Thursday, August 10, 2017

EDITOR'S COLUMN

Friends,

We are well and truly into the monsoon months. Most of India has experienced monsoon in different degrees, but in some places, it’s been rather very bad due to heavy and very heavy rains. But then, it’s been always like this, most of the past years. Whether we are ill prepared to manage the torrent or is it the unkind nature, but suffering has been there. There have been huge losses in both men and materials. 
We are in August. Seven decades ago, on the 15th of this month, we were unshackled from the yokes of colonial bondage. Yes we are 70 years young as a politically free nation. Looking back over this journey of the past seven decades, the labyrinth the development has traversed, it is indeed a profoundly mixed exercise. The incumbent government in New Delhi, has been there for just over 3 years, and this shall be the 4th independent day speech Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be making from the ramparts of the Red Fort. As defacto executive head PM Modi must be keen to report to the nation his perspective of the development this nation has witnessed under his leadership. We have seen some change, both in style and content. we would like to come up with our take once the report card is presented. Until then it’s a very happy independence day to all our patrons, readers and well-wishers.
Biggest happening of the month that passed by was the selection and election of India’s 14th President. Ruling NDA combine had the required number to see thru their candidate as the latest occupant of Rashtrapathi Bhavan. And they made an entirely unexpected choice, but certainly a decent selection. The installation of Ram Nath Govind (We would prefer to call him so, instead of Kovind) as the first citizen of the country for 2017/22 has proved that you don’t need to be a well known person to be the supreme commander of armed forces. However when he took oath of office and addressed the nation he committed an eminently avoidable faux pass. Perhaps it was intended. He deliberately omitted to refer to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. As a constitutional head of the government, ideological differences should not be allowed to get the better of you. Nehru is remembered for both positive and negative contributions. President Govind (Kovind) would have only elevated himself by referring to Nehru. His non-reference has caused a completely avoidable controversy leading to criticism from opposition politicians and even citizens from across the spectrum. However his record as Bihar governor should help him settle without much hassle in the Rashtrapathi Bhavan.
Month-in-Perspective has been as usual with our take on some of the happenings during the month.
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC), has been in the news for quite some time, for all kinds of reasons. Although for India it was an anathema, it was expected to be a bonanza for Pakistan. However the emerging details of CPEC are supposedly highly disturbing for Pakistan, or at least that is what they thought. The secrecy in documentation allegedly makes it very worrying. Terms of Agreement appears to be heavily loaded in favour of China. There is a possibility that Pakistan might end-up paying a heavy price for this embrace of their supposedly all weather friendship which is ‘higher than Himalayas, deeper than oceans’. The question is Will China Swallow Pakistan? We have tried to discuss the question in Focus. Hope our readers will find it interesting. Do revert with your thoughts.

J. Shriyan


MONTH-IN-PERSPECTIVE

NEW DELHI: When Aamir Khan’s ‘Dangal’ was released the young heroin of the film Zaira Wasim from Kashmir, was shown in a path breaking role. In the film, the WOMAN was clearly liberated. It was a successful experiment of women’s empowerment.
But Kashmiri bigots wouldn’t buy any of them. They made the life of this young Zaira difficult and she had to apologize for being “unislamic” in the film.
Comes King Khan with his princess Suhaan Khan in a stunning short dress. Surprisingly bigots were nowhere around to react. Is it because, King Khan would have asked them to ‘shut up’ and react “it’s none of your business”!
So it’s another case of double standard even in bigotry!

On my post “Double standard in Bigotry!” where I had posted a picture of actor Shah Rukh Khan & his daughter, a gentleman Mr. Syedein had queried “What is your involvement in all this? Why are you so concerned?” While it was a legitimate query, he probably felt how can a Jayaram comment on Khans. So, I had responded “Men and women are born free. But get chained, as they grow, by adults, by the society, by the clergy and finally by individuals themselves by surrendering to the forces within and without. I wish a world free of dogmatic walls. If we cannot have bridges, at least, we must break down walls. Amen.” Strangely even after 48 hours no response came from Mr. Syedein. I wanted to carry on the debate. Friends, where did I go wrong that made our friend Syedein go quite?!

Ghost of Bofors do not seem to die. When Quattrochchi died, all thought, especially the Gandhi (not Mahatma) family, it’s all over. The Rs. 64crore Saga, that caused the collapse of Rajeev Gandhi government, somehow couldn’t be conclusively closed. It is still waiting for the last word. Be that as it may, comes this newest scam involving fake Chinese spares sold to Army for Bofors Guns.
Good number of Indians, just to make some fast buck can downright be anti-national. According to a report datelined New Delhi, Chinese made spares camouflaged as “Made in Germany” have found their way to the production line of indigenized Bofors guns used by the army. Some Sidhi Sales Syndicate (SSS) has reportedly sold these parts and CBI has filed a case of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery. Gun Carriage Factory (GCF) in Jabalpur was the party government agency floated a tender for 4 ‘Wire Race Roller Bearings’. Reportedly some unidentified officials of GCF are involved in this scam. These bearings are supposedly a vital part in the manufacture of indigenous Bofors artillery gun ‘Dhanush’. SS Syndicate was not only given the supply contract of these 4 bearings but were also asked to supply 2 more. SSS supplied all the six with declaration that they were manufactured by CRB,- Antriebstechnik, Germany with ‘CRB- Made in Germany’ embossed on these bearings.
According to CBI, not only the German firm do not manufacture these bearings, this SSSyndicate got them manufactured by Sino United Industries Ltd. Henan, China.
Thus, it is clearly a case of criminal conspiracy between the SSSyndicate and GCF officials. It amounted to cheating as well as forgery. By joining hands with Chinese to cheat Indian army, it can even be termed anti-national, just to make some money.
All of us are working to make money, if possible, more money, so are the people in business. But some want to make more and more money with an unsatiating desire. It’s the greed that drives people to cheat. Even the country does not matter. That by their action they have endangered safety of our jawans and by extension the country itself, is not their concern. These people, both the SSSyndicate owners and the concerned army officials at GCF, should be tried under treason and condemned to jail for life with no bail. Only then message shall go, not to join any supplier, including China, in faking our country in general and army in particular.

