The Finance Minister, Mr. P Chidambaram has begun a major exercise to rein in the burgeoning fiscal deficit which is likely to rise to 6 percent of GDP. The stated objective is to bring down the deficit to a level of 5.3 percent of the GDP as many financial and economic experts have recommended that maintaining a deficit of around 5 percent would be a prudent step looking at the current state of economy. This would prevent erosion of country’s fiscal credibility which has been somewhat under attack by credit rating agencies.
Along with the outer space, cyber space is rapidly emerging as a new and sophisticated theatre of warfare with serious consequences for the security of the countries that lack the expertise and infrastructure to ensure the safety of their information and communications networks and mount counter offensive. Indeed, the overall lethality and destructive potential of the cyber war, where the adversary remains invisible and difficult to detect, has been increasing at a phenomenal pace.
Corruption is rampant in Bangladesh in almost every sphere of life. However, a series of high profile corruption scandals, such as in the Padma Bridge project, the Railway Scandal, the Hall Mark Group scam, Destiny Group and last year’s share market scam under the current Sheikh Hasina government, that involved high ranking ministers and officials has brought the credibility of the government under the scanner.
In July, days before he retired, the then Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma commissioned a Naval Air Station at Campbell Bay on Great Nicobar Island, christening it INS ‘Baaz’ thereby signalling India's intentions to keep a close watch on the new developments unfolding in East and South East Asia On 3rd December, 24 hours before celebrating Navy Day, Admiral Verma's successor, Admiral DK Joshi announced that the Indian Navy is practicing to operate in the South China Sea to protect its economic assets.
Indian foreign policy already faces many challenges. These challenges have not been met and will continue to confront us in the future. An understanding of what they are will help to devise future approaches. We must therefore identify what the existing challenges are. There is a caveat. “Future” covers an indefinite time span. Are we looking at the near future, mid-term future or the long term perspective? Many exercises of identifying issues and challenges in the 20 and 30-year horizons are being done by governments and non-governmental institutions. They are useful in indicating trends.
After a three-month lull, violence has once again erupted in the Bodo areas of Assam. It was in July-August this year the areas witnessed major violence between Bodos and Muslims resulting in over 100 deaths and about 400,000 displaced. If the issue remains unaddressed, violence will continue to haunt the state again, and again. High on the priority, therefore, should be on toning down and finally eliminating the armed component of the issue.
In order to understand the topic of this paper perhaps it would be best to have clearly before us the definition of the issues we are addressing. For this purpose resort was had to the new Oxford Dictionary of English.
There are four words whose definition I sought and they are ethics, integrity, honest and moral. The dictionary definitions are as under:
- Ethics – Moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conduct of an activity.
- Integrity – The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles
In India, it has become customary to abuse the Constitution and/or Constitutional Authority whenever a political party or a political leader is in trouble for its or his misdeeds. Let us not forget that this began with Jawaharlal Nehru himself and also that the very first constitutional amendment bill was introduced in the Parliament on 12th May 1951(six months after the death of Sardar Patel) when the Part III of the Constitution, dealing with the Fundamental Rights, came in the way of certain ill-conceived and ill-timed actions of the then Government.
I was a stripling short of twenty-three years when I joined as Assistant Collector at Morena after completing my training at the IAS Training School at Metcalfe House. Morena can be frightfully hot in the summer and my training required almost constant exposure to the sun. I developed a bad attack of prickly heat, which turned into an infection which spread through the hair roots and caused me to burst out in painful rashes.