Education Pollution: Substandard Schools, Decaying Higher Education, Mushrooming Coachings

There are nearly 1.2 lakh single-teacher schools in the country of which an overwhelming 89% are in rural areas. More than 30% of schools had no toilets and over 60% had no playground. The selection of the top positions of the institution has emerged as a great challenge. A research scholar who gets a UGC fellowship does not want to complete his Ph.D. work in time but tries to extend it since after his/her Ph.D. if he/she gets an appointment in a private institution, he /she will get less salary. The conditions of teachers in self-finance institutions are very pathetic. Mushrooming of coaching centres and dummy schools across all cities has misled students into believing that they can perform better in entrance exams if they go for coaching at such centres and by skipping classes in regular schools.

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Japan, The Land of Rising Militarism

By 2028, the military budget of the Land of the Rising Sun will exceed $80 billion. The Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the rising tensions around Taiwan, and North Korea’s continued missile tests are all reasons for the drastic increase in Japan’s defence spending. Its defence ministry is now considering the prospect of purchasing new weapons: advanced missiles and air defence systems capable of intercepting rockets launched from China and North Korea, including hypersonic missiles.

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The Chip War: US Restrictions, China’s Ambitions and the Semiconductor Industry

Semiconductor chips form a very crucial part of the technological and strategic competition between the US and China. The disruptions in the supply and value chain due to the pandemic and trade tensions with China have brought out the significance of semiconductor chips. These are crucial for technological progress and responsible for the country’s growth as an economic power. The present article looks at the present US-China tensions and the implications of such spillover on the semiconductor ecosystem.

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China’s Perspective on the US Indo-Pacific Strategy: A Scholarly View

With the adoption of the Indo-Pacific concept vis-à-vis Asia-Pacific, many Chinese scholars and strategists have been alarmed. The development shows inefficiency in the US to protect its interests worldwide causing friction with China. These scholars argue the Indo-Pacific strategy of the US being directed against China and meant to develop an exclusive regional block. Once it’s implemented, the strategy will challenge China’s BRI and global position. In such a situation, Chinese scholars argue that the peace and stability and China’s rise have been impacted and undermined to protect the US interests and position in the region.

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Ramifications of the Russia-Ukraine War Within America

Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine has shocked the world, producing an unprecedented opportunity for the Biden administration to use global public opinion, primarily in the West, to buttress the solidarity between the United States, NATO, and EU against Russia, its long-term adversary. Biden knows that the November midterm elections will determine his political standing and the war’s course. Most importantly, the economic and financial tools available, especially the sanctions regime, are going to become more important as the war grudges on into a stalemate of sorts, with no clear winners on either side.

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J Sai Deepak’s ‘India that is Bharat’ Attempts a Fresh Look at the Issue of Coloniality and Decoloniality

Raagini Shekher Sharma reviews the book titled-“India that is Bharat – Coloniality Civilization Constitution” written by J. Sai Deepak

The strength of the book lies in its total focus on the central theme and the same has been described and written in vivid detail without digressing from the subject. Being a lawyer, J Sai Deepak has a logical and incisive mind and that reflects too in the tone and tenor of the book as it is replete with facts, and research work that is amply seen. Lot many times, the tone becomes a little authoritative and the baritone springs up.  Overall, the book is written succinctly, presenting the facts, the research that has gone into writing and the analysis have been done in an exciting manner. Once, picked up, it cannot be put down unless fully read.

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Fallout of Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan: Increased Regional Tension

In the latest eruption of regional tensions, China announced a resumption of military exercises around Taiwan which seems to be the fallout of the Pelosi visit to Taiwan. The American response is inadequate to the exigency of the threat as it does not project strength anymore. The pivot approach of the United States towards Asia will now become a reality. Any war is going to devastate the global supply chains, already encountering interruptions and insecurity.

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India and Uruguay: Taking the Trade to New Heights

The relationship between India and Uruguay is amicable and cordial. In 1960, diplomatic relations were established. The two nations have consistently supported one another in international forums. Uruguay supported India’s bid to get elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2015–2017 term. Both nations are members of the Group of 77 and possess strategic significance. This article describes the significant developments in trade and commerce and how they will lead to new heights.

