BIDEN HAS A LOT OF PROMISES TO KEEP AS TRUMP’S SUCCESSOR - The Daily Guardian
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BIDEN HAS A LOT OF PROMISES TO KEEP AS TRUMP’S SUCCESSOR

The challenges that Joe Biden inherits from President Donald Trump are so many that it would take a long time for him to settle them. He would have to take both Democrats and Republicans along to make America a more responsible power in the times to come.

Rajesh Mehta & Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan

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Donald Trump Joe Biden
Donald Trump Joe Biden

The US presidential poll has been one of the most watched and talked about elections in recent times, not to mention one of the most divisive. It saw a record turnout of 66.9%, which is the highest since 1900, despite the pandemic. History was also made because, for the first time, a woman, of Black and Indian American origin, is going to be the vice president of the United States. This election holds significance also because Indian Americans played a key role in the success of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

The victory of Joe Biden can be compared to the challenging circumstances when Harry Truman became president in 1945. Trump may have lost, but still enjoys substantial support. Biden now has to cater to all Americans, including Trump supporters and their aspirations—which he implied in his first speech as the president-elect, when he said that he would not look to separate red and blue states. Biden has inherited a country which is also facing huge challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic, an economic crisis and reduced immigration. To add to that, the Trump Administration has criticized all multilateral institutions, walked out of some, and questioned fundamental scientific findings like climate change.

The handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been the top concern for about 4 in 10 voters. Thus, the first and foremost thing that citizens of the USA would like to hear from their president-elect is about the measures he would take in response to the Covid-19 situation in the country. At a campaign rally in Philadelphia, Biden had said that, if voted to power, he would put into place a Covid-19 action plan on the first day of his presidency. He has proposed a nationwide mask mandate and a national testing and contact tracing system.

The entrance of Joe Biden on the world stage, as most analysts have predicted, also opens doors to multilateralism. Thus, it is worth hoping that Biden would support collaborative international efforts to develop and ensure the equitable allocation of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, in turn, rejecting the notion of “vaccine nationalism” put forward by Trump. A step in this direction could possibly lead to the US joining COVAX, a joint initiative of more than 170 countries pooling their resources for a Covid-19 vaccine.

Joe Biden has argued that Trump’s “America First” unilateral strategy has led to “America Alone.” It is hoped that Biden can quickly restore US leadership on global health by reversing Trump’s decision to leave the World Health Organisation, which is supposed to be effective from July 6, 2021. With Biden in the White House, many European, Asian and African countries could also work together to establish common rules and standards as a reflection of fundamentally similar values. Biden would also try repair relations with partners and allies to counter both China and Russia.

Climate change policy has been another landmark feature of Biden’s presidential campaign. Biden declared climate change the “number one issue facing humanity.” The Democrat campaigned on a $2 trillion investment in green energy and re-joining the Paris Agreement, which the US exited recently on November 4, 2020. In a tweet from that day, Biden had said, “Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will re-join it,” reflecting his decision to reverse one of the rashest decisions of the Trump administration on day one. The Biden Plan ensures that the US achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050. Given the above promises, a Biden victory would shift the US from being a laggard to a leader in the climate change policy, which is the need of the hour when most countries are nowhere near reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 7.2% annually through 2030, as laid down in the Paris Agreement.

Among Biden’s top foreign policy priorities is rescuing the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. In an interview on CNN, Biden had said that, if he becomes the president, the first thing that he would do would be to make an unshakable commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Secondly, he would offer them a credible path back to diplomacy. Only if Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal would the US re-join the agreement. This could serve as a starting point for further negotiations. Biden assured that he would take steps to make sure that US sanctions do not hinder Iran’s fight against the pandemic. He had also said that the US will continue to push back Iran’s destabilising activities which threaten US allies in the region. Re-joining the deal—signed by US, China, Russia, and several European powers—would have the effect of improving frayed US cooperation with those nations too. Trump also came to office promising to tame Iran, but everyone knows how it has turned out. Thus, one can only hope that Biden, with his decades of foreign policy experience, is able to save the Iran nuclear deal from being reduced to rubble.

Moreover, a change in US policy towards the Iran nuclear deal will help India immensely. Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran had the unintended effect of limiting India’s investment and development of the strategic Chabahar port—a crucial venture to keep a check on Pakistani and Chinese encirclement on the western front of the country. Biden’s economic agenda suggests a revamp of international trade rules in ways that will benefit both the US and its partners, including India.

There is also buzz that Biden may attempt to extend the New START Treaty with Russia. This treaty is the last remaining bilateral treaty governing the US and Russian strategic nuclear forces. It plays a vital role for a stable peace order in the world because, if the treaty ends in February 2021, the world’s most destructive nuclear arsenals will be unlimited and unverified for the first time since the Cold War.

