Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has left none in doubt that his commitment to the Indian defence self-reliance is “unquestionable and uncompromising”. Modi was right in his criticism of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for its failure to deliver on strategic projects on time. It is in the fitness of things that Modi pulled up DRDO with a suggestion to complete the projects without time and cost escalation. For long DRDO has been in news for its poor handing of projects that paved way for an inordinate delay and steep cost escalation.
The Fatal Attraction of the Islamic State: The Curious Cases of the Returnee, Self-indoctrinated and the Lone-Wolf
The news of the four Indian youth from Kalyan joining the Islamic State (IS) in July 2014 became a major concern to the newly-elected government in New Delhi. This was one of the first instances which exposed the probable involvement of Indian Muslims with this dreaded outfit. In a way, the attraction and influence of the IS in South Asia has been evidenced by such activities where many radicalised youths have shown their allegiance and support to the Sunni militant group.
Perhaps the most notable development in world affairs today is the dawn of Asian century. If the 20th century was dominated by the rise of US and trans-Atlantic relations , the global centre of gravity is invariably shifting to East Asia in the current century. However, much of the discourse on the region tends to focus overwhelming on the phenomenal rise of China and to a lesser extent the emergence of India. It is argued that these two countries, possessing largest population bases, and thus huge markets, would be at the centre of much of what is happening in East Asia.
The current scenario in Jammu & Kashmir is drawing attention towards some ongoing imperatives. First, the assembly election results are a reflection of uncertainty on the political front with clear dividing lines between the Valley and Jammu region ; the government formation is still some distance away and will be a manifestation of whether national interest or narrow interests will prevail.
Shinzo Abe’s decisive victory in the mid term polls on December 14 augurs well for the future of India-Japan relations. Diplomatic ties between India and Japan that have seen an upswing over the past two decades are slated to assume even greater significance in the coming years.
The coming elections for the Presidency in Sri Lanka have heightened the political activity. President Mahinda Rajapakse is seeking a third term based on the 18th Amendment to the Constitution (carried out in 2010 to overcome the two-term limitation for a President) that had been objected to by the Opposition parties. The Opposition parties have thrown up a joint candidate Maithripala Sirisena (who was General Secretary of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party and has now defected to the opposing side) to present a unified front in order to defeat Rajapakse.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in its latest Afghanistan Opium Survey 2014 suggests that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has hit an all-time high in 2014. It was estimated at 224,000 hectares in 2014, a 7% increase from the previous year, surpassing the previous high of 209,000 hectares of poppy in 2013.
The menace which has been created by the Sunni militant group, Islamic State (IS) is likely to stay for some time to come. Despite the United States (US)-led coalition airstrikes to destroy the terror organisation , there has been no significant decline in its activities. Rather, it is spreading to different parts of the globe and other terror groups are pledging allegiance to it.
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.