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The drift to a national security state
Aug 03, 2013

The drift to a national security state

Ensuring national security is an important attribute of a modern nation-state. But as the erstwhile Soviet Union realised, the threats to the state these days do not come from orthodox sources. And looking at India with its nuclear weapons and huge armies, it is even more difficult to believe that any combination of external and internal threats can actually pose an existential challenge to the nation.

The Earthquake: A Tragedy and an Opportunity
Oct 15, 2005

The Earthquake: A Tragedy and an Opportunity

Fifty-six years after the ceasefire line was drawn between the Indian and Pakistan occupied Kashmir, the underlying seismic fault lines have made a mockery of this line. This map delineation, which was renamed as Line of Control after the 1971 Indo Pak war, has gone out of control, at least temporarily, by the fury of the nature when the earthquake struck this area on 8 October.

The easter bombings in Sri Lanka foreshadow a regional challenge
Apr 24, 2019

The easter bombings in Sri Lanka foreshadow a regional challenge

The shocking Easter Day terror attacks in Sri Lanka underscore a regional problem.

The Eastern Situation in Sri Lanka
Jun 30, 2004

The Eastern Situation in Sri Lanka

The situation in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka is getting messier by the moment with twists and turns in the script has made it that much more difficult for all the actors in the ¿peace process¿.

The economic crisis in Nepal: Is it going to be the next Sri Lanka?
Feb 16, 2023

The economic crisis in Nepal: Is it going to be the next Sri Lanka?

Before the situation worsens, those in power must take urgent pragmatic measures to revamp the ailing economy

The emergence of the New Development Bank
Jul 25, 2014

The emergence of the New Development Bank

The BRICS' National Development Bank is not trying to replace the IMF-World Bank. It will play a complementary role, catering to the needs of developing countries.

The emerging markets conundrum
Feb 17, 2014

The emerging markets conundrum

As the EMEs grow and mature, they can no longer rely on export-driven, credit-fuelled growth and must look inward to initiate deep seated structural reforms and modify their path to economic prosperity. There is a need for effective governance and strong leadership to restore the lost pride of emerging markets.

The Energy Challenge
Sep 21, 2011

The Energy Challenge

First let me say how pleased I am to be here. The Observer Research Foundation has a strong track record of building partnerships between business and policy makers, and generating innovative thinking on how to tackle the major challenges of our times.

The EU-India FTA Negotiations: Leading to an Agreement or Disagreement?
Feb 25, 2012

The EU-India FTA Negotiations: Leading to an Agreement or Disagreement?

After a brief discussion on the uneasy relationship between Regional Trade Agreements and the WTO, the implications of the “deep” integration that the EU is seeking with India are discussed, and the respective positions, interests and concerns of the partners in the long drawn out negotiations are examined. The challenges for India in plunging into such “deep” territory, unprecedented in its history of bilateral or multilateral negotiatio

The European Union as a security actor: View from India
Jan 15, 2015

The European Union as a security actor: View from India

What is a security actor and how is it different from being a great or major power? In many ways, this question is central to understanding the lack of appreciation of the European Union as an actor in the security arena in India and certainly in some other parts of Asia.

The European Union, CAI, and the abyss
Jan 02, 2021

The European Union, CAI, and the abyss

The CAI — despite Ursula von der Leyen’s claim that it will help the EU defend multilateralism — is not multilateral at all. It is a bilateral d

The EU’s Economic Security Strategy update: Ready for a new era?
Apr 06, 2024

The EU’s Economic Security Strategy update: Ready for a new era?

The recent update released by the EU on its Economic Security Strategy is aimed at positioning it as a geopolitical as well as a geoeconomic bloc

The evidence on Syria is thin
Sep 03, 2013

The evidence on Syria is thin

Like about the Loch Ness Monster, we have only heard that the West has proof of the Assad regime using chemical weapons. But we've seen no credible testimony. For all one knows, it may have been the rebels' doing to instigate a US military response.

