Taking a ‘Far East’ turn to deepen a friendship

Context Some 48 years ago, when the U.S. and British Navies tried to threaten Indian security during the India-Pakistan war in 1971, the Soviet Union dispatched nuclear-armed flotilla from its Pacific Fleet in support of India. Ever since then, the city of Vladivostok, located in Russia’s Far East, has had Read More …

Henley Passport Index 2018

Context The latest Henley Passport Index ranks India at 86, down five places from 81 in 2018. The index ranks passports based on their power and mobility. Last year, an Indian passport holder had visa-free access to 60 countries; this year, it has access to 58. Henley Passport Index 2019 Read More …

Aden, the war-torn Yemeni port’s deep India connections

Context The Southern Transitional Council, the UAE-backed Yemeni separatist group, said on Sunday that it had taken control over the city of Aden, currently the seat of the Middle Eastern nation’s internationally recognised government. Aden, Yemen’s fourth-largest city, was a part of British India for 98 years, during which time Read More …

The BDS Movement

BDS is a Palestinian-led movement that says freedom, justice, and equality are its guiding principles, and that it “upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity”. On its website, BDS says: “Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian Read More …

Who are BASIC, the climate change alliance whose meeting India just attended?

Context The BASIC countries — a grouping of Brazil, South Africa, India and China — held their 28th Ministerial meeting on Climate Change between August 14 and August 16 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. India was represented by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, who underlined the Read More …

U.S. formally withdraws from INF arms treaty

Context The U.S. and Russia ripped up a Cold War-era missile pact in a move that raised the spectre of an arms race between the global superpowers. About INF Treaty The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty limited the use of medium-range missiles, both conventional and nuclear. Under the INF Read More …

The geopolitics of Indo-Pacific

Context: The term “Indo-Pacific” has featured during the just-concluded G20 summit as well as during US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s recent visit to Delhi. Geographically, the Indo-Pacific refers to the Indian and the Pacific Oceans between the east coast of Africa and the American west coast and their several Read More …

United Nations ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ (TIR) convention

Context:  Recently the first shipment under the United Nations ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ (TIR) conventionarrived in India from Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar Port. About the TIR convention: The Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets, 1975 (TIR Convention), is an international transit system under the auspices of the United Read More …

Cabinet Approves Proposal to Align with Global Trademark System

Context:  Recently Cabinet approves proposal for accession of India to: The Nice Agreement on the International classification of goods and services for the purposes of registration of marks. The Vienna Agreement for setting up an International classification of the figurative elements of marks. The Locarno Agreement for establishing an International classification for industrial designs. Significance and Read More …

Trends in International Arms Transfers 2018 Report

Context:  Recently the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released the Trends in International Arms Transfers 2018 Report. The assessment was done for a five-year period (2014-2018). Highlights of the report: India was the world’s second largest importer of major arms in 2014-18 and accounted for 9.5% of the global Read More …