Country’s Premier auditors- CAG asking railways to “Ensure clean linens for passengers” has not come a day too early. Ever since the railways were contracting out their laundry services, there have been continuous complaints. What CAG has observed is that there are complaints about blankets and pillows not being sanitized for long period. While what they said is true, what has not come to their attention is the unwashed bed sheets, hand towels and pillow covers, not being washed after every use. They are probably washed every 2nd, 3rd or even 4th usage. They are just being ironed to look neat and supplied to passengers. What has come to the knowledge of CAG is from passengers of premium trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi etc. What never comes to their knowledge is the issue of non-premium trains with AC coaches. Here more often than not, it is the Ticket Checking inspectors who receive complaints, who probably do pass these complaints to higher ups in railways. Somehow these complaints have not really helped matters. Now that CAG has pulled up, may be minister Suresh Prabhu would hopefully act on this insanitary state of railway linens.  

As usual 11th July came and went into national amnesia. The World Population Day did not elicit the seriousness it deserved. According to International Institute of Population Studies, Deonar, Mumbai, recorded Indian population to be 1,361,277,617 on 11th July 2017. Reportedly according to UN Depptt of Economic & Social Affairs, by 2024, India is likely to overtake China in population growth. So from 2025, India will be numero uno in this ever growing numbing numbers. Surely this is not something to be proud of.
Meenaxi Lekhi, a lawyer & a Member of Parliament has recently remarked “From the perspective of both sustainable development and for making sure that the benefits of economic growth reach out to all, it is extremely important for India to have a stringent National Population Policy”. Something I&C has articulated for all its 17 years of its useful existence. “There is a limit to how much Indian cities can bear the burden of increasing population” she says with apparent concern.
We all know, the pressure of unbridled population growth would create stress on natural resources, leading to deforestation, pollution of rivers and congestion of localities. All these have major negative impact on ecological balance. Unfortunately successive governments for all these 70 years have failed to have a coherent population policy to curb the growing numbers, including the present NDA dispensation at the centre.
Under the circumstances for Meenaxi Lekhi to take this considered stand is commendable, when she tells “there is limit on how many more jobs can be created for ever-growing population. There is also a limit on how many students can be given admission to India’s schools and colleges.”
Clearly, there is no escape. We have to bite the bullet and act to stop this runaway explosion of numbers. While it is true that there are some Indian states who have been applying principles of one child/ 2 children norms for some benefits and opportunities, and also have succeeded in either matching replacement figures or even going below the replacement figure, many states have not bothered to look at one of the most serious issue concerning our all inclusive developmental initiatives. Hope the Narendra Modi government listens to one of its own Member of Parliament to seriously consider her articulation on this very important issue. Or else, it will be a never ending struggle for days to come.

Nobody wants to die for nothing, similarly none want to kill anybody else for no-reason. Of course killing, per se, can never be justified.
The recent report of a jawan from 19 Madras Regiment having shot dead a young major has sent understable shock waves.
There have been instances all through our history of post independent India, when somebody has shot somebody else, whether in police dept or any of the units of armed forces, be it CRPF, BSF, Army, Air-force or even Navy, or other security wings of defence establishments. There have been studies and lacunae have been found and discussed. But somehow, these incidents have only increased over a period.
The human psyche that divides, between manager and managed, leader and led, officer and subordinates, supervisor and supervised, is ever present in all human activities. All situations can be managed provided there is a spirit of give and take. While discipline is absolutely paramount in all armed forces, the very fact that the person is armed, makes it all the more difficult to be one-up for the senior, he has to perforce control his emotions even pocket his sense of ego. The way big person handles small person is the reflection of his man management skills. That is where he proves his bigness. He has to get down to the level of the junior to feel his sense of pain or disappointment. So that situation can be saved for the benefit of all.
It is true all situations cannot have perfect solutions where a certain degree of give and take comes. The larger picture, the interest of the nation, need to be appreciated by all concerned, and solution may be only as far as that.
In this particular case, jawan was using his mobile phone in a forward area near LoC in J&K while on duty, is certainly a serious case of indiscipline. How the officer could have saved the situation is difficult to say in retrospect. That the heated argument between the jawan and the major led to the death of a young officer, is very sad.
Of course nothing is beyond despair. There is certainly hope for better skills in stress management. All concerned, especially officers, should be sensitized of the stress situation an ordinary jawan passes through. In forward areas with varying temperatures, provision of quality food and clothing, behaviour of superiors all play a role in the psychology of sentries and jawans. There is a huge responsibility on the seniors up to the rank of the General to treat all as equals when it comes to human relations, period. Hope all concerned pause and ponder for the bigger picture.

Bihar: The nation is aware that Bihar strongman Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family is in the eyes of the storm with all kinds of wheeling-dealings being probed by law agencies, like CBI and income tax departments. Lot of stories of benami properties owned by Lalu’s wife and children, are making rounds in the media.
Politicians, all over India, are known to have access to unaccounted money from different sources, received as consideration for acts of commission and omission. Some gets exposed in public space and some remain dormant and some are actively concealed due to political contacts.
Indians also know that vast majority of elected representatives of political parties enjoy life way beyond their known source of income. But people are unable to expose them due to those involved in underhand dealings are helping each other in keeping it concealed, thus for generations they keep enjoying the fruits of their sins while in politics.
The adage that ‘some can fool some people all the time, and all the people sometime, but not all the people all the time’ has its time tested relevance.
Lallan Chaudhary, reportedly is the cow shed keeper of Lalu Prasad Yadav for some 20 years or so. But somehow manages to ‘buy’ two plots of land from one Vishunder Rai and Rathneshwar Yadav for `4 lakhs in 2008. But has reportedly gifted these plots valued at `1 crore as market value, after 8 years, one to Rabridevi, wife of Lalu and the other to Lalu’s daughter Hema, because according to Lallan’s declaration in the gift deed, both are close to him.
Be that as it may, the question is, how Lallan, the cow shed keeper, living in an Indira Awas Yojana house and holding a BPL card could have `4 lakh in 2008 to purchase these plots, so also `6 lakhs that he paid as stamp duty to the state treasury! According to media, when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the Railway Minister, he is alleged to have given employment for 2 sons of Vishunder Rai and Rathneshwar Yadav.
Here connections become little murky. There is allegation in political circles that during the period of Lalu Prasad’s Railway Ministership, he gifted jobs and contracts and as a quid-pro-quo- these land deals have taken place in favour of his trusted domestic staff, who in turn gifted them to Lalu’s family members at a later date.
Yes, too many questions and not many answers. This is Yeh Mera India.  

