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Mapping Skills: A Roadmap for India and the UAE
Jul 06, 2020

Mapping Skills: A Roadmap for India and the UAE

The presence of almost nine million Indian nationals in the Gulf region makes India a key source of human capital for the six GCC nations. The majority of these Indians are blue-collar workers engaged in low-paying jobs. As countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) move up the technology ladder, they are increasingly seeking workers with specific, certified skills. This report outlines a pilot project for the mapping, harmonisation and accred

Marine Governance in Asia: A Case for India-ASEAN-South Korea Cooperation
Aug 11, 2023

Marine Governance in Asia: A Case for India-ASEAN-South Korea Cooperation

Maritime Asia is at a crossroad. Growing military activity, and rising non-traditional challenges in the littorals threaten the health of the oceans and the people who depend on them. Asia’s leading maritime powers must engage in a development alliance that can help deliver security and sustainable growth. This brief evaluates the prospects for a partnership between India, South Korea, and ASEAN in the areas of ocean governance, maritime connec

Maritime Security and Development in the South-West Indian Ocean Region: Harnessing India’s Engagement with Small Island Developing States
Jul 21, 2023

Maritime Security and Development in the South-West Indian Ocean Region: Harnessing India’s Engagement with Small Island Developing States

In recent years, the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the South-West Indian Ocean (SWIO) region have emerged as vital security and developmental partners in the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)—thereby gaining prominence in India’s foreign policy priorities. This paper examines India’s bilateral and multilateral engagement with the SIDS of the SWIO region, and argues that India should consider the concerns of the

Migration, river management, radicalisation: What does the future hold for India-Bangladesh relations?
May 12, 2020

Migration, river management, radicalisation: What does the future hold for India-Bangladesh relations?

India and Bangladesh’s relationship has been growing steadily over the past few years, especially since Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to power in January 2009. In 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the relationship as being in its “golden era (Sonali Adhyay).” Indeed, Bangladesh is at the centre of India’s flagship ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies, and has been crucial in ensuring peace

Modi and Buddhism: Between Cultural and Faith-Based Diplomacy
Nov 30, 2015

Modi and Buddhism: Between Cultural and Faith-Based Diplomacy

India has always been shy of adding a religious tint to its foreign policy. In the last decade, however, the aspiring global power began engaging in what has come to be called 'Buddhist diplomacy' in its outreach to countries in the South, East and Southeast Asia. 􀀫e prime minister is diligently pursuing India's 'Buddhist agenda' and taking it beyond its borders, emphasising the Indian and Hindu links with Buddhism. Concurrently, another Asian

Modi and CHOGM 2018: Reimagining the Commonwealth
Aug 20, 2023

Modi and CHOGM 2018: Reimagining the Commonwealth

In an apparent turnaround for Indian foreign policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London in April underscores a change of approach towards a forum generally considered as a non-entity in Indian strategic circles. As a rising power, India is looking at engaging in avenues where its status is recognised, especially during this period of unprecedented global structural ch

Modi and CHOGM 2018: Reimagining the Commonwealth HARSH V. PANTAKSHAY RANADE
Aug 20, 2023

Modi and CHOGM 2018: Reimagining the Commonwealth HARSH V. PANTAKSHAY RANADE

Ties between India and Japan are historical and enduring. In the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC), the leaders of the two countries have married their respective countries’ “Act East” Policy and “Free and Open Indo Pacific” aspirations. The AAGC is envisioned to provide a renewed opportunity for partnership where both regions can complement each other’s development and growth.  The AAGC will bring out the economic gains for Afr

Modi in Mauritius: Renewing a Special Relationship
Mar 10, 2015

Modi in Mauritius: Renewing a Special Relationship

On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit, M. Ganapathi, former High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, analyses India-Mauritius ties and suggests areas of cooperation to further strengthen the relationship.

Money matters: Discussing the economics of the INSTC
Apr 24, 2017

Money matters: Discussing the economics of the INSTC

India, Iran and Russia have decided to begin using the part-ready International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a multimodal network of sea, rail and road routes between India, Iran, Central Asia and Russia. As the broader politics in the region undergo new configurations that may put to question the project’s prospects, and the evolving security situation demands continuous appraisal, it is time to refocus discussion on the economics o

Monitoring India’s Development Partnerships: Recommendations for a Framework of Indicators
Aug 17, 2023

Monitoring India’s Development Partnerships: Recommendations for a Framework of Indicators

Development partnerships between countries are crucial in addressing policy challenges in the developing world. Cooperation between countries in the Global South, in particular—such as those that India engages in, under its Development Partnership Administration (DPA)—is heightening conversations around the demands of sustainability. Yet, India continues to lack an appropriate framework by which to assess its development partnerships

Mukherjee’s Middle East Visit: Setting a New Template?
Sep 13, 2023

Mukherjee’s Middle East Visit: Setting a New Template?

