Category Archives: Outreach Publications

Discriminating Uranium and Copper mills using satellite imagery

Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, 20 January 2017, pp. 27-35

Lalitha Sundaresan, S.Chandrashekar, Bhupendra Jasani

Identifying uranium mills from high resolution commercial satellite images has assumed significance in recent years because of non-proliferation concerns. Studies have shown that it is difficult to identify Uranium mills through remote sensing methods that use only spectral signatures. In this communication we suggest an approach that relies only on spatial signatures of the equipment used in the extraction process as an alternative. Since the extraction of Uranium and Copper have many similar features especially where Copper is extracted from low grade ore or from copper tailings, there could be ambiguity in identifying a Uranium mill from high resolution commercial satellite images. In this paper we suggest some improvements to the methodology outlined by us in our earlier work. In addition to the other features used to separate Uranium and Copper mills we bring in the dimensions of common equipment used in both processes as an additional dimension to improve the robustness of our classification. This technique is applicable only where the extraction is done in a mill and not where Uranium is extracted by in situ leaching methods.

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Does Pakistan’s Ababeel Medium Range Ballistic Missile Really Have MIRV Capability?

Delhi Defence Review, February 03, 2017

Rajaram Nagappa, Professor and Dean of the ISSSP, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru.

Pakistan has carried out a missile test – it was not another training or pre-deployment test of Shaheen 2 or Shaheen 3, but the test of a new missile called Ababeel on 24 January 2017. The missile is claimed to have a range of 2200km and is said to be capable of carrying Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV).

Unlike the Shaheen 2, the new missile has three stages. The Ababeel thermal fairing (heat shield) has a large diameter than its core vehicle. The extra volume thus available is consistent with the requirements for MIRV capabilities. It must however, be noted that there are a number of technical constraints that have to be overcome before one can infer that Pakistan has succeeded in developing MIRV capability.

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India, Sri Lanka and Maldives: Shared Commonality yet Challenges to Sub-regional Cooperation

India, Sri Lanka and Maldives: Shared Commonality yet Challenges to Sub-regional Cooperation in Venugopal B. Menon and Joshy M. Paul, Eds., Sub-Regional Cooperation in South Asia – India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, Vij Book Publishers, 2016.

M. Mayilvaganan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

Sri Lanka and Maldives are the closest neighbors of India in the south who share historical, cultural, religious, ethnic and linguistic interaction with India. All the groups in these island nations in one or other way are linked with India in every sense, as the geographical proximity, cultural and religious linkages propose. Nonetheless, this proximity seems to have played a part in forcing them—Sri Lankan and Maldivians—to exhibit that they are ‘distinct’ in an effort to defend and promote their own ‘identity’ which is essential for their existence. And this ‘identity’ of being distinct has indeed contributed to distrust in their relations with India and which in turn challenges the sub regional cooperation in the region.
The chapter/paper discuss the challenges of sub regional cooperation in South Asia while highlighting the existence of clear cultural, religious, ethnic and linguistic interaction of India with Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Nuclear Deterrence and Southern Asia

Journal of the United Services Institution of India, Vol. Issue No: CXLVI, No. 605, July-September 2016, pp. 336-343

Arun VishwanathanAssistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

usi-cover-smallIn the history of nuclear weapons and deterrence, Southern Asia is different because in the past, we have not had three nuclear armed countries sharing borders which continue to be disputed. The geographical contiguity in essence results in shorter flight times which translates into less time available to the countries’ command and control systems to plan a response and more importantly the certainty of radioactive fallout spreading across borders.
Another important factor which sets this region apart is the fact that the three countries have gone to war in the past over the contested borders. Another important factor that sets the region apart is that the three countries have gone to war in the past over the contested borders.
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Modi’s Trip to Tokyo: Takeaways for India-Japan Relations

The Diplomat, November 17, 2016

Prakash Panneerselvam, Post Doctoral Associate, ISSSP, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

The DiplomatAfter six years of consultation, India and Japan inked a civil nuclear agreement on the sidelines of their annual summit, this year held in Tokyo. India is the first non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to have signed such a deal with Japan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, welcomed the agreement as a historic step forward to achieve a clean energy partnership.