KARNATAKA: I do not want to be seen even remotely as a religious man. But when in Udupi, Pejawar Seer Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji arranged an Iftaar get-together for local Muslims, within the precincts of Shree Krishna Math, and also made arrangement for their prayers, I certainly felt very nice. It certainly was a very historic move by the octogenarian Swamiji. Not done anywhere in Indian temples. It was indeed a unique social harmony initiative.
There appeared to be a groundswell of goodwill generated among both Hindus and Muslims, post this event.
It was clearly a move aimed at harmony without any political undertone or overtone. It was clearly hoped there would be write-ups in both print and social media. Strangely when there were too many write-ups on cow and beef eating, largely politically motivated, there was this unexplained silence among ‘social thinkers’ in the social media. But then those who are looking for garbage do tend to miss the fragrance of flowers, isn’t it!
And comes this rabble raiser Mutalik of Shri Rama Sene. That he is doing no service to Lord Rama is well known. He is only looking for some political opportunity. He tried for an M.P seat from BJP in 2014, and for his chagrin, he was not given. Now in Udupi, he is trying to muddy the water by questioning the Pejawar Seer, about the Iftaar get-together in Udupi temple premises. According to this Mutalik, holding of Iftaar and then even prayers within the temple area is an insult to Hindu society and that his Shri Rama Sene will stage a protest. Surely Pejawar Seer does not need lessons in Hinduism from likes of Mutalik, who was known to have allegedly agreed in the past to create communal disturbance for monetary gain. Here it is interesting to note that BJP has not reacted, either in support or against it. But Congress has pushed its junior, youth Congress, to the arena to face Mutalik & Co. Thus it is clearly a votebank response. BJP has lost an opportunity to be seen as a party for social harmony. Congress as usual is unsure what to do. But Pejawar Swamiji has clearly scored, where politics failed.

Parents killing themselves along with their kids, or husband killing wife and kids then committing suicide himself, or mother jumping into the well with her kids because of fight with husband or his family, are the stories that have appeared in the media at sometime or the other. We have read, may be felt bad for a while, and then life has gone on as usual. For those of us who are not affected, are not overtly concerned, probably not knowing what can be done about happenings of this nature.
But these souls, who have left this sorry world, perforce or as victims of circumstances, especially those innocent small children, if you pause for a while and think, it could be deeply unsettling and heart rending.
At least these innocent souls, who have not seen life at all, deserve some thoughts, if nothing more.
And comes this news, “Women gets life term for throwing daughter into river”. Judge Lavanya Latha from Tumakooru gave her judgement for the crime. For her issue is closed. Mother got punishment for her crime. But that small 2 month old baby girl, why she had to die? Whatever be the problem, what right anybody had to snuff the life out of a small baby?
Granted, there are lots of issues involving such incidents. The government all over India has a department of Child Welfare Committees. What is their job, only to raid, search and arrest people for crime against children or can they also proactively think on the lines of how to save these children caught in the crossfire between husband/wife or their many problems?
If adults want to end their life, nobody can do anything about it. They can be counseled not to end their life. But regarding children this CWC can take a proactive role to make a difference to save the life of small children. If they are orphaned unfortunately, there are many couples looking for adoption. These small children can have hopefully a better life with adoptive parents. A debate has to be ignited for the larger purpose of saving small children who are increasingly becoming victims of circumstances. CWC must invite suggestion to this end. They need to act rather than only react all the time.

KERALA: THE WEEK, letter writer T. Koshi Cherian in his letter (The Week:16th July) on “That Elusive Search for bliss” has exposed his bias and pettiness, when he wrote “No one can find spiritual solace by flexing your muscles or holding breath in half clad body, wrapped partially in a piece of dhoti tied along the gluteal cleft”.
And you had decided to give it prominence by titling it ‘Yoga not spiritual’. This publication has also exposed the mindset of the person who selected to publish this letter.
While there are any number of books on Yoga, following two books this letter writer must read- ‘The Hidden Teaching beyond Yoga’ by Dr. Paul Brunton from England, a senior journalist himself and ‘Yoga & Nature Cure’ by Dr. G. Francis Xavier, an Indian, both fortunately are not Hindu dogmatists. And ask Crystal L Park of University of Connecticut “I think because yoga is such a mind-body practice, people find themselves being more relaxed and more mindful. They start going back for those things. It’s clearly something people deeply resonate with,” stated in a survey by the University (TIME, Aug, 29, 2016- page 10),
Please try not to vitiate public space by publishing dogmatic hatred.

WORLD: Politicians of all hues are known to make, at times, stupid and irresponsible statements. BJP politicians are no exception to this rule.
Media savvy Indians are aware that a BJP MP had, on record, stated some time ago that, Talaq and Polygamy are prevalent because of ‘lust in men’. Understandably there was furor, justified or otherwise.
And comes this story from Peshawar Pakistan. “Pak woman kills hubby for raping daughter-in-law”.
Gulbar Khan was shot dead by his irate wife Begum Bibi. Begum had claimed that Gulbar had been repeatedly sexually assaulting his daughter-in-law for the past 3 months. Report informs that his son, a Frontier Corps soldier, had known about the ordeal of his wife ‘but due to parental respect, I couldn’t kill him”, but had informed his mother that ‘on return, he would leave home’.
Here is a helpless young married woman whose husband is away on army duty. It’s the duty of her parents-in-law to protect her in the absence of her man. Instead we have an animal in her Father-in-law, who is truly her father in spirit, away from her parental home. And this Father-in-law becomes an outlaw with, someone who is truly his daughter in spirit.
His wife’s fury at her sickening husband is completely justified. This ‘honour killing’ should be pardoned by the authorities in Peshawar. Actually Begum Bibi did the job of the prison’s firing squad. Two cheers to her. By hindsight, this BJP MP, may not be wrong after all, for his ‘wise’ crack.  

