After assuming office late last year, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, the Indian Navy chief made his maiden visit to UAE. At Abu Dhabi, he described West Asia as part of India's ‘strategic neighborhood’ and highlighted the importance of a regional security forum comprising of Persian Gulf littoral states modeled on the lines of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) where India has an observer status. The Admiral also called for greater bilateral naval engagements between Indian and UAE maritime forces.
Democracy is the most widely admired political system, but perhaps the most difficult to maintain. Democracy begins with excellent objectives in human governance with unquestionable intensions to impart freedom from injustice and social exclusion. It is characterised as a system in which expectations are raised because people identify themselves with the polity. There has been a greater urge for opening up the space for participation and competition in a state like Nepal which had a long history of monarchical domination.
India’s space research programme has leaped to a new high with the successful launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C7) from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, carrying four satellites, including a recoverable spacecraft on January 10, 2007. This group of four satellites constituted of two Indian makes and two foreign satellites. The foreign satellites belong to the category of micro and nano satellites weighing 56 and six kg respectively.
Despite many pioneering works in the developed countries, defence economics has few takers in the developing world including India, where the relevance of the subject has not been comprehended until now. Even at present, many security analysts question the utility of application of economic principles in the strategic sector!
Several new developments point to the fact that New Delhi is undeterred by any pressures from the western world and has followed an independent foreign policy, driven more by realpolitik and less by the moral high ground of democracy, to engage the military regime in Myanmar. New Delhi has thus made great friends in Myanmar.
Havana meet has certainly removed, though for the time being, the chill in India and Pakistan bilateral relation. Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pervez Musharraf had agreed to restart the peace process that has been stalled following the July 11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai. The apprehension regarding the break down of composite dialogue process has come to an end.
Democracy and Nuclear issues cannot go hand in hand. While civilization flourishes through public participation – a distinct principle of democracy, nuclear (as a weapon) eradicates a large number of populations when it is used. Therefore, nuclear is anti-thesis to democratic principles. Any discussion on nuclear related issue, may it be national security, production of nuclear energy and its derivatives, are bound to be anti-democratic, which has been maintained its status quo in all nuclear capable countries around the world.
President Vladimir Putin’s recent address to the Russian Parliament has attracted much attention for obvious reasons. Pitched betwixt his second term as the President, which according to some could be extended through a constitutional amendment and his seemingly carefully calculated desire to name the successor, the speech reflects three interrelated factors – robust nationalism, comprehensive national power, and a reassertion of the state in global politics – a concoction of which conforms to what is known as realism in international relations.
Wrapping up his three-day India sojourn, US President George W. Bush reiterated that the relationship between India and the United States was 'closer than ever before' and India is a natural ally for the US. Ally or not, after months of intense deliberations and days of hard bargaining, India and the US have inked a landmark civilian nuclear cooperation agreement in New Delhi in early March which allows India to access U.S. nuclear fuel and technology to meet its growing energy requirements.
Bhutan’s King is to hand over power to the elected government in 2008. First ever new Constitution, drafted in March 2005, aims to set up a two party democracy after a century of absolute monarchy put in place with British help in 1907. Leaders of Bhutan’s political parties set up in exile (in neighboring India and Nepal) have welcomed King Jigme Singye Wangchuk’s announcement to abdicate the throne in 2008.