From Galwan Valley clash to Yarlung Zangbo River hydro project, 2020 brought to fore decades-old mistrust in India-China ties

The mistrust between India and China became clear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled out of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November 2019.

But back then no one could have imagined that a few months down the line the two countries would be involved in a skirmish that would not only lead to casualties on both sides, but would also see them firing shots after nearly 45 years, breaking some of the time-tested methods and protocols to resolve border issues.

While the world was busy fighting against the novel coronavirus that has killed over 1.8 million and infected nearly 83 million, in June soldiers from India and China were involved in a skirmish that killed 20 on the Indian side and higher toll on the Chinese side.

After months of diplomatic and military level talks, the border issue between India and China remains unresolved and has entered into other spheres of relations. India has already banned several Chinese apps on grounds of security while reports have hinted at the govt mulling raising tariffs on Chinese products.

Growing tensions are also said to be the reason behind 39 Indian sailors who are stuck in two cargo ships anchored in Chinese waters with Beijing restricting them from unloading the cargo or change staff.

Though China has blamed COVID-19 rules and regulations for the delay, denying any links between the stranded Indian ship crew on its Chinese ports and its strained relations with India. Efforts to resolve the issue diplomatically are still underway, but it would be immature to accept Beijing’s official version for the logjam, especially since other ships have been allowed to unload their cargo.

China’s plan to build a hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra) river in Tibet has raised anxieties in India. The project is a crucial part of China’s goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060. As a riparian State, India has naturally raised concerns, but China has downplayed them by saying it would keep their interests in mind.

The border conflict, the tussle over the hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo River, and now the sailors row, all show one thing: that the decades-old mistrust between the two Asian giants is back. And with two nationalists leading the two countries, it’s unlikely either of them will back off.

Decades-old mistrust comes to surface

India and China inherited their territorial disputes from the days of British colonial rule.

Three years after India’s independence in 1947 and a year after the communists came to power in China, the new government in Beijing began strongly asserting its claims and repudiating earlier treaties, claiming they  were signed under duress, but which India maintains are fixed.

Beijing strengthened its resolve under Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in decades, who has sworn not to surrender even an inch of territory.

In the 1950s, China started building a strategic road on the uninhabited Aksai Chin Plateau to connect its restive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. India objected and claimed Aksai Chin as part of Ladakh, itself belonging to the former principality of Kashmir, part of which is now occupied by Pakistan.

Relations were further strained after India allowed Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to establish a self-declared government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala after he fled his homeland in 1959 during an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

The differences led to a bitter monthlong war in 1962. Firefights broke out again in 1967 and 1975, leading to more deaths on both sides. Both countries since adopted protocols including an agreement not to use firearms, but those protocols have fractured in this year’s clashes. After nearly 45 years, the armies of the two countries fired warning shots following the clashes in June in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

After the 1962 war, both economies have grown substantially, but China has far outpaced India while enjoying a large trade surplus with its neighbour.

The growing economic rivalry has added to territorial and geostrategic differences. India has tried to capitalise on China’s rising labour costs, and deteriorating ties with the United States and Europe, to become a new base for foreign manufacturers.

India grew concerned after China recently built a road through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir as part of Xi’s signature foreign policy push, the multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, which India has vehemently opposed.

Meanwhile, India’s growing strategic alliance with the US has ruffled feathers in Beijing, which sees the relationship as a counterweight against Chinas rise. Indian fears of Chinese territorial expansion are bolstered by the growing presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and Beijing’s efforts to strengthen ties with not only Pakistan but also Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Beijing in the past few years has openly interfered in Nepal politics while Kathmandu has been continuously shuffling away from New Delhi. The current political crisis has revealed how deep these interferences run with China not only attempting to sway members of the ruling Nepal Communist Party but also the Opposition Nepal Congress Party.

Meanwhile, India is jockeying for strategic parity with China, massively ramping up its military infrastructure along the LAC. And so is China. The Galwan Valley clash was a direct result of infrastructure projects built by the two countries along the Line of Actual Control.

While India has built an all-weather Darbuk-Shyok-DBO road that not only improves access to the Daulat Beg Oldie airstrip (world’s highest landing ground) but also shortens the travel time from the airstrip to Leh to six hours from the current two days, China has reportedly started work on a helipad opposite the DBO airstrip. It is also building several other infrastructure projects, including a deep-buried complex, according to a report in India Today.

Already, India’s decision to withdraw the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two federal territories, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh, has irked China.

According to The Associated Press, shortly after the Modi govt announced the decision, lawmakers in the ruling BJP began advocating taking control of some China-run areas, alarming Beijing. Their rhetoric continues even today.

What lies in the future

Border tensions between the two neighbours have persisted despite talks at military, diplomatic, and political levels. However, with strong nationalists leading both countries, the border has taken on a prominence not seen in years. And it’s unlikely that the issue would be resolved anytime soon.

It remains to be seen if a full military conflict may emerge between the two countries, but both will continue with their efforts to win allies and improve their infrastructure along the LAC.

China is unlikely to dial down its salami-slicing tactics to incrementally gain territory more so in the post-pandemic world, which has presented with new opportunities to increase its influence on India’s neighbours.

As for India, as the only country standing against China’s military ambitions in Asia, it will be difficult to avoid conflicts such as the Galwan Valley clash or the one which has seen China using COVID-19 rules to held hostage of Indian sailors.

While Chinese soldiers maintain the occupation of Indian territory in Ladakh and up the infrastructure, the Indian Army has gained control of at least one unmanned mountain top, taking a tactical advantage over the PLA.

If diplomacy fails, guns will talk, but one hopes both countries will continue to show restraint.

With inputs from agencies

From Galwan Valley clash to Yarlung Zangbo River hydro project, 2020 brought to fore decades-old mistrust in India-China ties

The mistrust between India and China became clear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled out of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November 2019.

But back then no one could have imagined that a few months down the line the two countries would be involved in a skirmish that would not only lead to casualties on both sides, but would also see them firing shots after nearly 45 years, breaking some of the time-tested methods and protocols to resolve border issues.

While the world was busy fighting against the novel coronavirus that has killed over 1.8 million and infected nearly 83 million, in June soldiers from India and China were involved in a skirmish that killed 20 on the Indian side and higher toll on the Chinese side.

After months of diplomatic and military level talks, the border issue between India and China remains unresolved and has entered into other spheres of relations. India has already banned several Chinese apps on grounds of security while reports have hinted at the govt mulling raising tariffs on Chinese products.

Growing tensions are also said to be the reason behind 39 Indian sailors who are stuck in two cargo ships anchored in Chinese waters with Beijing restricting them from unloading the cargo or change staff.

Though China has blamed COVID-19 rules and regulations for the delay, denying any links between the stranded Indian ship crew on its Chinese ports and its strained relations with India. Efforts to resolve the issue diplomatically are still underway, but it would be immature to accept Beijing’s official version for the logjam, especially since other ships have been allowed to unload their cargo.

China’s plan to build a hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra) river in Tibet has raised anxieties in India. The project is a crucial part of China’s goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060. As a riparian State, India has naturally raised concerns, but China has downplayed them by saying it would keep their interests in mind.

The border conflict, the tussle over the hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo River, and now the sailors row, all show one thing: that the decades-old mistrust between the two Asian giants is back. And with two nationalists leading the two countries, it’s unlikely either of them will back off.

Decades-old mistrust comes to surface

India and China inherited their territorial disputes from the days of British colonial rule.

