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What China’s newest Aircraft Carrier means for India

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INS Vikramaditya
INS Vikramaditya

India’s development of the INS Vikramaditya has been plagued with delays. Meanwhile, China have once again asserted its dominance as they prepare to launch the nation’s second domestic aircraft carrier.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The launch of China’s second aircraft carrier, expected as soon as this week, will be received by the Indian government as an important reminder of just how far behind the pack it has fallen.

The “Type 001A” — likely to be named the “Shandong” — will give China an edge for the first time in the carrier race with its Asian rival, a literal two-to-one advantage.

After the decommissioning of the INS Viraat earlier this year, the Indian Navy is down to a single carrier, INS Vikramaditya. Adding insult to injury, China built the Shandong at the country’s own shipyard; the Vikramaditya is merely a repurposed 1980s-era Russian carrier formerly known as the Admiral Gorshkov.

More telling is what China’s progress says about India’s ability to provide security in its own backyard. Chinese naval strategists have open designs on the Indian Ocean. “China needs two carrier strike groups in the West Pacific Ocean and two in the Indian Ocean,” one naval strategist said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has spoken at great length about revitalizing the Indian military; it’s opened the defense sector up to greater foreign investment and is building a much-closer relationship with the U.S. military, largely with China in mind.

But spending has lagged, extremely. Worse, successive governments simply don’t seem to have thought through where best to direct those scarce resources.

For its part, the Indian navy has bought-in completely on a strategy that emphasizes carrier battle groups. The idea? India must dominate the waters that bear the country’s name and needs carriers in order to project power well beyond its shores. As a result, it wasted far too much time and treasure on the Admiral Gorshkov, which arrived from Russia six years late and at three times the cost that had initially been promised.

India’s tireless efforts to develop a homemade carrier have proven fruitless. The Navy plans to name, commission and float the INS Vikrant next year. At that point, the ship reportedly won’t have its aviation complex in place, or even anti-aircraft missiles. India’s Navy has, curiously, refused to purchase the domestically-developed indigenous light fighter, the Tejas, saying it’s too heavy. This comes simultaneous to the MiG-29 being used, which, according to India’s government auditor; more than 60 percent of their engines were withdrawn from service or rejected in just four years.

The Vikrant will only be properly combat-ready by 2023 — eight years behind schedule.

No one expects India to match China’s defense spending budget in a head-to-head battle; China’s economy is four times the size of India’s; not surprisingly, its defense budget is at least three times larger.

India’s carrier-first strategy has drained the Navy of resources and left it with just 13 conventional submarines in service. Eleven of those are more than a quarter-century old. The two new ones, amazingly, were commissioned and sent out to wander the deep sea without their main armament, torpedoes. India have also not tried to match China’s numerical superiority — 70 to 15 — in terms of submarines with specialized anti-submarine weaponry, including helicopters.

India’s largest problem is not a shortage of money; it’s more a lack of forethought and political courage. Carriers are big and showy, and bolster national pride; diesel submarines don’t.

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Impact commits $10M to supporting Indian American candidates

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Impact

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Indian American IMPACT, a political organization working to put Indian Americans in public office, announced a new $10 million commitment to support Indian American candidates nationwide. They also announced public interest lawyer Neil Makhija will be IMPACT’s new Executive Director. The number of Indian Americans in Congress has grown five-fold in just the past eight years.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr faced questioning by the House Judiciary Committee about the use of force against Black Lives Matter protesters in recent weeks and the Trump administration’s handling of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll show the clash between Congressmember Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Barr that’s making headlines.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged YouPlus, a Silicon Valley startup, and its CEO Shaukat Shamim with defrauding investors by making false and misleading statements about the company’s finances. The complaint states Shamim told investors YouPlus earned millions of dollars in annual revenue and had more than 100 customers, including Fortune 500 companies. But the scheme dissolved when Shamim is said to have told certain investors YouPlus had earned less than $500,000 and obtained only four paying customers since the company’s 2013 inception.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Feds arrest entrepreneur Mukund Mohan for PPP fraud

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Mukund Mohan

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — U.S. attorneys arrested serial Indian American entrepreneur Mukund Mohan on charges of allegedly defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program with fake and altered documents and embezzling more than $5.5 million in COVID-19 relief funds through six shell companies. Mukund Mohan was a former Microsoft and Amazon executive and is currently the CTO of BuildDirect.

Shahid Buttar, who is running for Congress in San Francisco against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is being accused of sexual harassment by comedienne Elizabeth Croydon. Buttar said Croydon’s charges are false.

Apple manufacturer Foxconn has started building iPhone 11 units in a facility near Chennai in India. It’s the first time Apple has made one of its top-tier phones in India. India is the second-biggest smartphone market in the world, second only to China.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India & China slowly move towards disengagement

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India

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India and China held virtual talks and agreed on a complete disengagement of troops along the line of control. But there remains sticking points in multiple areas along the border. India insists bilateral relations will not improve until “full peace and tranquility” are restored.

Police in Schenectady, New York are facing major scrutiny after footage was released of one of their officers applying a neck hold to 31 year old Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud. He was treated and released, but he continues to face two charges of running away and resisting arrest. He’s accused of slashing his neighbors tire, causing $200 of damage. His attorneys are fighting to get prosecutors to drop the charges.

The UK Parliamentary Group, which visited Pakistan Administered Kashmir, and heavily criticized the Indian government for their recent constitutional change applying to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, acknowledged they received nearly $18,000 from the Pakistan Government to make the trip.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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