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Recommendations on Arms Procurement Reforms in India
Sep 25, 2012

Recommendations on Arms Procurement Reforms in India

The Observer Research Foundation's programme on Defence Procurement Reforms, following a seminar organised in May, 2012, has now moved to the second stage of identifying initiatives that can be taken in the executive and legislative branches. This Paper presents practical recommendations to improve capacities and decision-making methodologies in India's arms procurement system.

Regional Integration in West Africa: The Evolution of ECOWAS
Dec 05, 2015

Regional Integration in West Africa: The Evolution of ECOWAS

The paradox of the African continent is that it is resource-rich but remains poor in many parts. Has regional integration improved economic performance and does it pave the way to a better future? This paper examines West African integration--its evolution, the successes it has scored and the challenges that remain.

Regulating AI in Public Health: Systems Challenges and Perspectives
Jul 27, 2020

Regulating AI in Public Health: Systems Challenges and Perspectives

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly proliferating the healthcare landscape and has immense promise for improving health outcomes in a resource-constrained setting like India. With emerging technology still finding its footing in the healthcare industry in the country, there are systemic roadblocks to hurdle before AI can be made transformative up to the last mile of public health. AI also carries immense challenges for India’s mostly t

Resolving the India-China Boundary Dispute: Incentivising Cooperation, Enlarging Bargaining Space and Promoting Constructive Strategies
May 25, 2012

Resolving the India-China Boundary Dispute: Incentivising Cooperation, Enlarging Bargaining Space and Promoting Constructive Strategies

Pessimism towards a foreseeable settlement of the India-China border dispute is not unfounded. At the political level, there is a "trust deficit" which impedes cooperation. Despite the existence of multi-tiered mechanisms to facilitate resolution, there has hardly been any progress on the issue in recent years. This paper identifies the obstacles and explores how a peaceful settlement of the India-China border dispute could be arrived at in the f

Responding to China’s rise: Japan and India as champions for the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific
Aug 24, 2017

Responding to China’s rise: Japan and India as champions for the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific

The Indo-Pacific region is experiencing profound geo-strategic re-alignments. Post-war norms are being challenged by a rising China that is unconstrained by the established legal, economic and diplomatic order. These changes come at a time of growing uncertainty over US commitments to both its regional allies and a liberal international trade regime. In the absence of American leadership, the only formidable and practical alternative is the emerg

Resurgence of Al-Qaeda in South Asia Post-US Drawdown
Jul 10, 2015

Resurgence of Al-Qaeda in South Asia Post-US Drawdown

An examination of the prospects for al-Qaeda following the US drawdown in Afghanistan and the likely threats which the region, and India in particular, might face in the future. A supplementary scrutiny of ISIS, and the group's possible expansion in the region, is also proffered.

Rethinking China’s non-market economy status beyond 2016
Jul 24, 2023

Rethinking China’s non-market economy status beyond 2016

The effect of the 15th anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the expiry of several provisions of its WTO Accession Protocol was the object of heated debate between major trading partners in 2016. Yet the question of China’s graduation to the market-economy status, and its implications on the anti-dumping investigations in the importing countries, remains. This paper explores the divergent legal interpretat

Rethinking the relevance of existing credit rating agencies to BRICS
May 24, 2017

Rethinking the relevance of existing credit rating agencies to BRICS

Global growth is expected to experience an uptick this year due to renewed economic activity in the emerging and developing market economies. These economies have large investment requirements for infrastructure development and maintaining a sustainable level of economic growth—for which they are dependent on international credit markets. With the growing need of economies to borrow capital abroad, the role of credit rating agencies—most of t

Royal Succession in Saudi Arabia: Challenges before the Desert Kingdom
Feb 11, 2015

Royal Succession in Saudi Arabia: Challenges before the Desert Kingdom

With a new king in power, this paper looks at royal politics in Saudi Arabia and identifies topical domestic and regional challenges from the Saudi perspective.

Rules-Based Maritime Security in Asia: A View from New Delhi
Aug 17, 2020

Rules-Based Maritime Security in Asia: A View from New Delhi

The Rules-Based Order (RBO) underpins the global maritime trading and security system. A subject of growing discussion and debate in strategic studies circles, it is seen by many as a prerequisite for seaborne trade and commerce, and a crucial factor in formulating national security policy. While many Asian powers have a shared understanding of the principles of maritime conduct, regional states have tended to situate the RBO within the framework

Russia’s Demographic trajectory: dimensions and implications
Jul 24, 2023

Russia’s Demographic trajectory: dimensions and implications

Demographic trends in Russia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 have largely been unfavourable. Deaths exceeded births for the first time in 1992, and a period of negative growth followed which continued unabated until 2012 when marginal growth was achieved for the first time in two decades. This paper studies the demographic patterns in Russia since 1991, which are unique for several reasons. While population decline is common amo

