India-Afghanistan-Taliban Relations

India-Afghanistan-Taliban Relationship

With the US leaving Afghanistan after 20 years, the world wonders what will the fate of the country be, which is as unstable as ever.  Let’s understand what role can India play in maintaining regional peace.

Crux of the Matter

Before USA
Taliban is a militia insurgency group waging ‘jihad’ against the Afghan Government. Taliban in Pashto means Students.

  • 1992 – Mujahideen overthrew Najibullah’s communist regime and came to power. It formed the Islamic State of Afghanistan.
  • 1996 – Taliban took over Kabul and the country and imposed sharia law.
  • Mujahideen led Northern Alliance fought the in-power Taliban. With US support, they defeated the Taliban and formed a government in 2001.
  • This alliance was backed and aided by India. Till then, India had no contact with the Taliban and considered them to be a proxy of Pakistan.

India – Taliban
India hasn’t had any official relations with the Taliban because:

  • India didn’t want to anger the Afghan Government.
  • India didn’t know who to contact due to internal divisions in the Taliban.
  • India didn’t want to go against its idea of not talking to ‘terrorists’.

IC 814 Hijack
Indian Airline flight IC-814 was hijacked and forced to land in Kandahar, Afghanistan. India was forced to release 3 militants, including Masood Azhar in return. India as they had no contact whatsoever with the Taliban then.

Taliban’s Stance On India
In 2019, the Taliban said that it had no interest in Kashmir and that it is India’s internal matter. As per Al Jazeera, unofficial backchannels were opened with Taliban in 2021.

India has invested heavily in Afghanistan and has provided with ~$2 billion in aid and funded projects like the Afghan parliament.
India funded Chabahar port in Iran is connected to central Asia via Afghanistan. Thus, India needs to protect its investments in Afghanistan.

Experts have cited the need for India to have influence in the Afghan Govt to counter the regional influence of Pakistan and China after the US leaves. India is also the only regional country that has friendly relations with the US and other western countries, as well as Russia and Afghanistan.

Peace negotiations in earnest is the only answer. An acceptable compromise that reflects Doha process, Moscow format & Istanbul process is essential. The future of Afghanistan cannot be its past. A whole new generation has different expectations. We should not let them down.

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, India

  • Hindu Kush means ‘Killer of Hindu‘ which might refer to the fact that slaves from the Indian Subcontinent would struggle to survive in the harsh Afghan mountains. It is the name of the 800 km long mountain range that stretches through Afghanistan mostly.

Celebrating Kishore Kumar

Celebrating Kishore Kumar

Kishore Kumar is a household name when we think of evergreen Bollywood era and old Hindi songs. Let’s take a musical journey through the Golden Era, and remember beloved Kishore da on his birth anniversary.

Crux of the Matter

Born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly on 4th Aug, 1929, he was the youngest of four siblings, the eldest of whom (Ashok Kumar) had made it into Bollywood as an actor.

Initial Breakthroughs
Made his first appearance in the movie ‘Shikari’(1946), and made his singing debut two years later for the movie ‘Ziddi’ with the song ‘Marne ki Duayen kyon mangu’.

Rise To Stardom
He starred in Bimal Roy’s ‘Naukari (1954) which was a commercial success. His most popular films as an actor include ‘Chalti ka naam Gaadi’, ‘Jhumroo’, ‘Half Ticket’, ‘Padosan’ amongst many others.

A Style of his Own
Initially inspired by KL Saigal, Kishore Kumar would often try to sing like him, until S D Burman suggested that he develop a style of his own. That’s when he picked up yodeling.

Famous Songs

  • ‘Maana Janaab ne Pukaara Nahi’ (Paying Guest).
  • ‘Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si’ (Chalti ka Naam Gaadi).
  • ‘Yeh Dil na hota Bechara’ (Jewel Thief).
  • ‘Eena Meena Deeka’ (Aasha), the list goes on.

Kishore’s Feat

He won 8 Filmafre Awards for Best Playback Singer

  • 1970: Roop Tera Mastana (Aradhana).
  • 1976: Dil Aisa Kisi Ne Mera (Amanush).
  • 1979: Khaike Paan Banaras Wala (Don).
  • 1981: Hazaar Raahen Mudke Dekheen (Thodisi Bewafaii).
  • 1983: Pag Ghungroo Baandh (Namak Halaal).
  • 1984: Agar Tum Na Hote (Agar Tum Na Hote).
  • 1985: Manzilein Apni Jagah Hain (Sharaabi).
  • 1986: Saagar Kinaare (Saagar).

The Show Must Go On

  • Kishor Kumar’s song Pal bhar ke liye from the movie Johny Mera Naam featured in ‘The Simpsons’. It featured in episode 17 titled ‘Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore’ of season 17.

Here’s What’s New In Tech At Tokyo Olympics

Here’s What’s New In Tech At Tokyo Olympics

Since the first 1896 Summer Olympics, the international games have come a long way. Even with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, organizers have kept the audiences cheering at home with these latest tech innovations for broadcasting.

