Demystifying India-China Trade Possibilities
V Anantha Nageswaran (Fellow for Geoeconomics) & Ritwick Ghosh (Research Associate)
An Indian proverb rings true of the economic ties between India and China – ‘for the friendship of two, the patience of one is required’. The time is not yet ripe for an India-China free-trade agreement though this discourse is vital in understanding where the two countries stand and how each of their futures could shape up.
At this stage, a free-trade agreement with China would largely confer one-sided benefits to China as has already been happening in the bilateral trade relations without the FTA.
By realising its manufacturing potential and developing mature and competitive industries, India will be prepared to face competitive pressures from China and other prospective FTA partners. Without such reforms and more, an FTA with a manufacturing behemoth like China may lead to a destruction of its domestic industrial architecture and probably have a detrimental effect on poverty through loss of worker-oriented industries.
Discussion Draft on National Cyber Security Policy
Rohan Joshi & Srijith K Nair, Fellows in the Cyber Strategy Studies Programme
The Department of Information Technology, Government of India issued a discussion draft on National Cyber Security Policy on 26th March 2011 and invited comments on it. In our opinion this draft of the national policy is a considerable initial step and the government should be commended for being attuned to the threats and challenges facing the management of cyberspace and taking steps to address them. We feel that the document substantially addresses several areas and processes related to cyber security, particularly incident response, vulnerability management and infrastructure security.
However, we have identified some areas of improvement, including scope, ownership, resource allocation and management, technical and non-technical controls, which we present for the government’s consideration. This document provides comments and feedback on the draft.
For an Indian Touch in Timor-Leste – Making human capital the focus of India’s international development strategy
Nitin Pai, Fellow for Geopolitics
Timor-Leste, Asia’s newest democracy, presents India with an excellent opportunity to put into place a coherent international development strategy. As this policy brief argues, India should not only upgrade its diplomatic presence in the East Asian republic, but also give a focus to its development initiatives by investing in human capital. It proposes that New Delhi set-up a business park outside Dili, Timor-Leste’s main city to allow private enterprise to flourish.
It also calls upon the Indian government to set up an Indian International Development Agency (InDA) under the Ministry of External Affairs, to achieve better outcomes for its foreign assistance outlays.
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Academic papers, analytical essays and long form articles
The Paradox of Proximity – India’s approach to fragility in the neighbourhood
Nitin Pai, Fellow for Geopolitics
This paper examines motivations, constraints and processes that shape India’s policy towards fragile states. It aims to show that addressing state fragility in the vicinity is a vastly more challenging project than managing risks emanating from distant ones.
It begins with an overview of India’s contemporary motivations for engagement and intervention in the turbulent geopolitics of southern Asia. It identifies the various types of interventions India has engaged and attempts to derive the underlying features of India’s approach. The policy process is discussed next, analysing how drivers, constraints and players affect decision-making.
It concludes with a brief assessment of how India’s policy towards fragile states, both proximate and distant, might change as India becomes a middle-income country with global interests.
Discussion documents are prepared for the purpose of discussion & debate, and do not necessarily constitute Takshashila’s policy recommendations.
Restoring order in Jammu & Kashmir
Sushant K Singh, Fellow for Defence Policy, National Security Programme
The immediate goal for New Delhi and Srinagar should be to restore peace and security in the violence-affected districts of Jammu & Kashmir so that normal activity can resume. This has to be done by suppressing violence, arresting ring-leaders of protesters and actively countering separatists’ plans to direct the pace and scope of social, economic, political and religious life by issuing protest calendars.
The political process in the Valley can only be reactivated fully once the security situation has been brought under control. However certain steps can be initiated to restart the political process immediately. These will have to be undertaken at many levels simultaneously within the state.
This paper presents a thirteen point plan to restore order in Jammu & Kashmir state.
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Srijith K Nair, Fellow for Cyber Strategy Studies
The rapid development and the increasing reliance on information and communication technology (ICT) and cyberspace in the last couple of decades have changed the way every aspect of the society works. Countries like India that hope to exploit the power and reach of ICT for their development should at the same time be wary of the vulnerabilities in their systems.
These ICT systems and cyberspace are highly complex, some of whose properties we are just beginning to understand and appreciate. In order to successfully defend against attacks on these infrastructure and systems, India should actively invest in researching and developing cyber security solutions and collaborating with other countries that share similar objectives.
This paper recommends that Indian institutions, both in the private and public sector, should engage with those from the United States in a partnership role to tackle issues related to cyber security and information infrastructure protection.
Sushant K Singh, Fellow for Defence Policy and editor of Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review.
Recent media reports suggest that a note circulated within the Commerce Ministry and sent on to the Cabinet Secretariat for discussion proposes to raise the cap for Foreign Direct Investment [FDI] in defence sector from 26 percent to 100 percent.
This paper recommends that the Government of India raise the cap in FDI in defence sector beyond 51 percent. The cap can be raised by an executive order of the government, and does not require an amendment by Parliament.
Nitin Pai, Fellow for Geopolitics
This policy brief analyses how climate change will affect regional security in the Indian subcontinent and implications for India’s national security. It argues that glacial melt, rising sea levels and extreme weather will exacerbate ongoing conflicts and will require India to develop military capabilities to address a range of new strategic scenarios: from supporting international co-operation, to managing a ‘hot peace’, to outright military conflict.