Monday, July 24, 2017


Zhejiang University of Technology (ZJUT) is located in Hangzhou, a well-known historical and cultural city and world famous scenic resort, which is known as the “Paradise on Earth” in China. ZJUT is a key provincial comprehensive university, co-sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Zhejiang provincial government. The university, as a member of the first 5 mainly sponsored universities by Zhejiang provincial government, and a member of the first 14 leading universities in the ‘2011’ project (the 3rd national higher education project, focused on collaborative innovation), offers academic programs covering 11 disciplines, including philosophy, economic, law, education, literature, science, engineering, agriculture, pharmaceutical, management and art. It has 6 post-doctoral research centers, 35 doctoral degree programs, and 116 masters’ degree programs.
At present, ZJUT has more than 2100 faculty members, including 488 professors, 2 Chinese Academy of Engineering members, 39 members conferred the title of “National Distinguished Experts/Scholars” in programs of the state “1000-talent Plan”, the state “10000-talent Project”, the state “the Yangtze River Scholars Program”, or awarded with the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars. Additionally, there are more than 500 members conferred the title of “Provincial Distinguished Experts/Scholars” in different provincial programs.
ZJUT possesses a number of national platforms for scientific research and teaching: the National Engineering Technology Research Centers, the National Bases for International Cooperation in Science and Technology, the Breeding Bases of the State Key Laboratory. Among all the disciplines offered by Zhejiang University of Technology, 11 are A-level provincial key disciplines and 7 are B-level provincial key disciplines. Four disciplines, chemistry, engineering, materials science, environmental science and ecology, ranked within top 1% of ESI (according to the data released by American ESI database in 2016). More than 400 scientific research projects gained the national and provincial awards, which include 22 National Science and Technology Awards. ZJUT was ranked the 10th among all institutions of higher education in China, in terms of its valid patents for inventions, and accumulated enough awards to be ranked 6th in China for its number of patents.
By providing with high-level scientific research platforms, enabling working and living conditions, and good development space for the candidates, Zhejiang University of Technology sincerely invites excellent talents to join the “1000-talent Plan”, to promote the development of the university especially its first-class disciplines, and build a bright future.
I. Qualifications and Requirements for Applicants
1. The State “1000-talent Plan”
The applicant should hold a doctoral degree granted overseas, and be 55 years of age or under. He/she should have no full-time job in China at the time of application. For those who already came back to China, it should be within one year of his/her return. The applicant has at most 2 chances to apply for the positions. The specific requirements of each project are as following:
(1) The Program for Innovative Talents (Long Term, including the field of Liberal Arts and social sciences)
After recruitment, the successful candidate is expected to work full-time at ZJUT for no less than 3 years. The applicant should hold full professorship (or an equivalent title) in a prestigious overseas university or R&D institute, or hold a senior title from well-known international companies or financial institutions.
(2) The Innovative Talents Program (Short Term, including non-Chineseexperts)
After recruitment, the successful candidate should work at ZJUT for at least 2 months each year and for no less than 3consecutive years. The applicant should hold full professorship (or an equivalent title) in a prestigious overseas university or R&D institute, or hold a senior title from well-known international companies or financial institutions. The applicant should be leading talent or important scholar who plays a leading role in the development of high-tech industries or in fields urgently needed in China.
(3) The Program for Young Professionals
The applicant should have been engaged in natural sciences or engineering technology, be 40 years of age or under, and have at least3consecutive years overseas research experience (refers to full-time overseas research experience after being granted doctoral degree, not including doing research work abroad while maintaining the job position in China and got paid by Chinese universities, institutions or companies). After recruitment, the successful candidate is expected to work full-time at ZJUT for more than 3 years. The applicant with doctoral degree granted overseas might not be limited by the period of 3 years, if he/she gained significant research achievements in his/her academic area. The applicant should hold a formal teaching and researching position in a prestigious overseas university, institution or enterprise, and should be the elite among the peers in certain field and has the potential to be a future leader in his/her area.
(4) Program for Topnotch Talents and Teams
The applicant should be a worldwide topnotch expert in the field of natural sciences or engineering technology, and have one of the following qualifications: (a) The laureate of the Nobel Prizes, the Turing Award, Fields Medal or other international awards.(b) The member of the Academy of Sciences or Engineering in the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia or other developed countries. (c) The well-known scholar who has working experience inglobal first-class university or R&D institute.(d) The talent with other advantages which meet our nation’s urgent needs. After recruitment, the successful candidate should work full-time at ZJUT for at least 5 years.
