India’s South Asian neighbours have all seen sharp currency devaluations since early 2022. These are a result of maintaining artificially strong exchange rates, made possible by remittances from migrant workers. However, by postponing the inevitable devaluations, these states have made their economic crises much worse.
The International Monetary Fund’s recent warning of a slowing global trade comes as a sign for South Asia to reassess its regional trade within the continent. India, in its year of G20 Presidency and as South Asia’s largest economy, can use its platform to lead the way via dialogue, capacity building, and regulatory policies to encourage open regionalism in Asia.
Tilak Devasher's book The Pashtuns: A Contested History delves into the Pashtun tribe, highlighting its geopolitical significance and far-reaching consequences in the South Asian region. Reviewer Tim Willasey-Wilsey says the book brilliantly explains how the Pashtuns were strong-armed into joining Pakistan and why the prospect of Pashtun unity poses a threat to security in Pakistan and the entire region.
India’s economy is looking bright, but there is a shadow in its neighbourhood. Pakistan’s fast deteriorating political and economic condition can create fresh uncertainties for India on the national security and economic security front.
2023 brings responsibility and opportunity for India. As the host of the G20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the world will be watching closely. With this authority, comes challenges encapsulated by five C’s: Covid, Contraction, Climate crisis, Conflict and China. If India is able to use its opportunity, the year could end with India viewed as a near-great power, an international bridge-builder, and a successful democracy.
Tilak Devasher’s book on the Pashtuns brings out the dynamics of the Pashtun, their code, their relationship with Islam and with Pakistan. It contextualizes the current geo-political challenges in South Asia, making it required reading for those who want to understand not only the Pashtuns but regional strategic and security dynamics.
Sanctions against Russian energy, high cost fuel, heat waves and droughts all at once have raised the price of daily energy use to unprecedented levels and plunged large parts of the world into darkness.
The relevance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has increased due to the clear divisions developing in the world, since the Ukraine crisis began. Several leaders will probably attend in-person, a chance to advance their regional and economic interests. India has good relations with most SCO countries, and sees the upcoming Summit as a way to secure its strategic and security objectives.
The genesis of Pakistan’s current political and economic problems lies with the pre-1947 Pakistan movement. But, its immediate problems stem from the political engineering done by the Pakistani army to install a hybrid regime led by Imran Khan who, they realised much later, was unable to deliver either on the economy or on governance.
Agriculture has been integral to India’s food security and employment. While salient policies are in place, India has yet to achieve its food security and farmer-income goals. Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers innovative solutions for the agriculture sector. AI technologies will help India take the necessary leap forward to enhance agriculture productivity, farmer income and food security.