With Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) top officials reluctant to budge an inch from their position, India is looking for other avenues of dialogue to settle the current dispute with Beijing. The talks, which took place on Sunday between senior military officials from both the sides, were aimed at ensuring disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). In what turned out to be around 12-hour-long marathon meeting, Chinese officials continued to be adamant on their position.
According to sources, New Delhi is keen to take the dialogue to higher level now, as the regional level senior commanders’ meet will not be able to break the ice. What will be next level of engagement is yet to be decided by the top leadership of both the sides. Sources said that India wants it to be at top diplomatic level. Will the dialogue be at the level of foreign secretary? On this, South Block officials do not want to say anything conclusively. But the diplomatic sources do not at the same time rule out the possibility of holding talks at the level of foreign secretary.
However, a final call in this regard has to be taken by the top political leadership in India. Sources believe that since China is on sticky wicket and has feeble arguments to offer it will shy away from holding the talks at foreign secretary level. “They know that they will be cornered in any meeting if held at that level,” said an official.
But somehow Beijing has to be forced to be on the diplomatic level dialogue table if military level meets haven’t achieved anything so far. Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar has been briefed on what transpired in the meeting between commanders of India and China on Sunday. All the details have been given to National Security Adivsor (NSA) Ajit Doval. He will take stock of what is going on and in consultation with the top political leadership will decide where the future engagement has to be taken.
Sources privy to the development said that both the sides have agreed in principle on the need for disengagement. The fifth round of corps-commander-level talks focused on the Pangong Tso, where the Chinese have come in by about eight kilometres inside the LAC. Chinese expansionist approach is baffling every nation of the world, and it will be dealt with diplomatically, and if needed, militarily, said an officer. The Chinese side has been given tough message and their leadership has come under pressure to set a stage for dialogue at the top diplomatic level.
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Former Trump lawyer to auction NFT of memoirs written in prison
Michael Cohen, former lawyer and “fixer” of erstwhile United States President Donald Trump will display and auction a non-fungible token of the first page of his memoirs written while serving his prison term, NFT platform and curated marketplace ArtGrails announced on Wednesday.
The ArtGrails NFT exhibition will run from December 1 through December 12.
The successful bidder will receive the original manuscript, which was handwritten by Cohen while serving the first days of his federal sentence in New York’s Otisville Prison, as well as an NFT-backed video of Cohen working on the memoir’s first pages from his holding cell. The video, recorded by an unnamed colleague, was filmed just before the former Trump attorney was sent back to his luxury Park Avenue apartment to serve the rest of his term.
Bidding will begin on December 1 at 5 PM Eastern Time and will go on till December 12, 5 PM Eastern Time. In addition to the manuscript, ArtGrails is releasing a set of fixed price Cohen’s prison badges in an NFT Edition release on December 12 at 4 PM Eastern Time, which will feature three different levels of rarity – Open, Gold and Grail.
ArtGrails is a curated NFT experience, and as such, we are working with some of the highest caliber creators and artists in the market today.” Says ArtGrails.com founder, Avery Andon. “When Michael [Cohen] came to me after deciding to release his manuscript and federal prison badge, I knew this had to be a project facilitated by our platform. Integrating an NFT into the release of this one-of-a-kind physical item, not only validates them using blockchain technology, but it also gave us the ability to incorporate some creativity into the release.”
In addition to the NFT-backed physical manuscript page, written on Cohen’s personal letterhead, and his actual Prison Badge from Otisville Federal Prison, the team at ArtGrails is making available limited release NFT versions of Cohen’s Otisville Federal Prison badge. These NFTs will be released in three different levels of rarity, “open”, “gold”, and “grail”.
ArtGrails will host a VIP party and Q&A media event in Miami’s design district on Friday, December 3, the event will feature a live video appearance by Michael Cohen who will read from his manuscript and also take limited questions from the event attendees and media.
EVERY TIME YOU OPEN A CHILEAN PRODUCT YOU ARE ‘UNBOXING CHILE’
The main objective of Unboxing Chile is to offer India a box full of diverse experiences, opening which will trigger the senses of Indian consumers into experiencing the culture, scenic beauties, colours, and aromas.