Crux of the Matter

AI For Player Detection
An Automatic Media Description (AMD) pilot project based on athlete recognition will help in creating summaries of selected events.
Broadcasters usually search for content of their national players via hundreds of clips, which is a tedious task. Trained AI systems, can accomplish this in a fraction of this time.

UHD Viewing Experience
OBS (the Olympic Broadcasting Services) has adopted a new production standard UHD HDR. This will give viewers a better experience of the ongoing games, while sitting at home.

Utilizing 5G
5G tech has the capacity of handling large volumes of data including ultra low latency (the delay before a transfer of data begins) and higher video quality.

Content In More Formats
Additional Multi Clip Feeds (MCFs), fast-turnaround sports highlights, and mobile-generated clips for the viewers.

Event Specific Innovations

  • 3D Athlete Tracking in Athletics 100m.
  • True View in Basketball.
  • Biometric data in Archery.
  • Virtual 3D graphics in Sport Climbing.

Lesser Carbon Footprints
OBS has also made an efficient design of the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), by introducing mini data centres called Centralized Technical Areas.

  • The six colours in the Olympic symbol represent the colour of every nation’s flag. The six colours- blue, yellow, red, green, black and white were selected to represent the symbol because every country has at least one colour out of these six in their flags.

Knowing Father Of Chemical Science In India, Prafulla Chandra Ray

Knowing Father Of Chemical Science In India, Prafulla Chandra Ray

Wondering how Prafulla Chandra Ray became the father of Chemical Science in India? On his birthday today (2nd August), let’s know more about the scientific contributions of this eminent chemist, who was also the founder of India’s first pharmaceutical company.

Crux of the Matter

Acharya Prafulla 
Born in Bengal Presidency of British India in 1861, he went on to become the founder of Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, India’s first pharmaceutical company.

Literary Works
In 1902, he published the first volume of A History of Hindu Chemistry from the Earliest Times to the Middle of Sixteenth Century. The book contained research done in works of orientalists and ancient manuscripts.

Some Major Recognitions

Research Work
He conducted research on platinum, iridium and sulphides of organic substances and published over a hundred papers on Chemistry, many of which were published in the Journal of Indian Chemical Society.

Discovery Of Mercurous Nitrite
In 1896, Prafulla published a paper on preparation of a new stable chemical compound: mercurous nitrite, which is used in mercuration.

He also proved that the pure ammonium nitrite is stable. This compound is useful as an agricultural pesticide and in making nitrous oxide. 

Presence in Academia

  • Prafulla Chandra retired from the Presidency College in 1916.
  • He started a new Indian School of Chemistry in 1924.
  • He joined the Calcutta University College of Science as its first “Palit Professor of Chemistry”.
  • In 1936, at the age of 75, he retired from active service and became Professor Emeritus.

His Philanthropic Side
In 1923, Bengal suffered a flood which made many people homeless. Prafulla organised Bengal Relief Committee, which collected ₹2.5+ million as relief fund. In 1922, he donated money to establish the Nagarjuna Prize to be awarded for the best work in chemistry.

  • Dr C V Raman was the first Asian to be awarded a Nobel Prize in any branch of science. In 1930, Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of an unknown type of scattering of light which was subsequently called Raman scattering.

What Is E-RUPI? A Digital Payments Solutions To Directly Deliver Govt Benefits

What Is E-RUPI? A Digital Payments Solutions To Directly Deliver Govt Benefits

Launched on 2nd August, 2021, e-RUPI is India’s newest addition to the digital payment saga. Known for its small ticket size benefit transfer, e-RUPI is set to make the delivery of government welfare services efficient. Read the story to know more about the mechanism.

Crux of the Matter

What Is E-Rupi
It is a cashless and contactless digital payments solution, developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on its UPI platform.

It delivers a QR code or message based digital voucher to beneficiary’s linked mobile number. The beneficiaries will then be able to redeem this voucher at the service provider’s end without any intermediary.

Voucher’s Pre-Conditions
The voucher is non transferable and can be used for a single transaction only. The maximum issue value size is fixed at ₹10,000.

Simplifying How It Works
3 categories of vouchers will be enlisted on e-RUPI: Banks, Payment Service Providers, amd Entities holding licences for pre-paid instruments.

A private firm or a government agency approaches a bank for issuing vouchers to beneficiaries. Upon payment of voucher amount, the beneficiaries are sent a digital voucher to a linked mobile number.

An application to scan the e-voucher will be required at the end of service provider. Finally, beneficiaries can scan the voucher and redeem it with OTP authentication.

Where Will It Be Used?
It will be used for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for multiple government welfare schemes and subsidies. I t will also be used for Covid vaccination process in which a company can issue vouchers to their employees.


  1. National Payments Corporation Of India governs systems like Rupay and Aadhar enabled payment systems. Founded in 2008, NPCI is currently governed by the Reserve Bank of India and the Ministry of Finance.