Publications

Indians debate too much democracy. But there’s not a whimper for ‘too little republic’

The debate that Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant unwittingly triggered over the extent of democracy in India was passionate, lively and largely beside the point. What is of utmost and urgent...

Eye on China: Maldives Debt – No Niceties – EU & NATO – Xi on National Security – Antitrust Action – Annual Diplomacy Talk – Export Boost – LGFV Debt

Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar...

All Things Policy: India-China Ties: The Strategic Dimension

Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said this week that the relationship with China had been “significantly damaged” this year. In fact, as winter sets in, multiple rounds of talks at...

All Things Policy: Bear’s Den: Why Does Russia Want A Naval Base in the Red Sea?

Russia is planning to lease a naval base in Sudan for at least 25 years. Aditya Pareek talks to Aditya Ramanathan about Moscow’s underlying ambitions, the geopolitics driving this move,...

Don’t take the bat home, yet!

This article was first published in Deccan Herald. Views are personal. In a pre-pandemic world, winters in the Seth household used to be filled with gully cricket. Spending cold weekend...

The world is changing. India needs to get its priorities right

With Covid-19, the most common phrase in every webinar on geopolitics is the “new world order”. This phrase is used to describe periods of history with dramatic change in balance...

Mumbai to Marrakech | A newsletter on the Middle East | Edition 5 | Are we counting days to the end of Qatar’s blockade?

Mumbai to Marrakech Edition 5: December 9, 2020 By Madhuvanthi Srinivasan Are we counting days to the end of Qatar’s blockade? On Friday, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin...

A firebrand farmer leader

During the current farmers’ agitation there was much scorn heaped on a farmer who had the audacity to speak in polished English to journalists. Read more at Mumbai Mirror

Making democracy work with ‘active citizenship’

‘Dance of democracy’ and ‘festival of democracy’ are some of the catchphrases used for elections in India which are characterised by noisy sloganeering and a festive atmosphere. However, this enthusiasm...

India Needs a More Transparent Approach To Space Situational Awareness

The recent, barely avoided collision between India’s Cartosat 2F and Russia’s Kanopus V satellites highlights the need for transparent space situational awareness (SSA) in India. Information about the close call...

All Things Policy: Is India Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine Soon?

Vaccines are being approved for emergency use in countries like the UK and Canada. Can India do the same? Sunila Dixit talks to Shambhavi Naik about the status of various...

All Things Policy: Could Spies Avert the Next Pandemic?

As threats from disease outbreaks and ecological disasters grow, should intelligence agencies be tasked with tracking them? What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of such a move? Takshashila’s director...

All Things Policy: Is Corporate Ownership of Banks a Good Idea?

An internal working group set up by RBI recommended allowing corporate houses to own and operate banks. Sarthak Pradhan joins Saurabh Modi to discuss the reasoning behind the move and...

Bharat Bandh — India’s slide into constitutional grey zone where politics decides right or wrong

It is nearly impossible to apply objective constitutional principles to determine rights and wrongs with respect to the ongoing farmers’ protests. And this should concern patriotic Indians. Ordinarily, coercive public...

A formidable challenge

In the last week of November, the government confirmed that India was officially in a recession, possibly for the first time in modern history. The technical definition of a recession...

All Things Policy: The Death of a Scientist and the Future of Iran’s Nuclear Programme

The killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has dimmed prospects for a renewed nuclear deal with Iran. Will US President-elect Joe Biden be able to resume talks? And how...

Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine # 2

A lot has changed since the last blog post. Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have declared preliminary results for their ongoing Phase III trials while the UK has rushed to grant...

Jobs and Cities are Correlated

There are many ideas that economists agree upon. One such agreement is about the importance of foreign trade in helping economic growth. Another point of agreement is that cities are...

All Things Policy: Does One Nation, One Election Make Sense?

Recently, on the Constitution Day, the Prime Minister called for replacing current election cycles with simultaneous elections. While this is not a new idea, does it solve the challenges of...

Anticipating the Unintended #92: India’s Marathon

This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that...

Intelligence agencies must track ecological threats and epidemics

After news of an unusual ‘pneumonia’ outbreak was confirmed on 31 December 2019, the Taiwanese government immediately initiated control measures that ensured that the island nation remained relatively unscathed by...

Eye on China: Wei’s Visit – Tech Leap – DoT Invites Huawei – Party’s PLA – Bank Reform – China-EU-US – Backing Wolf Warriors – COVID-19 Investigations

Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties It’s still not clear when India...

The PLA Insight: China-India Dispute; US-China ESRC Annual Report; NIDS Annual Report: Cyber, Space and MCF; Taiwan; SCS

I. The Big Story: China-India Dispute It’s been eight months since the Sino-Indian border stand-off started in the eastern Ladakh region. Since then, there have been eight Corps Commander-level meetings...

The union’s nose truly in states’ tent

When the prime minister announced PM Kisan, which pays Rs 6,000 per farming household per year, it was welcomed by all. It is a direct benefit transfer to those who...

Mumbai to Marrakech | A newsletter on the Middle East | Edition 4 | The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran, Israel, the nuclear deal & the world

Mumbai to Marrakech Edition 4: December 2, 2020 By Madhuvanthi Srinivasan The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran, Israel, the nuclear deal & the world Farnaz Fassihi, an Iranian journalist with...

All Things Policy: Is India Really Closer to Achieving its Sanitation Goals?

A new WHO report, State of the World’s Sanitation, reveals what progress has been made and what remains to be done. What are the social factors affecting the utilization of...

China, COVID and Convection

It was just the typical day; I come back from office, greeted by a steaming hot tea cup. This was followed by a de-brief of the day’s activities with emphasis...

MisDisMal-Information Edition 26 : Of Anti-vaxxing eloquent, doom profiting, political superspreaders and the ‘Right’ kind of social media

This is an excerpt from Edition 26 of MisDisMal-Information:  For the complete edition, go to: Of Anti-vaxxing eloquent, doom profiting, political superspreaders and the ‘Right’ kind of social media Anti-vaxxing Eloquence...

Watch on Japan | #6 Speculation over Snap election – Wang Yi visits Japan – Spike in COVID-19 cases – South Korea’s move to patch up diplomatic relationship

Watch on Japan | #6 Speculation over Snap election – Wang Yi visits Japan – Spike in COVID-19 cases – South Korea’s move to patch up diplomatic relationship By Divya...

All Things Policy: Guidelines for Cab Aggregators: The good, the bad, and the unnecessary

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has issued new Motor Vehicle Aggregators guidelines. These have some serious implications for companies like Uber and Ola. Rohan Seth talks to Anupam...
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