Indian American Abhijit Banerjee Wins Nobel In Economics

Indian-born economist Abhijit Banerjee, his French-American wife Esther Duflo and the US’ Michael Kremer on Monday were awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”

“The research conducted by the 2019 Economic Sciences laureates has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty. In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research,” a statement from the Nobel Prize Twitter handle said.

The three economists have introduced a new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty.

“It divides the issue into smaller, more manageable questions – for example, the most effective interventions for improving child health,” the statement added.

“Over 700 million people still subsist on extremely low incomes. Every year, five million children still die before their fifth birthday, often from diseases that could be prevented or cured with relatively cheap and simple treatments,” the statement outlined.

In the mid-1990s, Kremer, an American economist, and his colleagues demonstrated how powerful an experiment-based approach can be, by using field experiments to test a range of interventions that could improve school results in western Kenya.

Banerjee and Duflo, along with Kremer soon performed similar studies of other issues and in other countries, including India. Their experimental research methods now entirely dominate development economics.

“The 2019 Economic Sciences Laureates’ research findings have dramatically improved our ability to fight poverty in practice. As a result of one of their studies, more than 5 million Indian children have benefitted from programmes of remedial tutoring in schools,” the statement said.

Banerjee completed his MA in Economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi in 1983. Later, he went on to obtain a PhD in Economics at Harvard University in 1988.

The 58-year-old Kolkata-born economist is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Relief In Valley As Mobile Services Restored In J&K

People across Jammu and Kashmir heaved a deep sigh of relief after postpaid mobile services were fully restored in the region on Monday.

As Jammu and Kashmir is limping back to normalcy, mobile services were restored at 12 noon today after a span of over two months since the central government’s move to abrogate Article 370 that granted special powers to the region.

Locals said they were not able to contact with their near and dear ones and had felt a sense of loneliness without mobile phones.

“I am happy that phone services are operational. Now, I can talk to my family members. There was a lot of problems for us in the last 70 days. My brothers were outside Kashmir and we were not able to maintain contact with them. Without mobile phones, our lives came to a standstill,” a local, Farooq Ahmed, told ANI.

Echoing similar sentiments, another resident hoped that postpaid mobile services would continue to be operational in the region.

“I am very happy that mobile connectivity has been restored fully. Earlier, we were facing the inconvenience of talking to people. When the network was down, we were feeling a sense of loneliness. But, now we can talk to our near and dear ones. I hope that the services continue to be operational,” another local named Gopal said.

All network and landline connections were suspended across Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, in view of security concerns in the region post-abrogation of Article 370.

Last week, Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal had said that the postpaid mobile services would be restored after reviewing the security situation in the region.

“Having reviewed the situation, a decision has now been taken to restore mobile phone services in the remaining areas of Jammu and Kashmir. All postpaid mobile services, irrespective of the telecom operator will stand restored and be functional from 12 noon on Monday, October 14. This will cover all 10 districts of Kashmir province,” Kansal had said on October 12.

Although the landline network was restored in phases, restrictions remained on the usage of mobile devices in various parts of the Valley. Apart from restoring telecommunication services, restrictions on movement have been removed in 99 per cent of the areas in Jammu and Kashmir.

The decision to restore mobile phone services comes days after Governor Satya Pal Malik announced the withdrawal of security advisory for tourists from October 10.

The administration had also said that tourists desirous of visiting the region will be provided with the necessary assistance and logistic support.

As normalcy started returning, postpaid mobile phone services were resumed in five districts – Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch – of the Jammu region on August 29.

The central government had abrogated Article 370 and also bifurcated the former state into Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The new UTs will come into being on October 31.


Infighting Surfaces In Maharashtra Cong Ahead Of Polls

Disgruntled Congress leader Sanjay Niupam called party leader Milind Deora ‘Nikamma’ (useless) and downplayed speculation over his absence at Rahul Gandhi’s rally in poll-bound Maharashtra.

Former Union minister Deora had replaced Nirupam as the Mumbai Congress chief.

Taking to Twitter, Nirupam said he had skipped the event due to a prior commitment, adding that Gandhi was aware of the change in his schedule.

“Speculations and suspicions about my absence in Rahul Gandhi’s Mumbai rallies are meaningless. Due to an important family function, I was very busy whole day, rather till late night. Had informed him in advance,” he tweeted.

“Had informed him in advance… But why was Nikamma absent?” Nirupam asked. This came after the party rejected one name he had suggested for the Maharashtra polls.

