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The CBSE-conducted AIEEE examination would be for the first time held online on a limited scale in 2011 for admission to various NITs, IIITs, deemed universities and a few state institutions.
While the regular pen-and-paper test will be held on April 24, 2011, the online version of the examination will be held from May 1 to May 15, 2011 for a maximum of one lakh candidates on “first come first served” basis, said CBSE sources.
More than 11 lakh candidates are expected to appear for AIEEE examination in its 10th edition seeking admission to courses like B.E./B.Tech and B.Arch. and B. Planning courses. Sale of Information Bulletin will start from 15th December, 2010 onwards.
According to sources, the online format would be conducted on a pilot scale in 20 selected cities, with a maximum of 5000 candidates appearing for the test in each city.
Students will be informed about the dates on which they could sit for the online test, they added.
The success of the online format could see AIEEE going completely online in the coming years making it the largest online examination in the world.
Last year, the Common Admission Test (CAT) had also gone online.
Europe is now in the grip of an old superbug that seems to have become more potent. The deadly drug-resistant superbug Clostridium difficile (C-diff) is causing an increasing number of infections across Europe.
Earlier in 2010, scientists warned that a new so-called superbug from India known as New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) could spread around the world.
In an Europe-wide study, scientists have found infections due to C-diff being widespread. Incidence in hospitals has risen to 4.1 per 10,000 patient days in 2008 from 2.45 per 10,000 patient days in 2005.
Overuse and misuse of antibiotics in recent decades have fueled a rise in drug-resistant “superbug” infections like C-difficile, a bacterial infection in the gut, and methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA).
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said that up to 400,000 patients in the region suffer multi-drug resistant infections and antibiotic resistance remains a major public health problem.
Kuijper’s study, which was published in The Lancet medical journal found C-difficile infection rates were high in countries such as Finland, Poland and Britain, which had rates of 19.1, 12.5 and 10.4 per 10,000 patient days respectively, and lower in places such as France and Hungary, which had incidences of 2.1 and 2.0 per 10,000 patient days.
“This is the most important hospital-acquired infection in Europe, because if you look at the outcomes, there is a high mortality rate,” Kuijper said in a telephone interview. “There should be European-wide guidelines for hospitals to monitor this disease more carefully using uniform standards.”
What’s worse, when the team of scientists followed the patients up with infection after three months, they found that 22% had died, and C-diff infection had played a part in 40% of those deaths. The study has been published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, on 16.11.2010.
Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming, gram-positive anaerobic bacillus, which was discovered in 1978 and it produces two exotoxins: toxin A and toxin B. It is a common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) and colitis. It accounts for 15-25% of all episodes of AAD.
The recent study revealed that C-diff infection rates were high in Finland, Poland and Britain, which had rates of 19.1, 12.5 and 10.4 per 10,000 patient days, respectively. It is lower in France and Hungary, which had incidences of 2.1 and 2.0 per 10,000 patient days, respectively.
When the normal bacteria that live in the colon are disturbed — usually due to antibiotic treatment — and a patient ingests C-diff spores, the bacteria can multiply and release the toxins.
Some experts claim it now rivals the superbug MRSA as one of the leading threats to humans. Since its discovery, C-diff has grown increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
Experts told that though younger people are more susceptible to younger people — 65-year olds and above face a greater risk of developing infection from it and even higher death rates.
Ed Kuijper of Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands, who led the study with his colleague Martijn Bauer, said, “It is clearly on the rise. There is also a huge variation of incidence in different European countries. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics in recent decades have fuelled a rise in drug-resistant superbugs like C-diff.”
“Antibiotic resistance remains a serious threat to patient safety, reducing options for treatment and increasing lengths of hospital stay, as well as patient morbidity and mortality,” said Marc Sprenger, director of European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The study was collaboration among 106 laboratories in 34 European countries. Each hospital tested stool samples of patients with suspected C-diff infection that developed three or more days after being admitted to hospital.
A case was defined when, subsequently, toxins were identified in stool samples. Detailed clinical data and stool isolates were collected for the first 10 cases in each hospital. After three months, the clinical data was followed up.
“Decreasing antibiotic use in hospitals has shown decreasing incidence of infections,” said Dr Dominique Monnet of ECDC.
Symptoms of C-diff include profuse diarrhoea and abdominal pain and distention of the abdomen. An infection is also frequently accompanied by fever, nausea and dehydration. In some rare cases, blood may be present in the stool. The infection is spread by spores that contaminate the hospital environment and hands of health care workers who can transmit the spores to patients.
What diseases result from Clostridium difficile infection?
• pseudomembranous colitis (PMC)
• toxic megacolon
• perforations of the colon
• death (rarely)
What are the main clinical symptoms of Clostridium difficile infection?
Clinical symptoms include:
• watery diarrhea
• loss of appetite
• abdominal pain/tenderness
Which patients are at increased risk for Clostridium difficile infection?
The risk for disease increases in patients with:
• antibiotic exposure
• gastrointestinal surgery/manipulation
• long length of stay in healthcare settings
• a serious underlying illness
• immunocompromising conditions
• advanced age
Like the South African leader Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi has become an international symbol of heroic and peaceful resistance in the face of oppression.
Aung San Suu Kyi was the recipient of the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 1992 she was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding by the Government of India.
Aung San Suu Kyi (now 65), was born on June 19, 1945, Rangoon, Burma [now Yangon, Myanmar]), Myanmar, is the opposition leader and daughter of Aung San (a martyred national hero of independent Burma) and Khin Kyi (a prominent Burmese diplomat).
Aung San Suu Kyi is the third child and only daughter of Aung San, considered to be the father of modern-day Burma.
In 1960 she went to India with her mother Daw Khin Kyi, who had been appointed Burma’s ambassador to Delhi.
Four years later she went to Oxford University in the UK, where she studied philosophy, politics and economics. There she met her future husband.
After stints of living and working in Japan and Bhutan, she settled down to be an English don’s housewife and raise their two children, Alexander and Kim.
Her husband, the British academic Michael Aris, died in 1999 of cancer. She could not visit him while he was dying without risking being exiled from her country forever, and the junta refused him an entry visa to Myanmar.
She has not seen her two sons in more than 10 years. She has never met her grandchildren. Every year her sons apply for visas, every year they are rejected without explanation. In Bangkok on November 10, her youngest son, Kim Aris, got permission to enter Myanmar; it is not known when he will get to the country.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s final appeal against her sentence was rejected by the Supreme Court and her legal team has been assessing what it means for her liberty. The court’s decision is a moot point though; she has almost completed this last sentence.
Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988 to take care of her ailing mother. By coincidence, in the same year, the long-time leader of the Socialist ruling party, General Ne Win, stepped down, leading to mass demonstrations for democracy on 8 August 1988 (8-8-88, a day seen as auspicious), which were violently suppressed in what came to be known as the 8888 Uprising. On 26 August 1988, she addressed half a million people at a mass rally in front of the Shwedagon Pagoda in the capital, calling for a democratic government. However in September, a new military junta took power. Later the same month, the National League for Democracy (NLD) was formed, with Suu Kyi as general secretary.
Influenced by both Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence and by more specifically Buddhist concepts, Aung San Suu Kyi entered politics to work for democratization, helped found the National League for Democracy on 27 September 1988, and was put under house arrest on 20 July 1989. She was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused.
One of her most famous speeches is the “Freedom From Fear” speech, which begins: “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”
She also believes fear spurs many world leaders to lose sight of their purpose. “Government leaders are amazing”, she once said. “So often it seems they are the last to know what the people want.”
Aung San Suu Kyi was two years old when her father, then the de facto prime minister of what would shortly become independent Burma, was assassinated. She attended schools in Burma until 1960, when her mother was appointed ambassador to India. After further study in India, she attended the University of Oxford, where she met her future husband. She had two children and lived a rather quiet life until 1988, when she returned to Burma to nurse her dying mother. There the mass slaughter of protesters against the brutal and unresponsive rule of the military strongman U Ne Win led her to speak out against him and to begin a nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights. In July 1989 the military government of the newly named Union of Myanmar placed Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest and held her incommunicado. The military offered to free her if she agreed to leave Myanmar, but she refused to do so until the country was returned to civilian government and political prisoners were freed. The newly formed group with which she became affiliated, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won more than 80 percent of the parliamentary seats that were contested in 1990, but the results of that election were ignored by the military government (in 2010 the military government formally annulled the results of the 1990 election).
Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest in July 1995. The following year she attended the NLD party congress, but the military government continued to harass both her and her party. In 1998 she announced the formation of a representative committee that she declared was the country’s legitimate ruling parliament. The military junta once again placed her under house arrest from September 2000 to May 2002. Following clashes between the NLD and pro-government demonstrators in 2003, the government returned her to house arrest. Calls for her release continued throughout the international community in the face of her sentence’s annual renewal, and in 2009 a United Nations body declared her detention illegal under Myanmar’s own law. In 2008 the conditions of her house arrest were somewhat loosened, allowing her to receive some magazines as well as letters from her children.
In May 2009, shortly before her most recent sentence was to be completed, Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested and charged with breaching the terms of her house arrest after an intruder (a U.S. citizen) entered her house compound and spent two nights there. In August she was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison, though the sentence immediately was reduced to 18 months, and she was allowed to serve it while remaining under house arrest. At the time of her conviction, the belief was widespread both within and outside of Myanmar that this latest ruling was designed to prevent Aung from participating in multiparty elections scheduled for 2010. This suspicion became reality through a series of new election laws enacted in March 2010: one prohibited individuals from any participation in elections if they had been convicted of a crime (as she had been in 2009), and another disqualified anyone who was married to a foreign national from running for office (her husband was British).
Periods under detention
20 July 1989: Placed under house arrest in Rangoon under martial law that allows for detention without charge or trial for three years.
10 July 1995: Released from house arrest.
23 September 2000: Placed under house arrest.
6 May 2002: Released after 19 months.
30 May 2003: Arrested following the Depayin massacre, she was held in secret detention for more than three months before being returned to house arrest.
25 May 2007: House arrest extended by one year despite a direct appeal from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to General Than Shwe.
24 October 2007: Reached 12 years under house arrest, solidarity protests held at 12 cities around the world.
27 May 2008: House arrest extended for another year, which is illegal under both international law and Burma’s own law.
11 August 2009: House arrest extended for 18 more months because of “violation” arising from the May 2009 trespass incident.
13 November 2010: Released from house arrest.
Release from House Arrest
Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s celebrated pro-democracy leader and a political prisoner of global stature, was set free from house arrest in Yangon on 13.11.2010.
The 65-year-old Ms. Suu Kyi’s release was greeted by cheering supporters who gathered outside her house in a show of defiance against Myanmar’s military government. Hundreds of other supporters waited for her at the Yangon headquarters of the recently-derecognised National League for Democracy (NLD), which she still leads.
Several world leaders hailed her in comments on the release, which was ordered before the junta, the State Peace and Development Council could transfer power to an ostensibly “civilian” government in the wake of the November 7, 2010 general election.
Myanmar’s military establishments have subjected Ms. Suu Kyi to several terms of house arrest and a few spells in prison, for about 15 years in all since 1989. She led the NLD to a landslide victory in the country’s free elections in 1990 but was not allowed to lead a civilian government.
Walking free for the first time since 2003, Ms. Suu Kyi covered the distance from her old lakeside bungalow to the gate to acknowledge the greetings of her supporters. As she smiled and waved at them from across the gate, an enthusiast tossed up a bunch of flowers for her. The video-footage of her first public appearance in several years showed her accepting the flowers in a typical oriental style. She appeared to be in good spirit.
Indonesian authorities have launched two rescue operations after a tsunami crashed into an island chain and a volcano erupted less than 24 hours later, leaving at least 300 people dead and thousands more homeless.
Entire villages were washed away Monday the 25th October 2010 when a 7.7-magnitude earthquake split the ocean floor near the Mentawai islands, 80 miles off Sumatra’s west coast. The 10-foot waves generated by that rupture have killed at least 272 people claim officials.
The 7.7 magnitude quake hit 78 km west of South Pagai, one of the Mentawai islands. Most buildings in the coastal village of Betu Monga were destroyed.
“Of the 200 people living in that village, only 40 have been found. 160 are still missing, mostly women and children,” West Sumatra provincial disaster management head Harmensyah told Reuters by phone. “We have people reporting to the security post here that they could not hold on to their children, that they were swept away. A lot of people are crying.”
80 percent of the houses in the area were damaged and food supplies were low. A tourist boat carrying between eight and 10 Australians has been out of radio contact since the quake, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement.
The Macaronis surfing resort on North Pagai island was also hit. In an official press release, World Surfaris said Macaronis had “experienced a level of devastation that has rendered the resort inoperable.”
Indonesia implemented an early-warning system designed to warn locals of incoming mega-waves after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed 230,000 people across East Asia. However, officials have said that a fault with the system meant Mentawai islanders weren’t informed about the coming deluge
A day later, another natural disaster hit the central island of Java, when Indonesia’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi, erupted and spewed out clouds of searing gas and lava. At least 28 people are believed to have died so far, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported, although that death toll is expected to rise, as 14 people are being treated for burns over 80 percent of their bodies at the nearby Sardjito Hospital.
Reports via Facebook from a surfer at the resort suggested that all villas had been “wiped out” by the tsunami.
A report posted on the Surfaid website by one of the aid organization’s staff members described a three-meter-high tsunami crashing through the resort and boats knocking together, then bursting into flames.
Guests and crew from one boat were washed into the jungle and took more than an hour to find their way back to the beach, the staff member, Tom Plummer, said.
Satoko, head of the regional government in the affected area, told Metro TV that some of the missing may have taken refuge on higher ground.
Local police on the Mentawai islands were searching for missing people and setting up emergency posts, said Ronald, a police officer at Sikakap district police station.
Mudjiarto, the head of the disaster response unit at the Health Ministry, told Reuters that two bodies had been found near Sipora island and that several people were still missing.
In South Pagai island, waves penetrated about 600 meters into coastal villages, while in North Pagai island, waves reached to the roof of local houses.
In December 2004, a tsunami caused by an earthquake of more than 9 magnitude off Sumatra killed more than 226,000 people. It was the deadliest tsunami on record.
Mentawai islands, Indonesia
Hundreds were still missing after the 10-foot wave spawned by a massive quake struck the remote Mentawi islands off western Sumatra, where rescue officials — kept away for days because of stormy seas and bad weather — started arriving at the scene to chart the scope of the devastation.
