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9 May 2017

The long arc to Ankara

It was a visit which had been in the making for quite some time. But when it eventually happened, few in India and abroad took note of it, with the result that nothing much changed as a consequence.


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28 April 2017

India’s autocratic streak of democracy

Last week in a conversation triggered by Yogi Adityanath’s style of governance by fiat, a colleague argued that India cannot function with the liberal democratic system. It needs a dose of authoritarian rule to transform itself.


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28 April 2017

Niti Aayog’s ‘Vision 2032’ disappoints

Three years ago, when the Planning Commission was transformed into Niti Aayog, expectations were high. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief ministers of states spent most of Sunday deliberating over the plans and prospects for India in the next 15 years to 2031-32. The third governing council meeting of the Niti Aayog seems to have been an underwhelming affair, judging from the two presentations put up on its website. Why this despondency?


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28 April 2017

Does Non-Traditional Security Threats Need to be Re-Defined?

Non-traditional threats are generally seen as those threats which are emanated by the non-state actors. The threats are not considered mainstream and have been seen as peripheral in nature by security experts. Some scholars also call non-traditional threats as ‘Non-Military threats’. These threats mostly focus on human security rather than territorial security. Human security includes, environmental security, economic security, energy security and societal security. These threats do not come from an adversary nation’s military and hence its solutions are also not well defined. Though, it is widely agreed that non-traditional security threats can transform into traditional security threats among countries. The best example could be of water and energy security issues among Central Asian states. Even Indus Water sharing is also a matter of tussle that pops up time to time between India and Pakistan.


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12 April 2017

Old war with no gains in sight

New Delhi was quick to highlight the importance of bilateral dialogue being the only way forward to resolve issues between India and Pakistan when President Trump sought to pro-actively mediate between the two. But the fact is, we haven’t been going anywhere with it.


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12 April 2017

Basic income transfer: Modi’s next big thing?

Irrespective of its economic virtues, demonetisation — an aggressive, unprecedented initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, brought rich dividends for the BJP in the Uttar Pradesh election. Above all, voters were impressed with his determination to punish those who have become fat on black money. That the move also “punished” those who had no black money — via extended inconvenience, loss of business or employment — was collateral damage.


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28 March 2017

Are safeguards possible to prevent theocracy?

Much of the angst against Adityanath is drawn from the colonial “brown sahib” culture of political correctness.


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28 March 2017

Second-rate ambitions: It is time for India to get over its UN obsession

Why should India want to become a second tier permanent member of the UN Security Council without any veto power?


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28 March 2017

Stability in the time of change

As the liberal order yields to an age of uncertainty, a new initiative is needed if the nuclear taboo has to hold.


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10 March 2017

The changing face of maritime terrorism

Maritime terrorism has reared its ugly head again—this time in Southeast Asia where a Vietnamese cargo ship was attacked by supposed members of the dreaded Filipino terrorist outfit, Abu Sayyaf. Days later, Jürgen Kantner, a German national captured off the coast of southern Philippines in November 2016, was beheaded by members of the same group, sparking international outrage and all-round condemnation.


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