ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India’s Strategic Challenges

Strategic Challenges: India in 2030 edited by Jayadeva Ranade, introduction by Vijay Gokhale, Gurugram: Harper Collins Publishers India, 2022; pp xxviii+306, `599.

Geopolitics Drives the New US Economic and Industrial Strategy

The “New Washington Consensus” is not really new as the greatly magnified role and influence of the huge transnational corporations, especially the military–industrial complex that drives both the economics and foreign policy of the United States, remains untouched. Further, there is no consensus on its anti-China thrust either as the majority of countries searching for strategic autonomy, including many of the US’s own allies, would not risk breaking economic relations with China.

Epidemic and Infectious Disease Surveillance

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen some Asian countries employ sophisticated mass-surveillance technologies—normally employed to gather intelligence for domestic security purposes—to contain the spread of infection in their populations. There has also been an intrusion of military and allied national security actors into the traditionally civilian domain of public health, in the form of disease surveillance. These emerging developments in the pandemic response provide a pretext for a limited historical review, beginning from World War II to the present, centred on the intersection between infectious disease surveillance and control, national security, and military in the Western world.

How did Social Media Impact India's 2019 General Election?

In line with the global trend, social media has been increasingly used by Indian politicians for routine political communication to directly connect with their supporters. However, unethical practices online by political actors have led to a spike in violence and affected decision-making on the national security front.

How Does India View its Security Threats?

This reading list assesses India’s current national security paradigm.

Bureaucracy and Border Control

Studies on militarisation and borders in South Asia have often remained focused on zones of spectacular conflict such as Kashmir, or Punjab during the partition. This article tracks the production of a discourse on borders by those charged with border security such as the police and other senior bureaucracy in the decades following the partition. It suggests that the “border question” evolved gradually out of a series of everyday concerns over local criminality that finally coalesced into the more abstract category of “national security.” It examines bureaucratic debates on police reorganisation in Kutch between 1948 and 1952 to suggest that contemporary discourses on nation and borders were arrived at through intra-bureaucratic negotiations with the far less abstract categories of village, locality and region.

A Small Battle for FBI, a Gigantic War for Privacy Rights

An exploration of the evolving contours of the right to privacy by sketching the trajectory of the saga between Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. By refusing to comply with the FBI's request to create a backdoor into the iPhone, Apple has taken a robust stance that could influence the actions of many other tech firms worldwide. While Apple's stand marks a victory for the privacy lobby, judicial intervention defining this right can facilitate its crystallisation and harmonious coexistence with other objectives such as national security.

Political Economy of National Security

This paper highlights the high cost of military security in Pakistan over the past 20 years. With the single agenda of its policy-makers being to neutralise India's military might, defence spending has always got a higher priority than development expenditure. More importantly, the military has had a major role in the division of national resources. The military's role as the key player in power politics and decision-making has allowed it to take a major chunk of the financial pie.

Security Policy: Enemy of Democracy

In its response to recent events in Kashmir and elsewhere, the Indian government's security policy reveals a distorted approach. In its bid to end terrorism, a heightened perception of threat has seen an ever-increasing budgeting on security and defence. Ironically, it has also fostered a scenario when the state itself turns persecutor, making victims of its own citizens.

Strategic Consequences of India's Economic Performance

Economic performance and capability certainly constitute the foundation of national security and power for a developing nation like India. India has the military capability to defend her territorial integrity and security; however, it will have to sustain higher rates of economic growth to be able to alter the strategic balance in Asia, and globally, to her developmental advantage. Having said this, the author argues that it is not economic growth by itself that holds the key to India's global profile and power, but the nature of that growth process and the manner in which the economic challenges it faces today are addressed. The threat to what more recently has come to be defined as 'homeland security' is posed by social and economic backwardness, the inequalities and the political uncertainty this generates, and the quality of economic development.

National Security and the People

National security is generally regarded as being in the domain of the national government and armed forces. It is often not realised that the people of the nation constitute the foundation of national security.

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