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How Will the U.S. Presidential Election Impact U.S - India Relations?
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The US and India have always had a relationship based on strategic partnerships both in good and adverse situations. The US-India relationship also has its fair share of challenges, differences, and issues that they grapple with. The question in the hearts and minds of many is how the upcoming US presidential election will affect US-India relation. Presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Donald Trump for the Republicans, and their perceptions of India sheds some light on the impact of the election on US-India relations.  While both candidates have said far less concerning India, Trump is on record for his controversial stand on the crackdown on H1B visas and immigration, which is an employment concern for the Indian workers and the economy as well. Even so, Trump also acknowledges the value of closely involving India in the implementation of US foreign policy in Asia, particularly in South Asia. As for Hillary Clinton, she equally enjoys popularity in India for her long-standing support to India and fighting terrorism in the India-Pakistani standoff.

 

Past negotiated trade deals have been highlighted and termed as ‘disadvantageous' for their negative influence on the prevailing decline of the middle class and strained economy in the US by the candidates. None of them has come out endorsing the deals. Traditionally, from the Democratic Party perspective, India stands a chance of losing because the Democrats have long been opposed to the movement of goods, capital, global trade and labor outsourcing from other nations. On the other hand, Republicans have been traditionally straightforward with regards to foreign trade policies.

 

So, with the US elections drawing closer by the day, are there any effects that the election will have on India? Surprisingly, not! Essentially, India’s economy is remarkably growing stronger and one of the world’s fastest growing economies with the potential of surpassing China, in the near future according to the World Bank. Equally important, the foundations of the US-India relationship are strengthened by India’s democracy and the renewed connections of an amicable nuclear power relationship.

 

It is either, the Republicans, Mr. Trump or the Democrats, Mrs. Clinton who will win the election. However, regardless of whomever wins, one thing is for sure, the US-India relations will be established on equal grounds since India’s economy is not only significant but also growing at a tremendous rate. It is worthy keeping in mind that, as a consumer, India spends fortunes on the US manufacturing sector and defense.  From a global perspective, the US elections effects on India are indirect, issue based and not broad based. Finally, to rebuild global balance and stability both the Republican and Democrats cannot afford to disregard India.

 

This backdrop provides compelling evidence that no matter the outcome of the 2016 U.S presidential election, there is high probability of continued support towards the US-India positive relations, characterized by the continuity and strengthening of the preeminent magnitude of trust, cooperation and collaboration between the two countries. Most importantly, successive US presidents have gone an extra mile to build constructive bilateral ties at both administrative and personal levels.

 

Women in India might breathe in new hope and hear stories of justice on Indian soil with the ruling of Hillary Clinton. This thought of smiles on eyes living with tears showers new joy on several human forms of Indian soil. Ties might dictate expectations which might bring in fruit of security for women. Hope smiles with joy filled eyes. There is light, though from a distant USA!


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this contest entry are those of the author and do not reflect the views, positions or policies of the U.S. Government

 

 

Clinton or Trump: India and United States Will Win
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Whoever wins the US presidential election in November 2016—Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump--America, India, and other countries of the world will continue to become greater.

 

Indeed, though humanity is faced with countless problems, human civilization is well placed on the road to development.

 

Either Clinton, with her tactful diplomatic ways, or Trump, with his forceful business punches, is going to show the world that the United States indeed is the leader and the best hope for humanity.

 

For bringing about progressive changes, Clinton’s trump card will be “peaceful means” with honeyed diplomacy, while Trump will wield “forceful means” with power punches. The two Americans represent the two indispensible phenomena for maintaining social harmony in the world: peace and force.

 

In November 2016, the American people will choose the way—peaceful one or forceful one—in which their nation and the world is going to be changed for the better in the years ahead.

 

With Narendra Modi as its Prime Minister, India will continue to hold hands with the United States and its hand-grips will be much tighter if Donald Trump would be smiling bigger in November. Nevertheless, Modi is not likely to loosen the grip much even if Hillary Clinton would emerge as the winner.

 

India could contribute much to “peaceful means” or “forceful means” as the case may be.

 

A diplomatic Hillary Clinton can drink much wisdom from the multi-culturally enriched spiritual well of India and use it for dampening the hateful anti-West fire burning in the Mideast and North Korea.

