Commentaries & Articles
Counterfeit Currency: Threat to India’s Internal Security
It took everyone by surprise when the Nayak Committee, appointed to assess the menace of fake currency, estimated the total amount of fake currency in circulation in India at about Rs 1,69,000 crore as of 2000 (in other words, eight per million were fake).1 But, the latest figures could be about Rs 12, 00,000 crores, more than seven times in a decade.2 Statistics on denominations is revealing.
Resumption of India Pakistan Back Channel Talks: An Uncalled for Move
It is understood that the India-Pakistan back channel talks have been reactivated and are underway. It may be recalled that this back channel was initiated at the beginning of the UPA regime in 2004 and was in operation all along until its disruption following the Mumbai attack of November 2008. The main focus of the back channel dialogue, initially conducted by Mr. J.N. Dixit and Mr. Tariq Aziz and later by Mr. S.K. Lambah and Riaz Mohammad Khan, was the settlement of the Kashmir issue and accordingly Musharraf’s four point proposal in this regard occupied centre stage.
NCTC - How Arrogance can Defeat Co-Operation
The Union Government’s move to establish the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) with the power to undertake search and seizure operations and to arrest persons who plan and execute terrorist acts, has raised the hackles of over a dozen chief ministers. At the outset, one may well wonder as to why the chief ministers are wary of this anti-terrorism initiative, when the Union Government and all the state governments repeatedly assert their resolve to unitedly tackle this menace that threatens the unity and integrity of India.
Trilateral Summit and The Afghan Endgame
Notwithstanding all the tall talk of closer cooperation between them, the third Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan which was held in Islamabad in the third week of February was for all intents and purposes more an exercise in diplomatic signalling than anything else. The regimes in all the three countries had major issues with the US – Iran was feeling the pinch of US and EU sanctions and feared a possible outbreak of hostilities, Afghanistan and Pakistan were feeling sidelined by the dialogue between the US and Taliban in Qatar.
Strategic Connotations: Development of Hambantota Port
Hambantota port is situated approximately 10 nautical miles from one of the busiest shipping lanes, in southern Sri Lanka. About 200 cargo vessels use it every day and it can handle vessels up to 100, 000 DWT. The Sri Lankan government hopes to benefit from the increased numbers of ships that could use its facilities; presently about 70,000 ships that sail through the Indian Ocean every year. The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened the port in November 2010. District town of Hambantota is his constituency and a Sinhala stronghold.
The Iran-Israel Confrontation and India
Events in the West Asian region have been going through major shifts in the last year or so. These may portend the final end of the system crafted principally by the British a hundred years ago at the end of the First World War. This, of course, requires a more rigorous and detailed analysis. However, the developing situation affects India’s interests directly, and perhaps none more so than the emerging clash between Iran and Israel. We have, so far, followed a policy that essentially avoids making a choice between two important vectors of our external strategy.
Projecting India’s Civilisational and Cultural Perspective: Need for an Integrated Vision
In his address on ‘The Influence of Indian Spiritual Thought in England’ on 11th March 1898 at Calcutta Swami Vivekananda distinctly referred to the Indian civilisational reach worldwide.
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