Showing posts with label India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India. Show all posts

21 February 2018

The story of ‘Sher Bachha’: braveheart soldier who saved Poonch

By Lt Gen H S Panag

Nestled between the Betar Nala to the west and Poonch river to the south, Poonch is a historical town along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. It’s a place that occupies an important place in our military history and also one that has produced some legendary characters, including two unforgettable members of the Indian Army, who were in their own way the Rajas of Poonch.

Our logistics base for 4 Sikh in Poonch was near the old palace of its former King that was designed like a European castle. Our Officers' Mess was called Joginder Mahal and was located in the house of a former jagirdar. Outside Joginder Mahal, under a Chinar tree, were the quarters of Havaldar Raja Singh, the unit mascot of 4 Sikh - a six-foot tall (when standing), 250 kg Himalayan black bear!

State of Play: Insurgencies in India’s Northeast

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Amid relative tranquility, little rebellions are continuing in India’s northeastern region. Headed by recalcitrant rebel leaders, some of whom have no inhibitions in aligning their ambitions with that of the anti-India policies of neighbouring countries, these movements have been responsible for the occasional acts of violence and a more persisting problem of disruption and instability. Directionless and protracted negotiations between the government and the pro-talk insurgencies have not helped. Although insurgency-related fatalities have dipped, for durable peace to return, New Delhi needs to do more. 

Nirav Modi blames PNB


Nirav Modi, at the centre of the ₹11,500 crore banking fraud, has said the Punjab National Bank’s overzealousness has shut the doors on his ability to clear the dues, which he claimed were much lower than the amount stated by the bank.

In a letter to the PNB management, a copy of which PTI has seen, Mr. Modi has pegged the amount that his companies owe the bank at under ₹5,000 crore.

Media frenzy

“The erroneously cited liability resulted in a media frenzy which led to immediate search and seizure of operations, and which in turn resulted in Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International effectively ceasing to be going-concerns. This jeopardised our ability to discharge the dues of the group to the banks,” said Mr. Modi, who left the country along with his family in the first week of January.

20 February 2018

INDIA, IRAN TO STEP UP COOPERATION ON AFGHANISTAN

By ASHOK SHARMA

NEW DELHI (AP) — India and Iran said Saturday that they would step up cooperation in combatting extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking in Afghanistan in an effort to restore peace and stability to the war-wracked country.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, talks to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, during later's ceremonial reception at the Indian presidential palace in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. Rouhani, who is on three days state visit to India has strongly criticized the Trump administration's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and urged Muslims to support the Palestinian cause. Hassan Rouhani also lashed out at the United States for imposing a ban on travelers from six largely Muslim countries. 

What ISRO will spend Rs 107.83 billion on


ISRO needs next generation launchers and new facilities to manufacture and launch them, including a new launch pad at the Sriharikota spaceport.

T E Narasimhan reports.

The Centre has allocated Rs 107.83 billion for the Department of Space for the financial year 2018-2019, against Rs 91.55 billion in the revised estimates for 2017-2018.

The allocation includes about Rs 89.63 billion for various space-related projects of the department, and also the targets to be achieved in the next fiscal year.

While the general perception is that the allocation should be more, considering the fact that the Indian Space Research Organisation is trying to increase its launches, experts pointed out this should be looked at in the backdrop of ISRO's efforts to form partnerships with private companies and the growing revenue of Antrix, the commercial arm of the government space agency.

19 February 2018

India’s Universal Basic Income: Bedeviled by the Details


SAKSHAM KHOSLA

The idea of a universal basic income (UBI)—periodic and unconditional cash payments to all citizens—has gained renewed attention amid growing concerns about technological unemployment in advanced economies.

SUMMARY

The idea of a universal basic income (UBI)—periodic and unconditional cash payments to all citizens—has gained renewed attention amid growing concerns about technological unemployment in advanced economies. More recently, economists have made the case for a UBI in the developing world, where cash transfers distributed to all citizens, rich and poor, may cut through layers of red tape and lead to outsize gains in poverty reduction.

