Fixing India’s School Education System

The recent Bihar State education board scandal that gripped the nation’s attention and shook its conscience, has no doubt exposed the State’s pathetic education ecosystem. It has showed up the system’s underbelly where marks at board examinations and certificates (for courses not studied) can be bought for the right price (the amount is decided on the basis of grades desired). Only a year ago, the country was stunned at images of people climbing up walls like Spiderman and passing on answer slips to students appearing for examinations inside a hall in the same State.

Has Iran given up its nuclear option?

The year 2016 has seen Iran re-integrate with the world, both politically and economically. This is enabled by the implementation of JCPOA (Joint comprehensive plan of action or the Nuclear Deal) in January. The nuclear sanctions over Iran were withdrawn and it has seen a series of bilateral visits, both by its President abroad and by other leaders to Iran. However one aspect that stands in contrast to this environment of bonhomie and seems to go against the trend is Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Sri Lanka’s New Constitution - a Politico- Legal Challenge

In accordance with the electoral promises made by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government relating to the abolition of the executive Presidency, electoral reforms; transparency and accountability in governance and finding a political solution to ethnic problem, Sri Lanka has decided to write a new constitution to bring about fundamental changes in the country. The new government had the option of bringing about these changes either through large scale amendments to the present constitution or to undertake an arduous task of writing a new constitution.

दक्षिण चीन सागर में अपने हित सुरक्षित रखने के लिए वियतनाम की लचीली विदेश एवं सुरक्षा नीतियां

आसियान देशों के साथ ‘दक्षिण चीन सागर में पक्षों के आचरण संबंधी घोषणापत्र’ पर हस्ताक्षर करने के करीब 14 वर्ष बाद दक्षिण चीन सागर के मुद्दे पर चीन का रुख लगातार सक्रियता भरा एवं अड़ियल होता जा गया है, हालांकि इस बीच उसने अक्टूबर 2003 में दक्षिण पूर्व एशिया में मैत्री तथा सहयोग की संधि पर भी हस्ताक्षर किए। 2005 के आसपास चीन ने वियतनाम तथा फिलीपींस जैसे देशों के साथ समुद्र के भीतर मौजूद संसाधनों के साझा विकास का विचार भी आगे बढ़ाया था। वास्तव में उसने दक्षिण चीन सागर में भूकंप संबंधी सर्वेक्षणों के लिए समझौते पर हस्ताक्षर भी किए थे।

मोदी सरकार की पाकिस्तान नीति के दो वर्ष – समीक्षा

प्रधानमंत्री मोदी के नेतृत्व वाली सरकार के दो वर्ष 25 मई, 2016 को पूरे हो गए और इस बात की पड़ताल करने का यह बिल्कुल सही समय है कि सरकार की पाकिस्तान नीति कितनी सफल रही, पाकिस्तान के साथ संबंधों में उसे कौन सी चुनौतियों का सामना करना पड़ा और द्विपक्षीय संबंधों में कितनी संभावनाएं हैं। भारत-पाकिस्तान संबंधों की हकीकत यही है कि दशकों उनमें उतार-चढ़ाव रहा है। पिछले दो वर्ष भी अपवाद नहीं रहे क्योंकि उतार-चढ़ाव से भरे ये संबंध एक चौहद्दी के भीतर कैद हैं। वास्तव में यह सच है कि इन संबंधों में किसी भी तरह की गरमाहट की संभावना को आतंकवादी घटनाएं खत्म कर देती हैं, ऐसा हरेक प्रयास विफल ही हो जाता है।

The Ins & Outs of Infiltration: The Real Challenge in J&K - Part 2

Infiltration is usually a well-planned process but often terrorists continue repeating the very same routes on which their colleagues have been killed in droves. This is because of the compulsion they perceive of getting to the ‘reception area’ at the earliest. The reception area is a point to which a group of terrorists already inside the Valley move with basic logistics to receive and guide infiltrators to the nearby villages and subsequently to the safe houses in the urban areas.

Kashmir in Cauldron

When most parts of the north western region of India was afflicted with communal orgy during the pre-partition days around 1947, the neighbouring state of Jammu & Kashmir witnessed no ripples of any communal tension. It provided a solace to Mahatma Gandhi, who wrote in his autobiography, "I see a ray of hope in Jammu & Kashmir." Kashmir had been an epitome of peace and communal harmony for centuries. From the days of the Mughals, Kashmir was called 'Paradise on Earth'. It was indeed a paradise with its natural beauty, Sufi culture and communal amity.

बहुधा दृष्टिकोण

जब 9/11 की तबाही हुई, उस दौरान मैं विश्व बैंक में बतौर कार्यकारी निदेशक वर्ल्ड वाशिंगटन डी सी में था। इस त्रासदी के परिणाम स्वरुप यह प्रत्येक बुद्धिजीवी का चलन हो गया कि वह इन दो प्रश्न पर बहस करे कि 'क्या गलत हुआ, और 'लोग हमसे नफरत क्यों करते हैं (अमेरिकियों से). मैं भी ऐसी एक बैठक में गया जो तबाही के मात्र दस दिनों के अंदर हुई थी। बैठक में बहुत प्रभावशाली समूह था और मुझे अध्यक्ष के तकरीबन ठीक सामने बिठाया गया।

Terrorism as an Entitlement for talks?

In a recent interview Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, levelled a preposterous charge that India was using terrorism as an excuse for not talking to Pakistan. He also claimed, rather disingenuously, that Pakistan had cooperated with India on the Pathankot terror attack and it was not justified to blame Pakistan for not doing enough.

The Ins & Outs of Infiltration: The Real Problem in J&K - Part 1

People who meet me socially often get into discussions on J&K. I find most of them have visited the state as tourists and have considerable interest in the security situation. Besides never being able to perceive why there is such large presence of the uniform all over the Valley, especially the tourist spots, the airport or even the Boulevard the other most common question to me is something which astounds. They invariably feel that the Indian Army has failed in its job because we do not seem to be able to stop Pakistan sponsored terrorists infiltrating into J&K.