Monday, December 31, 2012

Winner of 2012 is


Narendra Modi
          Retained Gujarat. A one-man show. Without any Muslim candidates for his fray, winning the Assembly elections in a State where Muslim population is there is not an easy task but something to be learnt from that too. When other parts of India, are voting fro caste, community, minority, how come the people of Gujarat seems to be different? Is really development wins over religion in India? Then why all other so-called ‘leaders’ are shouting against Modi. Now he will be leading to New Delhi (as media quotes) is a big question?

(01) Vishwanath Anand
World champion Viswanathan Anand prevailed in a series of rapid chess games against challenger Boris Gelfand (Israel) to retain his world title in Moscow. After three weeks of regular play ended with the score tied at 6-6, Anand and Gelfand faced off in a series of tie-breakers, with the title of world champion and $1.53 million going to the winner. In fact he is the “King of 64 squares”. It will be more appropriate that he can be given Bharat Ratna than for Tendulkar.

(02) Mary C Kom
It was woman power for India at 2012 London Olympic Games. Though Saina Nehwal sizzled, for me it is Mary Kom. A five-time world champion Mary Kom salvaged some pride for the boxing squad with a bronze. She displayed courage and resolve while winning a medal. After her win only, many of the Indians (including the much acclaimed media) turned focus on North-eastern states itself.

(01) Facebook comment arrest / Assem Trivedi
With all respect, every day, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on, Just due to one politician died a natural death, everyone just goes bonkers. They should know, we are resilient by force, not by choice. When was the last time, did anyone showed some respect or even a two-minute silence for Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Azad, Sukhdev or any of the people because of whom we are free-living Indians? Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced. Today, Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect.
-- This message posted by a girl in facebook and “liked” by another girl (for which the Police arrested) created much controversial debate in India. Is freedom of speech and expression is just a written statement in Indian Constitution.
Aseem Trivedi:- Arrested for a cartoon picture. 

(02) Delhi Gangrape
          Year end, a total shame that made ravage. A 23 year old girl was gangraped in the Nation Capital (Rape capital) that too in a bus sent shock waves to all. Now protests and inquiry committees are going on. As of now two commissions are appointed by the govt. The girl is no more. India is a nation where daughter is neither safe inside a womb nor outside too....
[Non-stop coverage of this news made a another negative impact. A village in Haryana stopped the girls to go for schools for education, as the parents feel they would also get raped like this]

“Tongue (policy) -twister” of SP, BSP and DMK”
          Much debated FDI policy in Parliament. The parties (SP, BSP and DMK) opposed vigorously about the FDI proposals; participated in Bharat Bandh (except BSP). Even in the Parliament debate, they said they are opposing. But when comes for voting, they totally voted for it (absconded). It made me to think, “Is people of India are that much fool?”

          AAm-Aadmi Party started by Kejriwal. First Anna Hazare said he’ll support later said he’ll not. Let’s wait and see how this party is going to eradicate India’s illness?

(01) Julian Assange
Two months after he dramatically disappeared behind the closed doors of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Julian Assange made his first public appearance as he emerged on its balcony and-- cheered by his supporters gathered below-- asked America to ``renounce its witchhunt against WikiLeaks’’.  Mr. Assange, who is at the centre of a diplomatic row between Britain and Ecuador after the latter granted him asylum, recalled how the police `` descended on this building’’ as the British Government threatened to strip Ecuador of its diplomatic status and storm its embassy to seize him. He also said that the threat to WikiLeaks as an attack on free speech
 (02) Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old peace activist who became the ‘voice of girls in Swat’ when the Taliban controlled the valley in 2008, was shot at and seriously injured by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), triggering a nationwide wave of revulsion at not just terrorists but also their apologists.  Ms. Yousafzai was returning from school in Swat when the terrorists opened fire at the vehicle in which she was travelling.  The UN has declared November 10 as Malala Day.

(01) Michael Phelps
With a lop-sided smile of satisfaction, the greatest of swimmers and possibly the greatest Olympian of all time, said farewell with one last immense performance for the U.S. relay team in the men's 4x100m medley. Final tally: 19 medals including 15 gold. He had done everything he set out to achieve. The world of swimming has lost a titan of the pool.
(02) Andy Murray
London Olympics is lucky for Andy Murray, as he became the first Briton to record a singles title victory at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. He destroyed 1-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer to lay his hands on the Olympic gold. It was Britain’s first tennis gold since 1908 when Josiah Ritchie won the men’s singles competition.

