China growing influence through affluence in Asia, it’s time India matched the Dragon’s might - The Daily Guardian
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China growing influence through affluence in Asia, it’s time India matched the Dragon’s might

Ajay Shukla

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During a visit to Sri Lanka last Diwali, we found the markets of the island nation glutted with Chinese goods. The largest road connecting the two ends of the country has been built by China. In addition to this, the maintenance of a Sri Lankan port is handled by Beijing. On observing all this, we asked officials there as to why Sri Lanka is handing over most of the infrastructure works to China despite the fact that India has done a lot of work in the island nation. 

The Sri Lankan officials replied that Colombo’s ties with Beijing have cemented further over the last four to five years and this, according to them, is attributable to China funding their country immensely with the result that unprecedented development has taken place in the island nation. According to them, China not only provides Sri Lanka with loans but also gets the work done at a low cost. They further said that India does not help them in the similar manner and, therefore, Sri Lanka cannot compromise the interests of its citizens. 

The Sri Lankan officials further said that China provided them advanced products at low cost. China’s aid has led to growing affiliation of every Sri Lankan sector with it and there is also a growing bonhomie between Colombo and Beijing, according to the officials there.

 With this feedback, we met the then Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who is now Indian Ambassador to the US. We asked the High Commissioner as to why Sri Lanka goes on executing agreements with Chinese companies and the government relegating India to the background.

 He told us that India is also forging ahead as far as relations with Sri Lanka is concerned, and even there is a facility of visa on arrival and free visa. The High Commissioner further informed that India is going ahead with strengthening relations with Sri Lanka on age-old ‘religious bonds’ and this is being ensured by developing temples in the country. However, his reply forced us to introspect as to what kind of framework we are creating. 

There is no denying that the Chinese domination is increasing in the Asia-Pacific region. Majority of the countries in this region are not only debtors of China but the Dragon is also an important player in their infrastructure development. In this manner, China has maintained a grip over all these countries. In South Asia, China has tremendously burdened Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Nepal with its debt. 

According to an American report, three out of the four big Government Banks of China have advanced more loans to foreign countries than to corporates. China has adopted it as a strategy to disburse the loans. It is sending its companies to enter into commercial agreements with those countries of the world where there is only one-way profiteering.

 Sri Lanka being buried under a debt of more than a billion dollars had to hand over its Hambantota Port to China.

 Maldives snatched back all the projects from India and handed them over to China. Maldives withdrew the $511 billion international airport project from Indian firm GMR and handed over the same to China. Now many projects in Maldives are being developed by China. It is entrapped in the web of the Chinese debts. China is not only carrying out unprecedented development in Asian countries but is also doing the same in African countries.

 One such country Djibouti has handed over its most important port to China. America has established its armed bases in Djibouti and because of this, it is feeling insecure and on account of the same America is annoyed with Djibouti. 

The US Secretary of State has apprised the Congress that China is working in such a manner as to force all the countries to be dependent on it. It is in a position to enforce its dictates by advancing unaccountable loans and such countries are not only under the threat of losing their self-sufficiency but also their sovereignty.

 China is capable of building unprecedented infrastructure. The Centre for Global Development believes that 8 partner countries of “One Belt One Road” project namely Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Monte Negro, Pakistan and Tajikistan are all buried under Chinese debts. This commercially important project is a reason for threat to both India and America. 

The agreement between Pakistan and China over Gwadar has resulted in the colonization of the former by the latter via financial investment. Now China has started projects in Bangladesh and Bhutan to build close relations with these nations also. In this chain, it will link Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh with a road network and on the linking India would be encircled from all sides. Work is under progress on this project. Chinese road has also been laid down in Doklam. 

Pakistan is connected with China through a direct road link and now there is a plan to lay down a railway line which is not only alarming development for India but it is a ticking time bomb. Whether it is Ladakh or Arunachal Pradesh, China has captured thousands of kilometers of land and also massive infrastructure is being developed there. 

The manner in which China has backstabbed us has immensely weakened us and this is the reason why we have been forced to invest in purchase of defense equipment instead of improving our fiscal health at a time when the economy is deteriorating. 

We are in a race to create new infrastructures after demolishing the old ones but the infrastructure of our country is collapsing. We do not have a credible plan to challenge the Chinese dominance. In the recent days India, America, Australia and Japan entered into a strategic alliance against China and started the work when there was a regime change in Japan. However, it is yet to be seen how far Japan would work for the alliance in the time of economic crisis. 