The India office of ProChile, the agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, which promotes the export of Chilean goods and services and whose role is to boost the commercial relationship between Chile and India hosted a one-of-a-kind event titled ‘Unboxing Chile’ on 26 November 2021.
The Chilean products showcased at the event were fresh produce like kiwi fruit, cherries, blueberries, and apples and dry fruit like walnuts.
The event that was hosted at Hotel Leela in Gurugram saw the participation of leading Indian food, travel, and lifestyle writers, influencers, and enthusiasts.
The main objective of Unboxing Chile is to offer India a box full of diverse experiences
The main objective of Unboxing Chile is to offer India a box full of diverse experiences, opening which, will trigger the senses of Indian consumers into experiencing the culture, scenic beauties, colors, and aromas. In turn, they get to feel the spirit of Chile, its warmth, all the beautiful places that Chile can show, and the identity of the Chilean people stamped in their products.
The event that was hosted at Hotel Leela in Gurugram saw the participation of leading Indian food, travel and lifestyle writers, influencers and enthusiasts.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador of Chile to India, H.E. Juan Angulo, remarked that “Chile and India share a tremendous relationship that is based on shared values. Economic partnership between the two countries continues to grow and food is a very important part of this. Indians are slowly getting a taste of Chilean foods and are beginning to appreciate the quality that Chilean produce brings. Chile is bestowed with a unique topography to make Chile a phytosanitary island. This is a primary reason for the high quality of produce that comes from there.”
Marcela Alejandra Zuñiga Alegria, Trade Commissioner of ProChile in India said that the goal of ProChile is to bring Chile closer to India and improve the visibility of Chile, as a country, supplier and partner. ProChile is a nonprofit entity, whose main objective is to improve bilateral trade between both countries. Unboxing Chile is an international campaign that comes alive tonight in India and provides an incredible opportunity to know and connect with Chile, its flavors and its people.
The Chilean products showcased at the event were fresh produce like kiwifruit, cherries, blueberries and apples and dry fruit like Walnuts. Chilean wines were also showcased. Unboxing Chile also exhibited tourism possibilities in Chile. The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by those present and the Chefs at Leela under the leadership of their Executive Chef Ashish Bhasin put out an extensive menu featuring Chilean fruits and dry fruits.
This truly was an opportunity to get to know Chile and its wonderful bounty. Unboxing Chile stimulates one’s senses and through this experience, created memories that will not let those who attended forget the magical goodness of Chile. This was Unboxing Chile. As it was said, “Every time you open a Chilean Product you are #Unboxing Chile.”
Chilean ambassador Juan Angulo said, “Economic partnership between the two countries continues to grow and food is a very important part of this.”
You end up saying things in writers room that come out only during therapy: Garima Pura
Writer Garima Pura joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, Garima, who is the co-writer of the Netflix show ‘Little things’ opened up about her journey of working as a screenwriter.
Garima started off by giving us insights about her fellow writers and sharing her experience of being the writer of a prominent show like ‘little things’ she said, “ The first and second season were written by Dhruv Sehgal, he is the original writer. When Netflix picked it up for the third season is when they asked for a diversity in the writers teams. Writers room experience per say was all heart. You end up saying things that come out only during therapy. Writing is a fairly personal experience. There is craft and technique but mostly there is experiences and emotions. So all the writers have to become friends and get to know each other well. You just put all those experiences in the mix on the table and then pick what is good for the show. She went to say that, ‘’This is not purely experience based, there’s fiction too
Talking more about her writers room experience and how she bagged the project, Garima shared, “Little things writers rooms was first few in the country. This concept is seen an advent with the advent of OTTs. At that time, I was already floating my work with the production houses to see if I get something or not. I was presenting and asking to be given an opportunity. That is when ‘Little things’ team went through my profile. We had to write sample scripts and a solid screening process post which we were picked. Then we found ourselves in a little writers room where we met day and day out.
