Category Archives: In the Media

Non-violent compellence plays to India’s strength, Pak’s weakness

Mathrubhumi, September 27, 2016

imageAs tensions escalate between India and Pakistan as fallout to the terror strike on army camp in Uri, a well-timed book authored by George Perkovich and Toby Dalton, associated with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, has hit the stands. The book — Not war, not peace? Motivating Pakistan to prevent cross-border terrorism –- is armed with many references taken from well-authored articles and newspaper reports that highlight India’s military might and shortcomings. The authors have tried hard to put across new strategies to tackle cross-border terrorism targeted at India. The National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru, is holding a discussion on the book on September 28 to be attended by a host of military brains and researchers.

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Pak attacks on India could increase in future, suggests book

The Deccan Chronicle, September 29, 2016

How do you motivate Pakistan to deccan_chroniclestop cross-border terrorism and change its behaviour towards nuclear attacks, especially when Pakistan army dictates the nuclear policies?  Was India wrong in talking to a civilian government in Pakistan, while a military government controlled the nuclear policies? These and many other existential dilemmas that face India when tackling its oldest enemy – Pakistan – consumed a  battery of the city’s best minds while discussing the probable solutions at the book launch of ‘Not War, Not Peace? – Motivating Pakistan to Prevent Cross-border Terrorism’, co-authored by George Perkovich and Toby Dalton of the prestigious Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The book was released by former Indian Ambassador to Russia P.S Raghavan at an event co-hosted by the National Institute of Advanced Studies, and The Takshashila Foundation, on Wednesday.

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Ready to Soar: Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is all set for IAF induction

First Post,  July 1, 2016

Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

First PostOn Friday, the Air Force will induct two Tejas aircraft manufactured by the HAL under the Series Production (SP1 and SP2) along with a trainer aircraft into the IAF’s Number 45 Squadron, the Flying Daggers. The induction is set to take place at the Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) in Bengaluru. This follows HAL’s handing over of the first Series Production version of the LCA to the Air Force in January 2015.

The induction of the LCA Tejas into the Air Force will allow the pilots and the crew to become more familiar with the aircraft, develop a sense of ownership for the aircraft. It will also ensure that the developers receive valuable feedback to improve future versions of the aircraft. The Air Force seems to be following this tack with decision to base LCA squadron in Bengaluru for the first two years before moving the aircraft to the Sulur base in Tamil Nadu.

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NSG Membership and India

Eenadu, (Telugu) June 24, 2016

Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

Eenadu vyakyanam-logoIn the normal course of things, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) does not receive much attention. Established in 1975 as a response to the May 1974 nuclear tests by India, the 48-member grouping attempts to control the export of fissile material, nuclear materials and technologies including dual-use items. The group members control roughly 80 percent of the global uranium reserves and close to 80 percent of the global uranium production. The aim of the group is to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy and prevent the possible diversion of nuclear material or technology for building nuclear weapons. However, in recent weeks, after India and Pakistan submitted their applications to join the NSG, and China publicly opposed India’s membership, the NSG has got entangled in a geo-political tug of war between the United States and China.

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The shifting sands in Afghanistan

The Hindu, May 24, 2016

D. Suba Chandran, Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

The HinduThree major developments during the last 10 days are likely to have significant implications on the future of the Afghan peace process — the unsuccessful conclusion of the Afghan Quadrilateral Coordination Group’s (QCG) talks in Islamabad, the U.S. Congress’s conditions on Pakistan to do more on Afghanistan to receive any further American aid, and the killing of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Balochistan by an American drone.

Did one development cause the other? Or did they take place simultaneously, and is the sequencing just a coincidence? Either way, they have serious implications for the Afghan peace process. A fourth development, though not totally outside the above three, is a formal understanding between the Afghan government and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. This agreement, though more likely to strengthen the internal peace process within Afghanistan, would have its own repercussions on the QCG dialogue.

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To buy or not to buy: F-16, Pak, US & India

The Tribune, May 19, 2016

D. Suba Chandran, Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

TribuneF-16 fighter aircraft have become the latest bone of contention in the volatile Pakistan-US relations. During the last month, there have been a series of statements, demands, counter demands, threats and carrots, both from the US and Pakistan.  

The sale of eight American F-16s to Pakistan has been plaguing the relations between the countries, primarily due to American demands on Pakistan “to do more in Afghanistan”, differences within the US between the State Department, White House and the Congress, and (more importantly) who would foot the bill for the sale. 

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ISSSP-NIAS Report mentioned in India’s National Progress Report at the Nuclear Security Summit 2016

India’s National Progress Report, Nuclear Security Summit 2016

Ministry of External Affairs, April 2, 2016

Indo-US Book coverIt is a matter of great pride and honour for all of us at ISSSP-NIAS that the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) and the US National Academies of Sciences (NAS) publication on Technical Aspects of Civilian Nuclear Materials Security found mention in India’s National Progress Report at the Nuclear Security Summit 2016 held in Washington DC.

The NIAS-NAS publication is titled India-United States Cooperation on Global Security: Summary of a Workshop on Technical Aspects of Civilian Nuclear Materials Security and was published by the National Academies Press in 2013. 

The publication was the summary report of the Workshop jointly organised by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore and the US National Academies of Sciences (NAS), Washington DC at the NIAS campus on October 29-31, 2012. 

