All posts tagged: India

Why is China always downplays India’s Contribution?

Between September 14–27, the United States and India conducted a joint military training exercise in Uttarakhand, an area less than 100 km from the Chinese border (Global Times, September 12). This combined exercise, known as Yudh Abhyas, or “training for war,” started as an army training cooperation event in 2004 and has since evolved to include the air force as well (U.S. Army Pacific, March 12, 2012). Until 2008, the main focus had been sharing logistics and tactics. Between 2009 and 2012, the exercise focused on the UN-style peacekeeping missions (U.S. Army Pacific, March 12, 2012). Since then, the main theme has shifted to counter-insurgency and more recently, counter-terrorism (U.S. Army, September 12, 2015; The Diplomat, September 16). Each year, the United States and India takes turn in hosting the exercise. China tends to be strident in its criticism of U.S. military operations and presence in the Asia-Pacific, to include U.S. increased cooperation with allies and partners as a result of the rebalancing (State Council Information Office, May 2015). The Chinese government and media repeatedly …

India-China border standoff

It was the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan that sounded the alarm — Chinese soldiers had arrived with bulldozers and excavators, and were building a high-mountain road near India’s border in an area the two nuclear-armed giants have disputed over for decades. India responded to the call by sending troops last month to evict the Chinese army construction party from the Doklam Plateau. Within a few days, Indian media were running leaked video footage of soldiers from both sides shoving one another atop a grassy flatland. Two weeks ago the Chinese sent an unusual number of military patrols into the mountains of Ladakh, a remote high-altitude desert at the northern tip of India. Two Chinese patrols came on foot, two more arrived in military vehicles and a Chinese helicopter flew overhead. With all the activity, the Indian authorities failed to notice until the next morning that about 30 Chinese soldiers had pitched three tents in an area both countries claim. The tense standoff has only escalated, raising concerns in both capitals of an all-out military …

Skeptic Society Magazine Water Access is a Gender Equality Issue

Water Access is a Gender Equality Issue

World Water Day, an internationally-celebrated day dedicated to collaboration between the United Nations, governments, and non-governmental organizations to tackle the world’s water crisis. Ensuring universal access to safe water by 2030 is identified as a critical component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s mandate to eradicate extreme poverty. The global water crisis is not only deadly—lack of access to clean water claims more lives each year than AIDS, breast cancer, terrorism, and all the world’s conflicts combined—but is incredibly economically costly. And the opportunity cost of water shortage, contamination, and inadequate infrastructure falls disproportionately on women and girls. In communities around the world, women and girls spend much of their days walking long distances to seek out safe water, fetching or drawing it, and carrying heavy containers back to their households. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, an average trip to collect water covers over 3 miles and takes 33 minutes each way—and in a number of countries, such as Mauritania, Somalia, Tunisia, and Yemen, the trip takes longer than an hour each way. In …

Skeptic Society Magazine Child Marriage and Religion

Child Marriage and Religion

Last month, academics, advocates, and religious leaders gathered at an event organized by the Council on Foreign Relations during the American Academy of Religion conference to discuss the relationship between religion and child marriage. Although global rates of child marriage are on a downward trajectory, progress in curbing this practice has been far too slow. The United Nations estimates that one in three women aged twenty to twenty-four —almost 70 million women total — married under the age of eighteen. Approximately 23 million were married under the age of fifteen, and some were married as young as eight or nine years old. The implications are dire: child marriage is linked to poor health, curtailed education, violence, and lawlessness, all of which threatens international development, prosperity, and stability. Religion is often blamed for the prevalence of child marriage. Notably, however, the practice is not unique to any one faith; in fact, it occurs across religions and regions. For example, in India, where 40 percent of the world’s known child brides reside, child marriage is prevalent among both …

skeptic society The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - Arundhati Roy

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy. In her first novel since the legendary “God of Small Things,” Roy writes of a group of outcasts who come together during a protest in India. Roy, who has witnessed a great deal of turmoil, is uniquely placed to emphasize the solidarities between movements. She wants to show us a genuine counterculture of protest. Nevertheless, I longed for fewer connections, fewer babies and more in-depth depictions of the psychologies of the movements.