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Imran Khan Cites ‘Fourth Geneva Convention’; Says India Committing War Crimes In Kashmir

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Two Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers have been killed after three terrorists launched an attack in Soura near Pandach area of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.

The tensions in Kashmir even during the pandemic has been rising. A neighbourhood of 15 houses in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir was recently gutted by a calamitous fire during an exchange of fire between Indian security forces and militants.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan tweeted: 15 homes torched by Indian Occupation forces in Srinagar yesterday as 900k security forces subject Kashmiris to brutal oppression. Modi’s Hindutva Supremacist Occupation Govt is committing war crimes in IOJK including changing the demography in violation of 4th Geneva Convention

The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, generally termed as the Fourth Geneva Convention is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions adopted in August of 1949. While the first three conventions dealt with combatants, the Fourth Geneva Convention was the first to deal with the security of civilians in a war zone.

Kashmir Encounter

The encounter broke out on 19 May in the densely-populated town of Srinagar. Officials disconnected the internet and telephone services, a strategy often adopted by Indian forces so ensure militant sympathisers are not given a chance to assemble at the encounter site and disrupt the operations.

The Indian government also disallowed handing over the bodies of the two killed militants to their families, a recently introduced tactic by New Delhi to prevent large-scale funerals and project the militants as heroes.

One of the killed militants, Junaid Sehrai, is the son of Kashmir’s prominent separatist leader Ashraf Sehrai. His party, Hurriyat Conference, promotes the merger of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan and seen by many as a stooge of Islamabad.

Sehrai led the funeral prayers for his son in absentia. Junaid was a member of the Pakistan-backed Hizbul Mujahideen, declared as a terrorist group by India as well as the US and the EU.

Terror Continues In Kashmir

Officials said Constable Rana Mondal and Constable Jiaul Haque were killed terror attack which took place a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Junaid Sehrai and another militant were killed in Srinagar encounter.

Police sources said the militants snatched the weapons of the two BSF men before escaping. Officials said the BSF soldiers were taken to the hospital where both were declared brought dead. “Our two troops lost their lives in the attack. They were on routine patrolling duty when the militants attacked them,” a BSF officer said.

A 12-year-old boy, who was injured after a house collapsed during the encounter succumbed to injuries. “The boy had burn injuries. He died this evening,” SMHS Hospital medical superintendent Dr Nazir Chowdhary said.

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Education

Jio Institute – Mukesh Ambani’s ‘Institute of Eminence’ To Revolutionize Indian Education System

Jio Institute, which will be located in Navi Mumbai was to hire university staff and complete the academic curriculum by October this year, however, experts believe that things might get delayed due to coronavirus

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Jio Insitute, Mukesh Ambani’s ambitious institute for reshaping the Indian education system is expected to commence operation in 2021. Will the ‘Institute of Eminence’ – Jio Institute get impacted by Covid-19 is uncertain for now.

Jio Institute – Overview

The Shailesh Kumar led Jio Insitute will start its academic session in 2021. Numerous undergraduate courses will on offer including courses in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, data sciences machine learning, digital media and marketing.

It is also expected that Mulhern of Northwestern University will be facilitating the Marketing Communication program while Kumar would teach Artificial Intelligence courses. The modern Jio Digital Library project will be headed by Keller from Stanford.

Jio Institute of Eminence

Jio institute has also set up a seven-member global advisory board. According to media reports, the board will consist of Jean-Lou Chameau, president emeritus of California Institute of Technology (Caltech); Michael Keller, vice provost of Stanford University; Rick Levin, former president of Yale University; Subra Suresh, president of Singapore’s Nanyang Technology University. Nadhmi A Al-Nasr, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s futuristic habitat project NEOM; Frank J Mulhem and Vinayak P Dravis of Northwestern University.

Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita and daughter Isha will also be on the advisory board. The institute is one of the institutes in the country to be awarded the tag of ‘eminence’ by the Human Resource Ministry even before its completions.

Experts at EurAsian Times believe that the tag of ‘eminence’ was given due to the future prospects of the Institute. As of August 2019, ten institutions have been selected by the Institutes of Eminence, which includes Banaras Hindu Univesity, Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, University of Delhi, University of Hyderabad, Anna University and Jadavpur University.

