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Can India enhance foreign investor confidence?

India may have jumped the rankings in The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business but foreign and domestic investors seek improvements in the ease of doing business on the ground, especially in the states, writes N Chandra Mohan for South Asia Monitor

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Needed political will to solve Delhi's pollution crisis

There are enough existing solutions to alleviate air pollution which is a result of a waste-disposal problem.  However, there is a need to have political and administrative will to implement them, writes Anil Rajvanshi for South Asia Monitor

Policy lessons from Mahatma Gandhi: Decentralised development and sustainable living

Gandhi was an engineer at heart. He improvised and built equipment like better snake-catching tools, small cotton-spinning wheel (takli) and chappals (sandals) from used tires. In 1929, he even instituted an INR one lakh prize (INR 20 crores in today’s value; 2.6 times bigger than the Nobel Prize) for the design of a modern charkha (spinning wheel), writes  Anil K Rajvanshi for South Asia Monitor

The Afghan deadlock: Was it a Trump subterfuge or a secret understanding?

Trump realized that the draft deal, if signed, would be labeled a surrender to the Taliban, which would be politically damaging for him. Another reason could be that he never really wanted to meet the Taliban, but wanted to showcase the peace efforts made, and place indirect pressure on them through the subterfuge writes Lt Gen PC Katoch (retd) for South Asia Monitor

Quietly, India crafts a new strategic partnership with Africa

With India's growing political and strategic interest in the continent, and inclination to leverage its diaspora as an instrument of soft power, it’s natural for New Delhi to establish a beachhead in Somalia, that straddles the Horn of Africa,  the source of the Nile and a gate to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, through which tens of thousands of vessels pass through Somali waters every year in what is one of the world’s busiest sea-trading lanes, writes Tarun Basu for South Asia Monitor

Trump cancelling Taliban pact brings relief to world capitals, including Delhi

Delhi has not yet made an official statement, but legitimizing the Taliban at a Camp David ceremony would  have had an adverse impact on India’s strategic interests in the region, writes C Uday Bhaskar for South Asia Monitor

Putting NRC in perspective: Assam is not communal, has never been

For an outsider, the NRC process has come to be perceived as anti-Muslim. This is drawing the line along religious identity—a factor to which the indigenous Assamese Muslim community does not agree, but whose voice has been largely ignored in this massive debate, writes Azera Parveen Rahman for South Asia Monitor

Af-Pak region can become another Syria after US withdrawal

Trump ordering withdrawal of some troops is very much on the cards. The situation in Afghanistan over the next few months is unpredictable, with the internal turmoil and economic situation in Pakistan also deteriorating, writes Lt Gen Prakash Chand Katoch  (retd) for South Asia Monitor

Vatican diplomacy can help Sri Lanka leverage its strengths

Sri Lanka, being an Indian Ocean island nation strategically located at the international maritime crossroads, has significant diplomatic influence in the West due its Christian community, write Srimal Fernando and Mizly Nizar for South Asia Monitor