There are lots of differences between these two neighbours but the fact that 70 years ago, both had same home and hearth. Thus, there are some basic similarities. Surely there are many positive similarities. But this one is negative similarity.
This is the story of a 13 year boy Irfan. He worked as a farm hand in the house hold of Shafqat Bibi at an agreed salary of `3,000/- per month. Month over, Irfan asked for his salary, not knowing what was in store for him.
An infuriated Shafqat Bibi chopped his right hand off. Reportedly he is struggling in hospital in critical condition due to heavy bleeding.
The family of Irfan approached the Safdarabad police station in Lahore. And the police refused to register a case when family approached them.
Can you visualize a similar situation in any of the Indian police stations, where police have refused to register a case because the victim was poor? Yes, Indian & Pakistan police mentality may be same, when complainant is poor.

Narendra Modi, like it or not, is the most written about in India. There are in big numbers, who dislike him and probably hate him. There are people who wished him the worst. But there are also his admirers who are legions. In any case he cannot be ignored.
And those who hate him have used all kinds of languages against him. The thought, what would be his unpopularity rate, crossed the mind.
Reading the TIME, the U.S. based weekly provided with some answer, that he is not that bad after all, when there are many in the global media who are written about their unpopularity rating.
There is a school of opinion makers who think President Donald Trump is not very popular in his own country. They also came up with details of five more world leaders, who are less popular than President Trump.
Ian Bremmer, the lead writer for the TIME writes Donald Trump has had a historically bad series of news cycle as of late. But the President with an approval rating just above 40% is sitting pretty compared with some other heads of the state and government. And he names Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela as the most embattled political leader. His approval rating is around 20%, meaning close to 80% do not like him. Michel Temer of Brazil is in single digit, meaning over 90% of his countrymen do not like him. Then you have Jacob Zuma of South Africa, has just 20% approval by his countrymen. Alexis Tsipras of Greece is in similar situation. Najib Razak of Malaysia is the 5th global leader who is written about with equally lower rating.
Except Greece all leaders are involved in corruption scams. To his credit Prime Minister Narendra Modi is probably the cleanest in the major human failings of women, wine and wealth. That alone should give him a head start, whether those who hate him like it or not. In our freedom of speech one gentleman from Goa even referred to him as “The fucker thinks he is a Messiah”. How to react to this?!, especially when the TIME, sometime in May, selected him as one of the 24 most influential leaders in the world. He was placed No: 4 just below Pope Francis, placed at 3. And Donald Trump was placed 14.
A word of reason, while condemning others, we must take care that we do not degrade ourselves by our language.

For quite some time, it’s been blowing hot and cold between neighbours India and China. Then Prime Minister Narendra Modi tells the world that ‘in spite of long standing border dispute differences there has not been a bullet fired,’ signaling there prevails peace between India and China. Chinese official media, surely under instruction from the top, goes to the market to tell the world, they deeply appreciate this remark from the Indian Prime Minister.
And then Doklam happens. Doka La or Doklam is near Indo Bhutan border in Sikkim and supposedly claimed by Bhutan. China in their usual style of brow-beating, is trying to build a road capable of heavy traffic which when completed can be strategically dangerous to India. Doklam is the China-Bhutan-India tri-junction. Since Bhutan has defence agreement with India, it is incumbent upon India to protect the territorial integrity of Bhutan. So, Indian troops stops the construction of the road by China and a confrontation ensues between India and China. China demands, ‘for any talk on Doklam crisis, Indian troops must withdraw?' While Bhutan urges China to maintain status quo, India insists that both should withdraw their troops and talk.
It happened in late May, and standoff continues without any progress on the issue. Apparently, China wanted to test the Indian commitment to Bhutan. It is a psychological war fare. History is proof enough for the complete absence of any Indian territorial ambition. India respects Bhutan’s independent status and hence Bhutan is comfortable with India handling its safety.
After this over 6 weeks of impasse a strange report appears in the print media, “China should keep calm about India’s rise”. A Beijing datelined report by PTI informs “China should be calm seeing India rise. To cope with competition from India, China could start working on a more effective growth strategy for the new era now”, informed an article in the state owned Global Times.
“India is receiving massive influx of foreign investment, which China started two decades ago and that India will experience enhanced development in its manufacturing sector," the paper had stated.
In the past, China had tried to suppress Indian desire to grow and be a force to reckon with in the international arena. However this latest summersault indicates a ‘method in madness’. What kind of a feeler China is trying to send is unclear, but a positive vibe all the same.
In recent times, India has shown nerve to stand-up and be counted. It is trying to prove to Chinese that ‘we are not pushovers’. Firmness without being overtly assertive has apparently sent a message, “it helps to sit down and talk calmly and hopefully with reason”. Hope all parties to the dispute see some points of convergence so that standoff does not continue to end in some unpleasant bravado.            

NDA government in New Delhi led by PM Narendra Modi has planned these 100 smart cities. For long years, since before 2000, we have been talking about being super power. And we are nowhere near it. Of course, we may be inching towards it literally, but it is still far. These smart cities too may not come soon. It may happen to some of the cities, but that too in a distant future.
When the first talk started there were these social media savvy geeks come-up with all kinds of suggestions as to what to do and what not to do, as if they had solutions at their finger tips.
What most Indians does not recognize is, the complete lack of discipline from most average Indians. Look at any traffic jam, more than the number of vehicles, it is the indisciplined use of road with total disregard for the laws of the land which have greatly contributed to the mess that we call as ‘Traffic Woes’.
As a people we have contempt for the rules and regulations. Even traffic police does not know that there is an emergency lane meant for ambulances, fire brigades and other vehicles in a hurry and who do you find there!, bullet tankers, cement block laden trucks, rickshaw tempos with steel bars & GI pipes and the likes. There are N numbers of issues to talk about, but here comes the latest from London. These proposed Smart Cities, if and when happens, can lead to massive migration of population, which can in turn put pressure on housing, electricity and water, while simultaneously increasing the output of waste into the drainage system, solid waste and green house gasses, informs a research study by the University of Lincoln in the U.K. Clearly, the study tells that these Smart Cities are bound to harm environment if not meticulously planned, one after the other, rather than 100 smart cities within a fixed time frame. Like in Railway budget, there used to be 25 new railway lines and after 25 years, may be one or two have progressed to complete, rest for years remain as Work-in-Progress, and some even abandoned for varieties of socio-economic & political reasons. Haven’t we heard, slow & steady wins the race?

