Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Bangladesh has made clear that the security situation in that country is under control and it is the BNP that has to overcome its mental block to make a new beginning.
Nuclear force development is at present an attractive means for Pakistan to attract international political and financial assistance, while salving the paranoias of its security establishment. Improvement in the state-society relationship could reduce the domestic appeal of endless nuclear expansion as other, more sustainable, resources become available to the state for building economic growth and security.
Along the short recent journey in discovery of friendly relations, Iran and Egypt have hit roadblocks that are not only ideological in nature but also illustrate their individual compulsions, conflicting national interests and complex regional dynamics.
If the BRICS Development Bank comes up, it will not only be a big moment for BRICS itself, but also for the global financial structure where the role, stake and space of the developing world will grow massively.
For almost the last 50 years, space collaboration has significantly remained intact between France and India. They have worked together on a range of issues from satellite applications, developing small satellites to earth system science and weather satellites.
A GDP growth of less than seven per cent combined with the fiscal consolidation path that the Finance Minister has articulated in his budget speech means a lot of pressure on the defence ministry whose plan for current and future expenditure up to 2017 is based on past GDP growth rate of 8 to 9 per cent.
There is a need for an overhaul of the defence planning and budgeting systems to make them outcome oriented, which will lead to the development and maintenance of requisite capability through the defence forces as an entity over a specified long-term horizon.
In the larger scheme of things, fiscal prudence is a good trait and the reduction in deficits desirable, yet an overtly ambitious approach of reducing deficits into a number game may lead to developments that may hurt us not only in the security arena but in economic growth as well.
A National Counter Terrorism Head needs to be established with the single point authority for all CT activity and with authorization to muster all resources within the country. The authority vested in him will be matched by his accountability to every terrorist strike.