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Strengthening Intelligence Gathering, Surveillance and Reconnaissance are of Vital Importance

National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS)

International Strategic and Security Studies Programme (ISSSP)

Press Release – For Immediate Release

“Strengthening Intelligence Gathering, Surveillance and Reconnaissance are of Vital Importance”

The International Strategic and Security Studies Programme (ISSSP), a unique programme at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in IISc campus released four related reports on Small Satellites, Space War and Identification of Uranium Mill sites.

The four reports were released today by Dr Baldev Raj, Director of the NIAS and critiqued by Prof YS Rajan and Vice Admiral RN Ganesh. Introducing the reports, Prof Rajaram Nagappa highlighted the focus of them and their utmost importance to India’s national security. Dr Baldev Raj releasing the reports underlined the importance of the National Institute of Advanced Studies based in Bangalore but providing vital inputs and concrete recommendations to India’s security. He mentioned with pride that the NIAS is truly interdisciplinary and a cradle of good research work.

L to R (Dr. YS Rajan, Prof S. Chandrashekar, Prof Baldev Raj, Prof Rajaram Nagappa, Prof. Lalitha Sundaresan)

L to R: Dr. YS Rajan, Prof. S. Chandrashekar, Prof. Baldev Raj, Prof. Rajaram Nagappa, Prof. Lalitha Sundaresan

Dr Baldev Raj also reminded the primary objective of the NIAS founded by Dr Raja Ramanna and JRD Tata – in terms of engaging in a larger debate within and outside. “These reports are a part of that dialogue” underlined Dr Raj. He said, he has always always been fascinated by the ISSSP; he appreciated its scholars undertaking independent research work and also being successful in working together

The report titled “The Promise of Small Satellites for National Security,” authored by Prof Rajaram Nagappa provides a survey of small satellites that can be employed for military ISR requirements. The report also examines satellite and launch history of ISRO and concludes while ISRO has demonstrated technological capabilities, there is a lack of capacity in the country to meet the military space requirements. The report also carries a survey of small satellite launch vehicles and determines a launch vehicle capable of placing a small satellite of 350 kg mass in an orbit around 500 km can be configured using available rocket/missile stages in the country. The advantage of using readily available and flight-qualified stages is that the development time can be effectively reduced. For generating a faster turn around of the small satellite launch vehicle and satellites, increased industry involvement is essential.

Vice Admiral Ganesh commenting on the report said, “despite the constraints, the ISRO has gone ahead and undertaken a commendable job relating to both satellites and rockets.” According to him, the primary military requirement is for communications – imagery, surveillance, electronic warfare etc.

According to the report, one needs more frequent revisits, especially as mobile platforms like ships and other transport systems may have to be tracked.  As one would like to track such objects at night or under cloud cover conditions, one has to use optical imaging satellites as well as radar imaging satellites to get good imagery under all conditions. Electronic intelligence satellites (ELINTs) have antenna arrays to monitor electrical radiation from emitting sources. This will help in locating such sources (ships, radar stations and other such installations). The report also stresses the importance of technology. Nano-satellites in the mass range of 1-10 kg or micro-satellites in the mass range 10-100 kg or small satellites 100-1000 kg can be designed and employed for such applications. Small satellites will perhaps be more suited for the purpose of ELINT, optical and radar imaging to meet the 24×7 ISR requirements. A constellation of 15-18 satellites will be required. More satellites in the constellation can further reduce the time gap between revisits.

The second report titled “Space, War and Security: A Strategy for India” authored by Prof S Chandrashekar, presents a critical appraisal of Indian capabilities to monitor and use the space environment for various military tasks. These include Command & Control, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance as well as a number of other space functions such as navigation and weather services. It makes a strong case for a new strategy that integrates these components into a coherent national strategy that is relevant for the country at this point in time. The formulation and implementation of such a strategy will also need a significant enhancement in capabilities to build and launch satellites. These are identified in some detail. India also needs a significant augmentation of its ground based radar and optical tracking facilities in order to monitor the happenings in space on a real time basis. Finally the report addresses the need to re-organize and restructure our entire national security complex to be aligned to this new global reality.

Two more reports, titled “Identification of Uranium Mill sites from Open Source satellite Images” & “Estimating Uranium Mill Capacity Using Satellite Pictures” authored jointly by S. Chandrashekar, Lalitha Sundaresan &  Bhupendra Jassani focus on the use of openly available satellite imagery for the identification of Uranium mills.

Its authors explained “using a sample of known Uranium mills from across the world a set of keys has been derived. These keys link observables in the satellite image (Google Earth image) with equipment and materials related to the processing of Uranium ore. Based on these features and their sequencing in the process a step by step algorithm for the identification of a Uranium mill has been worked out.”

IPL lessons

The Dawn, February 19, 2016

D. Suba Chandran, Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

DawnAfter a long wait, the Pakistan Super League is finally on. Given the passion associated with cricket not only in Pakistan, but all over the region one would want PSL to succeed. Though the Indian Premier League has taken a giant leap in South Asia, other countries, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (SLPL) have also made attempts to have their own leagues with varying degrees of success.

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We are like this only

Business Line, February 17, 2016

D. Suba Chandran, Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

Business LinePakistan International Airlines (PIA), once a “great people to fly with,” is today mired in multiple problems in the ground. For the South Asian society based on emotions and honour, from flags to cricket to airlines, it is never just another issue. It is always about national pride and honour. While Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines are a matter of pride for their respective countrymen, barring the Sri Lankan Airlines (and to an extent the small Druk Air of Bhutan), the South Asian national carriers have always been a subject of jokes and ridicule. While the Air India, the largest of South Asian national carrier and the Biman of Bangladesh do continue to operate, the PIA seem to be flying further into rough weathers.

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