Some wore face masks as they wrapped swollen corpses littering roads and beaches in black body bags. Huge swaths of land were underwater and houses lay crumpled with tires and slabs of concrete piled up on the surrounding sand.
At least 311 people died as the tsunami washed away hundreds of wooden and bamboo homes in 20 villages, displacing more than 20,000 people, said Ade Edward, a government disaster official.
About 800 miles to the east in central Java, the Mount Merapi volcano was mostly quiet but still a threat the 26th October 2010 eruption that sent searing ash clouds into the air, killing at least 33 people and injuring 17, said Agustinus, a doctor at the local health department who like many Indonesians goes by one name. A mass burial was planned for later.
Among the dead was a revered elder who had refused to leave his ceremonial post as caretaker of the mountain’s spirits.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono rushed home from a state visit to Vietnam to deal with the catastrophes, which struck within 24 hours along different points of the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a series of fault lines prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity.
The first cargo plane loaded with tents, medicine, food and clothes landed in the tsunami-hit area, Edward said.
Vice President Boediono toured devastated villages on hardest hit Pagai Utara island and met with survivors and local officials, his office said. At one point, he paused solemnly in front of several corpses in body bags.
The islands lie close to the epicenter of the 7.7-magnitude quake that struck beneath the ocean floor. The fault line on Sumatra island’s coast is the same one that caused the 2004 quake and tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean.
After that monster wave, many countries set up early warning systems in their waters hoping to give people time to flee to higher ground before a tsunami — which can travel hundreds of miles — crashed ashore.
Indonesia’s version, completed in 2008 with German aid, has since fallen into such disrepair that it effectively stopped working about a month ago, according to the head of the Meteorology and Geophysic Agency.
The system, which uses buoys to electronically detect sudden changes in water level, worked when it was completed, but by 2009 routine tests of it were showing problems, said the agency chief. By last month, he said, the entire system was broken because of inexperienced operators.
“We do not have the expertise to monitor the buoys to function as intended,” he said.
As a result, he said, not a single siren sounded after the quake. It was unclear if any sirens could have made a difference, since the islands worst affected were so close to the epicenter that the tsunami would have reached them within minutes.
The group that set up the system, the Germany-Indonesia agency Tsunami Early Warning System (GITEWS), could not be reached for comment, but the questions Fauzi raised highlighted the difficulty for a poor country such as Indonesia in disaster prevention and response.
On the ash-covered slopes of Mount Merapi, authorities continued a search for more victims.
The eruption sent thousands streaming into makeshift emergency shelters, although the ash did not disrupt flights over Indonesia. About 36,000 people have been evacuated, according to the Indonesian Red Cross.
Some defied authorities and returned home to check on crops and possessions left behind. More than 11,000 people live on Merapi’s fertile slopes.
The blast eased pressure that had been building behind a lava dome on the crater. Experts warned that the dome could still collapse, causing an avalanche of the blistering gas and debris trapped beneath it.
The volcano, whose name means “Fire Mountain,” has erupted many times in the last 200 years. In 1994, 60 people were killed, while in 1930 more than a dozen villages were incinerated, leaving up to 1,300 dead.
Among the dead from the eruption was an 83-year-old man named Maridjan, who was entrusted by a late king from the nearby city of Yogyakarta to watch over the mountain’s unpredictable spirits. He had refused to leave his house high on its slopes.
The discovery of his ash-covered body, reportedly found in a position of Islamic prayer, kneeling face-down on the floor, rattled residents who for years joined his ceremonies to appease the rumbling giant by throwing rice, clothes and chickens into the crater.
Many Indonesians paid tribute to Maridjan on Facebook and Twitter.
The 2010 Floods
The2010 West Papua floods occurred on 6 October 2010 in the eastern Indonesian Province of West Papua. The floods, which have centered around the town of Wasior in West Papua, resulted from heavy rains resulted in a river overflowing its banks, causing landslides. At least 145 people have reported to have been killed in the floods, as of October 12, 2010.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited the area on October 12, 2010. Many survivors have been evaucated to the city of Manokwari . Large amounts of aid had been mistakenly sent to the town of Wasior in the aftermath of the flooding, despite the mass relocation of the relocation of its residents to Manokwari, Officials and NGOs blamed miscommunications for the mistake. The government of Indonesia has blamed heavy rains for the severe flooding, rather than illegal logging and deforestation.
Seventy-five bodies have been pulled from the mud and the wreckage of crumpled homes, according to Dortheis Sawaki, who heads local relief operation. Several others are reported missing.
Another 90 people were hospitalised, many with broken bones. Some had to be evacuated by helicopter and, as nearby hospitals became overwhelmed, others were taken by ship to neighbouring provinces.
“There are just too many injuries,” Sawaki said, adding that some medical facilities have been hit by power outages. “We can’t handle it alone.”
More than 2,000 people were seeking shelter in government buildings and makeshift camps.
Days of torrential downpours have triggered the floods which submerged hundreds of houses in thigh-high water and destroyed roads and bridges.
A navy warship has been deployed to deliver medical supplies, tents and other relief items but the thick mud is hindering the overland delivery of supplies to victims.
Worst hit was the village of Wasior, where a landslide was followed minutes later by a river that burst its banks, sweeping away residents in a fast-moving deluge of water, heavy logs and debris.
Indonesia’s climatology agency said that most parts of the country are currently experiencing torrential rains, strong winds, high waves and flooding due to extreme weather this year.
President Barack Obama, who spent some of his childhood years in Indonesia and is set to visit the country next month, said that he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of life. “At the same time, I am heartened and encouraged by the remarkable resiliency of the Indonesian people and the commitment of their government to rapidly assist the victims,” he said in a statement. “As a friend of Indonesia, the United States stands ready to help in any way.”
Getting aid to the remote and sparsely developed Mentawai islands is proving a challenge for Indonesian authorities, as rough seas are slowing the delivery of aid from Padang, the nearest major port on Sumatra. It’s also difficult for local officials to accurately assess the devastation from the tsunami because there are few roads and functioning telephone lines on the archipelago.
China and Japan, the giants of Asia, account for nearly three-quarters of the region’s economic activity and more than half of the region’s military spending. Despite their deep economic ties and a doubling of their bilateral trade in the past five years, their relationship is increasingly strained, with dangerous implications for the United States and the world at large.
Historically, relations between Japan and China were clearly structured. One country was always more prosperous or powerful than the other. Before the nineteenth century, China was usually dominant; since the Meiji Restoration, in 1868, Japan has generally been preeminent. The prospect that China and Japan could both be powerful and affluent at the same time has only recently emerged, largely because while China’s economy and influence have grown rapidly, Japan’s have remained stagnant. China has nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, and its military budget has grown by double-digit rates for 17 consecutive years. Although Japan has a relatively low military profile, with its “no-war” constitution and strong alliance with the United States, its defense-relevant technology is sophisticated and it has recently become more proactive. The stage is now set for a struggle between a mature power and a rising one.
Some liken current Sino-Japanese relations to the Anglo-German rivalry prior to World War I. As with the United Kingdom and Germany a century ago, the contest for regional leadership between China and Japan today is creating new security dilemmas, prompting concerns over Chinese ambitions in Japan and fears of renewed Japanese militarism in China. Both states are adopting confrontational stances, partly because of rising popular involvement in politics and resurgent nationalism exacerbated by revived memories of World War II; mutually beneficial economic dealings alone are not effectively soothing these tensions. Fluid perceptions of power and fear, Thucydides observed, are the classic causes of war. And they are increasingly present in Northeast Asia today.
Contrary to the historical pattern of the last several centuries China, both economically and militarily, is outpacing Japan, Tensions between the two countries date to the humiliation of China in the 1894-1895 Sino-Japanese War, and more recently Japan’s abusive conduct during the 1931-1945 occupation of China. These hostilities come up in recurring cycles, often involving Chinese anger over Japan’s perceived lack of contrition for wartime crimes. But concrete territorial and economic issues also aggravate the relationship, including Japan’s close alliance with the United States, trade frictions, and ongoing disputes over ownership of various islands in the East China Sea.
Since 1972, Japan has made apologies and issued expressions of regret for its World War II conduct, including statements from past prime ministers and the emperor. China, however, has never fully accepted this contrition because it claims that Japan’s words have conflicted with their deeds.
The 2008 Flare -Up
On January 30, 2008, Japan’s health minister accused China of being responsible for ten people getting food poisoning after eating Chinese-made dumplings. The dumplings were imported by an affiliate of a Japanese company, Japan Tobacco, after being produced by a Tiayang food plant in China. Japanese investigators seized six packets of dumplings from the distributor and discovered traces of methamidophos, a potentially lethal pesticide that is banned in both Japan and, more recently, in China. There was also a suspicious hole in one of the packages. As a result, Japan Tobacco voluntarily recalled all the products that had been made in the same factory as the contaminated dumplings, and it posted an apology on its website.
Chinese investigators collected samples of food, ingredients, and packaging from the original Tiayang plant, but the samples showed no signs of the pesticide. Chinese regulatory officials also explored the factory, but they found no health or safety code violations. After their investigation, Chinese officials concluded that no manufacturing problem caused the contaminations, and also rejected the idea that the dumplings were intentionally contaminated in China. The origin of the contamination remains an unresolved source of tension between China and Japan, but officials on both sides have pledged to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.
From 2001 to 2006, China bristled when former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made his annual pilgrimage to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine to Japan’s war dead, which includes the remains of convicted war criminals enshrined in a secret ceremony in the 1970s. Yasukuni Jinja is a Shinto shrine that is at the center of an international Asian controversy. It is a shrine to war dead who served the Emperor of Japan during wars from 1867–1951. This eligibility includes civilians in service and government officials. Yasukuni is a shrine to house the actual souls of the dead as Kami, or “spirits/souls” as loosely defined in the English words. Furthermore it is believed that all negative or evil acts committed are absolved when enshrinement occurs. This activity is strictly a religious matter since the religious separation of State Shinto and the Japanese Government. The priesthood at the shrine has complete religious autonomy to decide to whom and how enshrinement may occur. It is thought that enshrinement is permanent and irreversible by the current clergy. Due to the enshrinement of International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) war criminals and the nationalist approach to the war museum, the Yasukuni Shrine and the Japanese Government have been criticized by China, Korea, and Taiwan as being revisionist and unapologetic about the events of World War II. Japan’s former prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, has not made an official visit to the controversial site.
UN Security Council:
China has sought to block Japan’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. In April 2005, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told reporters on a trip to India, “Only a country that respects history, takes responsibility for history, and wins over the trust of peoples in Asia and the world at large can take greater responsibilities in the international community.”
Taiwan: On February 19, 2005, Japan and the United States issued a joint agreement—the first of its kind—which said the status of Taiwan was a matter of mutual concern. Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade territory and objects to outside interference in what it views as a domestic matter.
East China Sea:
On April 13, 2005, Japan approved a $1 billion project to drill for oil and gas in a disputed stretch of water west of Okinawa that both countries assert is their exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang called Japan’s decision “a serious provocation.” Japan, in response, claims China has repeatedly violated its EEZ around the Ryukyu Islands. In 2003, China began drilling in the Chunxiao and Duangqiao gas fields, which extend into territory claimed by Japan. According to Eric Heginbothem of the RAND corporation, Beijing offered to negotiate the joint exploitation of adjoining oil and gas fields, but Tokyo declined.
The animosities of World War II
The animosities have sort of moved beyond the World War 11. Economic ties have flourished. Beginning from practically zero as China opened in the early 1980s, trade between the two powers has exploded, reaching $207 billion in 2006. In 2004, in fact, China surpassed the United States to become Japan’s largest trading partner.
But wartime issues have not yet diminished. In April 2005, Tokyo’s Ministry of Education, traditionally a conservative body, approved a history textbook that many non-Japanese historians criticize as a soft-pedaling of Japanese wartime atrocities. Among the events relegated to little or no mention in the new texts are the 1937 Nanking Massacre, the Japanese Army’s use of slave labor, and programs that forced females in occupied countries to act as so-called comfort women—a euphemism for prostitutes—for Japanese troops. After the textbook’s approval, thousands of Chinese demonstrators poured into the streets of Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and other cities, pelting Japanese offices and restaurants with rocks and eggs in the largest anti-Japanese protests in China since the two countries normalized relations in 1972. Protesters also called for a boycott of Japanese goods.
There is no proof that the Chinese government organized the protests. Still, the fact that Chinese authorities allowed the protests to occur indicates to some experts that the rallies had the tacit approval of the Communist leadership. Ian Buruma, an author and Bard College professor who has written extensively about Asia, suggested in the Financial Times that sometimes the Chinese “authorities deliberately inflame anti-Japanese passions to deflect attention from their own shortcomings.” But other experts argue that, faced with popular anti-Japanese protests, the government may have felt it had no choice but to allow them to go forward. They observe that the government arrested some of the most violent protestors and made efforts to contain the demonstrations.
Tomohiko Taniguchi, a Japanese scholar, says the Chinese overreacted; only one Japanese junior high school adopted the textbook, he says. Heginbotham says that’s not the point. While many countries shy away from critical examination of national misdeeds, Japanese textbooks, he says, are particularly prone to put the most positive—and historically questionable—spin on Japanese history. The textbook at the center of the controversy, and others as well, he says, represents the Japanese troops who occupied China as if they “were liberating Asia from Western colonialism.”
“There’s a growing sense in Japan that they’ve apologized enough [for the past] and that it’s time to get on with life,” says Alan D. Romberg, distinguished fellow at the Henry L. Stimson Center’s East Asia program. He notes that Chinese textbooks have their share of historical distortions. Japan, for its part, has refused to revise or remove the book and has asked for a formal apology from Beijing for the protests and compensation for damage.
Impact of the dispute on the U.S. foreign policy
Experts claim that the U.S.-Japan alliance remains strong. China views this partnership with increasing suspicion, particularly Washington and Tokyo’s decision to develop a joint missile defense system in 2004. Still, the United States wants to minimize regional tensions. “It’s not in the U.S. interest to have China and Japan at each other’s throats,” Romberg says. “From a political, economic, and security point of view, it’s in our interest that they get along.” The Chinese-Japanese rift also tends to push South Korea closer to China, experts say. The two countries have found common cause on a number of issues, and the U.S.-South Korea relationship has been strained in recent years.
