Question For Experts
Chakradhar Mahapatra asked : Please refer the above article showing underground aquifer water movement to Pakistan from Punjab across IB. What can India do to minimize its losses, any Aquifer Management Strategy by Govt, and strategic inputs VIF can provide to Govt & Armed Forces?

Replied by VIF :There are contradictory views on the subject. According to Dr Imran Saqib Khalid, who heads the environment and climate change unit at the Islamabad-based Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI): “Satellite data shows that the groundwater aquifer tilts towards India.” This is contrary to the article according to which the slope of the water table is towards west and south-west i.e from Indian Punjab toward Pakistan. In other words, the ground waters of Punjab are flowing across the international boundary towards Pakistan. Interestingly, Pakistan’s National Water Policy that was approved in March 2018 calls for trans-boundary cooperation..

Manik Aggarwal asked: My question to you is why is everyone provided with "VOTING RIGHTS" to decide what's best for the nation and what's not, without having capability(proper knowledge about what the matter is, what are the needs of the nation, what should be the way forward) ?

Replied by VIF : India adopted the principle of universal adult franchise when the present Constitution was implemented on January 26, 1950. The adoption of universal adult suffrage, was agreed upon through the constitutional debates that took place during 1947. On December 15, 1988, when the Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (Amendment)Bill lowering the voting age to 18 years, it was adopted unanimously. As decided by the makers of the Indian Constitution this is one of core principle for ensuring democracy in our federal structure. Posted on September 19, 2018 Topics: Political..

Chakradhar Mahapatra asked : From dawn of Civilisation till 2nd WW, empire building (Geographical M&A) was the key measure of success for any geography-based-communities, something like present day export performance. Then, since Chandragupta Maurya defeated Seleucus and annexed Afghanistan - Hindu Kush in 305 BC till 1971 Liberation of Bangladesh, what prevented us for 2276 years to register any cross-border military campaign/success? Why such a vast varied land for such a long period couldn't produce a leader who could dream beyond Hindustan, in spite of our upbringing about Ram's exploits in Lanka and great warriors of Mahabharat? What were the generic reasons? Our Truth-Seeking approach to Life? Manusmriti crippling fighting potential of non-Kshatriyas? Any research publications in this regard? Seeking this answer is not to know whether we are aggressive or not, but as a community what we value higher than self-actualisation?

Replied by VIF : After India’s ‘Golden Period’ under the Gupta Empire ended, the Empire’s satrapies assumed independence into nearly half a dozen monarchies and numerous kingdoms. Some of these were large enough to qualify as empires by their own right. By then, India was a ‘soney ki chidia’ - affluence and wealth was in abundance. That attracted foreign powers to attack India and gradually in bits and parts, from the 8th Century CE onwards, over the next three Centuries, capture most of India. The reason that the famed Indian proficiency in warfare could not stem the advance of foreign powers, leave alone launching military campaigns beyond their borders, are..

Sanjay Gupta asked : This is more of guidance seeking nature, how can one bring together all the 10360 rivers under a common system to ensure best governance and scientific administration in India?

Replied by VIF :There maybe a few general rules applicable to maintain our rivers better, which would include 1. Respect it first and foremost and not use exploit its resources at our free will and 2. Create awareness and sensitivity about its nature and strength and the resources it offers. Having said that, all rivers cannot be categorised under the same basin thus specific expertise and knowledge is required to nurture and govern it effectively. As you would know in India the central ministry responsible for managing rivers is the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation which lays down policy guidelines and programmes for the development..

Samarjit Chowdhury asked : India is working intensively to restructure Afganistan. Is it not the right time for India to build army bases in Afganistan for strong foothold in the central Asia? This can help India in different ways such as Challenging Chinese OBOR concept, Keeping Pakistan engage at its western border to reduce army deployment and capturing future market of central asia by roadways through Afganistan and helping security to war torn Afganistan . As Russian and Chinese interest in Afganistan is increasing day by day, is it not the right time for India to get the control before US leaves Afganistan ?

Replied by VIF : Yes India and Afghanistan are working for economic development and reconstruction in Afghanistan as well extending support to the Afghan National Defence and Security forces . They are engaged in several bilateral initiatives under the India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council. The Joint Working Group on Development Cooperation one of the four Joint Working Groups under this strategic cooperation forum held its the last meeting recently held in Kabul on August 9, 2018. The bilateral projects include capacity building, infrastructure, education, healthcare, good-governance, human resource development. India is engaged in several developmental proj..

Keshav Agrawal asked : Why is India not trying to benefit from US-China trade conflict. US businesses are looking to change their supply chain from China to elsewhere. India needs to show that bureaucratic hurdles are no more there. Better infrastructure and efficient systems can attract huge investments in India and the same time weaken China.

Replied by VIF :The Government of India has put in place a investor-friendly policy given its importance for economic growth and development. It has opened up most sectors for 100% FDI except for a limited list. At present India has investments worth $15059 mn having facilitated 518 investment proposals and there are $ 923180 mn investments in the pipeline. As is widely known PM Modi has been urging foreign investments into India, especially during his overseas travel and has accordingly initiated an enabling environment for the same. Thus greater attention has been accorded to establishing transparent policies, rule of law and providing a level playing field for all..

Anil Ram asked : What is Samvad initiative? What is its significance?

Replied by VIF : Samvad is derived from the Sanskrit word "Samvadam" meaning dialogue. It is a joint effort of two of the oldest, living, tolerant, non-conflicting civilisations and philosophies - Hinduism and Buddhism - conceived as an attempt, through a process of dialogue, to shift the paradigm of global discourse on two critical issues : those of the Conflicts, from Conflict Resolution to Conflict Avoidance; and, that of the Environment, from Environmental Regulations to Environmental Consciousness. Inspired by the vision of Prime Minister Modi, this is a landmark initiative of the Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi, and the Japan Foundation, Tokyo, in ..

Xavier Rozario asked : Why are we Indians are becoming more and more intolerant towards each other? There is so much hatred on religious, caste, social and such lines. Mob lynching is increasing, moral policing is increasing, rapes are increasing, communal hatred is increasing. Even small kids as young as 5-6 years now know how to hate their peers from other religions or communities! It pains me a lot to see these degenration !

Replied by VIF : Indians are essentially tolerant people and are used to living in coexistence. The Indian pluralistic society has in general provided a base for all to understand and appreciate our diversities as well as our individual distinctiveness. But there are certain sections that has at times indulged in creating divisions within people and society at large. The problem mentioned indeed, is actually a global phenomenon. Societies at large are becoming polarized and identity politics are assuming larger spaces than ever before. Several incidents of mindless attacks including on hapless innocent citizens including children does reveal a picture of growing hatred..

Suresh Baldaniya asked :My question is on hybrid warfare. Does China posses the capability and will power to pose hybrid threat against India? If yes, then what kind of operational preparedness is needed to deal with that threat? If the answer is no, then do we still expect threats in terms of information and psychological warfare from China in the near future ?

Replied by VIF :

  1. Warfare is, has it has ever been, a professional exercise of mind and spirit involving many strategic, operational and tactical innovations. It requires the political and military leadership to adopt appropriate mixes of many methods of warfare - regular conventional, irregular guerrilla, sub-conventional insurgent, overt and covert special operations, instigation of civil rebellion and psychological warfare – and as dictated by constantly changing situations, blend the mix to right proportions. Many times, these modes of warfare are bolstered by unarmed actions such as economic, institutional, diplomatic and political and sabotage and subversion. ..

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