Commentaries & Articles
India-Central Asia Business Council: Reinvigorating India-Central Asia Economic Engagement
On 6 February 2020, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) along with apex industrial bodies of the five Central Asian countries launched the India-Central Asia Business Council. In his address, External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, called the business council a “significant step”, and urged the Indian industries to take greater interest in Central Asia to step up India’s economic engagement in its extended neighbourhood.1 Despite cordial bilateral relations, India’s combined annual trade with the region remains below two billion US dollars.
Act Far East Policy: Strengthening relations between India and Russia
Introduction The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, in his recent visit to India, attending the ‘Raisina Dialogue,’ opposed the Indo-Pacific concept, in New Delhi in January this year. In December 2019, the Russian Navy participated in a joint naval exercise with the Iranian and the Chinese Navy in the Gulf of Oman amid high tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Pegasus— A Powerful Tool of WhatsApp Surveillance
The Facebook’s subsidiary company—WhatsApp, on 29 October 2019, filed a lawsuit in the United States California’s Northern District Federal Court against Israel-based cyber-arms1 firm— the NSO Group, for infecting ‘specific’ group of WhatsApp users worldwide, mainly belong to civil societies, through their spyware2 program—Pegasus (also known as Trident). In the lawsuit, filed under the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, WhatsApp claimed that NSO Group developed the program and targeted 1400 devices with its malware.
Shielding the Future Generation from Adverse Effects of Cyber Penetration
(This is an updated version of the Valedictory Address given by the author during the Responsible Netism 4th National Cyber Psychology Conference 2020 on ‘Child Online Protection’ organized by Ahaan Foundation and Cyber Peace Foundation at Pune on 23-24 January 2020.)
भारत के चीफ ऑफ डिफेंस स्टाफ: कुछ अनसुलझे मुद्दे
भारत सरकार ने देश की रक्षा सेवाओं से जुड़े सभी मामलों पर रक्षा मंत्री के इकलौते सलाहकार तथा सैन्य मामलों के नवनिर्मित विभाग के सचिव के रूप में चीफ ऑफ डिफेंस स्टाफ (सीडीएस) का पद बनाया है। इस बारे में औपचारिक घोषणा 24 दिसंबर, 2019 को की गई और सेवानिवृत्त होने जा रहे सेनाध्यक्ष जनरल बिपिन रावत को पहला सीडीएस नियुक्त किया गया। उनका कार्यकाल 30 दिसंबर, 2019 को आरंभ हुआ। कार्य आवंटन के नियमों में भी 30 दिसंबर, 2019 को संशोधन किया गया और सैन्य मामलों के विभाग को औपचारिक रूप से आठ सूत्री कार्य सौंपे गए। इन कार्यों में संघ के सैन्य बल, तीनों सेनाओं के मुख्यालयों को मिलाकर बनाया गया एकीकृत मुख्यालय, तीन
Review of Japan 2019 and Outlook for 2020
2019 was an eventful year for Japan in both national and international domains. From an imperial transition to being the G20 Chair, to major trade agreements and the deadly Typhoon Hagibis, the year was filled with its share of ups and downs for Japan. Some of the major developments were: Beginning of Reiwa Era
Game Changing Pacts for the North East
Two important agreements were inked in recent days, and they are expected to usher in lasting peace and prosperity in the North-East. Not surprisingly, the electronic media by and large, obsessed with the ongoing furore over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019, did not give the development the attention it deserved. Both these pacts have ended decades-long disputes, and while some apprehensions still remain, they can be resolved in the new environment of give-and-take. The agreements are not only humane but also take care of the security and sovereignty of the country.
VIF News Digest
Defense, National Security and Terrorism, VIF Alerts
February 11, 2020
VIF News Digest: National Security - Defence Studies & Terrorism, 16 January - 31 January 2020

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International Development
February 19, 2020
VIF News Digest: International Developments (US) 01-15 Feb 2020

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Neighbourhood News
February 24, 2020
VIF Neighborhood News Digest: February 24, 2020

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