Life of Pi
There is a lot of Indian tradition and culture (that is missing in Indian films nowadays) in the English movie “Life of Pi”. It’s really a visual treat. As the director belongs to Asian, US and UK are not encouraging this movie. As this movie has Tamil dialogues and portrays Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Indian media channels not encouraging this.


Person of the Year: Vishwanath Anand
Celebration of the Year: Tamil Nadu Assembly at 60 years; Madras HC @ 150 years
Shame of the Year: Dharmapuri violence
Crisis of the Year: Tamil Nadu in dark for almost a year; Dengue deaths
Continual crisis of the Year: Cauvery water dispute

{These are my views only}

Saturday, December 29, 2012

'வேளாண்மையில் கவனம் செலுத்தக் கூடாது'

‘‘வேளாண்மைத் துறையில் அதிக வேலைவாய்ப்புகளை உருவாக்குவதில் நாம் கவனம் செலுத்தக் கூடாது. விவசாயம் சாராத பிற துறைகளில் விவசாயத் தொழிலாளர்களுக்கு வேலைவாய்ப்பை அளிப்பதன் மூலம், வேளாண்மைத் துறையில் இருந்து அவர்களை வெளியில் கொண்டு வர வேண்டும். குறைந்த அளவு மக்கள்,  வேளாண்மைத் துறையில் ஈடுபட்டால்தான், வேளாண்மைத் துறையில் சராசரி தனிநபர் வருமானம் அதிகரிக்கும்''
-இப்படி ஒரு 'அருமை'யான உரையை, தேசிய வளர்ச்சிக் கவுன்சில் கூட்டத்தில் நிகழ்த்தி, வந்திருந்த முதலமைச்சர்கள் அனைவரையும் புல்லரிக்க வைத்துவிட்டார்... நம்முடைய நாட்டின் மூத்த 'பொருளாதார புலி' மன்மோகன் சிங்!
ம்... சொல்வதை, திருப்பிச் சொல்லும் கிளிப்பிள்ளையாக, அமெரிக்காவின் பிடியிலிருக்கும் மன்மோகன் சிங் வேறு எப்படி பேசுவார்?
அமெரிக்காவில், ஆயிரம் ஏக்கர் வைத்திருப்பவர்கள்கூட சிறுவிவசாயிகள்தான். ஐந்தாயிரம் ஏக்கர்... பத்தாயிரம் ஏக்கர் என்று வைத்திருப்பவர்கள்தான் விவசாயிகள். மற்றவர்கள் எல்லாருமே 'வொயிட் காலர் ஜாப்' எனப்படும் வெவ்வேறு வேலைகளில் இருப்பவர்கள்தான். இவர்களில் பெரும்பாலானவர்கள்... இஷ்டம் போல ஊதாரித்தனமாக செலவழிப்பதும்... பசிக்காவிட்டாலும்கூட கண்டதையும் தின்று கொழுப்பதும்தான் வேலையாகவே வைத்திருக்கிறார்கள். அந்த நாட்டு சூழலும் அவர்களை அப்படித்தான் வளர்த்தெடுக்கிறது. ஆனால், இப்போதுதான், அந்த நாட்டின் பொருளாதார சாயம் வெளுக்க ஆரம்பித்து, பலரும் வீதிகளில் டென்ட் அடித்து குடியிருக்க ஆரம்பித்துள்ளனர். சொல்லப்போனால்... பேன்ட், ஷர்ட் போட்ட பிச்சைக்காரர்களாக பலரும் மாறிப் போயிருக்கிறார்கள். காரணம் ... தேவையிருக்கிறதோ... இல்லையோ... எதைப் பார்த்தாலும் வாங்கிப்போட வேண்டும் என்கிற தறிகெட்ட நுகர்வு கலாச்சாரம்தான்! உலகின் பல நாடுகளிலும் இதுதான் நிதர்சனம்.
இதையெல்லாம் மீறி, இந்திய பொருளாதாரம் ஓரளவுக்கு நிலைத்து நிற்பதற்கு காரணமே... இங்கே பாரம்பரியமாக இருக்கும் சேமிப்பு முறைகளும்... விவசாயம் உள்ளிட்ட கிராமப்புற தொழில்களும் நிலைத்திருப்பதுதான்.
ஆனால், உலகமயமாக்கல் என்கிற பெயரில், ஏற்கெனவே, தொழில் மற்றும் வியாபாரத்தையெல்லாம் பன்னாட்டு நிறுவனங்களுக்குத் தாரை வார்த்து, இந்தியாவை மறுபடியும் அந்நிய ஆதிக்கத்தின் கீழ் அடிபணிய வைத்துக் கொண்டிருக்கும் மன்மோகன் சிங் அரசு... கடைசியாக விவசாயத்திலும் கைவைக்கத் தீர்மானித்துவிட்டது. 
ஏற்கெனவே விவசாய வேலைகளுக்கு ஆட்கள் கிடைக்காமல் திண்டாடுகிறார்கள் விவசாயிகள். கொஞ்ச, நஞ்ச நிலங்களை வைத்திருக்கும் சிறு-குறு விவசாயிகளும் அப்படி அப்படியே நிலங்களைப் போட்டு வைத்துவிட்டு, நகர்ப்புறங்களில் கூலிக்காரர்களாக பிளாட்பார வாழ்க்கைக்கு பழகிக் கொண்டுள்ளனர். தற்போது, மிச்ச மீதி இப்பவர்களையும், விவசாய நிலங்களில் இருந்து வெளியேற்றிவிட்டு, மொத்தமாக வெள்ளைக்காரனுக்கு நிலங்களை தாரை வார்க்கத் தயாராகிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறார் 'நாகரிக கோமாளி' மன்மோகன் சிங்!
ம்... இந்தியாவை அமெரிக்கா போல மாற்ற ஆசைப்படுகிறார் மன்மோகன் சிங்.... அந்த நாட்டைப் போலவே, கார்களும் கட்டடங்களும் செல்போன்களும் உடல்பெருத்த மனிதர்களும், வந்தால் மட்டும் போதுமா... நம்முடைய நகரங்களிலும் பேன்ட்-ஷர்ட் போட்ட பிச்சைக்காரர்கள் அலைந்தால்தானே பார்ப்பதற்கு அச்சு அசலாக அமெரிக்கா போல இருக்கும்!

