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  • Author: Veena Vidyadharan
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The transboundary rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna along with their tributaries and distributaries create a vibrant water grid connecting their riparian countries. Historically, these rivers have played a prominent role in shaping the economy of the Indian sub-continent as a major means of trade and transportation. In the post-colonial era, new political boundaries between countries mostly cut off these riverine networks because the priority of the newly-established countries and their governments was to develop road and rail networks for internal consolidation and integration more efficiently. Hence, waterways connectivity among new regional countries was comparatively neglected. India and Bangladesh, for example, share 54 transboundary rivers. Despite existing bilateral agreements for using designated riverine routes for trade and transit, only in the past few years have infrastructural development initiatives started in India for constructing river terminals, multimodal terminals as well as fairway development. And there are other opportunities.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Regional Integration, Ecology
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia, India, Indo-Pacific, Bay of Bengal
  • Author: Chanchal Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: What kept the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from becoming a reality in India for a quarter of a century after the adoption of the structural adjustment programme in 1991? What made it possible in 2016? To what extent the Indian model of GST reflects a compromise between the need to keep fiscal federalism intact and to respond to a more global economic imperative? To what extent India’s transition to a concurrent dual GST has brought about a change in the principles, rules, frameworks, and institutions guiding intergovernmental fiscal interactions? This paper investigates these issues and shows that the shifts in the indirect tax regime in India since independence have taken place within the structural context of constitutional rules, the economic policy paradigm and political dynamics. Party congruence after 2014 helped to facilitate the introduction of the GST, but the shape thereof was strongly marked by path-dependent logics and the role of state governments as institutional veto players. In addition, the paper examines the ways in which India’s transition to a concurrent dual GST has brought about a fundamental change in the principles, rules, frameworks, and institutions guiding intergovernmental fiscal interactions.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Governance, Tax Systems, Institutions, Services
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Vastav Irava
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In Financial Year (FY) 2019-20, the National Rural Drinking Water Mission (NRDWM) was restructured and subsumed into Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). It is Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship rural drinking water programme to provide functional tap connections to every household for drinking, cooking, and other domestic needs on a sustainable basis. Using government data, this brief reports on: Overall GoI allocations; Trends in releases and expenditures; Component-wise trends; and Progress on coverage.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Water, Infrastructure, Budget, Finance, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • 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
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The prospects for exploring seabed minerals, specifically rare earth elements (REEs) have risen courtesy technological innovations in the field of deep-sea exploration. REEs are identified as a group of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table, found relatively in abundance in the Earth’s crust. They share similar chemical and physical properties and are of vital use in a variety of sectors, including by military manufacturers and technology firms. The largest subgroup within the REEs are the 15 lanthanides. The two other elements being scandium and yttrium. Based on quantity, the lanthanides, cerium, lanthanum, and neodymium are the most produced rare earths elements. These elements earn the distinction of being ‘rare’ for their availability in quantities which are significant enough to support viable economic mineral development of the deposits. However, from a cost-effective point of view, they are not consumable. It is not economically viable to extract these elements for consumption purposes since they are not concentrated enough and remain thinly dispersed as deep as 6.4 kilometers underwater
  • Topic: Development, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Research, Mining, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia
  • Author: Augusto Leal Rinaldi, Laerte Apolinário Júnior
