Policy Perspectives
T20 digitisation brief Courtesy:
23 September 2021

T20 Policy Brief on Digital Transformation

Public digital infrastructure encourages competition, innovation and inclusion. Through India Stack and Modular Open Source Identity Platform (MOSIP), the Indian experience offers developing countries a path to leapfrog the development phase for digital platforms. Open-source systems offer countries an opportunity to establish low-cost public identity, financial and data exchange systems. This policy brief explains how the G20's support of such platforms will accelerate adoption, allowing developing countries to advance digital usage.

Quad amidst a geopolitical flux Courtesy: Twitter | @narendramodi
23 September 2021

Quad amidst a geopolitical flux

On September 24, the Quad leaders will attend the first in-person summit of the grouping in Washington DC. There is much to discuss for the four leaders, given recent developments: the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) security partnership and the EU's new Indo-Pacific strategy. The Quad also needs to focus on long term goals like institutionalising itself and devising a strategy to counter the China challenge.

Automotive industry zooming into space Courtesy: Toyota
16 September 2021

Automotive industry zooming into space

In June this year, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency collaborated with Honda Research to build an energy system for surface mobility on the moon. SpaceX and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Tesla and Mitsubishi Motors have similar alliances, reflecting the increased participation of the automotive sector in the space economy. Tokyo wants its biggest export, automobiles, to pick up stakes in this space. India should have a similar ambition. The May 2020 space reforms recognise the significance of commercialising the space sector. But now is the time for long-term R&D investments in the domestic auto sector, to help India step into this play.

20 years after 9/11, has the U.S. learnt from its mistakes? Courtesy: The New York Times
16 September 2021

U.S. 2001-21: Of Friends and Foes

After 9/11, the threats to America are right where they were 20 years ago: still in Afghanistan, and now backed by the strength of a state. What happened to America, that “shining city on a hill” that beckoned brightness to its shores and won allies? Some self-delusion, a belief that it was still the global monarch after World War II and the inability to distinguish between friends and foes.

Measuring BRICS summit outcome Courtesy: Press Information Bureau, Government of India
14 September 2021

Measuring 15 years of BRICS

India hosted the 13th BRICS summit on September 9, celebrating 15 years of the multilateral. The leaders committed to fighting terrorism and reforming multilateral organisations, among other diverse aspects. However, the grouping clearly needs better implementation strategies if the agreements reached, are to be truly successful.

Imperial powers: Leaving chaos behind Courtesy: U.S. Air Force
9 September 2021

Imperial powers: Leaving chaos behind

The withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan is not the first time that a hasty and messy departure of foreign forced has taken place. History is replete with examples of imperial powers suddenly leaving countries that they secured for years, without ensuring a peaceful transition of power. The sub-continent has now seen it twice, the last time was in 1947, when the British preponed their withdrawal from India, hastily partitioning the country and leaving a region at war with itself. Ambassador Neelam Deo, co-founder, Gateway House, explains why and how this happens.

Indian Tech’s China Divergence Courtesy: Shutterstock
9 September 2021

India-China: Diverging tech trajectories

The simultaneous rise of India's tech unicorns with the unexpected crackdown by China on its star tech players, is an interesting study. India will certainly be a beneficiary of China's move, which is likely to scare foreign capital away. There's plenty on offer in India, with nearly 60 IPOs scheduled for a 2021 listing.

Why Japan's Suga slid Courtesy: Twitter | @sugawitter
7 September 2021

Why Japan’s Suga slid

Suga Yoshihide was Japan’s stop gap Prime Minister to cover the sudden exit of the long-serving Abe Shinzo. He didn’t rock the boat, carried out the Abe agendas including on the Indo-Pacific, the US, China, India. He managed COVID, and the difficult Olympics. Yet he lost his popularity. Blame it on political fault lines.

thumbnail_The Haqqani network Courtesy: The Wall Street Journal
2 September 2021

Taliban’s terrorist connections to India

With the Taliban now ensconced in Kabul and being given legitimacy to represent Afghanistan, the worry for New Delhi is the Taliban-affiliated terrorist groups which are already looking eastward to India. This graphic shows the relationship between the terrorist groups in Afghanistan and their anti-India cousins.

Courtesy: Ministry of External Affairs Courtesy: BRICS Forum - India 2021
2 September 2021

Is BRICS still relevant?

The 13th BRICS summit will be held virtually on 9 September 2021 and India is the host. The grouping has managed to hold its ground in an era of increasingly complex geopolitics. While immediate goals are important, in the longer term it must cooperate on counter terrorism, improve trade and work towards the Sustainable Development Goals.