Friday, December 28, 2012

What Jayalalithaa spoke/gave in NDC meet?

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa went hammer and tongs at the UPA-II government, accusing it of being “indifferent to reducing poverty and is caught up in the daily squabbles of its constituents in merely trying to survive from day to day. It has neither the time nor the inclination to pay attention to the problems of the people.”
 Participating in the 57th meeting of the National Development Council (NDC), she charged that such meetings were “turning out to be purely periodic rituals”
To be honest, the purpose and intention of such meetings completely eludes me. We are already nearly three-quarters of the way into the first year of the Twelfth Plan. I wonder whether it would be useful to comment on the contents of the 12th Plan Document, since it is very unlikely that any such views would be taken on board.”
Accusing the Centre of not taking into account the suggestions/views expressed by the Chief Ministers during such meetings, she said “I had a fond hope that at least some of the suggestions made in the last NDC meeting would find their way into the final Plan Document.” But no reasonable and legitimate suggestion from the States had been accepted in the draft document and the “big brotherly and undemocratic approach of superimposing on elected State governments the dubious policies, priorities and programmes of a minority ruling coterie in Delhi has prevailed.”
“We get the impression that the government at the Centre is indifferent to reducing poverty.” Large scale poverty and inequality persists and even widens with every Plan. The Centre, far from serving the people, was “conspiring against them by hiking the prices of the essential commodities and inputs and appears more focused on facilitating the interests of the foreign investors.”
She accused the Centre of being “completely ineffective” in playing its constitutional role in ensuring that the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal was duly notified to protect Tamil Nadu’s rights. Besides, the UPA-II regime had also failed in protecting the citizens - the fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu - from attacks across the maritime boundary (by Sri Lankan Navy).
Even a simple request from the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation for a Digital Addressable System (DAS) Licence for Chennai city had not been granted on totally extraneous considerations, she said and alleged that the delay was intended to facilitate the switching over of subscribers to a family-owned TV network.
On the severe power shortage faced by Tamil Nadu, with the demand and supply gap being 4000 MW, she said her repeated requests for substantial assistance for Power Sector Investment, ceding a concessional funding window, finalising fuel supply agreements and coal linkages, removing corridor constraints and strengthening the evacuation of wind energy had elicited no response.
Her recent letter to Prime Minister to allocate surplus power from the northern States to Tamil Nadu had “elicited only a sermon on transmission constraints, negativing our request.” Within Tamil Nadu, there were no transmission constraints. The total power generated by the central power units in TN – 2830 MW – might be allotted to the State. She said this is requested only as an interim arrangement for a period of one year to meet the huge power deficit and to alleviate the hardship faced by the people, until all the new power projects under construction in Tamil Nadu are fully commissioned, after which, the status quo ante may be restored.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa walks out from NDC meet:
What is NDC?:

No officer in TN to bag CM's "Best Practices Award"

The Tamil Nadu government is desperately searching for the ideal officer in the state bureaucracy, worthy of receiving the chief minister's 'Best Practices Award'. The screening panel, constituted for choosing the right candidate, rejected the only name that was shortlisted by the selection committee. Though the hunt for the best candidate continues, officials have quietly decided to scrap the award, pleading helplessness in shortlisting the most deserving candidate.
The personnel administrative reforms department, whose representative is a key member of the selection committee, found no deserving candidate and suggested scrapping of the award. Officials have already written to the higher-ups that the award should be scrapped. Officials have also surrendered the grant of 14 lakh set aside for the award.
A nomination form released by the state government in its order lists three awards under three categories. They include,
·        an individual government officer
·        a group of government employees
·        a state-owned organisation
The committee received several applications and even nominated one officer for the award. But the nominee was rejected by the selection committee. The official declined to name the officer who was shortlisted. The selection committee had failed to select a group nominee or an organisation.
 Earlier this year, some of the officers, who applied for the award, presented their case before the selection committee at the Anna Institute of Management. The criteria for the officer or a group or a department to bag the award include implementation of innovative schemes and projects, bringing perceptible systemic changes to projects, making public systems efficient, effective and ethical, extraordinary performance during disaster situations, like floods, earthquakes and major accidents, setting high standards of service and improvement in delivery time of services. Other criteria included transparency and participation of the public and display of good leadership and team work by the nominee.
The state government constituted the award with an annual grant of 14 lakh in 2011. A government order was subsequently issued. The Anna Institute of Management and Director-General Training had evolved detailed draft guidelines for selection procedure, which was approved by the state government on April 16. The last date for receiving nominations was April 30, 2012, while the short-listing by the screening committee should have been completed by June 15 and the selection of the candidate by July 15. The award was supposed to be given on August 15, 2012 during Independence Day celebrations by the chief minister.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tamil Nadu CM walkout from NDC meet

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa walked out of the National Development Council meet after being interrupted during her speech. At the NDC meet in the national capital, the bell rang as Jayalalithaa completed the allotted time of 10 minutes for her speech and she was asked to stop. Jayalalithaa said 10 minutes were not enough for a Chief Minister to complete his or her speech and walked out of the meet. She said to reporters that,
"I began my speech, as soon 10 minutes were over, they rang the bell, I felt humiliated"
"I have attended many conferences before convened by the PM, such a procedure has never been followed in the past"
She also accused the government of stifling the voices of opposition states. "The plan document is so lengthy and encompasses so many subjects that CMs can't express their views in 10 minutes. Just to allot 10 minutes and humiliate, this is a move to stifle the voice of opposition states"
"We, in Tamil Nadu, have been particularly hard hit by the attitude of the Government of India. Every single legitimate request of our State has been turned down or ignored and every initiative stymied", Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told in NDC meet at Delhi.
 She said the Centre came out with a “new method” of limiting the speeches of Chief Ministers to 10 minutes which was not enough to articulate their views. Each Chief Minister was alloted 10 minutes and was forewarned. Ms. Jayalalithaa had come to Page 10 out of her 28-page speech when the bell rang. Ms. Jayalalithaa said she had come prepared with several points to “enlighten the interest of Tamil Nadu and the interest of the nation.” The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister immediately left for Chennai cutting short her stay.
Earlier, in her speech, Ms. Jayalalithaa said she found that no reasonable and legitimate suggestion from the states had been accepted and the “big brotherly and undemocratic approach of superimposing on elected state governments the dubious policies, priorities and programmes of a minority ruling coterie in Delhi has prevailed.” She said that, we get the impression that the government at the Centre is indifferent about reducing poverty...The Union Government, far from serving the common man, is conspiring against him by hiking the prices of essential commodities and inputs and appears more focused on facilitating the interests of foreign investors.
She also added that, the regime at the Centre, caught up in the daily squabbles of its constituents, in merely trying to survive from day-to-day, has neither the time nor the inclination to pay attention to the problems of the people of this country.
Ms. Jayalalithaa accused the Centre of being “completely ineffective” in playing its constitutional role in ensuring that the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal is duly notified so that it can be implemented and the rights of Tamil Nadu as a lower riparian state are protected.
            The central government has also failed in protecting the citizens of the country — the fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu — from attacks across the maritime boundary.
She said even a simple request from a state PSU for a Digital Addressable System (DAS) Licence for Chennai City has not been granted on totally extraneous considerations and alleged that the delay is intended to facilitate the switching over of subscribers to a family-owned TV network, in a clear reference to Marans—owned network. The deliberate non-issuance of DAS licence to the state government—owned Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation is only to facilitate the business interests of a particular family which forms part of the ruling coalition at the Centre.