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: The first decade of the 21st century gave way to a series of international political-economic dynamics with the potential to reorganize global power (IKENBERRY, 2018; KITCHEN; COX, 2019; MAHBUBANI, 2009; MEARSHEIMER, 2018, 2019). Among the changes, one common reference is the rise of the BRICS –Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa –and, consequently, their performance for demanding reforms of the global governance system (COOPER, 2016; HURRELL, 2018; ROBERTS; ARMIJO; KATADA, 2018; STUENKEL, 2017). The emerging economies have invested in consolidating their new status by acting in different branches of global governance, demanding changes and policies to see a reasonable parity between their economic weight and ability to participate as real decision-makers. In this context, international regimes are a crucial dimension to consider.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, Geopolitics, International Development, Economic Development , Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: What’s new? In August 2019, India unilaterally revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status, redrew its internal boundaries, and scrapped Kashmiris’ exclusive rights to immovable property and access to government jobs. To quell potential protests, the authorities ordered an unprecedented crackdown, which included detaining almost all local politicians and a months-long communications blackout. Why did it happen? Revocation of the Indian constitution’s Article 370, which gave Kashmir its previous status, had been on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda for decades. Emboldened by its landslide win of a second term in May 2019, the government ordered the state’s overhaul soon afterward, without consulting Kashmiri politicians or society. Why does it matter? New Delhi claimed that its bold move would help bring peace and development to the region after three decades of conflict. One year later, its reforms, coupled with heavy-handed counter-insurgency tactics, have only exacerbated Kashmiri alienation and raised tensions with Pakistan. Kashmir’s youth continues to join militant ranks. What should be done? While New Delhi appears unlikely to reverse course, its international allies should strongly encourage it to restore Kashmiri statehood, free detained politicians and end security forces’ abuses against civilians. Pakistan’s partners should push harder for it to stop backing anti-India jihadists. Both countries should abide by their 2003 Kashmir ceasefire.
  • Topic: Development, Territorial Disputes, Crisis Management, Peace, Autonomy, Proxy War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In continuation to the Government of Odisha’s landmark initiative of the Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission (OLHM), also known as the JAGA Mission, launched in 2018, and the successful implementation of the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Act 2017, basic infrastructure upgradation and delisting of slums emerge as the next critical steps towards transforming these informal settlements into liveable habitats, integrated with the urban area. Towards this end the Scaling City Institutions for India (SCI-FI) initiative at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) as knowledge partner supported Housing and Urban Development Department, GoO to prepare a 'Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Participatory Slum Upgradation and Delisting’. The SOP intends to benefit the key stakeholders by laying down the procedure and benchmarks for undertaking participatory integrated slum level infrastructure upgradation and establishing procedure and documentation for delisting of the slum, to integrate it to the rest of the urban area. This SOP will act as an enabler for ULBs partnering with the Slum Dwellers’ Associations to ensure the availability of adequate basic services to mainstream the slums into the city fabric. This SOP lays down the integral steps to realise community-level benefits building on land rights distribution towards achieving the broader vision of a Liveable Habitat for all.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Urban, Land Rights, Slums
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief’s focus is solely on core nutrition specific interventions for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children under six years of age. These address the immediate determinants of fetal and child nutrition and development. Nutrition-sensitive interventions are discussed where relevant.
  • Topic: Development, Children, Women, Food Security, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Charles Pennaforte, Ricardo Luigi
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The two first decades of the 21 st Century were marked by the recrudescence of two powerhouses, Russia and China. Given their important role on global geopolitics, these two countries took advantage of the gaps resulted from yet another crisis on the structure of global capitalism, which influenced the relative decline of the United States capacity to impose its will on the international system as they had been able to do so since the end of World War II. This article’s objective is to analyze the global geopolitical rearrangement due to a weakened United States which opened the possibility for the BRICS nations to emerge as possible sources of power. To reinforce this analysis, the world-systems perspective, (here on referred to as WSP) elaborated mainly by Immanuel Wallerstein and Giovanni Arrighi is used, as well as a geopolitical approach to provide a link to international relations theories. Therefore, this paper is divided on to four sections. The first one interrelates the geopolitical theories and those of the WSP. The second section is guided towards understanding the origins and fundamentals of the WSP. On the third section, an approach is made towards the motivations and the effects of the rearrangement of power on the world’s geopolitics. Finally, on the last section, the roles and opportunities that have arisen from the emergence of the BRICS nations on the international system are presented.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Geopolitics, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America