(5) The Program for Cultural and Art Talents
The applicant who is engaged in research work should hold a doctoral degree granted overseas and be 55 years of age or under. While the applicant in the fields of stage art or creative design may be exempt from this item of the requirements. The applicant who applies for a long-term program should work full-time at ZJUT for no less than 3 years after recruitment; the one who applies for a short-term program should work full-time at ZJUT for at least 2 months each year for no less than 3 years.
(6) The Program for Foreign Experts
The applicant should be non-Chinese experts and be 65 years of age or under. After recruitment, he/she should work full-time at ZJUT for at least 9 months each year and no less than 3 years.
2. Zhejiang Province1000-talent Plan”
The applicant should be 55 years of age or under (born after March 1st, 1962). The outstanding applicant can be exempt from one of the following limits on age, education background, job title or professional title. The close date for application is on May 31, 2017. The specific requirements of each project are as following:
(1Long-term Project for Innovative Talents
a. Innovative talents in the field of Natural Sciences and Engineering:
▪ should hold doctoral degree granted overseas;
▪ should hold associate professorship (or an equivalent title) in a prestigious overseas university or institution, or have a senior title in a world famous enterprise or institution;
▪ should be the elite among the peers in certain field, and have the potential of becoming leading figure in the future.
b. Innovative talents in the field of Humanities, Social Sciences and Art:
▪ should have knowledge of and comply with Chinese cultural policies, laws and regulations;
▪ should demonstrate outstanding capabilities in culture and art innovation and take the lead in the field of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (The internationally renowned awards laureates or the international tournament winners are in priority);
▪ should have brilliant abilities and fruitful achievements in the cultural management and international cultural communication, or have served as junior or senior leader in world renowned enterprises, or have participated in significant management or global cultural interactive activities.
▪ the applicant who does research work in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences should hold doctoral degree granted overseas and hold associate professorship or above (or an equivalent title).
c. Innovative talents in the field of Economics and Financial Management:
▪ should hold master’s degree or above granted overseas, and have at least 5 years’ relevant working experience;
▪ should have served as junior or senior leader in international economic organizations, professional institutes or well-known financial institutions or served as junior or senior manager in the world renowned enterprises;
▪ should be familiar with international economic rules, have knowledge of the laws and regulations for the protection of international intellectual property rights, and have a wealth of practical economic management experience;
▪ should be quite professional and with great achievements and good reputation in the fields of financial analysis, product development, risk control, international business, investment bank, asset management, financial derivatives investment and so on.
The applicant should be overseas Chinese, and has worked or provided some professional services in Zhejiang province after March1st, 2014, or be able to sign an employment contract or a letter of intention for talent recruitment with ZJUT before May31st, 2017. He/she should register at ZJUT within 6 months after the application approved. The successful candidates are expected to work at ZJUT for at least 9 months each year after recruitment for no less than 5 consecutive years.
(2)Seagull project
The applicant should be engaged in natural sciences and engineering technology, and is expected to work in Zhejiang Province for a short term. The specific requirements are as following:
a. Must meet the requirements of The Long-term Project for Innovative Talents in the field of Natural Sciences and Engineering.
b. Should have been working in Zhejiang province since March1st, 2016, and be able to sign an employment contract and register at ZJUT before May31st, 2017.
c. Could sign a contract valid for at least 3 consecutive years and with 2-9 months each year working at ZJUT.
d. Should be overseas high-level scholar or the expert who plays a leading role in the development of high-tech industries or in fields urgently needed in Zhejiang Province.
(3) Project for Foreign Experts
The applicant should be a non-Chinese expert, and should meet the above requirements forThe Long-term Project for Innovative Talents.
II. Application
1. All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply for the programs. For application please provide a detailed resume (including basic personal information, learning and work experience, major academic publications, scientific research projects, and patent awards), proof of identity, certificates of academic degrees, innovative research achievements and samples of major publications. These documents may be sent by email to the contact person of respective schools (departments), or Talents Office, ZJUT.NOTE: Please indicate the type of applications.
Department: Talents Office, Zhejiang University of Technology
Contact Persons: Mr. Chen, Mr. Jiang
Phone: +86-571-88320433
2. The overseas applicants are encouraged to take a tour to Zhenjiang University of Technology. Those who received letters of invitation before May10thcan get the reimbursement for the travel expenses and accommodation fees with tickets and invoices provided.
Zhejiang University of Technology
Edit"Zhejiang University of Technology Calls for Global Talents to join the “1000-talent Plan”"