The extent of China’s soft power in South Asia
Jul 11, 2020

The extent of China’s soft power in South Asia

Soft power in South Asia has ushered a fear of retaliation; negative impacts such as debt traps appear less threatening to these countries than turnin

The F-16s and India-Pakistan-USA Relations
Apr 01, 2005

The F-16s and India-Pakistan-USA Relations

Fifteen years ago, the USA had promised to sell F-16s to Pakistan. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, the company manufacturing the aircraft, took the necessary advance for it. Then there were sudden changes in the global and regional strategic environment. The Jehadi war in Afghanistan got over and Pakistan started diverting Jehadism into Jammu and Kashmir. The Cold war also was over.

The fallacy of Govt's tobacco taxation
Jul 09, 2014

The fallacy of Govt's tobacco taxation

The skewed tobacco taxation policy, far removed from a reality based understanding of the tobacco consumption and economics, is not helping the government achieve any goals. It is perhaps due to either a strong lobby, or the desire to protect 36 million beedi workers or just bad strategy.

The false debate on India's energy consumption
Nov 10, 2015

The false debate on India's energy consumption

Despite having among the largest coal reserves in the world, India lags far behind in consumption. The average Indian's coal consumption is around 20% that of the US citizen, and 34% of the average OECD citizen.

The faraway neighbour
Jul 17, 2013

The faraway neighbour

Recent developments in Bhutan reflect India's growing foreign policy challenges in the Neighbourhood. They are a reminder that many of the traditional assumptions of India's regional policy are no longer sustainable.

The fiasco that need not have been
Mar 10, 2010

The fiasco that need not have been

What Salman Bashir did was a scaled down version of what Musharraf did at the India Today Conclave a year ago in New Delhi and much more scaled down version of his antics at the Agra Summit. It should have been déjà vu.

The final burial of non-alignment
Nov 17, 2015

The final burial of non-alignment

India, which clung to non-alignment as its international identity since Independence, had little inclination for defence diplomacy. But now New Delhi is slowly moving away from a fastidious avoidance of military partnerships in the past to making security cooperation an important part of India's foreign relations now.

The flashpoint of South China Sea: Implications for India
Aug 03, 2012

The flashpoint of South China Sea: Implications for India

The age-old Chinese dictum of hiding one's capabilities and strategically biding time for an opportune moment seems to be fast eroding to make way for aggressive posturing by the Chinese especially in the South China Sea.

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 four pillars of a safe city
Mar 20, 2013

The four pillars of a safe city

Defining safety in urban spaces as just one of physical protection is self-defeating as it presupposes the existence of only reactive action. The construction of safety in sheer physical terms reduces, and often completely eliminates, the possibility of proactive action.

The Fourth Trilateral Summit in Northeast Asia on a Mature Track
May 27, 2011

The Fourth Trilateral Summit in Northeast Asia on a Mature Track

On the sidelines of the trilateral Northeast Asian Summit in Tokyo, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak visited some of the worst affected areas in Fukushima and freely moved with the victims and publicly tasted vegetables and fruits to dispel the public fear about radiation.

The futility of the New Silk Route
May 01, 2012

The futility of the New Silk Route

A New Silk Road is magical thinking, given that Afghanistan remains a hotbed of instability plagued by daunting challenges. Lack of security has already delayed Tapi, the natural gas pipeline linking Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The future is in urban India: Talbott
Sep 20, 2006

The future is in urban India: Talbott

India is witnessing a phenomenal increase in urbanisation and it is essential that this process is studied and analysed thoroughly to provide for a better quality of life, said Mr. Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution, while formally releasing ORF Mumbai Vision 2015: Agenda for Urban Renewal, published by Observer Research Foundation in ORF Mumbai on September 20.

The future of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
Oct 17, 2014

The future of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

SCO members need to take a two-track approach to make it a successful regional grouping. At the macro level, it must forge a common vision and mutual trust with similar groupings such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization. At a micro level, bilateral and regional issues between member states need to be addressed.