President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel in October wasdifferent for its content and long-term implications. A careful analysis of his statements andspeeches in Amman, Ramallah and Jerusalem indicates a new Indian template for itsengagement with the Middle East. While some of his observations were a reiteration of thetraditional Indian positions since the early 20th century, they also signal a more nuancedapproach to the

Myanmar and the Geopolitics of the Bay of Bengal
Aug 23, 2023

Myanmar and the Geopolitics of the Bay of Bengal

The opening up of Myanmar has added a new strategic value to the Bay of Bengal. Isolated for decades, Myanmar is actively engaging the world's major players in redefining its geopolitical identity today. This has further encouraged naval exchanges, exploration of energy resources and development of connectivity infrastructure in a vital littoral of the Bay. Within this evolving context, this paper attempts to examine the implications of these cha

National Security: The Need for a Doctrine
Feb 10, 2014

National Security: The Need for a Doctrine

Many strategic analysts in India have suggested that the country evolve a national security doctrine to guide its armed forces and governmental system in dealing with matters relating to national security. The Observer Research Foundation took the initiative to examine the issue in its entirety. This report details the outcome of a discussion amongst the country's noted security experts.

Nationalism in Pakistan: Dimensions of Failure
Jul 22, 2023

Nationalism in Pakistan: Dimensions of Failure

Pakistan has for long been grappling with several fundamental problems without any visible signs of overcoming them. Its economic, social and political indicators are amongst the lowest in the world. In its conflicts with India, which it perceives as its sworn enemy, all its tactics have proven to be of insignificant success, as has its intrusive attempts to control Kabul so as to gain strategic depth in Afghanistan. The successive governments' m

NATO vs Russia: क्‍या परमाणु युद्ध की ओर बढ़ रहा है यूक्रेन संकट?
Oct 03, 2022

NATO vs Russia: क्‍या परमाणु युद्ध की ओर बढ़ रहा है यूक्रेन संकट?

नाटो ने भी पुतिन को ललकारा है. NATO का कहना है कि वह एक इंच जमीन भी रूस के पास नहीं रहने देगा. इसके लिए चाहे जिस स्‍तर पर जाना पड़ा. ऐसे में सवाल है कि क्‍या इस युद्ध का रास्‍ता परमा

Nawaz Sharif and India
Jul 17, 2013

Nawaz Sharif and India

Nawaz Sharif's return as the Prime Minister of Pakistan in early June this year marks a signpost from where a more meaningful relationship between India and Pakistan could be forged. The bilateral relationship had of late been mired in mistrust and often meaningless rhetoric. The previous civilian government in Pakistan was paralysed by its own ineptitude. An equally incoherent position in New Delhi has allowed the crucial relationship to drift.

Nepal: Finding a way forward
Jan 25, 2016

Nepal: Finding a way forward

Nepal is no stranger to Constitution drafting, having gone through six such rounds since 1948, with the seventh culminating in September 2015. is recent exercise, however, was unique as it was conducted, for the rst time, without the oversight of the monarchy. Certain populations of Nepali society had specic stakes in a new Constitution. For many of Nepal's marginalised communities such as the Madhes is, for example, the new Constitution oe

North Korea vs America: क्‍या उत्‍तर कोरिया की मिसाइलों की जद में है अमेरिका
Oct 08, 2022

North Korea vs America: क्‍या उत्‍तर कोरिया की मिसाइलों की जद में है अमेरिका

आइए जानते हैं कि उत्‍तर कोरिया के इस मिसाइल परीक्षण का मकसद क्‍या है. क्‍या उसकी मिसाइलों की मारक क्षमता अमेरिका तक है. आखिर उत्‍तर कोरिया अपने मिसाइल परीक्षण से अमेरिका को

Not promoting, not exporting: India’s democracy assistance
Dec 24, 2017

Not promoting, not exporting: India’s democracy assistance

India is commonly — and rightly — considered as a reluctant democracy promoter. But while sceptical about the motives behind Western attempts to promote democracy and about the effects of their democracy promotion efforts, India has since the mid-2000s moved warily to involve itself in “democracy assistance”. This article argues that New Delhi has engaged in these activities in the context of a wider shift in strategy, in parallel with t

Nuclear Developments in Iran: Comprehending the Indian View
Apr 21, 2015

Nuclear Developments in Iran: Comprehending the Indian View

This paper examines Indian policies and decisions on Iran's nuclear programme and reveals a number of critical factors which have influenced New Delhi on this matter in varying degrees.

