While the ‘compromise’, as put forth by Russia is a welcome development in so far it helps to diffuse the potential confrontation yet it does raise two pertinent questions: What made the key players arrive at such an agreement? And can this deal be implemented?
One of the provisions in the policy is that in the Information & Broadcasting and the Defence sectors, where the sectoral cap is less than 49 per cent, the company would need to be ‘owned and controlled’ by resident Indian citizens and Indian companies, which, in turn, are owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens. This is a virtual impossibility.
It is unlikely that Russia has serious plans to invade Ukraine and there is no reason to believe that EU or even US really wants a war. Yet, US, and perhaps Russia too, are prepared to play brinkmanship and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that there can be a war that nobody wanted.
Following on Xi Jinping vision of ‘fight war, win war’, the Chinese military spending is shifting towards higher technology weapons and equipment and training and also illustrates its aim to institute reforms related to troop’s operational commands, organisation and training.
It is not merely about change in leadership; it is about ushering the country into a ‘decade of transformation’. The most immediate challenge before the incumbent government and the relevant election and security institutions is to sustain and strengthen the people’s engagement in the process.
The country is witnessing protests which are the biggest in over a decade and will only worsen unless a political accommodation is arrived at soon. The efficacy of multilateral institutions like the UNASUR, not subservient to US interests, is also on test.
Despite its abstention, India will continue to be evaluated negatively in Sri Lanka for its approach to the Tamil issue. Moreover, Colombo is also taking steps which may unnecessarily complicate bilateral relations.
Three meetings to discuss Ukraine are scheduled for the week beginning on Monday, April 14. The first meeting is of EU foreign ministers at Luxembourg on April 14. They are supposed to consider further sanctions on Russia. The next day the EU defence ministers are going to meet. The third meeting in Geneva on April 17 will bring together US, Russia, EU, and EU.
India has had a healthy tradition of the armed forces personnel being apolitical while being allowed to exercise their democratic right of voting in the electoral process. While the state police and central police and para-military units have been in the front tier of security network during the elections, the armed forces have discharged a crucial auxiliary-cum-supportive role.
The uniqueness of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is to have a system with satellites in the geostationary orbit. India needs to exploit the ‘regional nature’ of the IRNSS to the fullest and effectively engage various states from Africa, Asia and Oceania region by using ‘satellite navigation diplomacy’.