Even as India’s “quiet engagement” with the Taliban causes disquiet all around, it is understood to be an “exploratory” exercise, with some officials from security and strategic establishments being involved. Sources say that India does not want to take any chances as far as Afghanistan is concerned, given the huge amount of investment having been made by New Delhi in Kabul. Over 500 projects worth over $3 billion are being carried out by India.
With the US and NATO troops set to withdraw from trouble-torn Afghanistan completely by 11 September this year, India does not want to spare any effort that could protect its legitimate interests in this trouble-hit country. “With this backdrop in mind, India is in a kind of exploratory engagement with the Taliban, which is inching towards playing a significant role in the political future of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops,” say sources.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) continues to be tight-lipped on the silent engagement with Taliban, but officials off-record say that this should not be seen as any unusual development in diplomacy. Sources say that such exploratory engagements are being limited to the Taliban factions which are not under Pakistan’s influence and not at the beck and call of terror forces.
A Qatari official recently said that Indian officials made a “quiet visit” to Doha in order to speak to the Taliban’s political leadership based there. “I understand that there has been a quiet visit by Indian officials to speak to the Taliban,” said Qatar’s Special Envoy of the State of Qatar for Counterterrorism and Mediation of Conflict Resolution Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani, speaking at a web conference recently. Qahtani in response to a question said the reasoning behind the meeting was that the Taliban will have a “key” role in Afghanistan’s future.
Significantly, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stopped over in Doha to meet with the Qatari leadership twice in the last two weeks. The MEA has declined to comment on Qahtani’s statement, or the reports of such an engagement with Taliban.
What has been noticed in the past is that India has lagged behind other regional players such as Russia, China and Iran in establishing communication with the Taliban. India’s stand has been not to talk to the Taliban given their destructive role in Afghanistan. Rather, India has been alerting the USA to the impending threat of Taliban in the wake of troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, China appeared to be quite forthcoming in terms of entertaining the Taliban. Beijing even went to the extent of offering to mediate between the Taliban and the government of the day in Afghanistan. Sources say India needs to ascertain what is what in the Taliban camp in view of the global circumstances affecting Afghanistan dynamics. So, the question whether India feels to have been left isolated in the entire situation is something that needs to be answered by MEA. Indian diplomatic leadership is said to be moving cautiously in terms of its Afghan policy, keeping China and Pakistan in mind. There is no denying both China and Pakistan do not want India to be influential in any manner in Kabul. Both the countries are seeking to play a more dominant role in what goes into formation of a new dispensation after the power-sharing deal.
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TRICOLOUR INSPIRED FASHION IDEAS TO TRY THIS REPUBLIC DAY
Republic Day is right around the corner and for those who are wondering how to seize the spirit of the patriotic day, a gorgeous tricolour-inspired outfit would instantly match your vibe to that of the day.
While the laziest idea would be to grab anything that is white, green or orange, if you plan your outfit a little in advance, you can fashionably stand out from the rest.
1. ORANGE SKIRT
A bright, poppy orange skirt is an investment. Grab one whenever you find it, whether in a mall, a flea market or online. Not only an orange skirt will make you look perfectly dressed for the day, but the vibrant colour would add a note of freshness to your look. Pair it with a white top or a shirt and you are ready to rock, patriotically.
2. GREEN BOTTOMS
Pants, palazzos or shorts the options are many. Choose one which you have available or would prefer based on the weather in your area.
3. EYE MAKEUP AND NAIL ART
This one is for experimenting and stepping beyond the first thought of putting the colours in your outfit.
If you want to play with your makeup, then a tricolour-inspired eyeshadow should do the trick. This is perfect for those who wish to dress as per the theme but do not have any outfit working for them. Nail Art is another exciting, easy and creative idea to style with the tricolour theme.
Jewellery is another great hack for those not interested in choosing their clothes in tricolour. Pieces of jewellery such as earrings, necklaces and rings can add that sparkle and colour to your outfit.
Those who are interested in crafts can also DIY their jewellery using quilling paper and beads.
