In response to a series of bomb blasts and kidnapping of a member of legislative assembly in Bajhang district recently, the Nepal government on March 12, 2019, proscribed the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) by branding the same as a criminal group. The ban was imposed just 16 days before the second investment summit, scheduled for March 29-30 by sending a message to the domestic and external investors that Nepal is safe for investment.
Carefully planned multiple strikes on Balakot (and other targets), reasonably deep into the Pakistani territory (about 60 miles from the border of Pakistan Administered Kashmir-PAK) by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to weed out assembled terrorists in the biggest terror training camp in a ‘non-military, pre-emptive intelligence-led operation’, in the wee hours of 26th February 2019, has stunned Pakistan and propelled euphoric Indian sentiments further.
In recent years, there appears to be increased interest in chemical and biological weapons (CBW) as a means for hostile state and non-state actors to improve their capabilities in carrying out proxy wars. Credible reports have indicated that the jihadi group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has acquired chemical weapons and is using them for war theatres in the Middle East. (The UNSC Press Release, November 7, 2017). This situation is very grave and a big threat to humanity across the globe.
Precisely three hours after 25th February mid-night and roughly three hours before the dawn of 26th February 2019, within a span of 20 minutes, less than one Mirage squadron of about 12 fighters of IAF dropped more than 1000kgs sophisticated and high intensity bombs (presumably laser guided) at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (hereafter, KP) region of Pakistan.
The Naxalite movement, otherwise known as Maoist movement or Left Wing Extremism (LWE), celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in India in 2017. Despite tall claims made by successive governments, people in Maoist-infested regions continue to lead a miserable life. The metamorphic growth of violence and the inability of the state to come out with a well-thought-strategy have entirely paralyzed the rural administration in Maoist-infested regions.
Presentation to the 23rd CWC Conference of States Parties (CSP) Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Hague, The Netherlands, November 23, 2018
Mr Chairman, Director-General, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s an honour to be present at the 23rd Conference of States Parties (CSP-23) and the 4th Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Post Bofors, there has been a reasonable ‘self-reliance’ attempt in Indian defence. To validate this assertion, let’s put it to a fundamental test—the ever-growing artillery.
The rising threat from unpredictable and excessive rainfall, exacerbated by climate change, has warranted a conceptual debate for robust policy formulation. The urgency has never been felt more than now as we witness devastating incidents like dam breach in Laos, the State Deluge in Kerala (India) and frequent marooning of cities, including ‘smart cities’ in India, during monsoon. It has now become a common scenario across megacities and towns when torrential rains play havoc with daily lives of people leading to deaths and destruction of properties.
It appears India is in a perpetual search for the acquisition of fighter aircraft – an important arsenal for the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is woefully short of its sanctioned strength (39.5 squadrons). Although calculations available in public domain vary – ranging from sanctioned 39.5 to ambitious 42 / 46 squadrons for the IAF to maintain its combat edge – slightly over 30 current squadrons with fast depleting MiG fleet put the IAF in a difficult spot, despite braggart assertions from highest-level military commanders about India’s growing military aerospace prowess.
The maritime domain is witnessing phenomenal changes led by artificial intelligence, which have affected several facets of maritime activity including the humans that build and use these machines. One of the most notable developments is the arrival of autonomous vessels in the shipping industry, which would be crewless or semi-crewed, would navigate using onboard and offshore sensors through remote control, and discharge/load cargo using intelligent and smart machines.