Time to focus on exports
For some time, the Prime Minister and his economic advisors have shown much concern about the widening of the current account deficit (CAD). It reached an all-time high of 6.7 per cent of the GDP in the third quarter of this fiscal year. The CAD is the sum of the trade deficit (exports minus imports) and the net invisibles such as accruals from software exports.
Adrift without a Strategic culture
Does India have a strategic culture? If strategic culture is defined narrowly in the context of the nuclear age alone, then India, as a recent entrant to the nuclear club and still in the process of acquiring minimum nuclear deterrence, evidently lacks one. If the meaning of strategic culture is broadened to include a country’s approach to national security in general, then the question can be debated.
When 'safety' becomes a ghetto for women
Mumbai often enjoys the privilege of being called a city that is relatively safer for women. Women are able to stay out during night, take benefit of a good public transport system and have relative autonomy to dress the way they desire. While some of the above may be true in practice, it is definitely a myth to characterise the city as being 'safe for women' as a blanket reality for all women living in the city.
The road to Asian unity
NEW DELHI – Asia’s lack of institutions to ameliorate regional tensions is often lamented. But greater Asian unity may be arising by the backdoor, in the form of new and impressive infrastructure links.
Friends with Benefits
The back-to-back visits of the president of France, Francois Hollande, and the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, last month have put the spotlight on India’s relationship with Europe. Some belittle the importance of this relationship as Europe is seen as economically crisis-ridden, lacking in dynamism, to be declining militarily and too prone to act as a super NGO in propagating its values.
Giving Delhi Some Parisian Delight
France was first to offer a strategic dialogue after our 1998 nuclear tests, forswear sanctions and announce a “business as usual” policy towards India. This remarkably pragmatic position, surpassing the acute international anxieties of the moment, demonstrated its longer term strategic view of India’s role in the world. It is this solid investment in a strategic relationship with India that gives particular value to president Hollande’s visit that begins today.
Looking ahead, what could President Barack Obama’s second term mean for relations between India and the United States of America? Will the relationship stay more or less at the level that it has already reached or will it see a surge in the years ahead? Can it begin to wane?
Be to Pakistan as its Posture Warrants
Our international relations experts are divided on how to deal with Pakistan, with a section always advocating moderation in reaction to Pakistani provocations and others favouring more robust responses to Pakistani belligerence.This lack of consensus makes our Pakistan policy look vacillating and irresolute.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail unlikely to benefit small farmers
The way people were buying gold and silver this Diwali (on Dhanteras) did not indicate a serious economic downturn in India. Sometimes one wonders whether the gloomy statistics about the Indian economy have anything to do with the reality. Planes are going full to places and people are shopping and eating out in all big city malls and restaurants in large numbers. No one, taking a short trip to India from abroad, would think that the Indian economy is anything but robust and healthy.
Arms and The Country
European nations compete for defence ties with India. When listing India’s defence partners Europe is mentioned, but it would be more accurate to speak of individual European countries as partners. Europe is unified economically but not in the defence domain. Unlike on economic issues, on defence issues India deals with individual capitals and not Brussels.