5. COMBINING ALL THREE
here are ideas of using all three colours together by creating a three-piece outfit, without risking a fashion disaster. You can mix and match in multiple ways
a. A full white outfit paired with a green jacket and an orange handbag.
b. A casual green tee, white lowers and orange shoes.
c. An orange-white cord-set, paired with a green denim jacket.
d. A green puffy jacket, orange scarf, white backpack and your favourite regular jeans.
e. A full green outfit with white shoes and an orange cap.
The final and most essential touch is lots of confidence to carry your look well.
With these gorgeous outfit ideas up your sleeve, you can easily gather compliments at an R-Day get-together and likes on your Instagram profile.
Better than RO: Complete health protection with TYENT water ionizer
It is common to hear that water is essential for our health and drinking water plays a vital role in maintaining health and boosting immunity. Water helps in maintaining the balance of body fluids. Our body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
Nowadays Reverse osmosis (RO) are commonly used as a filtration method to remove many types of dissolved solids in water, but as a result all the minerals which are present in the water like calcium, magnesium, potassium, silica will be removed along with all the bacteria, viruses, and hard minerals.
During the initial days, we all had used a Ganga water filter with candles to purify the water. Nowadays people are using water ionizers the latest technology in water purification. Ionised water is obtained by means of an electric current being passed through water, in a process called electrolysis. As a result, the water molecule is split into positively charged hydrogen and negatively charged hydroxyl ions. The former are included in the composition of acids, and the latter in that of alkalis.
TYENT is a leading medical-grade water ionizer brand in the world and it is certified by all international quality certification authorities. Medilight healthcare collaborated with TAEYOUNG E&T Co. Ltd., a parent company of TYENT Water Ionizers and successfully launched world’s No.1 water ionizer brand TYENT in India. TYENT is a Korean company with Japanese technology.
The water obtained through RO is supposed to be dead water or neutral water as it removes all minerals good as well as bad. However dead water is acidic since its pH slides below seven without alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.
TYENT ionized alkaline water which has rich sources of essential alkaline minerals & selective Anti-Oxidant molecular hydrogen. It has many health benefits.
1. It helps in restoring the right pH balance in the human body.
2. It helps in reducing inflammation.
3. It helps in reducing joint pains.
4. It slows down the aging process.
5. It helps in boosting immunity.
I HAD TEARS IN MY EYES: SAQIB SALEEM REVEALS MOHINDER AMARNATH’S REACTION TO HIS PERFORMANCE IN 83
In an exclusive conversation with NewsX as part of NewsX India A-List, Saqib Saleem revealed Mohinder Amarnath’s reaction to his performance in ‘83’ and much more.
Garnering praises for his stellar performance in 83, Actor Saqib Saleem joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of NewsX India A-List. As part of the exclusive conversation, the actor opened up about the response to his latest film 83, Mohinder Amarnath’s reaction to his performance and much more.
Speaking about the release of 83 and the response coming his way, Saqib said, “I have been working for the last 10-12 years but it feels like it is my first film because the love I have gotten for this, I have never gotten in my life for anything. It is just so overwhelming that the kind of messages I have been getting whether it is from the fraternity, whether it is from people on social media, my friends, my relatives and I do not know how to react. As I said, I have never gotten a response like this, so I don’t know what to say or what to do. I did not know that I was so bad at taking compliments. It is the first time I have realised that I am bad at taking compliments.”
When asked about the best compliment that he has received so far for his performance in the film, Saqib revealed, “If I had to tell you the best compliment I have gotten is from the man himself- Mohinder Amarnath. It was at the premiere of the film and I was very nervous about how he would see it. I had already the seen the film so I knew the film was good but I really wanted his review because I was playing him. When the premiere was on, I was slyly next to his seat, trying to gauge his reaction as to what he is thinking but I was getting very anxious. I was like I cannot do this to myself. I have to let him enjoy the film. I have to just disconnect from the film right now. I went out of the theatre. I had a couple of more black coffees and I got more anxious. When the film got over, I came back in. I went to him and I do not know why but I had tears in my eyes. I looked at him and all I said was that ‘Sir, I am really sorry if I did something that was wrong’. He looked at me with his trademark smile and said, “Are you mad?”
