Showing posts with label india. Show all posts
Showing posts with label india. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

5: Modi

5: India

Needing Help to Stay in Power, Modi Loses His Aura of Invincibility Though Narendra Modi will take up a third term as India’s leader, the election was closer than expected, forcing him to rely on coalition partners that don’t share his Hindu nationalist agenda.

Early Election Results Suggest Sharp Turnaround for Indian National Congress India’s beleaguered main opposition party was on track to surpass expectations and nearly double its share of parliamentary seats from 2019.

India delivers shocking election result: What to know

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

4: India Election

India delivers shocking election result: What to know

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

24: Gaza

Sunday, October 01, 2023

The India Canada Misunderstanding

If Punjab were not in India and Pakistan but in Canada, like Quebec is, there would be a referendum. Quebec and Scotland have the option to break away and become independent countries. But India does not have that provision. India is a much larger European Union that works. Only a few years ago India got rid of taxes at state borders. It was said it was like India finally managed an economic union.

For India a breakup means partition. That was a hugely bloody event. Punjab becoming an independent country is not an option.

And it is not like a large section of Sikhs in India are clamoring to become a separate country. The opposite is true. Those who advocate a separate country are small in number, and suggest an armed path. That roadmap is not available, but can lead to much meaningless violence. So to India the whole issue feels like a fight against terrorism, something its arch nemesis Pakistan specializes in. Government agencies in Pakistan openly coordinate with terrorist organizations. To them it feels like an asymmetrical war. There is a large gap otherwise between India's army and Pakistan's army, India's economy and Pakistan's economy, India's prospects and Pakistan's prospects.

And it is not like Pakistan is ready to let go of the Punjab inside its borders. But many in the Pakistani establishment daydream of India's Punjab some day becoming India's Bangladesh.

Free speech should be protected. If there are Sikhs who would like to argue Punjab should become its own country, they, of course, should be allowed to do so. There are a dozen such arguments inside India today. As long it is peaceful free speech, it is tolerated inside India itself. So, no, this is not a free speech issue. India is the largest democracy. I don't think people running India struggle to understand free speech and peaceful protest.

But threatening violence, and organizing violence, and coordinating violence, and fundraising for violence all meet the defintions of terrorism. They meet the definitoins of domestic terrorism inside the US. India's gripe is the Canadian government seems to tolerate such acts.

There is no provision in the Indian constitution for Punjab or any other territory to organize a referendum and gain independence. Punjab is no Quebec. But that is not the issue. The issue is terrorism. Most Sikhs inside Canada are not clamoring for an independent Khalistan. But there is a vocal minority that seems to drown out the rest. It is basic democratic decorum to also listen to the silent majority.

Sikhs might be numerical minorities. Operation Blue Star was unfortunate. The anti-Sikh riots after Indira Gandhi's assassination were wrong and criminal. But Punjab is one of the richest states in India. Sikhs have had outsize influence inside India. There have been Sikh Prime Minister and President of India. That can not be said of most similar numerical minorities inside India.

A separate country called Punjab is not likely. But a Sikh Prime Minister of Canada is only a matter of time. It is not possible to create a country where only Sikhs are citizens. But if Canada gets a Sikh Prime Minister some day, its very own Manmohan Singh, then that would be a remarkable achievement for the Sikh community, and a major footnote to the illustrious Sikh history.

The Sikhs were at the forefront of the Indian independence movement. Punjab bore the brunt of the violent India-Pakistan partition. The Sikhs are the most visible component of the Indian Army. Sikhs live everywhere in India. And Sikhism is like a bridge religion between Hinduism and Islam.

If Jagmeet Singh's party wins more seats than Justin Trudeau's party in the next election, Trudeau's party would be the junior partner in the next government.