Three years after India’s independence in 1947 and a year after the communists came to power in China, the new government in Beijing began strongly asserting its claims and repudiating earlier treaties, claiming they  were signed under duress, but which India maintains are fixed.

Beijing strengthened its resolve under Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in decades, who has sworn not to surrender even an inch of territory.

In the 1950s, China started building a strategic road on the uninhabited Aksai Chin Plateau to connect its restive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. India objected and claimed Aksai Chin as part of Ladakh, itself belonging to the former principality of Kashmir, part of which is now occupied by Pakistan.

Relations were further strained after India allowed Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to establish a self-declared government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala after he fled his homeland in 1959 during an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

The differences led to a bitter monthlong war in 1962. Firefights broke out again in 1967 and 1975, leading to more deaths on both sides. Both countries since adopted protocols including an agreement not to use firearms, but those protocols have fractured in this year’s clashes. After nearly 45 years, the armies of the two countries fired warning shots following the clashes in June in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

After the 1962 war, both economies have grown substantially, but China has far outpaced India while enjoying a large trade surplus with its neighbour.

The growing economic rivalry has added to territorial and geostrategic differences. India has tried to capitalise on China’s rising labour costs, and deteriorating ties with the United States and Europe, to become a new base for foreign manufacturers.

India grew concerned after China recently built a road through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir as part of Xi’s signature foreign policy push, the multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, which India has vehemently opposed.

Meanwhile, India’s growing strategic alliance with the US has ruffled feathers in Beijing, which sees the relationship as a counterweight against Chinas rise. Indian fears of Chinese territorial expansion are bolstered by the growing presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and Beijing’s efforts to strengthen ties with not only Pakistan but also Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Beijing in the past few years has openly interfered in Nepal politics while Kathmandu has been continuously shuffling away from New Delhi. The current political crisis has revealed how deep these interferences run with China not only attempting to sway members of the ruling Nepal Communist Party but also the Opposition Nepal Congress Party.

Meanwhile, India is jockeying for strategic parity with China, massively ramping up its military infrastructure along the LAC. And so is China. The Galwan Valley clash was a direct result of infrastructure projects built by the two countries along the Line of Actual Control.

While India has built an all-weather Darbuk-Shyok-DBO road that not only improves access to the Daulat Beg Oldie airstrip (world’s highest landing ground) but also shortens the travel time from the airstrip to Leh to six hours from the current two days, China has reportedly started work on a helipad opposite the DBO airstrip. It is also building several other infrastructure projects, including a deep-buried complex, according to a report in India Today.

Already, India’s decision to withdraw the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two federal territories, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh, has irked China.

According to The Associated Press, shortly after the Modi govt announced the decision, lawmakers in the ruling BJP began advocating taking control of some China-run areas, alarming Beijing. Their rhetoric continues even today.

What lies in the future

Border tensions between the two neighbours have persisted despite talks at military, diplomatic, and political levels. However, with strong nationalists leading both countries, the border has taken on a prominence not seen in years. And it’s unlikely that the issue would be resolved anytime soon.

It remains to be seen if a full military conflict may emerge between the two countries, but both will continue with their efforts to win allies and improve their infrastructure along the LAC.

China is unlikely to dial down its salami-slicing tactics to incrementally gain territory more so in the post-pandemic world, which has presented with new opportunities to increase its influence on India’s neighbours.

As for India, as the only country standing against China’s military ambitions in Asia, it will be difficult to avoid conflicts such as the Galwan Valley clash or the one which has seen China using COVID-19 rules to held hostage of Indian sailors.

While Chinese soldiers maintain the occupation of Indian territory in Ladakh and up the infrastructure, the Indian Army has gained control of at least one unmanned mountain top, taking a tactical advantage over the PLA.

If diplomacy fails, guns will talk, but one hopes both countries will continue to show restraint.

With inputs from agencies

From Galwan Valley clash to Yarlung Zangbo River hydro project, 2020 brought to fore decades-old mistrust in India-China ties

The mistrust between India and China became clear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled out of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November 2019.

But back then no one could have imagined that a few months down the line the two countries would be involved in a skirmish that would not only lead to casualties on both sides, but would also see them firing shots after nearly 45 years, breaking some of the time-tested methods and protocols to resolve border issues.

While the world was busy fighting against the novel coronavirus that has killed over 1.8 million and infected nearly 83 million, in June soldiers from India and China were involved in a skirmish that killed 20 on the Indian side and higher toll on the Chinese side.

After months of diplomatic and military level talks, the border issue between India and China remains unresolved and has entered into other spheres of relations. India has already banned several Chinese apps on grounds of security while reports have hinted at the govt mulling raising tariffs on Chinese products.

Growing tensions are also said to be the reason behind 39 Indian sailors who are stuck in two cargo ships anchored in Chinese waters with Beijing restricting them from unloading the cargo or change staff.

Though China has blamed COVID-19 rules and regulations for the delay, denying any links between the stranded Indian ship crew on its Chinese ports and its strained relations with India. Efforts to resolve the issue diplomatically are still underway, but it would be immature to accept Beijing’s official version for the logjam, especially since other ships have been allowed to unload their cargo.

China’s plan to build a hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra) river in Tibet has raised anxieties in India. The project is a crucial part of China’s goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060. As a riparian State, India has naturally raised concerns, but China has downplayed them by saying it would keep their interests in mind.

The border conflict, the tussle over the hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo River, and now the sailors row, all show one thing: that the decades-old mistrust between the two Asian giants is back. And with two nationalists leading the two countries, it’s unlikely either of them will back off.

Decades-old mistrust comes to surface

India and China inherited their territorial disputes from the days of British colonial rule.

Three years after India’s independence in 1947 and a year after the communists came to power in China, the new government in Beijing began strongly asserting its claims and repudiating earlier treaties, claiming they  were signed under duress, but which India maintains are fixed.

Beijing strengthened its resolve under Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in decades, who has sworn not to surrender even an inch of territory.

In the 1950s, China started building a strategic road on the uninhabited Aksai Chin Plateau to connect its restive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. India objected and claimed Aksai Chin as part of Ladakh, itself belonging to the former principality of Kashmir, part of which is now occupied by Pakistan.

Relations were further strained after India allowed Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to establish a self-declared government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala after he fled his homeland in 1959 during an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

The differences led to a bitter monthlong war in 1962. Firefights broke out again in 1967 and 1975, leading to more deaths on both sides. Both countries since adopted protocols including an agreement not to use firearms, but those protocols have fractured in this year’s clashes. After nearly 45 years, the armies of the two countries fired warning shots following the clashes in June in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

After the 1962 war, both economies have grown substantially, but China has far outpaced India while enjoying a large trade surplus with its neighbour.

The growing economic rivalry has added to territorial and geostrategic differences. India has tried to capitalise on China’s rising labour costs, and deteriorating ties with the United States and Europe, to become a new base for foreign manufacturers.

India grew concerned after China recently built a road through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir as part of Xi’s signature foreign policy push, the multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, which India has vehemently opposed.

Meanwhile, India’s growing strategic alliance with the US has ruffled feathers in Beijing, which sees the relationship as a counterweight against Chinas rise. Indian fears of Chinese territorial expansion are bolstered by the growing presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and Beijing’s efforts to strengthen ties with not only Pakistan but also Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Beijing in the past few years has openly interfered in Nepal politics while Kathmandu has been continuously shuffling away from New Delhi. The current political crisis has revealed how deep these interferences run with China not only attempting to sway members of the ruling Nepal Communist Party but also the Opposition Nepal Congress Party.

