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The South Asia Triangle: Life after SAARC’s end


Bangladesh PM Sk. Hasina is expected to visit China in April. China is interested in welcoming Bangladesh as it has shown increasing interest in BRI. India isn’t fond of this suggestion though. However, the rise of China... More

Myanmar’s Myitsone dam remains contentious


Myanmar is coming under increased pressure from Beijing to resolve the thorny issue of the Myitsone dam. Work on the dam in northern Kachin state was suspended by the former government of President Thein Sein in 2011,... More

Key factors in April-May Indian parliamentary elections


Electioneering in India is in full swing with political parties feverishly sewing up alliances. The emerging political scenario in India is such that no party, including the ruling behemoth Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) riding on the crest... More

Is Bangladesh ready for the fourth industrial revolution?


One in every three young persons in Bangladesh is unemployed. That makes up for 34.3 per cent of the youth. It is the state-run Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) that has revealed this disturbing picture of unemployment... More

Pulwama blast: Unanswered questions emerge as anti-Pak and anti-Kashmiri sentiments intensify in...


A week after the devastating explosion at Lethpora in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, which caused the death of over 40 troopers of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), there has been no let up in anti-Kashmiri... More

After devastating Pulwama attack, heads must roll in India’s security establishment


The killing of over 40 Central Reserve Paramilitary Force (CRPF) troopers in Pulwama, of Kashmir’s militancy hotbeds, on February 14 was cause for outrage across India. But much of the public anger, if social media posts are... More

BJP puts controversial Citizenship Bill on backburner but will continue to needle...


Slightly over a month after the ruling BJP virtually rode home with the passage of the controversial 2016 Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, it surprisingly backed down on the proposed legislation on February 13 and... More

Fate of China-Maldivian FTA uncertain as Male loosens ties with Beijing


The Maldives-China Free Trade Agreement (MCFTA) which was signed amidst great controversy on December 8, 2017, is today in limbo as the new Maldivian government headed by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is looking into all deals, including the... More

As chief ministers, both Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee subverted their respective...


A cops-and-robbers drama, so to say, is being enacted in Kolkata. Even as a general build-up towards the campaign for the 2019 parliamentary elections is in the making, the Narendra Modi government has suddenly dropped the 2016... More

Sops galore as Modi govt unveils political interim budget with an eye...


A desperate Narendra Modi government, chastened by shock defeat in three Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in recent assembly elections, on Friday unveiled a political interim budget presented by a stop-gap finance minister Piyush... More

Bharat Ratna politics: Pranab Mukherjee accepts state honour but it’s doubtful Bengalis...


State honours are sometimes conferred on famous personalities as simply a mark of respect or recognition for singular achievement in academia, performing arts and for unparalleled contribution to social, political and economic advancement. But when the Narendra... More

Bangladesh election: Regrets by foreign observers indicate Dec 30 polling was marked...


Some of the ‘election observers’ of the recently concluded Bangladeshi parliamentary election, held on 30 December 2018, are now ‘regretting’ their involvement, Reuters reported recently. The report says, “A top official at an observer group that monitored Bangladesh’s... More

At the Raisina Dialogue, the ‘Quad’ makes it amply clear that China’s...


When Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, speaking at the inauguration of the Fourth Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi between January 8 and 10, said that the “principle of might is right cannot be applicable to the... More

Differences in Assam units of both BJP and Congress over Citizenship Bill...


Two seemingly contradictory positions of the BJP and the Congress on the controversial and potentially explosive 2016 Citizenship (Amendment) Bill have left the people of Assam, which is simmering with discontent, and other northeast Indian states, not... More

BSF’s new chief shunts out senior officers found involved in cattle smuggling...


A mass scale transfer of senior and middling level officers of India’s Border Security Force (BSF), including some from the paramilitary force’s intelligence wing, since December 2018 suggests that new director general Rajni Kant Misra, an IPS... More

How far will Modi govt’s pre-poll sops and gimmicks take it in...


The BJP is on the edge and its leadership knows, for the first time in Narendra Modi’s tenure as prime minister, that the party is in trouble barely two-and-a-half months before the country goes into election mode.... More

BSF, CISF and NIA chiefs in race for CBI director’s job as...


The Narendra Modi government has drawn up a panel of three top Indian Police Service (IPS) officers—Border Security Force director-general Rajni Kant Misra, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) chief Rajesh Ranjan and National Investigation agency head Yogesh... More

Bangladesh’s cabinet puzzle: Less of India and more of China?


The elections to Bangladesh’s national assembly were far from credible. And as if the election results were not shocking enough—the Awami League bagging 288 seats while the main opposition BNP only managing to win five—the 47-member cabinet... More

As Bill to grant citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindus clears Lok Sabha, BJP...


With barely three months left before India goes into election mode, the Lok Sabha today passed the 2016 Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, paving the way for it to become law, albeit a controversial one, if and when it... More

Is India’s Bangladesh game plan aimed at creating a ‘new BNP’ sans...


Bangladesh is on the edge. A sense of foreboding prevails as 10 million Bangladeshi voters wait with bated breath for December 30 when the country goes to the polls racked by violence, forced disappearances of opposition activists,... More

India could destroy Bangladesh’s democratization backing Awami League: Dr. Kamal Hossain to...


India could “jeopardise” Bangladesh’s democratisation process and “destroy” the country’s fledgling democracy if it continued to support Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League government which has “taken to organised terror” to intimidate voters ahead of the December 30 elections,... More

COLUMN

Pakistan, Afghan peace and India

After almost two decades the US-led NATO intervention in Afghanistan aimed at eradicating the Taliban had no end in sight. US President Donald Trump and the American people, if not the US military, decided that an honourable exit was necessary to end the longest war in US history. Despite the fact that one of Trump’s election promise was to exit Afghanistan (Iraq and Syria) by reluctantly Troop had approved... More

Despite controversy, Afghanistan Peace Process makes major strides

Despite Kabul’s publicly made allegations on the US about ‘selling Afghanistan to the Taliban’ in the peace talks, there is little gainsaying that the Afghan-US war has never been so close to ending through settlement than it is now. While Kabul continues to express its anger over being excluded, there is little, given the legitimacy crisis Kabul is itself facing, that even the principal Afghan actors can do to... More

Regulators and conflict of interest

A governmental body created by a legislature to implement and enforce specific laws, a "Regulatory Agency" or a "Regulator" would usually have quasi-legislative functions, executive functions, and judicial functions. Many laws govern social and economic matters, such as income tax, environmental laws, occupational health and safety laws, real estate law, employment laws, etc. A regulatory agency serves two primary functions in govt: implement the laws and enforce the same. Regulations... More

Is Bangladesh an online state?

Bangladesh is an online state with an incredibly high number of virtual citizens. Few can match them in enthusiasm, participation and enjoyment of what the online world offers, good or bad. Much great stuff happens on the net but so does nasty stuff. It’s also a great producer of cultural and otherwise, not to mention, political ones. The recent spate of actions against online content considered “harmful” have spiked, which,... More

How China might undo Saudi plans for Iran?

The recent Saudi bid to increase its economic and political influence in South Asia (Pakistan and India) is, as I pointed out in my previous stories for SAM, largely informed not just by the imperative of a Saudi economic expansion across Asia and avoid economic doom, but also by the objective of snatching Iran’s share of oil market in this part of the world. This is partly one reason... More

VIDEO-INTERVIEW

OUTCOME AND FUTURE OF BMISTEC? & WHAT’S ON THE BALANCE?


The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More

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