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The Changing Contours of Bhutan’s Foreign Policy and the Implications for China and India
Jul 21, 2023

The Changing Contours of Bhutan’s Foreign Policy and the Implications for China and India

Bhutan has historically maintained a neutral relationship with China, to its north, and a more special relationship with India, whose states border its west, east, and south. Over the past two decades, however, many factors are forcing Bhutan to settle its longstanding territorial disputes with China and diversify its relations. These factors include its own changing economy and transition from an absolute monarchy to a democracy, a gener

The changing contours of India's defence policy
Aug 14, 2023

The changing contours of India's defence policy

A combination of institutional frameworks and policy changes has ensured a profound transformation in India's defence policy

The changing contours of Russia’s South Asia policy
Jul 27, 2017

The changing contours of Russia’s South Asia policy

Russia’s policy towards South Asia has been the subject of much speculation lately. With closer cooperation between Russia and China and the former’s warming up to Pakistan, it is becoming increasingly evident that Russia is moving away from its India-centric approach in the region. This brief studies the changes, and continuity, in Moscow’s foreign policy towards South Asia as it transitioned from the Soviet Union into the Russian Federati

The changing face of Baloch activism
May 09, 2024

The changing face of Baloch activism

The harsh response by the Pakistani state towards the ongoing Baloch protests will only alienate people further and deepen the existing crisis

The chaos that is counter-terrorism in India
Nov 24, 2018

The chaos that is counter-terrorism in India

Ten years on from 26/11, the NSG continues to face serious logistical and transportation challenges. Simply put, the NSG cannot wait around to execute

The Chinese are coming
Apr 03, 2015

The Chinese are coming

While West Asia is volatile, the Chinese are beginning to get more active in Afghanistan, retain their pre-eminence in Pakistan and strengthen ties with Iran. In fact, Iran is the third leg of China?s policy in our immediate western neighbourhood. The Chinese are obviously making preparations for the time when peace returns to the Arab world, which might leave a stronger Iran.

The Chinese discourse on the ongoing West Asia crisis
Apr 29, 2024

The Chinese discourse on the ongoing West Asia crisis

Many in the Chinese strategic circles believe that although West Asia is significant for China, it should lay low and let US get embroiled in the regi

The coming of strategic autonomy in the Gulf
Mar 29, 2022

The coming of strategic autonomy in the Gulf

With the US no longer playing the role of security guarantor to Gulf states, they are diversifying their foreign relations through partnerships involving China and Russia, thereby acquiring greater autonomy.

The contours of an Israel-Saudi Arabia rapprochement
Oct 03, 2023

The contours of an Israel-Saudi Arabia rapprochement

While Israel-Saudi normalisation will bring a long-standing divide to an end on paper, in practice, a full gambit of regional situations will need to

The Contributions of Smart Cities Mission: A Stocktaking
Nov 17, 2023

The Contributions of Smart Cities Mission: A Stocktaking

The Smart Cities Mission in India, launched in 2015, is a unique experiment undertaken with the aim of improving people’s quality of life in cities. It bypasses traditional institutional approaches and employs innovative methods to achieve its targets. This brief provides an overview of the work initiated under the mission since its inception and explores the gains so far. It documents sectoral reforms and conducts a critical appraisal of the m

The counterterror dimension to the planning of smart cities
Aug 21, 2023

The counterterror dimension to the planning of smart cities

The Indian government’s “Smart Cities Mission” aims to drive economic growth and improve quality of life through “smart” solutions for the delivery of infrastructure and services. This is expected to transform living spaces, enhance quality of life, and provide employment opportunities, in turn helping reduce crime rates and promoting law and order. Among the challenges to the “Smart Cities” programme is terrorism—especially in ur

The crisis-struck polity: Sri Lanka’s evolving structures
May 23, 2023

The crisis-struck polity: Sri Lanka’s evolving structures

The current Sri Lankan political environment is ripe for transformations in power structures, economic policy, and citizen involvement

The curious case of central and state government properties in cities  
Jun 09, 2022

The curious case of central and state government properties in cities  

If the ULBS are to execute the mandates issued by the government, adequate funds need to be allocated.

The curious case of pro-ISIS movements between India and Sri Lanka
Jun 13, 2024

The curious case of pro-ISIS movements between India and Sri Lanka

ISIS, as an ideology and group, has also attracted many crossovers: ideologically radicalised, predominantly youth, leaving behind more regional and hyper-local entities to join ISIS’s brand of pan-globalist jihad is a trend that continues even today.

