May 2019
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[op-ed snap] Manipur ambush: Why the attack?

  1. NSCN(K) along with KCP and KYKL claimed responsibility for 4th June attack on 6 Dogra regiment killing 18 army personnel.
  2. The Myanmar-based NSCN(K) pulled out of the ceasefire agreement with Indian govt. in March,2015.
  3. The deeper story points to its rift with the NSCN (IM), the rival outfit on which the Indian government has focused its attention in recent years.
  4. Despite being based in Myanmar, the NSCN (K)’s sphere of influence and strike capability extended deep inside India.
  5. Funding for NSCN(K) is sourced from extraction rackets and drugs trade across the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and India.
  6. These movements continue to survive for over 50 years, due to great deal of support and public sympathy, despite growing disillusionment with ‘liberation movements’ in Manipur.
North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

[op-ed snap] Defending India’s IPR

  1. India had amended the Indian Patents Act, 1970 to bring its laws in line with the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  2. The legislation raised the bar for what constitutes an invention and what cannot be patented in India.
  3. Inevitably big pharma have lobbied with their governments to force India to dilute the provisions (US has put India on the priority list).
  4. India may not have an IPR policy but it has a strong legal foundation.
  5. There is a well functioning Patents office with sufficient experience to grant patents and uphold consumer interests.
  6. We need to work towards aligning our IPR laws with global standards.
Intellectual Property Rights in India

[op-ed snap] Manipur: Waiting to happen

  1. Reactive measures have never achieved lasting results in tackling insurgency in the Northeast.
  2. Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs) continue to operate out of Myanmar to carry-out violence in N-E states, which makes the case for Myanmar’s cooperation to ensure border security.
  3. This issue has been discussed at various high-level interactions, but IIGs continue to use Myanmar territory, despite Myanmar’s repeated assurances not to allow activities inimical to India.
  4. The solution to problem of militancy in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam lies in joint operation with the Indian security forces stationed on the Indo-Myanmar border.
  5. Myanmar fell short of India’s expectation to ensure peace along the border, due to its deliberations on country-wide ceasefire with ethnic groups, including NSCN(K).
North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

[op-ed snap] South Asia’s Berlin walls

  1. The image of South Asia is branded as one of the least integrated region in the world.
  2. New Delhi’s foreign policy has overestimated the potential for normalisation of relations with Pakistan and underestimated the huge opportunities that Bangladesh has long presented.
  3. The recent course-correction measure will decisively correct the long-standing bias.
  4. Modi’s outreach to Dhaka and the smaller neighbours is not an effort to “isolate” Pakistan.
  5. Pakistan is too big and important in global and regional geopolitics to be isolated.


Foreign Policy Watch: India-SAARC Nations

[op-ed snap] Two-minute bans

  1. Maggi alarm must push government towards greater alertness & stringent processes on food safety.
  2. A similar instance led to formation of JPC which prescribed standards for carbonated water, owing to charges of pesticides in fizzy drinks in a CSE study.
  3. Government responses to the problem of food safety is sporadic & spurred by sudden alarms.
  4. The govt. is promising a tough law to deal with the production of harmful food products and new commissions to replace consumer forums.
  5. The present day controversy acquired a new clamour, when FIRs were registered against brand ambassadors, unravelling a new thread of responsibility.

Food Safety Standards – FSSAI, food fortification, etc.

[op-ed snap] One Rank One Pension: An unfulfilled dream

  1. OROP seeks parity for all service personnel retiring on the same rank and tenure, irrespective of when they retire.
  2. The govt.’s commitment has done little to contain the growing unhappiness in the community of ex-servicemen.
  3. UPA govt. cleared the deal in-principle and allocated Rs. 500 crore, but there was no progress beyond.
  4. The process of completing administrative procedures across different departments seems to be an unending one.
  5. It will benefit 2.5 million ex-servicemen and women immediately, incurring nearly Rs. 8300 crore on govt. exchequer.
One Rank One Pension Issue