A state’s problem in 10 minutes - this is absolute nonsense. We are talking about plan outlays worth thousands of crores here. And the state CM gets just 10 mins to make his/her case? This should be discussed at length whatever time it takes ! Planning commission seems to be operating in a "I give. you take" mode. India is UNION OF STATES, without states there is no INDIA. Why can't they conduct NDC meet for two - three days. what's going to be wrong in this? {IAS/IPS meet in Tamil Nadu held for three days} Though Jaya's boycott is not a good gesture, but no option for TN.
 10 நிமிட நேரத்தில் என்ன விஷயத்தை வெளியிட முடியும். முதல்வர்கள் டெல்லி போவதற்கு 10 மணி நேரம் ஆகும். 10 நாட்கள் இரவு பகலாக உட்கார்ந்து புள்ளி விபரங்கள் தயார் செய்ய வேண்டும். வெறும் 10 நிமிடத்தில் உங்கள் பேச்சை முடித்துகொள்ளுங்கள் என்றால், மாண்புமிகு தலைவர் அவர்களே என்று கூறிவிட்டு உட்கார வேண்டியதுதான். இதற்கு எதற்கு முதலமைச்சர்கள் கூடும் தேசிய அபிவிருத்தி கூட்டம். 35 முதல்வர்கள் பேசுவதற்கு தலா 10 நிமிடமாம். குட்டி யூனியன் பிரதேசங்கள் உள்ளன. அவைகளுக்கும் 10 நிமிடம். பெரிய மாநிலங்களான தமிழ் நாடு போன்றவைகளுக்கும் அதே 10 நிமிடமா? என்ன நியாயம். பழைய ராணுவ மந்திரி கிருஷ்ண மேனன் ஐ.நா. சபையில் 15 மணி நேரம் தொடர்ந்து பேசியிருக்கிறார். 10 நிமிட நேரத்தில் பிரதமர் மன்மோகன் சிங் வாழ்க மற்றும் மந்த்ரிகள் வாழ்க என்று சொல்லி அமர வேண்டியதுதான்.

 What is NDC? Click here:

A similar walkout, 28 years ago
        Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s walkout from the National Development Council (NDC) meeting is reminiscent of a similar protest staged by four non-Congress Chief Ministers 28 years ago. At that time, on July 12, 1984, the four Chief Ministers — N.T. Rama Rao (Andhra Pradesh), Jyoti Basu (West Bengal), Ramakrishna Hegde (Karnataka) and Nripen Chakraborty (Tripura) — were protesting against the dismissal of the Farooq Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir.
There was an exchange of words between Rama Rao and Indira Gandhi, who was Prime Minister and NDC chairperson, preceded the walkout. As Rama Rao began reading a statement on behalf of the four Chief Ministers, he was interrupted by the Prime Minister. But Rao and the three other Chief Ministers insisted that he be allowed to complete his statement. Indira Gandhi took the view that the NDC was not a political forum and the meeting was meant to discuss the Seventh Five-Year Plan. After the four Chief Ministers walked out, a resolution, adopted by the Council condemned their action. It was moved by Kerala Chief Minister K. Karunankaran and seconded by Panruti S. Ramachandran, who was then the Electricity Minister of Tamil Nadu].
Though the two walkouts vary in detail, there are some common features. Just as Ms. Jayalalithaa criticised the Centre’s attitude towards non-Congress Chief Ministers and causing “humiliation” to a Constitutional authority by not allowing her to speak beyond 10 minutes, Rama Rao, who led the walkout in 1984, too faulted the Union government’s attitude. The Chief Minister said the spirit of Centre-State relations had become a casualty of the Centre’s attitude towards non-Congress governments. In particular, the Union government was displaying a “step-motherly” attitude towards Andhra Pradesh. The Centre’s attitude, he said, was insulting to the governments of non-Congress States which were voted into office by the people.

What is National Development Council (NDC)?