The deepening of India–Israel defence ties
Jun 07, 2022

The deepening of India–Israel defence ties

Cooperation in various areas ranging from technology to defence has led to the opening up of a new potential partnership between the two-tech savvy de

The developmental implications of the Union Budget 2021
Feb 01, 2021

The developmental implications of the Union Budget 2021

Much in contrary to the thinking that “markets are ruthless,” the lockdown brought to the fore the importance of market forces in promoting equity

The Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023: Recommendations for Inclusion in the Digital India Act
Oct 30, 2023

The Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023: Recommendations for Inclusion in the Digital India Act

The new Digital Personal Data Protection Act (DPDPA) is market-friendly but is lacking in attention to privacy requirements for sensitive personal data. This report highlights three types of sensitive personal data—i.e., biometric, financial, and health—and emphasises the need for transparent consent mechanisms that will safeguard an individual’s data. It underscores the role of data fiduciaries, urging the formulation of clear operational

The domestic motivations of Beijing's LAC aggression
May 28, 2020

The domestic motivations of Beijing's LAC aggression

Any appearance of weakness in Xi on the world stage could imperil his grip on power within China

The East Asian opportunity: Prioritising Japan and Korea in India’s green hydrogen strategy
May 27, 2024

The East Asian opportunity: Prioritising Japan and Korea in India’s green hydrogen strategy

As India strives to become a green hydrogen hub, it needs to exploit the export opportunities presented by Japan and South Korea.

The election imbroglio: Pakistan’s general elections and the way forward
Feb 13, 2024

The election imbroglio: Pakistan’s general elections and the way forward

The 2024 Pakistani elections is a significant indicator of the increasing vulnerability of the military in the nation's political landscape and the po

The Emerging Domains of Conflict in the 21st Century
Aug 14, 2023

The Emerging Domains of Conflict in the 21st Century

Human civilisation is at a new moment of transition across social norms, economics, governance, and the environment, and is facing the dawn of a new era of inter-planetary human migration (to Mars). In the future, historians will look to the first half of the 21st century to tell the story of how these changes started and unfolded through five domains of conflict. These domains touch on the unravelling of governance structures in need of

The emerging world of Donald Trump
Nov 29, 2016

The emerging world of Donald Trump

The inner circle ensconced inside Trump Tower is either in chaos, or making good on its promise to smash the entrenched system to pieces.

The Enduring Problem of Illegal Constructions in India’s Cities
Jul 14, 2021

The Enduring Problem of Illegal Constructions in India’s Cities

India’s rising urbanisation in recent years has triggered unbridled construction activities to meet the needs of the growing populations in these cities. Not all of these constructions abide by existing laws, however, leading to adverse consequences on governance systems, the environment, people’s health, transportation services, and overall citizen well-being. In extreme cases, illegal constructions have resulted in loss of lives and propert

The evolution of India’s West Asian policy
Oct 31, 2019

The evolution of India’s West Asian policy

In the past, India has managed a successful balancing act in a tripolar West Asia. Now, the restructuring of West Asia’s geopolitical landscape has

The evolving role of the Colombo Security Conclave
Dec 26, 2023

The evolving role of the Colombo Security Conclave

As the Indo-Pacific region grows in prominence, all the members of the CSC, which are democracies, will continue to play their cards based on domestic and external benefits.

The fall of Alpha Condé’s regime in Guinea: A critical appraisal
Sep 13, 2021

The fall of Alpha Condé’s regime in Guinea: A critical appraisal

Is the use of constitutional means to secure ruling in perpetuity a new normal in west Africa?

The fate of the European Green Deal
Jun 08, 2024

The fate of the European Green Deal

With the 2024 European Parliament elections taking place from 6-9 June, the fate of the European Green Deal hangs in the balance.

The female workforce in India: Emerging trends and insights
Mar 07, 2024

The female workforce in India: Emerging trends and insights

The female workforce in India is changing as younger women with higher levels of education enter the workforce

The foggy trend in Europe
May 19, 2012

The foggy trend in Europe

The return of a Socialist in France since Mitterand's victory in 1981 confirms a trend in Europe which, instead of lifting the mist, is adding to the fog. The other day in the UK, Labour had trounced the Conservatives in local bodies election across the country.