The popularity graph of Trump has, at the same time, declined in America and the US elections are expected by this fall. If there is a change in the regime in Washington, then there would be a change in their policies, as a result of which this alliance would get weakened. It would have been beneficial if the trade chain in the Indo-Pacific region had been established but not much credible work could be done. India’s flawed economic policies, demonetisation, unsynchronised GST, the poor condition of states, and social unrest have all weakened the country with the result that our economic condition is in a bad shape. The Covid-19 pandemic made it worse and now we are among the worst economies of the world. 

The problem of our country is that our rulers do not frame the policies keeping in view the interests of the common citizens, consumers, poor farmers and laborers. Policies are framed keeping in view the interests of the corporates and big business houses, and this way common men are misled, sometimes on the issue of education or on the geopolitical history or on the issues related to communal hatred. As a result, there is neither peace/prosperity in the country, nor on its border. With this being the case, our enemies stand benefitted at the end. They encircle us from all sides, and as a result of this instead of spending our resources on the welfare of our citizens and on development, we are forced to spend it on procurement of weapons. And this is what is happening. If a timely action is not there, it shall be too late and everything would be lost.

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CHOCOLATES WORTH RS 17 LAKH STOLEN IN LUCKNOW, POLICE FILE CASE

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After Cadbury chocolate bars worth Rs 17 lakh were stolen from a godown in the Chinhat area near Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh police have registered a First Information Report in connection with the theft.

The incident occurred on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday and the sweets were stolen from a house that was being used as a godown of a chocolate manufacturer under the limits of Chinhut police station.

“We have filed an FIR in the Chinhat police station. If anyone has any input, please come forward” Rajendra Singh Sidhu, the chocolate distributor said.

The Chinhut Police Station has registered the case under Section 380 of the Indian Penal Code. In the FIR, Sidhu said that he was using the house as a godown for storing the chocolates and received a call from his neighbour on Tuesday informing him that the door to the house was broken.

The distributor said that thieves had emptied the godown and taken away digital video recorder (DVR) and other appliances of the CCTV security cameras.

Police have begun an investigation and are scanning footage from other CCTV cameras installed in the area for clues.

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CALMING THE NERVES!

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There are days when you wake up to a sombre morning feeling disheartened and uncertain. It gets difficult to deal with incomprehensible situations and the difficulties of life, consequently leading to a bleak aura. The cynical approach and the proclivity to belittle our existence result in emotional instability. We often have to deal with situations where life takes a bizarre turn, which is the exact opposite of what we expected or something strong enough to affect us emotionally.

Is there any ideal way to deal with the minor stresses that one experiences on a daily basis? What is the way to resolve discontent?

PERSPECTIVE SHIFT

While it may not be ideal to reach out to medicine every time we experience bouts of low energy and mood, a perspective shift could certainly help. A small shift from a tangled thought process to a positive perspective can bring a considerable change into our lives.

In the words of Robert Browning, “Fail I alone, in words and deeds? Why, all men strive and who succeeds? “ We tend to measure our capabilities and achievements on the pretext of the conventional standards we have been fed since childhood, but why can’t it be different? The aforesaid lines of the poet are to teach us to look beyond the social directions and to understand that the path of success can be different for every individual.

EXERCISE

Dealing with anxiety often seems far-fetched, but there are solutions to it. A good workout is a perfect way to combat indolence and be productive. Physical activity produces endorphins and dopamine, also called happy hormones, and is a perfect antidote to stress.

MANIFESTATION

When Paulo Coelho said, “And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires to help you achieve it,” he was talking about manifestation. This might sound spurious, but a belief in the process and in oneself are magical.

SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX

Oscillating in the virtual world full of validation builds an alarming pressure to push us to fit into the trends. Be it peer pressure or be it FOMO, is paralysing our sense to reason things resulting in restlessness. The thirst of those in the race needs to be controlled.

MEDITATION

Meditation is an apt path for attaining peace of mind and serenity. Being purposeful, disciplined, and positive is synonymous with meditation.

When things get tough, we must tell ourselves, “this is just a bend, and the end. 

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5 UNHEARD PROFESSIONS THAT WILL MAKE YOU QUESTION YOUR CAREER PATH

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As kids, we’ve always been asked this question by someone “Beta bade hoke kya banoge?” Everyone knows what it means to be a nurse, doctor, engineer, police officer, etc., but there are plenty of other jobs you have never heard of. There are jobs that are not only offbeat but completely out of the box. From being a candy taster to professional sleeper, the professions are sure to pick a nerve in your brain and make you question your career path.