While the nuclear deal stole headlines, the bilateral annual summit also undertook a detailed assessment of the “Special Strategic and Global Partnership” as outlined in the “India and Japan Vision 2025,” released at last year’s summit. After discussion on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, a substantive joint statement was issued on November 11, 2016. The joint statement put in perspective areas in which India and Japan could work closely, which the statement clearly indicated could encompass not only bilateral concerns but also Indo-Pacific regional issues. The joint statement clearly represents the tectonic shift in India-Japan relationship in four areas: nuclear cooperation, counterterrorism, coordination on regional issues, and defense industry cooperation.

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India’s entry into the NSG: A Long-winded Process

Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, Vol. 11, No. 3, July-Sept 2016. pp. 217-223.

Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

ifaj-july-sept-2016India’s relationship with the above multilateral export control regimes has witnessed a remarkable turnaround in recent years. From being the rationale behind the establishment of the NSG and the MTCR, India has joined the MTCR as a member, and its application for membership into the NSG is under discussion amongst the group’s members. One of the drivers for this transformation has been the growing strategic partnership between the USA and India which, among other things, has resulted in the liberalisation of American export control regulations with respect to India. The extent of the policy shift towards India becomes apparent from the fact that, post 2009, only 0.3 percent of US exports to India require export licence from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). This is a substantial reduction from the close to 25 percent of US exports which required export licences in the year 2000.

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10 Years of Fighting Pirates in Asia

The Diplomat, September 01, 2016

Prakash Panneerselvam, Post Doctoral Associate, ISSSP, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

DipThis year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Center (ISC) in Singapore. In those ten years, ReCAAP ISC has grown into a true multilateral organization comprising 20 nations across globe working toward the safety and security of the maritime commons. Information sharing and confidence building measures between law enforcement agencies have made a tangible contribution to anti-piracy efforts; ReCAAP ISC has achieved a great deal in reversing the rising trend in piracy incidents in the region.

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No cause for worry

Deccan Herald, August 29, 2016

Vice Admiral R.N. Ganesh, Adjunct Faculty, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

DHThe recent expose in an Australian newspaper of restricted data about the French company DCNS, designer and builder of the Scorpene class submarine under construction at Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai, caused consternation in India. Undoubtedly, it was a major breach in information security. Whether or not the nature of classified data revealed adversely impacts the operational effectiveness of the Scorpene as the mainstay of the Indian Navy’s (IN) submarine force, is the issue. Typically, the overwhelming majority of all documentation which pertains to a submarine is technical and comprises operational, maintenance and repair instructions, which may be relevant to rival commercial entities – but minimal use for an adversary at sea. The frequent reference to the number of pages that have been “leaked” should be seen in this background.

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Advancing India’s relationship with Japan and South Korea: Quest for Middle-Power Cooperation

Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Issue Brief #262, August 2016

Prakash Panneerselvam, Post Doctoral Associate, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

IPCS

The security environment in the Asia-Pacific region is undergoing significant changes. The rise of China as a dominant power is seriously undermining US paramountcy in the region. Further, the competition between the US and China is only bound to grow as China seeks to expand its military and economic strength. The US pivot to Asia and its strengthening of partnerships with key regional allies has not deterred China from increasingly aggressive postures. In the wake of this turmoil, India’s relations with Japan and South Korea have assumed salience, with the possibility of middle power cooperative balancing in the region. As middle powers, India, Japan and South Korea have limited influence upon the international system, but through a more constructive multilateral mechanism, it could generate a huge influence on the affairs of the Asia-Pacific. India enjoys a strategic relationship with both Japan and South Korea, which can be expanded to address both global and regional challenges.

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India and Nuclear Suppliers Group

Chennai Centre for China Studies, June 27, 2016

LV Krishnan, Adjunct Faculty, ISSSP, NIAS

c3s logo-newWith four meetings in 20 months and the last within two months, Modi and Obama had to find some long unfinished items and a few innocuousness for the meeting in June 2016. For India, NSG entry is a promise Obama made to India some six years ago and naturally the choice fell on it.

The story of NSG is linked to NPT that entered into force in 1970. The Treaty is more about concern that nuclear weapons could spread beyond the original five than about nuclear disarmament. It only asks members not to export to Non-Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS) that are outside NPT (a) source material, meaning uranium and special fissionable material and other equipment and (b) especially designed or processed equipment for production of special fissionable material,without insisting on IAEA safeguards.

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