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I2U2 and its Significance in the Indo-Pacific Region

The arrival of the I2U2 as a quadrilateral security structure in West Asia will act as a strategic group. Coupled with QUAD and the AUKUS, it will strengthen the position of the West in the Indo-Pacific Region. As the I2U2 focuses on the strategic concerns in West Asia as a geopolitical shift is taking place in the Western Indian Ocean, it will become a feature of the broader region with greater implications. I2U2 provides the opportunity for its members to collaborate and assist one another in six key areas. Being an economic group, it addresses the vacuum in West Asia and allows the Middle Eastern countries to view it as an alternative. With the smooth access and supply of oil being a prime aim across the world, the development of a security net under I2U2 will ensure peace and stability in the region.

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Crossing China’s Red Line: Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit on the Cards and Challenges Ahead

Recently leaked information regarding the possible visit of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to Taiwan in August created a diplomatic row between the US and China, pushing China to object to such a visit strongly. Pelosi is a long-time critic of China. Newt Gingrich was the last US Speaker to visit Taiwan, 25 years ago. With August being critical for President Xi Jinping’s leadership, it coincides with the Biden-Xi virtual summit. Although a statement from President Biden regarding the visit is concerning for the US-Taiwan ties, the visit being called off will only convince China that its deterrence worked and will strengthen its position over the Taiwan Issue.

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The Significance of Neutrality for Ukraine

Considering the long history of Ukraine and Russia, the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine factored in Kyiv’s desire to join NATO, bringing NATO close to Russian borders. The desire to join NATO not only extended the conflict, which stretched to more than 100 days, but it also caused one of the major humanitarian crises in recent times. With the West continuing to aid Ukraine through military aid, the relevance of Ukraine adopting neutrality still stands valid, as Russia continues to occupy more Ukrainian territory with no scope of peace in the forefront.

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Catastrophic Consequences of the Conflict

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has had a long history and with threat perceptions on both sides. However, the conflicts and wars benefit only a few, and that too in the short term. The world must work together to end this crisis at the earliest. Or else, its cascading effect might push the whole world into an abyss from where the recovery would become extremely difficult. The underdeveloped and the developing world are likely to be the worst affected and they all must come together to pitch for peace.

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Blinken-Zardari Meet: A Tightrope for Pakistan with USA and China

During the May 18 meeting, both Blinken and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari focused on strengthening not just US-Pakistan security ties but also economic linkages. The US could nudge IMF towards imposing less stringent conditionalities on Pakistan in order to prevent political instability. The US remains an important destination for Pakistani exports and this is one of the reasons why the business community in Pakistan, along with the Pakistan army as well as the political class, was not particularly comfortable with former PM Imran Khan’s rhetoric against the West, in general, and the US, in particular. There is a growing realization in Pakistan that while ties with Beijing may be important, it can not afford to allow relations with the US to deteriorate any further.

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Decoding China’s Hegemony in Indo-Pacific Region and Its Repercussions

The Chinese economy is faltering, the business sector is more indebted than ever, the fertility rate (1.702) remains below replacement level, the population is ageing, and the benefit of cheap labour is eroding. China’s debt-to-GDP ratio (US$27 trillion) is 159 percent. However, China’s objective has been to reclaim its former glory by controlling Asia in the short term and the rest of the globe in the long run. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the western world’s response have introduced a new dimension to the Indo-Pacific power struggle. China may be emboldened by the western world’s reluctance to intervene directly in the Ukrainian situation. India would need to tread carefully and traverse the rough waters in this new geopolitical context.China’s rise will continue to be a source of contention for states in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

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Defence Sector During Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Implications for India

Although several developed countries might propagate the idea that the conflicts and wars bring misery to humanity at large, they promote the idea of defence preparedness as a means and instrument of deterrence, and this ensures that their interests are served even during good times. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created all the needed threat perception amongst many a country to cause the global armament exports to flourish. Will the geopolitics permit, promote, and support India to capitalize on this export opportunity, or would it be prevented from doing so? 