Meanwhile, India is jockeying for strategic parity with China, massively ramping up its military infrastructure along the LAC. And so is China. The Galwan Valley clash was a direct result of infrastructure projects built by the two countries along the Line of Actual Control.

While India has built an all-weather Darbuk-Shyok-DBO road that not only improves access to the Daulat Beg Oldie airstrip (world’s highest landing ground) but also shortens the travel time from the airstrip to Leh to six hours from the current two days, China has reportedly started work on a helipad opposite the DBO airstrip. It is also building several other infrastructure projects, including a deep-buried complex, according to a report in India Today.

Already, India’s decision to withdraw the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two federal territories, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh, has irked China.

According to The Associated Press, shortly after the Modi govt announced the decision, lawmakers in the ruling BJP began advocating taking control of some China-run areas, alarming Beijing. Their rhetoric continues even today.

What lies in the future

Border tensions between the two neighbours have persisted despite talks at military, diplomatic, and political levels. However, with strong nationalists leading both countries, the border has taken on a prominence not seen in years. And it’s unlikely that the issue would be resolved anytime soon.

It remains to be seen if a full military conflict may emerge between the two countries, but both will continue with their efforts to win allies and improve their infrastructure along the LAC.

China is unlikely to dial down its salami-slicing tactics to incrementally gain territory more so in the post-pandemic world, which has presented with new opportunities to increase its influence on India’s neighbours.

As for India, as the only country standing against China’s military ambitions in Asia, it will be difficult to avoid conflicts such as the Galwan Valley clash or the one which has seen China using COVID-19 rules to held hostage of Indian sailors.

While Chinese soldiers maintain the occupation of Indian territory in Ladakh and up the infrastructure, the Indian Army has gained control of at least one unmanned mountain top, taking a tactical advantage over the PLA.

If diplomacy fails, guns will talk, but one hopes both countries will continue to show restraint.

With inputs from agencies

From Galwan Valley clash to Yarlung Zangbo River hydro project, 2020 brought to fore decades-old mistrust in India-China ties

The mistrust between India and China became clear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled out of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November 2019.

But back then no one could have imagined that a few months down the line the two countries would be involved in a skirmish that would not only lead to casualties on both sides, but would also see them firing shots after nearly 45 years, breaking some of the time-tested methods and protocols to resolve border issues.

While the world was busy fighting against the novel coronavirus that has killed over 1.8 million and infected nearly 83 million, in June soldiers from India and China were involved in a skirmish that killed 20 on the Indian side and higher toll on the Chinese side.

After months of diplomatic and military level talks, the border issue between India and China remains unresolved and has entered into other spheres of relations. India has already banned several Chinese apps on grounds of security while reports have hinted at the govt mulling raising tariffs on Chinese products.

Growing tensions are also said to be the reason behind 39 Indian sailors who are stuck in two cargo ships anchored in Chinese waters with Beijing restricting them from unloading the cargo or change staff.

Though China has blamed COVID-19 rules and regulations for the delay, denying any links between the stranded Indian ship crew on its Chinese ports and its strained relations with India. Efforts to resolve the issue diplomatically are still underway, but it would be immature to accept Beijing’s official version for the logjam, especially since other ships have been allowed to unload their cargo.

China’s plan to build a hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra) river in Tibet has raised anxieties in India. The project is a crucial part of China’s goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060. As a riparian State, India has naturally raised concerns, but China has downplayed them by saying it would keep their interests in mind.

The border conflict, the tussle over the hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo River, and now the sailors row, all show one thing: that the decades-old mistrust between the two Asian giants is back. And with two nationalists leading the two countries, it’s unlikely either of them will back off.

Decades-old mistrust comes to surface

India and China inherited their territorial disputes from the days of British colonial rule.

Three years after India’s independence in 1947 and a year after the communists came to power in China, the new government in Beijing began strongly asserting its claims and repudiating earlier treaties, claiming they  were signed under duress, but which India maintains are fixed.

Beijing strengthened its resolve under Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in decades, who has sworn not to surrender even an inch of territory.

In the 1950s, China started building a strategic road on the uninhabited Aksai Chin Plateau to connect its restive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. India objected and claimed Aksai Chin as part of Ladakh, itself belonging to the former principality of Kashmir, part of which is now occupied by Pakistan.

Relations were further strained after India allowed Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to establish a self-declared government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala after he fled his homeland in 1959 during an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

The differences led to a bitter monthlong war in 1962. Firefights broke out again in 1967 and 1975, leading to more deaths on both sides. Both countries since adopted protocols including an agreement not to use firearms, but those protocols have fractured in this year’s clashes. After nearly 45 years, the armies of the two countries fired warning shots following the clashes in June in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

After the 1962 war, both economies have grown substantially, but China has far outpaced India while enjoying a large trade surplus with its neighbour.

The growing economic rivalry has added to territorial and geostrategic differences. India has tried to capitalise on China’s rising labour costs, and deteriorating ties with the United States and Europe, to become a new base for foreign manufacturers.

India grew concerned after China recently built a road through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir as part of Xi’s signature foreign policy push, the multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, which India has vehemently opposed.

Meanwhile, India’s growing strategic alliance with the US has ruffled feathers in Beijing, which sees the relationship as a counterweight against Chinas rise. Indian fears of Chinese territorial expansion are bolstered by the growing presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and Beijing’s efforts to strengthen ties with not only Pakistan but also Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Beijing in the past few years has openly interfered in Nepal politics while Kathmandu has been continuously shuffling away from New Delhi. The current political crisis has revealed how deep these interferences run with China not only attempting to sway members of the ruling Nepal Communist Party but also the Opposition Nepal Congress Party.

Meanwhile, India is jockeying for strategic parity with China, massively ramping up its military infrastructure along the LAC. And so is China. The Galwan Valley clash was a direct result of infrastructure projects built by the two countries along the Line of Actual Control.

While India has built an all-weather Darbuk-Shyok-DBO road that not only improves access to the Daulat Beg Oldie airstrip (world’s highest landing ground) but also shortens the travel time from the airstrip to Leh to six hours from the current two days, China has reportedly started work on a helipad opposite the DBO airstrip. It is also building several other infrastructure projects, including a deep-buried complex, according to a report in India Today.

Already, India’s decision to withdraw the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two federal territories, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh, has irked China.

According to The Associated Press, shortly after the Modi govt announced the decision, lawmakers in the ruling BJP began advocating taking control of some China-run areas, alarming Beijing. Their rhetoric continues even today.

What lies in the future

Border tensions between the two neighbours have persisted despite talks at military, diplomatic, and political levels. However, with strong nationalists leading both countries, the border has taken on a prominence not seen in years. And it’s unlikely that the issue would be resolved anytime soon.

It remains to be seen if a full military conflict may emerge between the two countries, but both will continue with their efforts to win allies and improve their infrastructure along the LAC.

China is unlikely to dial down its salami-slicing tactics to incrementally gain territory more so in the post-pandemic world, which has presented with new opportunities to increase its influence on India’s neighbours.

As for India, as the only country standing against China’s military ambitions in Asia, it will be difficult to avoid conflicts such as the Galwan Valley clash or the one which has seen China using COVID-19 rules to held hostage of Indian sailors.

