Question For Experts
Q. What is India’s policy with regard to the Israel-Palestine conflict?

Replied by Hirak J Das
Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the core faultline in the West Asian region. Currently, the common threat emerging from Iran’s nuclear and weapons programmes as well as its regional expansion policy by supporting armed groups have shifted the faultline in the region providing impetus to Arab states to open diplomatic relations with Israel. The traditional talking points by Arab states about refugees; expansion of illegal settlements; prospect of Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital has been side-lined. India since 1947 has been an ardent supporter of the Palestinian right to self-determination and in fact it was the first non-Arab ..

Q. What are the measures India could adopt to expand its presence in the West Asian region?

Replied by Hirak J Das
India’s places high strategic value to the West Asian region. The level of engagement has heightened under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Act West Policy. The application of ‘Look and Act West Policy’ to strategically engage and expand the collaborative matrix with the region especially with the GCC states and Israel has been quite effective. India has preserved the special relationship with Iran despite its warm ties with Saudi Arabia. Currently, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the largest trade partners for India.
  • India should increase engagement with regional organisations.
  • India should develop ..

Q. Is there any data available on cyber-crimes in India in recent years? Any effective measures that government has taken to deal with cyber-crimes?

Replied by Anurag Sharma
With the growth in the usage of cellular/mobile phone and internet connectivity, there has been a rise in cyber-crimes. As per data presented by the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology—Sanjay Dhotre in Lok Sabha (the Lower House of the Parliament), on 10 February 2021, around 44,546 cyber-crime cases were registered as compared to 27,248 in 2018. On 09 March 2021, Minister of State for Home Affairs—G Kishan Reddy informed the Lok Sabha that in last 18 months, around 3,17,439 cyber-crimes and 5,771 FIRs (First Information Reports) were registered online through a centralised portal.
To deal with cyber-crimes, government ..

Q. What is cyber-hygiene?

Replied by Anurag Sharma
As personal hygiene refers to certain practices to maintain good health and well-being; cyber-hygiene is referred to the safe practices and measures that an individual may take to maintain a healthy cyber-ecosystem and cyber security. These practices can ensure the safety of computer systems and data from cyber-attacks.
References/recommended reading:
- Book, Chris. “What is cyber hygiene? A definition of cyber hygiene, benefits, best practices, and more”, Data Insider, 06 October 2020, Available from:

Q. Will India impose a complete ban on cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin?

Replied by Anurag Sharma
Thank you for the question. The notification about banning private virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, is a step in the government’s agenda to prepare a framework for an official digital currency. According to various news reports quoting a senior government official (on basis of anonymity), India will propose a law banning cryptocurrencies, fining anyone trading within the country or having possession of these digital assets. Speaking at the India Today Conclave South, on 15 March 2021, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that “India is not shutting-off all options when it comes to cryptocurrency or blockch..

Q. Question- Growing Economic and political turmoil in Pakistan. From PTM to PDM, rising of Chinese debt and failure of the state to control inflation will lead Pakistan to near instability. What can be the future assumptions regarding this and what implications can we predict if we have an unstable neighbor?

Replied by Aakriti Vinayak
As rightly pointed out Pakistan is in a flux. From floundering economy to political uncertainty the government is facing resounding hostility for poor administration and capability to handle the growing public crises. On the economic front with the exports stagnant, inelastic revenue collection, widening fiscal deficit and astronomical external debt, Pakistan is at the brink of an economic collapse. According to reports of IPR and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Pakistan’s debt to GDP ratio currently stands at a shocking 107% of GDP. The Gross Public Debt has risen from 72% of GDP at $95 billion (2018) to 87% at $112.8 billion currently. Total ex..

Q. How do you see China responding to the Indo- Russian ties ?

Replied by Himani Pant
The India-Russia partnership stands out for the resilience it has shown over several decades despite the systemic changes in Russia and the political leadership in India. This ‘time-tested’ trust and ‘resilience’ which defines the India-Russia partnership is missing in the Sino-Russian partnership. Notwithstanding a rocky past and current apprehensions, the cooperation between Moscow and Beijing has improved over the past several years. This trend picked further momentum since 2014 when Russia’s isolation with the West broadened following the developments in Ukraine. As the policy decisions of both Moscow and Beijing in recent years reflect, both ..

Q. Why China have become aggressive Against India ? While India is one of biggest trade partner of China, also China have big trade surplus. As both are nuclear power country, So we can't expect war like situation. Even China Knows that India have awesome military power

Replied by Dr Teshu Singh
China has always been aggressive towards India. The bilateral trade between India and China has grown significantly in the last decade, from USD 3 billion in 2001 to USD 81.66 billion in 2020. The imports from China was USD 65.26 and export USD16.6 billion. The trade is skewed highly in China’s favour. Besides, China has a Sino-centric world view implying that they have been always at the centre of the world. China views India as a competitor in South Asia and particularly in the Indian Ocean region. China’s policy towards the South Asian region is essential to diminish the strategic space for India in the region. The increasing “strategic glue..

Q. According to the ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, latter will take over the control of Nagarno Karabakh but at the same time Russia has deployed its peacekeeping forces in the region. So is it some kind of larger game plan of Putin to spread Russia's influence in the region and dictate terms according to its own interests? Russia is increasing its influence in the Middle East?

Replied by Dr Himani Pant
Moscow has sought to pursue a neutral policy towards both Yerevan and Baku. Despite its military commitments (limited to recognised Armenian territory) and deeper ties with Armenia, Russia shares robust ties with Azerbaijan as well- it sells weapons to both the countries. As the developments leading to the latest ceasefire show, Russia responded in a fairly restrained manner after tensions between these two South Caucasus countries resurfaced last year. Russia’s interests/actions in this context must be differentiated from its interests in the Middle East and as does its influence. The clashes in the Nagarno Karabakh comprise a regional dispute where l..

Q. How India deals with both Russia as well as the US in the age of Globalisation?

Replied by Aayush Mohanty
India's relationship with Russia and the U.S since the end of the Cold War around 30 years ago has been cordial while strengthening defence and technology cooperation. India's unique foreign policy to not take sides in a conflict while maintaining the non-alignment stance. Although, there has been a shift from non-alignment to multi-alignment as India believes that in a globalised world multipolarity is the way to move forward. Multipolarity would be necessary to deal especially with non-traditional security threats like climate change, which threatens the national security of all countries. The recent news cycle has put emphasis on a deepening of India-..

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