“Build strong National Defence and powerful Armed Forces that are commensurate with China’s international standing and meet the need of its security and development interests is a strategic task of China’s modernisation drive.
-President Hu Jintao At the 18th National Congress of CPC March 2013.
Perhaps no other head of Indian state has displayed such a keen and well informed interest in space activities as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The worst fears about Afghanistan appear to be coming true. For more than a year now, there was a virtual consensus, not just in the international community but also within Afghanistan, that the future of the country was critically dependent on a credible presidential election in 2014. So much so that the prospects for relatively smooth security and economic transition was also contingent on an orderly political transition from President Karzai to his successor.
The world is in a state of continuing flux. The economies of the major powers are still fragile and vulnerabilities exist in those of the bigger emerging powers in the Asia-Pacific like China and India. The balance of power is concurrently undergoing a shift with competing focal points of power surfacing in the East. The fragile nature has been accentuated in the past few years with Beijing’s accelerated push for recognition as the dominant power in the Asia-Pacific. This is resisted by the US, Japan and India and has made South East Asian countries nervous.
India-US relations need to be put back on track. The relationship has lost steam in recent months with many contentious issues surfacing that remain unaddressed. We have now to see whether with the change of government in Delhi a new start can be made. The 5th India-US strategic dialogue on July 31 will provide an occasion to review the state of our bilateral ties. The composition of the US delegation indicates the subjects the US side intends emphasizing.
Children have been an exploited class in India, not only on account of age but also on account of the way our economy functions in the informal sector, as also the caste system which discouraged education for large sections of the community and virtually forced the children into the labour market at a very young age.
The Economic Times published on 11th July, 2014 carries the headlines “Narendra Modi aims for goal, hits crossbar”. This newspaper and some others, not to mention the Opposition have
The Pakistan army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb(sharp and cutting), its much delayed ground offensive against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in North Waziristan, on June 15, 2014. Since then, the army claims to have killed 386 TTP and Uzbek terrorists, including the mastermind of the twin terrorist attacks on Karachi airport on June 9th and 10th, while 20 soldiers have lost their lives. Approximately 600,000 civilian inhabitants have had to leave their homes and join the swelling numbers of IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Pakistan.
After evaluating the emerging strategic environment in the neighbourhood and beyond, Prime Minister Narendra Modi preferred to visit Bhutan first and thereafter Japan. While the visit to Bhutan underscored his understanding of the crucial strategic importance of Bhutan to India and the need to correct the drift in relationship which had crept in during the UPA’s tenure, Modi’s forthcoming visit to Japan is expected to bring in a paradigm shift in the nature of relationship between the two nations.