While Chinese soldiers maintain the occupation of Indian territory in Ladakh and up the infrastructure, the Indian Army has gained control of at least one unmanned mountain top, taking a tactical advantage over the PLA.

If diplomacy fails, guns will talk, but one hopes both countries will continue to show restraint.

With inputs from agencies

From Galwan Valley clash to Yarlung Zangbo River hydro project, 2020 brought to fore decades-old mistrust in India-China ties

The mistrust between India and China became clear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled out of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November 2019.

But back then no one could have imagined that a few months down the line the two countries would be involved in a skirmish that would not only lead to casualties on both sides, but would also see them firing shots after nearly 45 years, breaking some of the time-tested methods and protocols to resolve border issues.

While the world was busy fighting against the novel coronavirus that has killed over 1.8 million and infected nearly 83 million, in June soldiers from India and China were involved in a skirmish that killed 20 on the Indian side and higher toll on the Chinese side.

After months of diplomatic and military level talks, the border issue between India and China remains unresolved and has entered into other spheres of relations. India has already banned several Chinese apps on grounds of security while reports have hinted at the govt mulling raising tariffs on Chinese products.

Growing tensions are also said to be the reason behind 39 Indian sailors who are stuck in two cargo ships anchored in Chinese waters with Beijing restricting them from unloading the cargo or change staff.

Though China has blamed COVID-19 rules and regulations for the delay, denying any links between the stranded Indian ship crew on its Chinese ports and its strained relations with India. Efforts to resolve the issue diplomatically are still underway, but it would be immature to accept Beijing’s official version for the logjam, especially since other ships have been allowed to unload their cargo.

China’s plan to build a hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra) river in Tibet has raised anxieties in India. The project is a crucial part of China’s goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060. As a riparian State, India has naturally raised concerns, but China has downplayed them by saying it would keep their interests in mind.

The border conflict, the tussle over the hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo River, and now the sailors row, all show one thing: that the decades-old mistrust between the two Asian giants is back. And with two nationalists leading the two countries, it’s unlikely either of them will back off.

Decades-old mistrust comes to surface

India and China inherited their territorial disputes from the days of British colonial rule.

Three years after India’s independence in 1947 and a year after the communists came to power in China, the new government in Beijing began strongly asserting its claims and repudiating earlier treaties, claiming they  were signed under duress, but which India maintains are fixed.

Beijing strengthened its resolve under Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in decades, who has sworn not to surrender even an inch of territory.

In the 1950s, China started building a strategic road on the uninhabited Aksai Chin Plateau to connect its restive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. India objected and claimed Aksai Chin as part of Ladakh, itself belonging to the former principality of Kashmir, part of which is now occupied by Pakistan.

Relations were further strained after India allowed Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to establish a self-declared government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala after he fled his homeland in 1959 during an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

The differences led to a bitter monthlong war in 1962. Firefights broke out again in 1967 and 1975, leading to more deaths on both sides. Both countries since adopted protocols including an agreement not to use firearms, but those protocols have fractured in this year’s clashes. After nearly 45 years, the armies of the two countries fired warning shots following the clashes in June in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

After the 1962 war, both economies have grown substantially, but China has far outpaced India while enjoying a large trade surplus with its neighbour.

The growing economic rivalry has added to territorial and geostrategic differences. India has tried to capitalise on China’s rising labour costs, and deteriorating ties with the United States and Europe, to become a new base for foreign manufacturers.

India grew concerned after China recently built a road through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir as part of Xi’s signature foreign policy push, the multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, which India has vehemently opposed.

Meanwhile, India’s growing strategic alliance with the US has ruffled feathers in Beijing, which sees the relationship as a counterweight against Chinas rise. Indian fears of Chinese territorial expansion are bolstered by the growing presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and Beijing’s efforts to strengthen ties with not only Pakistan but also Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Beijing in the past few years has openly interfered in Nepal politics while Kathmandu has been continuously shuffling away from New Delhi. The current political crisis has revealed how deep these interferences run with China not only attempting to sway members of the ruling Nepal Communist Party but also the Opposition Nepal Congress Party.

Meanwhile, India is jockeying for strategic parity with China, massively ramping up its military infrastructure along the LAC. And so is China. The Galwan Valley clash was a direct result of infrastructure projects built by the two countries along the Line of Actual Control.

While India has built an all-weather Darbuk-Shyok-DBO road that not only improves access to the Daulat Beg Oldie airstrip (world’s highest landing ground) but also shortens the travel time from the airstrip to Leh to six hours from the current two days, China has reportedly started work on a helipad opposite the DBO airstrip. It is also building several other infrastructure projects, including a deep-buried complex, according to a report in India Today.

Already, India’s decision to withdraw the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two federal territories, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh, has irked China.

According to The Associated Press, shortly after the Modi govt announced the decision, lawmakers in the ruling BJP began advocating taking control of some China-run areas, alarming Beijing. Their rhetoric continues even today.

What lies in the future

Border tensions between the two neighbours have persisted despite talks at military, diplomatic, and political levels. However, with strong nationalists leading both countries, the border has taken on a prominence not seen in years. And it’s unlikely that the issue would be resolved anytime soon.

It remains to be seen if a full military conflict may emerge between the two countries, but both will continue with their efforts to win allies and improve their infrastructure along the LAC.

China is unlikely to dial down its salami-slicing tactics to incrementally gain territory more so in the post-pandemic world, which has presented with new opportunities to increase its influence on India’s neighbours.

As for India, as the only country standing against China’s military ambitions in Asia, it will be difficult to avoid conflicts such as the Galwan Valley clash or the one which has seen China using COVID-19 rules to held hostage of Indian sailors.

While Chinese soldiers maintain the occupation of Indian territory in Ladakh and up the infrastructure, the Indian Army has gained control of at least one unmanned mountain top, taking a tactical advantage over the PLA.

If diplomacy fails, guns will talk, but one hopes both countries will continue to show restraint.

With inputs from agencies

From Galwan Valley clash to Yarlung Zangbo River hydro project, 2020 brought to fore decades-old mistrust in India-China ties

The mistrust between India and China became clear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled out of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November 2019.

But back then no one could have imagined that a few months down the line the two countries would be involved in a skirmish that would not only lead to casualties on both sides, but would also see them firing shots after nearly 45 years, breaking some of the time-tested methods and protocols to resolve border issues.

While the world was busy fighting against the novel coronavirus that has killed over 1.8 million and infected nearly 83 million, in June soldiers from India and China were involved in a skirmish that killed 20 on the Indian side and higher toll on the Chinese side.

After months of diplomatic and military level talks, the border issue between India and China remains unresolved and has entered into other spheres of relations. India has already banned several Chinese apps on grounds of security while reports have hinted at the govt mulling raising tariffs on Chinese products.

Growing tensions are also said to be the reason behind 39 Indian sailors who are stuck in two cargo ships anchored in Chinese waters with Beijing restricting them from unloading the cargo or change staff.

Though China has blamed COVID-19 rules and regulations for the delay, denying any links between the stranded Indian ship crew on its Chinese ports and its strained relations with India. Efforts to resolve the issue diplomatically are still underway, but it would be immature to accept Beijing’s official version for the logjam, especially since other ships have been allowed to unload their cargo.

China’s plan to build a hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra) river in Tibet has raised anxieties in India. The project is a crucial part of China’s goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060. As a riparian State, India has naturally raised concerns, but China has downplayed them by saying it would keep their interests in mind.

