IRS |Institute of Regional Studies


Contemporary Regional Developments in India

21st - 27th February
  • India to get operational control of Iran’s Chabahar port.
    (Dawn: 18.2.2018)
  • Sooner rather than later, Pakistan will pay for Sunjuwan attack: Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat.
    (Hindustan Times: 23.2.2018)
  • Madhya Pradesh: Class 11 student beheaded outside her school in Kotma.
    ( 23.2.2018)
14th - 20th February
  • India, US, Australia, Japan planning ‘alternative’ to China’s Belt and Road project: Report ; Australia, the United States, India and Japan are talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative in an attempt to counter Beijing’s spreading influence, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing a senior US official. The unnamed official was quoted as saying the plan involving the four regional partners was still “nascent” and “won’t be ripe enough to be announced’ during Australian Prime Minister Turnbull’s visit to the United States later this week. The official said, however, that the project was on the agenda for Turnbull’s talks with US President Donald Trump during that trip and was being seriously discussed. The source added that the preferred terminology was to call the plan an “alternative” to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, rather than a “rival.”
    (Hindustan Times: 19.2.2018)
  • As China concerns grow, India looks to build military presence in Seychelles:
    Late last month, India and the Seychelles signed a revised agreement granting India permission to construct a military base on the Seychelles' Assumption Island, roughly 1,650 kilometers (1,025 miles) east of mainland East Africa.
    (CNN 18.2.2018)
5th - 13th February
  • 'Muslims should not even be living in this country, they should go to Pakistan or Bangladesh,' says BJP MP Vinay Katiyar.
    (Times of India 7.2.2018)
  • Nuclear-capable Agni-I missile test fired successfully ; The Agni-I missile has a specialised navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision India on 6th Fetest-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range off the Odisha coast.The Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Army conducted the user trial of the 700 km range missile from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island in Balasore. It was 18th version of Agni-I, which could achieve all parameters within the stipulated time period, said defence sources.
    (The Hindu, 2.2.2018)
  • India's annual budget - which was unveiled is full of vague promises, suggesting that it is aimed at the general election due by mid-2019, writes Vivek Kaul. Before India's finance minister, Arun Jaitley, presented his fifth and final budget, political watchers suspected the general election could happen earlier. Now, they believe it could happen by the end of this year.
    (BBC, 2.2.2018)
  • Indo-Anglians: The newest and fastest-growing caste in India: Unlike Anglo-Indians, one of the original English-speaking communities in India, who were Christians, Indo-Anglians comprise all religions, though Hindus dominate. Indo-Anglians are also a highly urban lot; concentrated in the top seven large cities of India (Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata) with a smattering across the smaller towns in the hills and in Goa. Within these cities, they are clustered in certain pockets: Gurgaon and parts of South Delhi; South Bombay and western suburbs from Bandra to Andheri; Indiranagar and Koramangala and gated communities in Bengaluru’s Outer Ring Road – Sarjapur, Koregaon Park –  Kalyaninagar, Gachibowli and HiTech City, etc. They fall well within the top 1% of India economically, and have a consumption basket that is comparable to their middle class counterparts abroad. Their children go to international schools and have “first-world yoga names” such as Aryan, Kabir, Kyra, Shanaya, Tia..
30th Jan - 4th February
  • The Maldives crisis has made India worried: Maldives is home to some 22,000 Indians. Of the country’s approximately 400 doctors, more than 125 are Indians. Similarly around 25% of teachers are Indians. India must tread lightly if it is called upon to resolve the crisis in the Maldives India is closely watching the crisis which has geographic and strategic consequences for the region, especially as Male cosies up to Beijing. Three reasons why the tumult in the archipelago of around 1,200 islands, most of which are uninhabited, has India worried:
    1. Geographic proximity A Saarc member country, the Maldives sits just 700km from Lakshadweep island chain and some 1,200km from the Indian mainland. A weakened Maldives could prove a fertile ground for extremism and religious fundamentalism, piracy, smuggling and drug trafficking – all major security worries for New Delhi. The constant political churn in the country, which gained independence in 1965 after years of British rule and held its first free and multi-party elections in 2009, is also a concern.
    2. The Indian Ocean stability The Indian Ocean region hosts more than 40 states and nearly 40% of the world’s population. It touches Australia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia and the eastern sea bend of Africa. The Maldives is an important country for India in the region. More than 97% of India’s international trade by volume and 75% by value passes through the Indian Ocean. Secure sea lanes are crucial for India.
    3. Growing Chinese presence China is rapidly expanding its footprint in the Maldives though it opened an embassy in the island nation only in 2011. The archipelago nation is the only Saarc country, other than Pakistan, to have a free trade pact with China. President Xi Jingping’s visit gave a big push to the ties while the Maldives is the only Saarc country that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not visited.
    (Hindustan Times)
  • Indian Rupee drops 29 paise against dollar.
    (Hindustan Times)
  • A Facebook page calling for violence against 102 Muslim men who are allegedly in relationships with Hindu women has been taken down. The page, which asks Hindus to "track and hunt the boys on the list", prompted outrage online. The list also included links to the Facebook profiles of those named, raising concerns about their safety. Although the page is named "Hindutva Varta" (Hindutva Talk), no Hindu right-wing group has owned up to it yet. The list appeared on social media feeds over the weekend after a Twitter user called attention to it. "Hindu terrorists publish a long list of inter-community marriages and urge Hindus to kill the husbands of these women," the tweet read. While the page is no longer available, Indian website Alt News has archived a few of the posts, including the list but has blurred the names of the couples. All of the archived posts encourage violence against instances of so-called "love jihad". The term has been popularized by radical Hindu fringe groups who accuse Muslim men of participating in a conspiracy to turn Hindu women from their religion by seducing them.
    (5.2.2018 BBC)