Question For Experts
Will DRDO and HAL will be able to deliver a 5th generation fighter jet? i.e AMCA on time or our Indian Air Force will be forced to buy a foreign fighter.

Replied by Naval Jagota
The IAF is down to 30 fighter squadrons, against the assessed requirement of 42 squadrons. Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria’s plan, unveiled in an interaction with the media inOctober 2019, will only raise numbers to 37 squadrons by 2025, before falling again to 33 squadrons by 2032. The IAF has ordered 40 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mark I aircraft [20 in Initial Operation Clearance (IOC) and 20 in Final Operation Clearance (FOC) version with 16 fighters & 4 trainers in each]. The production of 16 fighters in IOC has been completed in March, 2019 and the production of 16 fighters in FOC and 8 trainers is underway in HAL. The first aircraft in FOC fl..

Q. I want to know about the Architecture and planning of INDIAN DEFENCE UNIVERSITY, Binola, Gurugram, for Architectural Thesis. This is very important for me to make further progress in research for my thesis.

Replied by Col Jaideep Chanda
Firstly, the nomenclature presently being followed is Indian Defence University and NOT Indian National Defence University. In May 2010, the Union Cabinet accorded ‘In Principle’ approval for setting up of IDU at Binola, Gurgaon. After acquisition of approx. 202 Acre land at Binola, the foundation stone was laid by Hon’ble PM on 23 May 13. IDU would be a fully autonomous institution to be constituted under an Act of Parliament. It will not be a UGC University nor will it follow UGC norms. IDU will come into being post enactment of IDU Act. After which, construction will commence at Binola. Phase I is likely to take 3-4 years, till then pre..

Q. During the ongoing actions to stop this Coronavirus if any terrorist activity takes place in any city then what steps can the government take to deal with any such terrorist activity? Are the intelligence agencies/security establishment of our country ready for this?

Replied by Anurag Sharma
During the period of lockdown or Janta Curfew due to pandemic caused by Wuhan virus aka Coronavirus, no significant terrorist activity has taken place in India. However, counter-terrorism operations in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and counter-insurgency operations to tackle Maoist activities have not been affected due to lockdown. As a precautionary measure, various government agencies, jointly with civic bodies, are spreading the public message to keep safe and follow the instructions during the lockdown period. For example, a civil society— ‘Nagarika Sachetana Manch’ has taken steps to make locals stay away from Maoists. In Rayagada district in ..

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..

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