The National Development Council (NDC) or the Rashtriya Vikas Parishad is the apex body for decision making and deliberations on development matters in India, presided over by the Prime Minister. It was set up on August 6, 1952 to strengthen and mobilize the effort and resources of the nation in support of the Plan, to promote common economic policies in all vital spheres, and to ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country. The Council comprises the Prime Minister, the Union Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers of all States or their substitutes, representatives of the union territories and the members of the Commissions. It is an extra-constitutional and non-statutory body. Its status is advisory to planning commission but not binding.
It has been set up with three objectives:
·        to strengthen and mobilize the effort and resources of the nation in support of the Plan
·        to promote common economic policies in all vital spheres and
·        to ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country.
The functions of the Council are:
·        to prescribe guidelines for the formulation of the National Plan, including the assessment of resources for the Plan;
·        to consider the National Plan as formulated by the Planning Commission;
·        to consider important questions of social and economic policy affecting national development; and
·        to review the working of the Plan from time to time and to recommend such measures as are necessary for achieving the aims and targets set out in the National Plan.
 The National Development Council is presided over by the Prime Minister of India and includes all Union Ministers, Chief Ministers of all the States and Administrators of Union Territories and Members of the Planning Commission. Ministers of State with independent charge are also invited to the deliberations of the Council.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa walkout from NDC meet, saying she is humiliated. Read the full story at:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

India-Russia: thorny issues in the relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India should dispel speculation about hiccups in bilateral ties. When Moscow unexpectedly rescheduled Mr. Putin’s visit from October-end to December-end, media and analysts in both countries attributed the delay to unresolved problems. There were reasons for such conjectures:
v     Russia was unhappy with India’s refusal to waive civil liability for units III and IV of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP)
v     Failure to secure Russian telecom company Sistema’s massive investment in the joint venture, Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL)
v     India was concerned over a year-long delay in the delivery of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier.
However, as time went by, it became clear that contentious bilateral issues had little to do with the postponement. Mr. Putin had cancelled all foreign trips and stopped travelling for eight weeks in October and November because of reported problems with his back.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted that his sports-loving boss had pulled a muscle while exercising, but denied he had serious health problems. Whatever problems the Russian leader may have had, he seems to have brought them under control and in December resumed his usual hectic travel schedule.
Mr. Putin’s visit to India will be his first as Russia’s President in five years. He returned to the top Kremlin job earlier this year after serving as Prime Minister for the past four years. It was Mr. Putin who restored the warmth of Indo-Russian relations when he succeeded Boris Yeltsin 12 years ago, and bilateral ties have been on the rise ever since.
India’s Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra said that, “political-level relations as well as government-to-government and people-to-people contacts have never been as close as they are today”. Russia remains India’s most trusted and valuable defence partner.
Ø     Russia reaffirmed its readiness to share cutting-edge weapons technologies
Ø     Russia leasing out the nuclear submarine Chakra
Ø     Russia offers to jointly develop the fifth-generation fighter aircraft.
Ø     The summit (Dec 24, 2012) seen the two sides seal multi-billion deals for the supply of Su-30MKI fighters, Mi-17 helicopters, aircraft engines and tank missiles.
Mr. Putin is also expected to endorse India’s efforts to expand its involvement in the Russian energy sector, with talks currently focusing on the development of new oil and gas fields in Russia’s Far East, Siberia and the Arctic region.
The perceived irritants in the relations have been blown far out of proportion by the media and interested parties. Informed Russian sources said the liability issue for Kudankulam III and IV will be resolved by somewhat raising the price tag for the Russian-built reactors. Problems with boiler insulation on the Vikramaditya are unfortunate, but should not obscure the fact that overall, the aircraft carrier demonstrated admirable seaworthiness, manoeuvrability and aircraft takeoff and landing capacity during the trials.
Serious problem:
The cancellation of Sistema’s licences for CDMA services is a more serious problem. The company’s $3.1-billion investment, including $700 million of government funds, should have been a trail-blazing example of a successful foray by Russian business in India, but may end up discouraging other potential investors.
If the disputes over Kudankulam and Sistema have been pushed to the forefront of the bilateral agenda, it is only because of an unacceptably low level of commercial links: trade hardly exceeds the combined price of two reactors for Kudankulam, plus Sistema’s investment in Shyam Telecom.
This year, trade has posted a robust 30 per cent growth, but still amounts to just $11 billion, and, with some luck, could hit the $20-billion target set by the two governments for 2015. By that time, India’s and Russia’s trade with China will be well above $100 billion for each.
Achieving a quantum jump in trade and economic ties will be the biggest challenge for Mr. Putin during his five-year term till 2018 and for India. Without a solid economic foundation, the two countries would find it hard to sustain the current high level of their “special and privileged strategic partnership”.