The United States, with naval bases in Singapore and security agreements with most of China’s neighbors, is the dominant military regional power. It is unlikely that China could push the United States out of the region in the foreseeable future, argue the experts.
Japan’s military ambitions
It’s unclear. Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, written by U.S. occupation authorities in 1946, not only renounces war but forbids Japan from maintaining land, sea, or air forces. Still, the country has a substantial military arsenal. Japan’s annual military budget is over $40 billion, placing it among the world’s largest, yet it accounts for less than 1 percent of Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP). (By comparison, U.S. defense spending is around 4 percent of GDP.) Japan maintains so-called self-defense forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, including six hundred troops on a flotilla based in the Indian Ocean to provide logistical support and fuel to U.S. forces in the region. There is growing support in Japan, including among parliamentarians, to amend Article 9, though there is no consensus about how to do so.
Chinese threat as perceived by Japan
Japan fears China will use its growing economic leverage and military prowers to throw its weight around and dominate the region. Beijing’s efforts to thwart Japan’s U.N. Security Council membership bid exemplify this concern, experts say. China also continues to rapidly expand its military forces. “China is just beginning to look menacing,” says John J. Mearsheimer, who teaches international relations at the University of Chicago, pointing to what he sees as an “Asian version of the Monroe Doctrine.” Still, the Chinese economy, in per-capita terms, lags far behind Japan’s. “The Chinese threat to the United States, Japan, and the world comes from an economically faltering China, not a prosperous, self-confident China,” (PDF) wrote Masaru Tamamoto, an Asia analyst, in a 2005 article in the Far Eastern Economic Review.
Japanese threat as perceived by China
Japan does not pose a direct threat to China militarily, experts say. That said, what is seen as Japan’s historical backsliding, combined with a more assertive diplomatic and military posture, worries China. Beijing is also concerned by Japan’s alliance with the United States, and particularly what it perceives as its increased meddling in China’s dispute with Taiwan.
The recent conflict between China and Japan revolves around the arrest of the Chinese captain of a fishing vessel, found to be illegally operating in the Senkaku islands (for the Chinese: the Diaoyu) and consequently arrested (or more precisely placed in police custody). The islands have always been part of Japan and therefore a simple administrative offense should not really make news headlines. Moreover for years now, the two countries have been developing strong trade ties and are linked by a close intertwining of technology and manufacturing. The event itself is even more insignificant when compared to the far more serious episode that occurred many months ago in the same area.
Just six months ago, a deliberate act of war carried out by the armed forces of a country officially in a state of truce, not peace, was completely silenced, both by the governments concerned and, consequently, the international press. The episode in question is the sinking of the South Korea Navy warship, the Cheonan, by North Korea.
Since 1945, and in particular after the Vietnam War, the U.S. hegemony has been based on the control of the seas and its maritime supremacy, rather than on nuclear deterrence, as was the case in Europe in its confrontation with the Soviet Union. American domination of the Pacific has been, until now, guaranteed by its fleet, and by its magnificent aircraft carriers. Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the concentrated development of the Chinese navy and its projection towards the blue seas. In less poetic terms, the Chinese fleet is not only designed to protect the coastline of China and eventually to launch the reconquest of Taiwan – rebel province of the Empire or autonomous state, depending on your point of view. But according to most military observers it will take at least twenty years before crews of the Chinese blue seas fleet will be able to match the level of competence, experience and training of the American stationed in the Pacific. A low cost Chinese rocket, the 21D Dong Feng (DF 21D), is however threatening American supremacy.
According to Anne Gearan, an expert on strategic issues, it is a missile that could be launched from land with enough accuracy, ten times the speed of sound, to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 1,500 kilometers. Along China’s 18 thousand kilometres of the coastline, a system based on the Dong Feng 21D is enough to keep those carriers which have hitherto been the pride and the key of U.S. Pacific Fleet, since 1945, at bay. It is true that this is a weapon designed for conventional use, although it can not be excluded that it is capable of carrying a nuclear war head. However, even with a conventional use its implications are still clear and very significant for Japan and for Taiwan: in short, within a couple of years at most, the American umbrella could easily no longer be of any use.
23rd September 2010
China has confirmed it has detained 4 Japanese officials due to “violation of a Chinese law relating to protection of military facilities.” Xinhua reports: “The state security authorities in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei, have taken measures against the four people according to law after receiving a report about their illegal activities.” It is unclear if the four suggested recommending nuking the 3 Gorges dam for risk of cracks and terminal collapse during the next massive earthquake.
A Japanese foreign ministry spokesman confirmed that four Japanese nationals had been detained in China on suspicion of violating Chinese law regarding the protection of military facilities, as tensions rise between Asia’s two biggest economies.
The two sides are already locked in an increasingly heated dispute triggered by Japan’s detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain whose trawler collided earlier this month with a Japanese patrol boat in waters near islands both sides claim. Analysts say the trawler dispute is largely a row over sovereignty in an area with rich natural gas resources.
The islands are known as the Diaoyu islands in China and the Senkaku islands in Japan.
“We were told the reason for the detention of the four Japanese people is violation of Chinese law relating to protection of military facilities,” said Hidenobu Sobashima, deputy foreign ministry spokesman.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, commenting on the affair, said it was important for the two countries to foster strategic, mutually beneficial relations — a nod to the deep economic ties that would be at risk if the row worsens.
China’s Xinhua news agency said: “The state security authorities in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei, have taken measures against the four people according to law after receiving a report about their illegal activities.” It gave no details.
A spokeswoman for Japan’s Fujita Corp, an unlisted construction company, said that five of its employees were missing in China — four Japanese nationals and one Chinese national. But they had no firm information on their whereabouts
With tensions between China and Japan spilling out at an East Asian summit meeting, the United States is trying to defuse an escalating diplomatic row over their competing claims to a cluster of small islands in the East China Sea.
In October 2010, the Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed a three-way meeting with China and Japan to resolve the dispute, which has raged since last month when Japan detained the captain of a Chinese fishing vessel that struck two Japanese patrol boats near the islands.
“We have certainly encouraged both Japan and China to seek peaceful resolution of any disagreements that they have,” Mrs. Clinton said at a news conference after the summit meeting ended. “It is in all of our interest for China and Japan to have stable, peaceful relations.”
In private conversations with Chinese and Japanese diplomats, Mrs. Clinton “made very clear to both sides that we want the temperature to go down on these issues,” a senior official said. American officials said they were troubled by what one called a sudden, drastic increase in tensions.
As the United States, Russia and 16 Asian nations gathered in Hanoi to discuss regional cooperation, China’s aggressive maritime and territorial claims were sowing unease with several of its neighbors.
When Japan reasserted its sovereignty over the islands — which it calls the Senkaku and China calls the Diaoyu — a senior Chinese official accused it of ruining the atmosphere of the summit meeting.
The United States, which had been mostly a bystander in such disputes, has taken a more active role under the Obama administration. Though it has no position on the sovereignty claims, Mrs. Clinton said the United States viewed the islands as protected under the terms of its defense treaty with Japan, which means it will defend them from any foreign attack.
That statement brought a rebuke from the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ma Zhaoxu, who said China “will never accept any word or deed that includes the Diaoyu Islands within the scope” of the treaty.
On another issue that has caused friction lately — China’s halting of shipments of strategically important minerals to the United States, Japan and Europe — the Chinese government seemed eager to reassure.
In a meeting with Mrs. Clinton, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi gave “very clear indications” that China would fulfill its contracts and be a “reliable supplier,” according to an American official.
“While we’re pleased by the clarification received from the Chinese government,” Mrs. Clinton said, “we still think the world as a whole needs to find alternatives” to China as a supplier of the minerals, known as rare earth metals.
China began curtailing shipments to the United States and Europe of these minerals, which are used to make products like cellphones and wind turbines, after the dispute with Japan and a trade investigation by the Obama administration. Then last week, without explanation, Chinese officials said the shipments would resume.
Japan, which released the Chinese captain under heavy pressure from Beijing, had proposed a meeting with Chinese leaders in Hanoi to clear the air. But hopes for that were dashed when Japan’s foreign minister, Seiji Maehara, asserted Japan’s control over the islands.
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China refused to meet one-on-one with Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan, though Mr. Yang said China would consider Mrs. Clinton’s proposed trilateral meeting.
In her formal remarks to the Asian leaders, Mrs. Clinton reiterated that the United States stood ready to help resolve another territorial dispute: one that pits China against Vietnam, the Philippines and other countries over a string of strategically significant islands in the South China Sea.
“The United States has a national interest in the freedom of navigation and unimpeded lawful commerce,” she said. “And when disputes arise over maritime territory, we are committed to resolving them peacefully based on customary international law.”
The administration’s position angers China, which has also sparred with the United States over currency policy and trade. Chinese officials have expressed concern that all the friction could get in the way of a visit to the United States early next year by President Hu Jintao.
At Beijing’s request, Mrs. Clinton added a last-minute China stop to her itinerary, meeting the state councilor for foreign affairs, Dai Bingguo, on Hainan Island, east of Vietnam. She pressed Mr. Dai to use Beijing’s influence on North Korea to discourage it from “provocative” acts before the Group of 20 leaders’ meeting in Seoul in November 2010.
The 2010 G-20 Seoul Summit is the fifth meeting of the G-20 Heads of Government, to discuss the global financial system and the world economy, which will take place in Seoul, South Korea during November 11–12, 2010. Republic of Korea becomes the first non-G8 nation to host a G-20 Leaders Summit. The theme of the summit will be “G-20’s Role in the Post-Crisis World.”
What is the G-20?
The Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was established in 1999 to bring together the world’s main industrialized and developing economies for discussion of key issues regarding the global economy. The inaugural meeting of the G-20 took place in Berlin in December 1999, hosted by the German and Canadian finance ministers. The heads of state of the G-20 have held summits since 2008.
The G-20 is a top forum for international economic development that promotes open and constructive discussion on key issues related to global economic stability. By contributing to the strengthening of the international financial system and providing opportunities for dialogue on national policies, international cooperation and international financial institutions, the G-20 helps support growth and development across the globe.
The European Union, which is represented by the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency and the head of the European Central Bank, is the 20th member of the G-20.
1st Summit: USA (Washington, D.C.), November 2008
2nd Summit: England (London), April 2009
3rd Summit: USA (Pittsburgh), September 2009
4th Summit: Canada (Toronto), June 2010
5th Summit: Republic of Korea (Seoul), November 2010
Member Countries (20)
12. Republic of Korea
15. South Arabia
16. Republic of South Africa
18. United Kingdom
19. United States of America
20. European Union
G-20 Seoul Summit 2010
Date: November 11th~12th, 2010
Organizer: Presidential Committee for the G-20 Summit
Feb. 27-28, 2010 (Incheon): vice finance ministers, vice governors of central banks
June (Busan) 2010: finance ministers and governors of central banks
Sept. (Gwangju) 2010: vice finance ministers and vice governors of central banks
Oct., Nov. (Gyeongju) 2010: finance ministers and governors of central banks
1. Ensuring Ongoing Global Economic Recovery
The world economy continues to recover faster than anticipated, but significant challenges remain. The recovery is uneven and fragile and unemployment in many countries remains at unacceptable levels. Moreover, recent events highlight the importance of sustainable public finances.
In June, 2010, at the Toronto Summit, the leaders of the G20 agreed on the importance of safeguarding and strengthening the recovery while laying the foundation for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, and strengthening our financial systems. They committed to working together toward those ends.
2. Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth
At the Pittsburgh Summit, the G20 leaders launched the Framework for Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth to strengthen international cooperation in the interest of future economic growth and stability.
The leaders of the G20 tasked the IMF to support a mutual assessment process for the Framework, in conjunction with other relevant international organizations with expertise on development, finance, labor market, and trade.
At the Toronto Summit, the leaders reviewed the results and agreed on a set of policy options which, if implemented, would bring the world economy closer to the G20’s shared objectives.
At the Seoul Summit, the leaders will agree on a comprehensive policy action plan designed to lead the world toward strong, sustainable and balanced growth. It will include policy commitments made by each country, based on the basket of policy options agreed to at the Toronto Summit, 2010.
3. Strengthening the International Financial Regulatory System
The G20 leaders have committed to strengthening the financial regulatory system both to sustain global growth and to prevent future crises. These efforts toward financial sector reform are largely geared toward restoring the industry’s integrity, transparency and accountability, thereby allowing it to regain the confidence of the general public.
According to the timeline created at the Pittsburgh Summit, more stringent international rules regarding bank capital and liquidity requirements will be created by the end of 2010. They will then be phased in as financial conditions improve and economic recovery is assured, with the aim of implementation by end-2012. In addition, the G20 tasked the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to develop capital and liquidity standards for systemically important financial institutions (SIFI) in order to prevent excessive risk taking. The G20 leaders also asked the FSB to suggest appropriate resolution tools to address the potential failures of SIFIs.
At the Toronto Summit, the G20 Leaders (i) affirmed their intention to reach agreement on a new capital framework by the Seoul Summit and (ii) called on the FSB to consider and develop concrete policy recommendations to deal with SIFIs by the Seoul Summit. In addition, the Leaders called on the FSB, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and other relevant organizations to report on the progress made, and new reforms required, in the areas of supervision, hedge funds, credit rating agencies and over-the-counter derivatives to the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors at their October, 2010 meeting.
4. Modernizing the International Financial Institutions
“We called for an acceleration of the substantial work still needed for the IMF to complete the quota reform by the Seoul Summit and in parallel deliver on other governance reforms, in line with commitments made in Pittsburgh.” G20 Communique, June 26-27, 2010
For the G20, the crisis has called into question the effectiveness of existing international financial institutions. In Toronto, the G20 Leaders reaffirmed the urgency of IMF reform and called for the reform to be completed by the Seoul Summit.
Those reforms entail a shift in quota share to dynamic emerging market and developing countries of at least 5% from over-represented to under-represented countries. In addition, the Leaders committed to addressing the issue of the size of any increase in quotas, size and composition of the Executive Board, ways of enhancing the Board’s effectiveness, the Fund Governor’s involvement in the strategic oversight of the IMF, staff diversity, and a merit-based selection of heads and senior leadership of all IFIs.
Going forward, the IMF is expected to strengthen its ability to provide even-handed, candid and independent surveillance of the risks facing the global economy and the international financial system. Moreover, in collaboration with the FSB, it is expected to provide advance warning of macroeconomic and financial risks, and offer appropriate recommendations to head them off.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has already reached agreement on shifting 3.13% of voting power to developing and transition countries, delivering on its commitment to reach the agreement by April 2010.
