shutterstock_363517736 Courtesy: Shutterstock
5 September 2019

From Interkosmos to Gaganyaan

On his visit to the Russian Far East this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi secured Russia’s assistance in training India’s human spaceflight crew ahead of the launch of Gaganyaan in 2021-2022. French assistance for India has come in the form of its specialised knowledge of space medicine. Gaganyaan has thus become an India-Russia-France megaproject, a symbol of India’s futuristic space diplomacy

shutterstock_1023930217 Courtesy: Shutterstock
22 August 2019

The Telegram phenomenon

The tool used to sustain and coordinate protests is a young, encrypted messaging service called Telegram. Its unique privacy and security features and resistance to the state has made Telegram more popular than its larger rivals, WhatsApp and WeChat. What is this communication phenomenon?

MethaneEconomy_Cover(A4) Courtesy: Gateway House
16 July 2019

The Methane Economy

The United Nations’ 2015 Paris Agreement called for the immediate sequestration of atmospheric anthropogenic greenhouse gases to help avert serious environmental degradation. India can take the lead in this because it is the second largest emitter of methane. Of all the natural greenhouse gases, methane is the hardiest. Technological advances are making it possible to crack methane into gaseous hydrogen and solid carbon on a commercial scale. Methane cracking can provide a steady supply of hydrogen for futuristic transportation and solid carbon materials — graphene, carbon nanotubes, synthetic diamonds — which are integral to the marine, aerospace and space industries. The commercial benefits apart, methane cracking will also go a long way in meeting the Paris Agreement’s climate change mitigation objectives. This paper offers some concrete recommendations that can help the government of India shape national legislation and global geoeconomic strategies

shutterstock_765921106 Courtesy: Shutterstock
11 July 2019

Making India a Methane Economy

India is the second largest emitter of methane in the world. But methane-cracking has enormous economic potential. It can help India become a high-technology manufacturing powerhouse by producing a steady supply of methane-derived, advanced carbon materials and hydrogen-energized transportation

shutterstock_1042736410 Courtesy: Shutterstock
11 July 2019

Chandrayaan-2: presaging private participation

On 15 July, the Indian space programme will achieve a feat with the Chandrayaan-2 mission. Two challenges lie ahead: the speedy construction of Chandrayaan-3 and the development of a public-private ecosystem of space capabilities

Mainimage(2) Courtesy: Gateway House
4 July 2019

Decoding data localisation

Data localisation, or the practice of physically storing data on servers located within a country, has become a subject of robust debate after India introduced data localisation provisions in its domestic laws. India’s position is not unique; China and Russia too have similar laws. It has pitted countries against each other. This Gateway House primer explains the complexities of data localisation and its elements

shutterstock_561677989 Courtesy: Shutterstock
4 July 2019

Major digital black market sites

Innovation has its dark side, and digital black market sites are a shady offshoot. Hackers and terrorist networks use these portals to carry out their activities, mostly undetected, but as this infographic shows, the law does catch up with them frequently

MzExMjcwMA Courtesy: IEEE Spectrum
6 June 2019

BECA and the 5G-weather clash

The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation (BECA), the last of the India-U.S. foundational agreements, needs deeper analyses. Its over-emphasis on imaging overlooks the potential clash between the telecom and meteorological technologies, which can hurt India’s crucial capabilities in space-based weather forecasting and disaster management.