The border conflict, the tussle over the hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo River, and now the sailors row, all show one thing: that the decades-old mistrust between the two Asian giants is back. And with two nationalists leading the two countries, it’s unlikely either of them will back off.

Decades-old mistrust comes to surface

India and China inherited their territorial disputes from the days of British colonial rule.

Three years after India’s independence in 1947 and a year after the communists came to power in China, the new government in Beijing began strongly asserting its claims and repudiating earlier treaties, claiming they  were signed under duress, but which India maintains are fixed.

Beijing strengthened its resolve under Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in decades, who has sworn not to surrender even an inch of territory.

In the 1950s, China started building a strategic road on the uninhabited Aksai Chin Plateau to connect its restive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. India objected and claimed Aksai Chin as part of Ladakh, itself belonging to the former principality of Kashmir, part of which is now occupied by Pakistan.

Relations were further strained after India allowed Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to establish a self-declared government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala after he fled his homeland in 1959 during an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

The differences led to a bitter monthlong war in 1962. Firefights broke out again in 1967 and 1975, leading to more deaths on both sides. Both countries since adopted protocols including an agreement not to use firearms, but those protocols have fractured in this year’s clashes. After nearly 45 years, the armies of the two countries fired warning shots following the clashes in June in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

After the 1962 war, both economies have grown substantially, but China has far outpaced India while enjoying a large trade surplus with its neighbour.

The growing economic rivalry has added to territorial and geostrategic differences. India has tried to capitalise on China’s rising labour costs, and deteriorating ties with the United States and Europe, to become a new base for foreign manufacturers.

India grew concerned after China recently built a road through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir as part of Xi’s signature foreign policy push, the multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, which India has vehemently opposed.

Meanwhile, India’s growing strategic alliance with the US has ruffled feathers in Beijing, which sees the relationship as a counterweight against Chinas rise. Indian fears of Chinese territorial expansion are bolstered by the growing presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and Beijing’s efforts to strengthen ties with not only Pakistan but also Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Beijing in the past few years has openly interfered in Nepal politics while Kathmandu has been continuously shuffling away from New Delhi. The current political crisis has revealed how deep these interferences run with China not only attempting to sway members of the ruling Nepal Communist Party but also the Opposition Nepal Congress Party.

Meanwhile, India is jockeying for strategic parity with China, massively ramping up its military infrastructure along the LAC. And so is China. The Galwan Valley clash was a direct result of infrastructure projects built by the two countries along the Line of Actual Control.

While India has built an all-weather Darbuk-Shyok-DBO road that not only improves access to the Daulat Beg Oldie airstrip (world’s highest landing ground) but also shortens the travel time from the airstrip to Leh to six hours from the current two days, China has reportedly started work on a helipad opposite the DBO airstrip. It is also building several other infrastructure projects, including a deep-buried complex, according to a report in India Today.

Already, India’s decision to withdraw the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two federal territories, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh, has irked China.

According to The Associated Press, shortly after the Modi govt announced the decision, lawmakers in the ruling BJP began advocating taking control of some China-run areas, alarming Beijing. Their rhetoric continues even today.

What lies in the future

Border tensions between the two neighbours have persisted despite talks at military, diplomatic, and political levels. However, with strong nationalists leading both countries, the border has taken on a prominence not seen in years. And it’s unlikely that the issue would be resolved anytime soon.

It remains to be seen if a full military conflict may emerge between the two countries, but both will continue with their efforts to win allies and improve their infrastructure along the LAC.

China is unlikely to dial down its salami-slicing tactics to incrementally gain territory more so in the post-pandemic world, which has presented with new opportunities to increase its influence on India’s neighbours.

As for India, as the only country standing against China’s military ambitions in Asia, it will be difficult to avoid conflicts such as the Galwan Valley clash or the one which has seen China using COVID-19 rules to held hostage of Indian sailors.

While Chinese soldiers maintain the occupation of Indian territory in Ladakh and up the infrastructure, the Indian Army has gained control of at least one unmanned mountain top, taking a tactical advantage over the PLA.

If diplomacy fails, guns will talk, but one hopes both countries will continue to show restraint.

With inputs from agencies

From Galwan Valley clash to Yarlung Zangbo River hydro project, 2020 brought to fore decades-old mistrust in India-China ties

The mistrust between India and China became clear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled out of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November 2019.

But back then no one could have imagined that a few months down the line the two countries would be involved in a skirmish that would not only lead to casualties on both sides, but would also see them firing shots after nearly 45 years, breaking some of the time-tested methods and protocols to resolve border issues.

While the world was busy fighting against the novel coronavirus that has killed over 1.8 million and infected nearly 83 million, in June soldiers from India and China were involved in a skirmish that killed 20 on the Indian side and higher toll on the Chinese side.

After months of diplomatic and military level talks, the border issue between India and China remains unresolved and has entered into other spheres of relations. India has already banned several Chinese apps on grounds of security while reports have hinted at the govt mulling raising tariffs on Chinese products.

Growing tensions are also said to be the reason behind 39 Indian sailors who are stuck in two cargo ships anchored in Chinese waters with Beijing restricting them from unloading the cargo or change staff.

Though China has blamed COVID-19 rules and regulations for the delay, denying any links between the stranded Indian ship crew on its Chinese ports and its strained relations with India. Efforts to resolve the issue diplomatically are still underway, but it would be immature to accept Beijing’s official version for the logjam, especially since other ships have been allowed to unload their cargo.

China’s plan to build a hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra) river in Tibet has raised anxieties in India. The project is a crucial part of China’s goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060. As a riparian State, India has naturally raised concerns, but China has downplayed them by saying it would keep their interests in mind.

The border conflict, the tussle over the hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo River, and now the sailors row, all show one thing: that the decades-old mistrust between the two Asian giants is back. And with two nationalists leading the two countries, it’s unlikely either of them will back off.

Decades-old mistrust comes to surface

India and China inherited their territorial disputes from the days of British colonial rule.

Three years after India’s independence in 1947 and a year after the communists came to power in China, the new government in Beijing began strongly asserting its claims and repudiating earlier treaties, claiming they  were signed under duress, but which India maintains are fixed.

Beijing strengthened its resolve under Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in decades, who has sworn not to surrender even an inch of territory.

In the 1950s, China started building a strategic road on the uninhabited Aksai Chin Plateau to connect its restive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. India objected and claimed Aksai Chin as part of Ladakh, itself belonging to the former principality of Kashmir, part of which is now occupied by Pakistan.

Relations were further strained after India allowed Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to establish a self-declared government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala after he fled his homeland in 1959 during an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

The differences led to a bitter monthlong war in 1962. Firefights broke out again in 1967 and 1975, leading to more deaths on both sides. Both countries since adopted protocols including an agreement not to use firearms, but those protocols have fractured in this year’s clashes. After nearly 45 years, the armies of the two countries fired warning shots following the clashes in June in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

After the 1962 war, both economies have grown substantially, but China has far outpaced India while enjoying a large trade surplus with its neighbour.

The growing economic rivalry has added to territorial and geostrategic differences. India has tried to capitalise on China’s rising labour costs, and deteriorating ties with the United States and Europe, to become a new base for foreign manufacturers.

India grew concerned after China recently built a road through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir as part of Xi’s signature foreign policy push, the multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, which India has vehemently opposed.

