A brief visit to Stockholm for a conference provided an opportunity to the author to participate in discussions on India under Prime Minister Modi. It also opened his eyes to many India related things in the Swedish capital
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For too long, India's intellectual elite and foreign policy establishment have ignored economic statecraft, focusing instead on the immediacy of security and political diplomacy. Now with Narendra Modi, a focused push to gain lost ground seems likely - and Indian business can play a vital role.
Economic security needs to be defined holistically through an open and democratic discourse. A plurality of perspectives on what constitutes development is essential to democracy across the world. Grass roots protests are driven by a longing for a truly inclusive and fair model of growth.
Narendra Modi’s first month in office has seen him deftly handle India’s neighbours, accept an invitation to visit Washington, enhance relations with Bhutan and accord due importance to China. In the same manner, Modi will also have to move quickly and firmly to reassure foreign investors of the dependability of India’s fiscal environment
The allegations that certain foreign-funded NGOs are hurting national economic security are not new. However, the Intelligence Bureau’s claim that they have held back India’s GNP growth has been challenged. There is now a need for economic security to be defined holistically through open and democratic discourse
Even small Indian IT companies have managed to succeed in the Latin American market. Understanding the local culture is one of the main keys to success as illustrated in the case of Mann India Technologies, which was one of the earliest Indian entrants in the Latin American IT market.
Critical infrastructure in India, including oil pipelines, dams and steel plants, is susceptible to cyber attacks because of outdated Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, which manage their operations. A cyber attack on these systems can be devastating. It is imperative for India to take counter-measures
India’s long-term positive relationship with Bhutan is underpinned by hydropower: India helped develop Bhutan’s power projects and we purchase the surplus energy.The India-Bhutan relationship can be a model for improving links with Nepal which is trying to develop at least three projects jointly with India
Narendra Modi has picked Bhutan for his first foreign visit after taking charge, a sign that the neighbourhood is a foreign policy priority for the new government. Bhutan’s economy is closely linked to that of India’s, and despite pressures from powerful countries, Bhutan has always kept Indian interests paramount.
These elections may have been an inflection point, when big data hit critical mass. From now, it will be used to maximal effect to raise funds, influence people and read the national mood. Not just by political parties, but equally by pollsters and the media.