Gateway Features

Looking for Helium-3: a futile Moonwalk?

moon-rocks-615 Courtesy: ngm.nationalgeographic

A recent communique from space policymaking circles, suggesting that India could be entirely powered by Helium-3 (He-3), retrieved from the Moon by the year 2030, has been trending in both the Indian and international media. The target year–2030–is a revelation, but since the past 12 years, many Indian space policymakers have been hard-selling the prospect of mining lunar He-3 to meet India’s energy needs. He-3 is one of the isotopes of the namesake element which is stable, chemically inert, clean and non-hazardous. read more

Inhibiting electronics investment

makeinindia_hardware_main Courtesy: Make in India

The Make in India initiative is an ambitious attempt by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to turn India into a magnet for manufacturers, the aim being to increase the share of manufacturing in India’s GDP from a stagnant 15-16% since 1980 to 25% by 2022 and create an additional 100 million jobs. This is laudable, and its success—or otherwise—remains the subject of surveys and periodic assessments that suggest how it can be optimised better. Yet, in many respects, India remains a problematic destination in some sectors. read more

Military option in North Korea too risky

120416-N-ZI635-259 
INDIAN OCEAN (April 16, 2012) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) participate in a passing exercise with Indian navy ships during Exercise Malabar 2012. Carl Vinson, Bunker Hill, and Halsey comprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 and are participating in the annual bi-lateral naval field training exercise with the Indian navy to advance multinational maritime relationships and mutual security issues. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman George M. Bell/Released) Courtesy: Wikimedia

As the United States strike force, led by the aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, eventually arrives off the Korean coast, Washington is considering policy options. "Strategic patience" under recent presidents was an admission that all policy options had failed. It is certainly time for a new approach before North Korea is able to attach a reliable nuclear warhead to an accurate long range missile. A negotiated settlement facilitated by China is feasible and would be infinitely better than a military conflict. read more

Obituary: Yameen Rasheed

2 Courtesy: Selvaraja Rajasegar‏

On April 23, Yameen Rasheed, the 29-year-old Maldivian political activist, blogger and a contributor to Gateway House, was stabbed to death by unknown assailants outside his house in the capital city of Malé. No group has claimed responsibility yet, but the hand of radical Islamists is suspected. Yameen’s assassination follows a pattern of killings of bloggers in Muslim countries--Bangladesh, Egypt and Pakistan, for example--who have dared to speak out against their country’s governments, security agencies and religious extremists. read more

Events

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Research Papers

India-EU defence ties: not making a mark

European defence companies can contribute significantly to India’s military modernisation under the ‘Make in India’ campaign. But before this can happen they will have to deepen their interactions in the country at the political and strategic levels to identify common areas of interest and understand India’s technological priorities in the sector

Foreign Affairs

Germany’s New Global Role

Over the last two decades, Germany has undergone a remarkable transformation on the global stage. With the weakening of the European Union and a withdrawal from the region from the United States, Germany will be a responsible, restrained, and reflective leader, guided in chief by its European instincts.

Books

Understanding P.V. Narasimha Rao

An earnestly, but objectively written, biography of the late prime minister gives credit where it has been denied: PVN was the principal architect of the economic reforms that put the country on a destiny-changing path of growth, while being up against a restless party, hostile Parliament, and an apathetic public.

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