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October 1, 2010

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Raising India’s Lusophone profile
CONSTANTINO XAVIER, fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses states that in the wake of Goa’s successful bid to launch the 3rd Lusophony Games in 2013, India had to recognise the Anglophone bias in its foreign policy and consider upgrading India’s diplomatic engagement with the Portugese-speaking (Lusophone) world comprising of eight countries with growing economic and strategic influence. In a brief for IDSA Comment, “Portuguese-speaking countries: a new niche for Indian foreign policy?“, he calls for India upgrade its relationship with the Community of Portugese Language Countries (CPLP) to that of associate observer status, host a regular Goa-based India-CPLP dialogue and further build Goa as a venue for training programs conducted in Portugese for Lusophone countries.

Pushing back….softly
RORY MEDCALF of the Lowy Institute for International Policy argues that a mix of development, deterrence and diplomacy could help New Delhi maintain an assertive posture towards China without provoking Beijing. In an opinion piece in The Australian, “Subtlety would help India rival China’s clout“, he states that New Delhi could pursue an assymetric strategy against Beijing in the maritime, cyber and nuclear realms similar to Beijing’s strategy against Washington.

Disputed hydrocarbons
GUO RONGXING of Peking University analyses critical issues relating to the management of exploitation of seabed hydrocarbons in the disputed regions of the East China Sea. His analysis for the Brookings Institution, “Territorial Disputes and Seabed Petroleum Exploitation: Some Options for the East China Sea” examines the factors that have limited collaboration between China and Japan in exploring and extracting the resources. It also outlines potential principles to enhance Sino-Japanese interaction.

Gas in the Horn of Africa
GREGORY R COPLEY, of the International Strategic Studies Association states that the recent discovery of natural gas around Ethiopia had the potential to alter the geopolitics of the region around the Red Sea/Horn of Africa with consequences for the sea lines of communication. His ISN Security Watch article “In the Red Sea region, the Age of Gas Begins in Earnest” suggests that the recent spate of discoveries of natural gas in the Horn could transform the global energy markets, shifting to a “Gas Age” with influx of new energy wealth for the Horn of Africa. This could also lead to a glut in supply within a decade with consequent collapse in the prices of gas and petroleum.

India’s history-geopolitics linkage
ROBERT KAPLAN of the Center for a New American Security analyses the millennial history of India contrasting it with that of China and states that India would emerge as the key Eurasian pivot state because of its effect on relations between the United States and China. In a CNAS report “South Asia’s Geography of Conflict“, he charts New Delhi’s worldview based on the geopolitics and geographical history of South Asia. He also cautions against the Washington-New Delhi relationship falling victim to the proclivity of America‚Äôs poor understanding of local histories.

Public private partnership to enhance rural energy access
Balachandra Patil, fellow with the Energy Technology Innovation Policy program at the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School of Government states that 45 percent of 800 million rural population in India does not have access to electricity. In a Discussion Paper for the Belfer Center, “Modern Energy Access to All in Rural India: An Integrated Implementation Strategy“, the public-private partnership model he proposes entails the creation of rural energy access authorities empowered to enable regulatory policies, deliver rural technologies and provide access of financing.

Smart urbanisation
NICK PENNELL of Booz & Company recommends greater focus on urban sustainability to make a concerted effort on reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent over the next 30 years. In a study conducted jointly with the World Worldlife Fund, “Reinventing the City: Three Prerequisites for Greening Urban infrastructures“, he recommends additional investments of $30 trillion in energy efficient housing, construction, transportation and logistics systems, transforming cities into hotbeds of ecological innovation and improving energy security to achieve global climate change goals.

Analyzing Pakistan
Experts led by STEPHEN COHEN of the Brookings Institution present a grim but realistic picture of Pakistan while analysing potential future scenarios over the next 5-7 years. In a series of analyses presented in Bellagio, Italy, “Pakistan’s Future: The Bellagio Papers“, the majority of papers believe that barring a catastrophic Black Swan event, Pakistan will continue to survive in its current state.


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