Ravish Kumar: What is national about India’s national media?

Senior Executive Editor, NDTV India
October 23, 2018 – 4:30pm
What is national about India’s national media?
Luce Hall Auditorium See map

34 Hillhouse Ave.

Co-sponsored by South Asian Studies Council

The talk will be delivered in Hindi – a translation of his entire lecture will be available in the form of handouts.

About the Ravish Kumar

Ravish Kumar is an Indian TV anchor, writer and journalist who covers topics pertaining to Indian politics and society. He is a senior executive editor at NDTV India, the Hindi news channel of the NDTV news network and hosts a number of programmes including the channel’s flagship weekday show Prime Time, Hum Log and Ravish Ki Report. Kumar has authored two books, Ishq Mein Shahar Hona (Rajkamal Prakashan [Hindi], 2008) and The Free Voice: On Democracy, Culture, and the Nation (Speaking Tiger, 2018).

He received the Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Award for Hindi Journalism and Creative Literature for 2010 from the President of India (awarded in 2014). Kumar was honoured with the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for the Journalist of the Year in 2013 and 2017 for the broadcast category in Hindi language. He was included in the list of 100 most influential Indians 2016 by The Indian Express and named the best journalist of the year in 2015 by Mumbai Press Club. In March 2017, Kumar was honoured with the first Kuldip Nayar journalism award for his contribution to the field of journalism.

Rethinking Belt-and-Road Debt

Transport trouble: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticizes China’s “new colonialism” at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, and Chinese-built railway connects parts of Africa

More than 75 nations participate in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, launched in 2013 to develop trade and connect Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe with ports, roads and railways. But some countries worry about adding to already heavy debt burdens, and some projects have become an issue in local politics. Among the most vocal critics is Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who has warned about a “new colonialism,” explains veteran journalist Philip Bowring. Mahathir questions infrastructure costs and strategic purposes relating to contentious issues like control over the South China Sea. Many emerging economies can certainly benefit from the infrastructure investment, explains Bowring, but cautious leaders also recognize the value of assessing project purposes and priorities. China, wanting to avoid heavy losses or criticism at home about wasteful spending, has launched a publicity campaign to promote benefits of the Belt and Road Initiative. – YaleGlobal

Student research: From Yale to Bhutan looking for the rare nest of endangered White-bellied Heron

Indra Acharja in the field in Bhutan.

The White-bellied Heron is a critically endangered heron species found only in Bhutan, Northeast India, and Myanmar. Fewer than 60 confirmed White-bellied Herons exist in the world today. While there are few records of occurrence of the bird from the range countries, nests of this species have remained one of the rarest in history. Before 2000, only two nests had been found which were presumed to be of this bird; one was reported in Darjeeling, India, before 1890 and another in Myanmar, before 1930. With lack of breeding evidence, the bird was assumed to have vanished during late 1900 until a new nest was found in Bhutan in 2003. Since then, two to five active nests have been identified in Bhutan from where two to eight new chicks fledge annually. However, the population has remained critically low and the trend is further declining.

https://macmillan.yale.edu/news/student-research-yale-bhutan-looking-rare-nest-endangered-white-bellied-heron

Bangladesh Joins the Space Age

Satellite pride: Bangladeshi citizens exult at the launch of first national satellite; Bangabandhu-1 on the launch pad in Florida

With the launch of the Bangabandhu-1 satellite, Bangladesh has entered the space age. The project, assisted by other space powers, cost US$248 million and marks a promising step in integrating the economy in a global market, explains Abu Sufian Shamrat. Critics of the Bangabandhu-1 point to other concerns for the low-income rural nation. Yet over time the new technology, including 4G and expanded connectivity, could lead to innovation, sustainable economic growth and reduced unemployment. Fair and broad distribution of services with integration of rural districts could boost public support, and advanced communications are expected to reduce dependency on foreign satellite services and benefit telemedicine, distance learning, finance, agriculture and other sectors. Main challenges include repayment of borrowed funds for the satellite’s procurement and launch and a struggle to acquire space sovereignty. For now, Bangladesh’s expansion into space relies on cooperation with other space powers. – YaleGlobal

In Search of the Real Indo-Pacific

What’s in a name? US Defense Secretary James N. Mattis explains the geopolitical significance of the Indo-Pacific region while India’s Premier Narendra Modi downplays political significance

Global powers express renewed interest in the Indo-Pacific, and intentions are divided over strategies that could counter China or entice Chinese participation. The Indo-Pacific region dominated discussions at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, even more so than the summit between leaders of North Korea and the United States, explains Donald K. Emmerson, director of the Southeast Asia Program at Stanford University. Ministers. Delegates from more than 50 nations gathered at the security summit organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, June 1 to 3. Parties with an interest in the region rush to frame possibilities: India’s prime minister denied viewing the region as strategic or exclusive while the US defense secretary linked geography and ideology. Emmerson advises pragmatism. The Indo-Pacific is unlikely to rival China’s far-reaching Belt and Road Initiative, and the US already struggles with close G7 allies on supporting an international rule-based order. Emmerson concludes, “the temptation to read multilateral diplomatic content into a map of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ drawn in Washington should be resisted.” – YaleGlobal

India-China Relations in the Age of Xi Jinping

Chinese and Indian troops at standoff at India's border with Bhutan in summer 2017; India's Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi meet

The leaders of China and India, Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi, have nationalist tendencies with a pragmatic bend. Varying economic growth for the two rival nations and contrasting systems of governance – one increasingly authoritarian and the other democratic – have given China the upper hand as a power broker in Asia, suggests Shyam Saran, former foreign secretary of India and a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. China is taking a conciliatory approach for the time being due to unpredictability in the global economy and regional security. Saran analyzes how leadership influences the Chinese-Indian relationship: Xi and Modi rely on leader-to-leader engagement and focus on a “strategic and global dimension” beyond typical dynamics of bilateral relations. Both men explore numerous areas where compromise can be pursued, allowing both emerging powers to focus on pressing matters at home and abroad during a period of great uncertainty. – YaleGlobal