Meanwhile, India’s growing strategic alliance with the US has ruffled feathers in Beijing, which sees the relationship as a counterweight against Chinas rise. Indian fears of Chinese territorial expansion are bolstered by the growing presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and Beijing’s efforts to strengthen ties with not only Pakistan but also Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Beijing in the past few years has openly interfered in Nepal politics while Kathmandu has been continuously shuffling away from New Delhi. The current political crisis has revealed how deep these interferences run with China not only attempting to sway members of the ruling Nepal Communist Party but also the Opposition Nepal Congress Party.

Meanwhile, India is jockeying for strategic parity with China, massively ramping up its military infrastructure along the LAC. And so is China. The Galwan Valley clash was a direct result of infrastructure projects built by the two countries along the Line of Actual Control.

While India has built an all-weather Darbuk-Shyok-DBO road that not only improves access to the Daulat Beg Oldie airstrip (world’s highest landing ground) but also shortens the travel time from the airstrip to Leh to six hours from the current two days, China has reportedly started work on a helipad opposite the DBO airstrip. It is also building several other infrastructure projects, including a deep-buried complex, according to a report in India Today.

Already, India’s decision to withdraw the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two federal territories, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh, has irked China.

According to The Associated Press, shortly after the Modi govt announced the decision, lawmakers in the ruling BJP began advocating taking control of some China-run areas, alarming Beijing. Their rhetoric continues even today.

What lies in the future

Border tensions between the two neighbours have persisted despite talks at military, diplomatic, and political levels. However, with strong nationalists leading both countries, the border has taken on a prominence not seen in years. And it’s unlikely that the issue would be resolved anytime soon.

It remains to be seen if a full military conflict may emerge between the two countries, but both will continue with their efforts to win allies and improve their infrastructure along the LAC.

China is unlikely to dial down its salami-slicing tactics to incrementally gain territory more so in the post-pandemic world, which has presented with new opportunities to increase its influence on India’s neighbours.

As for India, as the only country standing against China’s military ambitions in Asia, it will be difficult to avoid conflicts such as the Galwan Valley clash or the one which has seen China using COVID-19 rules to held hostage of Indian sailors.

While Chinese soldiers maintain the occupation of Indian territory in Ladakh and up the infrastructure, the Indian Army has gained control of at least one unmanned mountain top, taking a tactical advantage over the PLA.

If diplomacy fails, guns will talk, but one hopes both countries will continue to show restraint.

With inputs from agencies

COVID-19 vaccine dry run in all states on 2 Jan, SEC meet tomorrow; cases of UK strain rise to 25

Ahead of an expert panel meeting slated for 1 January, Drug Controller General of India VG Somani on Thursday hinted at approval for COVID-19 vaccine, saying “…probably we will have a very happy New Year with something in hand.”

Stepping up its preparations for the vaccine rollout, the Union health ministry said administrations of all states and union territories will conduct COVID-19 vaccination dry runs on 2 January.

“We are fully prepared to launch the world’s biggest vaccination drive,” asserted Prime Minister Narendra Modi but urged people to maintain caution even after inoculation, giving the slogan “Davai bhi, kadaai bhi (yes to medicine and yes to caution)”.

The number of cases of the new coronavirus variant in the country rose to 25, with five more cases being detected. Restrictions in view of New Year’s celebrations were imposed in several places across the country while Tamil Nadu extended lockdown restrictions, albeit with more relaxations.

Odisha imposed a night curfew across the state from 10 pm on Thursday till 5 am on 1 January (Friday) while the Delhi government announced curbs from 11 pm to 6 am on 31 December and 1 January. West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said a night curfew will not be imposed but the state government will take all precautionary measures to prevent large gatherings on the occasion.

DCGI hints at vaccine approval in New year

At a webinar organised by the Department of Biotechnology, the DCGI hinted that India is likely to have a vaccine in the new year. He talked about the efforts made by the Department of Biotechnology and said vaccine candidates have got funding. “…and probably we will have a very happy New Year with something in hand. That’s what I can hint at,” Somnai said.

An expert panel in the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) will meet on Friday, the first day of the year, to further deliberate on the matter to consider emergency use authorisation applications by Serum Institute of India (SII) for the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine and Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’.

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 had on Wednesday deliberated and analysed the additional data and information submitted by the SII and Bharat Biotech. The SII, Bharat Biotech and Pfizer have applied to the DCGI seeking emergency use authorisation for their COVID-19 vaccine candidates and are awaiting approval.

Somani said the approval process was fast-tracked in view of the pandemic by quickly processing all applications, allowing parallel phase 1 and phase 2 trials without waiting for complete data. For restricted emergency use authorisation, he said, “There are certain parameters that if we get limited data or partial data of reasonable safety and efficacy, we will allow that vaccine to come into the immunisation programme into the market.” The DCGI sought to assure that “there is no compromise at all in the safety, efficacy and quality except for accepting the partial data for emergency use authorisation.”

Vaccine dry run in all states on 2 Jan

In another related development, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness at session sites for COVID-19 vaccination with principal secretaries (Health) and other health administrators of all states and UTs through video-conferencing.

The health ministry said a dry run for COVID-19 vaccination will be conducted in all state capitals in at least 3 session sites on 2 January to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges. For each of the three-session sites, the Medical Officer In-charge will identify 25 test beneficiaries (healthcare workers).

Some states will also include districts that are situated in difficult terrain/have poor logistical support, while Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their capital, the Union Health Ministry said.

“The objective of the dry run for COVID-19 vaccine introduction is to assess operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN application in the field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guideway forward prior to actual implementation. This is also expected to give confidence to programme managers at various levels,” the ministry said.

The Central government has also asked all states and UTs to ensure effective preparedness for the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

Dont believe in rumours regarding vaccine, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking after laying the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rajkot via video conferencing, exuded confidence that India is ready to roll out the world’s biggest vaccination drivphae against coronavirus.

People should not believe in rumours and unfounded claims regarding the vaccine, Modi said and claimed that some persons have already started spreading such lies.

Efforts to make a ‘Made in India’ vaccine available to every eligible beneficiary in the country are in the final stage, Modi said, noting that new coronavirus cases are decreasing in the country.

Moderna vaccine show 94.1% efficacy: study

Results from the primary analysis of the ongoing phase-3 clinical trial of US biotechnology company Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine have revealed 94.1 percent efficacy of the therapeutic in preventing symptomatic infections and severe illness, according to a peer-reviewed study, published on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

It found that among over 30,000 participants randomised to receive the vaccine or a placebo, 11 in the vaccine group developed symptomatic COVID-19 compared to 185 participants who received the placebo. The researchers said this demonstrates 94.1 percent efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, adding that cases of the severe disease occurred only in participants who received the placebo.

The study enrolled 30,420 adult participants at 99 sites in the US. Eligible participants were 18 years old or more with no known history of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and whose locations or circumstances put them at appreciable risk of the infection and high risk of severe COVID-19, the researchers said.

The participants received their first injection between 27 July and 23 October, followed by a second shot 28 days later. Each jab, given intramuscularly, had a volume of 0.5 millilitres (mL), containing 100 micrograms (g) of mRNA-1273 vaccine or saline placebo.

The researchers said overall, reactions to the vaccine were mild — about half of the recipients experienced fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, and headaches, more so after the second dose.

The co-principal investigator for the study and lead author of the paper Lindsey Baden said while these results are encouraging, they are limited by the short duration of follow-up so far.