Here’s a list of 5 exotic jobs across the globe that you will not believe exist.

CANDY TASTER

The job of a candy taster is to taste different flavours of chocolates and candies and then get paid for it. Nowadays, it is one of the emerging ones. Interestingly, Candy Funhouse in Canada is looking for a Chief Candy Officer with a salary of up to Rs 60 lakh per year. “Imagine your best memories around candy, and having that every day at work,” Chief Executive Officer Jamil Hejazi said. It might be time for candy lovers to quit their jobs and divert their attention.

RENTAL BOYFRIEND

Just shell out some cash and you get a rental boyfriend. Yes, you heard it right. In Tokyo, if you have the money, finding a boyfriend is as easy. The concept of a rental boyfriend started when many strong, independent Japanese working ladies found it difficult to maintain a relationship because of work. The Rent-a-Boyfriend comes in three models- Fresh ($40/hour), Regular ($48/hour), and Special ($56/hour). These include activities like shopping, hugs, and hand-holding. Earlier in 2018, a 29-year-old named Kaushal Prakash from Mumbai launched Rent a Boy Friend (RABF) app. The app claimed to provide users with ‘friends’ on an hourly paid service. As per the founder, the app is meant to help people with mental health issues.

WORM PICKER

A worm picker is a person who gathers worms, and they usually work at night. These jobs fall under the broader career category of farm, ranch, and aquaculture animals. These worms are either sold directly to fishermen to use as bait or sold to universities and other institutions that use the worms for teaching and research purposes. In the US, the median salary for worm pickers ranges from $17,510 to $38,630, with a median salary of $23,750. Talking about qualifications, no as such qualifications are required to become a worm picker. All one needs are some skills and commitment to make a living from this job.

PROFESSIONAL SLEEPER

Do you often get a remark about being sleepy? Do you find it hard to get out of bed even after sleeping for hours? Then, it’s time to sleep and get paid for it. A professional sleeper is a person who is paid to sleep while scientists research sleep disorders. While the human body is asleep, doctors study the brain and other activities. If we talk about the salaries of professional sleepers, the top earners earn $107,000, and the average pay scale is $60,024. Earlier in 2016, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) offered someone the chance to stay in bed for 70 days for a salary of £11,000. 

WATER SLIDE TESTER

A water slide tester job is one of the most enviable jobs out there. The job of a water slide tester is to check if the water slides in hotels, water parks, and theme parks are both fun and safe. After testing the slides, the tester has to provide a report outlining any safety and performance issues. If one is interested in applying for this job, the ideal age is 18 or above. The basic skills one needs to enter this profession are- one should have good observation, a stable and calm mind, and most importantly, the ability to ride all types of rides. As a water slide tester, one can earn between $30,000 – $34,000 annually.

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Are you anxious ?

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Anxiety

There are days when you wake up to a sombre morning feeling disheartened, drenched in despair and uncertainty. It gets difficult to deal with incomprehensible situations and the difficulties of life, consequently leading to a bleak aura. The cynical approach and the proclivity to belittle our existence result in emotional instability. We often have to deal with situations where life takes a bizarre turn, which is the exact opposite of what we expected or something strong enough to break us emotionally.

Is there any ideal way to deal with that small pain of anxiety in your chest? What is the way to resolve discontent? It would have been so much easier if there were medications or a list of pharmacopeia to alleviate the entire emotional turmoil.

Growing up in an environment where mental health and emotional stability have always been trivialised and overlooked makes it difficult for us to communicate ourselves or even seek help.

Perhaps the pharmaceuticals cannot help us out, but a perspective shift could. A small shift from a tangled thought process to a positive perspective can bring a considerable change into our lives.

In the words of Robert Browning, “Fail I alone, in words and deeds? Why, all men strive and who succeeds? ” We tend to measure our capabilities and achievements on the pretext of the conventional standards we have been fed since childhood, but why can’t it be different? The aforesaid lines of the poet are to teach us to look beyond the social directions and make ourselves understand that the path of success can be different for every individual. There can be certain instances like a person working hard to get materialistic comforts while another person defies all those materialistic comforts in order to be happy. We should not allow societal regulations to limit our potential.

Dealing with anxiety often seems far-fetched, but there are solutions to it. Workout or exercise is a perfect way to combat indolence and be productive. Physical activity produces Endorphins and dopamine, also called happy hormones, and is a perfect antidote to stress.

Manifestation is yet another remedy played down. When Paulo Coelho said, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it,” he was talking about manifestation. This might sound spurious, but a belief in the process and a belief in oneself is magical.