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The Indian Economy: Stop the Slide…Before It Slips

The current crisis in Sri Lanka must make us sit back and realize our own vulnerabilities. Slowing growth rate, rising borrowings, increasing magnitude of withdrawal by the institutional investors and widening gap between export and import must make India cautious. The economy must be beyond electoral politics. We must leave everything aside and work with focused attention to protecting and safeguarding our economy. The rest can wait, but not the economy!

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Political Turmoil and Strained Ties with the West: A Double Whammy for Pakistan’s Economy

Apart from Pakistan’s army and opposition political outfits, the business lobbies in Pakistan have been flagging the point that strained ties with the US and the EU will have an adverse impact on Pakistan’s economy. While the Pakistan Army Chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, had alluded to the importance of Pakistan’s ties with the US in his address on April 2, 2022, Pakistan’s business has expressed its apprehensions with regard to the current political situation and the potential souring of ties with the West, in general, and the US, in particular. The current economic crisis in Sri Lanka also underscores the pitfalls of being excessively dependent upon China and the need for an astute foreign policy.

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Alternative to SWIFT: Russia-Ukraine War Highlights the Urgency

The financial warfare against Russia, inter alia, has cut off Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) thereby blocking Russia from rapid money transfers internationally. Even though SWIFT accounts for no more than 1 percent of the transactions involving Russian entities and payments, the ban may potentially disrupt its trade in energy and agricultural produce as well as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Foreign Institutional Investors (FII). In totality, the sanctions against Russia may shrink its economy by 5 percent. The current crisis has made many countries of the world think of developing alternative payment systems and capabilities. This would be a challenging task as the alternative to SWIFT would work only when a larger number of countries become willing to cooperate and agree to become a part of the alternative network.

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Decoding the Objectives of FM Wang Yi’s Visit to India

The visit to India of Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister and State Councillor, which was kept secret until he arrived in New Delhi following visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan, had multiple objectives. China appeared to have attempted to advance its agenda in this region in light of the larger objective in the South China Sea, after assessing the geopolitical changes resulting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Unfortunately for Wang, Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Minister Jaishankar made it abundantly clear to him that normal relations between the two countries are impossible until the border situation improves. Wang, as is customary in Chinese diplomacy, used subtly disguised concepts to argue that normalization of relations between the two countries should take precedence and that the border issue should be placed in an appropriate position—that is, given no weight.

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Publicizing Caste and Religion in Electoral Politics: Representation or Appeasement?

Dependence on caste and religion to win elections is observed frequently in India. Few call it appeasement while few others call it representation. Is it not paradoxical? Classification of victorious public representatives by their caste/religion tacitly enhances their importance in the country’s democracy. Apparently, it messages about corroborating the wide representation of communities through the leaders belonging to them. But at the same time, it evinces the unfading pertinence of caste/religion in our society. It is inevitable to delve into the disquietude nucleating from the issues of publicizing representation and appeasement of communities based on caste/religion for strengthening coherence in the society.

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Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Impact on Global Flow of Funds

The Russia-Ukraine conflict can intensify the already shaken economic conditions created by COVID-19 as inflationary pressures might have an effect on many countries. Investors in Central and Eastern Europe are cautious with their investments. As per an IMF report, the sanctions imposed against Russia will impact the global economy. It clearly seems to have already affected FDI and portfolio investment in many countries, including India. For the sixth month in a row, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were net sellers in February, selling shares worth $4.9 billion. It was also the most shares sold by FPIs since the epidemic began in March 2020, when they sold $8.3 billion worth of stock. The Union Finance Minister of India had stated that the Russia-Ukraine conflict and surge in crude oil prices pose risk to the financial stability of the country.

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International Relations: Beyond the Prism of ‘Isms’

The follies of international relations compel us to see beyond the prism of ‘isms’ to save generations in the quest for sanity and humanity. This pitch dwells on the salient glimpses of discursive disciplinary symptoms in International Relations wherein ideologies are emanating from diverse ‘isms’. Multiple ‘isms’ are replete with their framework of ideas to underpin principles chosen in praxis. An evolution, growth and development in IR rely on trendsetting discourse and rhetoric revelation.

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Russia-Ukraine Crisis: A Big Boost for Iranian Economy?

