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  • In Humility, Admiring the Impossible
    September, 2011 By Sundeep Waslekar

    I have rarely experienced a greater irony in my life. Hours after I spent touching moments in Einstein’s apartment at Gerechtigkeitsgasse 32 in old Bern, where he had written all his famous works of 1905, I heard the announcement from another part of Switzerland. CERN said that its Large Hadron Collider had enabled neutrinos to travel faster than light, thus proving Einstein wrong.....

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  • Eco-affluence or How We Can Survive
    September, 2011 By Ilmas Futehally

    I recently came across a new term coined by Dr James Martin, the founder of the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University that brings  together the possibility of improving the quality of our lives without destroying the planet – “eco-affluence”. Perhaps beyond the horizon, this concept will be the one that will save our world from destruction.

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  • Syria: An Uncertain Future
    September, 2011 By Shivangi Muttoo

    For the past five months, Syria has been thrown into the midst of so much chaos and social unrest that uncertainty has become the new norm in the country. The end to the standoff between President Bashar al-Assad and the protestors does not seem to be in sight. The diplomatic pressure, from the US and countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, on Syria to defuse the crisis has not yielded meaningful results. While President Assad is determined and taking significant measures to retain power, the protestors are displaying courage in their face-off with the tanks and army and are likely to continue their struggle until reforms are ushered in and a new regime is elected. Since both sides are stuck to their entrenched positions, Syria’s future will be shaped by uncertainty, which will have negative socio-economic implications for the country.

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  • India’s Demographic Dividend
    September, 2011 By Anumita Raj

    India is presently in the early part of its demographic dividend. However, unless lessons are learnt from other parts of the world, and adequate measures are taken both at the ground and policy levels, it is possible that India will be unable to reap its demographic dividend, and may in fact jeopardize its future as a result of inadequate action. 

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  • Deconstructing Terror
    August, 2011 By Sundeep Waslekar

    Sundeep Waslekar comments on the unity and dignity in Norway's response to Anders Breivik's monstrous acts. The Norwegian reaction provides lessons on how to deconstruct terror. 

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  • Vietnam-China: Love Hate Relationship
    August, 2011 By Jot Prakash Kaur

    The bilateral relations between China and Vietnam date back to the 1950s. The six decades of friendly ties saw both countries collaborating on various fronts such as infrastructure and energy. However, there were three territorial disputes which emerged between both the countries during this period. Apart from the dispute over Spratly islands in South China Sea, the other two territorial disputes have been amicably resolved; maritime delimitation in the Tonkin Gulf and land border disputes. In recent times, Vietnam has started improving its ties with other countries, with a special focus on the United States of America (USA). This has been viewed as Vietnam’s desire to involve a third party in resolving the dispute in the South China Sea. Vietnam has also started investing in its defense capabilities. China seems to be upset with these recent developments. In the light of these events and shifting relationships, it is important to examine the future of bilateral ties between China and Vietnam. 

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  • A Friend in Need: Sino-Pak Ties
    August, 2011 By Sahiba Trivedi

    At present, there is intense speculation on whether Sino-Pak ties will be affected by the recent attacks in Kashgar, China that led to Chinese authorities announcing the perpetrators had been trained in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Such a public announcement is extremely rare, especially when considering the fact that Pakistan has been visibly touting the countries as being ‘all weather friends’ in recent months. China is concerned about its restive Xinjiang province and wants to arrest the growth of any terrorist or separatist movements, both within and outside its territories, which may challenge the Chinese state. Despite the terrorism angle to the Sino-Pak equation, bilateral ties are likely to remain unaffected, at least for the next few years.

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  • ‘Mobile’ Changes in the Arab World
    July, 2011 By Shivangi Muttoo

    A year ago, Souktel-a non governmental organization (NGO), announced that it would use an innovative ‘voice recognition’ mobile technology in Morocco to connect illiterate job seekers with prospective employers. The country is confronted with a difficult odd; the adult illiteracy in Morocco is among the highest in the world, and as a result there are a large number of illiterate job seekers. The ‘voice recognition’ mobile technology will enable the illiterate unemployed youth to upload their voice CVs or resumes and send them to employers. This is just one of the many recent examples to show that the use of mobile phones in Arab countries, as in the rest of the world, is no longer about just making calls but increasingly about utilizing mobile phone applications for positive societal changes. Mobile phones have now emerged as a new tool to facilitate socioeconomic development and for political mobilization in Arab countries. 

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