India registers 21,822 new cases

India’s COVID-19 caseload on Thursday rose to 1,02,66,674 with 21,822 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98.60 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 96.04 percent, according to the Union Health Ministry’s morning update. The toll increased to 1,48,738 with 299 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed

With a net decline of 4,616, active cases stand at 2,57,656 active coronavirus infections in the country and comprise 2.51 percent of the total caseload, the ministry said.

Of the new recovered cases, 77.99 percent are observed to be concentrated in 10 states and UTs. At 5,707, Kerala has reported the maximum number of single-day recoveries, while 4,913 people recovered in Maharashtra followed by 1,588 in Chhattisgarh.

The ministry further said that 79.87 percent of the new cases are from 10 States and UTs. Kerala has reported the highest daily new cases at 6,268. It is followed by Maharashtra with 3,537 new cases.

Also, ten states and UTs accounting for 80.60 percent of the 299 new deaths. Maharashtra reported maximum casualties with 90 new fatalities. Kerala and West Bengal both follow with 28 daily deaths, it said.

Tally of new virus strain cases rises to 25

Separately, the health ministry said a total of 25 people in the country have tested positive for the new UK variant genome of SARS-CoV-2 so far. These 25 people include the 20 who were found positive with the mutated strain on Tuesday and Wednesday. “All 25 persons are in physical isolation in health facilities,” the health ministry said.

Among the new five cases, the mutated UK strain was detected in four at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and one new case was sequenced at theInstitute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi, it said. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts, and others.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said a total of 38 people have been found positive since coming to the National Capital from the UK recently and kept in a separate institutional isolation unit in the LNJP Hospital premises. “Four such patients have been found infected with the new UK strain of COVID-19. The persons who came in their contact have been also traced and tested, and it is not in them. So, only these four cases of the new strain in Delhi so far,” he said.

Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar exuded confidence that the 199 UK returnees who went untraceable will be tracked by the end of the day. “Of the 199 people, 24 were identified on Wednesday. Most probably, we will find out the rest of the people by the evening,” the minister said.

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja said as many as 32 people, who recently returned from the UK, have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state and their samples have been sent to NIV Pune.

Restrictions for new year

Meanwhile, restrictions were imposed in various states and cities to avoid large gatherings for new years celebrations.  In Delhi, night curfew will be imposed from 11 pm on 31 December to 6 am on 1 January, and again from 11 pm on 1 January to 6 am on  2 January, said an order issued on Wednesday by Vijay Dev, Delhi Chief Secretary and chairman of the Executive Committee of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA). It stated that not more than five people will be allowed to assemble at public places in Delhi during night curfew to avoid large gatherings.

However, there will be no restriction on the interstate and intrastate movement of people and goods during night curfew in Delhi, the chief secretary said in the order. The Delhi Police said no gatherings will be allowed in open public places like Connaught Place and India Gate during the night curfew.

The civic body in Mumbai permitted delivery of food from restaurants post 11 pm on Thursday in a bid to encourage people to celebrate at home.”Don’t Stop The Party, Mumbai – Just Take It Indoors After 11:00! Restaurants are allowed to home deliver food in the city post 11:00 pm,” the BMC tweeted.

The civic body further stated that COVID-19 prevention norms will have to be followed to ensure that Mumbai rings in the new year safely.

The Maharashtra government has put in place a night curfew between 11 pm and 6 am, prohibiting the gathering of five or more persons in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parties will not be allowed at any hotel, bar, pubs, restaurants after 11 pm and the Mumbai Police too has announced a slew of restrictions.

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena on Twitter said, “Govt (Government) of Odisha imposing night curfew from 10 pm of tonight to 5 am tomorrow across the state. The general public requested to cooperate. All essential services and movements are allowed to continue during the curfew hours.”

The Kerala government has imposed restrictions saying celebrations should come to a close by 10 pm and public gatherings should be avoided. Drones would be used to track any violations, state Police chief Loknath Behera said, adding action would also be initiated against those indulging in noisy celebrations. Everyone should ensure strict compliance of COVID protocol in such gatherings.

West Bengal chief secretary said the current situation is not conducive to imposing a night curfew but urged people to cooperate with the administration and the police. “There will be special assistance booths at places like Park Street and Victoria Memorial where a large turnout is expected,” he said.

The Kolkata Police has also taken measures to ensure that all COVID-19 safety protocols are adhered to and large gatherings on New Year’s eve are prevented, as per the Calcutta High Court’s order to check a spike in infections.

Tamil Nadu extends lockdown but with relaxations

The Tamil Nadu government has extended lockdown restrictions in the state till 31 January, while announcing relaxations (except in containment zones) such as lifting time restrictions on places of worship and allowing indoor and outdoor shootings for films and serials to be held without a limit on the number of participants, said reports.

As per a report by The News Minute,the state government has also increased the cap on visitors to 200 persons or 50 percent capacity of the indoor arenas where religious, social, political, sports, entertainment and cultural meetings are held.

According to the Indian Express, the government has denied permission for the public to gather at the beaches for Kaanum Pongal on 16 January. The E-registration process will continue for those entering the state, except from Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.

Schools in Kerala will reopen partially on 1 January while strictly following COVID protocols. The classes for 10th and 12th standards would begin with limited hours and a restricted number of students, official sources told news agency PTI.

The state health minister said that the academic year, which comes at a time of the COVID pandemic, should be dealt with confidence but caution. “Students should not be afraid to go to schools. The government has made all arrangements,” she said, urging everyone to strictly follow the guidelines issued by the health and the educations departments.

With inputs from PTI

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Updates: Test results to be out by 15 July; board to release date sheets soon

19:00 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates LATEST Updates

‘Nation shifted to online classroom module overnight’

The education minister on Thursday said that our nation shifted to online classrooms overnight amid the pandemic with the help of teachers. He also said that ‘one class one channel’ was launched by DTH services to help those students who do not have access to the internet and smartphones. He also thanked the students for their constant support and cooperation.

18:28 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates LATEST Updates 

CBSE to release date sheet for both Class 10 and 12 soon

The datasheet will be issued soon by the CBSE. The delay in exam schedule comes after several parents requested on the social media platform of the education minister.

“Schools will be allowed to conduct Practical/Project/Internal Assessment of Class 10 and Class 12 from 1 March, 2021 to the last date of conduct of theory examination of these classes. Date sheet of both Class 10th & 12th will be issued soon”, the central board said.

18:15 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Results to be out on 15 July, announces Education ministry

Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday announced that the CBSE Class 10 and 12 results will be declared by 15 July. Practical exams will begin from 1 March.

18:09 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Exams to be held from 4 May to 10 June

Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday announced the timetable for CBSE Class 10 and 12 exams. He said that exams will start by 4 May and end by 10 June. 

18:04 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Ramesh Pokhriyal begins online presser on CBSE class 10, 12 exam schedule

17:42 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

CBSE exams to be held in pen-and-paper mode

On the modes of exams, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said, “Many CBSE schools are in rural areas. Hence, online examinations are not possible.” The exams will be held in pen-and-paper mode.

17:22 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Clearing all confusion about exams in today’s announcement: Ramesh Pokhriyal 

According to media reports, the Union education minister has said that there is a lot of confusion and speculation regarding the conduct of the board exams. Hence he will be clearing the air by declaring the dates of both Class 10 and Class 12 exams.