The summit leaders are poised to tackle several mid- and long-term policy issues, including
Ensuring global economic recovery
Framework for strong, sustainable, and balanced global growth
Strengthening the international financial regulatory system
Modernizing the international financial institutions
Global financial safety nets
Representatives met in advance of the leaders’ summit. These sherpas were tasked to draft a closing statement for the summit. The debate over currency exchange rates and imbalances was reported to have been “heated.”
Main focus of G20 Seoul Summit: issues sorted by priority
The situation is somewhat different in Seoul as the summit is held in the middle of the ongoing currency dispute among major economies, triggered by the recent monetary easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Having accused some countries of creating trade imbalances by artificially keeping the exchange rate at low level, the U.S. declared another round of quantitative easing, citing a need to boost up its sluggish economy.
The move by the U.S., which is an issuer of the current reserve currency, deteriorated the global financial and economic markets, driving other major economies to step into the exchange rate market and deepening the struggle over currency.
With the outbreak of currency confrontation, South Korea evidently had to make changes to prioritizing the agenda for the Seoul Summit, placing at the top of list issues relevant to currency or trade imbalance.
Accordingly, the discussion session on global economy and the Framework is expected to be heated by fierce debates among leaders, during which the currency issue is sure to be tabled.
Other legacy agenda items, such as modernizing international financial institutions and strengthening regulation on financial institutions, will also be tabled and dedicated separate discussion sessions on, but as basic outlines of the issue have been already agreed during previous lower-level meetings, they will remain less critical compared to other topics, said the organizing committee.
The leaders will also spend time over development and global financial safety nets system, newly presented by South Korea, adding final touches to the issues in order to include new agreements in the communiqué.
China and Germany slam U.S. policy
China kept up a drumbeat of criticism of U.S. easy money policies on 9.11.2010, warning two days before a G20 world economic summit that Washington could destabilize the global economy and inflate asset bubbles.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed U.S. calls for numerical limits for current account balances but said she hoped to avoid a confrontation at the Seoul summit between China and the United States over trade and currencies.
“I don’t think much of quantified balance of payments targets,” Merkel told Tuesday’s Financial Times, warning that monetary tensions could fuel protectionism.
China’s tight grip on the yuan’s rate means other fast-growing emerging markets such as Brazil end up taking the brunt of the currency adjustment.
Taiwan is only the latest to act to counter that.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick called for a new global currency system, perhaps with gold as a reference point. The idea drew criticism from many policymakers and economists and there was no indication it was on the G20’s agenda this week.
Li Daokui, an academic adviser to China’s central bank, said China wanted a more “reasonable” global monetary system but its objective was not to replace the dollar with the yuan.
India voices concern over currency war
In the midst of a raging war over currency exchange rate between the U.S. and China at the G20 Summit in Seoul, India on 10.11.2010 cautioned against competitive devaluation and resist any resurgence of protectionism.
India also spoke against talk of putting a cap on current account balance, proposed by the U.S. at 4 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), saying it is not easy to reach agreement on what are sustainable current account balances for individual countries given the structural differences across the countries.
India’s forthright views on these and major issues troubling the fifth G20 Summit in Seoul were put forward by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who spoke at the Plenary Session of the Summit that opened on 10.11.2010 morning under South Korean Presidency chaired by President Lee Myung-bak.
U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among a host of world leaders attending the Summit.
“First, we must at all costs avoid competitive devaluation and resist any resurgence of protectionism,” the Prime Minister said on the raging issue.
On the U.S. attempts to cap current account balances at 4 per cent, the Prime Minister said “it is not easy to reach agreement on what are sustainable current account balances for individual countries given the structural differences across countries, the many uncertainties that prevail, and the multiple goals that each country has to balance.”
Despite these difficulties, Dr. Singh said the G20 must persevere to develop a workable mechanism for international coordination.
Noting that there is considerable agreement on some broad principles, Dr. Singh said advanced deficit countries must follow policies of fiscal consolidation, consistent with their individual circumstances so as to ensure debt sustainability over the medium term.
“This means that fiscal correction need not be front-loaded everywhere… while structural reforms are necessary everywhere, these should increase efficiency and competitiveness in deficit countries, while expanding internal demand in surplus countries. This re-balancing will take time, but it must begin,” he said.
Dr. Singh said exchange rates flexibility is an important instrument for achieving a sustainable current account position and policies must reflect this consideration.
Indian PM’s speech at G20 summit in Seoul
Speech of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at the Plenary Session of the G20 Summit in Seoul on 12th November, 2010
I join other colleagues in thanking you for the excellent arrangements made for the Summit and for the warmth of your hospitality.
The G20 has only been in existence for two years. Yet it can claim several important successes in this short period which has led to its emergence as the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
We acted swiftly to respond to the crisis of 2008 with a massive and coordinated stimulus which almost certainly avoided what could have been a precipitous collapse of the world economy. We successfully initiated a process of reforms of the World Bank and the IMF which has already yielded good results. We have launched a much needed reform of financial regulation through a broad based Financial Stability Board (FSB). And we are currently engaged in an ambitious process of coordinating policies in our countries to achieve a strong and sustainable recovery.
Efforts to achieve a strong recovery in the global economy are particularly important at present. Our discussion yesterday on the state of the world economy reveals a mixed picture. There is some good news. Industrialized countries have resumed growth in 2010, although output gaps remain large and unemployment is still at crisis levels.
Emerging market countries have done well on the whole, and especially so in Asia. I am happy to say that the Indian economy has rebounded fairly well from the crisis. We grew at 9% in the four years prior to the crisis, but slowed down to 6.7% in the 2008-09. The economy recovered to 7.4% growth in 2009-10 and is likely to grow at 8.5% in 2010-11. We hope to achieve 9% in 2011-12.
However, high unemployment in industrialized countries threatens a revival of protectionist sentiment, especially since the use of conventional monetary and fiscal tools to revive the economy has been exhausted. Uncertainty about the prospects of industrialized countries affects the investment climate and dampens the medium term growth prospects of emerging market countries. All this suggests that much remains to be done to bring our economies back to the path of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
The problem facing us in rebalancing the global economy is well known. Major industrialized countries were running unsustainable current account deficits which have to be reduced to manageable levels. If this is not to have a contractionary impact on the world economy, it must be offset by reducing current account surpluses elsewhere. This rebalancing requires pursuit of appropriately coordinated policies in our countries.
The Mutual Assessment Process we adopted in Pittsburgh was a unique G20 initiative to achieve such coordination. We saw the outcome of the first stage in Toronto, at the level of country groupings. We had expected to move to the second stage of considering country specific recommendations by the time of the Seoul Summit.
We are not there yet, and for good reasons. It is not easy to reach agreement on what are sustainable current account balances for individual countries given the structural differences across countries, the many uncertainties that prevail, and the multiple goals that each country has to balance. It is even more difficult to agree on a particular combination of policies to achieve these targets.
Despite these difficulties, we must persevere to develop a workable G20 mechanism for international coordination. I believe there is considerable agreement on some broad principals.
First, we must at all costs avoid competitive devaluation and resist any resurgence of protectionism.
Second, advanced deficit countries must follow policies of fiscal consolidation, consistent with their individual circumstances so as to ensure debt sustainability over the medium term. This means that fiscal correction need not be frontloaded everywhere.
Third, while structural reforms are necessary everywhere, these should increase efficiency and competitiveness in deficit countries, while expanding internal demand in surplus countries. This rebalancing will take time, but it must begin.
Fourth, exchange rates flexibility is an important instrument for achieving a sustainable current account position and our policies must reflect this consideration. At the same time, reserve currency countries have a special responsibility to ensure that their monetary policies do not lead to destabilizing capital flows, which can put pressure on emerging markets.
To these well known ingredients, I would add another that has not been sufficiently discussed. Even as we try to avoid a destabilizing surge of volatile capital flows to developing countries, there is a strong case for supporting long term flows to these countries to stimulus investment, especially in infrastructure. The economic performance of emerging markets, including many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, has improved greatly in recent years. These countries are now in a position to absorb capital flows aimed at an expansion in investment, which would inject much needed demand into the global economy. Multilateral Development Banks have an important role to play in this process through recycling of global savings. Many emerging market countries are also in a position to attract private investment, including into infrastructure.
Recycling surplus savings into investment in developing countries will not only address the immediate demand imbalance, it will also help to address developmental imbalances. In other words, we should leverage imbalances of one kind to redress imbalances of the other kind.
The G20 would convey a powerful signal to markets if we commit ourselves to a second stage MAP process aimed at coordinating policies in these areas. Our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors could be asked to develop these ideas further, with the assistance of the IMF and produce, as quickly as possible, a credible approach to identifying sustainable trajectories for external balances for our countries and to assess the policies proposed by each country to achieve these.
I recognize this is not going to be easy and we must allow considerable flexibility to accommodate learning by doing. However, if we can actually do this, we will have made a lasting contribution to a new style of global governance.
I would like to compliment the Korean presidency for the initiative it took to include development as an accepted item in the agenda of the G20. The G20 was borne at the time of a crisis and as such it has been preoccupied with the short term agenda of crisis management and global rebalancing. However, one of the biggest imbalances facing us the development imbalance and putting development on the G20 agenda fills an important gap.
I have already mentioned that developing countries performed well in the years before the crisis and have also done well in subsequent years. However, we need to ensure that the global economic environment, including especially the environment for trade, and investment flows remains strongly supportive of development.
The Seoul Development Consensus and the associated Multi- Year Action Plans which are before us provide a comprehensive agenda with timelines which we should pursue in all relevant fora in the months ahead.
I am particularly happy to endorse the focus on facilitating investment in national and regional infrastructure projects and the call for establishing a High Level Panel to recommend measures to mobilize private, semi-public and public resources for infrastructure investment and to review MDB policy in this area. Infrastructure is a critical constraint to rapid and inclusive growth in most emerging markets and we need to find innovative ways of meeting the enormous costs of infrastructure development. This should be made a major focus of the MDB agenda.
The emphasis on development of employable skills is also extremely important. We in India are giving high priority to skill development in our effort to provide access to quality jobs to the large numbers of new entrants’ labour force.
The Seoul Summit is also delivering on the promise of reform of the IMF. We have agreed to a shift in quota shares of 6% to emerging market countries and the composition of Board is being changed to reduce the European representation. With the additional resources already provided to the IMF, we have not only provided the IMF with the firepower that it needs to perform its stabilization role, but also moves it in the direction of greater democratization. Further moves are necessary in this direction and we welcome the decision to comprehensively review the quota formula by 2013 to reflect the growing economic weight of the emerging market countries.
This should be fully reflected in the next quotas review due to be completed by 2014.
Finally, Mr. President, we must ensure that the Doha Development Round of multilateral trade negotiations is brought to a satisfactory conclusion. We have seen a resurgence of protectionist sentiment in the world in the wake of recessionary trends. It is commendable that actual protectionist action has been more limited. The only way to ensure that protectionism does not gain the upper hand is to restore momentum to the trade talks. I hope the G20 will land in their weight to this objective.
In the end, I would like to say that the G20 was an apt response to an adverse situation that the world faced. A few years down the line, the world will ask as to what else did G 20 achieve other than averting a total breakdown due to the global financial crisis. Fortunately, through the dynamic leadership shown by the Korean Presidency the G20 has moved forward and arrived at a rich agenda of things to do. I would once again like to thank Korea for their tireless efforts. I am also confident that the G20 will be able to translate this agenda into tangible outcomes under the forthcoming presidency of France and I wish them success in our common endeavour.
THE G20 SEOUL SUMMIT LEADERS’ DECLARATION
NOVEMBER 11 – 12, 2010
1. We, the Leaders of the G20, are united in our conviction that by working together we can secure a more prosperous future for the citizens of all countries.
2. When we first gathered in November 2008 to address the most severe world recession our generation has ever confronted, we pledged to support and stabilize the global economy, and at the same time, to lay the foundation for reform, to ensure the world would never face such upheaval again.
3. Over the past four Summits, we have worked with unprecedented cooperation to break the dramatic fall in the global economy to establish the basis for recovery and renewed growth.
4. The concrete steps we have taken will help ensure we are better prepared to prevent and, if necessary, to withstand future crises. We pledge to continue our coordinated efforts and act together to generate strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
5. We recognize the importance of addressing the concerns of the most vulnerable. To this end, we are determined to put jobs at the heart of the recovery, to provide social protection, decent work and also to ensure accelerated growth in low income countries (LICs).
6. Our relentless and cooperative efforts over the last two years have delivered strong results. However, we must stay vigilant.
7. Risks remain. Some of us are experiencing strong growth, while others face high levels of unemployment and sluggish recovery. Uneven growth and widening imbalances are fueling the temptation to diverge from global solutions into uncoordinated actions. However, uncoordinated policy actions will only lead to worse outcomes for all.
8. Since 2008, a common view of the challenges of the world economy, the necessary responses and our determination to resist protectionism has enabled us to both address the root causes of the crisis and safeguard the recovery. We are agreed today to develop our common view to meet these new challenges and a path to strong, sustainable and balanced growth beyond the crisis.