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

4: India's Space-Tech Sector

The Surprising Striver in the World’s Space Business With at least 140 registered space-tech start-ups, India stands to transform the planet’s connection to the final frontier.......... When it launched its first rocket in 1963, India was a poor country pursuing the world’s most cutting-edge technology. That projectile, its nose cone wheeled to the launchpad by a bicycle, put a small payload 124 miles above the Earth. India was barely pretending to keep up with the United States and the Soviet Union. ......... It’s one of India’s most sought-after sectors for venture capital investors. The start-ups’ growth has been explosive, leaping from five when the pandemic started. ........ anticipates a global need for 30,000 satellites to be launched this decade. ........ the White House’s statement said the two leaders “called for enhanced commercial collaboration between the U.S. and Indian private sectors in the entire value chain of the space economy.” .......... An image of India’s first satellite graced the two-rupee note until 1995. ......... Driven more by private enterprise than by gigantic government budgets, space technology is fulfilling smaller-scale, commercial purposes. Imaging systems feed information about the planet back to Earth, helping India’s farmers insure their crops or commercial fishing fleets track their catch. Satellites bring phone signals to the country’s remotest corners and help operate solar farms far from India’s megacities. ......... Last year, the space start-ups raked in $120 million in new investment, at a rate that is doubling or tripling annually. ......... Its spaceport, on the coastal island of Sriharikota, is near the Equator and suitable for launches into different orbital levels. The government agency’s “workhorse” rocket is one of the world’s most reliable for heavy loads. With a success rate of almost 95 percent, it has halved the cost of insurance for a satellite — making India one of the most competitive launch sites in the world. ............. there is money to be made launching equipment into space: That market is worth about $6 billion this year and could triple in value by 2025. .......... In any given month, Kranthi Chand, its head of strategy, is hardly there, as he spends about one week in Europe and another in the United States, rounding up clients and investors. ......... SpaceX, and its relaunchable rockets brought down the cost of sending heavy objects into orbit so much that India could not compete. Even today, from American spaceports at $6,500 per kilogram, SpaceX’s launches are the cheapest anywhere........... “We are more like a cab,” Mr. Chandana said. His company charges higher rates for smaller-payload launches, whereas SpaceX “is more like a bus or a train, where they take all their passengers and put them in one destination,” he said. ............... Decades of doing business with ISRO created about 400 private companies in clusters around Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and elsewhere, each devoted to building special screws, sealants and other products fit for space. One hundred may collaborate on a single launch. ................. Even bigger chunks of the satellite business will inevitably go to consumer broadband and TV services, beamed down from low orbit.

Can Biden Change the Economic Narrative? The measurable economic harm from unemployment, for instance, is much higher than that from inflation. ........ What didn’t happen, despite a drumbeat of dire warnings in the news media, was a recession. The U.S. economy added four million jobs over the past year, and the unemployment rate has remained near a 50-year low. ......... a surge in rents that ended in mid-2022. This surge, by the way, was probably caused by the rise in remote work triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic rather than by any Biden administration policy. ......... a novel indicator — what information people are searching for on the internet — you’ll find that searches for both “inflation” and “recession” soared in 2021-22 along with the misery index but have plunged over the past year. ........... Strong consumer spending, record levels of air travel and many other indicators suggest that Americans are feeling pretty good about their economic circumstances.......... Ronald Reagan still had fairly low approval in mid-1983, then went on to win a landslide in 1984 on the strength of the economy’s recovery.

France Is on Fire Nahel M., a 17-year-old male of Moroccan and Algerian descent, was fatally shot by a police officer at a traffic stop, setting off a countrywide revolt over police violence and racism. Over the past several nights, protests have erupted in spectacular fashion. From Toulouse and Lille to Marseille and Paris, groups of protesters have sacked police stations and looted or vandalized scores of businesses, hurling Molotov cocktails and setting off barrages of fireworks at public buildings and the riot police. Nearly 1,000 people have been arrested. ........ The anger shows no sign of abating. The killing of Nahel M. — which to many appeared more like a summary execution — exposed the most extreme form of the police violence that has long targeted communities of color in France. .......... cellphone footage taken by a bystander quickly shifted the narrative. The video, which surfaced soon after the killing, shows two officers standing beside the vehicle, one aiming his pistol toward the driver’s window at point-blank range. Though it’s unclear who uttered them, the words “I’m going to put a bullet in your head” can be made out before the car began to accelerate and the fatal shot was fired. Nahel M. died an hour later. ......... a “contagion” of the banlieues — the economically depressed, multiracial urban areas that experience the brunt of French policing. “Nothing justifies the death of a young person,” Mr. Macron said on Wednesday, calling the actions of the police “inexcusable” and “inexplicable.” For Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, the officers’ conduct was “clearly not in conformity with the rules of engagement.” ........... In December 2020, when Mr. Macron made the relatively blunt concession that “someone with a skin color that isn’t white is much more likely to be subjected to searches,” he was rebuked by France’s powerful police unions, whose members refused to carry out traffic stops and ID checks. ......... For many French people, especially marginalized young men of color, Nahel M.’s killing is the latest demonstration of the intrinsic violence of the police — and beyond it, evidence of a society that wants little of them and would rather they disappear. But they, and their anger, are not going anywhere. “We’re exhausted and just strung out by stories like this,” Djigui, the protester, told me. “For years, France has been like a pressure cooker.” .

Missed Monday Night’s Supermoon? We’ve Got You Covered. The July supermoon, also called the buck moon, is the first of four supermoons expected this year......... The supermoon, which was flush with amber and red tones, was 14,000 miles closer to earth than typical full moons. ....... can be about 17 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a full moon at apogee, or its farthest point from Earth. .