Nuclear Negotiations with Iran: A Reality Check
Aug 23, 2023

Nuclear Negotiations with Iran: A Reality Check

Nuclear development in Iran has been an issue of great concern, not only to its neighbours in West Asia, but also for the global powers, in the interests of regional and global stability. At present, efforts are being made to find a solution to the crisis. The interim nuclear deal signed between Iran and P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany) on 24 November 2013, and the complementary Framework for Coopera

Nuclear Safety and Regulation in India: The Way Forward
Sep 13, 2023

Nuclear Safety and Regulation in India: The Way Forward

While the regulatory and safety structures of India's civilian nuclear programme have served the country well, they are in need of an upgrade. This paper examines the paths that lie ahead.

Nuclear Security in India: Mapping the Threat Scenario
Sep 23, 2014

Nuclear Security in India: Mapping the Threat Scenario

This Issue Brief analyses the possible nuclear and radiological threats that India could face. It also examines the various ways in which these threats could occur and the likely actors inclined to carry them out.

Nuclear Security: India and the NTI Ranking
Aug 23, 2023

Nuclear Security: India and the NTI Ranking

In light of the 2014 NTI Index which ranks India 23rd out of 25 countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials, this issue brief highlights problem areas in the Index and proposes suggestions for improving the Indian nuclear security regime.

OECD का वैश्विक टैक्स समझौता: भारत पर इसका प्रभाव और आगे की राह
Jun 30, 2022

OECD का वैश्विक टैक्स समझौता: भारत पर इसका प्रभाव और आगे की राह

विकासशील देशों की अर्थव्यवस्थाओं की बेहतरी को केंद्र मे�

Pakistan Elections 2007-2008: Key Players
Jul 28, 2023

Pakistan Elections 2007-2008: Key Players

In November this year, the world will witness one of the most keenly awaited presidential elections in Pakistan with President Pervez Musharraf seeking a second term from the existing parliament without giving up his uniform. A few months later, in early 2008, will follow the general elections for the National Assembly. Contrary to perceptions, the road to re-election may not be smooth. There are chances that the situation in Balochistan and Wazi

Pakistan general elections 2018: Analysis of results and implications
Dec 18, 2018

Pakistan general elections 2018: Analysis of results and implications

n July 2018, Pakistanis voted in what was the third consecutive transfer of power from one civilian government to another in the country’s 71-year history. The elections may be called a success in that winners had been declared. However, the months leading up to the elections demonstrated the power of the military, and its ability to influence election outcomes and control sections of the media. As Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan see

Pakistan General Elections 2018: What’s at Stake?
Jul 17, 2018

Pakistan General Elections 2018: What’s at Stake?

In well-functioning democracies where those who lose elections live to fight another day, the forthcoming general elections in Pakistan is a battle for survival for many of the main political players in the country. To begin with, the brazen intervention by the military establishment in the political process has left the polls little credibility. In many ways, the elections will set the future trajectory of politics in Pakistan. While the deck se

Pakistan: New Generals on the Block
Jul 28, 2023

Pakistan: New Generals on the Block

It is becoming clear even to President Pervez Musharraf, Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan, that he will have to step down sooner than later. This brief discusses three immediate reasons to make such an assumption.

Pakistan’s battered tribal regions set the stage for new Prime Minister
Sep 14, 2018

Pakistan’s battered tribal regions set the stage for new Prime Minister

Pakistan’s new Prime Minister, Imran Khan, faces formidable challenges. For now, the most difficult one may yet be mollifying his restive fellow Pashtuns who have suffered grievously in the Army’s anti-terror operations in the country’s tribal regions.

Pakistan’s sea-based nuclear deterrent and its asymmetric escalation strategy
Aug 21, 2023

Pakistan’s sea-based nuclear deterrent and its asymmetric escalation strategy

This brief situates Pakistan’s pursuit of a sea-based nuclear deterrent within the context of its asymmetric escalation strategy. It does so by examining the role of Pakistan’s land-based tactical nuclear weapons in such strategy, as well as by raising questions about claims that India may be shifting towards a counterforce targeting strategy and thus endangering the survivability of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent. The brief also reviews clai

Pandemic Reopens Contentious Issues in Nepal-India Ties
Jan 12, 2021

Pandemic Reopens Contentious Issues in Nepal-India Ties

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted two features of the Nepal-India economic relationship: Nepal’s ballooning trade deficit, and unrestricted cross-border movement of people of both countries. Attributing the trade deficit entirely to supply-side constraints is neither accurate nor conducive to the overall health of the relationship. This brief suggests ways towards more sustainable trade relations between India and Nepal, among them, India r

Paradiplomacy in India: Evolution and operationalisation
Aug 24, 2017

Paradiplomacy in India: Evolution and operationalisation

Paradiplomacy as it is conducted by sub-state governments introduces the idea of decentralisation of political power to make regional governments prominent actors in the international sphere. This paper examines the scope for subnational diplomacy in India, as the country seeks to appreciate the significance of federalism and regionalism in promoting local interests, as well as identity, in current international politics. Regional governments ope

