Question For Experts
Q. Are Central Asian Republics capable to contain looming security challenges and threats in the region in their own way (without the involvement of the big powers)? What are their strategies and mechanisms to contain it?

Replied by Dr Pravesh Kumar Gupta
Central Asian region is geo-strategically located between the East and the West, which had placed it at the centre of struggle between the major powers not only in Soviet era but also in the Post-Soviet period. The regional security apparatus in Central Asia is way more crucial for two of neighbouring big powers; Russia and China than that to Central Asia. However, most of the Central Asian Governments being authoritarian had tackled the regional security issues in the past by taking unilateral extreme measures which adversely impacted the regional cooperative mechanism between these republics. Region’s proximity to Afghanistan made it vulnera..

Q. What benefits will Uzbekistan obtain after joining Eurasian Economic Union?

Replied by Dr Pravesh Kumar Gupta
Since 2017, there have been speculations about Uzbekistan joining Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Recently, Uzbek Government has approved the proposal to join EAEU as observer. This will ensure a number of benefits to Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is looking for markets to export its products and the majority of its trade partners are EAEU members. Uzbekistan registered an increased volume of trade with EAEU countries by sixty percent in the past three years. It is also projected that these figures will grow further. Uzbekistan will benefit from reduced transportation costs through the EAEU countries, through which eighty percent of Uzbekistan’s goods..

Q. Will COVID-19 pandemic jolt the China’s Belt and Road investments in Central Asia?

Replied by Dr Pravesh Kumar Gupta
In Central Asia, COVID-19 positive cases came into light in the mid of March but it has certainly compelled the governments of these republics to take stern actions against its spread. Tajikistan had sealed its borders with China even before having any positive cases. The novel Corona virus spread has certainly descended China’s outbound investments, including the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This crisis has also hampered China’s manufacturing supply chains, and BRI projects are predominantly reliant on Chinese, rather than local, materials and supplies. Work has ceased on BRI related projects in Central Asia. China’s import of natural ..

Q. What is the possible impact of the US aid cut of USD 1 billion on Afghanistan?

Replied by Dr Yatharth Kachiar
The US State Department decided to cut the USD 1 billion in aid to Afghanistan in 2020 and warned the possibility of reducing another USD 1 billion in 2021.The US provides about $4 billion in security aid every year and roughly $500 million in civilian assistance. About 75 percent of Afghanistan’s public expenditures every year is dependent on international donations.The decision to cut the aid was taken after the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s attempts to convince the conflicting Afghan leaders, President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to support a unified government failed. It is crucial for the rival Afghan leaders to forge an inclusive team vis..

Q. How is COVID-19 pandemic going to impact Afghanistan?

Replied by Dr Yatharth Kachiar
The impact of COVID-19 on conflict-ridden Afghanistan can be more severe than many other countries. The country lacks the necessary health infrastructure and nutrient system to cope with the pandemic of this nature. The high rate of illiteracy, lack of public health and hygiene awareness, an economically weak and vulnerable society, porous borders, particularly with Pakistan and Iran makes Afghanistan more vulnerable. Also, the profoundly community oriented society of Afghanistan, where homes often contain several generations of family members makes social distancing a difficult task in the country. Moreover, the influx of a large number of Afghans fr..

Q. What are the options for India to deal with the COVID 19?

Replied by Soumya Awasthi
While a nationwide 21 days lockdown has begun in India from midnight (24/3) to help fight the COVID 19 , some of the other options that India can consider alongside are:
  1. India should help the neighbouring countries in establishing the isolation wards and quarantine camps. It can give them a guideline which can help them set up a similar arrangement in their respective countries. India should provide a kind of TO DO LIST which comprises of step by step procedure to establish a replica that is there in Manesar, Delhi-NCR which was also a yardstick for other such camps in India.
  2. India can also setup an online training camp for the Arm..

Q. What are the issues faced by WHO workings as well as what’s the stand of WHO with regard to Corona virus outspread?

Replied by Cchavi Vasisht
WHO is a specialized agency, which is committed to achieving better health for everyone and everywhere. WHO has faced immense challenges in the past, for example when it was unable to respond to Ebola crises, as it depends on donors where 70 percent of its resources come from other countries and agencies. It also lacks specialized staff especially the social scientists. In the light of the current issue of Corona virus, WHO has adopted new ways to build awareness for example use of digital technologies especially via WhatsApp groups. This has been possible with the help of establishing a new division of data and analytics. It has been continuously monit..

Q. What will be the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on future climate change actions?

Replied by Heena Samant
The year 2020 was supposed to be important for international climate change negotiations with COP 26 scheduled to be held in Glasgow in November. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic may put a hold on this critical event as the outbreak has already delayed crucial negotiations ahead of the November conference. While many events across the world have been cancelled, COP 26 schedule has not been changed yet.A series of important meetings have been affected due to the outbreak of the virus - cancellation of World Ocean Summit scheduled on March 9th and 10th in Tokyo and the calling off of CERA week energy conference scheduled from March 9th to March 13th..

Q. Will the COVID-19 pandemic lead to fall of Xi Jinping?

Replied by Dr Teshu Singh:
The COVID-19 is a critical test of Xi Jinping’s leadership eversince he became the head of the party in November 2012 and started projecting himself as the most powerful Chinese leader after Mao. Xi Jinping is struggling to tackle two urgent problems; fighting the pandemic and getting back the Chinese economy back on tracks. Xi Jinping failed to foresee the pandemic looming.On the contrary, in his New Year Speech, Xi Jinping had spelt out that the year 2020 is very crucial for China to achieve “a moderately prosperous society in all respect”. He talked about removing poverty and making Chinese citizenseconomically comfortable but failed to predic..

Q. Saket Singh asked : Sir, The increasing influence of Al-qaeda in kashmir and the ISIS in kerela , TN, is a matter of concern. How will the government control this matter?

Replied by Dr Sreeradha Datta:
The government is aware of the criticality of the issues mentioned. It is trying to address the grave situation through a multi-pronged approach that includes the security apparatus as well as undertaking many socio- economic measures to identify the ground realities and find ways to counter the spread of radicalism. The government is involving the communities through mentoring and other programs, as well revisiting the educational curriculum and providing vocational training too to wean away the youth from such negative influences.
Date : 15/07/2019
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