It has been ten months since India and Germany signed an agreement to partner in developing three smart cities. The government now seriously needs to move beyond slogans and aspirations and start addressing the more pressing issues specific to smart city development. Then only will the Modi-Merkel diplomacy be viewed as a success at home.
While the closing of borders to refugees in Europe and West Asia could be interpreted as proof that national borders are more important now than ever, the sheer numbers of refugees make strengthening borders a severely inadequate solution.
In Germany in June 2015, G7 countries made major commitments towards decarbonisation and reduction in greenhouse gases, which will lead to binding decisions at the COP-21 conference in Paris in December. Germany pushed for these outcomes, and as one of the most energy efficient countries in the world its technology and expertise can help India’s targets of alternative energy and sustainable industry.
Narendra Modi, who spent nearly two months abroad in his first year as prime minister, helped India cultivate a wide range of bilateral and multilateral relationships. But of these, it will be the middle powers that hold the key, economically and geopolitically to India’s growth and security, and Modi must continue to widen his middle powers arc
Germany is a crucial partner for India, especially for the Make in India programme. The needs and strengths of both countries are complementary: in India, German companies are among the largest employers, and Germany is the second largest destination for Indian investment in Europe. India needs to develop and enhance the skill of its population, and develop an advanced manufacturing base. For this, a new level of collaboration is required.
Germany’s Mittelstand or medium and small companies are the heart beat of Germany’s successful economy. They will be showcased at the Hannover Fair, which Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate on April 12. It can be the perfect blueprint for his Make in India effort.
With the EU, Iran, and other entities taking decisive steps on April 2 to ensure a non-nuclear Iran, President Obama must now counter interests in the U.S. that want to stymie the final agreement. But having come this far, and considering the comprehensive benefits of an agreement, all sides are sure to deliver
Rajni Bakshi, Senior Gandhi Peace Fellow, was recently at Leipzig in Germany to attend the 4th International Conference on Degrowth. She writes about why Leipzig is reassuring for more than its economic growth
Neelam Deo, Director, Gateway House, talks about the significance of the position taken by NATO member countries at the recent summit in Wales. She says the increasingly acrimonious standoff between the West and Russia over Ukraine, and the stance on the Islamic State has implications for India.
Contrary to some current commentary, NATO has remained relevant after the post-Cold War period, largely due to the perceptions it still engenders. While its symbolic power still endures, a rapidly changing international order could make it obsolete in the near future, as new narratives take its place.