While analysts focus on wrangling between great powers, the economic and geopolitical relevance of countries like Iran often gets relegated to the sidelines. The revival of the JCPOA, and closer economic ties between Tehran and the West, especially the purchase of Iranian oil by the US and other western countries, could actually result in Tehran re-orienting its foreign policy. If Iran and other signatories do manage to come up with an agreement, Iran’s sagging economy could get a big boost.

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People Prefer Their Leaders to Look, Feel and Behave Like Them

“I often wonder, how would the governance and policies of a nation would get impacted, if there was a Union Political Public Service Commission (UPPSC) to conduct a tougher than the civil service examination to determine the minimum eligibility condition for contesting the election as MP or MLA?” People clamour for political reforms. They want politics to change. They want competent people to represent them in power and in opposition. Interestingly, however, they do not identify themselves with the educated and those holding official positions based on the merit determined by their educational attainment. They find them far removed from people to represent and promote their causes. Obviously, people prefer their political representatives to look, feel and behave like themselves.

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Goggling UP Assembly Elections

The fight in UP assembly elections remained primarily between the BJP and the SP. The star campaigners of ruling dispensation raked on the incidents during pre-2017 rule with few prominent ones being Kairana riots & associated migration in western UP, dynastic politics, law and order, camouflaged polarization, nationalism, etc. The law and order, women’s safety, free gas connection, free toilets, free houses, elimination of mafias, welfare schemes of a free ration on account of COVID disruption, direct benefit transfer, health care schemes, infrastructure, various freebies, etc. remained the mainstay for the BJP. Astoundingly, the SP leadership maintained reasonable decency in language while referring to the political opponents across the electioneering. The SP leadership continually reminded of its works, including the “Dial 100”, “Dial 1090”, police reforms, free ambulance service, solar energy initiatives, power plants, power station networks, farmer mandis, sugarcane procurement, the four-lane connection of district headquarters, Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Lucknow Metro, IT park, tourism, welfare schemes of food, pension, etc.

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Bracing for the Changing Geopolitics: Ukraine Crisis and Energy Security in India

As Russian troops reach Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, the Brent crude prices have already touched $110 a barrel, a level that was breached 8 years ago in 2014. The moot question, therefore, is, whether or not India was ready to anticipate and handle the consequences arising out of such a crisis with minimal disruptions. Taxes on petroleum, today, may be a major source of revenue but is also vulnerable to volatility impelling upon the need to look for an alternative but stable source of revenue to the government.

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Political Controversies at Beijing 2022 Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympics concluded recently in Beijing. What made the 2022 Winter Games stand out was that the political aspect of the games was talked about exponentially more than the sporting aspects. The 2022 Beijing Olympics might have been the most tainted game in the history of the Winter edition. There was already a trend of increasing controversies and the political nature of the competition, but the latest set of events in China might have set the tone for years to come. Politicization, environmental problems, doping, decreasing viewership, fewer hosting candidates, increasing criticism, and many more problems cloud the future of the world’s oldest and grandest sporting phenomenon.

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The Lessons for Taiwan from Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Against the backdrop of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict, there is an increasing suspicion that Beijing would follow Moscow’s lead and attempt to conquer Taiwan militarily. Ukraine’s experience should instil a stronger sense of urgency in Taiwan regarding the need to overcome bureaucratic and partisan impediments to coalescing around a military plan that is fit for Taiwan’s security environment and resource restrictions. This is an opportunity for Taiwan’s current and future leaders to instil confidence in the country’s future.

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Russia-Ukraine Crisis: The Impact on India

The ongoing Ukraine Crisis has transported India back to the Cold War era when it was expected to choose a side. However, given India’s growing stature in international affairs and its dynamics with the two countries, maintaining the same strategic autonomy as last time will be nearly impossible. While a Russia-China-India axis in the present scenario is next to impossible, jumping on the Washington wagon has its own set of ill consequences for India vis-à-vis Moscow. It is in India’s best interests for the Ukraine crisis to be de-escalated as soon as possible.