Notably, Nirupam had earlier said that he won’t be campaigning for the Congress party for the Maharashtra assembly elections.

Nirupam, further mentioned in his tweet, that Rahul is his leader.

Rahul had held two rallies in Mumbai — one for Chandiwali candidate Naseem Khan and the other rally was for Dharavi Candidate Varsha Gaikwad, daughter of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) acting president Ekanath Gaikwad.

Naseem Khan is believed to be a rival of Nirupam as he had led a campaign within the Congress Party for removal of Nirupam from Mumbai Congress President post last year.

Single-phase polls in Maharashtra will be held on October 21 and results are scheduled to announce on October 24.


NSA Doval Pitches For Single Central Counter-Terror Agency

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Monday said that one of the biggest hurdles in fighting terrorism is the lack of one central counter-terrorism agency and also that various agencies the Army, Intelligence Bureau, RAW and the NIA were “not working in-tandem”.

Doval was speaking at the two-day NIA’s national conference of chiefs of Anti-Terrorism Squad and Special Task Force (STF) that began here on Monday.

He asserted that that “physical action” against terrorists, “intelligence” gathering and “investigation” of terrorism cases were not in tandem with each other. He also said that Centre lacks a “one single counter-terrorist” agency that merges all the three components (physical action, intelligence and investigation).

“I am happy that many states have ATS, STF and other specialised agencies that have a dual advantage. It has been my personal view that there could be one single counter-terrorist agency which could have all the three components integrated and merged but for some reasons that doesn’t happen,” said Doval.

“But in the states, their STF are collecting some amount of intelligence, taking physical action and if they contribute to the investigation of the cases, probably that helps,” said Doval.

“Physical action only counters what is in the present while what happens in future is decided by what the course of the investigation is, what happens in court-of-law as the terrorists have to be established as criminals,” said the NSA.

The top NIA official said the problem in fighting terrorism is that these three silos are not in tandem and do not merge with each other.

“They work not in tandem but separately even when they work very efficiently. What Army might be doing in Jammu and Kashmir, or IB or RAW doing somewhere or NIA is doing, probably where is the connect?” he asked.

Doval also hit out at Pakistan for using terrorism as an instrument of the state policy.

“If a criminal has the support of a state, it becomes a great challenge. Some of the states have mastered this, in our case Pakistan has made it as an instrument of its state policy,” said Doval.

The National Security Advisor also commended the impact that NIA has been able to make against terrorism in Kashmir is more than any other agency.

“One of the biggest pressures that has come on Pakistan today is because of the proceedings of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), it has created so much pressure on them that probably no other action could have done,” he added. (ANI)

Modi Slams Opposition Stand On Abrogation of Art 370 In J&K

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday targeted the opposition parties for criticising Centre for taking the decision to repeal Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, saying, “Today, unfortunately, some political parties and some politicians in our country are politicizing this decision taken in the national interest.”

“One should listen to the statements given by the Congress-NCP leaders pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir. They think just the opposite of what the entire country thinks of Jammu and Kashmir. Their thinking is the same as the neighboring country,” PM Modi added.

“Can these leaders, who are trying to fool the people with their crocodile tears, bring back Article 370 in Kashmir? Will the people of India allow them to? Will the people of India accept it?,” he questioned while addressing a public rally.

Prime Minister Modi also said that until abrogation of Article 370, Valmiki community in Jammu and Kashmir was deprived of basic rights.

The Prime Minister while addressing a rally here asserted that his government too requisite measures to ensure normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh regions.

“Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is not just a piece of land for us, but is the crown of India. Looking at the security needs, we took the necessary steps. We have also tried our best to ensure normalcy in the area, amidst all the negative powers in and around the area,” he said while addressing a public meeting in Jalgaon ahead of Assembly elections in Maharashtra.

“You will be surprised to know that for 70 years, our Valmiki brothers in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were also deprived of human rights. Today, I bow in front of Lord Valmiki that I am getting the privilege to embrace my brothers,” the Prime Minister added.

He also took veiled dig at NCP chief Sharad Pawar saying, “I was shocked to see a video in which a prominent leader who has been on TV and newspapers for years got angry and hit a man with his elbow who was sitting next to him stage and while he was being garlanded he tried to put his head in the garland. Just think that the people who hit his own party member for trying to take a photo just think what will he do with the general public.”

Prime Minister also spoke on the menace of corruption in India and said “In the last 5 years, every area, every community and every department has seen growth. There has been no corruption in the last five years. Devendra Fadnavis Ji and his team have taken Maharashtra on the road of progress and belief in the last five years.”

