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  • Author: Anubhav Gupta
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: The state of the U.S.-India relationship is strong, but two critical developments in 2020 have created a new inflection point for the relationship. Growing apprehension in both New Delhi and Washington about Chinese aggression has created the strategic convergence long sought by a U.S. defense establishment eager to enlist India to balance China. On the other hand, devastated by the Covid-19 global pandemic, the United States and India face challenging economic recoveries amid growing protectionist sentiments at home that could diminish the relationship’s promise. Having won the U.S. presidential election, Joe Biden has an opportunity to consolidate and accelerate the relationship by creating a substantive and broad partnership with India, which can undergird U.S. policy in Asia and support U.S. global interests for decades to come. this paper provides a blueprint for how the Biden administration can actualize what previous presidents have deemed a “natural partnership.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, COVID-19, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: China, India, United States of America
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Asia’s current security map finds itself being reimaged in the midst of the evolving regional re-alignments in a post-Covid-19 pandemic scenario that has caused unprecedented damage to humanity. The idea of ‘Asia-Pacific’ that seemed apt as a regional framework at least till the late 20th century now encompasses a far broader scope geographically. The regional order matrix has been instrumental in paving the way for the “Indo-Pacific” region at large. As a region including maritime Asia at its core, the IndoPacific finds itself coupled with geographical boundaries that extend from the eastern coast of Africa, through the Indian Ocean, to the Western Pacific. Asia’s tectonic shifts in power politics shall continue to challenge future stability in the region with festering territorial and maritime disputes, worsening resource competition, fast-rising military expenditures, and polarizing waves of domestic nationalism only make more germane efforts towards arriving upon a common understanding and approach for an Indo-Pacific definition of Asia
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Infrastructure, Partnerships, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: India gained freedom from the British rule following a long, protracted independence struggle, which had many phases, and defining moments. A significant one amongst them was the role of the Indian National Army (INA) under Subhash Chandra Bose with crucial assistance and aid from Imperial Japan. Bose’s view of India’s struggle for independence differed radically from Mahatma Gandhi’s. For him, the war presented a golden opportunity to reach out to the adversaries of Britain, namely Germany and Japan, and seek their assistance to free India from under the oppressive British rule. Gandhi opposed this realist mode of thought and as a consequence Bose found himself marginalized within the Congress. Subhash Chandra Bose, popularly known as Netaji (Respected Leader) among Indians the world over, became the undisputed leader of this militant wing of India’s nationalist movement, over the disagreement of using force against the British Empire with Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Notably, despite the opposition of Gandhi, Bose was elected President of the Indian National Congress in 1938, and once again in 1939.
  • Topic: History, World War II, Army, Independence
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Ousted Afghan president Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan on August 15th when the Taliban reached the outskirts of the capital Kabul. At the time, a source close to Taliban stressed that the two sides reached an agreement whereby Ghani should step down and hand over power to a transitional administration. While the United States and the European Union might well consider the use of sanctions as a weapon against the Taliban, if the movement does not live up to its commitment not to target US and European citizens leaving Afghanistan, it should be noted that most of Afghanistan’s neighbors expected the collapse of the Afghan government – although not this fast- and even began to open up to the Taliban. Irreversible US Withdrawal The United States defended its decision to pull out of Afghanistan rebuffing criticism both at home and abroad. It reiterated that kept forces in Afghanistan twice as long as the Soviets. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said remaining in Afghanistan is “simply not in the national interest.” He added that the US succeeded in the mission of reducing attacks on its soil and interests. The US withdrawal will leave wide repercussions both regionally and internationally.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Taliban, European Union, Refugees, Humanitarian Crisis, Adaptation, Pragmatism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, South Asia, Turkey, India, United States of America
  • Author: Aaron Jed Rabena
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: There are four ways on how the NSP Plus could be further improved. First, to avoid policy limitations and maximize the room for supply chain resiliency and functional cooperation, the coverage of the NSP countries can be expanded apart from ASEAN and India. Second, South Korea can employ the concept of Third-Party Market Cooperation (TPMC) or the pursuit of joint ventures or partnerships with other countries in maximizing capacity-building in third countries (NSP countries). Third, South Korea can help strengthen ASEAN institution-building, regionalism and internal balancing by applying a similar policy framework to the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) just as it does to the Mekong Region. Fourth, there needs to be more reciprocity or two-way interaction in the NSP so as to not make it seem that ASEAN is only on the receiving end of South Korean generosity. Finally, it is important to note that a change in the South Korean administration does not necessarily spell the end of the NSP just as the US’ Pivot or Rebalance to Asia of the Obama Administration was remodeled to the Indo-Pacific under the Trump administration.