J. Shriyan


What They Said

A month may consist of more or less than thirty days, but certain deeds and valuable time one spends during these days can make it innumerable. A month of internship in fact was a month completely filled with journalistic lessons at ‘ISSUES & CONCERNS’ (I&C) magazine. Mr.Jayaram Shriyan, the editor of ‘I&C’, such a down to earth person, the man behind the magazine, has taught me, what we can do in life, certainly proved to me that there are opportunities spread in front of you, we just have to play the role in choosing the right one which satisfies us and through which we can satisfy others. Mr J. Shriyan has been doing the same since last 17 years.
ISSUES&CONCERNS magazine, one of the monthly English magazines distributed across the country has got its own way of producing news in different format. The magazine carries all types of news that has taken place during the particular month in its monthly issue. It carries in it State, National, International, Sports and various kinds of news every month. Mr.Shriyan has done a wonderful job in his writing by letting the readers know his version of a particular news, by bringing out each and every point to his articles. And having read most of his articles, I found it really helpful as there were certain points which viewed from another angle became fresh piece of news to me and has surprised me ironically. My time was limited, which is why I really liked this magazine. It captures important events around the world in a synopsis, the reporting is balanced and accurately reflects what is going on (as compared to other magazines). The reporting is intelligent and thought-provoking.
Interacting with Mr. Shriyan gave me a new face of journalism, like how print media can be a part that can be not just friendly, but also very important help for the readers. He is thorough with the current issues and all the happening around, which helped me to form my different political thoughts and helped clear doubts through his help.
And being with him for a month was a great experience. I’m looking forward in future to be in touch with him to find my source of current issues from the magazine. And as a word to the public, if anyone of you want to know something that is happening in the country or overseas currently, then never make a mistake of not reading the I&C magazine. Trust me this will make you stunned and happy with the facts written by Mr. Shriyan. JAI HIND
-Albert Antony, II BA (J&M.C), Nitte Instt of Communication, Mangalooru.

I am an avid reader of ISSUES&CONCERNS, and I must say that the magazine does not allow me to part with it unless I've flipped through all the pages.
The content is all balanced - strong and honest opinions on politics, sports, and current issues; all of which are eye-openers as they are not published in any other media.The content is compelling and engaging. The magazine brings forth hidden heroes, views of eminent personalities such as B.M. Hegde and M.V.Kamath, and emphasises the obvious need for social outreach and awareness.
This month's write ups on Modi government provides a very clear picture on the government affairs.

Mr J.Shriyan, the editor, is a one-man army running this publication without any vested interest. I admire his wit and courage and would like to appeal to all to support him in his mission for a brighter tomorrow.               -Suman Salian (Capgemini), Mumbai 


I've been reviewing ISSUES&CONCERNS posts. You're write ups make for very good reading.                                                                -Nigel Albuquerque, Via FB

I must thank Mr. B.N.R Rao for introducing me to ISSUES&CONCERNS English Monthly. I found this magazine really good with writers like Dr. M.V. Kamath and Prof. B.M Hegde contributing continuously. I have pleasure in sending my cheque for `10,000/- as my permanent membership.     -Dr. M. Sadashiva Polnaya, S.K. Hospital, Ullal, Mangalooru  

I have been a reader of ISSUES&CONCERNS for the last about 10 years. I am deeply impressed by the style and contents of this unique magazine. I want to introduce this magazine to my son and daughter. Hence I have sent along 2 cheques of ` 10,000/- each. Kindly post the monthly to the postal address given.    B.R.Shetty, Basavanagudi, Bengalooru



FOCUS

Will China Swallow Pakistan?!