World Bank Data Team's picture
Claire Melamed of the GPSDD & Mahmoud Mohieldin of the World Bank at the High Level Political Forum 2017
Following a successful round of pilot funding for development data innovation projects last year, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) has announced a second funding round for data for development projects, to open on August 1st 2017.
As part of the ‘Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development’ funding, which is supported by the World Bank’s Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (TFSCB), GPSDD will seek innovative proposals for data production, dissemination and use.
This year’s call is anchored around two themes: ‘Leave No One Behind’ and the Environment. Once again, the focus is on work supporting low and lower-middle income countries, and on projects that bring together collaborations of different stakeholders to address concrete problems.
The new round of funding was announced by GPSDD’s Executive Director Claire Melamed at a High-Level Political Forum Event ‘Leave No One Behind: Ensuring inclusive SDG progress’ at United Nations HQ in New York. She said:
“There was a fantastic response to ‘Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development Pilot Funding’ last year, with 400 proposals, from which 10 outstanding ideas were selected. This year we are opening a new round to source innovative projects to protect the environment and ‘Leave No One Behind’.  For the 2017 round we are raising the bar even higher by asking applicants to collaborate from the outset, providing evidence of support from an organisation that is a potential end user. With a wealth of data innovation talent out there, we are excited to see who comes forward.”
The World Bank’s Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations, and Partnerships, Mahmoud Mohieldin, added:
“Innovation work doesn’t happen in isolation, it requires a network of ideas, individuals and institutions to come together to be more than a sum of their parts. We’ve found this network in the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, and are pleased to be working together to identify and support new ideas to change the way development data are produced, managed and used.”  
Application Details and Funding Levels
The amount of funding available for each project depends on whether the project is embryonic or ready to scale up.  This phased approach to funding allows us to provide smaller amounts of funding (starting at $25,000) on riskier, unproven innovations at the pilot stage. Larger amounts of funding (up to $250,000) will be awarded to proposals which have a clear justification (for example, testing in multiple sites at the same time), strong evidence of prior success, and are ready to be replicated/adapted to other contexts.
The pilot funding round will open on August 1 2017 and close on 17:00 ET, Friday, September 1, 2017. Proposals will be reviewed by a multi-stakeholder peer review committee and a portfolio of those will be selected for funding. The committee will include members of the Secretariat and Technical Advisory Group of GPSDD, representatives from the World Bank and others from across sectors, disciplines and regions. Final results are expected to be announced in January 2018.  Funding disbursements will take place after March 1, 2018. Follow @data4sdgs and @worldbankdata to receive notifications regarding the application process.
A webinar will be held to field questions regarding this call for proposals on Monday, August 7, 2017, 9:30 – 11:00 ET. To participate in the webinar, please send an email to: indicating the names and email addresses of the participants. Each participant will receive an email with instructions for registering for the webinar. Applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the scheduled webinar.
Why ‘Leave No One Behind’ and the Environment?
This year’s innovation topics relate to areas of need within the data for sustainable development community. The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data has created data collaborative groups on ‘Leave No One Behind’ and ‘Environment’ and the pilot funding initiative will further advance shared knowledge in these fields.
Gaps in environmental data for the SDGs is an issue commonly raised by governments as they seek to deliver Agenda 2030. The 2017 call for proposals requests innovations that bring together new sources of data (big data, geospatial and earth observation, citizen-generated, IoT, open data) to support key challenges on climate change and urban resilience (e.g. responding to natural disasters, meeting sustainable energy needs).
‘Leave No One Behind’ is a cross-cutting sustainable development issue. If data cannot be divided by categories such as gender, age or race, it will not reveal the realities of people’s lives. This leads to policies that overlook the needs of specific cohorts, leading to worse life outcomes for them. The 2017 call for proposals requests innovations that will provide more detailed, disaggregated, in-depth information on groups that have been historically left out by traditional surveys and other data gathering tools.  Specifically, we are looking for innovations that bring together new sources of data that focus on persons with disabilities and people who live outside of traditional households (e.g., slum dwellers, homeless, migrants, refugees and institutionalized populations.)
Edit"Global Partnership announces new round of funding for ‘Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development’"