 

As a zero-diplomat who believes in forceful means, Donald Trump can strengthen the military muscle of India and make its weight to lean real heavily on China and North Korea. Trump administration can tap the chest of trust that India shares with Iran, Afghanistan and the Islamic republics of the former Soviet Union. In return, with the American support, India too will become greater in several fronts.

 

Thus, India could be a double-edged sword in the hands of the United States: India would be of much use to the American administration which pursue either peaceful or forceful means.

 

Therefore whichever way the coin falls on November, India only need to rise up, shake hands, and collect the rewards. Whether Clinton or Trump, India wins.

 

Political power has its inherent limitations: every world leader has to give one factor the upper hand at any point of time: either peaceful means or forceful means. The next US President also has to make a choice between the two and, indeed, the two candidates apparently had done that!

 

All sorts of wisely done socio-political analysis, taking into account every possible perspective, would boil down to this hardly undisputable conclusion: the United States is the most powerful leader nation on the human planet and it decisively influences the resolutions of all kinds of problems in the world. Willingly, or unwillingly, other nations have to cooperate with that power.

 

With Narendra Modi in the cockpit, India is ready to contribute greatly to the efforts of the United States for making America and other nations greater--either through “peaceful means” or “forceful means”. Which means is going to change the world?

 

It is for the people of the United States of America to decide--in November.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this contest entry are those of the author and do not reflect the views, positions or policies of the U.S. Government

 

Impact of U.S. 2016 Presidential Elections on India-America Relationship
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Years make a name for themselves. If 2015 had been the year of Syrian war causing massive displacement and exodus of its citizens, 2014 saw Narendra Modi become the Indian Prime-minister with a thumping victory. And 2016 will be the year of the American Presidential election with its uniqueness. Many may ask what a non-American has got to do with it. On the contrary, every nation, developed or under-developed, and in turn its citizens, shall find impact of this political event. Because today, being in the good books of U.S. is politically critical for any nation.

 

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton go head-to-head in this political war between the Republican and Democratic parties. Both have the same intent, of serving America, but with contrasting approaches. While Trump is playing hard ball in whatever policies he’s promising to adopt, Clinton is being much more patient and complaisant. A closer look at the former’s policies reveals a very firm and decisive attitude despite the aggressive temperament while his counterpart is probably going to run the country in a more diplomatic manner.

 

Trump’s regular and severe criticism of illegal immigration and being verbally contentious about foreign policies strongly represents his absolute intolerance towards anything that might harm America’s security or economy. But Clinton shows much more maturity by cooperating to work with other nations to achieve the similar goals rather than initiate an era of international political conflicts.

 

Thus, with Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s strong intent to improve upon foreign relations and the country being a rapidly growing economy, it is indeed a matter of thought as to the impacts of this election on India.

 

Trump has never been very critical towards the South-Asian nation as it has no major contributions in terrorism or illegal immigration; his prime reasons of dispute with other countries. India itself is victimized by terrorism and advocating fight against it at international forums.

 

Clinton, being the Secretary of State under Obama, seems highly amicable when it would come to cooperation between the two countries, just like him. Predictability and comfort quotient with her will be higher and her willingness to put collaborative efforts should be a positive factor.

 

Trump, too, has been complimentary towards India’s growing economy, saying it’s doing great, but just not getting the recognition. However, he had criticized India for ‘taking away American jobs’, stopped American visas for Indians only to see Americans fill up those positions, bringing into light his disdainful nature. This may severely dent the international relationship, Indian economic interest as well as the job market.

 

However, although Trump may not be very amiable, his intolerant behavior shall definitely boost India’s fight against terrorism. Both nations are hell-bent in stopping it and such common goals could definitely lead to a strong coalition despite the wake of political tensions. India may gain at China’s cost and Pakistan likely cease its terror campaigns.

 

Clinton’s much lax attitude in comparison, is more likely to work in a rut and may not be as helpful against terrorism should the Republicans have the last laugh. However, one must keep in mind that she is much more consistent, reliable and experienced when it would come to coalitions as she won’t outcast India even if it cost a little to America.

