Question For Experts
Q. What is Cartographic Aggression?

Replied by Anushka Saraswat, Young Professional, VIF
Cartography is the study that may be defined as the science or the art of drawing or making and using maps. Since the formation of the modern state, the administrators have used maps to shape the collective perception and belief of the population residing in a geographical area. As an academic discipline, Cartography facilitates understanding political elements in International Relations (IR) studies—territory, boundary, and sovereignty of any nation. Maps are used to understand cartographic information and define modern territoriality and sovereignty with acceptable and neat boundaries. Cartographic aggression translates..

Q. What are India's Energy Security Concerns and it's impact on Armed forces in the current era?

Replied by Col Shashank Sharma
Most of the combat platforms, forward deployed units (with the exception of nuclear submarines) and all means of transport of the armed forces run on petroleum based fuels. Any disruption in the supply of fuel supply would adversely effect the combat capability of the armed forces. The armed forces are completely dependent on public sector and state-owned companies for supplyof oil and electricity respectively. The national energy security strategy and actions to mitigate the energy security concerns of the country would subsume the military requirements including through the national strategic petroleum reserves. The crude and petroleum products st..

Q. Is China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) facing a backlash in Pakistan?

Aakriti Vinayak, Research Associate, VIF
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship component of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, was billed as a game changer by the Pakistani elites. Officially launched in April 2015, the economic corridor that would link Kashgar in Xinjiang to Gwadar in Balochistan five years later has entered its second phase. While the first phase was essentially about electricity projects and railway lines the second phase has special emphasis on development of special economic zones, agriculture,industry, trade and science and technology. However the plan’s details- the term of the investments and loans, the full extent of the pr..

Q. How is China protecting their own critical information infrastructure?

Replied by Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd), Consultant, VIF
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is the central Internet regulator, censor, oversight and control agency for the People's Republic of China. China defines National critical information infrastructure as: The national critical information infrastructure refers to the information facilities concerning the national security, the national economy and the people's livelihood, which may seriously damage the national security and the public interest if the data is divulged, destroyed or lost, including but not limited to providing public communications, broadcasting and television transmission and other services..

Q. What do you think about Cyber Warfare and Offensive Cyber Ops? Is India capable of countering cyber attacks by China? by Hari Om Chuahan

Replied by Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF
“Cyber-Warfare” is a form of warfare in which a cyber-attack is coordinated with intentions to disrupt the operability of vital computer systems supporting the infrastructure of a nation. However, there is a debate on defining the term cyber-warfare, as no cyber-attack or cyber-based offensive operation to date could be described as a war. Sir, I am no authority to comment on if India is able to counter offensive cyber-attacks from China. However, in September 2018, the Defence Cyber Agency (DCA)—a tri-service command of the Indian Armed Forces was established, with primary objective to handle cyber security threat and ..

Q. In India, what are the measures to counter fake news or misinformation menace?

Replied by Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF
The outreach of social media platforms and other mobile-based communication applications has enabled the misinformation aka fake news to travel faster in compared to decade earlier. Social media in cyber milieu has emerged a powerful tool to “make or break” the peaceful environment. According to the Director at Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism—Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, “the problems of disinformation in a society like India might be more sophisticated and more challenging that they are in the West”. To counter the spread of fake news menace, the Government of India (GoI) initiated several measures, including c..

Q. Could you explain about India’s role in development and reconstruction in Afghanistan?

Replied by Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF
Since 2001, India has played an active role towards Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development. Under the bilateral relationship between India and Afghanistan, around 400 social-infrastructure Indian projects are invested. These projects, spread across 34 provinces of Afghanistan, focus on development in various areas, including education, healthcare, infrastructure, flood control, agriculture, and sports. “Under New Development Partnership, several important projects focused on developmental needs and priorities of Afghanistan have been identified for implementation including Shahtoot Dam and drinking water project for Kabul..

Q. What is the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism?

Replied by Anurag Sharma, Research Associate, VIF
Since 1970s, India has been facing terrorism and its various aspects at different levels. In 1996, India has made an important contribution towards counter-terrorism at international fora. On 17 December 1996 in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), India proposed—Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), a treaty which intends to “criminalise all forms of international terrorism, denial of safe havens, access to funds, and arms to terrorists and the financiers of terrorism”. As of 2021, the CCIT is in “deadlock” state due to differences on definition of terrorism among the member states of the U..

Q. What is the significance of the QUAD summit?

Replied by Amruta Karambelkar
The Quad is a group of four like- minded democracies and comprises of India, US, Japan and Australia. These counties have common interests in security of the Indo-Pacific. The four countries see free and open Indo-Pacific essential. They are concerned about impediments to free flow of trade and navigation. When the QUAD grouping started some activity in the past two years ago, doubts were raised whether the group- whether the members were committed, their bilateral relations with China, specifically the trade dependency etc. There were doubts over the new US administration’s view of China and the Indo-Pacific. China had dismissed the grou..

Q. Is India facing an acute water crisis? What are some of the major steps taken by the government in this regard?

Replied by Heena Samant
Yes, India is currently facing an unprecedented water crisis. According to a report published by Niti Aayog, a premier policy Think Tank of Government of India, in 2018 titled ‘Composite Water Management Index’, India is undergoing the worst water crisis in its history. Additionally, there are several other information that has been provided in the report as far as the severity of the crisis is concerned. The report mentions that more than 600 million people are facing acute water shortages and critical groundwater resources which account for 40% of our water supply are being depleted at unsustainable rates. 75% of the households in the country do not ..

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