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Olympics and International Relations: Uncovering an Intertwined Relationship

*This is Part Two of the Two-Part Article Series on the Olympics and International Politics.* The Olympics are more than just a stage for international politics. They are a true reflection of the world order and what goes on in it. Hosting an edition of the Olympics is the most beneficial way of gaining soft power for any country. During the Cold War, the Olympics was not only a competition for power and a symbol of pride for the two countries, but also a representation of their global dominance. While the Olympics have been the victim of international political impact multiple times throughout their history, they keep showing their ability to overcome those challenges and continue to bring the international community together to promote sports with the objective of peace.

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The Political Nature of the Olympics: Protests, Boycotts and Violence at the Games

A few countries, including the United States of America, have decided to stage a diplomatic boycott of the ongoing 2022 Beijing Olympics. The Olympics and politics have had a complex relationship even in the past. Almost every Olympics has had one or multiple instances of politicisation. In Olympic history, multiple countries have boycotted the games to express dissent on the basis of international conflicts and issues. The Olympic games also have had their fair share of violence, resulting in human and infrastructural casualties over the years.

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Nepal: Discourse in Geopolitics

In the Asia-Pacific region, India behaves in a mutually beneficial manner. Kathmandu needs to do a field study of Indian affairs. Nepal needs to have a deeper discussion and synthesis of Indian mentality and thinking compared to China. Diplomatic history has shown that the Nepali people’s perception of Nepal-India relations does not take long to become fluid. Diplomatic injuries, conflicts, and risks are serious.

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Brain Drain: An Apparent Loss to the Nation May Prove Lasting Gain to the Profession

According to an old adage, says that as soon as a student gets into an IIT his soul emigrates to the US; and the moment he graduates, his body too migrates to join the soul. The phenomenon is not confined to the domain of engineering and technology alone. The situation with the Indian scientists and academicians is no different. Many of those who went abroad for higher education and chose to make a career there, were recognized for their accomplishments and rewarded with coveted positions. How come most of the Indian Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medal awardees are those who left the country and were able to make their marks on foreign soil? They might appear a loss to the nation but are a gain to the profession that they wish to pursue and excel!

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In Search of Allies: Washington and the World

The high-profile statements of the White House administration about the reorientation of the foreign policy course from the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific region have now become a reality and are reflected in the fact that Washington has focused on the formation of military-political blocs among the countries of the region. However, the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan has raised great doubts about the reliability of US security guarantees for its allies. India is not sure of Washington’s support in the event of another escalation of the Indian-Chinese border conflict. Moreover, Beijing has become the largest market for Australia and the largest exporter of goods to the UK. It is also the main trading partner, both for Tokyo and Seoul.

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The Achilles’ Heels of China in 2022

The aggression against Taiwan, the ‘China virus’, the oppression of human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the seizure of islands in the South China Sea, and industrial espionage are phrases that have shaped the international community’s attitude towards China in the past few years. Anti-Chinese sentiment in the world has grown significantly with the onset of the pandemic and continues to grow. The lack of information about Beijing’s true role in the origin of the virus and other crimes against humanity does not allow for a final verdict on Xi Jinping’s government.
However, the ‘China containment policy’ of the United States allows us to predict what the new pain points of the People’s Republic of China in 2022 will be.

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China’s South China Sea Claims Threaten India’s Economic and Geopolitical Interests

The continued flow of commerce and naval movement in the South China Sea is vital for India. It handles around 55% of India’s trade with the Indo-Pacific region. Sustaining regional peace and stability is, thus, crucial for India. To counterbalance China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) effort, India must leverage its geographical advantage, increasing its naval profile, ASEAN collaboration, and heritage of goodwill.

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Reinventing Resilience in Tough Times

An overriding concern is the creation of a cultural wealth of nations where happiness and prosperity are within our means and resources. Despite turning the tide and time in favour of capitalism, everyone aspires for contentment and prosperous living today. It is appropriate to say some of the parameters of democratic civilization reinvent resilience in our tough times

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Fishing in Troubled Waters: Lake Kolleru

“To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent thinking”, said Aldo Leopold. Lake Kolleru is showing signs of poor water quality and habitat deterioration. There is an urgent need to ascertain the levels of habitat destruction, over-exploitation, and encroachments in the once peerless fishermen’s paradise and birds’ heaven.

