India’s oil consumption and imports are likely to resume their upward trajectory as the economy opens up, after a temporary drop due to the pandemic. To secure its energy needs, the country should shift course from investing in oil and gas assets of emerging economies to those of developed nations. The oil-rich Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, such as Canada, Norway, and the U.S. can be given special consideration.
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India’s space reforms have the potential to boost India-Taiwan space relations beyond the pure scientific domain. The two countries have the potential for collaboration between space start-ups, joint ventures, investments, and technology and infrastructure-sharing. This article highlights the scope for India to establish Track 1.5 and Track 2 space diplomacy with Taiwan.
Africa is a foreign policy priority for India, but evidence shows a recent decline in bilateral trade and investment. There is already a "third scramble" for geopolitical influence in Africa. Now is the time for India to make new commitments in the continent: developing and deepening links in health, space and digital technologies.
On 23 June 2021, the India-New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) Summit for the year 2021 was held. Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme, participated in the panel discussion and delivered his remarks on ‘Indo-Pacific Strategic Ties’. In his speech, he highlighted India and New Zealand’s voluntary subscription to champion the concept of free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific. He also suggested five policy measures to translate the shared perspective into practical plans and actions for the common good.
We hosted a Webcast with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on 17th June 2021 (Thursday) at 5:00 pm IST on ‘Sanctions… and Counter-sanctions’. The webcast discussed the emerging era of sanctions, counter-sanctions, their efficacy and India’s perspective in this free-for-all sanctions era.
ClairViz offers products and services that help manufacturing companies digitally transform their factory floor. It uses its project engineering, design, electrical, automation and software skills to transform them into modern, data-driven facilities. This start-up smartly benefits from government programmes: housed in a state-supported incubator, clients are public sector enterprises mandated to use small and medium entrepreneurs in their supply chains.
Schneider Electric’s domain expertise in hardware and software has helped it create a proprietary and comprehensive suite of Industry 4.0 solutions. The company is now deploying these in all of its eight manufacturing facilities spread across India with favourable results: 30% reduction in energy costs, 10% improvement in mean time to repair and 5% improvement in logistics. Schneider intends to make these Lighthouse network facilities, thereby setting the standard for other manufacturing MNCs in India.
Using computer vision and AI to capture factory-wide data of human operators, Drishti Technologies co-relates human actions to line efficiencies, bottlenecks and root-cause analysis. Indian manufacturers operating at the lower end of the automation curve can use this combination to improve productivity, safety and quality by a deep-dive into human-action analytics.
On 28 May 2021, the Biden administration submitted a much-delayed Defense Budget to Congress, asking for $715 billion for 2022, a 1.6% increase over the previous year’s $703.7 billion. This marginal increase highlights the U.S.’s shrinking capacities compared with China, which spends less than a third of the U.S. on defence. This Budget is focussed on challenges in the U.S.’s geographic vicinity, not the administration’s resolve to counter the threat of China from a position of strength.
As China’s global competitive edge is sharpening across the military, economic, diplomatic, and technological domains, it is clear that the extent to which the Quad countries (Australia, India, Japan, and the United States) can collaborate across all four domains will be an important factor in determining whether China’s hegemonic designs on the Indo-Pacific will succeed.