What’s India Thinking This Week?

The Research & Analysis section of The Dispatch features original ideas, research work, analysis, and commentary on a wide variety of subjects by some of brilliant minds in India’s growing community of strategic thinkers. In this newsletter on Saturdays, we bring to you a range of pieces selected by our Editor from those published across the week.

Kakrapar: Why nuclear power for electricity generation?

By Dr Manpreet Sethi 

On 22 July 2020, Unit 3 of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS)—India’s 23rd nuclear reactor—attained criticality. At 700 MWe capacity, it is a scaled-up version of earlier variants of pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs). It is currently the largest capacity reactor that India has indigenously designed and built, having started this journey with a series of 220 MWe reactors. [Read the full story here]

Impediments to J&K’s industrial growth

By Ritika Karan

The peculiar physical conditioning of the state, like, extreme location, difficult mountainous terrain, transportation bottlenecks and extreme climatic conditions which cannot be improved upon except transportation to some extent, limits the scope for industrialisation where state does not enjoy the advantages of natural resources. Such industries can be taken-up at a very small scale mostly to cater the local demand. [Read the full story here]

Sri Lanka headed for elections: Democracy in distress?

By Gulbin Sultana

This issue brief seeks to analyse the political developments surrounding the twice postponed parliamentary elections and the debate in its wake in Sri Lanka. It underlines the stresses and strains in Sri Lankan democracy on account of growing assertion of the presidential executive powers and the challenge it poses to functioning democracy in the island nation.  [Read the full story here]

‘Rotational’ deployment of US troops: Implications for regional security

By Dr Sandip Kumar Mishra


On 21 July 2020, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the Pentagon is considering “readjustments” to US’ military presence across the world. They are seeking a “rotational” deployment of forces for “strategic flexibility,” and would like to discontinue permanently stationing them in any one location. The Wall Street Journal had reported just a few days prior that the US Department of Defense had been pondering this option since at least December 2019. The US announcement in June 2020 to withdraw around 10,000 troops from Germany could be part of the new plan. Although the US Congress has proposed in the 2021 National Defense Authorisation Act that troops would be reduced only if it does not adversely affect US national interests, and is based on sufficient consultation with allies, the Trump administration’s intent is quite obvious.  [Read the full story here]



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