 

Thus, be it the Republicans or the Democrats, deep impacts are likely to be there in the relation between the two countries with both pros and cons. Therefore, it is important not to look at any individual candidate with biasness and rather, hope that whoever wins, shall work towards betterment of both the countries and a better world.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this contest entry are those of the author and do not reflect the views, positions or policies of the U.S. Government

 

Impact of the U.S. Presidential Election on the U.S.-India Relationship
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American politicians, citizens and overseas foreign policy experts all are waiting for the day   November 8, 2016 when United States of America president’s fate will be accumulated in the ballot box.  Result declaration and new president’s sworn in ceremony will take place in January 2017. After eight years of Democratic Party rule now anticipation is whether Democratic or Republican party will be winner and how the new presidency will come through articulating its foreign policy.  India is closely monitoring this voting system where two names are clearly emerging to be the next commander-in-chief. They are Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.

 

To adduce the back drop of current US-India relationship it is going through amicable phase by the initiative of BJP leader and current prime minister of India Narendra Modi and Barack Obama. Besides political, commercial relations they have shown extra gesture of strategic goodwill by doing something first time between counterparts of two nations like Modi’s invitation to Obama to be chief guest of Indian Republic day parade. No doubt Modi has a big fan following among Indian Americans in the United States and many are in high-ranking positions of sitting government. Diplomacy keeps doors open for bi-lateral relations with any party or person in power. During Modi’s last visit and speech in American Congress while the Speaker was also present indicates which party or person comes to power relationship with India will be streamlined.

 

As digital connectivity becomes an inseparable part of contemporary life, cyber security growing to be major issue.  Aiming “international cyber stability” as a part of US foreign policy, India is the first external partner with which US signed blueprint on India-US Cyber Relationship. After China Indians are second largest foreign students studying in American universities. Forthcoming US president has to take all these factors into consideration both in bi-lateral cooperation and outlining US foreign policy in Asia. US nods India’s proposal to be permanent member of UN Security Council. India maintains its silent statesmanship in the matter of South China Sea. Most probably both countries and future leaders will keep intact these norms.

 

Donald Trump is a business man, show biz personality, owner of Miss America pageant. Under his ownership Nina Davuluri became first Miss America of Indian descent.  Trump quickly ascended to political power. Trump Organization has promulgated projects in three Indian cities. While domestic critics say business interest going to be hindrance for presidency yet time will tell how he is managing and alluring Indian talents. Not only that his business acumen might help to increase both country’s trade relation because he has vowed to slash taxes on business. Donald might bring some flexible policies which will be less complicated for commerce between India and America.

 

Hillary Clinton is an experienced politician. From 2009 to 2013 she served as Secretary of State of the USA. Besides being the first lady of US she is also known as the first female senator of New York City. In foreign affairs she has tried her hand in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Libya. Hillary is the commissary of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton foundation. Though there was political storm regarding   discloser of sources of donation of their NGO yet it does some charity work in India.

 

Both presidential nominees are contesting neck to neck.  So, next year whoever becomes United States’ president either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump two of them are personally related to India. It depends on their majority in Congress; foreign policy attributes which will determine how she or he will navigate and enhance ambitious Indo-American voyage.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this contest entry are those of the author and do not reflect the views, positions or policies of the U.S. Government.

 

 

 

How do you Think the U.S. Presidential Election Will Impact U.S.-India Relations?
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The President of the United States of America is the world’s most powerful individual neither because he presides over the world’s largest economy  representing 22% of global GDP (IMF data) nor because he controls the nation’s near invincible might of arms, but because he enjoys the legitimate democratic mandate of his country’s citizenry. This latter feature is precisely the bulwark of the strong kinship between the United States and India, the world’s largest democracy where both Head of State (the President) and Head of Government (the Prime Minister) hold office with citizens’ majority support. This remarkable congruence of values leads the two countries to be natural allies. This is not a phenomenon of convenience but indeed has stood the test of time for 70 tumultuous years of world history.

 

In 1947 President Harry S. Truman had earnestly hoped that “our friendship will in the future, as in the past, continue to be expressed in close and fruitful co-operation in international undertakings and in cordiality in our relations.”