In his concluding remark, the Prime Minister said that his government is working in full capacity to fulfill the dreams of every poor person in Maharashtra and the country by 2022.

He further pledges to connect every house in the entire country including Maharashtra with water. “Three and a half lakh crore rupees will be spent on the Water Life Mission to fulfill this resolution,” he adds.


India At SCO

China, India Should ‘Brighten Up’ Each Other: Jinping

Emphasising that India and China should resolve issues through communication, Chinese president Xi Jinping has said that two Asian giants should help each other to “brighten up” each other.

Xi remarks come following the lengthy meetings between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the second informal summit in Chennai. The personal rapport between the two leaders was visible as they spent over six hours to discuss a series of issue.

The state-run Xinhua reported that two leaders held a candid and in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of common concern.

“To achieve Dragon and Elephant Dance is the only correct choice for China and India, which is in the fundamental interests of both countries and their peoples,” President Xi said in a statement.

Xi pointed out that since his successful meeting with Modi in Wuhan last year, China-India relations have entered a new stage of sound and stable development, and the positive effects of the meeting are constantly emerging.

“First, we should take a correct view of each other’s development and enhance strategic mutual trust,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying in the detailed report filed on the talks.

He suggested that both countries should carry out strategic communication in a timely and effective manner, enhance mutual understanding and cooperation, and firmly grasp the general direction of the development of bilateral relations.

“Focus on friendship and cooperation, resolve suspicions and doubts, and properly handle differences and sensitive issues,” he was quoted as saying.

During the summit, the Prime Minister and the President also discussed the age-old commercial linkages and people-to-people contacts between India and China. Towards this, Modi and Xi agreed on the establishment of sister-state ties between Tamil Nadu and Fujian Province.

“The two leaders agreed on establishment of sister-state relations between Tamil Nadu and Fujian Province, exploring the possibility of establishing an academy to study links between Mahabalipuram and Fujian province on the lines of the experience between Ajanta and Dunhuang and conducting research on maritime links between China and India in view of our extensive contacts over the centuries,” the official statement also said.

On the border dispute along the 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC), Xi said: “in accordance with the agreement on political guiding principles, we will seek a fair and reasonable solution to the border issue that is acceptable to both sides”.

“We should carefully handle issues concerning each other’s core interests. We should properly manage and control problems that cannot be solved for the time being,” he said.

Xi also suggested that both countries should improve the level of military security exchanges and cooperation.

“We should promote the development of military-to-military relations in the right direction of enhancing trust, clearing up misgivings and friendly cooperation,” he said.

The two-day summit stood testament to the close ties shared between Modi and Xi. The Prime Minister took the President on a guided tour of UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna’s Butter Ball, Pancha Rathas and the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram. He also hosted Xi for dinner on Friday night and for lunch on Saturday afternoon.

The visiting dignitary relished a variety of Indian cuisine during the dinner hosted by Modi in his honour on Friday. The two leaders met for over two hours over dinner, the menu of which gave special focus to South Indian cuisine.


Moon Mission Will Not Feed People In India, Says Rahul

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly ignoring real issues, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that sending a rocket to the moon will not feed the youth of the country.

Addressing an election rally here, Rahul said: “Crores of youths in the country are unemployed. When the election comes, they don’t talk about it. Youths are saying that they don’t have any future. On the other side, he (Modi) will say look towards the moon. India has sent a rocket. It is good.”

In a veiled reference to India’s moon mission Chandrayaan -2, Gandhi continued: “Congress had founded ISRO. Rocket did not go there in two days. It took years, and Narendra Modi ji is taking its benefit. Sending a rocket to the moon will not feed the youths of the country.”

The Congress leader said that they have destroyed the Indian economy. “They will talk about Kashmir, Article 370, moon but they will not utter a single word on real issues,” he said.

The Congress party is contesting Maharashtra Assembly polls in alliance with the NCP. The state will go to polls on October 21. The counting of votes will take place on October 24.


Muslims Happiest In India, Claims RSS President

Asserting that the Muslims in India are the “happiest”, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) supremo Mohan Bhagwat said that people of other faiths have sought refuge in India due to the “Hindu culture”.

Addressing a meeting of intellectuals here on Saturday, Bhagwat said, “Muslims in India are the happiest. Why is that? It is because we are Hindus. Whenever a country in the world was confused and diverted from the right path, it came to India in search of the truth. When the Jews were being chased away, India is the only country which gave them shelter. The Parsis are also able to safely practise their religion here.”