9. Today, the Seoul Summit delivers:
the Seoul Action Plan composed of comprehensive, cooperative and country-specific policy actions to move closer to our shared objective. The Plan includes our commitment to: – undertake macroeconomic policies, including fiscal consolidation where necessary, to ensure ongoing recovery and sustainable growth and enhance the stability of financial markets, in particular moving toward more marketdetermined exchange rate systems, enhancing exchange rate flexibility to reflect underlying economic fundamentals, and refraining from competitive devaluation of currencies. Advanced economies, including those with reserve currencies, will be vigilant against excess volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates. These actions will help mitigate the risk of excessive volatility in capital flows facing some emerging countries; – implement a range of structural reforms that boost and sustain global demand, foster job creation, and increase the potential for growth; and – enhance the Mutual Assessment Process (MAP) to promote external sustainability. We will strengthen multilateral cooperation to promote external sustainability and pursue the full range of policies conducive to reducing excessive imbalances and maintaining current account imbalances at sustainable levels. Persistently large imbalances, assessed against indicative guidelines to be agreed by our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, warrant an assessment of their nature and the root causes of impediments to adjustment as part of the MAP, recognizing the need to take into account national or regional circumstances, including large commodity producers. These indicative guidelines composed of a range of indicators would serve as a mechanism to facilitate timely identification of large imbalances that require preventive and corrective actions to be taken. To support our efforts toward meeting these commitments, we call on our Framework Working Group, with technical support from the IMF and other international organizations, to develop these indicative guidelines, with progress to be discussed by our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the first half of 2011; and, in Gyeongju, our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors called on the IMF to provide an assessment as part of the MAP on the progress toward external sustainability and the consistency of fiscal, monetary, financial sector, structural, exchange rate and other policies. In light of this, the first such assessment, to be based on the above mentioned indicative guidelines, will be initiated and undertaken in due course under the French Presidency.
a modernized IMF that better reflects the changes in the world economy through greater representation of dynamic emerging markets and developing countries. These comprehensive quota and governance reforms, as outlined in the Seoul Summit Document, will enhance the IMF’s legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness, making it an even stronger institution for promoting global financial stability and growth.
instruments to strengthen global financial safety nets, which help countries cope with financial volatility by providing them with practical tools to overcome sudden reversals of international capital flows. core elements of a
new financial regulatory framework, including bank capital and liquidity standards, as well as measures to better regulate and effectively resolve systemically important financial institutions, complemented by more effective oversight and supervision. This new framework, complemented by other achievements as outlined in the Seoul Summit Document, will ensure a more resilient financial system by reining in the past excesses of the financial sector and better serving the needs of our economies.
the Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth that sets out our commitment to work in partnership with other developing countries, and LICs in particular, to help them build the capacity to achieve and maximize their growth potential, thereby contributing to global rebalancing. The Seoul Consensus complements our commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and focuses on concrete measures as summarized in our Multi-Year Action Plan on Development to make a tangible and significant difference in people’s lives, including in particular through the development of infrastructure in developing countries.
the Financial Inclusion Action Plan, the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion and a flexible SME Finance Framework, all of which will significantly contribute to improving access to financial services and expanding opportunities for poor households and small and medium enterprises.
our strong commitment to direct our negotiators to engage in across-the-board negotiations to promptly bring the Doha Development Round to a successful, ambitious, comprehensive, and balanced conclusion consistent with the mandate of the Doha Development Round and built on the progress already achieved. We recognize that 2011 is a critical window of opportunity, albeit narrow, and that engagement among our representatives must intensify and expand. We now need to complete the end game. Once such an outcome is reached, we commit to seek ratification, where necessary, in our respective systems. We are also committed to resisting all forms of protectionist measures.
10. We will continue to monitor and assess ongoing implementation of the commitments made today and in the past in a transparent and objective way. We hold ourselves accountable. What we promise, we will deliver.
11. Building on our achievements to date, we have agreed to work further on macroprudential policy frameworks; better reflect the perspective of emerging market economies in financial regulatory reforms; strengthen regulation and oversight of shadow banking; further work on regulation and supervision of commodity derivatives markets; improve market integrity and efficiency; enhance consumer protection; pursue all outstanding governance reform issues at the IMF and World Bank; and build a more stable and resilient international monetary system, including by further strengthening global financial safety nets. We will also expand our MAP based on the indicative guidelines to be agreed.
12. To promote resilience, job creation and mitigate risks for development, we will prioritize action under the Seoul Consensus on addressing critical bottlenecks, including infrastructure deficits, food market volatility, and exclusion from financial services.
13. To provide broader, forward-looking leadership in the post-crisis economy, we will also continue our work to prevent and tackle corruption through our Anti-Corruption Action Plan; rationalize and phase-out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies; mitigate excessive fossil fuel price volatility; safeguard the global marine environment; and combat the challenges of global climate change.
14. We reaffirm our resolute commitment to fight climate change, as reflected in the Leaders’ Seoul Summit Document. We appreciate President Felipe Calderón’s briefing on the status of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, as well as Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s briefing on the report of the High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing submitted to the UN Secretary-General. We will spare no effort to reach a balanced and successful outcome in Cancun.
15. We welcome the Fourth UN LDC Summit in Turkey and the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Korea, both to be held in 2011.
16. Recognizing the importance of private sector-led growth and job creation, we welcome the Seoul G20 Business Summit and look forward to continuing the G20 Business Summit in upcoming Summits.
17. The actions agreed today will help to further strengthen the global economy, accelerate job creation, ensure more stable financial markets, narrow the development gap and promote broadly shared growth beyond crisis.
18. We look forward to our next meeting in 2011 in France, and subsequent meeting in 2012 in Mexico.
19. We thank Korea for its G20 Presidency and for hosting the successful Seoul Summit.
20. The Seoul Summit Document, which we have agreed, follows.
American President Barack Obama addressed the Indian Parliament on Monday, the 8th November, 2010. He is just the second US President to address the House after former US President Bill Clinton.
Here’s the full text of Obama’s address:
Mr. Vice President, Madame Speaker, Mr. Prime Minister, Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, and most of all, the people of India.
I thank you for the great honor of addressing the representatives of more than one billion Indians and the world’s largest democracy. I bring the greetings and friendship of the world’s oldest democracy – the USA, including nearly three million proud and patriotic Indian Americans.
Over the past three days, my wife Michelle and I have experienced the beauty and dynamism of India and its people. From the majesty of Humayun’s Tomb to the advanced technologies that are empowering farmers and women who are the backbone of Indian society. From a Diwali celebration with schoolchildren to the innovators who are fueling India’s economic rise. From the university students who will chart India’s future, to you – leaders who helped to bring India to this moment of promise.
At every stop, we have been welcomed with the hospitality for which Indians have always been known. So to you and the people of India, on behalf of me, Michelle and the American people, please accept our deepest thanks. Bahoot dhanyavad.
I am not the first American president to visit India. Nor will I be the last. But I am proud to visit India so early in my presidency. It is no coincidence that India is my first stop on a visit to Asia, or that this has been my longest visit to another country since becoming President.
For in Asia and around the world, India is not simply emerging; India has already emerged. And it is my firm belief that the relationship between the United States and India – bound by our shared interests and values – will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. This is the partnership I have come here to build. This is the vision that our nations can realise together.
My confidence in our shared future is grounded in my respect for India’s treasured past – a civilization that has been shaping the world for thousands of years. Indians unlocked the intricacies of the human body and the vastness of our universe. And it is no exaggeration to say that our information age is rooted in Indian innovations – including the number zero.
India not only opened our minds, she expanded our moral imagination. With religious texts that still summon the faithful to lives of dignity and discipline. With poets who imagined a future “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high.” And with a man whose message of love and justice endures – the Father of your Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
For me and Michelle, this visit has therefore held special meaning. Throughout my life, including my work as a young man on behalf of the urban poor, I have always found inspiration in the life of Gandhiji and in his simple and profound lesson to be the change we seek in the world. And just as he summoned Indians to seek their destiny, he influenced champions of equality in my own country, including a young Martin Luther King. After making his pilgrimage to India a half century ago, Dr. King called Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance “the only logical and moral approach” in the struggle for justice and progress.
So we were honoured to visit the residence where Gandhi and King both stayed – Mani Bhavan. We were humbled to pay our respects at Raj Ghat. And I am mindful that I might not be standing before you today, as President of the United States, had it not been for Gandhi and the message he shared with America and the world.
An ancient civilization of science and innovation. A fundamental faith in human progress. This is the sturdy foundation upon which you have built ever since that stroke of midnight when the tricolour was raised over a free and independent India. And despite the skeptics who said that this country was simply too poor, too vast, too diverse to succeed, you surmounted overwhelming odds and became a model to the world.
Instead of slipping into starvation, you launched a Green Revolution that fed millions. Instead of becoming dependent on commodities and exports, you invested in science and technology and in your greatest resource – the Indian people. And the world sees the results, from the supercomputers you build to the Indian flag that you put on the moon.
Instead of resisting the global economy, you became one of its engines – reforming the licensing raj and unleashing an economic marvel that has lifted tens of millions from poverty and created one of the world’s largest middle classes.
Instead of succumbing to division, you have shown that the strength of India – the very idea of India – is its embrace of all colours, castes and creeds. It’s the diversity represented in this chamber today. It’s the richness of faiths celebrated by a visitor to my hometown of Chicago more than a century ago – the renowned Swami Vivekananda. He said that, “holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character.”
And instead of being lured by the false notion that progress must come at the expense of freedom, you built the institutions upon which true democracy depends – free and fair elections, which enable citizens to choose their own leaders without recourse to arms; an independent judiciary and the rule of law, which allows people to address their grievances; and a thriving free press and vibrant civil society which allows every voice to be heard. And this year, as India marks 60 years with a strong and democratic constitution, the lesson is clear: India has succeeded, not in spite of democracy; India has succeeded because of democracy.
Just as India has changed, so too has the relationship between our two nations. In the decades after independence, India advanced its interests as a proud leader of the nonaligned movement. Yet too often, the United States and India found ourselves on opposite sides of a North-South divide and estranged by a long Cold War. Those days are over.
Here in India, two successive governments led by different parties have recognized that deeper partnership with America is both natural and necessary. In the United States, both of my predecessors – one Democrat, one Republican – worked to bring us closer, leading to increased trade and a landmark civil nuclear agreement.
Since then, people in both our countries have asked: what next? How can we build on this progress and realise the full potential of our partnership? That is what I want to address today – the future that the United States seeks in an interconnected world; why I believe that India is indispensable to this vision; and how we can forge a truly global partnership – not in just one or two areas, but across many; not just for our mutual benefit, but for the world’s.
Of course, only Indians can determine India’s national interests and how to advance them on the world stage. But I stand before you today because I am convinced that the interests of the United States – and the interests we share with India – are best advanced in partnership.
The United States seeks security – the security of our country, allies and partners. We seek prosperity – a strong and growing economy in an open international economic system. We seek respect for universal values. And we seek a just and sustainable international order that promotes peace and security by meeting global challenges through stronger global cooperation.
To advance these interests, I have committed the United States to comprehensive engagement with the world, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. And a central pillar of this engagement is forging deeper cooperation with 21st century centers of influence – and that includes India.
Now, India is not the only emerging power in the world. But the relationship between our countries is unique. For we are two strong democracies whose constitutions begin with the same revolutionary words – “We the people.” We are two great Republics dedicated to the liberty, justice and the equality of all people. And we are two free market economies where people have the freedom to pursue ideas and innovations that can change the world. This is why I believe that India and America are indispensable partners in meeting the challenges of our time.
Since taking office, I’ve therefore made our relationship a priority. I was proud to welcome Prime Minister Singh for the first official state visit of my presidency. For the first time ever, our governments are working together across the whole range of common challenges we face. And let me say it as clearly as I can: the United States not only welcomes India as a rising global power, we fervently support it, and we have worked to help make it a reality.
Together with our partners, we have made the G20 the premier forum for international economic cooperation, bringing more voices to the table of global economic decision-making, including India. We have increased the role of emerging economies like India at international financial institutions. We valued India’s important role at Copenhagen, where, for the first time, all major economies committed to take action to confront climate change – and to stand by those actions. We salute India’s long history as a leading contributor to United Nations peacekeeping missions. And we welcome India as it prepares to take its seat on the United Nations Security Council.
In short, with India assuming its rightful place in the world, we have an historic opportunity to make the relationship between our two countries a defining partnership of the century ahead. And I believe we can do so by working together in three important areas.
First, as global partners we can promote prosperity in both our countries. Together, we can create the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future. With my visit, we are now ready to begin implementing our civil nuclear agreement. This will help meet India’s growing energy needs and create thousands of jobs in both our countries.
We need to forge partnerships in high-tech sectors like defence and civil space. So we have removed Indian organizations from our so-called “entity list.” And we’ll work to reform our controls on exports. Both of these steps will ensure that Indian companies seeking high-tech trade and technologies from America are treated the same as our closest allies and partners.
We can pursue joint research and development to create green jobs; give Indians more access to cleaner, affordable energy; meet the commitments we made at Copenhagen; and show the possibilities of low-carbon growth.
Together, we can resist the protectionism that stifles growth and innovation. The United States remains – and will continue to remain – one of the most open economies in the world. And by opening markets and reducing barriers to foreign investment, India can realize its full economic potential as well. As G20 partners, we can make sure the global economic recovery is strong and durable. And we can keep striving for a Doha Round that is ambitious and balanced – with the courage to make the compromises that are necessary so global trade works for all economies.
Together, we can strengthen agriculture. Cooperation between Indian and American researchers and scientists sparked the Green Revolution. Today, India is a leader in using technology to empower farmers, like those I met yesterday who get free updates on market and weather conditions on their cell phones. And the United States is a leader in agricultural productivity and research. Now, as farmers and rural areas face the effects of climate change and drought, we’ll work together to spark a second, more sustainable Evergreen Revolution.
Together, we’re going to improve Indian weather forecasting systems before the next monsoon season. We aim to help millions of Indian farming households save water and increase productivity; improve food processing so crops don’t spoil on the way to market; and enhance climate and crop forecasting to avoid losses that cripple communities and drive up food prices.
And as part of our food security initiative, we’re going to share India’s expertise with farmers in Africa. This is an indication of India’s rise – that we can now export hard-earned expertise to countries that see India as a model for agricultural development. And that’s another powerful example of how American and Indian partnership can address an urgent global challenge.
Because the wealth of a nation also depends on the health of its people, we’ll continue to support India’s efforts against diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and as global partners, we’ll work to improve global health by preventing the spread of pandemic flu. And because knowledge is the currency of the 21st century, we’ll increase exchanges between our students, colleges and universities, which are among the best in the world.
As we work to advance our shared prosperity, we can partner to address a second priority – our shared security. In Mumbai, I met with the courageous families and survivors of that barbaric attack. And here in this Parliament, which was itself targeted because of the democracy it represents, we honor the memory of all those who have been taken from us, including American citizens on 26/11 and Indian citizens on 9/11.
This is the bond we share. It’s why we insist that nothing ever justifies the slaughter of innocent men, women and children. It’s why we’re working together, more closely than ever, to prevent terrorist attacks and to deepen our cooperation even further. And it’s why, as strong and resilient societies, we refuse to live in fear, we will not sacrifice the values and rule of law that defines us, and we will never waver in the defense of our people.