The major reasons for high level of pollution in river Yamuna is inadequate flow, due to over extraction of surface and ground water and discharge of untreated effluent. This Ministry is supplementing the efforts of the States for pollution abatement of river Yamuna by providing financial assistance to States of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in phased manner since 1993 under the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP). The total expenditure incurred on conservation of river Yamuna under the YAP Phase – I & II is Rs. 1514.70 crore.
At present Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assisted YAP Phase-III project is under implementation at an estimated cost of Rs 1656 crore in Delhi for rehabilitation and up-gradation of existing Sewage Treatment Plants (950 million litres per day) and Trunk sewers (43 kms) in Delhi. Delhi Jal Board is the implementing agency. The duration of YAP-III project is 7 years.
In “Maily Se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalization Plan 2017, under Phase-I”, the Ministry has sanctioned the STP works in Command area of Najafgarh Drain (Dhansa to Keshopur) in Delhi for an estimated amount of Rs. 344.81 crore on 70:30 cost sharing basis between the Centre and the Delhi State Government. In addition to these, State Govt. of Delhi has been taking up projects for addressing the problem of pollution of river Yamuna from their own resources.
This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Vijay Goel in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.
Edit"Extinction of River Yamuna in Delhi and Agra "



After a stupendous success of VIP the spectators now have the chance to enjoy Velaiilla Pattadhari 2, popularly referred to as VIP 2. It is an upcoming comedy-drama film directed by Soundarya Rajnikanth. A sequel to the 2014 Tamil film Velaiilla Pattadhari, the film has Dhanush, Kajol and other casts. Dhanush, besides acting, is also co-producing the film and has written the story and dialogues for the film. The film will be dubbed in Telugu as VIP 2 and in Hindi as VIP 2: Lalkar. The team recently promoted the film in Delhi and the trailer launch in Hindi made it more special.
Dhanush on being asked about his role and the movie said, “VIP 2 is all about the bigger challenges that you face even if you become successful and the corporate world is actually a political game. So the movie is about what is that game and how is it played. Moreover, my character is named Raghuvaran, he’s very street smart, witty, and it’s impossible to shut him up. All the challenges that he faced be it failure or success, he handles it in the same way and nothing can actually affect him.”
Soundarya, when asked about the bonus of being from a well-known family background, said, “At the end of the day talent is what is going to last and if you are not talented then family to which you belong doesn’t matter. Fulfilling the expectations when you are from a well-known family is even more difficult because coming back if you fall is a great challenge then. So if you have talent you’ll last. On being asked about the experience while working with Kajol she said, “Kajol has done a great job in the film and actually spoke Tamil in the film and was excellent at learning script and acting in it. She accepted our story because she believed in the character. It was a pleasure having her with us.”
In VIP 2, Kajol is touted to play a negative role. Also, the highlight of the film is the face-off between Dhanush and Kajol. Interestingly, Kajol is making her comeback in Tamil after two decades. Kajol on being asked about the same said, “I had a great time working with the film. I said no to the film first but when they came and narrated the script I liked it and had that confidence that they will be able to execute it well and decided to do it. I said no because I was not confident that I will be able to take the risk and do justice to the film. I loved the character and the main reason behind that was, the character was a self-made woman who doesn’t need any label. She is a confident entrepreneur and strongly believes in her conviction and ideologies. Moreover, Dhanush and Soundarya worked and supported me a lot throughout.”
VIP 2 is expected to release soon.
Edit"Face-off between Dhanush and Kajol in VIP 2: Lalkar"

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Sathiyan upsets world No. 8 as Dabang Smashers T.T.C. take control over  DHFL Maharashtra United

New Delhi, 22 July 2017: Dabang Smashers T.T.C. took a commanding 8-4 lead over DHFL Maharashtra United after four matches with some solid display in the 10th tie of the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.

World No. 110 G Sathiyan put Dabang Smashers T.T.C. ahead with a stunning 2-1 (11-3, 11-9, 7-11) win over Hong Kong world No. 8 Wong Chun Ting in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian), the day’s opening match.

Sathiyan ran away with the opening game and then rallied back to clinch the second. Wong Chun Ting, however, came back strongly to win the third and bag a point for his team.

North Korea world No 19 Kim Song I extended Dabang Smashers TTC’s lead to 4-2 with a 2-1 (11-2, 11-5, 9-11) victory over Pooja Koparkar in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian).

