With the space sector being divided into astro-political blocs, India can't afford to stay non-aligned. A recent treaty between China and Russia makes it plain for India that leaving space exploration to a few science aficionados can be dangerous. India needs a national space exploration strategy with tangible economic and meta-strategic goals in sight.
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On 27th April, the President of the UN General Assembly convened a one-day High-Level Thematic Debate on Digital Cooperation and Connectivity, bringing together the international community to commit to a common digital future for all and leave no one offline – especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Manjeet Kripalani, Executive Director of Gateway House, was invited to deliver the Keynote Address in the Opening Plenary session, held virtually in the UN Assembly Hall. Her speech on digitalization as a public good, is below.
The Taliban should have been reintegrated into Afghan society several years ago. It is now probably too late to persuade them to accept anything less than a dominant role in Kabul. However, Turkey, Pakistan and the United States may have one last chance to pressure the antagonists into a negotiated settlement, perhaps along the following lines.
The EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy comes better late than never. But it has to step gingerly. It cannot antagonize China, wants to build on the legacy of its members’ colonial past, give the region the infrastructure it needs, and make the trade agreements that it wants. Is it achievable?
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.
Israel and the U.S. have become India's top arms suppliers, with companies from these countries participating in the 'Make in India' initiative. These robust defence partnerships can be elevated, by inserting India into the U.S.-Israel defence technology cooperation corridor. What are the geopolitical and domestic limitations that India must tackle in this effort? What benefit will the U.S. and Israel gain from a partnership with India? This paper studies the U.S.-Israel defence technology corridor, and suggests potential collaborations for India. It recommends the three innovation hubs, Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Bengaluru, coming together to maximise their respective strengths and declared national technology priorities.
The 17th Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) ministerial meeting was held on 1 April 2021. Though the grouping is ready to move forward, a number of obstacles stand in the way of this, including regional tensions, uncertainties surrounding SAARC and China's involvement in the multilateral. As BIMSTEC is to celebrate the silver jubilee of its formation next year, can it achieve its goal, to effect “a paradigm-shift in raising the level of cooperation and regional integration"?
The Task Force led by Gateway House will study economic and technological cooperation between the four like-minded democracies in the Indo-Pacific.
On 3 March 2021, the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague, commenced an official investigation into Israel and Palestinian Armed Groups' alleged war crimes committed in the occupied territories of Palestine since July 2014. Palestine, which referred the case, is a member of the ICC, but Israel is not. Does the ICC have any jurisdiction in these cases? Will US support for Israel play a role? The three instances in the table show precedents in similar matters.
A new chief is due to occupy the chair of the UN Secretary General later this year. The lobbying for this prestigious global post has already begun. There is a rotation system that offers equal opportunities to regional blocs to promote their candidates. But this time, it's a toss between having the first woman to head the body, or continuing with the West-led bloc's candidate. Who will win? And where does India stand?