Sharing about the overwhelming response from the audience on the third season of the show, Garima expressed, “There are so many talented people out there who deserve their writing to be showcased. Being in this position, I feel so honored and privileged that I got an opportunity so early in my carrier to contribute to an already solid show. I feel great and humble at the same time and it also inspires me to do better work and tell stories which are honest and people feel close to.”
When asked about her previous work experiences, the writer said, “ I have made documentaries in the past and I’ve been different types of writer at different stages. Till the time I was in studying in Chandigarh, filmmaking was no where in the horizon, I just wanted to be a writer. I had published poems and stories and enrolled in a media course to become a journalist. So there I felt like film making is a good vessel to share my experiences and be heard.”
For our final question, we asked Garima about her upcoming projects, to which she revealed, “ Right now I am doing dialogues for an 8 episode web show. I am extremely excited for this because it’s North Indian dialogues as I have a good command over this lingo. Next, I am working with Audible and a couple of short films here and there. I wrote a feature documentary “Sacred bond” which is about an orphan elephant who is being taken care of by human parents”.
No book ever said that the secret to a happy life is success: Samir Soni
Actor Samir Soni recently joined NewsX for an insightful chat as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation with NewsX, the actor shared insights about his book “ The diary of an introvert”. Read excerpts:
We started the interview by asking him about the idea behind his book. Samir replied, “ This book contains my actual diary entries. This book was more of a process of discovering myself starting from 10 years back. During this time, I learned why I was the way I was. Writing it down was just my way to get my stuff out of my system. Recently when we were hit by the pandemic and people were depressed and anxious, I was approached for a book. I told them that I have something written which is very relevant today and they absolutely loved it.”
“There are various passages in the book where I am going back to childhood telling stories and in between is the actual process of going through self-discovery. I experienced something first hand, wrote it down and allowed others to judge ”, he added.
When asked about how he dealt with being an introvert in this line of work, Samir revealed “The first step was to discover the issue and then I discovered that I was a classic introvert and that there is nothing wrong with being that way. In front of the media, you have to be a certain way. Nobody shows their pain and struggles because the audience doesn’t want that. I didn’t let people beat me up for who I was and my friends have now accepted me for who I am.”
Further sharing about the reactions he received from the audience on this book, the actor said that the most common reaction he got was people saying that’s so much like them. “Over the years, my fans have a pretty decent idea of who I am and the most common thing is that they love it. The aspect of relativity is very much there. Everyone is projecting what they aspire to be, and you might not be that person. So, in my book, I am not trying to be aspirational. No book ever said that the secret to a happy life is fame, money, and success. Everyone’s definition of success is different and everyone has a different journey. ”
Lastly, Samir shared who he was addressing in his diaries that he wrote 10 years back. “ I was going through personal and professional phases in my life where I wasn’t feeling good about myself and unlike other times when you distract yourself, I decided to stay silent. I didn’t read books or watch tv as much as I possibly could and my only outlet was writing. As I started to write it took me to all kinds of places in life.”
‘Dream Come True’: Akashdeep Sengupta on composing Sooryavanshi’s Mere Yaara
Music composer Akashdeep Sengupta joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, Akashdeep opened up about composing a song for Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif starrer Sooryavanshi, his journey till now and much more.
Talking about composing the song, ‘Mere Yaara’ in Sooryavanshi, Akashdeep expressed, “It is a dream come true to be a part of such a big production, such a big casting, working with the likes of Karan Johar, Dharma Productions, Akshay Kumar, Rohit Shetty and such a big franchise. It is a dream come true. It is a lovely song. We always had that trust. Me, Kaushik and Guddu, they are my fellow composers in the song. It is a dream come true for me to compose such a track for them. It took some time for this song to come out but eventually it has.”
When asked how did he bag the project, Akashdeep shared, “It was something that completely happened because of Azeem Dayani. Azeem is the music supervisor for Dharma films. He supervises all the films for Dharma music. He had immense faith in the song and in us. He took this song a long time back. It was with him since 2017-18. He tried to put the best film with the best cast and the best people. He got it in Sooryavanshi.”
