India rejects World Bank’s Human Capital Index report which placed it below Nepal, Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar

India rejects World Bank’s Human Capital Index report which placed it below Nepal, Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar

“The qualitative aspects of improved governance that have a strong correlation with human capital development cannot be and have not been captured by the way the HCI has been constructed,” the Indian government said. The gap in data and methodology overlook the initiatives taken by a country and, in turn, portray an incomplete and predetermined picture, it said, adding this, in fact, makes the case for the adoption of the index by more countries somewhat remote. 

Puppetry has long been a medium of entertainment and devotion in South Asia

Puppetry has long been a medium of entertainment and devotion in South Asia

Puppets are a part of popular culture and entertainment across the world, especially in the South Asian region. They reflect the cultural heritage of their region, its mythology, music, beliefs, rites and rituals. Puppetry has been around since ancient times, writes cultural anthropologist Dr. Lopamudra Maitra Bajpai in newsin.asia

China proposes India-China-Nepal talks to solve issues

China proposes India-China-Nepal talks to solve issues

Nepalese officials say that the Chinese side proposed India-China-Nepal talks to resolve thorny issues. Called the “two-plus one” mechanism, it was proposed by China during Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s visit to Beijing in June this year.“We welcome the two- plus-one format as we are confident that such a dialogue will be conducted in a spirit of equality and mutual respect,” Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Nepal’s Minister of Forests and Environment, earlier told The Hindu.

Vishwakarma, the celestial architect who built Sri Lanka

Vishwakarma, the celestial architect who built Sri Lanka

The Uttarakanda of Valmiki’s Ramayana, says that Sri Lanka was created by the celestial architect Vishwakarma for the Gods in heaven. Another lore has it that after Lord Shiva married Parvati, he instructed Vishwakarma to construct Lanka so that the couple might reside there, says cultural anthropologist Dr.Lopamudra Maitra Bajpai in newsin.asia

Only non-interference will mitigate anti-India feelings in Nepal

Only non-interference will mitigate anti-India feelings in Nepal

In his talk at the Indian Council of World Affairs recently, Nepalese ruling party co-leader Prachanda said: “Respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in internal affairs help buttress trust which is absolutely essential to governing a friendly relationship. Let me tell you frankly: small neighbors have some sensitivities that need to be understood and respected.”

Nepal opts out BIMSTEC military exercise in India saying it has not been sanctioned by the August summit

Nepal opts out BIMSTEC military exercise in India saying it has not been sanctioned by the August summit

A day after China agreed to provide sea and land ports to Nepal and end India’s monopoly over trade, Nepal has withdrawn from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) joint military drill to be held in India next week saying that it does not have the sanction of the August BIMSTEC summit.

China gives Nepal access to four of its ports to reduce dependence on India

China gives Nepal access to four of its ports to reduce dependence on India

Wedged between China and India, Nepal depends heavily on India for the supply of essential goods including fuel and the use of its ports for trade with other countries. Kathmandu has sought access to Chinese ports to reduce dependence on India since a prolonged blockade of its border crossings with India in 2015 and 2016 left the country short of fuel and medicine for several months, reports Reuters.

BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers approve 167 connectivity projects costing US$ 50 billion

BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers approve 167 connectivity projects costing US$ 50 billion

The Foreign Ministers of countries which are part of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) have approved, in principle, 167 connectivity projects costing US$ 50 billion based on an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study, The Kathmandu Post reported. The member states are developing a BIMSTEC Transport Connectivity Master Plan, with a goal to complete it by the end of September 2018, Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said.

When taking loans developing countries find themselves between the devil and the deep sea

When taking loans developing countries find themselves between the devil and the deep sea

Developing countries of Asia and Africa find themselves between the devil and the deep sea when it comes to taking loans for development. One on the hand, they need loans to develop their long neglected economies, and on the other, they have to put up the onerous terms of the financiers. Western funding institutions give soft loans but impose policy constraints. China, the alternative financier, gives loans gives and does not dictate policy but it pushes the receiver into a debt trap. The net effect in both cases is the enslavement of the receiver.Inam Ahmed writing in The Daily Star advises caution in going for loans.

BIMSTEC enters new era with Kathmandu summit

BIMSTEC enters new era with Kathmandu summit

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), which held its fourth Summit in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, appears to have entered a new era, awakening from years of somnolence. The first signs of an awakening appeared in 2014, when a Permanent Secretariat was established and a Secretary General was appointed, the first since the organization came into being in 1997.Under the first Secretary General, Sumith Nakandala of Sri Lanka, BIMSTEC became a beehive of activity, writes P.K.Balachandran in Daily Mirror.

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