India-Japan Strategic Partnership: The evolving synergy in the Indo-Pacific

Defence and security cooperation between India and Japan has evolved steadily over the years and constitutes a strong pillar of the bilateral relationship. There has been an increasing frequency of defence exchanges along the entire spectrum, from regular meetings between the Defence Ministers, Defence Policy Dialogue at the level of Defence Secretary and Vice Ministers, visits by Service Chiefs, Comprehensive Security Dialogue, Military to Military talks, Service level staff talks and exchange of student officers on training courses.

Standing Up for Nationhood: Winston wouldn’t have His Last Laugh

“What perturbs me greatly is the fact that not only India has once before lost her independence, but she lost it by the infidelity and treachery of some of her own people” - Constituent Assembly speech, November 1949.

Demilitarization of Siachen: A Seditious Proposal

Siachen is in the news again. Loss of ten precious Indian lives in the most unfortunate tragedy of 3rd February has reignited debate about the rationale of our military presence on the glacier.

Single Digit Chinese Defence Budgets – Are They The “New Normal”?

One of the much awaited announcements of the recently concluded Chinese “Two Sessions” was the Chinese defence budget. With some commentators predicting another double digit rise in line with what has been the norm for the last two decades, the lowering of the Chinese defence budget this year to a single digit (“only 7.6 per cent”) took many by surprise. Adding to the surprise was the fact that the present Chinese defence budget (US$ 146 billion) is only a quarter of the US 2016 defence budget (US $583 billion which doesn’t include their nuclear and possibly overseas commitments).

How Political Uncertainty May Affect Security in J&K

I remember watching a Newstrack video magazine report in 1989 in which the existence of a brooding network of local terrorists was denied very authoritatively. In less than six months Kashmir was in the initiation stage of what has turned out to be a 27 year long militancy/terror campaign which has seen dynamic ups and downs. Political stability then too was in the throes of uncertainty.

Nepal PM Visits India to repair Relations

Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli made his first visit to India (February 19 to 24, 2016) after taking office. Oli’s visit was the first foreign trip undertaken by him after assuming charge and came after a long gap of five years when the then Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had visited India in 2011. It was also the first by the Nepalese PM after the promulgation of the new constitution in September 2015.

China’s 13th Five Year Plan - a slower but stronger China?

Ending months of global speculation over China’s slowdown and its impact on the global economy, China’s National People’s Congress adopted the 13th five year plan aimed at a slower growth rate of 6.5 per cent until 2020, with key reforms in the process.

A closer look however suggests that despite a slightly lower growth rate, the China juggernaut would power on and in a few sectors, the Chinese economy may well emerge stronger than its present state.

Here’s how a few key sectors of the Chinese economy are expected to transition in the forthcoming months.

Manufacturing

Ethics Committees of our Parliament: The Mallya and Rahul conundrum

I am sure many of you may be smiling on seeing Ethics and our Parliament in the same sentence. But believe me. Both houses of parliament have ethics committee and the Rajya Sabha one is older of the two.

It was the first among the two Houses to form an ethics committee, with a full standing committee status, on 30 May 1997. Lok Sabha, in contrast, formed an ad hoc ethics panel in 2000 and has been operating as one until August 2015 when it was given a permanent standing committee status.

Image Challenge for The Indian Armed Forces: Take It by the Horns

At the outset, I must warn my readers that this is going to be more about the problem than the solution; that is because the problem itself needs a detailed definition before a solution can even be considered. The Indian Armed Forces and mainly the Indian Army have systematically been subjected to image buffeting for some time. In the last few months it has increased exponentially and the last few weeks has seen a virtual deluge. Many criticize the Services for their weak public relations (PR) machinery and inability to counter the tirade.

Dealing with Domestic Black Money

Black money has two aspects Domestic and international. These two are interlinked at some level but can be tackled separately. In India domestic black money is large and it creates havoc with our economy by de-stabilizing many government policies.

Two suggestions can be considered about dealing with domestic black money.