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  • The Indo-US Civil Nuclear Co-operation Agreement in the House of Representatives

    On July 27, 2006, the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bill HR 5682 for United States and India Nuclear Co-operation Promotion Act of 2006. This bill was submitted to the House by its International Relations Committee, after modifying the bill HR 4974 which was referred to the House by the US Administration. The House in an "up-or-down vote" passed this bill by a wide margin, with 359 members voting for and 58 opposing it. A number of amendments seen as killers were defeated on the floor of the House.

    August 05, 2006

    Mumbai Bombing: Men Behind the Massacre

    The July 11 bombing in Mumbai, which left 200 dead and 700 injured, is the deadliest terrorist attack in India this year. It was a systematic and well planned attack engineered between 6.24 pm and 6.35 pm on the Western Railway line during peak-hour when office-goers were returning home.

    July 18, 2006

    Hurdles Cleared in the US Congress for Nuclear Deal

    After months of excruciating negotiations, testimonies and debates, the two crucial committees of the US Congress voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Indo-US nuclear agreement, setting the stage for a formal Congressional vote. The International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives approved a legislation favouring the agreement with a near three-fourths majority (37 to 5) on June 27. This was followed by a bigger mandate (16 to 2) in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 29, thus ensuring a definite "yes" vote at the joint session of the Congress.

    July 10, 2006

    Nathu La: Pass To Prosperity But Also A Challenge

    Nathu La, identified as the third mountain pass for border trade between India and China, is officially slated to open on July 6, 2006 after a gap of 44 years. Previous attempts to open the border pass had to be postponed due to lack of proper infrastructure. This time around, the infrastructure from the Indian side is complete. A field visit to Nathu La on June 25, 2006 revealed that the approach road has been constructed. And the warehouses, customs and administrative offices, banks etc. at Sherathang, the designated trade mart situated 5 km from Nathu La, have been completed.

    July 04, 2006

    Energy Transition: Strategic Necessity for India

    After his landmark speech on energy independence on the eve of India's 59th Independence Day, President Abdul Kalam emphasised upon the importance of alternative fuel development to surmount the growing challenges to energy security in his opening address at the Bio-Diesel Conference on June 9, 2006. His emphasis on energy independence places immense importance on India's energy security, as the country is increasingly dependent on imported fuels.

    June 26, 2006

    Nobel Laureates Pitch In Against the Indo-US Nuclear Deal

    As the Indo-US nuclear deal prepares to enter the US Congress for the final debate after a seemingly successful round of technical talks in New Delhi this month, critics of the deal in Washington have consolidated their efforts to place last-minute hindrances against its safe passage. The latest in the list of naysayers is a group of Nobel laureates, who assembled under the banner of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in Washington on June 14 to release an open letter cautioning members of the Congress about the consequences of the nuclear deal to US non-proliferation efforts.

    June 19, 2006

    India and the Draft US FMCT Text

    On May 18, 2006 the United States presented a draft Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) proposal as well as a draft mandate to establish an Ad Hoc Committee at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) plenary. A week-long thematic debate closed at the 65-member CD Plenary on May 22, 2006, during which member states made statements projecting their respective positions on an FMCT in general.

    June 15, 2006

    Time to Samba

    Samba is a traditional Brazilian dance. No one form actually defines the samba; it is a set of different rhythmical dance forms. To me what India and Brazil are attempting to do is metaphorical of trying to samba. Both countries are regional powers; and though very different they are yet attempting to achieve much the same in terms of national aspirations. India and Brazil have begun to understand the inevitability and worth of collaboration in all international and bilateral fora. The Indian business community has also begun to end its benign neglect of the South American continent.

    May 25, 2006

    India's Role in Afghanistan: Need for Greater Engagement

    The killing of Kasula Suryanarayana, an Indian telecommunications engineer working for a Bahrain based firm in the Zabul Province of Afghanistan raises important questions on the emerging challenges to India's efforts at reconstruction and stabilization of a "nascent democracy". Suryanarayana was reportedly abducted by the Taliban on April 28 and his abductors linked his safe release to the withdrawal of all Indians working in Afghanistan.

    May 04, 2006

    An Appraisal of the Indian Prime Minister's Visit to Uzbekistan

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh concluded his two-day state visit to Uzbekistan on April 26, 2006. This was the second visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Tashkent since Uzbekistan's independence in August 1991. India and Uzbekistan signed seven agreements in the fields of energy, business, education, mineral prospecting and stepping up the joint fight against international terrorism, religious extremism and drug trafficking. This has undoubtedly increased Indian stakes in Central Asia.

    April 28, 2006

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