Uttam Kumar Sinha

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  • Dr. Uttam Kumar Sinha is Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.

    The Arctic: An Antithesis

    The Arctic ice is melting faster than predicted. In August 2012, calculations based on the satellite imagery indicated that the summer sea ice loss was 50 per cent higher than earlier estimates. 1 Scientific evidence now suggests that the Arctic, by the middle of the century, will be ice free in the summer. Scientists call it the ‘Arctic amplification’—the reduction in the ice cover not only reduces the reflection of the sunlight but also increases the absorption of heat as the darker water is exposed.

    January 2013

    Will the Indus Water Treaty Survive?

    The Indus Water Treaty (IWT) is the most significant confidence-building measure between India and Pakistan. Despite the wars and hostilities, the IWT has functioned well since it was signed in 1960. However, one cannot ignore the challenges of future supplies of fresh water between the two countries. The article delves into a historical account of how the treaty came about, the salient features of the treaty and examines whether ‘water rationality’ will continue to govern the riparian relationship or whether ‘water sharing’ will open up a new front of contentious politics.

    September 2012

    Examining China's Hydro-Behaviour: Peaceful or Assertive?

    China is a thirsty country desperately in need of water—a lot of it. In order to meet its water and energy requirements in the densely populated and fertile northern plains, it is successively making interventions in the Tibetan rivers in the southern part through dams and diversions. While China is well within its riparian rights to do so, a set of externalities involving the principles of water-sharing and lower riparian needs—stretching from Afghanistan to Vietnam—raise concerns.

    January 2012

    Climate Change: Process and Politics

    With the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expiring in 2012, time seems to be running out for a new successor agreement. The Protocol remains the most comprehensive attempt to negotiate binding limits on anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The long-term challenge, defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is to stabilise GHG concentration in the atmosphere at levels that would prevent interference with the climate system. There are, however, economic and social realities that drive anthropogenic GHG emissions.

    November 2010

    50 Years of the Indus Water Treaty: An Evaluation

    Rivers are more than what Samuel T. Coleridge poetically expressed in Kubla Khan: ‘meandering with mazy motion’ and falling into the ‘sunless sea’. Rivers are life-givers, carrying a mystic and sacred quality about them. That they are oft described as being ‘mighty’—the mighty Amazon; the mighty Nile; the mighty Brahamaputra; the mighty Murray; the mighty Mississippi and Missouri—is hardly mystifying. Civilizations have grown around it and flourished. In contemporary politics the salience of rivers cannot be overlooked both in terms of being drivers of cooperation and conflict.

    September 2010

    Water a Pre-eminent Political Issue between India and Pakistan

    Like in the 1950s, the word ‘riparian’ is back again in the India–Pakistan lexicon, becoming this time intensely political, emotional and divisive. This development is both instructive and unsettling. It is instructive to note how the current water realties of the two countries, which have changed significantly since the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) in 1960, will now determine the treaty's future. With growing populations, inadequate water management techniques and the impact of global warming, water resources are under pressure.

    July 2010

    Climate Change and Foreign Policy: The UK Case

    Climate change has acquired high priority in the United Kingdom's foreign policy. It has in recent years raised the issue of climate change at various international forums, such as G-8, the European Union and the UN Security Council. This article examines how and why climate change has become one of the core components of UK foreign policy, and in so doing analyses the interconnections between foreign policy and climate change, and interactions between domestic and international politics.

    May 2010

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