Vivek : Issues & Options

Modi’s Visit to Nepal: An Assessment

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kathmandu from November 25-27 to participate in the 18th SAARC Summit. Though the visit was primarily for a multi-lateral event,the summit meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), it had a significant bilateral component as well. This paper aims to focus on this aspect in the context of its impact on the overall Indo-Nepal relations.

An Agenda for India’s new Defence Minister

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed Mr. Manohar Parrikar as India’s new Defence Minister. The Minister will require all his management skills to set the right priorities for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the armed forces. He will need to lead from the front and work closely with the leadership of the armed forces, the bureaucracy and his counterparts in the other ministries to put defence preparedness back on the rails and give a fillip to the stalled process of military modernisation.

India and Russia: Putin Visit to Boost Ties

The India-Russia Strategic partnership was formed in the year 2000. Russia was the first country with whom India established a strategic partnership and in the year 2010 during the 11th Summit, India and Russia elevated their relationship to a “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership” status, indicating a mutual desire to emphasize the exceptional closeness of ties.

Foreign Archaeological Collaborations and India’s Security Concerns

The current rage in Indian archaeology is foreign collaboration. One of the reasons why this has become popular is that it imposes no intellectual and logistical burden on the Indian collaborator. The problems of the necessary fund and the research strategy are sorted out mostly by the foreign collaborators who also work subsequently on the excavated and explored archaeological materials .

Imperatives of Defence Modernisation and Indigenisation

Self Reliance in defence production has been one of India’s national goals set since the 1950’s. Post 1971, it was quantified as reversing the ratio of indigenous production to imports which was in the ratio of 30:70 to 70;30. However, on the ground, the situation has not changed. On the contrary, after more than 40 years, the level of imports has only increased. There are many causes for the present situation and in the order of their significance, these are :-

Urgent Need for Steps to Make Nathu La Route to Kailash Mansarovar Safe for Pilgrims

India and China had signed a bilateral agreement on September 18 this year providing for conducting the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through Nathu La in Sikkim Himalayas in addition to the existing Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand. Addressing the media after the signing of the MoU in this regard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the new route offers many benefits. “It makes Kailash Mansarovar accessible by a motorable road, which is especially beneficial for older pilgrims.

US Rebalance to Asia – An Assessment

US President Barack Obama landed in Beijing on Monday for the APEC summit, the first of a series of summit and bilateral meetings with regional and world leaders. This visit comes at a time when a majority of Americans are despondent that the country's competitors around the world are swelling while the country's defence resources and the capacity to respond to global challenges shrink. US defence budgetary cuts to the tune of a trillion dollars for this fiscal further add to this mood.

Afghanistan Post-2014: The Pashtun Factor

There is an effort among some western commentaries – taken up and amplified by the Pakistanis - to try and project the situation in Afghanistan as a proxy war between India and Pakistan. The drumbeat of this thesis grows as the draw-down of western forces from Afghanistan draws near. Such a view sounds strange to Indian ears, for we were labouring under the belief this last decade that it was a straight, though covert, fight between the US and Pakistan.