November 23, 2017

Genes and Brain Development

The age distribution of India’s population shows a young country, our so-called ‘demographic-dividend’. Yet, poor maternal and foetal nutrition, poor sanitation, open defecation, infections and diseases — such as diabetes in mothers — severely affect the development of India’s children.   The health of our young people is of great importance and will ensure their future as productive adults and ... Read More »

India’s ‘Common Man’ Coup

Jantar Mantar Road, a short passageway through the administrative center of New Delhi, takes its name from a complex of gigantic red astronomical instruments at its north terminus, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1724. The Jantar Mantar consists of a series of geometric jungle gyms that surround the all-important shadow of the Supreme Instrument, a four-story, right-triangular sundial ... Read More »

Arming India into Dependency

The blossoming of ties with the United States has become an important diplomatic asset for India in recent years. Yet, the heady glow of the much-ballyhooed strategic partnership helped obscure prickly issues that arose much before the Devyani Khobragade episode. In truth, the Obama administration’s reluctance to accommodate Indian interests on major issues, coupled with the fundamental challenge of managing ... Read More »

Climate Change, Migration, and Conflict in South Asia

South Asia will be among the regions hardest hit by climate change. Higher temperatures, more extreme weather, rising sea levels, increasing cyclonic activity in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, as well as floods in the region’s complex river systems will complicate existing development and poverty reduction initiatives. Coupled with high population density levels, these climate shifts have ... Read More »

Changing Indian Political Landscape

Launched by anti-corruption crusaders last year, the Aam Aadmi Party (the Common Man Party, or AAP) defied expectations in the recent Delhi state assembly elections and came very close to winning half the seats — in a state so far dominated by the two national parties. Can the AAP replicate its success elsewhere in India and upset the major parties? ... Read More »

US Treatment of Diplomat Unacceptable: India

The arrest and hand-cuffing of India’s deputy consul general (DCG) Devyani Khobragade in New York as if she is a criminal with all the intrusive personal indignities heaped on a “felon” by the US manuals raises serious questions about India-US bilateral equations and the unilateralist manner in which the US interprets the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR).   This humiliation ... Read More »

An Indian View on Legacy of Pakistan’s Retiring Chief Justice

Ifthikar Chaudhary, who stepped down as Chief Justice of Pakistan on December 11, will go down in history as the first judge to challenge a military ruler successfully, and then to have spoilt it all by his relentless onslaught against a fledgling democratic government, its President and Prime Minister.   Mr. Chaudhary’s epic term in office, which included more than ... Read More »

India’s INS Vikramaditya and the Aircraft Carrier Debate

The Indian Navy has been energized by the commissioning of its new aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya. Coming two months after another significant achievement – the nuclear reactor of theArihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, going critical – the Vikramaditya is being seen as a game changer, with the potential to transform the Indian Navy’s profile in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and ... Read More »

The Right Gets it Right Ahead of Elections in India

There is a saying in Hindi: “Jab upparwala deta hai to chappar faad ke deta hai” (When god gives happiness, he gives in bountiful measure). In a democracy, people are god, and they have bestowed on the Bharatiya Janata Party a bouquet of electoral victories. It could not have got better — the party has won in all the four major states ... Read More »

Can Himalayan Hydro Power Bring Water Cooperation?

Considering how often the fear of looming water wars is perpetuated in the media and blogosphere, you would be forgiven for not knowing that 2013 is the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. But cooperation is not merely the absence of conflict, and indeed conflict and cooperation coexist in every relationship, be it between individuals or states managing trans-boundary ... Read More »