Talking about the response to song, Akashdeep said, “I am simply overwhelmed. It is a dream come true. Before this, it never happened but now that the song is out, people have messaged and congratulated me and my team. We have all been benefitted a lot from this song and people have really loved it. They have really welcomed us in the industry as music directors.”
On composing music for Amazon Prime’s Sherni and Modern Love, Akashdeep shared, “These projects came to me out of the blue. Aniket, who is the head of Amazon’s music studio originals, called me one day and he told me that he was interested in my profile and he wanted me to supervise music. I have been associated with Pritam Da for a long period of time as a assistant to him. I have been vocally supervising his songs, like dubbing singers and all. From there, he got to know about me and he called me up. I gave them some ideas of mine. Sherni happened. I supervised the title track of Sherni, got all the artists together like Raftaar, Utkarsh, Akasa. For Modern Love, it happened the same way. There was already a song called Setting Sail. He made the Hindi official cover for it. I got Zaedan and Lisa Mishra onboard for that song. It’s pretty much like you recruit the right artist, you choose the correct melody and you try to give a superb soundtrack to the audience. That’s how supervision works.”
Flexibility and adaptability with the customer have been the growth mantra: Harsh Khandelwal
Harsh Khandelwal is a young entrepreneur. He is the CEO of SGN Software. A visionary in his own right, Harsh has identified the opportunities for growth in the IT sector and has kept his company ahead in the industry. We hosted him for an interview for our latest series, NewsX India A-List. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Our first question to Mr. Khanderwal was about the ethos of his company and how they identified the areas where they could capture the market, to which Harsh said, “The ethos for SGN started in 2009 when we saw a gap in the market in the SME space where we saw tech firms, MNCs working in the SME space.” For the second part of the question, he stated, “India’s SME market is huge, so we wanted to see if we can start our initiative on a practice where we can provide enterprise applications services at a cheaper cost. So that initiative started and then I saw we were the early entrants in the market working with leading software players like Oracle, SAP, Salesforce and we made it in the SAP market and we have grown the practice over the last decade working in eastern and northern India.”
We then asked Mr. Khandelwal how the IT industry landscape has changed since the pandemic began and how the transition has been for his clients. “The good thing about IT is the customers realised the importance of IT in the pandemic. While working from home, customers realised the importance of connectivity, real-time data, how to be connected with people, be it HR applications, be it Salesforce automation, be it banking integration where they know what is their incoming account receivable, payables,” said Harsh. He finished the answer by saying, “So, we have done a lot of projects remotely. It’s been a huge paradigm shift.”
Telling us about their plans for expansion, Harsh informed us that his organisation has invested in the upcoming Bengal Silicon Valley Tech Hub. “We have acquired a space there and we are looking to expand our IT footprints there,” said Mr. Khandelwal. He also said, “We are also looking to get into freshmen recruitment. Currently, we do not have any on-campus recruitment. We hire trained people, experienced people and deliver. But we have realised that we need to nurture new skills.”
Harsh then told us about his journey from an SAP consultant fresh out of college to the CEO of a consulting firm. He shared with us, “I started my career once I graduated from the US, I started my career as an SAP consultant, so I have been a consultant myself before I started this company.” He added, “So, I have been there, done that and know how consulting goes. I am hands-on, I look into the day-to-day affairs.” Harsh further said that coming from the ground up has taught him a great deal about consulting.
For our next question, we asked Harsh how SGN Software manages a globally spread out clientele, to which his response was, “That’s our MSP. We are an SME company and flexibility is our backbone.” “We have worked with companies, mostly family-run businesses and we show flexibility in our day-to-day delivery mechanism. My mandate to my team is, ‘Keep the customer happy,’ it’s customer first. We go by the word of reference.” He finished the thought by saying, “Flexibility and adaptability with the customer have been the growth mantra over here.”
Talking about talent in the IT industry, Mr. Khandelwal said, “What I have also realized is that we need to build talent. Talent still has a shortage and the new technology, be it machine learning, advanced data analytics, there are hardly any resources available. And if there is resource available, there are big guys in the market – the leading companies – be it the Accentures, the IBMs who hire them. For a small company like us, we need to build our own resource.”
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