PLA joint exercises in Tibet: Implications for India
Feb 26, 2020

PLA joint exercises in Tibet: Implications for India

Since 2015, China has been undertaking a thorough restructuring of its military, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. This has involved significant changes in the operational structure of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with the modernisation and optimisation of the military to bring about better jointness and overall efficiency. This paper examines the PLA reforms as they pertain to training and jointness in the Tibet Autonomous R

PM Modi address in SCO: पीएम मोदी के संबोधन से अमेरिका प्रसन्न; चीन को भारत की दो टूक!
Sep 20, 2022

PM Modi address in SCO: पीएम मोदी के संबोधन से अमेरिका प्रसन्न; चीन को भारत की दो टूक!

रूस यूक्रेन युद्ध के बीच शंघाई सहयोग संगठन में आखिर पीएम मोदी ने समरकंद में क्‍या कहा. उनके इस भाषण पर रूस ने क्‍या प्रतिक्रिया दी. इसके क्‍या निहितार्थ हैं. मोदी के इस संबोध

Political opposition in Russia in 2018: Composition, challenges and prospects
Aug 21, 2023

Political opposition in Russia in 2018: Composition, challenges and prospects

Russia recently witnessed the re-election of its long-serving president. A constitutionally mandated term limit suggests this would be Vladimir Putin’s last presidential term. As Russia enters a period of power transition, it is likely that a number of political actors will become relevant during this phase. This brief looks at the groups that form the opposition—those operating within the formal institutions and the major players outside it�

Post-Election Challenges for the New Government in Kabul
Aug 23, 2023

Post-Election Challenges for the New Government in Kabul

This issue brief explores the prospects and problems for the new government in Afghanistan with respect to: the two new leaders and their respective positions; the Taliban; and the regional countries China, India, Iran and Pakistan.

Power and transformation: Jayantanuja Bandyopadhyaya’s hybrid International Relations theory
Aug 20, 2023

Power and transformation: Jayantanuja Bandyopadhyaya’s hybrid International Relations theory

This brief explores the work of the Bengali diplomat and academic Jayantanuja Bandyopadhyaya, whose book, The Making of Indian Foreign Policy (1970) is considered a classic in Indian scholarship in International Relations. It analyses Bandyopadhyaya’s distinctive contribution to IR theory, especially his attempt to craft a “hybrid” approach derived from Gandhi and Mao, on the one hand, and behavouralist systems theories, on the other. It

Preserving National Security, the Xi Jinping Way
Aug 11, 2023

Preserving National Security, the Xi Jinping Way

China's assessment of its threat environment has evolved under President Xi Jinping, who underscores the imperative of bolstering traditional and non-traditional security. The Chinese Communist Party believes that inimical forces will attempt to overthrow it by penetrating the ideological sphere. Additionally, following the tumultuous presidential succession in the US in 2021, China has sought to cast doubts on the virtues of democracy, and is le

Qatar’s Stakes in an Evolving West Asia
Aug 17, 2023

Qatar’s Stakes in an Evolving West Asia

In November 2022, Qatar will become the first state in West Asia and the Arab world to host the coveted FIFA football World Cup. Doha’s winning the hosting rights has brought the country—home to only 2.9 million people, more than eight out of every ten of whom are foreign workers—out of the shadow of its large, and more powerful regional neighbours such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This brief views thi

Re-examining India’s Nuclear Doctrine
Jul 08, 2015

Re-examining India’s Nuclear Doctrine

This paper follows the proceedings of a workshop organised by ORF in August 2014 to re-examine India's nuclear doctrine. The workshop explored the challenges posed to India by Pakistan's introduction of battlefield nuclear weapons or Tactical Nuclear Weapons (TNWs), New Delhi's interest in acquiring a Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system, and the growing threat perception from China.

Realism in the study of International Relations in India
Aug 21, 2023

Realism in the study of International Relations in India

Attempts to arrive at a non-Western understanding of International Relations have often been made to counter the “hegemonising” influence of realism in the Indian milieu. This brief examines realist scholarship in India in recent years to understand what variants of realism have been given prominence. It also notes the absence of scholarship of the neoclassical realist variant and how this gap leads critics to arrive at an incomplete understa

Rebooting the Indian Army: A Doctrinal Approach to Force Restructuring
Feb 03, 2021

Rebooting the Indian Army: A Doctrinal Approach to Force Restructuring

The ongoing conflict on the Sino-Indian border has highlighted the need for structural reforms in the Indian Army. This paper examines the impact of the Joint Doctrine of Indian Armed Forces, 2017 (JDIAF) and the Indian Army’s Land Warfare Doctrine, 2018 (LWD) on the development of the Indian Army’s tactical concepts, organisational structures, and the weapons and equipment profile. It discusses the importance of formulating a formal National