartphones and doing online shopping has become the irreversible trend in the new era. With enough experience and capital, some keen Chinese companies have already expanded their business into India. Hopefully, these early birds will get the worm soon.”

Special puja, rituals mark end to royals’ private celebrations

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MYSURU: The private Dasara celebrations by Mysuru royal family concluded at the residential palace attached to Mysuru Palace on Tuesday.

Titular head Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar and maharani Trishikha Kumari completed various pujas and rituals as part of the celebrations to end the 11-day Dasara.

The family hosted Vajra Musti Kalaga, an age-old tradition where wrestlers fought with each other till one of them draws blood from the opponent. Trishikha, who is a Rajput from a Rajasthan royal family, keenly watched the bout.

But the wrestlers fought another battle before their symbolic show as they had a tiff with Mysuru police who didn’t allow family and friends of the wrestlers to enter the palace. Upset with the development, they threatened to boycott the fight, but relented following intervention by police commissioner B Dayananda.

Yaduveer performed Ayudha Puja on Monday and held Vijaya Yatre by taking out a procession – astride a silver chariot – to Sri Bhuvaneshwari Temple inside the palace premises. He offered puja to Shami tree. The royal couple performed puja at Chamundi Thotti in the residential palace and removed kankana, the sacred red thread tied on their right wrist on the first day of the festival.

India’s surgical strikes target 7 ‘terror launchpads’ across LoC

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India has carried out surgical strikes targeting “launchpads” for terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, the Indian Army said on Thursday. The strike was carried out on Wednesday night, senior military and diplomatic sources informed the media at a hurriedly called media briefing at the Ministry of External Affairs.

“Based on very specific and credible information which we received yesterday that some terrorist teams had positioned itself along the line of control, India Army carried out surgical strikes last night at these launch pads. The operations were focused to ensure that these terrorists do not succeed in endangering lives of citizens in our country. During the counter-terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who were trying to support them. The operations have since ceased,” Director General of Military Operations Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh said.

He sought the support of the Pakistan Army in erasing the menace of terrorism. Pakistan has responded to the government statement saying there has been “no such strike.”

“We do not have any plans to continue. However the Indian armed forces are fully prepared to deal with any contingency which may arise. I have spoken to Pakistani DGMO and expressed our concern. It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquillity in the region but we cannot certainly allow terrorists to operate across the Line of Control with impunity and attack our citizens,” said the DGMO.

The attack was carried out following the September 18 terror strike in Uri that claimed the lives of 18 Indian soldiers.

The DGMO pointed out that during the investigation of the terror attack, the proof of the involvement of Pakistani elements was clearly discovered.

India tried to solve the situation from the Uri attack at the diplomatic level but did not receive an adequate response, he said. Earlier on Thursday morning, Army officials briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the srcurity situation at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security. A meeting the Prime Minister due to thold on reviewing the MFN status to Pakistan was postponed to next week, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

In a statement on its website, the DG-ISPR of the Pakistani army said that there had been a major exchange of fire overnight, in which two Pakistani rangers were killed. “Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing in Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Lipa sectors which started at 0230 and continued till 0800” the Pakistani military spokesperson claimed.

The updates:

2.40 pm: BJP hails armed forces following the strikes, lauds the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his government believes in action and not words.

“A salute to armed forces and to the leadership of the Prime Minister for securing our borders and defending from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. A responsible government acts and talks less. And that has been the practise of this government under Modi’s leadership,” party’s national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh says.

2.35 pm: Villages in Punjab near the International Border are being evacuated.

2.30 pm: The operation’s range was between 2 and 3 km across the LoC, PTI reports quoting sources.

2.22 pm: PTI reports quoting sources that seven launchpads were targeted during the strike. According to the sources, a combination of heliborne and ground forces carried out the operation, which began after midnight and ended around 4:30 a.m. on Thursday.

2.05 pm: President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have been briefed on the strikes, IANS reports quoting sources. Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti have also been briefed, the report adds.

Hardly any India-Pakistan trade; nation with Modi: Assocham

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NEW DELHI: Even as tensions between India and Pakistan are at a high following last week’s terror attack on the Indian army base in Uri+ , industry body Assocham said on Sunday that trade relations between countries+ remain “abysmally low”.

“India-Pakistan trade relations are abysmally low accounting for less than half a per cent of India’s total global trade involving both exports and imports,” the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said in a release here.

“Out of India’s total merchandise trade of $641 billion in 2015-16, Pakistan accounted for a meagre $2.67 billion,” it said.

“In all, trade with Pakistan was equivalent to 0.41% of India’s global merchandise commerce,” Secretary General Assocham D.S. Rawat said in the statement.

“Thus, the MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status, or no MFN, has not made much of a difference on the bilateral trade,” he said.

“While India has granted Pakistan the MFN status, Islamabad had not responded+ . But even with the MFN status, Pakistan’s exports to India remained less than half a billion dollars,” he added.

Rawat noted that for political reasons, businesses have not been cultivating interest in each other’s country.

“Going forward, as things stand today, it is almost no movement seen in the immediate future. Even the symbolic presence of Pakistan exhibitors at the annual India International Trade Fair (IITF) in November in New Delhi is not expected whether or not formal ties are snapped or not, given the present state of affairs,” he said.

The chamber said “India Inc. is fully behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi for steering India’s interest in the best possible directions.”

“India’s strategic decisions are fully the domain of the government, which enjoys the full backing of the nation,” Rawat added.

Water level of 91 major reservoirs of the country goes up

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The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on September, 01 2016 was 105.248 BCM, which is 67% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This was 114% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 99% of storage of average of last ten years.

The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 157.799 BCM which is about 62% of the total storage capacity of 253.388 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.

REGION WISE STORAGE STATUS:-

NORTHERN REGION

The northern region includes States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are six reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 13.91 BCM which is 77% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 92% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 79% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

EASTERN REGION

The Eastern region includes States of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. There are 15 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 12.49 BCM which is 66% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 57% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 61% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the corresponding period of last year and is also better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

WESTERN REGION

The Western region includes States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 27.07 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 20.03 BCM which is 74% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 58% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 69% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the storage of last year and is also better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

CENTRAL REGION

The Central region includes States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. There are 12 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 42.30 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 35.94 BCM which is 85% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 76% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 62% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the storage of last year and is also better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

SOUTHERN REGION

The Southern region includes States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, AP&TG(Two combined projects in both states) Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There are 31 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 22.88 BCM which is 44% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 34% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 69% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the corresponding period of last year but is less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

States having better storage than last year for corresponding period are Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, AP&TG (Two combined project in both states), Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. States having equal storage than last year for corresponding period is Kerala. States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu.

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