America’s fight against Al-Qaida and its terrorist affiliates is why we persevere in Afghanistan, where major development assistance from India has improved the lives of the Afghan people. We’re making progress in our mission to break the Taliban’s momentum and to train Afghan forces so they can take the lead for their security. And while I have made it clear that American forces will begin the transition to Afghan responsibility next summer, I have also made it clear that America’s commitment to the Afghan people will endure. The United States will not abandon the people of Afghanistan – or the region – to the violent extremists who threaten us all.
Our strategy to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al-Qaida and its affiliates has to succeed on both sides of the border. That is why we have worked with the Pakistani government to address the threat of terrorist networks in the border region. The Pakistani government increasingly recognises that these networks are not just a threat outside of Pakistan – they are a threat to the Pakistani people, who have suffered greatly at the hands of violent extremists.
And we will continue to insist to Pakistan’s leaders that terrorist safe-havens within their borders are unacceptable, and that the terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks be brought to justice. We must also recognise that all of us have and interest in both an Afghanistan and a Pakistan that is stable, prosperous and democratic – and none more so than India.
In pursuit of regional security, we will continue to welcome dialogue between India and Pakistan, even as we recognize that disputes between your two countries can only be resolved by the people of your two countries.
More broadly, India and the United States can partner in Asia. Today, the United States is once again playing a leadership role in Asia – strengthening old alliances; deepening relationships, as we are doing with China; and we’re reengaging with regional organizations like ASEAN and joining the East Asia summit – organizations in which India is also a partner. Like your neighbours in Southeast Asia, we want India to not only “look East,” we want India to “engage East” – because it will increase the security and prosperity of all our nations.
And as two global leaders, the United States and India can partner for global security – especially as India serves on the Security Council over the next two years. Indeed, the just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate. That is why I can say today – in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.
Now, let me suggest that with increased power comes increased responsibility. The United Nations exists to fulfill its founding ideals of preserving peace and security, promoting global cooperation, and advancing human rights. These are the responsibilities of all nations, but especially those that seek to lead in the 21st century. And so we look forward to working with India – and other nations that aspire to Security Council membership – to ensure that the Security Council is effective; that resolutions are implemented and sanctions are enforced; and that we strengthen the international norms which recognise the rights and responsibilities of all nations and individuals.
This includes our responsibility to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Since I took office, the United States has reduced the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and agreed with Russia to reduce our arsenals. We have put preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism at the top of our nuclear agenda, and strengthened the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime – the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Together, the United States and India can pursue our goal of securing the world’s vulnerable nuclear materials. We can make it clear that even as every nation has the right to peaceful nuclear energy, every nation must also meet its international obligations – and that includes the Islamic Republic of Iran. And together, we can pursue a vision that Indian leaders have espoused since Independence – a world without nuclear weapons.
This leads me to the final area where our countries can partner – strengthening the foundations of democratic governance, not only at home but abroad.
In the United States, my administration has worked to make government more open and transparent and accountable to the people. Here in India, you’re harnessing technologies to do the same, as I saw yesterday.Your landmark Right to Information Act is empowering citizens with the ability to get the services to which they’re entitled and to hold officials accountable. Voters can get information about candidates by text message. And you’re delivering education and health care services to rural communities, as I saw yesterday when I joined an e-panchayat with villagers in Rajasthan.
Now, in a new collaboration on open government, our two countries are going to share our experience, identify what works, and develop the next-generation of tools to empower citizens. And in another example of how American and Indian partnership can address global challenges, we’re going to share these innovations with civil society groups and countries around the world. We’re going to show that democracy, more than any other form of government, delivers for the common man – and woman.
Likewise, when Indians vote, the whole world watches. Thousands of political parties, hundreds of thousands of polling centres. Millions of candidates and poll workers, and 700 million voters. There’s nothing like it on the planet. There is so much that countries transitioning to democracy could learn from India’s experience; so much expertise that India could share with the world. That, too, is what’s possible when the world’s largest democracy embraces its role as a global leader.
As the world’s two largest democracies, we must also never forget that the price of our own freedom is standing up for the freedom of others. Indians know this, for it is the story of your nation. Before he ever began his struggle for Indian independence, Gandhi stood up for the rights of Indians in South Africa. Just as others, including the United States, supported Indian Independence, India championed the self-determination of peoples from Africa to Asia as they too broke free from colonialism. And along with the United States, you’ve been a leader in supporting democratic development and civil society groups around the world. This, too, is part of India’s greatness.
Every country will follow its own path. No one nation has a monopoly on wisdom, and no nation should ever try to impose its values on another. But when peaceful democratic movements are suppressed – as in Burma – then the democracies of the world cannot remain silent. For it is unacceptable to gun down peaceful protesters and incarcerate political prisoners decade after decade. It is unacceptable to hold the aspirations of an entire people hostage to the greed and paranoia of a bankrupt regime. It is unacceptable to steal an election, as the regime in Burma has done again for all the world to see.
Faced with such gross violations of human rights, it is the responsibility of the international community – especially leaders like the United States and India – to condemn it. If I can be frank, in international fora, India has often avoided these issues. But speaking up for those who cannot do so for themselves is not interfering in the affairs of other countries. It’s not violating the rights of sovereign nations. It’s staying true to our democratic principles. It’s giving meaning to the human rights that we say are universal. And it sustains the progress that in Asia and around the world has helped turn dictatorships into democracies and ultimately increased our security in the world.
Promoting shared prosperity, preserving peace and security, strengthening democratic governance and human rights – these are the responsibilities of leadership. And, as global partners, this is the leadership that the United States and India can offer in the 21st century. Ultimately, however, this cannot be a relationship only between presidents and prime ministers, or in the halls of this Parliament. Ultimately, this must be a partnership between our peoples. So I want to conclude by speaking directly to the people of India watching today.
In your lives, you have overcome odds that might have overwhelmed a lesser country. In just decades, you have achieved progress and development that took other nations centuries. And now you are assuming your rightful place as a leader among nations. Your parents and grandparents imagined this. Your children and grandchildren will look back on this. But only you – this generation of Indians – can seize the possibility of this moment.
As you carry on with the hard work ahead, I want every Indian citizen to know: The United States of America will not simply be cheering you on from the sidelines. We will be right there with you, shoulder to shoulder. Because we believe in the promise of India. And we believe that the future is what we make it.
We believe that no matter who you are or where you come from, every person can fulfill their God-given potential, just as a Dalit like Dr. Ambedkar could lift himself up and pen the words of the Constitution that protects the rights of all Indians.
We believe that no matter where you live – whether a village in Punjab or the bylanes of Chandni Chowk…an old section of Kolkata or a new high-rise in Bangalore – every person deserves the same chance to live in security and dignity, to get an education, to find work, and to give their children a better future.
And we believe that when countries and cultures put aside old habits and attitudes that keep people apart, when we recognize our common humanity, then we can begin to fulfill the aspirations we share. It’s a simple lesson contained in that collection of stories which has guided Indians for centuries – the Panchtantra. And it’s the spirit of the inscription seen by all who enter this Great Hall: ‘That one is mine and the other a stranger is the concept of little minds. But to the large-hearted, the world itself is their family.”
This is the story of India; it’s the story of America – that despite their differences, people can see themselves in one another, and work together and succeed together as one proud nation. And it can be the spirit of the partnership between our nations – that even as we honour the histories which in different times kept us apart, even as we preserve what makes us unique in a globalised world, we can recognise how much we can achieve together.
And if we let this simple concept be our guide, if we pursue the vision I have described today – a global partnership to meet global challenges – then I have no doubt that future generations – Indians and Americans – will live in a world that is more prosperous, more secure, and more just because of the bonds that our generation forged today.
Thank you, Jai Hind!, and long live the partnership between India and the United States.
Barack Obama’s visit to India is a scheduled State visit to India by the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama in November 2010. He is the 6th U.S. President to visit India after Presidents Bush, Clinton, Carter, Nixon and Eisenhower. He is also the first U.S. President to undertake a visit to India in his first term in office and it comes in the wake of the Democrats’ heavy losses in the US mid-term elections, 2010.
Obama’s India visit: 34 warships, 13 aircraft & N-button
President Obama does not believe in travelling light. Long before the Air Force One touch down on 6.11.2010, as many 13 US aircraft and four choppers have already flown in all kinds of equipment and 20-25 swanky cars to facilitate his stay in Mumbai and Delhi.
This is not all. As many as 34 warships, including an aircraft carrier, have taken position in the Arabian sea off the Mumbai coast as part of security arrangements for the presidential visit.
Running the show will be over 500-strong presidential staff comprising Secret Service, Marines and intelligence personnel, who will co-ordinate with the Indian para-military and police forces to make Mr Obama’s visit secure and glitch-free. The equipment being brought in by the US agencies include a communication set up and the nuclear button.
Apart from the air defence for Mr Obama’s visit, business leaders accompanying him are expected to fly in aboard their private jets. Given the air traffic associated with the presidential visit, US authorities had even approached the Centre with an unprecedented request for being allowed to take over the air traffic control towers.
However, Indian authorities turned down the plea while allowing the US personnel to be present inside the towers as ATC personnel manage landings and takeoffs. A four-tiered security will be thrown around the Obamas, the highest level of security extended to a visiting dignitary, in both Mumbai and Delhi. While the outer layer will comprise Delhi police personnel and NSG, the inner layers will be manned by US security agencies.
A full dress rehearsal of Mr Obama’s travel arrangements, featuring both US and Indian personnel, was undertaken in Mumbai on Thursday to get the timing and co-ordination right.
The US president is expected to fly in a helicopter, Marine One, from the Chattrapati Shivaji International airport to the Indian Navy’s helibase INS Shikra at Colaba in South Mumbai. From there, he will drive down in Lincoln Continental, the Presidential limousine, to the nearby Taj Hotel. Around 800 rooms have been booked for the president and his entourage in Taj and Hyatt.
Two jets, armed with advanced communication and security systems, and a fleet of over 40 cars will be part of Mr Obama’s convoy as he moves about in the city. Similar arrangements will be in place in Delhi with Air Force One kept in all readiness throughout Mr Obama’s stay here from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday morning.
Maurya Hotel, where the president will stay, has already been swarmed by American security personnel and protective measures put in place. All shops and establishments in Nizamuddin, located on the presidential route to Humayun’s Tomb, have been asked to down shutters on Sunday. A dry run of the President’s itinerary in Delhi is expected to be undertaken on Friday.
Row over price tag of visit
A day after he admitted to receiving a “shellacking” in mid-term elections, US president Barack Obama has come under attack for the price tag of his India trip, a reported $200 million per day, reports Our Political Bureau from New Delhi. Scathing attacks from a Republican Congresswoman and a number of influential websites forced the White House to issue a statement calling the figure “wildly inflated”.
President Barack Obama’s India schedule
Here is an insight into the schedule of US President Barack Obama when he will be in India:
November 6 , 2010
Barack Obama’s Air Force One to touch down at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai at 12.50 pm.
The US President will head to Taj Hotel in Colaba -either by chopper or by the Sea link- where he’ll stay. There, he will deliver a tribute statement for Mumbai terror attack victims.
He will then visit the historic Mani Bhavan, the museum of Mahatma Gandhi’s memorabilia, to pay homage to Bapu.
Next on his agenda is the US-India Business Council summit at the Hotel Trident Oberoi. Obama will participate in three events at the meet. A roundtable with entrepreneurs, a meeting with CEOs of US corporations and a speech in which he will address honchos at around 5 pm. Michelle will be interacting with differently-abled children at the library of Mumbai University.
November 7, 2010
Obamas to visit Holy Name School in south Mumbai’s Colaba to celebrate Diwali, where he will freely interact with the students.
Next, the President will visit the St. Xavier’s College to interact with university students on Indo-US ties.
After noon, he will arrive in Delhi at 3.35pm at Air Force Station, Palam and will head to the Roosevelt House, the residence of the US ambassador, to interact with staff of the US embassy
A cultural excursion is next – a visit to Humayun’s Tomb.
Thereafter, the US President and First Lady Michelle Obama will have a private dinner with PM Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur.
November 8, 2010
Obama will be accorded a formal reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan
Obama will visit Rajghat to lay the wreath at Bapu’s Samadhi at 10.20 am.
Delegation-level talks will be held between the two sides, led by Obama and Singh at the Hyderabad House. This will be followed by a joint press interaction at 12.45 pm. Meanwhile, Michelle will visit the National Craft Museum, Pragati Maidan.
Obama will hold meetings with Vice-President Hamid Ansari, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj.
The US President will address a joint session of Parliament in the evening.
Later, he will attend the state banquet at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
November 9, 2010
Obama to take off for Jakarta in the morning.
Range of issues
India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said Mr Obama’s visit will expand strategic ties between the two countries leading to a more “productive” partnership.
“We are not at a stage in our relationship perhaps for another big bang but certainly there will be positive outcomes,” Ms Rao said on 3.11.2010.
“We will see concrete and significant steps in wide range of areas that will expand the long-term strategic framework in a way that we can create productive partnership for the mutual benefit and [will be] equally important to give substantive content and shape to the global strategic partnership,” she said.
Arrival of Barack Obama
The U.S. Air Force One touched down at 12:50 p.m. on 6.11.2010 on a visit which Donilon said the President intends to be “a full embrace of India’s rise, a way to develop and deepen the broadest possible relationship with India as a cornerstone of our Asia policy.”
Mr. Obama, the sixth U.S. President to visit India and the third in 10 years, arrived here along with his wife Michelle, cabinet colleagues, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and 200 business leaders, the largest such delegation ever.
The Presidential couple was warmly received by Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Union Minister Salman Khursheed, who is the minister-in-waiting, U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer and Indian Ambassador to the U.S Meera Shankar.
After pleasantries, the President and his wife walked across the tarmac to a waiting US Marine One which flew them to the downtown. A smiling President waved to a strong gathering of journalists and photographers.
Stay at Taj is powerful message against terror: Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama on 6.11.2010 said his decision to stay at Taj Hotel is a powerful message against terrorism and demanded that the perpetrators of the horrific Mumbai attacks should be brought to justice.
Accompanied by his wife Michelle Obama, he signed the visitors’ book, looked at the plaque on which the names of 26/11 victims are engraved and delivered a six-minute speech in which he paid tributes to people of Mumbai and India hailing their resolve and resilience.
“There has been a great commentary on our decision to begin our visit here, in this dynamic city at this historic hotel. Those who have asked whether this is intended to send a message, my answer is simply, absolutely,” Mr. Obama told a gathering that included kin of victims and staffers of the hotel who braved the 2008 attack.