 

Polite words? No! Going fast forward to the present brings us to the U.S.-India  Delhi Declaration of Friendship (2015) where President Barack Obama affirmed: “Reflecting the close ties between our two great democracies, India and the United States agree to elevate our long-standing strategic partnership with a Declaration of Friendship that strengthens and expands the relationship between our two countries. Each step we take to strengthen the relationship is a step towards shaping international security, regional and global peace, prosperity and stability for years to come. Signaling the natural affinity enjoyed by our two nations, this Declaration proclaims a higher level  of trust and coordination that will continue to draw our Governments and people together across the spectrum of human endeavor for a better world.”

 

Against this backdrop it is self evident the outcome of the U.S. Presidential Election 2016 will impinge strongly on the continuity of the excellent levels of trust, cooperation and collaboration between the United States and India. it is important to remember that successive friendly US Presidents have gone the second mile to stand by India. Both at personal and administrative levels right from the 1950s (Truman, Eisenhower), 60s (JFK, LBJ) to recent times (George W. Bush, Bill Clinton) as well as incumbent President Obama bilateral cordiality has been immense. But America has major roles to play in addressing contemporary political crises encompassing Europe, Asia’s far east, middle-east and western regions and the Indian subcontinent. Given that such crises inevitably touch Indian security interests, a question Indians ask nowadays is whether and how the new President will move to redress these precarious troubles? Specially, where Indian self interest is under threat, will the new President irrespective of her or his party affiliation uphold – or look askance – at its “longstanding strategic partner”?

 

The impact of the 2016 election is complicated by the apparently diametrically opposite views of the two candidates. Going by data gleaned from public domain, Mr Trump is a realty businessman whose personal investment in India (at Mumbai) is linked with a partner. His pronouncements on India have been brief albeit complimentary. Mrs Clinton, has visited India several times.

 

Between Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton, one will win, but shall the winner strive to strengthen Indo-U.S. strategic partnership? Expediency rarely fetches lasting value. The latter involves climbing high moral ground. Does either candidate view the realpolitik of Indo-U.S. future relations in this sort of philosophic framework?

 

Even daring public affairs analysts in India will not hazard an answer!


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this contest entry are those of the author and do not reflect the views, positions or policies of the U.S. Government.

 

 

 

U.S. Elections 2016 and India-U.S. Relations
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US elections are a much watched event the world over, particularly because of the political and economic power that rests with USA.  Sure, in a dynamic world, power equations can change quickly.  However, the economic might of USA is such that power equations will have to change drastically for them to have a significant impact.  That is why, Mr Donald Trump’s slogan ‘Making America Great Again’ may not be very tenable. 

 

America is already great, if greatness can be equated with being powerful.  It is a different aspect, however, as to how and where it chooses to exercise its power. India-US relations, though, have remained steady over a long period and in that sense do not seem to be a function of the choices made by those at the helm.  What then brings these countries together?  It is the recognition by USA that India is powerful in its own way, be it regionally, or as a market or as a supplier of talented professionals.  Indian policies and priorities, therefore, affect USA.  And it would be wrong to state that USA can dictate the policies that India frames.  For if that were so, India-US relations would be on very thin ice. 

 

USA also recognises the political ambitions of India at the global level and supports such ambitions as it recognises that India will have to take on greater responsibilities and be seen to be following agenda that benefit a larger comity of nations than just itself.  A seat at the Security Council for India may, therefore, be seen as a driving force for India to increase its sensitivities on positions taken by other countries at the negotiating table.  Be it climate change issues or issues dealing with FDI or international trade; certainly, the perspectives are likely to get broadened when occupying a seat at the UN.  Whether it is victory for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, this support for India is unlikely to change. 

 

Similar may be the case with the US support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG). All this sends a strong signal that USA trusts India; trusts that it will not misuse its power. Now, China may not repose such trust in India as it has only functioned within the ambit of strictly defined rules.  Trust, though, transcends all these rules and is indicative of permanency in relationships as well as urgency in not just living up to the trust but also making this ‘trust capital’ grow. USA has a large Indian population that is participating much more in the domestic political affairs; again, a maturity of Indians living there and acceptability by USA of the relevance of this community to the economic and political growth of USA. 

