Hydrocarbon Transit: Iran's Reinvigorated Caspian Dream

The Caspian Basin has over the years, evolved as an arena for competition and contest among the great powers. The major imperative behind this constant tussle for control and influence has been the rich yet underexploited hydrocarbon wealth that lay beneath the region. The unsettled legal status of the Caspian Basin notwithstanding, the littorals (particularly the triumvirate comprising Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) have nonetheless depended on outside investment to boost their hydrocarbon sector and improve their economies.


The first decade of the twenty-first century has witnessed social movements and citizen action ranging from overthrowing authoritarian governments as seen in Arab Spring to challenging the principles of established governments in the Occupy Movements. There have been attempts at questioning the established order and creating a space for contestation and negotiation by these citizens.


March 03, 2014 was a different day for China. It definitely was not a usual Monday – because most parents in Kunming, Yunnan were wondering if it would be a good idea to send their children to school that day. Businessmen in the south western province were not looking forward to a new week either, as customers had reduced by about two-thirds the day before and most small businesses had reported a stagnated growth.

Unemployment and Unrest: China's Internal Stability Concerns from the "New Normal"

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The World Economic Outlook database, released by the International Monetary Fund on April 14, 2015 has stated that China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate will drop to 6.8 per cent from 7.4 per cent last year. The biggest challenge that China is now faced with however, is not the declining rates of growth but unemployment, which could trigger social unrest.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Xi’an had fuelled hopes on the Chinese side that India was finally warming up to the ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) initiative. Studious silence on this matter is albeit a reminder that New Delhi’s reservations remain steadfast viz-a-viz OBOR. In this context, how insecurities can be managed and a better economic environment can be created in the region emerges as a burning question.


What is OBOR?

The Role of Technology in Disaster Preparedness: Lessons from the Nepal Earthquake for India

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Saumya G Kutty has a M.A. in Natural Resource Management from GGS IP University, New Delhi and B.Sc in Physics from Delhi University. And also affiliated with the Indian Climate Research Network

The Nepal earthquake that struck on 25 April 2015 measuring 7.8 was the worst earthquake since 1934 and resulted in widespread damage in Nepal and surrounding countries of the region. According to “Did You Feel It?” and the responses on the United States Geological Survey (USGS) website, tremors within India were felt as far and wide as Karnataka and Kerala.

The GWOT, Aerial Strikes and Winning Hearts and Minds in WestAsia

The strategy of "Winning hearts and minds" has remained a common factor in the "Global War on Terror" initiated by the Bush Doctrine as well as President Obama’s endeavors abroad.  However, the US strategy to counter Al-Qaeda and contain the growth of the Islamic State (ISIS) has largely challenged the concept of “winning hearts and minds”. The extensive use of American air power to attack the Al-Qaeda cells in Yemen and Pakistan, as well as the ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria have faced serious criticisms.

Space Cooperation: a New Avenue for India-South Korea Bilateral Engagement

The bilateral relationship between India and South Korea has made great strides in recent times. In this regard, India’s economic liberalization in early 1990s and adoption of the ‘Look East Policy’ as well as South Korea’s ‘New Asia Diplomacy Initiative’ has played a vital role.[i] Since 1990s, for almost two decades, New Delhi-Seoul relationship was largely driven by economic factors. The strategic context of it was not harnessed adequately until recent times.

Cancellation of India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary-level Talks

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On 18 August, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson announced that the Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan scheduled for 25 August had been cancelled. This followed some dramatic developments earlier in the day centred around India’s Foreign Secretary, Sujatha Singh, calling the Pakistan High Commissioner, Abdul Basit, and advising him that the Foreign Secretary-level talks will be cancelled if he went ahead with his meeting with the Hurriyat leaders. Eventually, Basit settled for talking to them instead.

It is High Time that India Changes its Stance on Jammu & Kashmir

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I read a news headline a couple of days back that India braces up for Pakistan raising the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) issue at the United Nations (UN). I always wonder why India is sensitive to Pakistan raising the J&K issue at the UN or at any other international fora?  Firstly as per the Independence of India Act (1935), further endorsed in the 1947 Act, it was the sovereign of the princely state, who was authorised to choose between India, Pakistan or to remain independent.