In-form Kim Song I dominated the Indian world No 279 in the first two games but the Maharashtra lass rallied to win the third game to hand her side a second point.

Next up was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian pair), and Dabang Smashers T.T.C.’s Anthony Amalraj/ Tetyana Bilenko registered a 2-1 (11-8, 11-4, 4-11) win over Harmeet Desai/ Liu Jia to further their team’s lead to 6-3.

China-born Ukraine international Kou Lei, ranked No. 28 in the world, pulled off a thrilling 2-1 (11-10, 11-9, 5-11) win over Wong Chun Ting in the men’s singles to give Dabang Smashers T.T.C. a commanding 8-4 lead over DHFL Maharashtra United after four matches.

At the end of four matches – DHFL Maharashtra United 4-8 Dabang Smashers T.T.C.
MS – Wong Chun Ting lost to G Sathiyan 1-2 (3-11, 9-11, 11-7)

WS – Pooja Sahasrabudhe lost to Kim Song I 1-2 (2-11, 5-11, 11-9)

MD – Harmeet Desai/ Liu Jia lost to Anthony Amalraj/ Tetyana Bilenko 1-2 (8-11, 4-11, 11-4)

MS – Wong Chun Ting lost to Kou Lei 1-2 (10-11, 11-9, 5-11)

Pratik S. Gore
+91 99709 64487
Edit"Sathiyan upsets world No. 8 as Dabang Smashers T.T.C. take control over  DHFL Maharashtra United"



Indian American Business Council [IABC] a non-profit organization with headquarter in Chicago, IL, USA, a platform for with micro, small, and medium size businesses to expand nationally and internationally, announces the launch of National Chapter in New Delhi, India, on July 22nd, 2017.

IABC has been working with Industries that includes, healthcare, manufacturing, energy and infrastructure products and services to provide them with access to collaborations, technical know-how, and investors’ relations.
IABC is signing many MoU’s that has far reaching social-economic impact. These MoU’s include:
  • Indian Industries Association (IIA) for the growth of manufacturing sector.
  • K. Devi Eye care Institute for the socio-medico tourism towards abolishing blindness. IABC is hosting a fund raiser for it’s founder, Dr. Awadh Dubey, in Chicago on August 3.
  • Mentor-on-Road to adopt 20 UP villages by NRI’s to turn them into Smart villages.
  • With a Group of Industries to get American investors for raising $25M for Industrial park development in UP.
  • Many individual company MoUs are signed for services like raising funds, market entry, financial management, sale or purchase of business units.

National chapter President of IABC, Vinay Kalani, shared, “IABC is an organization that provides handholding for business expansion in USA. But for India, technical know-how and getting NRI’s support for marketing our goods and services is of prime importance.” Mr. Vinay Kalani has lead Association of Industries, MP, the largest industrial association of MP as President. Currently he is the Vice President of Industrial foundation. He has contributed in numerous committees in State and Central Government in India. Mr. L. C. Tolani, a successful industrialist will be the General Secretary of IABC National Chapter.
Founder Chairman, Poonam Gupta-Krishnan, is a successful business entrepreneur specializing data science, also the founder of Government Technology Foundation, that is working to get technology Innovation in Government sector since 2011, was also present at the occasion. Poonam sees the total progress of community via empowerment and economic growth. Poonam’s next book, “Shift”, is focused on the changing landscape of geo-political-and technical shift and how to take advantage of the same.
IABC that has a facebook following of over 135,000 is open for all with complimentary membership. As businesses that are ready to move to the next level their paid membership is merged into service fee for their project. Three investment deals MoU totalling over $35 million USD are under way currently.

IAB Council works in collaboration with Chamber of commerce as well as other public and private organizations that facilitates trade delegations. IABC is registered as a not-for-profit in the state of Illinois, USA. IABC is launching it’s National Chapter, under the leadership of Mr. Vinay Kalani, IABC-UP chapter, under the leadership of Dr. Awadh Dubey, founder of RK Devi Charitable Eye-care institute, and IABC-Telangana under the leadership of Dr. Prithvi Yadav, Director of Narsee Moonjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Hyderabad.