Following the report, Nishank posted a tweet addressed to the students, guardians and teachers, assuring that all the decisions that are taken with respect to the exams will be for the well-being of the students. All the calls will be taken with the future implications of the students in mind, he added.

17:06 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Suggestions taken from parents, teachers, and students

The education minister has said that after keeping the suggestions of several parents, teachers and students in mind and the circumstances in the future, the dates of the CBSE board Exam 2021 will be announced today

16:43 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

CBSE Board exams 2021 to be held offline, says report

“CBSE compartment exams were conducted earlier this year amid the pandemic and we will be able to manage board exams in 2021 in offline mode without hassle. There are no plans to delay the exams and it will be held in February-March as usual. We are hopeful that states will soon reopen schools and students will get time to prepare for the exams,” Sanyam Bhardwaj, Controller of Examinations, CBSE, told The Times of India.

16:32 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Board exams will be held after Feb: Union education minister

The Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had earlier ruled out conducting board examinations for classes 10 and 12 till February in view of the COVID-19 situation.

Usually, practical tests are conducted in January and theory exams begin in February and conclude in March. The exam will be held in the offline written mode, as usual.

16:26 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal to announce details at 6 pm today

Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ is going to announce the date and time for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 and 12 exams at 6 pm today (Thursday), 31 December. Ramesh Pokhriyal took to his social media handles on 26 December to state that he will be making the announcement on the last date of the current year.

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates: Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced the dates of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) classes 10 and 12 exams. The CBSE exam will be held from 4 May to 10 June.

Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ is going to announce the date and time for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 and 12 exams at 6 pm today (Thursday), 31 December. Ramesh Pokhriyal took to his social media handles on 26 December to state that he will be making the announcement on the last date of the current year.

According to media reports, the minister has said that there is a lot of confusion and speculation regarding the conduct of the board exams. Hence he will be clearing the air by declaring the dates of both Class 10 and Class 12 exams.

Following the report, Nishank posted a tweet addressed to the students, guardians and the teachers, assuring that all the decisions that are taken with respect to the exams will be for the well-being of the students. All the calls will be taken with the future implications of the students in mind, he added.

According to Jagran Josh, the announcement will help students set to appear in the board exams prepare better. As the board has recently released CBSE Sample Papers 2021 & CBSE Marking Scheme 2021, students will know exactly how much time they have on their hands before sitting for the board exams. The sample papers can be downloaded from cbseacademic.ac.in.

Earlier, CBSE had reduced the syllabus for each subject by 30 per cent due to the COVID-19 situation. With schools being closed for months and the entire definition of normal being challenged in view of the pandemic, students have requested the education minister to postpone the board exams in 2021. There has been confusion regarding online conduct of the board exams, until officials clarified that CBSE board exams will be held offline following COVID protocols.

At least, 30 lakh students will be eagerly waiting for the announcement.

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Updates: Test results to be out by 15 July; board to release date sheets soon

19:00 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates LATEST Updates

‘Nation shifted to online classroom module overnight’

The education minister on Thursday said that our nation shifted to online classrooms overnight amid the pandemic with the help of teachers. He also said that ‘one class one channel’ was launched by DTH services to help those students who do not have access to the internet and smartphones. He also thanked the students for their constant support and cooperation.

18:28 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates LATEST Updates 

CBSE to release date sheet for both Class 10 and 12 soon

The datasheet will be issued soon by the CBSE. The delay in exam schedule comes after several parents requested on the social media platform of the education minister.

“Schools will be allowed to conduct Practical/Project/Internal Assessment of Class 10 and Class 12 from 1 March, 2021 to the last date of conduct of theory examination of these classes. Date sheet of both Class 10th & 12th will be issued soon”, the central board said.

18:15 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Results to be out on 15 July, announces Education ministry

Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday announced that the CBSE Class 10 and 12 results will be declared by 15 July. Practical exams will begin from 1 March.

18:09 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Exams to be held from 4 May to 10 June

Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday announced the timetable for CBSE Class 10 and 12 exams. He said that exams will start by 4 May and end by 10 June. 

18:04 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Ramesh Pokhriyal begins online presser on CBSE class 10, 12 exam schedule

17:42 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

CBSE exams to be held in pen-and-paper mode

On the modes of exams, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said, “Many CBSE schools are in rural areas. Hence, online examinations are not possible.” The exams will be held in pen-and-paper mode.

17:22 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Clearing all confusion about exams in today’s announcement: Ramesh Pokhriyal 

According to media reports, the Union education minister has said that there is a lot of confusion and speculation regarding the conduct of the board exams. Hence he will be clearing the air by declaring the dates of both Class 10 and Class 12 exams.

Following the report, Nishank posted a tweet addressed to the students, guardians and teachers, assuring that all the decisions that are taken with respect to the exams will be for the well-being of the students. All the calls will be taken with the future implications of the students in mind, he added.

17:06 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Suggestions taken from parents, teachers, and students

The education minister has said that after keeping the suggestions of several parents, teachers and students in mind and the circumstances in the future, the dates of the CBSE board Exam 2021 will be announced today

16:43 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

CBSE Board exams 2021 to be held offline, says report

“CBSE compartment exams were conducted earlier this year amid the pandemic and we will be able to manage board exams in 2021 in offline mode without hassle. There are no plans to delay the exams and it will be held in February-March as usual. We are hopeful that states will soon reopen schools and students will get time to prepare for the exams,” Sanyam Bhardwaj, Controller of Examinations, CBSE, told The Times of India.

16:32 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Board exams will be held after Feb: Union education minister

The Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had earlier ruled out conducting board examinations for classes 10 and 12 till February in view of the COVID-19 situation.

Usually, practical tests are conducted in January and theory exams begin in February and conclude in March. The exam will be held in the offline written mode, as usual.

16:26 (IST)

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates

Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal to announce details at 6 pm today

Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ is going to announce the date and time for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 and 12 exams at 6 pm today (Thursday), 31 December. Ramesh Pokhriyal took to his social media handles on 26 December to state that he will be making the announcement on the last date of the current year.

CBSE Class 10, 12 Exam 2021 Dates Announcement LATEST Updates: Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced the dates of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) classes 10 and 12 exams. The CBSE exam will be held from 4 May to 10 June.

Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ is going to announce the date and time for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 and 12 exams at 6 pm today (Thursday), 31 December. Ramesh Pokhriyal took to his social media handles on 26 December to state that he will be making the announcement on the last date of the current year.

According to media reports, the minister has said that there is a lot of confusion and speculation regarding the conduct of the board exams. Hence he will be clearing the air by declaring the dates of both Class 10 and Class 12 exams.

Following the report, Nishank posted a tweet addressed to the students, guardians and the teachers, assuring that all the decisions that are taken with respect to the exams will be for the well-being of the students. All the calls will be taken with the future implications of the students in mind, he added.

According to Jagran Josh, the announcement will help students set to appear in the board exams prepare better. As the board has recently released CBSE Sample Papers 2021 & CBSE Marking Scheme 2021, students will know exactly how much time they have on their hands before sitting for the board exams. The sample papers can be downloaded from cbseacademic.ac.in.

Earlier, CBSE had reduced the syllabus for each subject by 30 per cent due to the COVID-19 situation. With schools being closed for months and the entire definition of normal being challenged in view of the pandemic, students have requested the education minister to postpone the board exams in 2021. There has been confusion regarding online conduct of the board exams, until officials clarified that CBSE board exams will be held offline following COVID protocols.

At least, 30 lakh students will be eagerly waiting for the announcement.