Pakistan plans to build dams on Indus River

On Thursday V. K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs said in a written reply in  Rajya Sabha, Pakistan has decided to construct water dams with on the Indus River with the help of China.

The Indian Government has issues demarches to both Beijing and Islamabad over the new construction. The demarche states that the construction is void and it will violate India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as V.K Singh informed the Rajya Sabha

V.K Singh said, “”India has a clear and consistent position that these territories are illegally occupied by Pakistan and that any collaborative activity there is in violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,”.

In addition, he also told, “accordingly, we have made demarches to both Pakistan and China conveying the position. The government will continue to maintain this position.”
However, Pakistan is abided to follow the Indus water Treaty signed with India. The treaty gives both the countries equal distribution of river water. Recently India has been engaged in border issues with China and on the other side, Pakistan has elected its new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Sources-

  1. ASIANAGE- http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/040817/pakistan-constructing-6-dams-on-indus-in-pok-with-chinas-help-government.html

2. TIMES OF INDIA- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-constructing-6-dams-in-pok-with-chinas-assistance-govt/articleshow/59910509.cms?from=mdr

Image Source-AFP

Aadhar Data leaked, software engineer accused

Our Aadhar details are promised to be kept secured with the government of India. After numerous breeches and data leaks, yet again a software development engineer working in Ola’s head office at Koramangala was arrested on account of misusing Aadhar data obtained without authentication.

A complaint was filed by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) against Abhinav Srivastav (31), an IIT Kharagpur graduate who is accused of hacking into the data repository of UIDAI, gaining access through the e-hospital server, an initiative by the Government of India.

The complaint to the police was made on 26th July, which stated that Srivastav had accessed the data without authorization between January 1  and July 26 via an app called ‘eKYC Verification’.

The app is developed by an entity linked to a start-up Quarth Technologies, which is acquired by taxi service giant Ola. The app provided demographic details to users, it had 50,000 downloads. Srivastav had already earned Rs. 40,000 through advertisements.

After hacking into the server, he used it to send verification requests to the UIDAI database for his own app. The UIDAI system allowed access under the impression that the authentication requests were from the e-hospital system hence not unauthorized,’’ a police source said. Investigations proceed to confirm if the app he developed was used in any form by Ola.

The e-hospital app, hosted on the cloud services of NIC, facilitates online appointments at hospitals using eKYC data of Aadhaar number, if patient’s mobile number is registered with UIDAI, if not it uses the patient’s name. Srivastava’s eKYC Verification app mimicked the e-hospital app in accessing the identity authentication services of UIDAI.

SOURCES: TIMES OF INDIA, INDIAN EXPRESS

IMAGE SOURCE:

India starts paying for Apps

Indian consumers spent three times more on smartphone apps in the past year. This has led to India becoming the largest downloader at Google’s Play Store. According to Google this is an inflection point in the country’s digital ecosystem which will allow developers to monetize their creations.

“If there’s one thing that the Indian internet ecosystem has been challenged with, it is monetization. But we have monitored a change, I believe the time has come.” Said Rajan Anandan, managing director, Google India- at Bengaluru in the very first App Excellence Summit. In a country like India where monetization has been difficult, there is a need for experiments on ways to monetize the existing services available. Google plans on building robust payment gateways, involving popular digital wallets. Anandan added “The challenge is that when one would try, it’s going to take a lot of time to make consumers used-to the change. So, the sooner the experiments begin, the better.”

One of the biggest contributing factors is the enormous shift witnessed in the internet ecosystem over the past year. The data rates have fell to as low as Rs.15 a GB, because of Jio causing Airtel and others to provide free data- perfect market. This not only lured users online, but caused a spike in internet usage per person. “In a span of 10 months we have gone from having a large number of users spending hardly any time on the internet to having a large number of users and magnificent rise in time spent online.” Anandan said.

SOURCES: Times of India, Business Standard

 

 

China blocks listing of JeM Chief Masood Azhar as terrorist, again

In yet another blow to India, China has again held back on the proposal to blacklist Pakistani terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) Chief Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist. The proposal at the United Nations has been backed by the US, France and UK.

The proposal was first brought to the UN Security Council in January and blocked by China in February. The deadline for the country to take action on this technical hold was August 2, 2017. However, just hours before this deadline lapsed, Beijing once again sought a three-month extension until November 2, 2017. This is now the fourth time that it has blocked such moves by India and the Western nations. If the proposal was accepted and passed, Masood Azhar would by default have been considered a UN-designated terrorist.