After his brief address, Mr. Obama and his wife interacted with the people, shaking hands with some of them and talking to some of the kin of the dead.
It was the list of trade deals, however, that was likely to make the biggest impact back home in the United States, where there has been concern that much of the job creation for U.S. companies has happened overseas.
Boeing said the C-17 deal with India will support 650 suppliers in U.S. in 44 states and support the company’s own C-17 production facility in Long Beach, California, for an entire year.
Other deals announced 6.11.2010 include a contract for General Electric to provide the Indian Aeronautical Development Agency with 107 F414 engines for the Tejas light-combat aircraft, a deal worth $822 million and supporting 4,440 jobs, the White House said.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company announced it is opening a new plant in India for the assembly of its motorcycles from U.S.-built kits. Besides job creation in both countries, the deal will allow the company to reduce the tariff on its bikes for sale in India, thus driving sales growth for the Wisconsin-based firm.
Boeing also signed a deal to sell 30 of its B737-800 commercial aircraft to Spice Jet, a leading private airline in India. The deal is valued at $2.7 billion and supports nearly 13,000 jobs, the White House said.
Obama’s three-day visit to India, Asia’s third largest economy and one of the world’s few growth markets, also includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi and addressing the nation’s parliament.
Obama seeks to finalise exports with India
Underlining the importance of Asia’s fast growing markets for American exports, President Barack Obama said that he will be pushing for billions of dollars in contracts during his trip to India.
“During my first visit to India, I will be joined by hundreds of American business leaders and their Indian counterparts to announce concrete progress toward our export goal — billions of dollars in contracts that will support tens of thousands of American jobs,” Mr. Obama wrote in an op-ed piece published in The New York Times.
“We will also explore ways to reduce barriers to United States exports and increase access to the Indian market,” he said.
“The more we export abroad, the more jobs we create in America. In fact, every $1 billion we export, supports more than 5,000 jobs at home,” the president said.
U.S. President Barack Obama on 6.11.2010 announced that “several landmark” deals worth USD 10 billion (nearly Rs 44,000 crore) have been reached between India and US for creating about 50,000 jobs in the United States.
Expressing confidence that he was absolutely sure that relationship between the two countries was going to be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, he asked India to reduce trade barriers, while committing to reciprocate.
“There is no reason why India cannot be our top trading partner (from 12th position now)… I’m absolutely sure that the relationship between India and the U.S. is going to be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century,” President Obama said addressing the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) meet as he started his three-day maiden visit to India.
“Several landmark deals have been done shortly before my arrival here. Boeing is going to sell dozens of planes to India and GE is going to sell hundreds of electric engines. The deals are worth USD 10 billion and will create more than 50,000 jobs in the U.S.,” he said.
Just before his address at the USIBC, Reliance Power announced power equipment deal for 2,400 MW plants from GE and low-cost carrier Spicejet announced a deal to buy 33 new generation 737 aircraft from Boeing.
On the occasion, Mr. Obama said this was barely scratching the potential and dubbed India as the market of the future where Washington was willing to step up investments, provided uncertainties relating to tariffs and other barriers were taken care of.
Easing of export rules could result in ending the technology denial regime against Indian entities such as DRDO and ISRO.
Outsourcing costing Americans their jobs: Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama on 6.11.2010 said outsourcing work to overseas locations like India has cost Americans their jobs.
In possibly a heartbreaking statement for the Indian IT industry, which gets over 60 per cent of its business from the U.S., Mr. Obama said, ”…there still exists a caricature of India as land of call centres and back offices that costs American jobs. That’s a real perception.”
Addressing a U.S.-India business council meet here, Mr. Obama said, “There are many Americans whose only experience with trade and globalisation has been shuttered factories or jobs being shift overseas.”
The U.S. accounts for about 60 per cent of India’s about USD 60 billion IT and IT-enabled services exports.
A fragile recovery of the economy, coupled with high unemployment levels has seen U.S. taking a number of protectionist measures such as hiking the Visa fees.
Earlier, Mr. Obama had also suggested that tax breaks could be ended for companies outsourcing work overseas.
Welcome India to take its UNSC seat - Obama in Indian Parliament
It was a historic moment, and Barack Obama did not let those watching down. In his address to both Houses of the Indian Parliament on 8.11.2010, the visiting US President made an unambiguous reference to terror and Pakistan and unequivocally endorsed India’s position for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC), though it was a cautious backing, more in principle, with no concrete timelines or processes mentioned.
Obama served a speech with both intellectual and emotional appeal. And also substance. On the UNSC seat Obama said, to much applause from Indian lawmakers assembled in the Central Hall of Parliament that Washington looked forward to a reformed Security Council that reflected current global realities. “Indeed, the just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate…I look forward to a reformed U.N. Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.”
“So we look forward to working with India–and other nations that aspire to Security Council membership–to ensure that the Security Council is effective; that resolutions are implemented and sanctions enforced; and that we strengthen the international norms which recognise the rights and responsibilities of all nations and individuals,” Obama said.
There was applause also when he did not shy away from speaking about terror and, in particular, Pakistan stating that, “we will continue to insist to Pakistan’s leaders that terrorist safe-havens within their borders are unacceptable, and that the terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks be brought to justice.”
Much of this visit has been focused on economic cooperation between the two nations and a shared interest in global prosperity, and Obama spoke at length about forging “a defining partnership with India in the 21st century”. “As you carry on with the hard work ahead, I want every Indian citizen to know: the United States of America will not simply be cheering you on from the sidelines. We will be right there with you, shoulder to shoulder. Because we believe in the promise of India,” the US President said, speaking almost as it were to the people of India.
“It is no coincidence that India is my first stop on my visit to Asia, for in Asia and around the world, India is simply not emerging, India has emerged,” said Obama, quoting from Tagore’s Geetanjali, and making a reference to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. President Obama spoke of how he has been influenced by Gandhiji’s principle of ‘be the change you seek in the world.’
“I am mindful that I may not have been standing before you as the President of United States had it not been for Gandhi and the message that he shared with the world,” said Obama, who is the first African-American President of the United States.
Barack Obama ended his speech on a crescendo,” Jai Hind!, and long live the partnership between India and the United States,” and got a standing ovation.
The US President became the first foreign dignitary to sign the “Golden Book” in Parliament. This is a visitor’s book introduced by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. He was welcomed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Meira Kumar.
“We admire the tenacity of the American spirit and its capacity for introspection and course correction,” said Ansari, welcoming President Obama. The Lok Sabha Speaker spoke of the “compulsion of our times to work together to eliminate the scourge terrorism” as she thanked the US President and all those present.
List of accords signed during Obama’s trip to India The United States and India on Monday signed six agreements besides a plethora of business deals inked separately during US President Barack Obama’s trip to India.Here is a list of the main government-to-government agreements:
India-US agreement to set up a joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre. It will be backed by 50 million dollars by both sides over five years and work to complete joint research in solar, biofuels and energy efficiency.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership. US will cooperate in India’s plans for a nuclear centre, to promote nuclear security and address threats of nuclear terrorism.
MOU to establish an India-US Energy Cooperation Programme. It will mobilise private sector expertise and resources to address clean energy-related issues in India and the US.
Agreement on technical cooperation to study India’s annual monsoon rains. Cooperation on weather forecasting for India’s crucial annual monsoon.
MOU between India and the US on shale gas resources which will see US technology used to assess shale gas resources in India.
MOU on establishing and operating a Global Disease Detection Centre in India, which will set up a laboratory in New Delhi designed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Highlights of India-U.S. trade transactions
Following is the fact sheet released by The White House on India-U.S. trade transactions announced by the U.S. President during his India visit.
FACT SHEET: The National Export Initiative: U.S – India Transactions
As part of the National Export Initiative, President Obama noted that India — with its tremendous economic growth and its large and growing middle class — is a key market for U.S. exports. Those exports are generating jobs in every corner of the United States and across every major sector. These involve some of our country’s largest companies, but also an increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises.
On the margins of the President’s trip, trade transactions were announced or showcased, exceeding $14.9 billion in total value with $9.5 billion in U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 53,670 U.S. jobs. These cross-border collaborations, both public and private, underpin the expanding U.S.-India strategic partnership, contributing to economic growth and development in both countries. Notable examples include:
Heavy Transport Aircraft: The Boeing Company and the Indian Air Force have reached preliminary agreement on the purchase of 10 C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft, and are now in the process of finalizing the details of the sale. Once all have been delivered, the Indian Air Force will be the owner and operator of the largest fleet of C-17s outside of the United States. Boeing, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is the aircraft manufacturer. Boeing reports that each C-17 supports 650 suppliers across 44 U.S. states and that this order will support Boeing’s C-17 production facility in Long Beach, California, for an entire year. This transaction is valued at approximately $4.1 billion, all of which is U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 22,160 jobs.
Engine Sale for the Light Combat Aircraft: On October 1,the General Electric Company, headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, was declared the lowest bidder and selected to negotiate a contract to provide the Indian Aeronautical Development Agency with 107 F414 engines to be installed on the Tejas light combat aircraft. Upon finalizing the contract, General Electric’s facility in Lynn, Massachusetts, and other sites across the United States will be positioned to export almost one billion dollars in high technology aerospace products. This transaction is tentatively valued at approximately $822 million, all of which is U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 4,440 jobs.
Commercial Aircraft Sale: Boeing Company, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and SpiceJet, a leading private airline in India, concluded a definitive agreement for the sale of 30 B737-800 commercial aircraft. SpiceJet currently operates 22 Boeing aircraft and has several 737 deliveries remaining from previous agreements. This new agreement will enable SpiceJet to offer more domestic routes and to begin offering international flights to neighboring countries. This transaction is valued at approximately $2.7 billion, based on catalogue prices, with an estimated $2.4 billion in U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 12,970 jobs.
Gas and Steam Turbine Sale: The General Electric Company, headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, was selected to supply six advanced class 9FA gas turbines and three steam turbines for the 2,500-megawatt Samalkot power plant expansion to be constructed by Reliance Power Ltd., a division of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, one of the largest conglomerates in India. General Electric purchases equipment from 240 suppliers across the United States—an estimated 14 percent of which are small- and medium-sized enterprises—for every 9FA gas-fired turbine, which are assembled in Greenville, South Carolina. The combined equipment and maintenance contracts are valued at approximately $750 million, with an estimated $491 million in U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 2,650 jobs.
Reliance Power and U.S. Ex-Im Bank Agreement: Reliance Power Ltd., the flagship company of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, and the Export – Import Bank of the United States announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU will indicate Ex-Im Bank’s willingness to provide up to $5 billion in financial support to Reliance Power for the purchase of U.S. goods and services to be used in the development of up to 8,000 megawatts of gas-fired electricity generating units and up to 900 megawatts of renewable (solar and wind) energy facilities.
Diesel Locomotive Manufacturing Venture: The United States has worldwide leaders in diesel locomotive manufacturing, and the Indian Ministry of Railways announced the prequalification of the sole two bidders—GE Transportation (Erie, Pennsylvania) and Electro-Motive Diesel (LaGrange, Illinois)—for a venture to manufacture and supply of 1,000 diesel locomotives over 10 years. The estimated U.S. content of this contract is expected to exceed $1B.
Motorcycle Assembly Plant: Harley-Davidson Motor Company, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, announced that preparations are underway to open a new plant in India for the assembly of Harley-Davidson motorcycles from U.S.-built “complete knock-down” kits. This investment by the company entails job creation in both the United States and India, and it will allow the company to reduce the tariff burden on its motorcycles for sale in the Indian market, driving sales growth by making its motorcycles more accessible to Indian consumers.
Sale of U.S. Mining Equipment and Related Support Equipment: On October 21, the Export – Import Bank of the United States announced the approval of more than $900 million in export finance guarantees to Sasan Power Ltd., a subsidiary of Reliance Power Ltd., supporting the sale of U.S. mining equipment and services from Bucyrus International of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and other U.S. vendors, in association with the 3,960-megawatt coal-fired Sasan power plant in Madhya Pradesh, India. This financial commitment supports $641 million in U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 3,460 jobs.
Tunneling Equipment for Underground Water Channel: On July 22,Robbins Company, headquartered in Solon, Ohio, announced an agreement with UNITY-IVRCL, a large infrastructure engineering and construction conglomerate, to provide tunnel-boring machines, conveyer equipment, and associated technical services for the construction of tunnels to convey water for the city of Mumbai. Separately, through a contract signed in 2008 with Jaiprakash Associates, a large infrastructure conglomerate, the Robbins Company is already supplying high technology tunnel-boring machines and technical assistance to bore some of the longest underground tunnels in the world underneath a protected tiger sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh, which will increase irrigation for the production of cotton and other agricultural products. The Mumbai contract alone is valued at $10 million, with $7 million in U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 35 jobs.
Maharashtra Homeland Security Pilot Projects: Palantir Technologies, a small Silicon Valley software development firm, announced a strategic partnership agreement with the Maharashtra State Police, a law enforcement agency in India, to conduct a pilot program, whereby Palantir’s end-to-end analytical software platform will be used on a trial basis to identify and alert authorities to security threats in order to help keep the citizens of Mumbai and Maharashtra safe.
Medanta Duke Research Institute (MDRI): Duke Medicine, located in Durham, North Carolina, one of the leading academic health systems in the United States, and Medanta Medicity, located in Gurgaon, Haryana, a hospital and medical research complex, are announcing a joint venture agreement to launch the MDRI, a proof-of-concept clinical research facility within Medanta’s hospital. Duke Medicine will provide scientific and operational leadership, while Medanta will contribute financial resources and clinical and operational services. Duke Medicine also will be partnering with Jubilant Life Sciences, headquartered in Uttar Pradesh, to conduct research studies and co-develop promising discoveries, with significant funding and in-kind support provided by Jubilant. Subsequent commercialization is expected to result in licensing revenue for Duke Medicine.
Long-range Antenna System for Rural Telecommunications: SPX Communication Technology, a division of SPX Corporation operating out of Raymond, Maine, is in the final phase of the pilot deployment of its long-range antenna system with two leading Indian mobile operators. This innovative technology has been shown to offer a significantly greater coverage area. Once implemented, it is expected to create significant economies of scale, thereby improving the economic viability of rural wireless networks and making wireless communications available for people who either could not afford service or who live in areas that lack coverage. The value of the initial trial equipment is expected to generate approximately $1 million, with 100 percent U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 5 jobs.