For further inquiries or joining IABC, visit
Edit" Indian American Business Council launching India National Chapter"


July 23, 2017 · by Prof Vaidyanathan · in china ·
Let us not look at China using Western Lens

23-07-2017                                                      Prof R.Vaidyanathan
July 2014 is an important month for global economics and China. It is the first time in recent history that China has overtaken USA in GDP [adjusted for purchasing power parity or PPP] and has become number one country in the world according to Euromonitor. Now the order is China/USA/India/Japan in terms of GDP at PPP. Of course in per capita terms, USA has ten times more gross income than China given the population size of the latter.
Still China’s growth has been phenomenal and in the next two decades, it is poised to become numero uno even in nominal terms out running USA. This has implications for India from an Asian perspective and also we need to formulate our strategy about China. Traditionally in the last few decades, we have been looking at China using US or UK lens. This is due to the fact that we have not developed many China centers all over India. Hence we have few experts who understand their language and try to look at China with Indian glasses rather than Anglo-Saxon lens.
Unfortunately for India—we look at India also using White man’s lens since we are genetically wired to them. Our children study in the west and our experts are all trained in the west.
If US say yoga is good for health we will start to practice it. West will decide if China is good or bad and we will follow them!.
For the last 000s of years we never had any war with China—Rarest occurance in the world particularly for the Abrahamic world which thrived on wars and genocide. 1962 was an aberration due to Nehru. In the words of Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA [1938-1942] “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without having to send a single soldier across her borders.” Ship loads of Sanskrit and Pali original works taken away by Chiang-Kai-Shek from mainland to Taiwan bear testimony to it. These are exhibited in the Taipei museum even today.
The major change that is taking place in China is not related to their growth rates and Three Gorges Dam and the shopping malls and Olympics stadia. That is a typical Western way of viewing China. The main change is in religious affiliation and assertion of Islamic followers and development of large scale underground Church. The middle classes have given up rice [perceived to be for the illiterate poor] and are embracing Christianity since it also helps in job mobility particularly in global companies where the heads could belong to the same Church. Many Chinese students in the US call themselves Christian names like George or Vincent even if they have not converted. The Muslim population is less dispersed and more concentrated in specific locations like western part.
But there is also a growing interest in China about its past. The Ming dynasty tombs in Beijing which are made in marble were painted in red color during the great cultural revolution of the sixties and even today laborers are washing it to make it back in to white color without success. The guides are not reluctant to talk about it. The ten handed Buddha in the Summer Palace of Ching dynasty near Beijing has significant relationship with our idea of Lord Vishnu who destroys evil and even this is mentioned clearly. More importantly, China is opening what are called Confucius Institutes in more than fifty countries which is similar to British Council efforts but more focused on China’s ancient wisdom. . The first thing we should learn is to stop looking at China with Western glasses.
The economic boom in China has given rise to issues related to their faith/religion and associated things. First and foremost, China is facing a severe separatist [called splitters by Chinese] in their western region namely Xinjiang by Uighurs. The region is populated by followers of Islam religion and seeing unrest for the past two decades. But recently it has reached violent proportions. For instance, last year Chinese claimed that at least 100 have been killed in disturbances in that region. Not only that, some portion of the Uighurs has carried the battle to Beijing itself. In other words, one form of regional separation combined with Islamic terrorism has become a major problem in China. There are also reports that the Islamists are taking shelter in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
On the other hand, China is also waging a battle with “unrecognized” Church in its territory. Once a hub of Christianity, worshippers in Wenzhou fear their faith is facing its biggest threat since the Cultural Revolution. The recent visit of the Pope to South Korea as part of his engaging Asia has fueled concerns in China since China has its own church and does not recognize Papal authority.
“By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon,” said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule. But for China, both the Abrahamic religions are alien to its culture going back several thousand years. So they are trying to revive “Confucianism” by encouraging the study of it as well as opening several centers to propagate it. Buddhism is their ancient religion and Hindu influences are significant.
