Unusual rains or snow? Flooding? Drought? It seems that climate change alone is to blame for any anomaly taking place anywhere in the world, be it hydrometeorological or anthropogenic. It’s a convenient culprit for besieged leaders seeking to escape responsibility towards their citizens, and it undermines the scientific evidence of climate change.
Courtesy: TIME Magazine
After its fourth summit on May 24, the Quad has emerged stronger and clearer in its initiatives which are aimed at addressing the Indo-Pacific’s geopolitical challenges. India now has a chance to work with like-minded democracies on an equal footing, with much to contribute. The Quad’s strategy for the Indo-Pacific is to deepen internalised cooperation for continued peace, prosperity, and stability.
Courtesy: Arctic Council Flickr
India has had big successes during its first stint as an observer in the Arctic Council. Since then, the country has made substantial progress in its climate action pledges and developed comprehensive strategies to mitigate climate change. With its re-election, India can now offer much more to the global organisation's role in promoting environmental stability in the polar region.
As the density of satellites increases in Earth's orbit, extreme space weather events like solar storms and radiation whiplashes threaten satellite constellations. A ‘whole-of-government’ approach is needed to address the challenges of space weather on India’s converging space and digital economies.
Courtesy: Twitter/Arctic Council
India’s pledge to the Paris Agreement gives it the flexibility to confidently place its climate action policies across various multilaterals. Although an observer of the Arctic Council, India can collaborate with the body's upcoming chair, Russia, to alleviate climate change concerns stemming from the Arctic. It is time for India to use its goodwill with the Arctic Council members to develop a national Arctic policy.
Courtesy: IEEE Spectrum
The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation (BECA), the last of the India-U.S. foundational agreements, will enable India to avail of U.S. expertise on geospatial intelligence and to sharpen the accuracy of weapons and automated hardware systems used for military purposes. But the over-emphasis on imaging in the agreement overlooks the likelihood of a clash between the telecom and meteorological technologies, which can hurt India’s crucial capabilities in space-based weather forecasting and disaster management
Courtesy: Global Environment Facility
Since Independence, India has been consumed by its domestic priorities. Now, with increasing integration with the world and a huge stake in global stability, it is time to focus on the global commons. India has a seat on the hightable to design and shape the rules for the governance of the global commons.
In this special Independence Day Briefing, Gateway House examines India’s engagement with four global commons – technology, outer space, cyber and the oceans – and makes recommendations on how best they can be governed for our collective future.
Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Cyber space is a new global common that defies formal governance. Its interconnectedness makes it full of opportunity, yet vulnerable. Attempts to regulate it have seen setback due to the differing visions of major powers and developing countries. India, an emerging economy with a sophisticated technology industry, is well positioned to shape the governance of this global common
The notion of the oceans and seas as a global common is under severe test. National and regional interests are winning over the urgency to maintain their well being while competition to exploit the many commercial opportunities they present is ever increasing. The task at hand is to stop ocean decline – and India can play a transformative role in this
Courtesy: NASA/SAIC/Pat Rawlings
Ownership of lunar artifacts – objects left behind by space missions – will become a vexing issue as the international footprint on the Moon grows. Such archaeological objects may be designated ‘national heritage’, but the site on which they exist ought to remain ‘a global common’, and not become a point of territorial contestation. The Moon needs to be managed by global consensus, prudence and realism.