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Nepal: Politics of American Initiative of MCC

A hoary resistance and a series of protests against the MCC agreement broke out in the capital of Kathmandu and across the country a few days back. The geopolitical showdown is no good when internal architecture is unstable or weak to withstand temperatures of the global political and economic climate. Governmentality and governability have to curb intrinsic unlimited crises and address multiple frontlines of chaos and complexity in political society.

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United States, NATO, and the Taliban: Analysis of the Politics

So far, no government has recognized the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan. The US is no more a global hegemon. It has declined relative to other powers, like China. The US and NATO must, thus, prefer acting pragmatically rather than ideologically. Convergence of national interests of the US and Pakistan in stabilizing Afghanistan may improve their relations. Meanwhile, Biden must stay the course and completely pull out American military forces by the August 31 deadline.

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Deuba’s Foreign Policy Amid Fluidity: Continuity or Change?

Deuba’s Foreign Policy is being watched by its neighbours as it will decide the fate of its international relations across borders. On the Nepali side, new Prime Minister Deuba has an opportunity to reach out to India and establish an honest line of communication to discuss all outstanding issues and find common grounds. Will his fifth-inning into the corridors of Singh Durbar be different or similar to his predecessors?

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Anniversary of NEP 2020: Education needs intensive care

On the commemoration of the first anniversary of NEP 2020, it will be prudent on the part of the regulators to revisit the progress made in the on-ground implementation of provisions of NEP 2020 and reschedule the milestones laid in it, else the disorderliness created through it may disarray the existing education system as well. The predominant disruptions caused by the pandemic and the pragmatic view on the desired transformations ought to be taken into consideration before a realizable road map is relaid.  

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Disaster Management in School Learning: A Safe and Cheap Option

The disasters happening around the world, especially in India, make it imperative to question ourselves on the importance of disaster management for the preparation of future generations of the country in having better and safer livelihoods. So, how can we incorporate disaster management for preparing people in schools?

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Afghanistan: A New Opportunity for the Quad?

The Quad’s Indo-Pacific policy is not limited to China’s containment or the promotion of a free and open Indo-Pacific, since there are several additional areas of concern, most notably in Central Asia. US army withdrawal provides a chance to engage the Quad partners in discussions on Afghan policy and to explore alternatives to existing peacekeeping arrangements. The Quad’s participation in Afghanistan will not only rebalance power in the wider Indo-Pacific region, but will also close a crucial continental chasm in the area’s conceptualization.

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Statecraft in Politics Without Frontiers

Politics seems to be everything and the core of anybody’s everyday talks. However, statecraft is sorely missing in the state of affairs when transcendence is important to focus on reform, perform and transform the state apparatus. The needs of public management are felt in the backdrop of international or global policy impinging inside a political territory in an ongoing political transition. Politics without frontiers has become a reality wherein knowns and unknowns are common among citizens.

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End of Oli Era: A New Start for Indo-Nepal Relations

For the second time in five months, the Supreme Court of Nepal reversed President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s decision to dissolve the House of Representatives (HoR) of Nepal. This time, it further ordered President Bhandari to appoint Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba as the Prime Minister by July 13, 2021. The ensuing end of the KP Sharma Oli era is likely to provide a renewed impetus to the relations between India and Nepal.

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Afghanistan Surge: Taliban at the Door of Kabul As US Troops Withdraw

On July 2, 2021, Friday, the US forces quietly vacated the Bagram airfield, considered to be the epicentre of its campaign to remove the Taliban and capture the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, after nearly two decades. This effectively brings an end to the Afghan ‘forever war’, the longest war fought in US history. As foreign troops retreat, the Taliban forces are sweeping across Afghanistan. The possibility of civil war looms over the country as the region has been pushed into turmoil after the withdrawal of western forces. Twenty years down the line, are we back to square one?

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Can NEP-2020 show the way to Modi Government on Farm Laws Issue?

Modi government has made repeal of three farm laws a prestige issue. There are lessons in how NEP-2020 received wide support from all stakeholders after the 2016 policy draft was widely criticized and the government went back to the drafting table. Modi-II regime can learn from Modi-I regime’s experiences on engaging meaningfully with stakeholders when working on crucial policy reforms.

