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  • Takaful: An Emerging Industry in the Middle East
    October, 2010 By Shivangi Muttoo

    Takaful or Islamic insurance is becoming increasingly popular in the Middle East particularly in GCC nations because it is suited to the principles of Islam. The region has a large untapped insurance market because conventional insurance has certain elements like gambling, uncertainty and interest which are prohibited by Islam. This is one of the reasons for the almost negligible growth of the conventional insurance sector. Since takaful accounts for Islamic principles, it has enormous potential to emerge as a suitable alternative to conventional insurance in the Middle East.  

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  • A Settlement on Settlements
    October, 2010 By Gitanjali Bakshi

    Everyone involved in the current Israel-Palestine peace negotiations waited with bated breath for the 26th of September - the day the 10-month Israeli freeze on settlement building expired. Would Netanyahu extend the moratorium as a gesture of sincerity towards peace negotiations? Would Abbas be able to save face among the Palestinians if he didn’t?  Will Obama’s effort to attend to a two-state solution actually amount to something? Or is this the end? The answers to these questions will set the course of Israel-Palestine relations for the next 12 months. 

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  • One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
    October, 2010 By Anumita Raj

    For close to 20 years now, India has been striving to be a major player in the global arena. Moving away from decades of non-alignment and closed markets, India has shed its socialist roots to embrace the world more firmly. And in doing so, it has received attention as a potential global superpower. As every year passes, more voices join the chorus, wondering why exactly all the buzz hasn’t translated into concrete action. 

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  • Vietnam’s ‘Capital’ Concern
    October, 2010 By Joyanto Mukherjee

    Vietnam’s capital Hanoi is proposing a master plan to develop the city and also plug the migration into the city, a plan which may have severe repercussions on the informal sector which enters the capital every year. The law is expected to be approved this month when Hanoi celebrates it 1000 years of existence. No other capital in Asia and arguably across the world has attempted such a law which would potentially deride the city of over half its population. 

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  • Enter the Dragon
    October, 2010 By Rohit Honawar

    Discussion on India’s geo-political future and regional security are more often than not centred on Pakistan - understandably so, given the trust deficit that underlies a sixty-three year relationship defined by three wars; nuclear rivalry; unsettled border disputes and; diplomatic gamesmanship. 

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  • Unscrambling the Race for Africa
    October, 2010 By Sanaa Arora

    Every few years it seems that there is a new scramble for Africa; it's only the interested actors and strategies that seem to vary. It started with the rapid European colonization of the continent. This was followed by the more covert power play by USA and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  The 21st Century or the current scramble for oil and minerals dominated by China and USA has been widely discussed by analysts. There have also been a number of new scramblers on the block, involved to a comparatively lesser extent, in particular India, Brazil and a resurgent Russia, who have increased their foreign policy focus on Africa in recent years. 

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  • Our Time is Now
    September, 2010 By Ambika Vishwanath

    In December of 2009, the United Nations passed a resolution to declare 2010-2011 as the International Year of the Youth, starting on August 12, 2010 and ending August 11, 2011. The focus is on three main areas – increasing investment in today’s young population, mobilizing and engaging the youth, and increasing intercultural understanding among youth. In a time when the headlines are full of “bad news” and we see the mistakes of the older generation, it is important to highlight the difference made by thousands of young people around the world, and to provide them with the space to do more.  

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  • Kashmir – Another Intifada?
    September, 2010 By Gitanjali Bakshi

    During the recent troubles in Kashmir, many analysts were quick to draw parallels between Kashmir and Palestine, stating that the unrest in the valley is similar to that of the Palestinian Intifadas. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the nature of the recent protests – stone throwing by youth as a reaction to heightened security measures and economic stagnation – is strikingly comparable to the Palestinian riots witnessed in 1987 and 2000. 

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