Russia’s Relations in Southeast Asia since 2014: Continuity and Change
Aug 20, 2020

Russia’s Relations in Southeast Asia since 2014: Continuity and Change

This paper outlines the development of Russia’s relations with the countries of Southeast Asia, focusing on the years after 2014. As relations with the West reached a new post-Cold War low, Moscow has intensified its efforts at building stronger ties with the East. The paper deals with the impact of these developments on the state of its political, economic and defense engagement in Southeast Asia, both bilaterally and multilaterally. It will s

SDGs and Structural Vulnerabilities: The Case of BIMSTEC Countries
Feb 21, 2022

SDGs and Structural Vulnerabilities: The Case of BIMSTEC Countries

This paper studies the case of the countries of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) to investigate if progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) plays an instrumental role in addressing structural vulnerabilities. It finds that it does. Despite improvements in certain SDGs such as increasing per-capita income levels, improving healthcare, and providing universal

Securing property rights in India through distributed ledger technology
Jul 24, 2023

Securing property rights in India through distributed ledger technology

India registered rapid economic growth over the past couple of years, with the GDP growing 7.6 percent in 2015-2016. While economic activity remains buoyant, however, the country still has a long way to go. The government must capitalise on the current economic momentum and use it to accelerate its reform agenda. One of the areas requiring regulatory attention is the property market. Despite a push for reform through the Digital India Land Record

Securing Sea Lines of Communication in Asia
Jul 17, 2023

Securing Sea Lines of Communication in Asia

The Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) in the Indo-Pacific are a critical enabler of economic development and prosperity in the region but receive little policy attention. In an era of geopolitical contestation, with regional powers reluctant to exert military effort in preserving exclusive access in ‘contested’ spaces, joint military endeavours remain largely confined to non-traditional areas of security. The COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukr

Securing Two Oceans: Bolstering India-Australia Defence Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific
Jul 21, 2023

Securing Two Oceans: Bolstering India-Australia Defence Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

Countries such as India and Australia are redefining their Indo-Pacific policies amidst the growing belligerence of China in the region. The two have a common interest in stability, while standing firmly against any militarisation. Their willingness to partner closely with like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific lays the foundation for stronger defence and security cooperation between the two middle-power democracies and Indian Ocean li

Sino-Indian Border Deadlock: Time to rewrite India playbook
Aug 31, 2020

Sino-Indian Border Deadlock: Time to rewrite India playbook

India’s border dispute with China, which goes back to the 1950s, primarily owes to the absence of an internationally accepted boundary between them, and of an agreement on where runs the Line of Actual Control. The border, as a result, is patrolled and managed by the military forces of both sides. After initial efforts to resolve the dispute failed, the two sides signed a set of agreements aimed at stabilising the LAC and normalising their rela

Small Satellites for India’s Security: A Techno-Entrepreneurial View
Jan 25, 2016

Small Satellites for India’s Security: A Techno-Entrepreneurial View

The past decade has witnessed the proliferation of small satellite technology in various domains including the military, academe and commerce. is paper explores the idea of utilising small satellites technology (of the order weighing less than 150kg) for specic aspects of India's space security interests. It will describe some of the programmes and missions of global leaders in space security, and examine specic applications of small satellite te

Social Media and Political Leaders: An Exploratory Analysis
Jul 21, 2023

Social Media and Political Leaders: An Exploratory Analysis

Politicians have always used the media to communicate with the electorate. What makes social media unique is the scale, speed, and minimal cost at which leaders can do this task. This paper analyses the relationship between political leaders and the microblogging site, Twitter. It provides a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the use of Twitter by two contemporary Indian political leaders—Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. It describ

Solving India’s Nuclear Liability Conundrum
Jan 22, 2015

Solving India’s Nuclear Liability Conundrum

This Paper offers a broad and objective analysis on the controversial issue of 'uclear liability', India's concerns and provides a recommendation for a coherent and comprehensive approach to resolve this conundrum.

Somalian Piracy: An Alternative Perspective
Nov 10, 2010

Somalian Piracy: An Alternative Perspective

The tendency of nation States to attempt solving the problem of modern piracy exclusively through the employment of their naval and military might is a flawed effort and has, more often than not, proved unsuccessful. At best, it has resulted in a temporary suppression of the problem that has inevitably re-manifested itself at a later stage.

South Africa, the Indian Ocean and the IBSA-BRICS equation Reflections on Geopolitical and Strategic Dimension
Dec 25, 2011

South Africa, the Indian Ocean and the IBSA-BRICS equation Reflections on Geopolitical and Strategic Dimension

This Paper analyses South Africa's position as a member of both BRICS and IBSA, especially the broader strategic implications arising out of its membership of the two organisations.