 

Often, in discourses, the term inclusiveness is limited to expanding opportunities in education and banking for the poor; rarely has it meant extending political opportunities to all.  Yet, both countries cannot be complacent that, whatever the compulsions, the relations will always remain trustworthy.  Both countries have to be prepared for a turbulence in the relationship at any future time, though the probability of that today seems very low.  Hence, there has to be a conscious effort on an ongoing basis to identify factors that can cause this turbulence and not be deterred by them. US elections, as mentioned before, are unlikely to cause any turbulence in the relationship but political changes in other countries or between other countries could have the potential to affect India-US relations.  Hillary Clinton may be more watchful of any disturbances and more resolved to keep the relationship with India steady and growing.


 Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this contest entry are those of the author and do not reflect the views, position or policies of the U.S. Government.

 

 

 

Geothermal Energy: The Earth’s Biggest Untapped Resource
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Geothermal energy is a type of energy that is pulled from the ground. “Geothermal” means the internal heat of the Earth. Deep in the base of the Earth are layers of hot water, hot rock and magma. Geothermal energy comes from these different layers of the Earth and can provide heat as well as cooling to a variety of different areas.

 

How it works and where it comes from

The Earth originated from a completely molten state. It’s believed that it would have cooled and become a completely solid rock many thousands of years ago if the only energy input was from that of the sun. Scientists believe that geothermal energy’s source is radioactive decay from deep within the earth.

There is, however, only a fraction of the thermal energy of the Earth that can be used. This is only in areas where water vapor can transfer heat to the surface of the Earth. A geothermal field in California, known as the Geysers, is the largest group of geothermal power plants in the world. The United States generates roughly 15 billion kilowatt hours of geothermal power per year. This is the equivalent of burning 25 million barrels of oil or six million tons of coal per year.

Currently, a major use of geothermal energy is to provide heat for commercial buildings. This is achieved by placing pipes under the business, which go down into the layers of the Earth. The heat, then, can be put to use for heating or cooling the buildings. However, the most common use of this type of energy is to produce electricity. There are [geothermal] wells that are used to drive a turbine that generates electricity.

As geothermal energy relies on something that occurs naturally in the Earth, there is very little cost involved with using it. The largest expense is the drilling and installation of the system. Also, a lot less energy is needed for the heating and cooling processes. The temperature increase or decrease that is needed is much lower than that of traditional methods used to heat or cool the air from outside to the temperature needed inside. This is because temperatures only need to be heated or cooled within 10 degrees. This means a much shorter time spent in waiting for this temperature change and a much lower expense involved in producing the desired temperature.

 

Despite large resources, geothermal continues to lag behind wind and solar energy projects

Geothermal energy has the largest potential in the western part of the United States. Geothermal plants are very site-specific and are limited to places that have highly accessible deposits of high temperature groundwater. Due to a lack of transmission lines in western states, there have been limitations on its growth. The other major hurdle is that completing a geothermal power-generating project takes anywhere from four to eight years, which is much longer than the completion timelines for solar or wind projects.

As technology progresses, it is expected that the turnaround time for a geothermal buildout will be reduced substantially. Once this is achieved, we will be able to better utilize one of the world’s cheapest and best kept secrets for renewable energy—the Earth itself.

 

Sources:

www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=3970

www.nrel.gov/

www.greenfacts.org/en/geothermal-energy/index.htm

 

Matt Helland is the senior vice president at the Florida-based North American Energy Advisory.

Text courtesy North American Energy Advisory

 

A Fortnight-Long Metamorphosis
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Cleaving its way through the soft, white clouds 40,000 ft above the land, in the sky, the gigantic flight drew closer to the majestic coastline—white land with emerald patches bordered by the azure stretch of water. As the plane descended further, up popped sky piercing buildings placed between grids of roads, on which stood waiting, numerous disciplined queues of extensive, luxurious cars. With the wheels touching the land of captivating orators, spirited leaders and inspiring litterateurs—the land of the United States of America, I finished the immigration procedure to start yet one more delightful journey.

 

Through the window of the car, I caught sight of the picturesque glass structures, classic examples of the highly advanced architectural designs. As we moved further, my eyes got fixed on the vast stretch of dense, green forests delimited by mauve floral patches. The panorama of the strawberry hills with the lavender blues above rendered the atmosphere, its serenity. Finally after this surreal view, I reached Jonathan Edwards College, Yale University.