In the history of nation states, no other country has been written about, in as much bewilderment, as the People’s Republic of China. 
History informs us, before it became People’s Republic of China, that China was an imperial state ruled by the Manchu dynasty. Wars occurred in China as frequently as they did in 19th/20th century Europe. According to some historians, China enjoyed pre-eminence in days of yore. However exploitation of people was the norm. Hence there was widespread unrest among the working population of China. Slowly China was getting ripe for revolution. An army backed revolution in 1912 deposed its last ruling emperor, then only 6 years old. However, it was only on Oct 1, 1947, Mao-Tse-Tung, (Mao Zedong) could establish his People’s Republic. While proclaiming the republic, he had stated, “We have stood up. Ours will no longer be a nation subject to insult and humiliation”.
While warning his countrymen he told his people “The victory of Chinese people’s democratic revolution, viewed in retrospect, will seem like only a brief prologue to a long drama. A drama begins with a prologue, but the prologue is not the climax.”
It is another matter that Chinese listening to Mao couldn’t have foreseen what followed. In just 2 years time, China invaded South Korea and captured Seoul. In 1958, a programme to revolutionize the economy was proclaimed as ‘The Great Leap Forward”. Dubbed ‘economic lunacy’ by the west, the programme ended in famine which claimed millions of lives. Armed conflict with India in 1962 and, then followed with the Soviet Union leading to formal snapping of diplomatic links between China and USSR. Cultural Revolution launched in 1966 caused huge turmoil within the Chinese society. 1972 brought U.S President Richard Nixon, the 1st U.S president to visit mainland China. Mao passed away in 1976, bringing Deng Xiaoping as the new leader of the Communist Party of China.
He clearly had a socio/political vision for his country. Biggest strength those days for China was its manpower. In a regimented communist rule, the primacy of its ideology was paramount. Under Deng Xiaoping, growing agitation among intellectuals and educated young for a greater degree of democracy rose to haunt the Chinese leadership. Being a champion of economic change Deng opened up the economy to foreign investment and permitted Chinese farmers to sell their surplus produce in open market. This cautious freeing of the economy had aroused expectation among the educated youth and intellectuals of a possible increase in the political freedom. However Deng was resolutely opposed to any parallel political reform that could possibly undermine the autocratic power of the Chinese Communist Party. “We cannot do without dictatorship”, Deng had declared.
Thus, the political leadership was the deciding factor that kept the wages of the labour low. A huge labour force with a salary of less than $25 a week was the irresistible attraction for western investors. This opened up huge socio/economic possibilities for the nation state as well as for its citizens. Rest, as the cliché goes, is history. In thirty years journey of this Chinese capitalism which the Chinese leadership called “Socialism with Chinese characteristics”, People’s Republic of China catapulted as the second largest economy after U.S, pushing Japan to the third position. Through its relentless exports, with price advantage due to low labour cost, China has amassed a mountain of cash reserves and made itself Washington’s biggest creditor.
Tools that China has used to spark its economic miracle were government support, cheap labour and state directed finance.
Like all good things have to come to an end, so was the ever growing Chinese surplus. Growth of government revenue was slowing down, imbalance between revenue and expenditure was becoming more pronounced and reportedly there were risks and hidden dangers in local government debt. The amount of increasing non-performance loans by banks have reportedly, added to the pressing concerns. Cheap labour was no more cheap and the labour aware of the opportunity for more, is restive. This has clearly pushed foreign business to look for alternatives. It’s not just foreign but even Chinese businessmen are looking for places in Africa, like that footwear maker Zhang Huarong invested $15 million in a factory in Ethiopia. Reportedly he pays 1/8th of wages paid to Chinese counterparts, and has plans to increase his workforce to 30,000 from the present 3000. Besides, the slowdown of economic activity has led to retrenchment of 1.8 million workers in steel and coal sectors.
So, the national planners had to perforce look for avenues to keep the momentum to maintain the GDP.
China had in the meanwhile cultivated Pakistan as a buffer to stymie India in its growth endeavours, since China never wanted India to grow to compete with China. China cultivated military partnership with Pakistan. Pakistan was an Indian adversary therefore it became very easy for China to cultivate Pakistan, besides Pakistan was hungry for cash, which China was more than ready to meet for its own expansionist agenda. China is also pouring money under the guise of various types of aids and projects across the world, especially in emerging economies to buy up friends and also to expand its economic influences.
One Belt One Road (OBOR), termed tectonically transforming, was planned and pushed ahead to keep the Chinese economic juggernaut going. This Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is expected to cover some 60 countries, all across the land locked but energy rich Central Asian Republics. Clearly China is trying to expand and establish geo-economic influence in Asia, as well as parts of Europe.
And comes this China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of BRI, which connects a distance of about 3000kms from China’s Kashgar in Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s South Western Gwadar Port west of Karachi with a maze of rail road and pipelines. Kashgar is in China’s Muslim majority Turkish Xinjiang region, mainly populated by ethnic Uighur Muslims and has been a home to separatists. Since this road is passing through the restive Baloochistan and not very far from Talibanis, Pakistan had to create a special security apparatus at a huge cost. CPEC is an almost $50 billion project. Besides being a huge road project, it also includes energy, infrastructure, ports and industry related projects. This project is termed a game changer for Pakistan, which is presently in both political and economic turmoil.
China has killed two birds in one go with this CPEC. It provided economic sustenance to Pakistan in the immediate future, which in turn will keep the India centric border skirmishes in Kashmir and along the Indian border, more active, to the chagrin and military occupancy of India. CPEC will also be earning long term dividends; at least it is planned thus, for China’s expansionist goals. To make matters worse, this CPEC is passing through Gilgit Baltisan area of Pakistani Occupied Kashmir. This has greatly upset India. The exciting and at times increasing Chinese belligerence on the north eastern border and the latest flash point at the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction, has kept the tension in New Delhi alive. These are all part of the Chinese strategy to contain India’s regional power ambitions. This has disturbed the economic calculations of the Indian government of the day.
While this BRI which includes CPEC is expected to bring economic manna for participating countries, for China it ensures uninterrupted supply of raw materials including hydrocarbon fuels, this will also provide huge market for its finished products and largely reduce its dependence on outside countries but more importantly to the hostile west. However what is very clear is the indifference to the governance style of both China and those receiving countries! There is no criticism of strong arm methods of quelling internal dissent, human rights violations and other ‘preachy issues’ propagated by western powers. However, as former Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Island’s Bhopinder Singh writes, “The lure of an alternative benign power, which doles out the moolah to cash starved nations without any ‘strings attached’, is a welcome alternative to the much- conditional ‘ifs and buts’ of the western powers.”