The keynote speech by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China- Hu Jintao to the 17th Party Congress in October 2007 – devoted a paragraph to religion. He stressed that religious people including priests, monks and lay –believers played a positive role in the social and economic development of China. Hence religion is not any more the opiate of the masses. The state controlled Xinhua stresses that there must be freedom of belief. It says that religion can play an important role in realizing a ‘harmonious society” which is the new political role of the party. That is the main issue we at India should be interested in. A 2007 study conducted by two professors of China Normal University based on more than 4500 people concluded that more than 300 million people namely 31 percent are religious and more than 60 % of those are in the 16-40 age group. The number of followers of Christianity has increased to 12 % from a low of less than 8% in the nineties.
This last fact is interesting since a huge underground Church has developed in China and
Zhao Xiao, a former Communist Party official and convert to Christianity, thinks there are up to 130 million Christians in China. This figure is much more than the official figures of 21 million –16 million Protestants and five million Catholics. If the latter figure is true—which is corroborated by other like Pew Forum –then there are more Christians in China than the Communist Party membership which is pegged at 74 million in the last count.
Hence, India should be sending Sri Sri Ravishankar/Mata Amirtanandamayi / Swami Ramdev/ Pramukh Swami/Sankaracharyas/Vaishnavite Seers and other spiritual leaders, Bharatha Natyam experts, musicians, other artists in hundreds to China to “ Conquer and Dominate” by our soft power. We need to print millions of copies of Ramayana and Mahabharata and our Puranas and Gita and Jataka stories in all modern Chinese languages and widely make them available. The CDs of Mahabharata and Ramayana etc. can also be given free. We should start some fifty Bharatiya Vidya Bhavans in China. Actually China needs this more than USA even though all our soft power is currently on show in the USA. We should create a fund of at least Rs.10000 crore for this effort. There is a statue of Kalidasa in the Shanghai theatre unveiled by the theater academy. I do not think of any metro in India including the so called “cultural capital” Kolkata, having a statue of Kalidasa. At Kolkata, the Theatre Street became Shakespeare Sarani and not Kalidasa Marg!
We should strategically recognize the weak point of China and also the need of its masses in the absence of Communism. Many a Chinese even today believe that their next birth should be in India to reach salvation. Culture and religion are not taboos any more.
There are other issues. Officially China recognizes or permits only five religions namely Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Protestantism and Catholicism7. Hence we should take steps to include Hinduism as one of the permitted religions. The Indian Government should take appropriate steps in this regard. The point is that our soft power in culture is interwoven in a tapestry form with the religion. You cannot separate it howsoever one tries it. Carnatic Music without Bhakti is neither music nor art. But our Government of all hues has never raised this issue with the Chinese.
The strategy should be to envelop China with music, dance, art, Yoga. Ayurveda, spiritual texts like Ithihasas, Gita, Puranas etc and capture the hearts of the middle classes as we have done for centuries.
The second issue is related to our own mind-set. We tend to look at China either through the Western spectacles or through local Marxist spectacles—which have more thick glasses. We need to come out of it. Even when invitations come to Indian spiritual leaders, the Government of India remains unenthusiastic and indicates its dis-interest in the false assumptions regarding China’s political orientation. The policy formulators are still living in the sixties and seventies while as China is undergoing a gigantic social crisis due to material prosperity and spiritual vacuum. Unfortunately, as a Chinese colleague of mine at Shanghai University commented last year, “both our countries are ruled by rootless deracinated foreign educated wonders that do not have any idea of the civilizational roots or the cultural richness of our lands.” Hopefully now it should have changed!!
China is enthusiastically waiting. To quote late B K S Iyengar, the doyen of yoga, “Mr. Iyengar told The Hindu during a visit to Beijing that he saw China as a future home for yoga. When he travelled to Guangzhou to give a lecture, he was stunned to find that organisers had rented out a stadium – more than 1,300 students had come to listen to him”.
But this is the opportunity to us since it is better to have a competitor and neighbor sharing the past cultural commonness. This will be very useful when the world is going to have two super powers from Asia unlike the conflict of last century between two super powers—USA and USSR- who did not have any shared cultural roots.
It is interesting that by now many Indians are aware that MSM of US/UK peddles lots of lies about India. But when the same rags say something about Chins we swallow it hook line and sinker.
We must distinguish between Government and society—same way Church does in India.
Chinese society is yearning to have good relationship with us. Let us remember that Buddhism is rebel Child of Hinduism—All rebel children are embraced as they grow old and absorbed in the mainstream.
China is at the threshold of change. It is yearning for spiritual solace. Many groups and sects from Western countries [with or without permission] are trying to spread their influence and message—since this is an opportunity for them.
Are we ready to undertake such a mission? Or continue to mouth worn out clich├ęs dished out by NYT and WSJ and Western Governments?
Prof R. VaidyanathanCho. S Ramaswamy Visiting Chair Professor of Public Policy SASTRA UniversityProfessor of Finance IIMB[Rtd]