More than Meets the Eyes: India's Trade Agreement with UAE is a Strategic Step Forward

On February 18, 2022, India signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with UAE. It came after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended the India-UAE Virtual Summit. "I believe that the India-UAE CEPA signed today will be a game-changer in our economic ties," PM Modi tweeted after the Summit. CEPA was signed by Indian Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marr at a function held in New Delhi on the same day.

DEBA R MOHANTY

Crisis in Ukraine: Humanity is the Biggest Loser

Different media groups have produced contrasting perceptions of the situation in Ukraine thus far. Internet and social media sources are full of deep fakes, leaving the common citizens divided virtually along with Russian and non-Russian narratives. But, the reality on the ground is that as of March 1, 2022, Russia is in complete control of significant parts of Ukraine's territory. Russian troops are about to surround Kyiv and have fired missiles on Kharkiv, Chernihiv and fourteen other areas.

DEBA R MOHANTY

Higher Military Institutional Reforms: Chief of Defence Staff and Department of Military Affairs

General Bipin Rawat, the most decorated  Indian military officer, who had served as the Chief of the Army Staff from December 2016 to December 2019, became India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) effectively from January 2020 until his untimely death in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on December 8, 2021. Late General Rawat,  an officer of the Indian Army from the Infantry (5/11 Gorkha Rifles), had a distinguished career of nearly 43 years of military service.

DEBA R MOHANTY

Rewetting the Wetlands: Need For Collective Action to Rejuvenate Wetland Ecosystem

Swamps are a spooky, ugly, disenchanted place in children’s stories, books, animated serials and movies. These imaginations are relatively antithesis of the real value of swamps and others where land meets water. Wetlands, as commonly known, are abundant in life and livelihood. Therefore, the world celebrates every year on February 2 as World Wetlands Day to encourage global awareness about the vital role of wetlands in the ecosphere.

AVILASH ROUL

China Destroys the Myth of Asian Space Race

The world is facing various challenges owing to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and it appears that this threat is not going to get over, at least in the near future. The world is slowly learning to adapt to this new reality. Some states are found doing well (in a relative sense) and are getting tuned to work under the shadow of the Covid-19 menace. Initially, various social sectors and sectors of the economy were finding it difficult to operate under the current crisis.

AJEY LELE

"Exacerbating the Pandemic? Assessing The Critical Role of Religious Congregations in Indian Subcontinent"

Chapter 07:  Exacerbating the Pandemic? Assessing The Critical Role of Religious Congregations in the Indian Subcontinent. 

Rohan Kumar Gunaratna and Mohd Mizan Aslam (ed), COVID-19 Pandemic: The Threat and Response, Routledge, 2022.  See for details @ https://www.routledge.com/COVID-19-Pandemic-The-Threat-and-Response/Gun…

ANIMESH ROUL
January 2022

Why SAARC would not allow Foreign Ministers meet to Legitimise Taliban Regime

The South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Foreign Ministers meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting has become a convention since 1997. Despite the SAARC Summit meetings being cancelled or postponed, the SAARC foreign Ministers have met regularly to discuss the regional affairs. Lately, since 2018, the India Pakistan conflict has also spilled over to the SAARC foreign ministers meet in New York.

SMRUTI S PATTANAIK

Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind: Lingering Al Qaeda influence in Kashmir and Beyond

August 25, 2021

In July 2021, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), the Al Qaeda linked Kashmir jihadist group, came to the limelight when several suspected militant members were arrested in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (UP). This was a significant breakthrough as, for the first time, suspected AGH operatives were arrested beyond their usual operating ground, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Interrogations have found that detained militants planned to carry out suicide bombings in different parts of the state. The police had identified them as Shakeel, Mohammad Mustakeem, Mohammad Moid, Minhaz Ahmed and Maseeruddin.

SACM