Statehood or Autonomy: Rethinking Governance in India’s Capital
Oct 30, 2015

Statehood or Autonomy: Rethinking Governance in India’s Capital

Delhi, India's national capital, has long been the subject of a quandary: Should it be granted full statehood, or maximum autonomy commensurate with its megalopolis status? is paper takes a tour of select national capitals to understand how other nations have arranged their governance and handled competing jurisdictions and functions. Lessons are drawn from this examination of other capitals, and recommendations are put forth towards a more sensi

Strengthening the C4ISR capabilities of India’s Armed Forces: The Role of Small Satellites
Jun 15, 2020

Strengthening the C4ISR capabilities of India’s Armed Forces: The Role of Small Satellites

Small satellites have gained considerable importance in recent years. Although small spacecraft have existed for decades, their military applications have recently gained prominence owing to technological advances in their development and integration into the armed services of the major spacefaring countries across the world. This paper analyses the significance of small satellites in the C4ISR capabilities of the three service branches of the In

Strengthening the Online Education Ecosystem in India
Nov 18, 2020

Strengthening the Online Education Ecosystem in India

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the formal schooling system in India, as it has across the globe, causing massive pressure on the online education sector. This paper analyses the state of digitalised education in India. It outlines current government guidelines on digital-mode schooling, and uses the case of Maharashtra’s five-year-old efforts at digitalising government schools to gauge preparedness for implementing the guidelines. It highl

Subregional Security Cooperation: An Exploratory Study of India’s Approach
Sep 14, 2020

Subregional Security Cooperation: An Exploratory Study of India’s Approach

Subregional economic cooperation has become a prioritised agenda in India’s neighbourhood policy. Policymakers and scholars increasingly conceptualise subregions in the neighbourhood to promote economic and connectivity cooperation. However, the subregional notion is rarely discussed in the context of security cooperation. This raises an important question regarding the subregional approach, or its lack thereof, in building security cooperation

Surgical Strikes and Deterrence-Stability in South Asia
Jun 24, 2017

Surgical Strikes and Deterrence-Stability in South Asia

Indian announcement of having conducted surgical strikes across the de-facto border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir has major implications for deterrence-stability in South Asia. New Delhi has sought to devise a military strategy to respond to Pakistan’s sub-conventional war that does not lead to escalation of conflict to nuclear levels and collapse of nuclear deterrence. This paper analyses India’s surgical strikes of September 2016, thei

Sweden’s ‘Soft’ COVID19 Strategy: An Appraisal
Jul 20, 2020

Sweden’s ‘Soft’ COVID19 Strategy: An Appraisal

Many countries imposed stringent lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sweden, however, adopted a ‘soft’ approach of self-imposed social precautions without state regulation. This evoked extensive criticism within and outside the country, especially in view of its high death rates in comparison to its Nordic neighbours. The Swedish government, however, has been steadfast with its strategy. As countries emerge from lockdowns and begi

The 2015 India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement: Identifying constraints and exploring possibilities in Cooch Behar
Jul 24, 2017

The 2015 India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement: Identifying constraints and exploring possibilities in Cooch Behar

The border between India and Bangladesh—highly crucial to their bilateral relationship—has always been difficult to manage given, for one, its sheer length. The most important bilateral initiative between Bangladesh and India may yet be the attempt to resolve the longstanding border dispute that arose after the Partition of 1947, by means of the 2015 Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) and the exchange of enclaves (chhitmahals) and adverse possessi

The African Continental Free Trade Area: Opportunities for India
Jul 21, 2023

The African Continental Free Trade Area: Opportunities for India

Unlike in other regions of the world, the value of intra-Africa trade has remained low over the years. Moreover, Africa accounts for just 2 percent of global trade. In 2021, African countries launched the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which aims to create a single African market for the free movement of goods, services, labour, and capital, and increase intra-African trade. AfCFTA may be able to provide Indian firms and in

The Australia-India-Japan-US Quadrilateral: Dissecting the China Factor
Aug 10, 2020

The Australia-India-Japan-US Quadrilateral: Dissecting the China Factor

This paper analyses the domestic compulsions in Australia, India, Japan and the US that are influencing their positions on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad). The paper notes that as the four countries are becoming increasingly aware of the risks posed by China’s rise over the last few years, they have sought to converge to the Quad. For Australia, the concerns are over trade dependency on China, and China’s sharp power projection and

The Bangladesh Army: Documenting its Corporate Interests
Nov 24, 2010

The Bangladesh Army: Documenting its Corporate Interests

Little is known and even less understood about the 2,00,000-strong Bangladesh Army's corporate interests. The importance of the subject owes itself to the fact that the army has been a veritable power of stability in a country that has been dogged by decades of unending political turmoil. The fact that the Army had to step in to keep the country from slipping into a political abyss in 2006 underlines the criticality of its role in providing stabi