WILL IT REALLY BE SO!
China is not an easy customer. To begin with, it will show all the interest in the development of the receiving country, where it can use its surplus resources to its advantage. But in the long term, it is the ideological supremacy of the Peoples’ Republic of China, that is intended as the final frontier, where it will never hesitate to flex its muscles, both economic and military to protect its geostrategic goals.
As things are unfolding, it is becoming increasingly clear, that Pakistan can be in for an unpleasant surprise, if not shock. The all-weather friend that China is to Pakistan may no longer remain all-weather. In not too distant a future it can degenerate into a fair-weather friend only and may even become Pakistan’s lord and master, just like what England did to India and rest of the world, in its long history of colonization.
Although it is clearly a political game that China is opposing everything, from supporting Masood Azar, a terrorist, to blocking India’s bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to India’s Security Council aspirations, are all double edged. The issue of Masood Azar is clearly to influence Pakistani sensitivity so that Pakistan does not get the smell of Chinese long term design. However, apparently China appreciates that with large number of Chinese engineers, workers and citizens expected to be part of building infrastructure and other projects, an element of enhanced risk to their safety and safety of Chinese assets exists. Global Times, the Chinese government mouth piece on record had stated “Beijing’s huge investment in Islamabad is coveted and thus may easily fall victim to terror groups”, while acknowledging that “Pakistan is known for its poor security records”, and naming Pakistan as ‘a source from where Uighur terrorists enter China’.  
While Chinese leadership is torn between the benefits from having a shorter and more convenient access to the sea that could bring rich dividends in terms of exercising hegemony on the region and the possible negative fallout from having to deal with a volatile area which is a hot bed of terror, within the emerging scenario in Pakistan, it is certainly disturbing, to say the least, to its national psyche. There is a palpable fear that Pakistan could get into unsustainable debt trap while China will reap all benefits. 
However, the Chinese daily Global Times says, “The global economy needs new driving forces and economic globalization needs newer dimensions. The BRI instills the world economy with new imagination”. For sure, BRI is indeed an imaginative initiative. On the face of it, it is a win-win situation for both the giver and the receiver. But the veil of pretence ends there.
China will not lead such an initiative involving hundreds of billions of $ without its long term goals. OBOR project envisages the construction of a maze of roads, rail and port projects through a number of countries to connect mainland China to markets in Asia and Europe.
Clearly, there are indications that Pakistani society is worried. Apparently, Pakistan believes CPEC would transform its moribund economy within a short number of years. In fact Pakistan is already euphoric of the socio-economic spin off of CPEC. Of course, Pakistan’s hatred of India is rendering it blind to the possible catastrophe the Chinese economic high stake will in all probability lead to. While apparently everything is hunky dory for this ‘all-weather’ Sino-Pak bilateral friendship, details of the CPEC projects indicate existential danger to Pakistan, feels the Pak media. There are suspicions that the agreement is heavily skewed in favour of China. A look at the material and manpower need of the CPEC shows that except Pakistan-produced cement all other requirements and machinery, including men needed for the projects, were all brought in from China, with little or no participation of the local communities. Besides, since CPEC is largely located on the country’s eastern part, it is being disparagingly called the “China Punjab Economic Corridor”. Thus CPEC has also led to inter-provincial resentment.   
Some of the highlights of these details are “CPEC envisages a deep broad-based penetration of most sectors of Pakistan’s economy as well as its society by Chinese enterprise and culture …
A national fibreoptic backbone will be built for the country not only for internet traffic, but also terrestrial distribution of broadcast TV, which will co-operate with Chinese Media in the dissemination of Chinese culture.” This attempt to spread Chinese language and culture has left Pakistani intelligentsia wondering ‘how it can affect lives of ordinary Pakistanis’.
In agriculture CPEC “identifies opportunities for the entry by Chinese enterprises in the myriad dysfunctions that afflict Pakistan’s agricultural sector”.
“CPEC plans to import advanced planting and breeding techniques to farmers by acquiring land by the government, which in turn will rent these acquired land holdings to Chinese enterprises for building planting and breeding bases”. This means most of Pakistani farm land will go under Chinese control. This is going to cause enormous socio/economic unrest among small land holders, who have inherited land rights for decades or even centuries.  
Report also says that these Chinese companies would be advised to “respect the religions and customs of locals, treat people as equals and live in harmony”. This is in direct contrast to what China does to its own Muslims in Xinjiang province. Time and again, Chinese authorities have ruthlessly cracked down on the religious rights of Muslims in the country. Unveiling new education rules, the state authorities have made it clear that parents encouraging their children into religious activities would be jailed. For the past two years, China has banned fasting for Muslims in Xinjiang during the holy month of Ramadan. This alone has to send alarm bells in Islamabad. But strangely Pakistan has failed to raise any question about the ruthless oppression against Muslims in China.
Report also talks about how Chinese enterprises have to be protected from terror attacks, while remaining quiet on terror attacks by Masood Azar & company on India and Indians. Of course the recent kidnapping and killing of two Chinese language teachers, a man and a woman, from Quetta allegedly by Islamic State (IS) is certainly giving authorities in Beijing sleepless nights. Here it is very pertinent to mention that to ensure greater security to Chinese workers, some 10,000 of them and CPEC assets, Pakistan has created a Special Security Division (SSD) commanded by a Major General which was initially costing Pakistani exchequer US$12 million per year. Now that Gwadar port is operational, Pakistan has decided, as per the terms of the agreement, to deploy two marine battalions to provide round the clock security at Gwadar. This heavy emphasis on security of Chinese men and materials is expected to be a huge drain on Pakistan’s already stretched financial resources. It is reliably understood, that China has refused to share any of the security cost incurred by Pak on CPEC. This has forced the government in Islamabad to charge 1% levy on all national electric power consumers. This move by the government has greatly upset Pakistani politicians and the people in general.   
The CPEC document appears to be silent on how Pakistanis and Pakistani enterprises shall benefit from the deal in the long term, except that there will be windfall to all sections of Pakistani society when infrastructure and business is developed on unprecedented scale, for both the country and its people. However it is interesting to note what S. Akbar Zaidi a Pakistani Political Economist had reportedly stated: ‘Islamabad will become a colony of China once the CPEC is ready! According to him “CPEC will enslave Pakistan and will undermine its sovereignty” while adding that “Pakistan should be alert to the debt risks brought by Chinese investment since such investments in Sri Lanka, Tajikistan and some parts of Africa have turned sour”.
Of course at this stage it is difficult to fathom how the entire CPEC project will shape ultimately. However, the scope and sweep of the project do send alarm bells to all thinking Pakistanis. Opposition in the form of kidnapping of two Chinese and found later dead has caused the Chinese the inevitable headache. How coming days shall develop has to be seen for a firmer view to appear. However, as of now, it does not look very happy for Pakistanis for their comfort. If Pakistan does not make a clear choice of priority to live in peace and dignity the million dollar (or Chinese Yuan) question is: will China swallow Pakistan?

J.Shriyan

ETCETERA

Wood as a medium for water filtration

Washington: Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have found a novel use for wood – to remove toxic impurities from water: Engineers at University of Maryland in the US started with a block of linden wood, which they then soaked in palladium – a metal used in cars’ catalytic converters to remove pollutants from the exhaust.
In this new filter, the palladium bonds to particles of dye. The wood’s natural channels, that once moved water and nutrients between the leaves and roots, now allow the water to flow past the nanoparticles for efficient removal of the toxic dye particles.
The water, tinted with methylene blue, slowly drips through the wood and comes out clear. “This could be used in areas where waste water contains toxic dye particles,” said Amy Gong, a graduate student at University of Maryland. The researchers did not compare the filter to other types of filters; rather, they wanted to prove that wood can be used to remove impurities. “We are currently working on using a wood filter to remove heavy metals, such as lead and copper, from water,” said Liangbing Hu, the lead researcher on the project.
“We found that the wood’s channels are actually slightly bent, and they are connected by pores, which slightly increase the time that the water is in contact with the wood,” said Siddhartha Das, professor at University of Maryland. The research was published in the journal ACS Nano.

FEATURE

Healthy relations and happiness for good health and longevity.

