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26 February 2016

Rising inequality and urban exclusion

In Indian cities today, it doesn’t take long for an outsider to observe the vast difference between the posh, middle class and the low income neighbourhoods. India’s growing inequality of income is much more evident in urban areas than in rural areas because India’s rich live in the big metro cities and towns and not in villages. Their lifestyle is distinctly different from the lifestyle of the low income and middle income groups.

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26 February 2016

Need to beef up India’s cyber security policies and mechanisms

Take a stock of the past, analyse the present cliché and frame a strategy for future. In the recent years, India’s approach to cyber security has experienced a shift from style to substance. Prime Minister Modi’s foreign policy has made various strong interventions on cyber security matters. Those interventions need to be materialised to manoeuvre the interest. Presumably, the Prime Minister Office (PMO) is likely to invest both political and capital energy to enhance a cautious cyber-strategy.

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12 February 2016

Will India’s economy live up to expectations?

Unlike other emerging economies, strong investor sentiment and the meltdown in crude oil prices bolstered India’s growth in the last financial year. Though the projected growth rate for 2016 shows a slight decline of 0.1 per cent, the World Bank predicts that India will grow by a robust 7.8 per cent this year and by 7.9 per cent in the next two years. This means India is shaping up to outpace China in the next three years.

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12 February 2016

Seizing the ‘One Belt, One Road’ opportunity

The central feature of much of the post-World War II American external engagement has been the security of its energy interests. Likewise, recent conversations with Chinese scholars, Communist Party of China members and officials indicate that the ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative of Xi Jinping’s government is likely to become the lynchpin of Chinese engagement with the world. If, to understand American foreign policy of the years past, many have ‘followed the oil’, to decipher Chinese interests going forward, we may just have to ride the Belt and the Road.

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12 February 2016

Prime Minister’s address to Military leaders: No clarity on National Security Strategy

In his address to the Chiefs of Staff and the Commanders-in-Chief of the armed forces on board the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on December 15, 2015, the Prime Minister made a rare statement on India’s defence policy.

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29 January 2016

The Islamic State exploiting cyber-terrorism

It has been assumed that the currents of global politics consist of state-to-state relations. But such a clustered definition of world politics as merely the interactions of states has been challenged in the post-Cold War period. The concept of territoriality and the defining feature of the ‘1648 state’ has been steadily diminishing with the rise of non-state (non-territorial) actors. The phenomenal growth in technology for both military and civilian applications has provided more brokering power to the violent-non-state-actors like Islamic State (IS). Cyber terrorism and radicalization of cyberspace have also emerged as a new phenomenon both in global and regional levels.

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29 January 2016

Modi government’s economic challenges ahead

The Index of Industrial Production shrank by 3.4 per cent in November last year. It had risen to 9.4 per cent in October. This could be a temporary phenomenon. But still it makes one wonder what is going to happen to ‘Make in India’ dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi when manufacturing growth is so erratic. There is a changed global environment today from when Mr. Modi made his promises. Commodity prices are falling and the steepest fall has been in the price of oil which has declined by 70 per cent since 2014.

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13 January 2016

2016 economic outlook: Not much cause for cheer

At the beginning of this year most people will be hoping for better times ahead for the economy. All reports say that India will be better off than most countries in 2016 and unlike China is not facing a slowdown. According to the government, India is going to continue growing at a relatively high rate of 7.5 percent. Mr. Jaitley is pleased with last year’s economic performance and according to him, it is reflected in the rise in indirect revenue receipts.

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13 January 2016

A Clinically Executed Anti-Terror Operation

As more details emerge on the Pathankot terror strike and India's response, it is becoming increasingly clear that the quick decision-making at the highest levels of the country's security apparatus saved a repeat of a Mumbai-like carnage at the frontline airbase.

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18 December 2015

Let billionaires save the world

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's pledge to give away 99 per cent of his shares in the company, assessed at $45 billion, is the most recent in a series of over 138 billionaires who have signed the "giving pledge" to donate 50 per cent of their fortunes to charity.

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