Production Equipment for the Manufacture of Pre-fabricated Housing: Spancrete Machinery Corporation, a family-owned business in Waukesha, Wisconsin, announced the sale of six sets of its hollow core, precast production equipment, including installation, training, and after-sales support, to Hindustan Prefab Limited, a state-owned company within the Indian Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation. The production equipment will be used to manufacture inexpensive, prefabricated housing on a mass scale in India. Spancrete also is working with Somat Engineering, Inc., from Detroit, Michigan, and their affiliate, SP Infrastructure India Ltd., in New Delhi. This transaction is valued at approximately $35 million, all of which is U.S. export content. Based on the company’s estimates, the transaction will support 30 jobs.
Cell Phone Rollout for Small Indian Businesses: Intuit, a company headquartered in Mountain View, California, which serves millions of small businesses worldwide, will launch a new mobile and web-based marketing service in partnership with Nokia, called “Intuit GoConnect”. This innovative technology will help Indian micro and small businesses grow and thrive by bringing customer management tools to the entrepreneur, improving the way they communicate with their customers in an increasingly mobile world.
The Unique Identification Project: L-1 Identity Solutions, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and another U.S.-headquartered company, lead two of the three vendor consortia, which have been prequalified by the Unique Identity Authority of India for the first phase of an effort to register Indian residents with a 12-digit unique number using biometric identifiers. Unprecedented in scale, seeking to register 1.2 billion Indian residents, the Unique Identification program aims to enhance delivery of government services in India.
Sale of Precision Measurement Instruments for Fuel Cell Research: Advanced Materials Corporation (AMC), a small, six-person firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received an order to supply a specially-designed Pressure-Composition Isotherm Measurement Instrument to the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, India. BHU will utilize AMC’s instrument to test fuel cell applications, as part of an Indian central government research program.
Trace Explosive Detection Equipment: Implant Sciences, a small company based in Wilmington, Massachusetts, signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence in January to supply its Quantum Sniffer H-150, trace detection devices to be used by the Indian Army to detect the presence of explosive, bomb-making materials that could be used in a terrorist attack. The company announced that the equipment will be ready for pre-dispatch inspection and delivery in November. The transaction is valued at approximately $6 million, all of which is U.S. export content, supporting an estimated 30 jobs.
VIP Helicopter Sale: On August 25,Bell Helicopter, based in Hurst, Texas, signed a purchase agreement with Span Air, a private air charter company, for the sale of its first Bell Model 429 corporate VIP helicopter in India. Span Air has a second order slated for delivery in mid-2011. Bell Helicopter recently sold its 100th helicopter in India.
Sales of Pre-owned Refurbished Healthcare Equipment: Skelley Medical, a rural New Hampshire-based company, sells refurbished medical equipment to Indian hospitals in second and third tier cities through partnerships with various distributors in India. Skelley announced plans to open an after-sales service facility in Mumbai as part of a new venture with Triage Systems, a Mumbai-based Indian medical equipment distributor. This facility will service medical equipment purchased by their Indian hospital customers.
Monitoring Equipment for Greening Buildings: Noveda Technologies, a small start-up company in Branchburg, New Jersey, is finalizing a new venture with Chennai-based Wysine Technology to jointly develop and market a new solution for web-based, real-time energy monitoring for “greening” buildings.
Dredges for Maharashtra Maritime Board: Ellicott Dredges, a small company based in Baltimore, Maryland, announced the sale of two cutter suction dredges to the Maharashtra Maritime Board, a Maharashtra government entity. The equipment will be utilized to dredge a fisherman’s port and various tributaries in the state of Maharashtra.
The pace of trade between the United States and India is accelerating. Between 2002 and 2009, U.S. goods exports to India quadrupled, growing from $4.1 billion to more than $16.4 billion. Through the first eight months of 2010, U.S. merchandise exports to India totaled $12.7 billion, up 18 percent from the same period in 2009. With economic growth estimates at about 9.7 percent in 2010, India is a key market for the Obama Administration’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports in five years.
White House Fact Sheets on Obama’s India Visit – 9.11.2010
The White House has issued a series of fact sheets about the US-India “strategic relationship (that) encompasses a range of issues, activities, and programmes that reflect the vision of President (Barack) Obama and Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh”.
Export Controls: Manmohan Singh and Obama agreed to take mutual steps to implement a four-part export control reform programme, including: support for India’s membership in the multilateral export control regimes, removing India’s defence and space-related entities from the US “Entity List;” export licensing policy realignment, and export control cooperation.
Partnership for an Evergreen Revolution: Manmohan Singh and Obama agreed to work together to develop, test, and replicate transformative technologies to extend food security in India as part of an “Evergreen Revolution”. These efforts will benefit farmers and consumers in India, the US, and around the globe, and will extend food security in India, Africa and globally.
Counterterrorism Cooperation: Since the first bilateral discussions on counterterrorism in 2000, counterterrorism cooperation has become a pillar of the US-India relationship. In the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the US and India resolved to deepen collaborative efforts, and intensify exchanges, culminating in the signing of the Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative (CCI) in July 2010.
Civil Space Cooperation: Obama and Manmohan Singh agreed to scale-up joint US-India civil space collaboration, including space exploration, earth observation, and scientific education.
Clean Energy and Climate Change: Manmohan Singh and Obama reaffirmed their countries’ strong commitment to taking vigorous action to address climate change, ensure mutual energy security, and build a clean energy economy that will drive investment, job creation, and economic growth throughout the 21st century.
Cybersecurity: Recognising the importance of cybersecurity, the US and India are advancing efforts to work together to promote a reliable information and communications infrastructure and the goal of free, fair, and secure access to cyberspace.
CEO Forum: Recognising the vital role bilateral commerce plays in the global strategic partnership, Obama and Manmohan Singh highlighted the importance of the US-India CEO Forum and the progress made in implementing its recommendations.
Defence Cooperation: The US-India defence relationship has grown from solely military-to-military links into a mature partnership that encompasses dialogues, exercises, defence sales, professional military education exchanges, and practical cooperation.
US-India Economic and Financial Partnership: Since the launch of the new US-India Economic and Financial Partnership in April 2010, the two governments have institutionalised deeper bilateral relations on economic and financial sector issues. These efforts include a macroeconomic dialogue and financial sector and infrastructure working groups.
Education: Obama and Manmohan Singh are committed to an expanding, dynamic, and comprehensive education partnership, including expanding academic exchanges, developing university and school linkages, and holding a US-India Education Summit.
Entrepreneurs Roundtable: This event introduced the president to the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs and showcased innovative partnerships between US and Indian businesses that are creating new markets for US-manufactured technologies.
The National Export Initiative: As part of the National Export Initiative, Obama noted that India-with its tremendous economic growth and its large and growing middle class-is a key market for US exports. On the margins of the president’s trip, trade transactions were announced or showcased, exceeding $14.9 billion in total value with $9.5 billion in US export content, supporting an estimated 53,670 US jobs.
Indian Investment in the US: As the US-India economic relationship deepens, investment from India contribute to the growth and vibrancy of the American economy and in the creation of jobs in the US. Over the last decade, investment capital from India grew at an annualised rate of 53 percent reaching an estimated $4.4 billion in 2009.
Nuclear Security: The US and India signed a memorandum of understanding that provides a general framework for cooperative activities in working with India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, which India announced at the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit.
Deepening US-India Strategic Ties: Manmohan Singh and Obama renewed their commitment to expand cooperation on strategic issues facing the US and India and agreed to deepen and broaden strategic consultations on core foreign policy issues of mutual concern.
US-India Development Collaboration in Afghanistan: Obama and Manmohan Singh agreed to collaborate closely to assist the people of Afghanistan by identifying opportunities to leverage the two countries’ relative strengths, experience and resources. The collaboration will focus on agricultural development and women’s empowerment, where Afghanistan’s needs are great.
Securing the Air, Sea, and Space Domains: Obama and Manmohan Singh agreed that in an increasingly interconnected world, it is vital to safeguard areas of the sea, air, and space beyond national jurisdiction to ensure the security and prosperity of nations.
The recent announcement of the new syllabus for Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2011 by the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions is likely to create jitters among aspirants.
A closer look at the syllabus and pattern of the examination mentioned in the text only stresses the need for more focus on general studies and revision of mathematics learned at the secondary school level. Aspirants analyzing recent question papers of other examinations conducted by the UPSC will have a better understanding of the new pattern and syllabus.
According to Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the Civil Services Preliminary examination will consist of two papers with a total of 400 marks. This is different from the earlier pattern that had one optional subject paper along with a general studies paper.
Hereafter, the civil services aspirants can be much more relaxed in their approach as the need for studying an optional subject has been dispensed with for the preliminary. But they have to complete two optional subjects for the main. So balancing the main and prelims in the coming months will be the challenge before them.
The new pattern has forced coaching institutes to change strategy. The All India Civil Services Coaching Centre run by the State conducted its entrance examination on October 31.
“The selected candidates will have special coaching sessions on comprehension, interpersonal skills, logical reasoning and other similar new topics covered in the new syllabus,” said P. Premkala Rani, principal of the centre. The strategy for the new pattern will be different, she adds.
Paper I is worth 200 marks and has been allotted two hours. Earlier the pattern was 150 marks for the general studies. In paper I, candidates will be tested on their knowledge of current events of national and international importance. Emphasis will be on Indian history, Indian national movement, Indian and world geography, including the physical, social and economic geography of India and the world.
The candidates can start preparation as soon as possible by reading newspapers and other periodicals to enrich their knowledge of current affairs. Questions on current affairs are likely to play a key role in scoring the required marks in the new pattern. Questions will also be asked on Indian polity and governance as well as the Constitution, the political system, panchayati raj, public policy and rights issues.
Apart from NCERT books, the Union government publications that have information on latest developments on these subjects are also important. India 2011 year book published by the Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting may continue to be of use to answer a large number of questions. “The new system is going to identify the comprehensive knowledge of an aspirant and his / her ability to apply it in decision making. The focus will be more on testing the personality of the candidate,” says Nandakumar, a civil servant.
Candidates will have to prepare for questions on economic and social development, sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics and social sector initiatives.
NCERT books will provide a chunk of answers to questions pertaining to general issues on environmental ecology, bio-diversity, climate change and general science.
Candidates are advised to revise the class X English language books for English language comprehension skills of Paper II. Appropriate IGNOU study material on interpersonal skills, including communication skills may be useful.
Study material used by aspirants of banking services are enough to tackle questions on logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision making and problem solving as well as general mental ability.
Class X books of NCERT should be studied in detail for solving questions on basic numeric skills such as numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude and data interpretation.
Solving the paper is likely to be easy for the aspirants who go though the previous questions asked by the UPSC for other examinations such as NDA, particularly those conducted recently.
Spending at least six hours a day for solving such questions is crucial. Analysing the previous questions of examinations conducted by Reserve Bank of India and other banks is also likely to throw light on the new pattern of examination.
Dilma Rousseff, a 62-year-old grandmother who was jailed in the 1970s for guerrilla activities, was on 31.10.2010 elected Brazil’s first female president, succeeding her mentor and outgoing leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Rousseff beat her rival, former Sao Paulo state governor Jose Serra, in a runoff with 56 per cent of the vote, according to an official tally of 95 per cent of ballots.
The career civil servant, who served as Lula’s cabinet chief before leaving in April, 2010 to contest the election, will take charge of Latin America’s biggest country on January 1, 2011.
Lula, 65, is required to step down then, having completed the maximum two consecutive terms permitted by law.He has not said what he plans to do. He is retiring with a popularity rating above 80 per cent and a high global profile. Speculation was swirling that he might accept an international post, or stand by as an informal adviser to Rousseff as she runs the country, though he has downplayed those scenarios.
“There is no possibility of an ex-president participating in a government,” Lula said when he voted on Sao Paulo’s outskirts, where he started out as a factory metalworker and union leader.
Rousseff will have “to form a government in her image. I only hope that she does more than I did”, he said.
Rousseff has none of Lula’s charisma or negotiating skills. But she does have a such a reputation for fierce determination that Brazil’s media have nicknamed her the “Iron Lady”, in the mould of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. She developed her political spine when she started out as an active militant opposed to the 1964-1985 military dictatorship that ruled Brazil.
She was arrested in January 1970 and sentenced to six years in prison for belonging to a violent underground group responsible for murders and bank robberies. After nearly three years behind bars, during which she said she was tortured by electric shocks, she was released at the end of 1972. She continued her political path and eventually joined Lula’s Workers Party in 1986. In 2000, she divorced her second husband. Their daughter, Paula, made them grandparents in September.
After Lula became president in 2002, he named Rousseff his energy minister and then, in 2005, his cabinet chief — a post analogous to prime minister.
Rousseff has vowed to maintain Lula’s policies, which over the past eight years have brought prosperity and financial stability to Brazil, and lifted 29 million people out of poverty.
Her biggest immediate challenges will be preparing the country to host the 2014 football World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, both awarded under Lula’s deft lobbying.
She will also have to steer Brazil through tricky economic waters. Although Brazil’s economy is booming, expanding by more than seven per cent this year, the currency, the real, has soared so high against the dollar that the country’s vital export sector is starting to sweat.
Lula and other officials have blamed China and the United States for waging an “international currency war” by devaluing their own currencies to help their own exporters at the expense of other countries.
At the same time, Rousseff — who was given a privileged upbringing by her Bulgarian immigrant father and Brazilian mother — does not enjoy the same solid support within the ruling Workers Party that Lula did, which could deal her legislative troubles ahead.
The dull campaign duelling between her and Serra gave some insight into what Brazilians might expect when she becomes head of state.
Both candidates stressed past policy successes but gave few details of new directions they wanted to pursue, and in some later televised debates exchanged insults and ignored the other’s arguments.
Serra, a one-time health minister who started out the favourite in the early days of campaigning, lost ground to Rousseff when Lula stepped in to give her credit for many of his administration’s achievements and rousing speeches on her behalf.
To fix her somewhat lumbering image, Rousseff underwent a cosmetic makeover to get elected, whitening her teeth, re-doing her hair into a helmet-like do, ditching glasses for contact lenses and botoxing her brow. The effect made her look younger — and much healthier than last year, when she wore a wig to cover the hair loss from chemotherapy to treat lymphatic cancer. Doctors said afterward she appeared to be cured.