High expectations from China’s G20 presidency
The agenda of a G20 summit is generally set by the country holding the chair. China’s presidency of G20 is being looked at with a lot of anticipation, as it is not only the second-largest economy, but is also the largest trading partner of several countries, including India.
Modi's Saudi Sojourn : More Significant Than Being Made Out
Prime Minister Modi's advisers have taken to heart the flak from many of his detractors regarding the high visibility of his foreign visits and the media hype connected to them. No other reason why such a significant visit at a most appropriate time should be covered in the inner pages of print media and not even receive a pre-event build up by visual media.
A new Aadhaar* for Indian diplomacy
Finally backed by an enabling legislation, the Aadhaar project, the flagship of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has been further bolstered by news that enrolment has touched the one billion mark. The creation of a database of easily retrievable biometrics and other information of a citizen — or of any resident, really — is an enormous help to government and public agencies as well as private users that may want to build applications and programmes on the Aadhaar number.
Brussels and after: Solutions elude European security
This must commence with a wholehearted condemnation of the terrorist actions against innocent citizens in Brussels and expression of empathy with those who lost family and friends in this continuing madness that the world is witnessing. This is not going to end anytime so soon because we are up against people whose minds are completely warped by irrational thoughts and hatred brought on by cycles of earlier violence and equally irrational responses which have brought entire communities within their ambit. When human beings take it upon themselves not to use God’s gift of rationalism then they become the equivalent of animals in society.
A dubious index
India has climbed up the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ Index from 142nd position to 130th. The Modi government now wants India to rise to the 50th position. This would mean more reforms for attracting foreign investors to India. While it is true that the Ease of Doing Business Index is important for attracting foreign investors as they usually track such indices, it is not true that this index alone reflects the real business environment of a country.
What Apple versus FBI means for India
Law schools across India illustrate the difference between “culpable homicide” and “murder” through the famous K.M. Nanavati case of 1961. Nanavati, a commander with the Indian Navy, was informed by his wife of her affair with Prem Ahuja and her desire to end the marriage. An enraged Nanavati barged into Ahuja’s house, and after an angry exchange of words, shot and killed him. In the trial that followed, Nanavati’s punishment hinged upon whether his act was premeditated. If it was, he would be guilty of murder. But were the shooting unplanned and truly a “crime of passion”, as the tabloids referred to it, Nanavati would be punished for the lesser offence of culpable homicide.
Left-Right ideological divide no longer makes sense of today’s world
For those who grew up and came of intellectual age during the Cold War, the left-right binary was fairly simple to comprehend. There was the United States and liberal democracy, which seemed to stand for a market derived system of economic decision making and organisation, and a gamut of civil liberties for the citizen. On the other hand, there was the Soviet Union and the East bloc, which gave the state a much larger role not just in ordering the economy but also allowing it to intrude in the private lives and choices of people.
India and the South China Sea dispute
The South China Sea (SCS) is witnessing a dramatic rise in maritime tensions. Last week, China landed two fighter jets on Woody island – a subset of the Paracel group of islands – just days after the PLA placed surface-to-air missiles at the same location. With a range of about 200 kilometers, the new HQ-9 missiles can target aircraft approaching China’s claimed spaces in the South China Sea. To add to regional worries, the latest satellite images of several of the Spratly Islands showed probable radar infrastructure, suggesting that the PLA may already have established full radar coverage over the SCS.
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.
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.