The G-2 dilemma
Jun 11, 2013

The G-2 dilemma

The greatest impact of changing Sino-US relations will be on Asia, a primary theatre of interest for India. Beyond the simultaneous engagement with America and China, Delhi needs to deepen its partnership with its Asian friends and partners and raise India's own profile in the region.

The G20 and the role of Public Development Banks in fostering sustainable agri-food systems
Oct 31, 2022

The G20 and the role of Public Development Banks in fostering sustainable agri-food systems

The G20 will need to deliver on its collaborative commitment to accelerate the investment momentum in our agri-food systems in order to build sustaina

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 Digital Agenda: Cross-Presidency Priorities
Nov 24, 2023

The G20 Digital Agenda: Cross-Presidency Priorities

The G20 Digital Agenda: Cross-Presidency Priorities white paper, co-authored by the World Economic Forum and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), underscores the importance of a cohesive digital strategy within the G20.

The G7 is one part of India’s pursuit of a multipolar world
Jul 01, 2022

The G7 is one part of India’s pursuit of a multipolar world

At a time when the world order is intensely polarised, India remains one of the few nations which can engage with both the G-7 and BRICS in a matter of days with élan.

The Game of chess
Nov 11, 2003

The Game of chess

Moves and counter-moves in Indo-Pak relations, like in a game of chess, continue to leave the actors in a mood to fight further. However, unlike in a game of chess, no endgame seems to be in the offing. This vicious circle of moves, counter moves, stalemate, warmongering, dialogues and so on is a direct impact of a precarious lack of an ultimate solution to the basic issue in Indo-Pak relations.

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 General is helpless
Aug 03, 2005

The General is helpless

Two immediate observations can be made from Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's address to the nation on July 22, 2005. One, he is not willing to take strong and decisive action against extremist and terrorist groups in Pakistan. Two, he cannot take such an action.

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 geoeconomics of climate finance
Nov 12, 2021

The geoeconomics of climate finance

Structural changes need to be brought to allow different financial sectors to invest in the green future of developing nations.

The geopolitics of China's new energy route
Jun 20, 2013

The geopolitics of China's new energy route

China's new gas pipelines from Myanmar will provide an alternative route for Beijing to import energy supplies. This is important for China given US maritime supremacy in the region. But the strategic advantage that Beijing gains out of the pipelines in the long-term depends on developments inside Myanmar and China's relations with it.

The geopolitics of de-risking from China: Is India in for a win?
Feb 02, 2024

The geopolitics of de-risking from China: Is India in for a win?

As major economies attempt to de-risk from China, India can make the most of this opportunity by attracting global economic investments in varied sect

The Global Gateway and BRI Forums: Few similarities, striking differences
Nov 14, 2023

The Global Gateway and BRI Forums: Few similarities, striking differences

While the BRI faces resistance from some countries, the GG forum has yet to establish itself. On balance, all these initiatives are bound to coexist i

The Global Gateway in Africa: Europe’s foray into infrastructure diplomacy
Jan 06, 2024

The Global Gateway in Africa: Europe’s foray into infrastructure diplomacy

Given the dearth of natural resources, all major powers are intensifying their collaboration with African countries and investing in infrastructure an

The Global War Against Terrorism: A Progress Report
Feb 23, 2005

The Global War Against Terrorism: A Progress Report

The idea was to capture the different dimensions of the war on terror as has been perceived and to locate the war in the larger geo political context in order to appreciate and understand the consequences, according to Dr Ashley Tellis, a well-known senior US policy analyst.

The Global War against Terrorism: Are We Safer Today?
May 26, 2004

The Global War against Terrorism: Are We Safer Today?

There has rarely been a period in modern history, when the world has not been confronted with terrorism; somewhere or the other, in some form or another, for some reason or the other. As a mean of coercion through violence, terrorism ebbs and flows and keeps undergoing many mutations.