Jio Institute Location & Key Details

Jio Institute, which will be located in Navi Mumbai was to hire university staff and complete the academic curriculum by October this year, however, experts believe that things might get delayed.

Students at Jio institute would not only get an opportunity to study at the sprawling 800 acres campus in Navi Mumbai but could also be taught by professors from prominent universities across the world.

The advance studies at the institute will also provide merit-based scholarships worth 38 crores during the first academic year.

Mukesh Ambani aims to make Jio University ranked in top 500 on Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings. To achieve this feat Jio Institute is in talks universities like Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Stanford University, Northwestern University and Nanyang Technological University and aims to recruit expert faculty and mentors for the institute.

Reliance Jio and the Telecom Revolution

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd popularly known as Jio in India is a mobile network operator owned by Reliance industries. Jio was the brainchild of Mukesh Ambani and was launched in 2015 in honour of the 83rd birth anniversary of Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries.

Since its launch, the network has become immensely popular with Indians as it made internet accessible and affordable. The introduction of Jio revolutionised the telecom industry and made 4G data available pan-India at the lowest rate in the world. Jio Platforms compares with large global digital ecosystem platforms that are largely debt-free like Alphabet, Tencent and Alibaba.

Success at home has caught the eye of investors abroad. With 5 confirmed deals in May and another investment incoming, Jio is now valued at over $65 billion. The investors, all based in the US, include social media giant Facebook, private equity firm Silver Lake, Global investment company Vista, American private equity firm General Atlantic and US-based private equity company KKR.

Collectively, all the deals are worth $10.3 billion or Rs 78,562 crore, which RIL plans to use in order to pay off $44 billion worth of its debt.

Microsoft, the tech giant founded by Bill Gates, is also in talks with Jio to purchase a 2.5% stake at the cost of $2 billion. Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala, another investment company, is also in talks to invest about $1 billion in Jio platforms.

Within a short span, Mukesh Ambani and Jio have achieved what other companies have not been able to for decades. With the establishment of Jio Institute, India’s most influential businessman has ensured that the company he birthed would be looked after by Jio’s very own.

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Coronavirus In Tibet: Limited Impact Of COVID-19 In High Altitude Regions Like Tibet?

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Scientists are now investigating the link between COVID-19 and high altitude regions like Tibet after a study published in the journal Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology suggested that there is a decrease in prevalence and impact of COVID-19 in populations living at higher altitudes. 

The study takes into consideration the COVID-19 cases in Tibet and high-altitude regions of Bolivia and Ecuador in comparison to the low lying regions. It suggested that the population in Bolivia, Ecuador and Tibet living above 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) reported significantly lower levels of confirmed infections than their lowland counterparts.

In the plateau region of Tibet, Qinghai and part of Sichuan, with a population of 9 million, there are only 134 confirmed cases which are drastically low in comparison to the number of cases in rest of China.

Ecuador is one of the worst-hit countries by COVID-19 in South America with more than 40,000 confirmed cases and over 3,000 deaths. The centre of the virus is the Pacific port of Guayaquil. There are fewer infected cases in the capital Quito, which is about the same size but is 2,800 metres above sea level.

Similarly, Bolivia has over 10,000 positive cases with over 300 deaths. The cases are concentrated in Santa Cruz which is 400 metres above sea level. It is home to about 15% of the population of the country but accounts for two-thirds of the virus cases. Whereas, in La Paz and its surrounding area, which is a highland area in Bolivia, has about 500 positive cases.

The reason explored by the study includes environmental factors including dry mountain air, high levels of UV radiation and the possibility that lower atmospheric pressure reduces the virus’s ability to linger in the air.

“The reason for decreased severity of the global COVID-19 outbreak at high altitude could relate to both environmental and physiological factors,” states the study.

“At sea-level, when people get coronavirus and their lungs get destroyed, it is as if they are climbing Mount Everest in just a couple of days, without oxygen,” said Gustavo Zubieta-Calleja, one of the authors of the study published in the journal Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology. But “the low rate of infection in Bolivia’s high-altitude population is remarkable and clearly does not follow the often exponential infection rates reported in many countries”, concluded the scientists.