Life has yet to go, things are yet to happen, this is just a bend, this isn’t the end.

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5 unheard professions that will make you question your career path

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Sleep

As kids, we’ve always been asked this question by someone “Beta bade hoke kya banoge?” Everyone knows what it means to be a nurse, doctor, engineer, police officer, etc. but there are plenty of other jobs you have never heard of. Here’s a list of 5 such exotic jobs across the globe that you will not believe that this profession exists.

Worm Picker

The worm picker is a worker who gathers worms and they usually work at night. These jobs fall under the broader career category of Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals. This profession can be great outdoors “hunting” and collecting earthworms. These worms can be sold directly to fishermen to use as bait or you can sell them to Universities or other institutions that use the worms for teaching and research purposes. In the US range, the salaries of Worm Pickers start from $17,510 to $38,630, with a median salary of $23,750. If you talk about qualifications as such no qualifications are required. One thing you need is some skills and commitment if you’d like to make a living from this job.

Rental Boyfriend

Just shell out some cash and you get a rental boyfriend. Yes, you heard it right in Tokyo, if you have the money, finding a boyfriend is as easy. The rental boyfriend’s concept started when many strong independent Japanese working ladies found it difficult to maintain a relationship because of work. The Rent-a-Boyfriend comes in three models- Fresh ($40/hour), Regular ($48/hour), and Special ($56/hour). These charges do not include any physical activities but these include activities like shopping, a single hug, and hand-holding session. Earlier in 2018, a 29-year-old Kaushal Prakash from Mumbai launched Rent a Boy Friend (RABF), the app that claims to provide you with ‘friends’ on an hourly paid service. “In India, people have that typical ‘Log Kya Kahengey’ reaction, the same response girls get when they wear short clothes,” Prakash said. According to the founder, the app is meant to help people with mental health issues such as depression.

Candy Taster

My first reaction when I came across this job was… Wow! The job of a candy taster is to taste different flavors of chocolates and candies and then get paid for it. Nowadays it is one of the emerging careers like others. As a candy taster one needs to everything about chocolates. Meanwhile, an online retailer of confectionery treats from chocolate bars to licorice, Candy Funhouse in Canada is looking for a Chief Candy Officer with a salary of up to Rs 60 lakh per year. “Imagine your best memories around candy, and having that every day at work,” Chief Executive Officer Jamil Hejazi said. It might be time for candy lovers to quit their jobs and divert their attention.

Professional Sleeper

Do you often get a remark about being sleepy? Do you find it hard to come out of your bed even after sleeping for hours? Then it’s time to sleep and even after that you get paid for it. You get paid to… Sleep! Yes, you heard it right. A professional sleeper is a person who is paid to sleep while scientists research sleep disorders. While the human body is asleep doctors study the brain and other activities. If we talk about the salaries of professional sleepers the top earners earn $107,000 and the average pay scale is $60,024. Earlier in 2016, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) offered someone the chance to stay in bed for 70 days for a salary of £11,000 (RM67,000).

Water Slide Tester

All play and no work Water Slide Tester job is the most enviable job you’ll ever hold. The water Slide Tester’s job is to check or test if the water slides in hotels, water parks, and theme parks are both fun or safe. After testing the slides you will have to provide a report outlining any safety and performance issues. If one is interested to join this job the ideal age is 18 or above. The basic skills you will need to join this profession is- one should have good observation, a stable and calm mind and most importantly daring to ride all types of rides. Moreover, being a water slide tester you can earn between $30,000 – $34,000 annually. Imagine how fantastic it would be turning up to work every day.

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OVER 5 CRORE TIRANGA SELFIES CLOCKED AS PART OF HAR GHAR TIRANGA CAMPAIGN

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More than five crore Tiranga selfies have been uploaded on the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign website so far, the Ministry of Culture informed on Monday and termed it a “stupendous achievement”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given a call on 22 July 2022, to join the Har Ghar Tiranga’ movement by hoisting or displaying the national flag at homes.

“In a stupendous achievement, more than five crore ‘Tiranga’ selfies have been uploaded on the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ website,” the ministry of Culture said in a statement.

As India embarks on its 76th year of Independence, wrapping up the 75-week countdown to 15 August 2022, was the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ initiative of the government driven by the nodal ministry for ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ the Ministry of Culture.

The commemoration of 75 years of independence started on March 12, 2021, as a 75-week countdown to 15 August 2022, and will continue till 15 August 2023.

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