IDSA COMMENT

India and Russia Need to Deepen Economic Relations

The recent meeting of the Indo-Russian Business Co-operation Council and the Trade and Investment Forum in New Delhi was significant, in that it took place after the recent summit-level talks between the two countries. This symbolises the fact that both countries assign considerable value to increasing bilateral trade and economic co-operation.

March 07, 2007

Naxalites resolve to focus on urban areas

In response to the government-organised National Naxalite Co-ordination Committee meeting held in December 2006 at Bhubaneswar, Naxalites have enunciated their counter-strategy. The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), which accounts for 98 per cent of left-wing extremist violence in India, decided to intensify the people's war by increasing its mass base across the country and strengthening its armed cadres. The decision, taken at a leadership conclave held somewhere in the forests along the Jharkand-Orissa border sometime in January or February 2007, was unanimous.

March 06, 2007

India can drive a hard bargain on the IPI Pipeline

The general impression is that Iran has gained tremendously from rising oil prices, fuelled by its vast oil wealth. In reality, however, given increased domestic consumption coupled with inefficient usage and subsidies, Iran is actually struggling to produce enough oil and gas for export. Without substantial upgrades Iran's oil production is expected to go through a gradual decline. Though Iran has abundant oil reserves, estimated at around 137 billion barrels, it has not even been able to generate its OPEC quota due to lack of technical expertise and skills.

February 23, 2007

Aero India 2007: The Lure of India's Burgeoning Aerospace Market

The Sixth Aero India Aerospace and Defence Exhibition held from February 07 to 11, 2007 was by all accounts a 'big' event. The biennial gathering was organized jointly by the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) Department of Defence Production and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). For the first time, Farnborough International Ltd., the organization that holds the Farnborough International Air Show, was involved. 503 defence companies from 33 countries were represented at the Yelahanka Air Force station in Bangalore, the venue of the show.

February 22, 2007

Why are we talking about an OGEC now?

In January 2007, when the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei suggested to the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Igor Ivanov, that the two countries should explore setting up an OGEC or an organization of gas exporting countries similar to OPEC, Ivanov dismissed it as a "general idea" and not a "proposal for discussion".

February 21, 2007

The US Defence Budget for 2008

On February 5, 2007, President Bush presented his administration's budget for fiscal year 2008 (October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008). Out of a total budgetary allocation of US $2.9 trillion for all sectors, $623 billion (21 per cent) was earmarked for defence purposes, including those for war efforts in various parts of the world. With the new budget, America's military budget has doubled since Bush took office in 2000 and is now higher in real terms than any other year in the last half-century.

February 21, 2007

A Tightrope Walk in the Korean Peninsula

Earlier speculations negating the possibility of one-on-one talks between the United States and North Korea after Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test have proven wrong. Irrespective of the merits or the disappointments attached to the process, the negotiations that started between US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye Gwan in Berlin on January 16-18, 2007 made it possible for them to find common ground at the six-part talks held in Beijing on February 13, 2007.

February 19, 2007

China's Ambitions in Space

It may be a mere coincidence that the People's Daily, official mouth piece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), decided to carry two pieces on China's ongoing space programme on its website on February 7, 2007.

February 19, 2007

Growing Fundamentalism in the Northeast

The disturbing reports about the presence of jihadi forces in India's northeast have added a new twist to the region's multiple insurgencies. Combined with the recent arrest in Delhi of three alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives hailing from Manipur once again indicates how vulnerable the northeast region is to the jihadi menace.

February 19, 2007

Fake Killings in Jammu & Kashmir: Need for Checks and Balances

The recent uproar in Jammu and Kashmir over 'fake killings' has once again turned public attention towards the issue of human rights violations by law enforcement agencies. The State is witnessing wide scale protests and demonstrations with the support of all sections of society, and political parties are backing the call for an impartial inquiry and strict action against the concerned personnel.

February 13, 2007

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