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        Society for Policy Studies

Defence and Security
Diwali, otherwise the festival of lights, happiness and good cheer, has been several shades darker this year, with an extensive stretch of the international India-Pakistan border as well as the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir ablaze, not with the traditional “diyas”, but trans-border machinegun and mortar fire.   
The army holds a privileged position in the heart of any nation. This is especially so in a country like India, where a vast majority sees it as the only bulwark against existential threats posed by external enemies.  
The bankers’ recent move to put a check on 3.2 crore credit and debit cards has sent alarm bells ringing across the country. It was done to curb cyber frauds on the banking system. The move also exposes how insecure the online banking is. Credit/debit card frauds are rising across the globe and cyber experts say India is one of the most vulnerable nations. The system does not have the exact numbers of the victims but it definitely is in millions.  
In the 27th year of its continuity, the J&K proxy war is not difficult to predict. The fallout of the Uri attack and the subsequent surgical strikes could be appreciated to be mainly along the LoC or the International Border (IB).   

Anthony ensured that the equipping of our military came down to 1962 levels, but Parrikar, together with the present government, appears to be hell bent upon denigrating the soldiers and denying them their dues. Taking cover behind ‘mischievous bureaucrats’ can’t work anymore; responsibilities will have to be taken for such deliberate misdeeds.

There is a paradox here, though I cannot quite get my head around it fully. Suddenly, a host of politicians, journalists and analysts seem to have suddenly transformed themselves into a unique mix of professional surgeon and baseball player. All they seem to be talking about are the surgical strikes conducted by our Special Operations Forces (SOF) in the recent past.  
The fallout of the trans-border raids in an active “hot peace” environment between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir is always unpredictable, because there are just too many imponderables. The “surgical strike” by hunter-killer teams of the special forces of the Indian Army on fidayeen bases across the Line of Control in the Naugam-Hot Springs-Nangi Tekri area in Kashmir on the night of September 28/29 was one such raid.   

On a sunny morning a young shepherd takes his cattle across the lovely winding Namka Chu into the dense pine forests on the ridge above. The cold wind blows in from the north and the boy looks up at the steep mountain ahead of him covered by rhododendrons.


While perfect objective control seems an attractive goal to strive for, its attainment is neither viable nor desirable. Not viable because no clear distinction can realistically be made between the politics of civilian groups and the professionalism of the military. As Carl von Clausewitz’s famous dictum goes: “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means”.


A time has come to put the grim war time Chief Gen Ved Malik’s signalling: “We will fight and win with what we have” to rest. Soldiers need weapons and unqualified support in pay, allowances, societal respect and attendant prestige to uphold India's sovereignty against external threats, regardless of who the enemy is.


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spotlight image Sergio Arispe Barrientos, Ambassador of  Bolivia to India is, at 37, the youngest head of mission in New Delhi. Only the second envoy from his country to India, Barrientos, who presented his credentials to the Indian President last month, feels he has arrived at a propitious time, when India’s focus is on so
India is the world's biggest importer of weapons, accounting for 12 percent of global purchases during the past five years because it is not able to produce enough arms to meet its requirements, according to the authoritative Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, writes Arul Louis  
India-China-Pakistan cooperation can transform the subcontinent — joining a renamed CPEC would be a good start, writes Sudheendra Kulkarni
Before the independence of Mauritius from Britain in 1968, the Chagos archipelago was separated as part of the “British Indian Ocean Territory” in 1965, and retained by the UK, writes Priya Pillai
Famous for its pursuit of Gross National Happiness, Bhutan has a new cause for joy: In recognition of its Gross National Income (GNI) growth and social development, the kingdom is poised to graduate from the UN category of the world's poorest known as the Least Developed Countries (LDC), writes Arul Louis
Prem Sharma sells gutka (a combination of betel nuts, tobacco and mouth freshener) and cigarettes near the Vijay Nagar square in Indore, the commercial capital of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. However, the most visible part of his tiny business is the dustbin that he does not dare to lose. The case is similar with pretty

While India has regained its position as the world’s fastest growing large economy – with the uptick in GDP expansion at 6.7% in Q3 of 2017-18 – sustaining it critically depend...


What is history? How does a land become a homeland? How are cultural identities formed? The Making of Early Kashmir explores these questions in relation to the birth of Kashmir and the discursive and material practices that shaped it up to the ...


A group of teenagers in a Karachi high school puts on a production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible— and one goes missing. The incident sets off ripples through their already fraught education in lust and witches, and over the years ...


Title: Do We Not Bleed?: Reflections of a 21-st Century Pakistani; Author: Mehr Tarar; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 240; Price: Rs 599


From antiquity, the Muslim faith has been plagued by the portrayal of Muslim men regularly misusing this perceived “right” to divorce their wives instantly by simply uttering “talaq” thrice.


'Another South Asia!' edited by Dev Nath Pathak makes a critical engagement with the questions about South Asia: What is South Asia? How can one pin down the idea of regionalism in South Asia wherein inter-state relations are often char...