On the trade front, people are hoping that Biden abandons the self-destructive policies adopted by the Trump administration, like destroying the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism, rejecting the Trans-Pacific partnership, and trade wars with China and the EU. It is predicted that under Biden, US trade policies will most likely see a shift from protectionism to liberalism. This will help to reiterate Biden’s claim as written on his campaign website: “The next president must repair our relationships with our allies and stand up to strongmen and thugs on the global stage to rally the world to meet these challenges.”

Biden promises to deepen ties with India too, on defence and trade, possibly without the tariffs levied by Trump. He would also start cooperation with India on sustainable and clean energy, which Trump ignored altogether when he decided to drop out of the Paris climate agreement.

Biden is also committed to working on immigration reform. In his remarks at the Bombay Stock Exchange in 2013, Biden had said, “America is a land of immigrants, as we tell ourselves all the time and are reminded in every generation. And America has been strengthened by the diverse cultures of India woven into the fabric of most of our communities.” Biden has promised that he is going to extend H-1B visas, which the Trump administration limited as a means to protect US jobs. India being the highest recipient of these visas would definitely hope for a reversal in the plan of action from Biden. If this occurs, it will provide a shot in the arm of the IT sector in India and project a more positive outlook for the Indian economy recovering post the lockdown.

Biden has been always in favour of developing US-India ties and, in an interview way back in 2006, he had said, “My dream is that in 2020 the two closest nations in the world will be India and United States. If that occurs, the world will be safer.” Biden’s win will thus mean a multi-faceted and potentially more favourable relationship, especially in trade policies, as predicted by UBS Global Research.

Most stock market analysts believe that short-term volatility is likely to remain but a Biden victory may be favourable for India in the long run. The US election is important to India, not only economically, but also strategically. Given the backdrop of the ongoing face-off with China in eastern Ladakh, analysts hope that with Biden’s victory, his multilateral approach may allow India and US to work together in identifying a number of poorer countries in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region and jointly implement economically beneficial projects as a safe and trustworthy alternative to China’s “debt trap” diplomacy.

The challenges that Biden inherits from his predecessor are so many that it would take a long time for him to settle them. He would have to act as the President of the United States of America and take both Democrats and Republicans along to make America a more responsible power in the times to come. As he does this, the revival of the economy and taking the new world order closer to the old normal should be his top priorities.

Rajesh Mehta is a leading international consultant, entrepreneur and columnist. He is also president (India) of the IndoScandic Council. Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan is a leading international economist and consultant.

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EROS HOTEL CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF HOSPITALITY

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The date 6th December 2021 marks the silver jubilee year for Eros Hotel New Delhi Nehru Place. The hotel began its journey in the year 1996 with the vision of delivering the finest Indian hospitality experiences to the guests. Today, Eros Hotel stands tall as an iconic stand-alone 5-star deluxe property offering contemporary design and comfort paired with old-world hospitality charm.

Eros Hotel.

“Anniversary is a great occasion of recollecting and cherishing memories. This one is more special, as today we celebrate our hotel’s 25th anniversary” said MD of the company, Satish Sood.

“Going back in history, I would like to bring forth the vision and foresight of Late Mr. J. R. Sood. The organisation started with millions of dreams, hope and immense enthusiasm and for me, it’s a matter of great pride to see our company growing, embracing good value system and achieving milestones as we thought of,” he added.

“Over these years, CSR campaigns, sustainability initiatives, celebrating key occasions with team members and families, delivering wow experiences to our patrons through exceptional customer services, have created great memories for all of us and have contributed to hotel’s glorious journey,” he added.

Davinder Juj, General Manager of the hotel, said “We are delighted to carve a host of activities on 25th anniversary, which will be offered to make our guests and team members feel special. This is to express our heartfelt gratitude for their continued patronage and loyalty and for our teams to offer the best of the services”.

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Odisha tourism conducts 12th International Sand Art Festival

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The 12th edition of five days International Sand Art Festival that started on December 1 is underway at Chandrabhaga beach in Konark, Odisha.

Every year, the tourism of Odisha conducts the Chandrabhaga International Sand art festival for the sand artists to show their art and talent to the world to see. Here the immense beach is a canvas and an artists’ deft is the palette. Artists from all over the world participate in the festival, but due to Covid-19, strict protocols were followed.

Sudarsan Patnaik, organiser of the festival told ANI that due to Covid-19 fear, this year international artists couldn’t participate but a total of 100 artisans from Odisha and 12 other Indian states including Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and more have participated with full enthusiasm.

He also informed that different themes were provided to the artists every day and on December 3, Friday, the theme assigned to them was ‘eco-tourism and environment’.

Gauri, a sand artist from Odisha who is participating in the festival for the second time in her life said, “It’s a very good topic. We have to understand nature is very important and we have to save it too.”