Prof. B. M. Hegde,

hegdebm@gmail.com

“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years."
Ausonius 

Man’s effort at immortality is an age old dream. Of course, that is impossible as it goes against the very grain of nature. However, efforts to keep humans healthy as long as they live is both legitimate and altruistic, despite the efforts of the huge sickness scare industry that feeds on money from the sick room-the so called corporate monstrosity! There have been studies galore, both prospective, cross sectional and retrospective, to see what makes man jug along without major hurdles into old age?
One such milestone study has been the Harvard Sophomore class of 1938 among whom the still kicking fellows are in their 90s now-the famous Grant Study.  Since 1938, researchers have tracked their development, documenting every two years details about their physical and emotional health, their employment, their families and their friendships.The big takeaway from the decades of research and millions of dollars spent on the famous Grant Study is that all you need is love. It was not money or status that determined a good life. “Those who were happiest and healthier reported strong interpersonal relationships, while those who were isolated had declines in mental and physical health as they aged.” Robert Waldinger, the director of the program, shared that key finding in a widely popular Ted Talk. Money may be drying up for the study as the grants come from mainly governmental sources. The findings have dampened the prospect of the industry backing this study as the industry will not be able to patent and sell the findings of the study that to be healthy one must be happy.
What have we learnt from the Grant Study on men? The only thing that really matters in life is your relationships to other people. Waldinger feels that there is still knowledge to be gained by expanding the research to the second, and he hopes the third and fourth, generations of the original group.It also could help understand the onset of mental illness, which is being taken more seriously as a disorder as disruptive to lives as many physical ones. Recently the WHO named depression as the globe’s leading health risk. Figuring out what factors might contribute to psychological disorders could lead to identifying ways to mitigate them. The negative aspect of this study is that it dealswith a select set of people in the upper income group and white people in the USA. Would that be applicableto all men and women is a question yet to be answered?  However, no sample is perfect, but the data so far collected is valuable.
Of the 268 students among1938 sophomores in Harvard only 19 are still alive and they are in their 90s. But the study got expanded. In the 1970s, 456 Boston inner-city residents were enlisted as part of the Glueck Study, and 40 of them are still alive. More than a decade ago, researchers began including wives in the Grant and Glueck studies. “Over the years, researchers have studied the participants’ health trajectories and their broader lives, including their triumphs and failures in careers and marriage, and the finding have produced startling lessons, and not only for the researchers.”Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism. Good relationships are the key to good health.
The most important two things that have come out of the Grant and Glueck studies which are worth recording for the progeny are that happiness is the sole asset factor for a healthy long life. Interpersonal relations, response to life stresses, capacity to make others happy, touching other lives, and understanding the other person in every problem situation have come up as important guiding factors. The other important finding was the negative impact of social status and money on health, longevity and absence of diseases. Money neither made man happy nor did it reduce the disease load. In fact, what came out was the reverse. More money brought in more unhappiness. The younger generation should know that happiness is not a goal but a journey. If one is happy at a given time in life he is more likely to be happy at a later date and that is what keeps one healthy and keep one away from diseases. What impresses me most is the fact that it was stressed in our ancient scriptures which look very scientific in hind sight.
Prasanna athma, indriya, manaha swasth ithyabhideeyathe, says Ayurveda with an emphasis on happiness and absence of negative feelings as the root of a healthy life. The world has been going round in search of health and happiness for centuries only to come back to the basics that happiness is the root of all good things in life like good health and longevity.Robert Waldinger, director of the study, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School had this cryptic comment of the study he directs now. “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.” How very true indeed! When one takes care of others, indirectly s/he is taking care of himself as today the quantum world view teaches us that the other person is a part of you only-in tune with the old Indian idea of world as a single family.

“There is only one happiness in this life; to love and be loved.”-       George Sand


TECHNOLOGY

22-year-old cracks police code, invents baton

Mumbai: A third-year engineering student from Nasik, Chetan Nandane, has created a multifunctional baton for Maharashtra police. The stick is equipped with various advanced features like five Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights with two-hour battery backup, megapixel camera, voice recorder, metal detector, stun gun, Global Positioning System (GPS) to count a few. The 4-feet-long stick records all the movements of its holder.
The 22-year-old engineering student Nandane, resident of Bhusaval, told the press that Chandarpur police have already purchased the stick and the response is impressive. “The crime graph is skyrocketing day by day and we don’t have sufficient number of police force. So, I thought to invent something that helps our understaffed police force to control crime. It took me 1.5 years to complete this baton,” Nandane told. Initially, the stick was just fitted with the lights but later introduced with other features after recommendations from former Director General of Police Praveen Dixit.
The LEDs have a reach of 20-40 metres at a 45-degree angle with a battery lasting three hours. The camera and voice recorder will ensure facts presented by the cops are backed by evidence. Each stick bears the name, address, blood group, and contact number of the constable holding it.
Generally, the police force faces the brunt of traffic violators. Last year in August a traffic head constable Vilas Shinde was seriously injured by two motorists in Khar and he later succumbed to his injuries.
“Had Shinde been armed with this baton (stun gun), the incident could have been averted as the stun gun dispenses low intensity shocks of 12 Volt that leaves the anti-social elements dazed for nine seconds,” said Nandane, who further added that this baton could be a great weapon to control riot-mob.
He further added that in-built voice recorder, five megapixel camera as well as the metal detector would be a great help for police officials to control crime. “The in-built GPS system would help tracking the location of specific policeman. The five high intensity LED lights have been fitted in the baton that would help the policeman during night patrolling,” he said.
His plan is to sell the stick across Maharashtra for which he has met and written to the officials concerned in Mantralaya but he has not got any positive reply yet. Besides, Nandane has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to apprise him of the quality of his multifunctional stick. Nandane has started his company Fly Heights Electro Arc Private Limited. This company has eight innovative products including the multifunctional stick.


New compound that can break down plastic waste development

Tokyo: Scientists have developed a new compound that can effectively break down the toughest of plastic wastes under mild conditions.
Naturally occurring molecules as well as man-made pharmaceuticals and plastics are strung together by strong amide bonds.
Although amide bonds can give great strength to plastics, when it comes to their recycling at a later point, the difficulty of breaking these bonds usually prevents recovery of useful products.
Researchers from Nagoya University in Japan developed a series of organometallic ruthenium catalysts to break down even the toughest amide bonds effectively under mild conditions.
“Our previous catalysts could hydrogenate most amide bonds, but the reactions needed a long time at high temperature and high pressure. This new ruthenium catalyst can hydrogenate difficult substrates under much milder conditions,” said Takashi Miura of Nagoya University.
Catalysts are widely used in chemistry to help speed up reactions, but breaking the kinds of amide bonds in plastics, such as nylon, and other materials requires harsh conditions and large amounts of energy, researchers said.
Hydrogenation is the key step leading to the break-down of amide bonds. The catalyst features a ruthenium atom supported in an organic framework.
This ruthenium atom can adsorb hydrogen and deliver it to the amide bond to initiate the breakdown, researchers said.
The team probed the position of hydrogen on the catalyst in the reaction pathway and modified the shape of the supporting frame work.