The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: Pakistan's treatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav adds fuel to a simmering situation

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

The Big Story: Fueling fire

The year 2014 seems like aeons ago now. Back then Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fresh off his massive electoral victory, invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with other heads of state from the subcontinent to attend his swearing-in ceremony. In December 2015, things went even further, with Modi making an unscheduled stop in Lahore, the first visit by an Indian prime minister to Pakistan in more than a decade. The promise of those events, and the hope that an electorally stronger Modi would be better placed to deal with Pakistan, feels like ancient history now.

On Monday, Pakistani military authorities announced that they had convicted Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian man who Islamabad claims is an agent of India’s Research and Analysis Wing, and sentenced him to death after a closed-door court martial. India responded by pointing out that Pakistan had offered no evidence, beyond a questionable confession, and had not provided consular access. New Delhi went further, saying if any execution were to actually take place it would constitute “premeditated murder”.

Analysts are clear that the death sentence is a Pakistani provocation. Spies are usually dealt with in the same cloak-and-dagger manner that they operate in. Turning the matter into a quasi-legal proceeding, albeit behind closed doors, and publishing a press release suggests Islamabad wants to send a message. Some have brought up India’s recent actions that have annoyed Pakistan’s biggest ally, China. Those in the know also point to a retired Pakistani Army officer who disappeared in Nepal last week, which rumour mongers in Islamabad would have people believe was a RAW plot.

India and Pakistan were already on edge ever since the Uri attacks in September 2016, which were soon followed up by surgical strikes a few days later – a much-publicised military action by Indian forces, with Delhi claiming it had attacked “launching pads” of militants across the Line of Control. Since then, relations have remained tense, even as the rest of the world around India and Pakistan seems to have become even more volatile.

It may be some time before we know what is actually happening here, and what Pakistan is trying to achieve. In peacetime, spies that have been caught tend to be used for leverage and often become part of quiet deals that are not publicised. That Islamabad chose to go public with its treatment of Jadhav makes it clear that this is a public relations exercise.

But provoking India at at time when local politicians have anyhow been fanning jingoistic flames, while other parts of the world become even more tense, is deeply irresponsible. New Delhi now has no choice but to be vocal and emphatic in its response. Hopefully the clear dangers of going down this path – including what it means for future treatment of Pakistani spies in India – will become apparent to Islamabad.

The Big Scroll

  • Manoj Joshi writes that the death sentence to Jadhav is a clear provocation, something that should not be happening when two countries are not at war.
  • Last year, Cyril Almeida wrote that the capture of Jadhav was aimed at a domestic Pakistani audience to prove to the public that the armed forces are still competent.
  • This was the video that Pakistan released after it claimed to have captured Jadhav.

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Punditry & picks

  1. Arvind P. Datar in the Indian Express, citing the dangers of judicial bans that replace existing government policy, says that the Supreme Court’s highway-alcohol decision should have been left to individual states to tackle.
  2. Prasar Bharati does not need Rs 75 crore for a new propaganda arm aimed at creating an Indian BBC or Al Jazeera, writes Vidya Subramanian in the Hindustan Times, saying it should focus on how to spread awareness within India first.
  3. Mihir S Sharma in Bloomberg points out that the Indian government seems to have lost any enthusiasm or faith it might have had for multilateral free trade agreements.
  4. Never mind a broader conversation about politicisation or deep manipulation, even the basic collection techniques through which India’s data is put together has come under scrutiny, writes Jessica Seddon in Mint.
  5. Snigdha Poonam and Samarth Bansal in the Hindustan Times tell the story of an Indian call centre that runs a massive tech support scam.
  6. An extraordinary student movement is taking aim at the elitism of India’s legal education, and beginning to change the way law works in the country, writes Kavitha Rao in the Guardian.

Don’t miss

Priyanka Vora explains why India’s pregnant women are missing vital ultrasound tests: doctors simply are not mentioning the procedure.

“Despite going to a government hospital, the Mumbai woman did not receive adequate ante-natal care. Healthcare providers including doctors and nurses are expected to give pregnant women information about check-ups and necessary tests.

Doctors said that the 18th week ultrasound which is also referred as an anomaly scan is the most important investigation, especially in India, since abortions are allowed only up to 20 weeks. An abortion is permitted beyond 20 weeks, only when “termination of such pregnancy is immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman.”

The ultrasound procedure done between 18th and 19th week of conception can reveal such abnormalities that can help a woman or a panel of doctors decide whether a termination of pregnancy is advisable. Despite this, doctors said that many women visiting both private and public hospital skip the vital procedure. In most cases, women say that they were not aware.”

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Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.

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Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.

Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry

The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.

There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.

The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.

The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.

The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.

The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.

Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.

Case studies for technology-led changes

An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.

Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.

In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.

In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.

The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.

Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.

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The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.