India’s defence industry lacks fire power

BIDANDA CHENGAPPA

The ministry of defence has to be lauded for its proposed move not to make any further investments in the state-owned defence production sector which has, over the years, become a drag on the economy. Today India is the largest arms importer in the world and spends annually on an average about $3.6 billion, which is more than the combined imports of both Pakistan and China. Over seven decades of nationhood, the state-owned defence industrial combine, except for missilery, communication systems and some low technology items, has not contributed notably to self-reliance in defence production.

India’s defence industry constitutes eight defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) and 41 Ordnance Factories (OFs) besides 49 Defence Research and Development Organisations (DRDO) which were created to accomplish self-reliance in defence production. The decision to restructure state-owned defence was in view of their dismal performance; it should have been taken at least two decades ago.

India´s Response to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative

By Christian Wagner and Siddharth Tripathi 

According to Christian Wagner and Siddharth Tripathi, the threat posed by China’s Belt and Road Initiative has induced significant shifts in India’s foreign policy. For instance, India has now adopted a willingness to cooperate with other states like the US within South Asia, meaning it has dispensed with its policy of viewing the region as its natural sphere of influence. Further, India is also addressing China’s challenge by intensifying its efforts to cooperate with other states across its extended neighborhood in Asia, something that could create new opportunities for Germany and Europe.

18 February 2018

India in a corner: Beneath the foreign policy bluster is a great floundering

By Pratap Bhanu Mehta

The vigour of PM Narendra Modi’s travels can barely disguise the fact that in terms of India’s security objectives, he is looking very weak indeed. 

India finds itself increasingly cornered into a strategic cul-de-sac. Even as its diplomacy expands, its political options seem to decrease; even as it reaches out to look east and look west, the strategic space to address its core concerns does not seem to be expanding; and even as its bluster about a strong state grows, doubts about its military capabilities are growing equally louder. So, paradoxically, India finds itself in this position that even as it is globally recognised, it looks more helpless in its own backyard.

Maldives Crisis Could Stir Trouble Between China and India

By MUJIB MASHAL

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — As the Maldives’ autocratic president, Abdulla Yameen, cracks down on opposition to consolidate power ahead of another election, analysts and diplomats warn that the small nation’s troubles could provoke a larger crisis that draws in China and India, which have long competed for influence in the Indian Ocean region.

Mr. Yameen, who this month declared a state of emergency and rounded up Supreme Court judges and opposition leaders, has cozied up to China. He has invited heavy investment into the Maldives as part of Beijing’s ambitious “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the infrastructure program reviving land and sea trading routes that China is using to spread its influence around the globe.

India Gains Access to Oman's Duqm Port, Putting the Indian Ocean Geopolitical Contest in the Spotlight

By Ankit Panda

Duqm adds an important node to a growing network of facilities in the Indian Ocean held by actors with interests in preserving the status quo.

As a result of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent trip to Oman — part of a broader Middle Eastern tour — New Delhi and Muscat finalized an agreement that will see India gain access to the strategically located port of Duqm, on Oman’s southern coast. The port sits on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean and also provides easy access onward into the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aden.

Why India no longer cares about Pakistan's nuclear threats

SUSHANT SAREEN

For over quarter of a century, Pakistan’s undeclared war on India has centred on two pillars. The first is export of terror. The second is nuclear sabre-rattling. The strategic calculus of the Pakistanis is simple.

The terrorists are pushed into India without any fear of a similar pushback from India. This is so because unlike Pakistan, India doesn’t use terrorists as an instrument of state policy. India’s capacity to hit back using its conventional superiority has been severely constrained by the second pillar of Pakistani policy — nuclear weapons.

17 February 2018

India´s Response to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative

By Christian Wagner and Siddharth Tripathi 

According to Christian Wagner and Siddharth Tripathi, the threat posed by China’s Belt and Road Initiative has induced significant shifts in India’s foreign policy. For instance, India has now adopted a willingness to cooperate with other states like the US within South Asia, meaning it has dispensed with its policy of viewing the region as its natural sphere of influence. Further, India is also addressing China’s challenge by intensifying its efforts to cooperate with other states across its extended neighborhood in Asia, something that could create new opportunities for Germany and Europe.

Relations between Washington and Islamabad? It’s Complicated



Bottom Line: Current U.S.-Pakistan relations remain strained as the U.S. maintains that Pakistan’s security and intelligence services are doing the minimum to hunt America’s militant enemies within its borders. Pakistani officials have told The Cipher Brief that they have been searching for a way to restart relations despite public humiliation by President Donald Trump earlier this year. Each side wants to keep the other from seeking alternative support – with China wooing Pakistan, and the U.S. growing closer to India.

