VIF Papers
Siberia and India: Historical Cultural Affinities

India and Eurasia have had close social and cultural linkages, as Buddhism spread from India to Central Asia, Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and far wide. Buddhism provides a direct link between India and the peoples of Siberia (Buryatia, Chita, Irkutsk, Tuva, Altai, Urals etc.) who have distinctive historico-cultural affinities with the Indian Himalayas particularly due to common traditions and Buddhist culture. Revival of Buddhism in Siberia is of great importance to India in terms of restoring and reinvigorating the lost linkages.

Exploring Indian Airpower Doctrine & Debacles in The Himalayas

This is an article exploring some of our wars in the Indian Himalayas to derive correct lessons for future conflict management. In light of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and future theatre commands, restructuring and reorientation for the future is already on, but with Covid-19 and its aftermath, there is an urgency and imperative to accelerate changes. While the Indian armed forces are much better prepared to fight the integrated battle, it is still important to revisit doctrines and debacles as a reiteration of important lessons of mountain warfare.

India at Crossroads - Part I

Covid-19 was a predictable and avoidable event, if the world had been more transparent and accountable, and less greedy and ambitious. It is important to analyse fast-evolving international developments, thoughts and trends to grasp the choices and imperatives ahead. What India needs to do, both internally and externally, may be assisted by examining extreme scenarios of a post-Covid world and a net-assessment covering variables such as geopolitical compulsions, examining ‘Pax-Sinica’ and its economic and security implications, and trends affecting globalisation and multilateralism.

Preparing for A Post-Corona World

The Novel Coronavirus has not only taken over the year 2020, it will have ramifications for decades to come. Changes to societal norms and developmental priorities, and de-globalisation forces gaining momentum are just some of the expected uncertainties on the anvil. This paper explores a myriad of effects and issues related to this history-changing moment in our times.

VIF Roundtable on India-Central Asia Relations | Summary of Discussions

India-Central Asia relations gained momentum in the recent past with Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the five Central Asian Republics in 2015 and India’s permanent membership to Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2017. During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Central Asia, several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and Agreements were signed. The high-level exchange of visits between India and Central Asia has raised their bilateral relation profile. India is also contributing to the annual SCO Summits by suggesting a number of concrete ideas.

2nd BIMSTEC Think Tanks Dialogue on Regional Security - Conference Proceedings

2nd BIMSTEC Think Tanks Dialogue on Regional Security (27-28 November 2019) The Second Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Think Tanks Dialogue on Regional Security was held at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), New Delhi on 27-28 November 2019. Delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the BIMSTEC Secretariat participated in the meeting.

Warring Minds & Cognitive Ammo

Warfare’s most visible element is blurring of lines between wars and peace, competitors and adversaries, future friends and foes, and such like. It is an age of perception shaping and dominating the ‘truth’. The Chinese have embraced this for centuries. Reflexive control, creating and dealing with complexity, strategic foresight and sharp power projection are just some facets of this battle for the minds. The core strength of a nation is the ability of its informed leaders to envision the future and take correct and optimal decisions to guide all national endeavours.

Shipbuilding - A Larger National Perspective

… shipbuilding industry can be a major employment creator with relatively large spin-offs for ancillary industries unlike the automobile and other manufacturing industry … shipbuilding industry has not received the required attention and focused view of competing priorities, uncertainties and lack of assurance on short term returns on government policy measures ... it is essential to galvanize the shipbuilding as a strategic infrastructure industry with the required policy, legislative and institutional measures …

Interests and Contests of Houthi and Al-Hirak Movements in Yemen crisis

… there is apparently a tacit understanding between the UAE and Saudi Arabia over the STC-Hadi government conflict … the recent attempts in September 2019 to bring STC and the Hadi government to the negotiating table reflect Saudi attempts to reach reconciliation to re-group the anti-Houthi coalition ... the stalemated nature of the conflict between the Arab coalition and the Houthis has prompted Saudi Arabia to gradually reconcile its interests vis-a-vis the Houthi Movement …

The Larger Cause of National Defence: The CDS and Defence Reforms

… there are many hurdles to cross in our endeavour to reform our system of national defence to meet the parameters of the nation’s military threats, technological and industrial capacities and fiscal affordability… The CDS … would be just one ‘cog’, albeit a central one, in the management of national defence … it would need a conducive ground to perform in the best manner desired ... In order reap the advantages its full measure, there have to be rebuilt the entire system of our defence management – defence reforms, in short …

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