However, experts have questioned these factors. “The virus likes people. It doesn’t care about altitude,” says Peter Chin-Hong, who studies infectious diseases at the University of California at San Francisco. “But we’re still learning so much about this disease, and this does provide us with some good clues to try and understand its progression,” he added.

According to Clayton Cowl, a pulmonologist at the Mayo Clinic and a former president of the American College of Chest Physicians, that the trend might be related to acclimatization, the body’s ability to adjust temporarily to altitude, than to DNA.

Just three populations in the world have been found to have genetic adaptations to altitude: Himalayans, Ethiopian highlanders and Andeans. This is why the coronavirus is exploding on Peru’s Pacific coast, particularly Lima, where most residents descend from Andean ancestors, while the country’s mountain communities are thus far not greatly affected by the virus.

Andrew Luks, professor of medicine at the University of Washington, said that while the proposed link was “intriguing”, it “by no means establishes that high-altitude residence or high-altitude locations are protective against coronavirus”.

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Americas

Trump’s Mediation Offer ‘Naive’; US Actually Wants India To Challenge Chinese Dominance: Russian Experts

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As Trump’s offer to mediate the India-China border conflict has publically failed, experts argue that “Washington’s policy-makers, who seek to pit the Indians against the Chinese, maybe as naïve as Trump”.

The fierce military standoff between China and India that has been in the headlines for over a month now started in early May when clashes erupted between the troops of both the nuclear nations, that left scores of soldiers injured from both the sides driving a steady build-up of troops in the border region.

The US President, Donald Trump had recently offered to “mediate and arbitrate” the conflict, however, the offered was duly refused by both the involved countries.

Artyom Lukin, an associate professor of international relations at Far Eastern Federal University in Russia opines that Trump’s mediation offer “was perhaps inspired by his recent success in bringing about an OPEC+ deal that ended a brutal oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.”

In April this year, with Trump’s apparent mediation, the oil giants Saudi Arabia led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russia led by President Vladimir Putin with 21 other countries as a part of the OPEC+ agreement collectively agreed to reduce oil output by 9.7 million barrels per day between May and June, in an attempt to combat the drop in international demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pentagon on Trump’s offer

It is reported that Pentagon and experts in Washington do not share the same perspective as Trump’s on the issue of mediation. Lukin believes that “they understand that a rising and ambitious India is the only realistic counter-balance against China.

There are just no other candidates for this role. Russia is in cahoots with China. Japan is a declining and militarily weak power.”

It is widely understood that to maintain control over the whole Eurasian region, “the US needs to keep this super-continent divided against itself, which means never allowing a true rapprochement between Asia’s two biggest powers, India and China.”

Trump’s failure to mediate the Sino-Indian conflict

Lukin puts forward two primary reasons for Trump’s failure to intervene in the Sino-Indian conflict. “Firstly, it is difficult to be an effective mediator or arbiter in international politics if you don’t have leverage over the parties in question.”

He believes that in the case of India and China, “it is not clear what rewards or penalties the US has in reserve for China and India. Most likely there are none.”

Secondly, the scholar in international relations claims that “the best mediator is one that is perceived as unbiased and impartial. On this count, the White House has an obvious handicap, since the US views India as a crucial associate and friend, while China is considered a competitor and rival.”

The Blame on China

US’s rivalry with China has been taken into account by many international critics. Apart from the trade war and technology rivalry, Washington blamed Beijing for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and has also pointed at China for playing aggressively in the disputed Himalayan region.

It is reported that Alice Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, called China’s behaviour “aggression, the constant attempt to shift the norms, to shift what is the status quo, that has to be resisted whether it’s in the South China Sea… or whether it’s in India’s own backyard, both on land as well as in the Indian Ocean.”

On the flip side, Indian defence experts like Lt Gen H S Panag believes that China’s is ultimately protecting its own “status quo,” that is continuously been threatened by India’s strategic growth in the contested territories along the border.

Since New Delhi seeks to maximize its benefits from the partnerships that it shares with the US, it strategically refrains from being involved in American-led efforts to contain China. “In this sense, Washington’s policy-makers, who seek to pit the Indians against the Chinese, maybe as naive as Trump with his peace-making initiatives” concludes Lukin.

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