The Blue Economy: Charting a New Development Path in the Seychelles
Aug 13, 2020

The Blue Economy: Charting a New Development Path in the Seychelles

The Seychelles’ geographical advantages have given it economic gains from its main Blue Economy (BE) sectors—fisheries and tourism. However, overexploitation and unsustainable management practices have placed undue pressure on these resources. In 2018, the country conceived a sustainable ocean-based development pathway—the Seychelles’ Blue Economy Strategic Framework and Roadmap. Various socio-economic and environmental challenges threate

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 Global Trade Regime and Emergence of Mega FTAs: Strategy for India’s External Sector Sustainability
Jan 12, 2015

The Changing Global Trade Regime and Emergence of Mega FTAs: Strategy for India’s External Sector Sustainability

This study discusses three major mega free trade agreements (the TPP, TTIP and the RCEP) and attempts to develop a strategy for India to navigate the repercussions engendered by these groupings and thereby safeguard India?s trade and sustain its economic growth.

The Dance of the Elephant and the Dragon: The Promise and Perils of Sino-Indian Relations
May 18, 2015

The Dance of the Elephant and the Dragon: The Promise and Perils of Sino-Indian Relations

Why is it that despite sharing significant commonalities, India and China remain trapped in a relationship that projects them as inevitable rivals? This paper examines the promise of these bilateral relations and attempts to sound the death knell to the old narrative.

The Dynamics of LTTE’S Commercial Maritime Infrastructure
Jun 04, 2005

The Dynamics of LTTE’S Commercial Maritime Infrastructure

This paper examines the maritime infrastructure of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)--tracing the history of the development of its maritime organisation, infrastructure and strategy. The paper focuses on the salience of sea power as perceived by a violent non-state actor and provides a perspective on how non-state actors employ sea power in asymmetric conflicts

The Eastern Corridor and the Law of the Sea: Ensuring Sea-Lane Security
Dec 01, 2020

The Eastern Corridor and the Law of the Sea: Ensuring Sea-Lane Security

The Eastern Corridor is a crucial highway for global trade flows, where any disruption could severely affect the global economy. The route comprises some of the world’s most vulnerable Sea Lanes of Communication (SCLOs), with potential flashpoints such as the South China Sea. For years, these SLOCs have been characterised by tensions in South Asia and Southeast Asia; the more recent years are seeing a heightening of both intent and capacity for

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 India-China Border Question: An Analysis of International Law and State Practices
Dec 16, 2020

The India-China Border Question: An Analysis of International Law and State Practices

Over the years, India has attempted to find political as well as legal solutions to its border dispute with China; these efforts have met with little success. This paper argues that the reason a resolution to the India–China border issue remains elusive is the inadequate understanding—and enforcement—of International Law. It examines the sustainability of China’s position, as well as its general approach to International Law, its interpre

The Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative: Towards a Coherent Indo-Pacific Policy for India
Dec 23, 2020

The Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative: Towards a Coherent Indo-Pacific Policy for India

The Indo-Pacific region is increasingly being viewed as a global centre of gravity, both for its economic and demographic potential, and the security challenges that could frustrate those possibilities. India—as a champion of the principle of ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ or FOIP—has initiated engagements with its partners in the region, such as the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) that aims to ensure the security and stability of the

The Kashmir that India Lost: An Analysis of India’s Post-1980s Policy on Gilgit Baltistan
Jul 21, 2023

The Kashmir that India Lost: An Analysis of India’s Post-1980s Policy on Gilgit Baltistan

This paper dissects the history and politics of Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), from the 1980s to the present day. It analyses the policies implemented by Pakistani leaders in the region and how successive political parties have attempted to justify Pakistan’s administrative control of it while disregarding any democratic, secular or moral principles in the ruling of its supposed subjects. The pap

The Paradox of ‘Centralised Federalism’: An Analysis of the Challenges to India’s Federal Design
Sep 17, 2020

The Paradox of ‘Centralised Federalism’: An Analysis of the Challenges to India’s Federal Design

The Indian model of federalism may be one of the most interesting typologies in the world, characterised as it is by a paradox, to begin with: that of being a “centralised federalism.” This paper provides a temporal framework in the discourse on Indian federalism by outlining the history of the country’s federal structure in four different time periods, from the birth of the Indian republic to these contemporary times. It shows how the prev

The PIE Index 2020-21: Measuring the Health of Primary and Secondary Education Systems in India
Jul 20, 2023

The PIE Index 2020-21: Measuring the Health of Primary and Secondary Education Systems in India

Education in India is compulsory and free for primary and middle school, yet about 20 percent of children aged 6-14 remain absent. Analysts offer various explanations for India’s continued challenges in ensuring universal basic education, including lack of access to schools and poor educational environment. In this context, an index measuring the health of the early education system can be a valuable tool. This paper devises a Performance, Infr