She also told that this is her second time participating in this event, after ten years. “I am glad to see how the event has developed in the meantime. It is only stated to organise such festival where all sand artists get exposure and we are able to show our art.”

The International Sand Art Festival was started in 2015 on the Chandrabhaga beach, a short distance from Konark. It was a part of the Konark Dance Festival that is organized during the same time. Every year, the theme for the Artists hover around the burgeoning issues of the Earth.

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RAHUL MITTRA BECOMES ARUNACHAL’S BRAND ADVISOR, SANJAY DUTT IS BRAND AMBASSADOR

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On the occasion of the golden jubilee celebrations which mark the 50th year of the naming of the state—the BJP led Arunachal Pradesh Government has appointed former journalist, award-winning filmmaker and branding expert Rahul Mittra as Brand Advisor, and Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt as Brand Ambassador.

This announcement was made by Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Assembly Speaker Pasang Sona Dorjee at a packed function in the presence of both Sanjay Dutt and Rahul Mittra. On Monday afternoon both these personalities arrived from Mumbai by chartered flight to Dibrugarh and then by helicopter to the picturesque valley of Mechuka. On the arrival of Sanjay and Rahul, hundreds of residents made a beeline to get a glimpse of the celebrities.

A big media campaign conceptualised and executed by Rahul Mittra Films and shot by top ad-filmmaker and drummer Pentagram Shiraz Bhattacharya was kickstarted on this occasion, featuring Sanjay Dutt as a youth icon, nature lover, de-addiction proponent and an ever-evolving individual catering to the niche target audience for Arunachal tourism. Filming is currently taking place on a large scale across the state covering Ziro village, Pakke valley, Dambuk, Namsai, Parshuram Kund, Pasighat, Mechuka and Tawang. The campaign will be unveiled on the occasion of the month-long celebrations commencing on January 20 next year at Ziro where Arunachal Pradesh first got its name and Union Territory status in 1972.

The young CM Pema Khandu thanked both Sanjay and Rahul for their support and spelled out the various activities being undertaken by the state government for the 50-year celebrations. Sanjay Dutt urged the youth to stay away from drugs and get high on life while Rahul Mittra promised to put Arunachal on the world map in terms of visibility through this campaign, amidst a thundering response from the audience.

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CROWN GROUP REAFFIRMS ITS COMMITMENT TOWARDS ‘ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT’ FOR INDIAN NAVY

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On the glorious occasion of Navy Week 2021, the Crown Group, which is a technology provider and a strategic partner to India’s defence sector, reaffirms its commitment to provide its best contribution and impetus to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission for the nation as envisaged by Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi by augmenting indigenous product and services support to the Indian Navy.

The group is professionally managed, having skilled technical and operational experts, with the Group President, Vice Adm Paras Nath (Retd.), AVSM, VSM, based at the Delhi Headquarters. The Crown Group has appointed Commodore Rakesh Anand as the Head of Marine Division to spearhead and boost the division. Commodore Anand is a retd Indian Navy veteran who was also the Chairman & Managing Director of Mazagon Dock Ltd. prior to joining the Crown Group, and was responsible for the launching of three Scorpene submarines and three Destroyers/Stealth Frigates. He also delivered two Submarines, Kalvari and Khanderi to the Indian Navy besides undertaking major modernisation of the shipyard. Commodore Anand will be heading the marine companies of the group – ‘Dynatron Services Private Limited’ and ‘OSK India Pvt. Ltd’.

Speaking on the occasion, Commodore Anand said, “Keeping with the GoI vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, the Marine division of Crown Group has enhanced its maintenance facilities in Mumbai. The Marine division is also working towards establishing the capability for manufacturing propulsion shafting and Magazine Fire Fighting System (MFFS) for warships and submarines in collaboration with the foreign OEMs.

We can proudly claim that Dynatron Services & OSK India are one of the only organised and fully equipped players in India that are present across all the coastal cities catering to the MRO and servicing of Indian naval ships. We are also a unique Group that provides both Marine Engineering and Weapons system MRO support to Indian Navy & Coast Guard.”

Group President said, “Our Karwar facility has the biggest workshop near India’s main naval base spread over 5 acres with facilities for repair and overhauling of all aero-marine components, manufacture of spares along with Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics workshop. The workshop is supporting MRO activities for the aircraft carrier, warships and the submarines at the Naval base.”

Dynatron and OSK India, have been dedicating themselves for taking on MRO activities. OSK India has recently repaired critical weapon equipment modules for the Indian Navy. Dynatron has a long-term partnership with many foreign OEMs including JSC Sevmash. Dynatron also has sole authorisation for repairs and maintenance of Gearboxes & thrusters from ZF Marine (Germany) and an exclusive partnership with Kubota engines Japan coupled with Mase Generators, Italy.

