Twitter, an online social networking and microblogging service was born in 2006. Interestingly, in a short span of time it has emerged as one of the most popular mediums of influence. This service at times also gets described as ‘SMS of Internet’. Like any other internet based services this amenity too has both positives and negatives. To judge the relevance of any such service it is also important to check the category of users using such services and their approach behind using it.
In a remarkable display of faith in regional cooperation, the new Prime Minister in Delhi invited all the heads of governments and their representatives of SAARC and Mauritius to his swearing-in. Interestingly, except for a common dinner hosted by the President of India, the SAARC leaders never met as a group. Are we looking forward to a robust, frequent, effective, and efficient regional dialogue on a myriad of issues regarding South Asia, especially on the environment front? Too early to predict, but we shall be hopeful.
The news of the Indonesian presidential elections have hit the headlines lately as the country prepares for ballots in the world’s third largest democracy. The elections, scheduled for 9 July, will see a host of presidential candidates contest elections to the prestigious post. The present incumbent Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been in power for two consecutive terms but is now constitutionally prohibited from contesting for the third five-year term.
At a time when irregularities in defence procurement deals have hit headlines in the media and thereby raised issues of probity and transparency in recent times, one can not help but wonder as to how the political parties and their leaders look at larger issues of probity in and concepts of national defence and security.
The Year of Friendly Exchanges between India and the People’s Republic of China kicked off with the 17th Special Representatives’ Meeting on the Boundary Question in New Delhi on 10-11 February, 2014, to forge closer and stronger ties between the two neighbours. India’s National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon discussed the issue with the Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi to come up with viable means to settle face-offs in the disputed border territories of India and China.
For the third year running, Maoists also known as Naxalites (Indian version of left-wing-extremism) related fatalities and incidents have come down in the affected provinces of India. The Maoist conflict review reports indicated that in the year 2013 a total 1,129 incidents took place as compared to 1,415 incidents in 2012. Similarly, the number of fatalities across the country came down to 394 in the review period from 415 in previous year.
The political crisis in Bangladesh had deepened further with the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance’s call for “March for Democracy” rally on December 29. More than seven hundred opposition party supporters were detained and many more were arrested at different entry points to Dhaka since December 26. One person died during a clash between opposition party activists and security forces in Dhaka on December 29.
December 20, 2013, will be marked as a proud day for India and its military scientific and industrial sectors as the indigenously designed and developed Tejas (India’s light multi-role fighter aircraft, known as LCA) gets its second and most important initial operational clearance (IOC). While the final operational clearance (FOC) will take about 18 months, after which Tejas will be formally a part of combat forces of the Indian Air Force (consequently by the Indian Navy as well), the process of induction of Tejas into IAF is now a reality after IOC.
The protracted rivalry between India and Pakistan had reached its lowest ebb and virtually plumbed new depths when both the countries detonated a series of nuclear devices way back in May 1998. This overt gesture and successive developments (such as Kargil) made the region a major nuclear flashpoint in the world. Nearly after six years, two warring neighbors have decided to sit across the table to hammer out the much needed confidence building measures (CBMs).
Amidst security threats, sporadic bomb blasts, international criticism towards one of the member states (Myanmar), the tenth ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) summit had successfully laid out its plans to achieve the objectives of ASEAN Vision 2020 in November 29-30 in Vientiane, Capital city of Laos.