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  • Building Peace in Kashmir
    August, 2010 By Shivangi Muttoo

    There has been widespread unrest in Kashmir for more than a month now. The present government strategy of deploying security forces will treat the symptoms of the crisis but not the malady at the heart of it. Only political and economic development has the potential to build durable peace in a volatile Kashmir.

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  • India 2010:2020 – Decade of Innovation
    August, 2010 By Sanaa Arora

    The Indian government has declared 2010-2020 as the “Decade of Innovation”. Although the gamut of innovation is vast and government efforts will be directed towards stimulating reforms in various sectors including education, environment, healthcare, and legal, there is an underlying emphasis to boost advances in science and technology.  The stress on providing an impetus to science and technology is important, keeping in mind the crucial role it plays in the progress of a nation. 

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  • The National Food Security Bill: ‘Food for Thought’
    July, 2010 By Shivangi Muttoo

    The Indian government will soon introduce the National Food Security Bill in the Parliament. The Bill will probably become an Act without difficulty as the United Progressive Alliance government has a majority in the Parliament and the principal opposition party; the Bhartiya Janata Party is also extending support to the government on the bill. However, if the National Food Security Bill in its present form becomes an Act, it is unlikely to tackle chronic hunger and acute malnutrition in the country. 

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  • Making Innovation Matter
    July, 2010 By Ambika Vishwanath

    Along the banks of the beautiful Lake Siljan, in the idyllic town of Leksand, Sweden, over 1600 people from 120 countries came together for the 5th Global YES Summit in partnership with the Tallberg Foundation. The Summit brought together almost 150 projects and new ideas, developed by people who have a desire to tackle the challenges facing us today. These projects and initiatives attempt to solve issues of social cohesion, climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, and youth unemployment. These ideas, which are focused mainly on the grassroots and community level, have the potential to start an innovation revolution in developing societies.  

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  • India, Bangladesh and Energy Security
    July, 2010 By Sowmya Suryanarayanan

    In January 2010, India and Bangladesh agreed to cooperate in the energy sector to tackle the looming energy crisis. This development is significant as co-operation in the past has been constrained by political mistrust and public misconceptions. Cooperation in the energy sector is crucial for Bangladesh given that the demand for natural gas and electricity in the country has already outstripped the supply. Also, the proximity and dominant position of India in the region will open up energy trade and facilitate new investments in the energy sector for Bangladesh.

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  • Europe’s ‘Austere’ Intentions
    July, 2010 By Joyanto Mukherjee

    Economic rules have always pointed out that the best way to fight recession is by indulging in spending, so that the slack outlays by under-pressure consumers and businesses are compensated for. But the global credit crisis and the harsh terms of an EU-IMF bailout to rescue Greece from bankruptcy have turned that principle on its head across Europe. From Madrid to Athens, governments are unveiling emergency budgets that slash tens of billions from their economies, under pressure to control their soaring deficits, popularly known as the European Austerity Drive. But such a coordinated attempt towards austerity may result in a step down for this group of countries, rather than a way out of the current crisis.

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  • Pakistan’s Report Card at the Halfway Mark
    June, 2010 By Rohit Honawar

    Two years have passed since Pakistan had its first democratic elections in close to a decade. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) victory and Asif Zardari’s subsequent nomination to the presidency was touted as a breakthrough for a country which contended with military rule for more than half of its independent history. With incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Kayani making the decisive decision to keep the military away from politics, there was much expectation that Pakistan would assume a path to recovery which would encompass and provide for the needs of the electorate. Yet, what has emerged after twenty-seven months is a system far from the participatory politics and fair representation the people had hoped for when the PPP took charge. The country continues to be defined by dynastic politics, with a handful of powerful individuals running the affairs of the state. Not to be outdone, the army has cemented its position as the key decision maker with regards to the ‘war on terror’ and its historic rival India, while distancing itself from the internally volatile situation. Expectedly, it is the people of Pakistan that have had to bear the consequences. As the government approaches the halfway mark of its five year tenure it is imperative to assess its interim ‘report card’ – just how successful has the PPP led government been, and is the outlook optimistic, or will the electorate continue to be marginalized as the country’s leaders focus on their vested interests? 

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  • The Chinese Element in the Korean Equation
    June, 2010 By Sahiba Trivedi

    Chinese diplomats are currently engaged in pacifying both North and South Korea, poised at a stand off. The fragile armistice between the two Koreas was shattered when a South Korean warship was torpedoed in March this year, resulting in a death toll of 46 people. South Korea accused North Korea of carrying out the attack; North Korea took an aggressive stance, rejecting the accusations and threatening war against its neighbour. Since China is a traditional ally of North Korea and is a major powerbroker in the region, it has taken the lead in de-escalating the tension in the Korean peninsula. Although Beijing seems to be refraining from any drastic measures at present, due to its ambitions of becoming a global power, it may eventually agree to sanctioning the North Korean regime in case its carefully constructed strategy of diplomacy, negotiations and tough rhetoric fails. 

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