 

On a big, blue banner, hung in bold letters, Yale Young Global Scholars 2015—International Affairs and Security session, a truly international learning experience which focuses on leadership building and person-to-person diplomacy for outstanding high school students from 50 U.S. states and 110 countries, so that our tomorrow is in the hands of rational individuals who believe in diplomacy as the key to peaceful coexistence. Here, we were fed knowledge for the next fortnight, making it the most intellectually engaging experience of my life so far.

 

After a grand welcome by the director and deputy director, I came across my fellow participants who had to fly for over 26 hours to attend the program; that shows our enthusiasm for the program (I, myself, travelled for 15 hours).

 

Each day started with an absolutely amazing lecture by great professors like Paul Kennedy, John Gaddis, Ted Wittenstein, Oona Hathaway or with the inspiring anecdotes of brilliant diplomats like Jake Sullivan and John Negroponte, after which all the 200 ignited minds would eagerly raise their hands in the hope of getting answers to their innumerable queries—some serious, few philosophical and others career-oriented. Then we would make our way to the discussion sections where, in groups of 10, we would enthusiastically deliberate more deeply on the questions raised in the lecture and try to figure out solutions. But the most interesting fact was that despite being so different in so many different aspects, we never differed in our views and hence, almost everytime, we had a very sophisticated debate which would end with happy consensus on a crucial matter.

 

Next, we would head to the magnificent dining hall of JE (that's how we used to refer to Jonathan Edwards), where we filled not only our stomachs with scrumptious food but also our brains with various facts on diverse issues ranging from purely academic to completely non-academic stuff like sports, culture and films. We were also taken to watch a movie called “The Square,” which was based on the Tahrir Square issue in Egypt. We met regularly for our seminars which were largely based on international problems like hunger, undemocratic regime, nuclear war and territorial disputes. Here, we were taught the art of negotiation.

I got the opportunity to have some enchanting discussions over lunch with luminaries like Michele Malvesti, vice president in the National Security Sector at Science Applications International Corporation and Matthew Spence, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East Policy at United States Department of Defense. I also had the opportunity to meet Julia Spiegel, advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power.

 

After that, came the big day—the capstone presentations. My project was on “nuclear proliferation” and more precisely, on “The shortcomings of NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and the consequent need for amendments.” I elaborated on India’s stand on not joining the NPT, the Article-X and the need to lay restrictions and bring in amendments in the article to impose tighter regulations on the member states and more recently, the Iran nuclear deal. This project was highly applauded and the next day, we graduated happily.

 

On July 22, as my flight took off from the U.S. for its 14-hour journey, my mind got lost in the sweet memories of the program I was carrying back home.

 

So, why do I think this program helped me develop a new perspective of this world? Because it let me cultivate lifelong friendships, exchange cross-cultural facts, gain insights on the known unknowns and unknown unknowns, learn from experiences of living in a politically unstable country, an economically backward country or a diverse country and appease my aesthetic appetite. A rainbow is incomplete without all its seven colors. So is this world without its diversified population. At YYGS, it was interesting to visualize the realization of the term, “unity in diversity.” I have been and I am a student leader. Now, I am glad that this program groomed me to become a world leader. I don’t know if I will ever solve the problems of world hunger or poverty, but I am very sure that I will definitely attempt and try till the last drop of blood in my body to assuage, if not uproot, these perpetual socioeconomic webs in which are caught, this world’s people.

 

In short, YYGS helped me grow; grow both intellectually and morally. It metamorphosed me from a human being to being human!!!Cleaving its way through the soft, white clouds 40,000 ft above the land, in the sky, the gigantic flight drew closer to the majestic coastline—white land with emerald patches bordered by the azure stretch of water. As the plane descended further, up popped sky piercing buildings placed between grids of roads, on which stood waiting, numerous disciplined queues of extensive, luxurious cars. With the wheels touching the land of captivating orators, spirited leaders and inspiring litterateurs—the land of the United States of America, I finished the immigration procedure to start yet one more delightful journey.

 

Through the window of the car, I caught sight of the picturesque glass structures, classic examples of the highly advanced architectural designs. As we moved further, my eyes got fixed on the vast stretch of dense, green forests delimited by mauve floral patches. The panorama of the strawberry hills with the lavender blues above rendered the atmosphere, its serenity. Finally after this surreal view, I reached Jonathan Edwards College, Yale University.