India considers Azhar the mastermind of the January 2, 2016 terrorist attack on the Pathankot air force station and holds JeM responsible for a series of attacks, including the December 13, 2001, attack on the Parliament. In March 2016, China was the only member of the 15-nation UN Security Council to block the application moved by India to designate him as a terrorist and place him on the sanctions list. However, sources had claimed that the block would not prevent India from pursuing issues of terrorism or sanctioning of leaders of terror outfits at the world body.

Notably, the Chinese action comes in the midst of a tense military standoff between India and China at Dokalam in Bhutan.

 

Sources: NDTV, Livemint

A new legislation for immigrants in the USA

After the immigrants’ issue in the USA, President Donald Trump announced that he supports a legislation which will cut in half the number of legal immigrants allowed into the US while moving to a “merit-based” system favoring English-speaking skilled workers for residency cards.

If this new legislation, Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act,  is passed then it can be beneficial for technology professionals and highly-educated people  from countries such as India.
Taking factors in account such as education, English language skills, , high- paying job offers and age, the new act will be a points-based system for earning a green card.

Speaking at the end Trump highlighted the event by saying that the Act will help in reduce proverty, increase wages, and save taxpayers billion dollars.
Trump said at the White House during the event, “Trump said this legislation will not only restore America’s competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens.This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first,”.

Sources-

  1. The Times of India- http://m.timesofindia.com/india/donald-trumps-merit-based-immigration-system-may-benefit-indians/articleshow/59891768.cms

2. NDTV- https://www.google.co.in/amp/m.ndtv.com/indians-abroad/donald-trumps-merit-based-immigration-plan-may-benefit-indian-professionals-1732768%3famp=1&akamai-rum=off

Image  Source- Times of India

Construction of Kishanganga and Ratle Projects in India permitted: World Bank

The World Bank has granted India the permission to construct the hydroelectric power facilities under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) on Jhelum and Chenab, the tributaries of Indus, with certain restrictions.

The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was signed in 1960 after nine years of negotiation between the two countries. Initially Pakistan opposed the construction of the Kishanganga and Ratle (330 megawatts and 850 megawatts respectively) hydroelectric power plants, being built in Jammu and Kashmir by India. On noticing the two countries’ disagreement on the technical aspect, World Bank asked the IWT to designate the two rivers and Indus as the “Western Rivers” and that Pakistan has unrestricted use to it.

In November 2016, the World Bank appointed neutral expert and established court of arbitration, to look into the technical differences between the two countries, but the process was stopped after India’s objection.

The meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) held in March 2017, the two countries had talk over these two projects with World Bank as a mediator between them.

Finally, in the secretary-level discussions that were held this week between the India and Pakistan, both have agreed to appoint neutral expert and court of arbitration, respectively. The two parties have also con corded to continue discussions and meet again in Washington DC in September. As reported by The Times of India, the fact sheet states that, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on the specified rivers as per the “annexure of the treaty”.

SOURCES: TIMES OF INDIA, INDIA TODAY

IMAGE SOURCE: PTI

China has the confidence to defeat all invasions: Xi Jinping

“The Chinese people love peace. We will never seek aggression or expansion, but we have the confidence to defeat all invasions. We will never allow any people, organization or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form,” President Xi Jinping at the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of People’s Liberation Army.

Speaking at the Great Hall of the People, Xi did not direct his message to any single country. However, with the standoff between India and China near the Sikkim sector, his comments become crucial.

The border clash ruptured over a disputed plateau which India calls Doklam and China recognizes as Donglang. The plateau, lying at a junction between China, Sikkim and Bhutan, is disputed between Beijing and Thimphu. India, being a close ally of the latter, deployed troops to obstruct China’s road project, which led to accusations on India for trespassing on Chinese soil. Officials say such transgressions are numerous, since both sides have varied perceptions of the Line of Actual Control.

Amidst the border face-off, there were no signs of strained ties at an event in New Delhi to mark the 90th anniversary of China’s army, which was attended by representatives from India, Bhutan and China.

Sources on both sides have suggested that talks are on to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff. Channels of communication are on as was seen by the participation of the Indian representative at the PLA event.

 

Sources: Reuters, NDTV