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India will open the country’s longest bridge, the Dhola-Sadiya, on the China border

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Dhola-Sadiya bridge
Dhola-Sadiya bridge

The Dhola-Sadiya bridge, India’s longest, will open Friday along the China border.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — For more than a half-century, India has ignored the roads along its more than 2,000-mile disputed border region with China.

The logic and reasoning were rather simple: India didn’t want China to have easy access to the South Asian subcontinent if Beijing ever tried to repeat the brief 1962 border war and encroach into the territory India sees as its own.

Friday, that all changes.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will open the Dhola-Sadiya bridge. The country’s longest, it will span more than five-and-a-half miles, across the Brahmaputra river in Assam. The bridge will ensure the smooth movement of troops to Arunachal Pradesh, one of India’s most remote regions that is claimed in full by China.

“The bridge across Brahmaputra in Assam into Arunachal Pradesh is a great strategic shift in the thinking in the Indian defense establishment regarding infrastructure development in the borders with China,” K.V. Kuber, an independent defense analyst and former colonel in the Indian Army, told Live Mint. “The new infrastructure will help the Indian military to be prepared for a decent rebuttal to ward off any misadventure from the Chinese side.”

The project’s ultimate aim is to assert India’s dominance in a region where the Chinese have already achieved great success. The two nations have, in a word, tense, bilateral relations, despite the fact they share a trade relationship worth $70 billion. While India — the world’s largest arms importer — have struggled to upgrade its military, such infrastructure projects like this could provide Modi with room to breathe.

“India has to be prepared for a short, intense war in the years to come and movement of resources from one sector to another—depending on the threat envisaged—is of utmost importance to the Indian armed forces,” said S. K. Chatterji, an independent defense analyst and a former brigadier in the Indian Army. “This bridge on the Brahmaputra will help India to quickly move resources, including military weapons and equipment at will, to the borders with China along Arunachal Pradesh.”

Arunachal Pradesh, which is located in the Himalayas, an area which Beijing consider as South Tibet, is where India will continue its infrastructure push, building a 2,000-km highway in the state.

India accuses China of occupying 38,000 square kilometers in Jammu and Kashmir, while Beijing lays claim to 90,000 square kilometers of land in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

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Trump impeachment inquiry hearings begin

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Trump Impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — On the first day of the public Trump impeachment inquiry hearings over the President’s dealings in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified one of his aides heard from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland that the President was focused on triggering investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The aide, David Holmes, reportedly also overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland, where they discussed ‘the investigations.’ Holmes will appear for a closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators Friday. Republican allies of Trump painted the testimony of Taylor and George Kent as hearsay.

More than 100 Indian CEOs, political leaders and even Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone will head Davos in January for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to discuss making ‘cohesive and sustainable world.’ President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also expected to be there.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Shreis Scalene Sciences (Shreis), an American company, a ‘Breakthrough Device Designation’ for the CYTOTRON, a cancer treatment, developed in India, by scientist Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar in Bengaluru.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India, Pakistan trade quips at UNESCO

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UNESCO

PARIS (Diya TV)  — At UNESCO’s general conference in Paris, both Pakistan and India traded quips over Kashmir. Pakistan’s Minister of Education and newly elected President of UNESCO’s Education Commission Shafqat Mehmood efforted to convince UNESCO leadership to confront India over their recent constitutional change affecting Jammu and Kashmir, claiming 1.5 million Kashmiri students who have not been able to attend schools since August 5th. In response, India’s UNESCO delegate Ananya Agarwal countered that “Pakistan is the world’s largest producer and exporter” of terrorism, calling Pakistan’s charges “fabricated falsehoods.”

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Notable executives from the worlds of private investing, industry and nonprofits came together to talk about impact investing at Akshaya Patra’s TAP Forum in the Bay Area. The goal is to take the diasporas success to build a foundation for the next generation.

The Indian women’s hockey team will get the chance to go for the gold in Tokyo, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics after beating team USA in a qualifying match.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House holds hearing on human right violations in Jammu & Kashmir

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Jammu

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, examined the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among those on hand hearing testimony from experts offering widely different narratives. The commission plans to take these perspectives into account before offering recommendations for action by Congress.

In a line of questioning during the impeachment inquiry lauded by many political analysts, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi focused on the timeline of the Ukraine affair, confirming through witness testimony that once Congress began investigating quid pro quo by the Trump administration, security funds were released to Ukraine two days later.

American tech firms are increasingly sponsoring green cards, or permanent US residency, for their employees from India and elsewhere in an effort to hold on to their skilled talent at a time when work visa extensions have become unpredictable.

India will fund at least 250 defense startups over the next five years as it seeks new technologies for their armed forces. The plan is obtain at least 50 ‘tangible innovations’ by the startups for military use.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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