 

On a big, blue banner, hung in bold letters, Yale Young Global Scholars 2015—International Affairs and Security session, a truly international learning experience which focuses on leadership building and person-to-person diplomacy for outstanding high school students from 50 U.S. states and 110 countries, so that our tomorrow is in the hands of rational individuals who believe in diplomacy as the key to peaceful coexistence. Here, we were fed knowledge for the next fortnight, making it the most intellectually engaging experience of my life so far.

 

After a grand welcome by the director and deputy director, I came across my fellow participants who had to fly for over 26 hours to attend the program; that shows our enthusiasm for the program (I, myself, travelled for 15 hours).

 

Each day started with an absolutely amazing lecture by great professors like Paul Kennedy, John Gaddis, Ted Wittenstein, Oona Hathaway or with the inspiring anecdotes of brilliant diplomats like Jake Sullivan and John Negroponte, after which all the 200 ignited minds would eagerly raise their hands in the hope of getting answers to their innumerable queries—some serious, few philosophical and others career-oriented. Then we would make our way to the discussion sections where, in groups of 10, we would enthusiastically deliberate more deeply on the questions raised in the lecture and try to figure out solutions. But the most interesting fact was that despite being so different in so many different aspects, we never differed in our views and hence, almost everytime, we had a very sophisticated debate which would end with happy consensus on a crucial matter.

 

Next, we would head to the magnificent dining hall of JE (that's how we used to refer to Jonathan Edwards), where we filled not only our stomachs with scrumptious food but also our brains with various facts on diverse issues ranging from purely academic to completely non-academic stuff like sports, culture and films. We were also taken to watch a movie called “The Square,” which was based on the Tahrir Square issue in Egypt. We met regularly for our seminars which were largely based on international problems like hunger, undemocratic regime, nuclear war and territorial disputes. Here, we were taught the art of negotiation.

 

I got the opportunity to have some enchanting discussions over lunch with luminaries like Michele Malvesti, vice president in the National Security Sector at Science Applications International Corporation and Matthew Spence, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East Policy at United States Department of Defense. I also had the opportunity to meet Julia Spiegel, advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power.

 

After that, came the big day—the capstone presentations. My project was on “nuclear proliferation” and more precisely, on “The shortcomings of NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and the consequent need for amendments.” I elaborated on India’s stand on not joining the NPT, the Article-X and the need to lay restrictions and bring in amendments in the article to impose tighter regulations on the member states and more recently, the Iran nuclear deal. This project was highly applauded and the next day, we graduated happily.

 

On July 22, as my flight took off from the U.S. for its 14-hour journey, my mind got lost in the sweet memories of the program I was carrying back home.

 

So, why do I think this program helped me develop a new perspective of this world? Because it let me cultivate lifelong friendships, exchange cross-cultural facts, gain insights on the known unknowns and unknown unknowns, learn from experiences of living in a politically unstable country, an economically backward country or a diverse country and appease my aesthetic appetite. A rainbow is incomplete without all its seven colors. So is this world without its diversified population. At YYGS, it was interesting to visualize the realization of the term, “unity in diversity.” I have been and I am a student leader. Now, I am glad that this program groomed me to become a world leader. I don’t know if I will ever solve the problems of world hunger or poverty, but I am very sure that I will definitely attempt and try till the last drop of blood in my body to assuage, if not uproot, these perpetual socioeconomic webs in which are caught, this world’s people.

 

In short, YYGS helped me grow; grow both intellectually and morally. It metamorphosed me from a human being to being human!!!

 

Ananya Singh is a Class XII Humanities student at D.A.V. Public School, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar, Odisha and a Yale Young Global Scholars Alumni Ambassador.

 

Please click here for more information on Yale Young Global Scholars

 

 

India-U.S. bhai bhai
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Just this evening, I was helping my parents in house chores while mulling over whether to go to college in India or USA. The USA offered greater course flexibility and amazing exposure; and India offered cheaper education of the same quality, while also offering the opportunity to work for my country from my country. I'm pretty sure that this confusion over foreign education has more than once crossed the minds of many a middle class high school student. Imagine this being a critical element in Indo-US ties!

