Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Aug 2018 11:48:02

CHINA’S ambitious project, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), that aims to integrate rich European economies is both a challenge and opportunity for India. To counter the Chinese dream of enhancing Beijing’s role on the international stage by funding and building infrastructure projects in Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, New Delhi has accorded top priority to building connectivity in its immediate neighbourhood. Connectivity in neighbouring nations has become a major strategy for India following growing Chinese presence. This was underlined by External Affairs Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj in Hanoi where she spelt out India’s approach towards developing hinterland linkages and regional connectivity. A few months ago Foreign Secretary Mr. Vijay Gokhale had told Parliament’s standing committee the need for efficient implementation of development projects in neighbouring countries. It is imperative for India to change its strategy of preferring only demand-driven projects and start its own initiatives with a quick delivery mechanism.


PV SINDHU’S historic individual silver medal in the ongoing Asian Games is certainly an achievement to celebrate. No Indian had ever reached the final of singles event before Sindhu did in Jakarta. She went down to world number one Tai Tzu-Ying of Chinese Taipei in just 34 minutes. While the silver provides a happy occasion for Indian badminton, it is the manner of loss in the final that should also be seen through a pragmatic prism. This was yet another final in the last few events where Sindhu failed to emerge on top. Be it Carolina Marin or now Tai Tzu-Ying, the summit clashes have seen Sindhu faltering at crucial moments. While the Indian ace insists that it is not a mental block, the fact of the matter is Sindhu opts for the defensive approach while facing higher-ranked opponents. This strategy is in sharp contrast with what the top players are employing, when they look to dominating the game right from the first point. More such experiences will definitely help Sindhu master this art of aggression. It is time to change the colour of the medal.