Dhruva Jaishankar (for Info only, not official)

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Dhruva Jaishankar

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    ...It also witnessed the selection of the Party’s Central Committee, the 25 member Politburo, the 11 member Central Military Commission, and the 7 member Politburo Standing Committee, which forms the country’s most exclusive leadership circle. Observers in China and around the world had been on the lookout for signs about the degree of centralised power that will now lie with President Xi Jinping, and hints about his future succession plans. The implications are potentially significant. Among other things, they will affect India’s economic prospects, border security, neighbourhood relations, and global ambitions. With the unveiling yesterday of the Politburo Standing Committee, we now have some tentative answers, although they are far from encouraging. ...

    TOI on Oct. 26, 2017, 2:06 a.m.

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    ...But one area of natural convergence is in the defence and security realm. Part of the bilateral security agenda involves developing India’s capacity to assume a bigger role as a net security provider in its region. Unlike parts of Europe and Asia, India is not dependent on US security guarantees, and is eager to have a larger military presence, particularly in the Indian Ocean. Indian efforts have complemented US interests, including in patrols of the Strait of Malacca, counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the evacuation of civilians from Yemen. But to play an enhanced role in the Indo-Pacific, India will have to upgrade its military capacity. ...

    Live Mint on June 19, 2017, 11:56 p.m.

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    ...What are we to make of this ICJ decision? First, the matter is far from over. The court simply determined that it had jurisdiction in this case, despite Pakistan’s arguments to the contrary. It also stated that the rights alleged by India were plausible, that there was a clear link with the measures being sought by India, and that the matter was urgent as Jadhav faced a death sentence which – if carried through – could not be reversed. Second, India’s case concerns Pakistan’s violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, not so much the merits or circumstances of Jadhav’s death sentence. Since his Indian citizenship was not in question, Pakistan should have allowed Jadhav to meet with Indian government representatives. ...

    TOI on May 20, 2017, 2 a.m.

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    ...This raises the question of how big a challenge IS poses to Indian interests and national security. To investigate, we assessed all Indian citizens confirmed to have affiliated themselves with IS. This includes those who attempted or succeeded in travelling to Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan as recruits, as well as propagandists, recruiters, funders, conspirators and other sympathisers. While acknowledging that this comprises only a sample of actual IS affiliates in India, a few tentative conclusions can nonetheless be drawn. First, only 142 Indian citizens (132 named) can be confirmed to have affiliated with IS in some way. This suggests that IS has made only scant inroads in India, relative to Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, the former Soviet Union, and Australia – let alone West Asia and North Africa. ...

    TOI on May 6, 2017, 2 a.m.

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    ...Bilateral Issues Immigration: Trump campaigned on anti-immigration sentiment, but sometimes tried to make an exception for high-skilled immigration, which includes the H-1B visa programme that benefits Indian IT professionals. There is also considerable hostility to H-1Bs in the US Congress, among both Republicans and Democrats. On the other hand, Indian companies and Silicon Valley will continue to lobby in favour of the programme at the current level. We might see a moderate scaling back of high-skilled immigration under Trump. Investment: Trump’s ‘America First’ economic approach, which has included using social media to call out major US multinationals that were planning on taking manufacturing abroad, will conflict directly with Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign. We may see some companies becoming reluctant to move operations overseas, particularly manufacturing. But several multinationals, particularly in services, have already made plans to expand their Indian operations significantly. ...

    Live Mint on Jan. 20, 2017, 2:13 a.m.

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    ...Nowhere is this more relevant than during a presidential transition in the US, a massive undertaking in which more than 2,000 senior government positions and many more subordinate ones change hands. The economic and military importance of the US naturally increases global interest and speculation about those elected or selected to senior leadership positions. Indian interest in US president-elect Donald Trump and his team is therefore natural. India-US ties are never problem-free even at the best of times, but the US is nonetheless India’s most important global partner. Ever since Trump’s election to the presidency in November, US officials have been at pains to emphasize the bipartisan nature of recent American engagement with India, implying that individuals will matter little to the overall trajectory of bilateral relations. This is only partly true. If Trump’s election has shown one thing, it is that personalities matter. ...

    Live Mint on Jan. 10, 2017, 12:14 a.m.

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    ...Much will depend on his cabinet appointments and his ability to work with US Congress and bureaucracy. Whatever path the US takes going forward, the actions and orientations of China and India – and the relationship between the two – will have even greater implications for the international system. China and India have two of the world’s four largest militaries, both of which are modernising. They also remain among the fastest growing major economies: China’s is second behind the United States and India could well be the third largest by 2030. All countries have a grand strategy, whether or not they know it. But the Chinese government under Xi Jinping and the Indian government under Narendra Modi have been clearer and bolder than many of their predecessors in articulating what they would like to achieve nationally, regionally and globally. China’s current leadership has adopted three big concepts. ...

    TOI on Nov. 29, 2016, 2 a.m.

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    ...A country as big and diverse as India is naturally home to a wide variety of views. Often, we tend to reflect the positions of our peers, or what we read and see in the media. It is also easy and tempting to let one’s personal biases come in the way of any assessment of the mood of the nation. For this reason, the recently-released public opinion survey by the Pew Research Center is important. Unlike most surveys, Pew conducts face-to-face interviews with some 2500 people from across India each year. This makes their results a much more accurate reflection of Indian public sentiment than, say, spot polls conducted online or surveys done only in major metropolitan centres. For example, unlike many others, Pew accurately predicted Narendra Modi’s landslide electoral victory in 2014. Quality surveys are important because they help policy elites in New Delhi and elsewhere escape their little bubbles and transcend short-term, media-driven narratives. What, then, can we discern from the latest Pew survey? ...

    TOI on Sept. 22, 2016, 2 a.m.