Indo- US bilateral relations . US needs India as much as India needs US


Till recently US accounted for roughly 20% of total imports as well as exports of India and was the largest importer from and exporter to India. Things have changed. During the first 6 months of the year 2013-14, though US continues to be the largest importer, its share has shrunk to just about 13%’ of the total Indian exports of about $152 billion. In a couple of years, United Arab Emirates may emerge as larger importer than US. As regards exports to India US is only the 5 largest exporter, behind China, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Switzerland, accounting for just 5% of India’s total imports of $231 billion.

US is now the second largest trading (total of imports and exports) partner for India with just 8% of total trade of India. UAE is the largest trading partner and China the 3rd largest .China may come to second place this year or next year.
Of course US is home to about 3 million people of Indian origin, accounting for about 1% of total US population. There was a time when Indians were more eager to be in US than US was eager to take Indians. But things have changed. Indian origin people in S have contributed enormously to the economic, scientific and technological development of US. So it is US that is obliged to India for its brain drain to US.

Considering all aspects, the present relationship between US and India is a relationship of mutual benefit and not a relationship of donor-beneficiary that existed a few decades ago.

So, in the bilateral relationship it is important that US listens to the views of India, considers the regulations of India and respect its sentiments while applying its regulations to Indians individually and collectively . This applies to the US regulations in the case of arrest of Indian diplomat in New York, ignoring the Indian regulations dignity and sentiments of Indians.

India is emerging as a significant economic and technological power and US needs India to remain as a superpower.

Delhi election results- a way out to settle the issue


Delhi election results- a way out to settle the issue
In the elections held in 2013 to the 70 member Delhi assembly BJP and its ally emerged as the largest group with 32 seats,-four short of majority and the second largest party AAP won 28 seats- 8 short of majority. The other parties won 10 seats. Neither BJP nor AAP is willing to form government on its own or with the support of other parties. President’s rule is the only alternative but this can be only for a short period. Sooner or later re-elections have to be held. This will result in a lot of expenditure, time, energy and efforts for both the government and the political parties as also the general public.
A way out will be to amend the constitution to provide for the large two parties to form government for periods proportionate to the seats secured by them. For example, in Delhi Assembly elections, BJP combine and AAP have obtained 32 and 28 seats respectively. The two parties should be asked to be in power for periods proportionate to their strength i.e. at 32:28. In the 5 year tenure of the assembly, BJP should be In power for 32 months and AAP for 28 months (total 60 months or 5 years).
There is no need for smaller parties to occupy power for period proportionate to their strength. Of course if no party secures at least 25% or 33% of the seats, re-election will become unavoidable.

India- urgent need for water diversion project


India-water diversion project

China has embarked on a water project costing about Rupees 4,00,000 crores for diverting annually about 45 billion cubic meters of water from water surplus southern province to water deficit northern provinces. This is only about 7- 8% of the annual discharge of water from Ganges river into the sea at the rate of about 650000cu.ft or about 18860 cu. meter of water per second.

India should undertake such large project for diverting about 50 billion cubic meters of water from Ganges river in the north to the southern states to minimize floods in the river and to irrigate the land in the water deficit states in the south. This project will widen and deepen the knowledge and engineering and technical skill of the officers. Since this is a huge project, it would be necessary to hire the services of experts from developed countries who have expertise in constructing long tunnels etc. There will be scope for hydro-electric power projects, the river/canal transportation, setting up projects requiring large quantity of water etc. The cost of the project will be very high and therefore should be undertaken as a joint project of the central and concerned state governments. However, as the project will take may years to be completed, the annual allocation for the project may be manageable.

This project was talked of sometime earlier but was not pursued. There was opposition to the project from leaders like Lallu Prasad Yadav of Bihar. Making all the stake holders to accept the project is a huge task. But there will be lesser problems if the project is taken up earlier.