“He had a red handkerchief that he would always carry himself in the 1983 world cup. He was wearing a red pocket square. He took out that pocket square and put on my jacket and said, “This is yours from now. You have made me 10 years younger.” I could not stop crying. I had never in my life, my acting career had a more honest moment. I felt so connected to my own self at that time. Now, no review matters, no box office matters, nothing matters. The man himself appreciated it and that is the biggest validation I could have asked for, “he added.
COVID 19: A CATALYST FOR CHANGE AND EVOLUTION IN EDUCATION
Educational innovations have the potential to improve learning outcomes as well as the overall quality of teaching methods.
A leapfrog moment, this advancement has apparently moved from the margins to the centre of several educational standards, providing a chance to assess innovative approaches that, if attained, can enable students to get an education that prepares them for our changing times.
Benefits and tips of hybrid learning in eLearning industry.
Today, we are in a different situation. The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed education advancement into the heart of nearly every learning system on the planet. According to a recent 59-country survey of educators, “the crisis has revealed the enormous potential for development that has lain dormant in many education systems.” The issue is no longer how to scale innovative ideas from the margins to the centre of education systems, but rather how to transform education systems so that they might source, support, and sustain innovations that resolve inequality and equip all students with the skills to build a better future for themselves rather than their communities. By doing so, we hope that not only will those who have fallen behind be able to catch up, but a new, more equitable education system will emerge from the crisis.
History teaches us that crisis reshape society
During the Covid -19 pandemic, two recent trends in the education industry have been the augmentation of ‘Hybrid Learning’ and the ‘Escalating Innovation in Educational Technologies’.
Digital technologies are having a significant impact on economies and societies, changing the way we work, communicate, engage in social activities, and have fun. They also spur innovation in a wide range of fields. The ground-breaking capacity of technology is heavily influenced by the population’s level of digital literacy. It’s no surprise that there’s a strong link between education and skills and the adoption and use of digital technologies in various aspects of life. The importance of education and skills in fostering innovation cannot be overstated.
By transmitting new tools, practices, organizations, and technology, innovation in education aims to provide the means to bridge the productivity gap. The pandemic has overhauled education-based scientific research to facilitate the development of a body of practical technical teaching know-how or to improve classroom practices.
Educational innovations have the potential to improve learning outcomes as well as the overall quality of teaching methods. Changes throughout the educational system, for instance, or in teaching methods, can enable customized learning processes. In most regions of the world, education is viewed as a means of increasing equity and equality. These pandemic-related innovations could help improve equity in access to and use of education, as well as equality in academic results.
A powered-up education system could hold a strong public school system at the heart of a community and leverage the most meaningful collaborations, including those formed during Covid-19, to help learners grow and develop a wide range of competencies and skills both inside and outside of the classroom.
Opting for Novel Education: Education that empowers, challenges, and inspires
The learners of today want the institutions to reframe the existing toolkit and the design of new learning artifacts. They are opting for courses where ensuring learning outcomes is at the centre of the framework, above all else. The shift in choices makes it explicit that, in agreement, students opt for a pedagogical strategy that includes a cohesive view of their professional growth. The programs that are designed to facilitate the assimilation of global issues and the development of transferable skills are surely at the top of the charts. Another new aspect is flexibility, which makes it more important than ever to respond to the educational needs of each group of students.
A large proportion of higher education institutions’ programs have been designed with the expectation that students will be placed face-to-face with their peers and professors. This created priceless opportunities to improve active learning. The pandemic altered it dramatically and, most likely, permanently.
The fact of the matter is that future jobs will be done by small teams that collaborate across spatial and temporal boundaries. Effective collaboration and the development of a productive work community have become critical to achieving professional success, particularly in the digital space. The pandemic turned out to be an opportunity to better prepare students for the future.