India warns Pakistan that it will pay for a deadly militant attack on an Indian army camp in Kashmir


NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR,India (Reuters) - India has warned Pakistan that it would pay for a deadly militant attack on an Indian army camp in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, the latest violence in the disputed region to stoke tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Pakistan responded by saying it was “fully committed and capable of defending itself against any act of aggression” and India had unfairly blamed it for the attack “without a shred of evidence”.

Saturday’s attack on the camp near Jammu, in the Indian-controlled part of the Muslim-majority Himalayan region, was the worst in months with six soldiers and the father of a soldier killed. At least three militants were killed, according to Indian officials.

16 February 2018

When should India employ hard power? There’s an urgent need to answer the question thoughtfully

Nitin Pai

I write this after the president of the Maldives has arrested judges of the Supreme Court instead of following its orders to release all political prisoners arrested under trumped up charges. It’s only the latest turn in a drama that started exactly six years ago when the country’s first democratically elected pro-India president was ousted in a coup. Among others, his successor repudiated an airport development contract that had been awarded to an Indian company. The $270 million in damages that international arbiters forced the Maldives to pay was financed through funds injected by Chinese and Saudi investors.

An Idea or a Threat? Islamic State Jammu & Kashmir

AMIRA JADOON

In early February 2016, the Islamic State announced its intention to expand into Kashmir as part of its broader Khorasan branch.1 One of the causes of concern associated with the spread of the Islamic State affiliate in Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) is the existing instability within the region due to the controversial Line of Control (LoC) that divides the region into Indian and Pakistani controlled areas. The highly militarized Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) region constitutes a long-running territorial dispute between India and Pakistan, which has triggered at least three wars. The region also hosts three prominent militant groups—the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)—which historically have been linked to elements of the Pakistani state and largely favor Pakistan. If successful, an Islamic State-inspired movement may have severe negative consequences in the already volatile environment of Jammu and Kashmir, such as increased rivalry amongst militant groups and sectarian violence. This would not only exacerbate Pakistan’s current instability but also antagonize relations between the two nuclear-armed countries.

15 February 2018

A New Reality Confronts India in the Middle East

By Harsh V. Pant

India is still stuck in the age-old debates of the Israel-Arab rivalry whereas the Middle East has moved on. Can Modi change that?

As India seeks to pursue multi-dimensional engagement with the Middle East, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest visit to the region has merely underscored the growing salience of the region in the Indian foreign policy matrix. While a lot of focus is often given to India’s ‘Act East’ policy, India’s ‘Look West’ policy too has evolved rapidly. This was Modi’s fifth visit to West Asia in the last three and a half years and sustained high-level engagement has ensured that India’s voice is becoming an important one in a region that is witnessing major power rivalries playing out in the open like never before.

Could Russia Design a Fifth-Generation Variant of the Su-35 for India?

 By Abraham Ait

A stealth-capable Su-35 could be just what India needs to keep pace with China and Pakistan.

With the future of India’s HAL fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), a program to design an Indian next generation fighter based on the Russian Su-57 fifth-generation air superiority platform, currently uncertain, Moscow and New Delhi are reportedly discussing developing a “fifth-generation” version of the Su-35 for India’s needs. This would provide the Indian Air Force with a fifth-generation air superiority platform at a lower cost that the Su-57 derivative — a capability the country sorely needs in light of the induction of the J-20 heavy fifth-generation fighter in neighboring China.

14 February 2018

Can the SCO Bring India and Pakistan Together?

By Sabena Siddiqi

Since Pakistan and India’s formal induction into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) last year, the group now represents 40 percent of the world’s population and almost 20 percent of its GDP. Bringing these two South Asian neighbors into the folds of the SCO in June 2017 initially gave rise to conjecture as to whether they could coexist. On a positive note, in the SCO the participation of all member states in its activities is mandatory so interaction and dialogue is unavoidable. Considering the tense relations between India and Pakistan, it should be interesting to see them participating in multilateral military exercises under the auspices of the SCO, as the memorandum of obligations makes joint military exercises compulsory.