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Protect the Protectors of Indian Ecological Wealth

The second wave of the pandemic has claimed many of these valuable employees of the IFS ranging in rank from senior officers to daily wagers. But unfortunately, although the forest departments of several protected areas have requested the administration to include foresters in the list of frontline workers, no action has been taken in this regard. Lack of concern towards the health of foresters reflects general apathy of policymakers. As a progressive nation, it is our duty to address the issues and protect the protectors of our ecological wealth.

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Is Course Correction Needed in the Election Engine of BJP? – Part 2

This is a two-part primer. Part 2 covers the main takeaways for BJP from the 2021 Vidhan Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal. This part elaborates on the positives of the election outcome for BJP; along with analysing how BJP could’ve improved its performance in these states by critiquing its key decisions related to candidature, manifesto promises and strategies.

BJP’s religious politics worked best in West Bengal; hardly worked in Tamil Nadu while it never worked in Kerala.

With 2024 LS elections not far away, if BJP doesn’t take efforts to break-free from its stereotype of being a Right-Wing nationalist party trying to homogenize India under Hinduism using Hindutva, as openly advocated by senior party leaders like Dr Subramanian Swamy, there is a significant chance for an All-India Mahagathbandhan to steal the incumbency from NDA!

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How was BJP Juggernaut Halted in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and West Bengal – Part 1

The 2021 Vidhan Sabha elections of five states – namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, and Puducherry happened in the Summer of 2021 while the country was grappling with the Coronavirus Pandemic. While the NDA alliance has formed the government in Puducherry and Assam, its defeat in the other three states is the most discussed topic. At this juncture, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been facing a severe backlash from many Indians as the party failed to contain the spread of the virus, which led to the devastating second wave.

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New India: What to focus on – ‘Positivity Rate’ or ‘Positivity Drive’?

Rather than crediting all positives to the regime, and all negatives to the ‘enemies of the state’, we, as a democracy and as ideological inheritors of our freedom fighters, have the moral responsibility of taking the society forward while accounting for the positives as well as the negatives of all the governments democratically elected by us – we, the people!

If the reality is ‘negative’ news, let’s face it. If the reality is ‘positive’ news, let’s rejoice in it! But, let’s not ‘build’ positive news by concealing the reality!

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The Dead Cannot Cry Out for Justice

Death robs you of dignity but in this case, it robbed you of personhood – you were just a statistic in the hospital register or the crematoriums, and the illusion of governance that had existed till now showed itself for the sham it was.

The “System’ has gone into hibernation fulfilling a dream for an “atmanirbhar” Bharat. “Don’t expect hand-holding folks, go deal with the Pandemic yourself. Manage your own oxygen and hospital beds and if you fail, don’t act like a cry baby. Just die quietly and be done with it” the ‘System’ seems to be telling us in no uncertain terms. Add to this, the fancy house the ‘System’ is building -it will see the demolition of our colonial past and will usher in the legacy of the great majoritarian premier. If this isn’t good news, what is? Haters and corrupt foreign media might talk about the stench of death all around but who cares for them anyway? You and I can only hope that the palace has enough mirrors where the “System” can see itself stark naked just for once.

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India’s Treatment of the Dead: Shame on Humanity or Shame on Governance?

How come our society has stooped down to such levels? Is this incident a rare outlier in our so-called ‘culturally rich and diverse society’ or is it a feeling being identified by many? Are social conventions above the survival of a human?
It is indeed an appalling reality of our civilisation which we need to face point-blank keeping aside the so-called excuse of ‘negativity all around in pandemic era’.
The earliest realization of the fact that the large size of India’s population is reeling under penury is the only way to catalyse the government for strategizing jobs/source of livelihood to every hand.

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Unravelling India’s Gender Slide

India’s fall in the world ranking based on the gender parity index warrants sincere introspection to strategize for achieving gender parity. We have already lost much of the ‘India 2020’ dream envisioned by Former President Kalam to petty politics and jingoism. Let’s not lose this golden phase of 37-year demographic dividend into which India entered three years ago!

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Should Incumbent Ministers and Chief Ministers Campaign for Civic Body Polls?

