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14 November 2014

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: A new banking alternative

By all accounts, poor infrastructure is the biggest stumbling block for achieving higher economic growth. Lack of roads, highways, power, ports, airports and water has acted as the main deterrent to attracting foreign direct investment, especially in the South Asian region.


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31 October 2014

India's FDI dreams

Billions of dollars in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) have been assured to India thanks to Prime Minister Modi's successful foreign tours and the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Hopefully countries with more wealth and technology than us will help us create jobs. But in his efforts at gathering FDI, the Prime Minister is not any different from the previous government which also staged many road shows with union and state ministers, politicians and even the prime minister going abroad to woo foreign investors.


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14 October 2014

Modi and the Middle East: Towards a Link West Policy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's irrepressible rhetoric is marked by a passion for alliteration, temptation for recasting well known abbreviations and the use of juxtaposition to make important points.


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23 September 2014

India: Hope for economic turnaround

There is hope in the air about the much awaited economic turnaround. The second quarterly GDP growth rate (April to June 2014) was at 5.7 per cent which has kindled expectations that good days are ahead! There is hope that India will once again be the most attractive destination for investors. Indeed in Asia specially, India is fast becoming one of the best investment destinations because of the improved growth prospects. Japan has recently pledged $35 billion investment for India. Is it true that India is really turning around under Prime Minister Narendra Modi?


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5 September 2014

Is Pakistan On Way from Failing to Failed State?

A theatre of the absurd is on display in Islamabad with the street-fighters of Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri breaching the barricades to storm the Parliament and lay siege to the Prime Minister’s House. The denouement of this clear collapse of state authority in the face of a marauding mob is not yet clear. What is clear is that democracy has been grievously damaged, the civilian government has been reduced to a mockery and the political and administrative system has been brought to the verge of a meltdown.


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5 September 2014

Playing the East

If Prime Minister Narendra Modi plays his cards well with Japanese and Chinese leaders in the next few days, he can mobilise the world's third- and second-largest economies in accelerating India's development and make New Delhi an important player in the unfolding Great Game to the east.


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19 August 2014

Bubbles and Other Troubles: Risks from Ultra Easy Monetary Policy

In May 2013, Ben Bernanke’s hint of ’tapering’ or slowing down the pace of the Federal Reserve’s unconventional monetary policy called Quantitative Easing (QE) caused nothing short of turmoil within emerging market economies (EMEs). Rapid outflow of capital and a concomitant deterioration of current account deficit resulted in sharp depreciation of currencies and an overall worsening of the respective domestic macroeconomies. By September 2013, the Indian rupee and the Brazilian real had fallen by more than 15 percent each. Inequity markets, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index and Turkey’s BIST 100 shed nearly 20 percent each during this period


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19 August 2014

Geopolitical Developments and India-China Relations

The world is in a state of continuing flux. The economies of the major powers are still fragile and vulnerabilities exist in those of the bigger emerging powers in the Asia-Pacific like China and India. The balance of power is concurrently undergoing a shift with competing focal points of power surfacing in the East. The fragile nature has been accentuated in the past few years with Beijing’s accelerated push for recognition as the dominant power in the Asia-Pacific. This is resisted by the US, Japan and India and has made South East Asian countries nervous.


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29 July 2014

Calibrating India's climate-change response

India and other developing countries have consistently ­emphasized the notion of equity in the climate-change debate, advocating a "common but differentiated responsibility"—the principle that all states are obligated to address global environmental degradation, but not equally so.


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9 July 2014

Beyond net neutrality

Good friends Vinton Serf and Bob Kahn invented the Internet Protocol together. But they are on the opposite sides of the raging global debate on network neutrality. It's a principle that ensures all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and governments treat data equally. Net neutrality is simple. It also seems absolutely fair and reasonable. But its simplicity is precisely the reason why it is under severe strain from the complex policy challenges of an evolving set of technologies.


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