Deploy academic technology as a long-term means of meeting the education-learning needs of students and teachers; otherwise, technology risks becoming a complex and costly distraction. Using technology to assist in educational consistency is a debatable topic all over the world. Countries use whatever technology they can get their hands on, from radios to televisions to computers to mobile phones.
After Covid-19, the global community and learners specifically envision technology-enhanced educational systems. Articulating such a vision is critical, and it can navigate the future amidst the myriad of decisions that education leaders make each day. With the pandemic’s devastating effects affecting the most vulnerable young people the most, it’s interesting to return to a global education narrative that takes precedence over access to education above everything else. A student driven education system is what students deserve, not just in India, but in every community, and it is possible if all parties involved work together to capitalize on the opportunities provided by this emergency to truly leapfrog education forward.
The author is CEO-The Lexicon Group of Institutes
RUSSIA ADDS GOVERNMENT’S TOP CRITIC ALEXEI NAVALNY TO ‘TERRORISTS AND EXTREMISTS’ LIST
Russia on Tuesday added President Vladimir Putin’s jailed vocal critic Alexei Navalny to a list of “terrorists and extremists”, as the country’s authorities and security agencies continue their clampdown on opposition leaders and opponents.
In a database of banned individuals and groups compiled by the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring, the names of Navalny and several of his allies, including key aide Lyubov Sobol, were found on the list.
The recent decision by the Russian authorities puts them in the same group as foreign terrorist organisations including the Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS).
A crackdown on Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation started last year as it was declared extremist and their activities were banned. Earlier this month, two other key aides of the opposition politician were added to the list.
Speaking to the foreign media from an unknown location, one of the leaders associated with Navalny, who had fled the country during last year’s crackdown, said, “We will fight the regime in Kremlin come what may. The people of Russia want accountability and governance. What we are getting is dictatorship.”
In the past year, Russian security and intelligence agencies have been involved in an unprecedented crackdown on dissent in Russia, including the jailing of President Putin’s top critic Navalny last January and the outlawing of his political organisations.
Navalny, a lawyer, and anti-corruption activist, had been Putin’s most vocal domestic opponent. The leader came into international prominence by organising anti-government demonstrations and running for office to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, and against President Putin and his government.
Navalny was a Russian Opposition Coordination Council member. He has been behind bars since returning to Moscow in January 2021 from Germany, where he was recovering from a poisoning attack with a nerve agent that he blames on the Kremlin.
Covid-19 in Bengal: Is data from Rapid Antigen Test reliable?
The proportional rates of the Reverse Transcription–Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR) tests and Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) in Bengal are raising questions regarding the Trinamool Congress’ Diamond Harbor model. According to the health department, the positivity rate in RTPCR in the state is still more than 30 percent. However, the positivity rate in the RAT is only 4 percent. The Center has suggested emphasizing on the RTPCR test to understand the dynamics of the infection and maintain the accurate data. But, for the last one week, the opposite is happening in the state. According to the data, RTPCR has been only 36 per cent of the total Tests in the state in the last 24 hours. On the other hand, the testing rate of the RAT has been 72 percent.
Health officials say the increase in the number of tests in the South 24 Parganas is due to the Diamond Harbor Bulletin. Since January 18, only a large number of antigen test statistics have been accepted in the South 24 Parganas. In doing so, the data-balance between RTPCR and RAT has been disturbed. That is what some of the officials of the health department think.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in this case has made it clear that if the dynamics of the infection are to be understood, the RTPCR test must be emphasized. If the report of the RAT test is positive, then it is positive. However, if RAT comes negative, then the Center in that case has asked to conduct RTPCR test again to ensure the precision of the data. Nevertheless, in Bengal, the picture is opposite. The positivity rate in RTPCR is still 30 percent, and 4 percent in the antigen tests. As a result, a controversy has brewed over the testing statistics.
RTPCR labs are now in every district. Health officials say there is no shortage of the RTPCR kits, and are constantly urging people to go for the RTPCR.
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