Cautious optimism at the B20 at Bali

The author participated in the B20 Summit in Bali and saw in it a reflection of Indonesia’s culture and hospitality, but also its attraction for investors despite geopolitical stresses. Indian business can take a cue from Indonesia, and use India’s B20 engagement to push for ease of doing business and improved quality of life indicators – an additional condition for India’s G20 Presidency’s success.


The rupee as regional currency

The Reserve Bank’s move to enable international trade in INR is a step towards regaining Indian primacy in the Indian Ocean region that the Indian Rupee once enjoyed. It is also an essential financial dimension that will add heft to India’s strategic SAGAR policy.


Tax Gold, Drive Smuggling

India has raised import duty on gold yet again. This will drive gold smuggling, whose nearly 16% return on investment therefrom will make hedge funds envious. Apart from loss of revenue, smuggling also means greater cash flows for the underworld, and potential terror finance.


AAP, ISI, Khalistan and the counter spin

Pro-Khalistan organisations have collaborated with the ISI to disseminate anti-India narratives and influence the Indian diaspora. While this has little traction within the country, there is a need for India to extend support to those expatriate Indian communities which are actively countering the misinformation spread by these organisations and Pakistan-sponsored fringe groups.


IPKF in Sri Lanka, 35 years later

2022 marks 35 years since the Indian Peace Keeping Forces were deployed to oversee the Indo-Sri Lankan Peace Accord. An attempt to diffuse civil unrest, this engagement eventually turned into war. The incident serves as a reminder that India can learn more from its errors than its victories.


Developing a balanced Indian refugee policy

India has seen a recent influx of refugees from Afghanistan and Myanmar. This has highlighted the absence of a concrete refugee policy in India. India must formalise its approach towards refugees. The Citizen Amendment Act of 2019, is a start. India can move this forward by learning from the examples of other democracies like the U.S., Kenya and South Korea, on how to balance international law with its national security interests.


Declining and dangerous China

Falling birth rates have become a concern for the Chinese regime. Add to it a shrinking external footprint, diminishing prospects for new foreign capital and domestic economic trouble in the tech and real estate sector, and China's vulnerabilities are clear. This signals danger for China's neighbours.


Pakistan’s international terrorist hall of fame

On 18th August, Pakistan announced wide-ranging restrictions on prominent anti-India terrorist leaders. These steps are clearly aimed to prevent Pakistan from slipping into the black list of the Financial Action Task Force, where Pakistan is already grey-listed. Their implementation remains key as in the past, Islamabad's global anti-terrorism commitments have been abandoned once global scrutiny of its support to terrorist infrastructure, decreases or is distracted.


A bite of data

Hong Kong’s sweeping new National Security Law could be a window of opportunity for India. Companies with established data centres in Hong Kong are worried for the privacy of their customers as the law’s stringency has sparked changes in online activity.


Good and bad of low oil prices

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused crude oil prices to crash almost 40% even as Saudi Arabia and Russia pump more oil into the market. Fears are rife that this crisis will hit demand. There are repercussions on the U.S., the world’s top oil producer, on India, one of its new clients, and on the Gulf Cooperation Council countries