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.
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.
Are safeguards possible to prevent theocracy?
Much of the angst against Adityanath is drawn from the colonial “brown sahib” culture of political correctness.
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?
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.
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.
To avert disaster the US must deal with North Korea
The US must consider giving nuclear no-first-use assurance to North Korea in return for non-use and no further missile or nuclear tests A new round of belligerence, including missile tests and an assassination, make it clear that the Trump administration needs to focus on North Korea before events spin out of control. Reports that Washington is considering military action may be speculation, but nevertheless underline the situation’s increasing gravity.
Donald Trump’s Asia outreach
The Trump administration, after making a chaotic start at home, has started venturing abroad. Not surprisingly, Asia remains its big focus.
To raise resources, give and take needed
Rapid infrastructure development and public investment to strengthen competitive markets are the stepchildren of the annual Budget process. This continues a trend, started by the previous government, of shoring up state government finances, at the risk of being stingy on spending in areas of its own core, constitutional mandate.
ISRO has impressed; now for policy innovation
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) accomplished a major feat last week by launching 104 satellites at one go, breaking the record held by Russia (37 satellites) and the earlier US record (29). Launching dozens of satellites in different orbital slots is an extremely complex manoeuvre. India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the tried and tested workhorse of Isro, proved yet again that it can achieve more complex missions. Despite this impressive achievement, some international reports tried to underplay it by saying that these were simply nano satellites. Inserting multiple satellites in space is significant irrespective of the weight.