A.I. Is Coming for Mathematics, Too For thousands of years, mathematicians have adapted to the latest advances in logic and reasoning. Are they ready for artificial intelligence? ......... For more than 2,000 years, Euclid’s text was the paradigm of mathematical argumentation and reasoning. “Euclid famously starts with ‘definitions’ that are almost poetic,” Jeremy Avigad, a logician at Carnegie Mellon University, said in an email. “He then built the mathematics of the time on top of that, proving things in such a way that each successive step ‘clearly follows’ from previous ones, using the basic notions, definitions and prior theorems.” ............ In 1976, the four-color theorem — which states that four colors are sufficient to fill a map so that no two adjacent regions are the same color — became the first major theorem proved with the help of computational brute force. ............ a computer system would match or exceed the problem-solving ability of the best human mathematicians within a decade. Last year he revised the target date to 2026. ............ only in the last couple years have mathematicians started worrying about A.I.’s potential threats, whether to mathematical aesthetics or to themselves. ......... A.I. gadgetry might do the same for mathematics, he added: “It’s very clear that the question is, What can machines do for us, not what will machines do to us.” .......... By the end of a verification, she said, “I’m really, really deep into understanding the proof, way deeper than I’ve ever understood before. I’m thinking so clearly that I can explain it to a really dumb computer.” .......... “Two-hundred-terabyte maths proof is largest ever,” a headline in Nature announced. The article went on to ask whether solving problems with such tools truly counted as math. In Dr. Heule’s view, this approach is needed “to solve problems that are beyond what humans can do.” ............... Ultimately, Dr. Wu said, he envisioned an “automated mathematician” that has “the capability of solving a mathematical theorem all by itself.” ............ the potentially conflicting goals and values of research mathematics and the tech and defense industries. ........... Reasoning is quintessential to the mathematical process, and it is the crucial unsolved problem of machine learning. .............. Like the ancient geometer Euclid, the neural net had somehow intuitively discerned a mathematical truth, but the logical “why” of it was far from obvious............ Like the ancient geometer Euclid, the neural net had somehow intuitively discerned a mathematical truth, but the logical “why” of it was far from obvious. ........... trying to understand what goes on inside a neural net raises “fascinating mathematical questions,” and that finding answers presents an opportunity for mathematicians “to contribute meaningfully to the world.” .

Her Plan for Putting the World Back Together? Trees. Diana Beresford-Kroeger’s connection to trees stems from an ancient Irish prophecy she heard in childhood. And she thinks trees are crucial in addressing climate change. .

The Supreme Court Turns ‘Equal Protection’ Upside Down the reality of modern America, where prejudice and racism endure. ........ As Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent, the decision cements “a superficial rule of colorblindness as a constitutional principle in an endemically segregated society where race has always mattered and continues to matter.” ......... In states that have already banned affirmative action in higher education, the percentage of Black students has dropped, in some cases dramatically. Black enrollment at the University of Michigan was 4 percent in 2021, down from 7 percent in 2006 ......... Last year it was women seeking the constitutional right to have an abortion; this year it is chiefly Black and Latino students who want a shot at the economic opportunity that can come from a college degree........... With their supermajority now firmly in charge, the Republican-appointed justices have had free rein to upend swaths of American law in order to achieve long-held goals of the conservative movement. ........... what Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson described in her dissent as a “let-them-eat-cake obliviousness” to the role of race in daily life. .......... a simple — and simplistic — point: There is no real difference between the centuries of racial discrimination against Black people and targeted race-conscious efforts to help Black people. Both are equally bad, in this view. ............ As President Lyndon Johnson said in a 1965 commencement speech at Howard University, “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.” ........... Diversifying medical schools by opening up the profession to Black physicians can save lives, she notes. Black infants, for example, are more likely to survive under the care of a Black doctor. Diversity also expands economic benefits and social understanding. A diverse student body, she wrote, means that “students of every race will come to have a greater appreciation and understanding of civic virtue, democratic values, and our country’s commitment to equality.” ............... Unlike abortion rights, most Americans oppose race-based admissions programs for colleges, polls show. These programs have, for instance, been insufficient for addressing economic disparities, which are a crippling barrier to millions of Americans of all colors. ............. More evidence is needed around whether the most commonly proposed alternatives — giving a leg up to students from lower socioeconomic groups, for example, or admitting the top 10 percent of students from each high school in a state — boost minorities into better jobs and more stable lives. ........... Many schools, of course, already engage in one particularly insidious form of wealth-based affirmative action: legacy admissions. The children of alumni — who are overwhelmingly white — enjoy a far better chance than other applicants of getting accepted to the nation’s top colleges and universities, which, as this board has argued, constitutes “a form of property transfer from one generation to another.” It has a far larger impact on the racial and socioeconomic makeup of student bodies than race-based affirmative action ever has. At Harvard, an estimated 14 percent of students, most of whom are white, are there at least in part because of a legacy. Reducing or eliminating this practice could create new opportunities for all kinds of students who normally don’t have a chance of getting into a top school...............

“Our country has never been colorblind,” Justice Jackson wrote. “Deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.”


Thursday, June 22, 2023

22: Modi

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