Vivek : Issues & Options

Union Budget 2014-2015: Breathing Time to Evolve Long Term Economic Policy

The Economic Times published on 11th July, 2014 carries the headlines “Narendra Modi aims for goal, hits crossbar”. This newspaper and some others, not to mention the Opposition have

Pak Army Ops in North Waziristan is a Tough Challenge

The Pakistan army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb(sharp and cutting), its much delayed ground offensive against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in North Waziristan, on June 15, 2014. Since then, the army claims to have killed 386 TTP and Uzbek terrorists, including the mastermind of the twin terrorist attacks on Karachi airport on June 9th and 10th, while 20 soldiers have lost their lives. Approximately 600,000 civilian inhabitants have had to leave their homes and join the swelling numbers of IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Pakistan.

Modi’s Japan Visit: Need for a Paradigm Shift in Strategic Ties

After evaluating the emerging strategic environment in the neighbourhood and beyond, Prime Minister Narendra Modi preferred to visit Bhutan first and thereafter Japan. While the visit to Bhutan underscored his understanding of the crucial strategic importance of Bhutan to India and the need to correct the drift in relationship which had crept in during the UPA’s tenure, Modi’s forthcoming visit to Japan is expected to bring in a paradigm shift in the nature of relationship between the two nations.

A Good Budget, Devoid of Populism, Dramatics and Fudged Accounts

Mr.Narendra Modi is perceived as a tough Prime Minister who will take tough decisions. He is also seen as one who will even take harsh decisions if need be. In the run up to his government’s first budget, Mr Modi reinforced this image

by warning the people that he may have to administer some “bitter medicine” in order to revive the economy. Since no Prime Minister in recent times had ever given the people such advance warning, the people expected some really harsh measures in the Union Budget, but that did not happen.

Vaidik - Saeed Meeting: A Case of Self-Appointed Diplomats, Self-Serving Charlatans

The meeting between internationally designated terrorist chieftain Hafiz Saeed and an Indian journalist (?) and political operator, Dr VP Vaidik, in Lahore has caused a veritable storm in not just political circles but also the media. Normally, no eyebrows should be raised if anyone who claims to be a journalist meets any extremely undesirable and notorious criminal. Howsoever unpleasant and politically incorrect, such meetings are part and parcel of a scribe’s profession.

India Budget 2014: An important Step in the Right Direction

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was voted into power on the basis of some very clear ideas and promises of getting the economy back on track, creating lots of jobs and on making India an easier place to do business for both Indian and foreign companies. This first budget is therefore an important signal of his government’s commitment to following through on its promises. This was a complex budget and the longest ever budget speech by a Finance Minister. There is a confusing amount of detail and new proposals and it is easy to miss the forest for the trees.

Modi’s First Budget Session – Some Bitter Medicine and Some Sweeteners?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the National Democratic Alliance will face its first big challenge when the two Houses of Parliament open for what is essentially the Budget Session after the recent Lok Sabha election. The nation’s eyes are riveted on this session because it will lay bare not only the economic policies of the new government but also give us a glimpse of the Modi government’s political management.

Appointment of Judges and Independence of Judiciary

Though India is a Union of States we have a judicial system which is hierarchical, from the court of first instance right up to the Supreme Court. In all legal matters competent judicial officers can pronounce judgements on both Central laws and State laws. By contrast, in the United States, federal laws are interpreted and adjudicated upon by Federal courts and State laws by State courts.

A Roadmap for Sino-Indian Cooperation in Afghanistan

As NATO and Western powers begin to take a backseat in Afghanistan’s future, one of the most pressing questions is what role the region can play in helping Afghanistan to become a prosperous and stable nation. Numerous efforts are already underway through multilateral and bilateral forums, yet the key to regional cooperation for Afghanistan’s future lies through closer interaction between Beijing and New Delhi.

Modi's Visit to Bhutan: Emphasis on a Friendly Neighbourhood

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently concluded his first foreign visit to Bhutan. During this visit, India focused on "B2B" or "Bharat to Bhutan" diplomacy, which is important not for Bhutan alone, but for all of India's neighbours. Through this visit, India has tried to give a message that the neighbours are overwhelmingly important in its foreign policy and that it wants to rise as a global power along with all of them. It was for this reason that Modi invited all the heads of government/state of SAARC region to his swearing in ceremony as Prime Minister of India.