The U.S. Navy Secretary, Kenneth Braithwaite, visited India on 17 Dec 2020. Will this year-end visit culminate in the reactivation of the First Fleet under the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command? The First Fleet, is likely to be an expeditionary fleet - one without a shore-based headquarters and assigned primary responsibility for the Indian Ocean and parts of Pacific Ocean bordering South Asia. Its reactivation will emphasise the strategic importance of this region. It will also relieve the burden of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet headquartered in Japan, that is deployed for operations in this vast oceanic space.
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India’s pledge to the Paris Agreement gives it the flexibility to confidently place its climate action policies across various multilaterals. Although an observer of the Arctic Council, India can collaborate with the body's upcoming chair, Russia, to alleviate climate change concerns stemming from the Arctic. It is time for India to use its goodwill with the Arctic Council members to develop a national Arctic policy.
Cross-border infrastructure has been influencing the geopolitics of Asia, specifically South Asia. Since 2014, India has been investing in trilateral and multilateral infrastructure projects, in its coastal and inland neighbourhood. This paper argues that making environmental security a parameter for developing cross border sustainable infrastructure, will provide a unique opportunity for India to develop norms for environmental and social security policy, training assistance, and capacity-building in the projects it funds abroad.
COVID-19 has accelerated internet usage and is making digital infrastructure even more indispensable globally. India is actively laying this critical infrastructure on the ground, but is yet to work on the strategic ‘last-mile’ connectivity space-based ICT and 5G plus services. U.S. and China have fast-tracked this, and India should immediately implement the recent space reforms to be regarded as a significant player.
The COVID19-caused migration of India’s large workforce to their rural roots holds immense promise for the country’s agriculture productivity and farmer incomes. Precision agritech and satellite-as-a-service (SAAS) can reduce the urban-rural skill, remuneration, and digital divide. Time to privatize space technology for agricultural benefit.
On 15 July, the Indian space programme will achieve a feat with the Chandrayaan-2 mission. Two challenges lie ahead: the speedy construction of Chandrayaan-3 and the development of a public-private ecosystem of space capabilities
The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation (BECA), the last of the India-U.S. foundational agreements, will enable India to avail of U.S. expertise on geospatial intelligence and to sharpen the accuracy of weapons and automated hardware systems used for military purposes. But the over-emphasis on imaging in the agreement overlooks the likelihood of a clash between the telecom and meteorological technologies, which can hurt India’s crucial capabilities in space-based weather forecasting and disaster management
The key global powers are redefining their roles in the Indo-Pacific to promote national interest. China’s rise and increased activism in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region is an uncontested reality even as Asian countries worry about the new cold war in which the U.S. and China are locked. The Quadrilateral Dialogue has reemerged to prevent a unipolar Asia — these are some of the trends unfolding in this arena
Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg’s visit to India earlier this week had a central focus: strengthening economic and technological cooperation in the Blue Economy. This is an area in which her country has considerable expertise and with which Indian business needs to collaborate in managing industries, such as oil, shipping, fisheries and aquaculture in a ‘green’ way
The following remarks were given by Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House as a panelist at an Interactive Session with Reginah Makgabo Mahaule, Deputy Minister of International Relations, South Africa hosted by RIS on January 9, 2019