He said that “Hindu” is not a name of a language, province or country but a culture, which is the legacy of all people living in India.

Making a similar statement, RSS chief had, earlier this week, said that the vision of the Sangh regarding the identity of the nation is “clear, well-thought-of and firm” that Bharat is “Hindustan, Hindu Rashtra”.


Modi, Xi Discuss Radicalisation, Terror In Mahabalipuram

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held discussions on a wide range of issues including the unbalanced trade that exists between the two countries and ways to counter radicalisation and terrorism.

Foreign Secretary Vijay K Gokhale while addressing a press conference here said, “There have been nearly five hours of quality time and discussion that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping of China have spent together. Most of it was one to one.”

The discussions between two leaders that took place over the meal stretched over 150 minutes.

“Discussions were very open and cordial. This was the quality time the two leaders spent together one-on-one. The rest of the two delegations were in fact in a separate location having dinner. The two leaders had detailed discussions on respective national visions, on the governance priorities. The Prime Minister explained that having been recently elected to a second term, he had received a new mandate for economic development,” said Gokhale.

The Chinese President, while acknowledging the mandate the Prime Minister got, said that “he was looking forward to working very closely with the PM on all issues during the next four and half years,” he informed.

“They also spoke about other developmental priorities. In particular, there was some discussion on trade-related and economic issues and how to enhance the trade volume and the trade value. It also included the issue of trade deficit,” Gokhale said.

“Some of the other topics included the challenges both countries face on account of terrorism. Acknowledgement that both countries are very complex, they are very diverse. Both leaders said that these were large countries. Radicalisation is a major concern for both, and both would work together to see that radicalisation and terrorism did not affect the fabric of our multicultural, multi-ethnic societies,” he added.

The Foreign Secretary also informed that both PM Modi and President Xi praised the excellent arrangements for the second informal summit.

“President Xi has himself said that he was overwhelmed by the welcome that was given to him at the airport and the arrangements made for him during his stay in Chennai. The visuals of PM Modi and Xi Jinping going around the monuments reflect the personal rapport that the two leaders have built between them over the two informal summits,” he said and added that during the visit at heritage sites both spoke of historic and trading links.

The Prime Minister also explained the importance of Ganesha temple to the Chinese President.

He also said that the two leaders were delighted by the performance of the artistes during the cultural programme.

“Tomorrow’s discussions, where they will be continuing one-to-one meetings, will focus on international issues and regional issues,” he said.

It is the second informal summit between Modi and Xi. The first informal summit was held in Wuhan last year.


Mobile Phone Services In Kashmir To Resume From Oct 14

Postpaid mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir will be functional from Monday.

“Having reviewed the situation, a decision has now been taken to restore mobile phone services in the remaining areas of Jammu and Kashmir. All postpaid mobile services, irrespective of the telecom operator will stand restored and be functional from 12 noon, Monday, 14 October 2019. This will cover all 10 districts of Kashmir province,” Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir said on Saturday.

All network and landlines connections were suspended across Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, in view of security concerns in the region following Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370.

Although the landline network was restored in phases, restrictions remained on the usage of mobile devices in various parts of the Kashmir Valley.

Kansal, on Saturday, said that landline facilities have been fully restored in the region and mobile services are also back in some parts.

“Telephone landlines have been fully restored, and have been functioning for over six weeks. Mobile services were restored in Jammu, Ladakh and subsequently in Kupwara,” the principal secretary said.

Restrictions on movement have been removed in 99 per cent of the area in Jammu and Kashmir, Kansal informed.

“Since August 16 there has been a gradual removal of the restrictions and by the first week of September most restrictions were removed, barring 8-10 police stations movement restrictions have now been completely removed. Over 99 per cent of the area of Jammu and Kashmir has absolutely no restriction on movement,” Kansal told reporters here.

Speaking about the schools and colleges in the region he said while the primary and higher schools had started opening since mid or late August, the “universities, colleges and higher secondary schools have been reopened in the last 10 days. Examination schedules have also been announced.”

The decision to restore mobile phone services comes days after Jammu and Kashmir Governor announced the withdrawal of security advisory for tourists from October 10.

The administration had also said that tourists desirous of visiting the region will be provided with the necessary assistance and logistic support.

The administration had also said that tourists desirous of visiting the region will be provided with the necessary assistance and logistic support.

As normalcy started returning, postpaid mobile phone services were resumed in five districts- Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch- of the Jammu region on August 29.

The Central government had on August 5 abrogated Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and also bifurcated the state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.