As of now, while writing this – on September 18, 2014
Owing to the checkered history of India-China bilateral ties, there have been very few state-level visits. Now with initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, there is a sense of optimism that the process to set the relation back of track can begin now. While searching for information in the context of Xi’s visit to India from the concerned government platform, the Ministry of External Affairs, I came across this interesting anomaly.
The link http://www.mea.gov.in/foreign-relations.htm has sub-links to ‘the Briefs on India’s Bilateral Relations’. Clicking on each country’s name opens a PDF file with a primer on information pertaining to the bilateral relations between India and that particular country. The format usually categorizes information in sections like Political Relations, Visits of Heads of States/Heads of Governments, Other High Level Visits, Major Dialogue Mechanisms, Commercial and Economic Relations, Defence Relations, Cultural Relations and Education Relations.
The information packets hosted here, being on the official gateway of India’s foreign relations, are expected to reflect every major milestone in the bilateral relations, and need to be updated scrupulously.
With this thought in mind, I clicked the sub-link to the file on China. And the sub-link http://www.mea.gov.in/Portal/ForeignRelation/China_September_2014.pdf indeed had a good file with neatly packed information to serve as a useful primer. And the link told me it was updated this month only (China_September_2014). But while going through it, I came across a serious flaw.
I thought it would be rectified soon as the Chinese President was come calling on Wednesday and China-related information on official platforms would be looked into and updated. But it wasn’t. I visited the link and the file on September 15, on September 16, on September 17, and today, on September 18. But the missing information has not been updated in this basic file and Mr. Xi Jinping is leaving tomorrow.
Here are the screen shots of the file that I captured yesterday (and which don’t show the expected changes yet).