On the occasion of Navy Day, Crown Group rededicates itself towards the success of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Navy Day is observed on December 4 every year, since it was on the day in 1971 that missile boats of the Indian Navy launched a daring attack on the Karachi harbour, paralysing Pakistan’s entire coastal defence apparatus.The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Indo-Pak War – the historic victory of India’s armed forces in which the Indian Army made the Pakistani’s surrender.

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VIRGIL ABLOH: AN INDELIBLE LEGACY

As the founder of the iconic brand Off-White and the artistic director for Menswear, Louis Vuitton, Abloh, a first-generation Ghanaian American, was a pioneer in the global fashion scenario— his indomitable influence as a creative prodigy transcended the boundaries of clothes.

NAMRATA KUMAR

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The terrain of fashion today credits a majority of its aesthetic sensibility to the boundless creativity of Virgil Abloh. The designer, who died from cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, at the age of 41 on November 28 in Chicago, was called the fashion visionary, but there was no denying that his prodigious work shaped the present. As the founder of the cult brand Off-White and the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear division, Abloh, a first-generation Ghanaian American, was a pioneer in the global fashion scenario—his influence transcended the boundaries of only clothes.

Abloh’s creative genius spread across myriad mediums and defied conformity. His mother was a seamstress which influenced him to sew his own clothes as a teenager before he set forth to pursue fashion. He also studied civil engineering and obtained a degree in Architecture.

Off-white, Abloh’s iconic streetwear brand, brought the excitement of a much-hyped collaboration to the world of high fashion and luxury. With Off-White, he collaborated with many premium brands and companies, including Rimowa, Mercedes Benz, the NBA, Levi’s, Moncler, Jimmy Choo, Kith, Timberland and Byredo. His most notable collaborative relationship, however, may have been with Nike, with which he did multiple collections, one of which netted him the “Shoe of the Year” award at the 2017 Footwear News Achievement Awards. With Nike, he also designed competition outfits for Serena Williams. Abloh’s talents were also in high demand by many of his celebrity friends, who commissioned bespoke creations running the gamut from Hailey Bieber’s Off-White wedding dress and veil that read “Till death do us part” in Abloh’s signature irony quotes to Drake’s personal plane that he had Abloh customise with an ethereal blue sky and cloud pattern. Although Abloh’s body of work was often dictated by his talent to capture the essence of an era, his gift lies with his expensive curiosity and unflinching desire to create.

The Louis Vuitton Miami show was a visual tribute (and an emotional one at that) to Virgil Abloh, as friends, collaborators and fans paid homage to him under fireworks and a drone light show. The Spring/Summer 2022 Men’s show marked Abloh’s historical last as the celebrated Creative Director for Menswear.

The front row included longtime supporter Kanye West, who sat next to Kim Kardashian and their daughter North. Other front-row attendees were Rihanna and ASAP Rocky, Pharrell Williams, Joe Jonas, Ricky Martin, Venus Williams, Bella Hadid, 21 Savage and Joan Smalls.

Just before 7 PM, as the mood shifted from somber to party mode, a dazzling light show filled the sky. It began as a paper plane (a predominant icon in Abloh’s collections), before fluctuating into avatars of the Louis Vuitton monogram, a palm tree and the initials “L.V.,” which turned into “V.A.” For the finale, the drones spelled “Virgil was here” (goosebump-inducing); within moments, these mesmerising visuals of tributes went viral on social media.

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MISSION TANDRUST PUNJAB TO KICK OFF RESEARCH PROJECTS WORTH RS 7 CR

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Mission Tandrust Punjab, with a zeal to start research and development in various fields, has now planned a 360-degree chart for different research projects comprising clean air, clean water, healthy soil, waste management, green Punjab, safe food, road safety, khelo Punjab, nutrition, preventive health.

These all are the sub-missions that are spearheaded by a lead department supported with different line departments. “The mission has undertaken various activities since it was revamped and launched by the Punjab government in June 2021, under the administrative control of the Department of Science, Technology, and Environment,” IFS Saurabh Gupta, CEO Mission Tandrust Punjab, told The Daily Guardian.

To achieve the objectives of the mission, the first meeting of the Steering Committee headed by Chief Secretary Punjab was held 2nd December 2021 in which Dilip Kumar, Principal Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Saurabh Gupta, CEO of the Mission made a presentation in which the innovative research projects for about Rupees seven crores were discussed and approved. Reiterating the importance of the mission, the Chief Secretary appreciated these research projects developed by the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change by involving prestigious institutions like IIT Ropar, AIIMS, Punjab Agriculture University, Punjab Biotechnology incubator, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology. The Chief Secretary said that these interventions shall help in ensuring good health of the people through the provision of safe food, clean water, etc.

An awareness project for the Mission was also approved to be implemented in the Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala.

The Chief Secretary suggested that more such innovative research projects are required under this mission for which the State Govt. shall provide adequate funds. The projects approved have been time-lined for 18 months added Gupta.

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