Vivek : Issues & Options

Russia Looks at Regaining its Space Glory

Behind the successful 2013 test flight of Antares rocket –designed and developed by the US private space enterprise Orbital Sciences Corporation— at Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island in Virginia, there was a tale of “Soviet connection.” This two stage launch vehicle meant to help launch cargo resupply runs to the International Space Station(ISS), which will be in operational service till the end of this decade, features in its first stage an improved version of two N1 engine originally developed by the former Soviet Union as part of the strategy to race fast the Amer

The Musharraf Case: Will Anyone Agree to Take The Fall for him?

Even though Gen Pervez Musharraf has finally been indicted on five charges of treason by the Special Court constituted to try him, the widespread feeling within Pakistan and beyond is that this is probably as far as the civilian government could go against the ex-military strongman. As the argument goes, having made history - Musharraf is the first Pakistani military dictator to stand trial, it is time for all sides to back-off because the case has reached its ‘logical conclusion’.

The Third Front in Indian Politics: An Assessment

Introduction

One of the significant developments in the country’s fast changing political scenario has been the rather premature demise of the much hyped 11 party Third Front. After the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK dumped the alliance with the Left parties in Tamil Nadu within days of its announcement, other key constituents the Samajwadi Party, JD(U) and Left parties decided to contest the elections on their own in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states sounding the death knell of the much-hyped initiative.

China’s Rising Defence Expenditure and Implications for India

While India’s interim defence budget for the financial year (FY) 2014-15 has remained stagnant in terms of the Rupee-Dollar exchange rate and inflation, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has been given a 12.2 per cent increase over the previous year in planned defence expenditure to US$ 131.57 billion (Yuan 808.23 billion).

Time to Restore Civility in Political Debate

For us Indians there are certain truths which we should take as immutable. The Constitution of India, the basic features of which have remained unchanged despite a number of amendments, is the document which prescribes how this country will be structured and governed. Article 1 categorically states that India is a Union of States, which means that it is a true federation in which the Union as an entity exists because of its constituent States.

Modi and India’s Foreign Policy: A Preview

Little interest has been shown domestically about possible new orientations in foreign policy under a Narendra Modi-led NDA government. Modi’s single-minded focus on the development agenda has dominated political and media discourse, barring, of course, the 2002 post-Godhra Gujarat violence. The slowdown of the economy, the negative investor sentiment, price rise, corruption, the perceived lack of leadership have been issues of public concern, not foreign policy.

Pak Peace Talks With Taliban: Is There A Method in Madness?

The more you think about it, the more it confounds: Pakistan government’s peace dialogue with the Taliban. Look at it from a logical, if also conventional, standpoint, and it appears as though the Pakistani state has entered into a desultory dialogue with the Taliban which will ultimately crash on the rocks of reality. It would, however, be stretching the limits of incredulity to think that in reaching out to the Taliban, the Pakistan government is utterly unmindful of the pitfalls of dialoguing with the Islamist terrorists.

Creation of Telangana: Do Small States Pose A Threat to National Integration?

North India was under Greek rule in the form of a colony, whose Governor General was Seleucus Nicator. India was divided into little principalities or Janpads of which Magadh in modern day Bihar was probably one of the most prominent. Magadh had a sage, thinker, a political philosopher called Chanakya, also known as Kautilya, who had left Magadh for Taxila or, as it was then called, Takshashila, because he was persecuted in Pataliputra, the capital of Magadh.

Yet Another Firm Step to De-criminalise Indian Politics

The Supreme Court took yet another firm step recently to cleanse politics and to de-criminalise the country’s legislative bodies when it directed trial courts hearing cases concerning corruption and serious offences against MPs and legislators in the states to complete the trial within one year of framing of charges.