As of late, it has been observed that many charismatic leaders across major political parties of India, who happen to be incumbent Ministers of Union and Chief Ministers, have started campaigning even for civic body polls for their favoured candidates. However, should these individuals holding constitutional offices really campaign for their parties?

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Rolling the Dice of Democracy through Protests

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 has ironically been full of large-scale protests all across the world, including India. This includes the CAA-NRC protests in India, the ongoing farm act protests in India, the Black Lives Matter Movement in the USA and the ongoing Pro-Democracy Thai Protests of 2020, to name a few. This article analyses the impact of protests and public demonstrations on the democratic environment of any country in the light of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India’s recent verdict on protests in public spaces.

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Bihar Elections 2020: Anti-incumbency or Pro-incumbency?

The state, with more than 12 crore population, has the credit of influencing national politics significantly in the past. Thus, the outcome of Bihar state elections is likely to have serious implications on the future political moves in the Hindi heartland of India. With all political parties pursuing the voters through numerous tactics and tantrums, the canvassing for the first round of polling has come to an end. Nonetheless, it is not discernible to categorically conclude the swinging mood of the voters.

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Farm Acts 2020: Farmer Unions and the Logic of Survival

The commentary around any policy change in our country, unfortunately, seems to boil down to who understands India better. The resulting discussion often devolves into adversarial claims about the ‘real vs. imagined’, with all sides, of course, claiming the real for themselves. Hence, this article intends to focus more on the drivers of the protests rather than forecasting the possible outcomes of the policy change.

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Agri Bills: Why are Farmers Protesting even after PM’s Assurance?

The government needs to view the issue through the perspective of a farmer. The small farmers of today need safeguard from exploitation along with greater choices. Although the bill promises them more choices, it doesn’t attempt to strengthen the safeguards. This is what the farmers of today are protesting against!

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India joins Hypersonic Club: A Step towards Atmanirbharta in ‘Next-Gen’ Delivery Systems

A Step Towards Atmanirbharta in Next-Gen Delivery Systems: India’s test of the “next-gen” weapon systems is to secure its position and defend itself from any threat especially when the major powers have re-engaged in a nuclear arms race through improved delivery systems.

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Indian Ocean and South China Sea: Jugular Vein as Gordian Knot

At a time when China’s protracted pre-meditated military moves along India’s northern boundary are drawing the nation’s attention, it is important that India doesn’t lose sight of its surrounding seas and maritime environment.

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Indian and Australian Federalism during Pandemic

Even though the pandemic is taking its toll on federal structure of most countries, as can be seen in the case of India and Australia in this article, if there is one good thing that comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic for both countries, it is the push to re-evaluate what federalism means in the 21st century.

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Poetry as a Tool of Dissent in Modern-Day Authoritarian Regimes

The recitation of poems and songs at the anti-CAA protests was in keeping with the near-universal practice of deploying poetry to question, challenge, and condemn. Poetry is commonly seen as a tool of dissent in Modern Day Authoritarian Regime in countries like China, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia. Ironically, all over the world, the violent governments that invest millions of dollars in arms and ammunition are precisely the ones hurt most by the weapon of poetry!

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Does High Cost of Electioneering Foster Corruption?

The largest democracy of the world is a successfully functional democracy. But, there also exist certain instances where unethical practices woo the voters. It seems that the high cost of electioneering fosters corruption. The money should not play any role in influencing the voters. A nationwide debate to have major reforms in the electoral process is inevitable.

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Strengthening democracy through scientific temper

The all-important is to initiate public discourses through well-conceived opportunities to stimulate the scientific temper in all segments of the population across the country. For efficient deliveries in the democracy of around 1.33 billion population, there should not be any room for irrational thinking, else the country will lag in the present and an ensuing era of technology.

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Beginning of a new Cold War

As we reach the midway of 2020, the year is giving no respite from its wrathful events. Apart from the pandemic, the year 2020 will also be remembered as the year of the beginning of a new Cold War. The COVID-19 pandemic has become the flashpoint as both countries blame each other for the devastation caused by the virus across the world. To avoid falling into Tacitus Trap, both the countries are playing the nationalist card to regain their lost legitimacy.

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