 

Every year, thousands of Indians go for undergrad in USA - and even more of them go for grad school. Maybe because they find there a flexible curriculum or more exposure or the chance to get amazing work experience - but in the process, they are all cementing Indo-US ties. Students from US come too, for research in India. This education flow can cement relations like none else; our students are our most valuable and precious resource, and along with them we engage in a meaningful exchange of knowledge, cultures and experience. So yes, education is a very important part of all this - and needless to say, if India and US are looking forward to even stronger ties, they should focus on the education sector - how to make exchange meaningful and more fruitful; how to allow outflow so as to not lead to brain drain; how to develop new avenues in education for the benefit of students and the youth, which is but the very core of India.

 

Many Indians who go for further studies in the USA settle there itself. And the remittances sent by them home is one of the highest ever in the world, amounting to millions of dollars. This is a great source of revenue for India, and an opportunity for the USA to fully engage talented, intelligent individuals from India in meaningful pursuits for greater advantage. So this is another significant player in Indo-US ties - the numerous Indians practicing and living in the USA.

 

Both the USA and India boast of incredible diversity, whether it be racial or cultural; certain theorists speculate that America will become a white minority country by 2024. And this diversity is what makes both these countries throb with life and vigour - and projects them as such attractive destinations for investment. This common thread in both countries can serve as a great contender in Indo-US ties, thus firmly establishing Unity in Diversity - rather, Unity Through Diversity. . Interactions and exchanges of cultures, philosophies and lifestyles serve to make these ties only stronger – for flow of knowledge could never harm anyone!

 

Another commonality in both countries is the startup culture and the technology revolution occurring in both countries. Each day, we Indians wake up to see more and more IITians and other college students come up with amazing entrepreneurial solutions for India’s problems, while the US boasts of companies like Google and Facebook. Investing in these young, rising startups is guaranteed to give long-term benefits; concurring over these would be a wonderful way of building Indo-US ties. Not just this, there is the nuclear deal, a possible collaboration on space research projects (including one on atomic physics – the Thermonuclear Research Organization) and many, many other places where India and the USA could confer on. The list may go on, but we are certainly staring at a positive future for Indo-US ties in the next five years.

 

 

Together We Can
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The United States and India are poised on the cusp of new era; there is an increasing recognition that the two countries could collaborate in a number of spheres. It is this motivation that has been the primary driver behind recent reciprocal bilateral visits of the Heads of Government of both countries. The intent towards strategic collaboration is perhaps symbolized by the recent progress on the Civil Nuclear Agreement, but co-operation in a number of other areas, while less symbolic, but no less important, could define the engagement between the two countries over the next few years and beyond.

 

In the realm of energy and energy conservation, the potential for working together is considerable. The energy landscape has been transformed in United States in recent times and Indian institutions could benefit considerably from their US counterparts such as the US Geological Survey (USGS) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in areas of mapping shale oil and gas for example and best regulatory practices.

 

Natural gas hydrates are another such potential source that could go a long way in meeting the burgeoning energy requirements of an emerging nation such as India, provided the appropriate technology becomes available. Both these fuel sources could play a role in partially replacing India’s traditional dependence on relatively more polluting thermal fuels. 

 

In addition, the two countries could co-operate in R&D related to renewable energy sources. This could provide a win-win situation for both countries; the expertise of scientists based in the US, when combined with the low-cost engineering possible in India could assist in commercializing technologies whose economic feasibility is currently debatable.

 

Such efforts will help, to an extent at least, in mitigating the concerns around climate change as both India and China aim at rapid economic growth, wishing to take their place at the global stage.   

 

Indeed, the low-cost design and engineering abilities prevalent in India, along with the benefits of a shared language and common concerns, also offer possibilities in several other sectors such as the development and commercialization of new pharmaceutical molecules and more advanced semi-conductors for example. 

 

The United States and India, with their shared values, could also play a major role in ensuring peace and stability within and between the nations of the world. Besides sharing of intelligence between each other as has been currently occurring, the two countries could also work to strengthen democratic institutions such as an impartial judicial system and an independent election commission that conducts free and fair elections, in more fledgling democracies. 

 

Looked at holistically, both countries depict a system that works. Despite certain flaws, they offer a vision in which people can aspire towards justice, empowerment and prosperity. Together in strategic partnership, both the US and India thus offer a model that other countries may wish to emulate.

 

 

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