  • Topic: Markets, Regional Cooperation, ASEAN
  • Political Geography: India, Asia, South Korea, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief presents some of the key effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on India’s public school education, focussing specifically on children. It begins with a discussion of the pre-pandemic status of school education and key policy shifts over the past few years, and provides an overview of the principal issues arising from the pandemic and the resulting school closures. It then offers potential policy suggestions to address these challenges, and thereby ensuring quality education to all children.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Children, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Mukta Naik
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Resilience and adaptation have become buzzwords as governments, corporations and society find ways to survive the Covid-19 pandemic and, where possible, seek to develop processes and outcomes that improve on the pre-crisis status quo. Members of the Women, Work, and the Gig Economy research consortium have also thought deeply about strategies to continue research under these challenging conditions, while considering the ethics that must underpin research at a time of great distress for people across the world. This brief summarizes the conceptual and practical approaches that consortium members have taken to address ethical concerns as well as strategic and tactical shifts in research methods within the broader, geographically diverse and evertransforming context of Covid-19. These insights draw on the deliberations of an internal workshop held in September 2020 where consortium members presented and debated their respective approaches and perspectives. In particular, the team at LIRNEasia provided substantive takeaways from their colloquium on “Research methods in a pandemic.”
  • Topic: Women, Ethics, Work Culture, COVID-19, Gig Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Sarang Shidore
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: In the wake of a sharp deterioration in U.S.–China and India–China relations, there is an increasing emphasis in U.S. relations with India on military-to-military ties and bloc formation over other forms of relationship-building. Washington is steadily militarizing the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad,” a four-member security group that is intended to counter Beijing, of which New Delhi is a member. This, combined with India’s stalled economy and the outlook for longer-term post-pandemic weakness, is accentuating a risk-prone asymmetry in U.S.–India relations. There also remain key divergences in the specifics of U.S. and Indian interests, even on the question of countering China. Over-militarized U.S.–India relations could help push Asia closer to a paradigm of military blocs, frontline states, and zero-sum games, while also planting seeds for a nationalist backlash against the United States in South Asia as a whole. The United States should therefore reorient its vital partnership with India according to these four recommendations: Limit the relationship’s increasing militarization and instead emphasize nontraditional areas of security cooperation such as climate change and peacekeeping, which lend themselves to inclusion rather than exclusion. The Quad should be returned to its original political-normative focus; Create conditions favorable to India’s comprehensive development, particularly in the energy, environmental, and supply-chain spaces, as a lower-risk path toward catalyzing a multipolar Asia; Drop demands on India to scale back ties with U.S. adversaries such as Russia and Iran; Resist the temptation to use India as a force-multiplier to pressure smaller South Asian states as to their global alignments.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Alliance
  • Political Geography: United States, India
  • Author: Shefali Khanna, Kevin Rowe
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In September 2017, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) required that the city’s regulated electricity distribution utilities pay compensation to customers experiencing power outages of three hours or longer. The measure was intended to incentivize the utilities to invest in the infrastructure and management practices needed to deliver higher levels of service quality. In 2019, India’s central government announced that it was considering rolling out a similar policy for utilities across the country. Can outage compensation policies help India’s power system achieve better reliability for all customers? This policy brief describes the persistent challenge of poor electricity reliability in India and how it interacts with key regulatory policies, analyzes Delhi’s experience with outage compensation since 2017, and highlights areas for additional economic and policy research on this topic.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Economic Policy, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Ana González, Euijin Jung
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: By refusing to fill vacancies in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body—the top body that hears appeals and rules on trade disputes—the Trump administration has paralyzed the key component of the dispute settlement system. No nation or group of nations has more at stake in salvaging this system than the world’s big emerging-market economies: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, and Thailand, among others. These countries have actively and successfully used the dispute settlement system to defend their commercial interests abroad and resolve inevitable trade conflicts. The authors suggest that even though the developing countries did not create the Appellate Body crisis, they may hold a key to unlock it. The Trump administration has also focused its ire on a longstanding WTO practice of giving these economies latitude to seek “special and differential treatment” in trade negotiations because of their developing-country status. The largest developing economies, which have a significant stake in preserving a two-step, rules-based mechanism for resolving trade disputes, could play a role in driving a potential bargain to save the appeals mechanism. They could unite to give up that special status in return for a US commitment to end its boycott of the nomination of Appellate Body members.
  • Topic: Development, Government, World Trade Organization, Developing World, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Brazil, North America, Mexico, Thailand, United States of America