Monday, 28 July 2014

Indian Checks and Balances

Times of India reports that the storm created by Justice Markandey Katju's expose makes one wonder if the Supreme Court (SC) has ever been free of executive pressures, despite the judges having taken over the entire selection and appointments process since 1993.

Justice Katju has kicked up a furore after he alleged that a tenuously held coalition government had prevailed upon a former CJI to confirm an additional judge with a dubious record to humour a difficult ally. 

Most lawyers will be wondering what the big fuss is about - this is what happens in India - If it didn't happen people would be shocked and wouldn't believe it. Indian checks and balances in the Judiciary, Executive and Legislature - there aren't any.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Met Police Working together for a safer London: Are You Dead Certain about That?

BBC News reports that the Metropolitan Police collected information on 18 justice campaigns - including that of the Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes - a report into a now defunct unit has said. Campaigns for two men shot dead by mistake in London - Mr Menezes and Harry Stanley - were among those targeted. Also the family of Ricky Reel, who died in mysterious circumstances, were targeted. Operation Herne - which reported back on the Special Demonstration Squad - cited a failure of senior management. 

This Met Police operation is looking into those people who died after coming into contact with the Met Police and why their families were spied upon. The Met said it regretted "enormously" the distress caused. In his report into undercover operations, Operation Herne's lead Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon said undercover police had gathered information relating to 18 families and campaigns for justice over the course of 35 years.

Jean Charles de Menezes - there's a name you conveniently didn't hear during the Brazilian Football World cup.

How many operations are the Met Police conducting that are looking into criminal conduct of Met Police Officers? Since the Hacking scandal broke the Met Police look like they are out of control. I personally blame the judiciary for being too soft and lenient towards the Police in the criminal justice system.

The Met Police Scotland Yard logo says "Working together for a safer London".

Maoist Footprint in India: The Red Sun Rises in the East

There are constantly reports in the Indian media of attacks by Maoists in various states on the Eastern coast of India. Indian Police and CRPF officers are killed in bombings and shootings. Just like ISIS or ISIL or the Islamic State in Iraq has created a huge area that it controls, it looks like the Maoists in India have created a huge area in which they appear to act with impunity. This Maoist threat needs to be tackled or it could turn various states in India into areas where development and progress lags behind the rest of India. Tackled, not just militarily but also ensuring the population of these states share in the progress that Modi is promising.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Winning in Mumbai - India Photo Library

Did India Get Its Independence?

Some time ago LK Advani was denied entry to Delhi Gymkhana Club because he was wearing a dhoti and this story got into the media. More recently a high court judge was refused entry into the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association premises for wearing a South Indian dhoti.

Prior to Independence, the British did not allow Indians into some of their clubs and hotels. Institutions nowadays are still sort of restricting entry to Indians based on their traditional attire. Indians are now possibly behaving like the people they overthrew.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

BRICS: The Building Blocks of a New World Order?

The BRICS nations are going to create a BRICS Development Bank that might one day rival the World Bank or IMF based in Washington.

There is not much in common between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. So why do they come together in a summit and develop ties between them in this way. One economist some years ago coined the term BRICS, as these nations had potential to grow economically, which has now resulted in a formal organisation of these nations. Economists should be careful what they wish for.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

America's Twin Wars on Trade and Terror

Times of India reports that Apple is reportedly trying to keep Sharp from selling display panels to arch rival Samsung. The iPhone maker had paid approximately 50 billion yen to Sharp in 2012 to change the production equipment at the Japanese display maker's Kameyama Plant No. 1 in Mie Prefecture. According to a report by Nikkei, Sharp is offering $239 million to Apple to buy back the equipment that the iPhone maker owns in a bid to diversify its customer base. This plant is solely used to build screens for Apple's smartphone range. 

It is also reported by the BBC that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has found the United States violated global trade rules when it imposed tariffs on products from China and India. In response to a 2012 complaint, the WTO said America improperly imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and solar panels. In a separate ruling, it said the US must change the way it imposes tariffs on India steel products. The US is embroiled in several trade spats with China and India.

As well as fighting a war on terror, America is also fighting a trade war with allies. There have been several spats between Apple and Samsung. Whilst Apple has settled lawsuits against Google, it still continues its patent litigation against Samsung. America is trying its hardest not to let economic and technological power shift to Asia, using all means at its disposal. Allies in the war on terror are enemies in the trade war.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Currency Wars: Defence of the Realm?

Times of India reports that a secret report by Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has pegged the Indian rupee to be the major reserve currency that will be traded internationally in the next two decades. The report available with the Times of India says that by 2040, the Rupee will challenge China's Renminbi as the strongest global currency. The assessment says that internal welfare demands and a reduction in levels of available capital will lead to a slowdown in the Chinese economy, which will catapult India into overtaking China during this same period. The MoD's Development Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) that has identified key strategic trends that Britain needs to be concerned about over the next 30 years said "RMB and the Rupee will be of greater global significance by 2040. Both are likely to be traded internationally as reserve currencies assuming that both countries can undertake the necessary economic reforms to make this possible". The report concludes "It is likely that the Indian economy will rival that of China and the US by 2040. If India can achieve the necessary internal transformations required to sustain this growth it is likely that the Rupee will challenge the Renminbi as the strongest global currency post 2040. To pursue such growth, it is likely that India will value 'transactional relationships' over transnational alliances". 

Why is UK's Ministry of Defence undertaking such studies as to which currencies will dominate in the future? Is this really to do with defence of the realm or defending London's Square Mile? Is this study something that the defence forces should be funding rather than the Bank of England?

SJP (@DigitalAsian)

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A Day in the Life of Mumbai - Photos of Mumbai

Education, Education, Education ... and Health

Why do so many industrialists in India set up universities, colleges and hospitals? It has become fashionable to set up "world class" universities or hospitals nowadays in India. Education and health care are now big business. It may be the tax or land benefits that you get. I may be cynical but these universities or hospitals are always referred to as "world class". Are Indians fixated with the idea of class?

The Primary Purpose of Immigration Legislation

UK has new laws that restrict the foreign spouses of UK residents entering to those earning above GBP 18,600/-. The primary purpose of this legislation is to restrict immigration of non-EU nationals into the UK and will primarily affect people from South Asia and Africa.

In the UK Immigration law there used to be what was known as the Primary Purpose rule which caused huge problems for South Asians living in Britain. This rule was abolished by the Labour government of 1997. But since then the Primary Purpose rule, although abolished, has been implemented in other ways such as this new rule of an earnings requirement.