Category Archives: Outreach Publications

Doha to Astana: insulate and integrate

Daily Times, June 15, 2017

D. Suba Chandran is Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

Two diverging developments in South Asian’s western neighbourhoods — Gulf and Central Asia, calls for two different approaches especially by India and Pakistan. While South Asia should try to insulate itself from the ongoing crisis in the Gulf, we should try to integrate further with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and pursue it as an Indo-Pak opportunity.

JIT: What next for Nawaz Sharif?

Rising Kashmir, June 20, 2017

D. Suba Chandran is Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

Last week, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared in front of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), constituted as a part of the Supreme Court’s verdict on Panama scandal. The Court had asked the JIT to finalise its report in two months, and the latter has been interviewing individuals, including the immediate family members of Sharif. But this process has become a controversy, with the JIT accusing institutions for tampering with information and the Sharif family blaming the JIT of harassment and politicization. With the process becoming politicized now, what will happen when JIT submits its report? What next for Nawaz Sharif?

 

Qatar’s Isolation

The Hindu, June 15, 2017

Nasima Khatoon is a research intern at National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

The recent diplomatic rift between Qatar and other Arab states — like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt — has again highlighted the geopolitical significance of the region beyond the oil factor. It emerged as a result of an allegation that the small gas-rich country supports and funds terror through its support of Iran and Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist political group outlawed by both Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Qatar Gulf

Rising Kashmir, June 13, 2017

D. Suba Chandran is Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE broke up their diplomatic ties with Qatar last week, with Egypt, Libya and Yemen following. Oman and Kuwait (part of the Gulf Cooperation Council-GCC) have stayed neutral until today. How genuine are those allegations against Qatar? What are the intentions behind the actions against Doha? And what are the likely fallouts of this new crisis in Gulf?

 

“Afghans’ Kabul Problem,” Rising Kashmir,

Rising Kashmir, June 06, 2017

D. Suba Chandran is Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

Just few days after the horrific terror attack with a truck bomb (end May) in the heart of the city, Kabul witnessed further attacks on a subsequent funeral meeting. While the latest attack on a funeral claimed more than 15 victims, the truck bomb earlier claimed more than 90. While terror attacks within Afghanistan have increased during the recent months, and can be explained through the Taliban summer surge, how to explain Kabul being the primary target?

ISRO – Building Bridges Over Troubled Waters

Diplomatist, Vol.5, Issue No.4, April 2017, pp. 23-25

S. Chandrashekhar is Visiting Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

The recent launch of 104 satellites on a single PSLV rocket has evoked widespread admiration and captured the imagination of people across the world. This record breaking feat that follows successful missions to the Moon and Mars has catapulted Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from a follower country in the space business into the mainstream of world space powers. The architect that made all this possible – the jewel in India’s space crown – is without doubt the indigenously developed and indigenously manufactured Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launcher. At this moment of triumph and justifiable elation, it is worth taking a step back to reflect on the origins and motivation that led to its development and the turbulent history behind its success.

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Fighting Daesh: regional counter strategy

Daily Times, March 30, 2017

D. Suba Chandran is Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

Recent terrorist attacks in Kabul, Sehwan and Dhaka have been claimed by Daesh or more commonly known as the Islamic State (IS). The region cannot be a mute witness to the emergence of the IS in South Asia, for it would lead to its further consolidation and subsequent expansion. An early counter strategy is imperative with the region coming together and chalking out a strategy.

A Modi March

The Friday Times, March 17, 2017

D. Suba Chandran is Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

It is not easy to analyse election results of five different States (Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur) in different parts of India (North, Central, Western and Northeast). The election results (with a thumping majority for the Congress in Punjab, the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and none having a majority in Goa and Manipur) are varied; it would be tough to weave a common narrative at the national level. Yet there are few trends, one could observe cutting across the electoral results from different parts of India.

Towards Mutual Benefit: Paradigm Shift in India’s Development Cooperation with Myanmar

Diplomatist Magazine, January 2017, Pg 15-17

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

With the rapid growth of economy, India has expanded its development assistance to other developing countries substantially. Indeed, development cooperation assistance is one of the effective tools of Indian foreign policy today that is employed for building relationship, solidarity, leveraging soft power and in furthering India’s strategic interest. The ethos behind India’s approach is to foster “development partnerships” that would contribute for the mutual benefit of both India and the beneficiary. At the moment India’s relationship and development partnership with Myanmar has gathered momentum. Thanks to New Delhi’s realisation that ideology oriented isolation policy and economic protectionism would not aid in fostering own geo-strategic and geo-economic interest. Notably, New Delhi extends its unstinting development partnership to Nay Pyi Daw on three fronts: connectivity infrastructure, training and capacity building, grants and line of credits. Nevertheless, to achieve desired goals India needs to work on gathering legitimacy through commitment, projection of India’s positive image, coordination among the various ministries, and successful completion of all the pending development projects that it has undertaken so far.

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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