The French connections
Mar 14, 2018

The French connections

The Macron visit underlined the growing strategic convergence that draws India and France together

The Future of Cyber Warfare in the Indo-Pacific
Jan 13, 2023

The Future of Cyber Warfare in the Indo-Pacific

The rapid growth in military cyber capabilities of the countries in the Indo-Pacific combined with the use of assets from the cyberwarfare toolbox—in domestic and interstate contexts—is adding uncertainty to already competitive political, military, and economic relations. This issue brief assesses the cyberwarfare context in the Indo-Pacific, and reviews the military cyber capabilities of the region’s countries and their commitment to inter

The Future of Cyberwarfare in the Indo-Pacific
Jan 13, 2023

The Future of Cyberwarfare in the Indo-Pacific

The rapid growth in military cyber capabilities of the countries in the Indo-Pacific combined with the use of assets from the cyberwarfare toolbox—in domestic and interstate contexts—is adding uncertainty to already competitive political, military, and economic relations. This issue brief assesses the cyberwarfare context in the Indo-Pacific, and reviews the military cyber capabilities of the region’s countries and their commitment to inter

The future of the battle for minds
Jan 15, 2022

The future of the battle for minds

The use of cognitive warfare by states showcases that a new avenue for contestation has emerged

The future of urban mobility: Shared, connected, and electric
Feb 22, 2024

The future of urban mobility: Shared, connected, and electric

Cities of the future must have sustainable mobility baked into the core planning process with the ultimate goal of meeting transport demand in a cost-

The G20 compact with Africa: Overview, assessment, and recommendations for India
Jun 29, 2017

The G20 compact with Africa: Overview, assessment, and recommendations for India

The ‘Compact with Africa’ (CWA) is the main pillar of a renewed G20 partnership with the continent. Its objective is to attract more private investment to Africa, especially for infrastructure. African countries face the challenge of diversifying their economies and promoting industries and services that can absorb a rapidly growing labour force. Lack of investment and Africa’s massive infrastructure gap are major obstacles to this economic

The G20 in a Post-COVID19 World: Bridging the Skills Gaps
Nov 12, 2020

The G20 in a Post-COVID19 World: Bridging the Skills Gaps

The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the world of work. As new occupations are emerging in this digitised landscape, the skills and competencies required for jobs are evolving as well. This brief examines the skills gaps that persist across the G20 countries, and argues that they will need to adapt their education and training mechanisms to the changing skills requirements. Although nearly all presidencies of the G20 forum have prioritised youth

The gathering storm
Jul 20, 2013

The gathering storm

It is a troubled world that we live in today. However, so far India has been a sea of tranquility and it is too early to say if there is a link between the storm brewing on both flanks, but the security agencies, indeed the entire country, have a task on their hands.

The gathering storm
Jul 20, 2013

The gathering storm

Nuclear weapons, the ultimate symbol of power, are no assurance or guarantees against blowback from religious radicalism. Only when the State decides to put a stop to this and takes a lead against the beliefs and practices of radicalism, will society learn to follow and resist.

The Geoeconomics of Climate Finance
Nov 22, 2021

The Geoeconomics of Climate Finance

The global climate finance architecture tends to restrain emerging economies from mobilising and accessing global private commercial capital for energy transition. This brief explores the different global financial regulations that influence climate capital flows between countries, and argues that institutions must enhance their role in facilitating the optimal allocation of capital. It evaluates the role of Multilateral Development Banks from a

The great disconnect between India and Pakistan
Jun 13, 2019

The great disconnect between India and Pakistan

Taking a lesson from the past, India should resist re-engaging with Pakistan.

The great finance bill trick
Mar 27, 2017

The great finance bill trick

The political funding reforms are an embarrassment to India’s claims of heralding a transparency revolution

The Great Power Game still continues
Feb 02, 2012

The Great Power Game still continues

Closer home, the Great Power Game will be played in the unstable fields of Ayatollahs' Iran, a Talibanised Afghanistan, whose leaders have their own world view, and a Sunni radicalised nuclearised Pakistan. The main contestants will be China and the US and our strategic planners may have to start planning for an uncertain future.

The Green Deal and dealing with partners: EU in dire straits?
Mar 01, 2024

The Green Deal and dealing with partners: EU in dire straits?

While the Green Deal underscores the ‘whole of EU’ approach, it remains to be seen how the EU can adapt its external efforts to ensure a just tran

The growing role of blockchain in Indian governance
Nov 27, 2023

The growing role of blockchain in Indian governance

In a country possessing as vast a landscape and populace as India, blockchain has the potential to completely transform and revolutionize governance,