Media Watch

Tuesday 11th November 2014 14:51 EST

 Media Watch (November 15)

The fortuitous discovery of the Burdwan jihadi network across West Bengal and beyond, into Bangladesh, may well turn out to be the tip of something more menacing. What has jolted and shamed the Indian authorities is the revelation that Bangladesh intelligence had been warning the West Bengal government and the Union government in Delhi of the activities of the Jamaat-ul- Mujahideen in India. The inept Trinamool administration in West Bengal chose to ignore these alerts, preferring instead to concentrate time and money on its vote bank politics - which appears to back firing with large numbers of Muslim peasants in parts of the rural hinterland joining the BJP because of the intimidation and violence of Trinamool Congress goons.( Telegraph November 4). Returning to the warnings emanating from Dhaka, the Centre in Delhi was too laid back in its responses. The cooperation between Delhi and Dhaka is now exemplary, but valuable time has been lost. We are thus witnessing a more menacing level of threat. The front pages of the local Telegraph newspaper and Times of India (November 5) reveal that two Indian Navy warships left their berths at the Kolkata port for the open seas as a precautionary move against a terrorist attack, The Research & Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency, having warned of its possible occurrence. The agency pinpointed Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence directorate as the mastermind of the operation, with the likely timeline of such an attack given as November 4-7. The Indian warships had arrived at the for the national Navy Day celebrations. “Warships are safest on the open seas, [where they are] capable of defending themselves. The Corvette INS Khukri and offshore patrol vessel INS Sumatra had docked at the port” for public visitors as part of Navy Day, said an official in a briefing to the media. “We received information that a strike has been planned on Kolkata to try and destroy or cripple the warships.” Haldia port, too, has been put under alert.

Wagah bombing

The massive suicide bomb blast, close to the Pakistan side of the Wagah border crossing with India, has led to the loss of 60 Pakistani lives, with over 100 injured. Two Taliban outfits have claimed responsibility for the dastardly deed, which the Indian government has condemned. Trouble is that Pakistan is now an auction house of terror groups. Some among them are now in conflict with their former handlers. The Americans would call this “blowback,” a term that fits the Pakistan predicament perfectly.

Pentagon charge

Blowback is what the US is facing in Syrian and Iraq from the Islamic State, whose weaponry os of American origin, and whose murderous Jihadi levies were once America’s regional clients. Washington has been a slow learner on such matters. The Pentagon has issued a report charging Pakistan with using jihadi terror groups as “proxies” against India. (Times of India November 6)

Japan’s highest

honour for Singh

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may have pilloried by the Indian media, unfairly most of the time, but most foreign leaders respected his intellect, dignified demeanour and his quiet pursuit of India’s interests. Japan’s Emperor Akihito has awarded his country’s highest honour, Paulownia Flowers, the first Indian to be so honoured. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was a “matter of pride and joy” for him and the nation. He rose above partisan politics in uttering these splendid words. He has set a standard for decency in public which should be emulated by one and all.


ready to roll

Das Narayandas, James Hill Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, speaking to a reporter on the sidelines of a function in his honour at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, said that Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the United States had been more than a routine goodwill visit, that the country’s business community, as prospective investors, were now seriously interested in India going forward. He described India as a global brand “which is the first step for an emerging market to establish itself on a global platform….the country would do well to find specific sectors….faster than others like IT did, followed by hospitality and medical tourism. To me, India is a juggernaut ready to roll.”


India had invested wisely in world class institutions from Independence to tap the country’s extraordinary talent. This investment must continue with the expansion of such institutions, whose numbers exceed those of most emerging markets combined, said Professor Narayan Das. (Business Line November 5)

Export hub

Spanish wind turbine company, Gamesa, is bullish on India’s wind energy sector. The company expects to sell turbines adding up to 850 MW in India this year, the country being its largest overseas market. Speaking to Indian journalists at the company headquarters in Pamplona, Spain, Executive Chairman Ignacio Martin, said: “India as a country is very encouraging for us…. We can say that Gamesa is today the market leader in India.” India’s energy would double over the 15 years, of which 10 per cent would be renewals, he said (Hindu October 20)

Destination Oman

“Indian businessmen should look at IT opportunities in Oman,” said Ali bin Masoud Sunaidy, Minister for Commerce and Industry, Oman. He was recently in India heading a delegation of CEOs in talks with ministers and private sector companies to increase trade and investment. While the Oman minister was reasonably satisfied with the steady growth in trade and investment, he made a special pitch for the Indian IT sector to deepen its interest in his country.

IT capability

“India is extremely capable in IT and we are already extending our cooperation to the sector. However, if we could add to the dimension of content management and content development there could be manifold growth as we could target the entire Arab market, which is growing rapidly…..I would like young and dynamic Indian businessmen to look carefully at the opportunities,” he said. (Business Line November 3)

Danfoss facility


Danfoss, the Denmark-based mechanical and electronic components company has opened a facility near Chennai for manufacturing and research. Set up with an investment of Rs 500 crore, it has a 1MW solar powered plant, which will generate sufficient electricity to meet 10 per cent of its energy requirements on a 50 acre campus. The company has plans to transform the Chennai facility into a manufacturing-cum export hub for the Asia Pacific region. Danfoss will also source products from local suppliers, thereby creating ancillary industries that provide new jobs.

Right place,

right time

“We kick-started our ‘Make in India’ initiative two years ago, after having assessed the tremendous potential for growth in India’s manufacturing sector. We are pleased to commence our manufacturing at the right place at the right time,” said Niels Christiansen, President and CEO, Danfoss Global. (Business Line November 6)

Rogozin comes


Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, with special responsibility for relations with India, was in India on a day-long visit during which he co-chaired a meeting, with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, of the 20th session of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economics and Scientific, Technological and Cultural Corporation. Rogozin happens to be the Chairman of Russia’s military-industrial complex, hence issues pertaining to defence assumed special significance. Deals here will be under wraps until President Putin arrives for the annual India-Russia summit in New Delhi in December.

Free Trade talks

What appeared in the public domain in the aftermath of the Rogozin visit was the agreement to commence talks on a free trade agreement between the two sides that already includes Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. The India Russia talks covered space and energy cooperation and other deliverables for President’s consideration. India pressed for greater access to the Russian market, particularly in pharmaceuticals, automotives, textiles and valued added farm products, said India’s Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “We would like to invite investments from Russia. Come to India, make it here and sell it to us,” she said. Minister Rogozin called on National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Hindu November5,6)

Kerala’s free cancer


Advanced cancer care is not normally an affordable item for the poor in most parts of the world. Kerala is an exception to the general rule, with the launch of its ‘Sukrutham’ initiative, which seeks to make the treatment free for the poorest of the poor. The free treatment already available in five government medical college hospitals and three other hospitals, is to be extended to all 14 district hospitals. Praising the initiative the Union Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan said the Kerala example would be replicated across India through the 13th five year plan. (Business Line November 1)

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