"Before celebrating the import embargo on military items, worth checking the results of the defence offsets"

August 14, 2020

On  August 9, 2020, under the ambitious Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, the defence ministry (MoD) announced the imposition of an import embargo on 101 military products with a declared intent on boosting national military-industrial capacity. This much-publicised announcement has been cheered by all stakeholders of the Indian defence sector, especially the private manufacturers.

Why Speculate? Evaluating Delhi-Dhaka Ties

Several articles were published in the last week mostly speculative, indicating a doomsday scenario for India-Bangladesh bilateral relations.[1]  Three developments were cited as signals of this new low in the bilateral ties.[2] First, one report appeared in Bhorer Kagoj, a Bengali newspaper in Dhaka, that Indian High Commissioner, Riva Ganguly Das was not granted a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, despite her trying for the last four months to have such a meeting scheduled.[3] This news that Indian High Commissioner was not given

SMRUTI S PATTANAIK

"Corporatization of Ordnance Factories Board: Its time should have long come"

July 24, 2020

Interesting non-pandemic developments do occur during difficult Covid times. Such developments can span from miseries of individuals and institutions to states and the globe. While the states do confront such challenges, as part of regular considerations in aspects of governance, most appropriately on pandemic management, they may also face challenges of addressing issues that they may not have liked in these times, although such problems are an inherent part of national governance.

The UAE’s Mars Mission: Lesson for India

The planet Mars is in the news again. Three missions are expected to be Mars-bound during 2020. Typically, it takes between six to nine months to reach Mars from Earth. The minimum distance from the Earth to Mars is about 54.6 million km. Mars launch windows are available only after a gap of 26 months and the present launch window is open till the third week of August. The first Arab space mission to Mars, an unmanned probe dubbed ‘Hope’ (Al-Amal in Arabic), successfully took off from Japan on 20 July 2020. 

AJEY LELE

India-China Border Dispute: De-escalation will Depend on Geopolitical Dynamics

While the entire world has been reeling under the COIVD-19 crisis since the beginning of this year, South Asia has witnessed a spike in border disputes, besides facing the rapid spread of the pandemic itself. Although many of these disputes existed before the COVID period, the Chinese claims of territories in India and Bhutan and Nepal’s claim of three disputed territories which India has traditionally claimed to be it's own has brought a new dimension to the security discourse in the sub-continent.

SACM Assessment

Resolving India-Nepal Border Disputes: Bilateral Dialogue or Track II?

Nepal’s House of Representatives (the Lower House of the Parliament) on June 13, unanimously passed the Constitution Amendment Bill to revise the country’s political map, laying claim over areas of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadura, which are currently in Indian territory. Earlier, on May 19, Nepal issued a new map by merging these three territories into its map based on the 1816-Sugauli Treaty.

NIHAR R NAYAK

INDIA: Assessing Major Conflict Theatres Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

While the COVID-19 has devastated health, economy and social sectors across the world with the death of millions of people, its impact is mixed in the low-intensity conflict regions. In case of India, more than one lakh people have been affected (at the time of finalising this report), and more than three thousand people have succumbed to the pandemic despite a nationwide lockdown imposed since March 23.

NIHAR R NAYAK

MLM: "Decoding Ustadh Usama Mahmoud—The Shadowy and Uncrowned Leader of AQIS"

May 15, 2020

Following the death of al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent’s (AQIS) founding leader Asim Umar and several of his associates in September 2019 in Afghanistan, it was believed that the youngest franchise of the international terrorist organization would be in disarray. However, the jihadist franchise seems to have grown in strength, at least in its virtual jihad and dawa (proselytizing) campaigns. In the months following Umar’s death, the long-serving scholar spokesman, Ustadh Usama Mahmoud (a.k.a. Osama Mahmood), has risen to prominence in AQIS.

ANIMESH ROUL

States’ Responses to Covid-19 Pandemic in India: The Odisha Model

Just within a few weeks since the Covid-19 virus started spreading from Wuhan, China, in December 2019,  it was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), consequently affecting lives in 204 countries in varying degrees – some low, others moderate while about a dozen countries seriously affected. Within a span of two weeks, the total positive cases globally have seen 350 per cent increase to touch 2.3 million with death counts crossing 1,50,000 as of April 15, 2020.

DEBA R MOHANTY & NITYA D MISHRA