India

US rights report critical of India

The US State Department's human rights report criticises India for violations by police and security forces while at the same time noting the “serious abuses” by separatist insurgents and terrorists. "The most significant human rights issues included police and security force abuses, such as extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, rape, harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, and lengthy pretrial detention,” the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 released in Washington on Friday said.

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Welcome decision to liberalise FDI

It is welcome that the government has eased foreign investment norms further, although these are incremental, rather than path-breaking, in nature. Liberalising foreign direct investment in Air India will probably make sure that the company will actually get privatised, with a majority stake held by an Indian entity that enjoys the trust of foreign backers now in a position to bid for the company complete with its huge debt burden.

Two borders, two disputes

The two major disputed borders India has are with China and Pakistan. With Pakistan, the disputed border falls in Jammu and Kashmir, a legacy of the 1948 war. When India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire on January 1, 1949, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire line (CFL). This line was not just marked on a map but was also agreed upon by the two sides on the ground with a joint survey by the two armies.

Status quo in H-1B visas will bring cheer to Indian techies

The Trump administration’s decision to not follow through with a proposed change in the H-1B regime has brought cheer to between 500,000 and 750,000 Indians, mostly technology workers, and their families in the US. It has also come as a relief to the Indian government which had expressed concern when news of the plan broke.

Dark clouds across Asia

What awaits the Asia-Pacific in 2018? Prospects appear, if anything, bleaker than was the case in 2017. More disorder, coming with increasing signs of a breakdown in inter and intra-state relations, is perhaps on the horizon. The Asian region is nowhere near achieving the kind of equilibrium that the Concert of Europe brought to 19th century Europe.

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