The Rise of Paradiplomacy: Harnessing Odisha’s ASEAN Connect to Attract Investment

There has been a paradigm shift in practices of wooing investors for boosting the economy. States have been attempting through special summits. Indonesia and Odisha have shared historical links. Every year in November, the festival of ‘Bali Yatra’ celebrated commemorates the maritime history of Odisha and Bali (Indonesia). In this regard, India’s outreach and connectivity vis-à-vis ASEAN should focus on harnessing the historical linkages and geographical advantages which states possess with respect to the ASEAN region.

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Nepal at UN: A Perspective

Nepal’s membership in the United Nations has passed 67 years since its accession in 1955. Nepal provides the second largest peacekeeping contingent under the Blue Berets of the UN. Nepal espouses norms and values of world peace and follows international law. But sanctity of Nepal’s sovereignty must not be compromised. The world community at UN gatherings has to listen to countries – not only the powerful but also the powerless, not only the great but also the small, not only the loud but also the feeble.

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Illegal Wildlife Trade Is Silently Killing Lesser Known Species In India

Although the Indian culture is generally gentle towards flora and fauna of the country, certain ritualistic practices and traditional beliefs are not. ‘Siyar singhi’ (‘jackal horn’) is a part extracted from a golden jackal’s skull and used as a talisman to satiate superstitious beliefs. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India seized over 370 such talismans between 2013 and 2019. Owls are trapped and illegally traded in India during Diwali and Laxmi Puja to be sacrificed to appease the deities for tantric rituals and ceremonies, endangering the survival of the owl species. People also extensively poach turtles and tortoises for their meat in several parts of the country or capture them for the illegal pet trade.

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Local Communities Key To India’s Wildlife Conservation

In a country with a burgeoning human population, creating or extending such protected areas is not feasible. Several Indian communities, like Bishnoi, Maldhari, Mumbai Adivasi, and people of Sundarbans, have deep-rooted beliefs that allow them to live with wild animals, including large predators. Such an attitude toward wildlife has allowed the world’s second-most populous country to protect and preserve its biodiversity to a significant extent. As Indians, we all have a duty and a role to play in fostering community-based conservation in our country to allow our rich biodiversity to thrive in the coming decades.

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Challenges of Designing a New Regulatory Framework in Higher Education

While everyone has been recommending, since 2007, for an all-embracing single regulatory body to take care of all higher educational institutions and programmes, none has been able to provide details of deficiencies that have made the existing regulatory bodies dysfunctional. In the meantime, the idea of the single regulator has seen some major dilution. The first anniversary of NEP 2020 was celebrated with gusto, but there is still no sight of the single regulatory authority, even though the Finance Minister announced in the budget speech of 2021-22 that the new regulatory body shall be set up during that financial year itself. It must, therefore, be a real challenge to design a single regulatory body for higher education, which must meet the NKC’s idea of saving higher education from being ‘over-regulated and under governed” or the Kasturirangan Committee’s desire to evolve “light but tight” regulatory framework.

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