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.


Non-disruptive management of Locust

By  Dr. R. K. Gupta

In the past year’s findings on grasshopper attack over large areas of Kathua and Jammu, SKUAST-Jammu has concluded that their outbreak is related to declining population of rodents, birds and blister beetles which predate on eggs or mature stages of grasshopper. [Read the full story here]


What the pandemic looks like in North Korea

By Dr Sandip Kumar Mishra

At a time when even the most resourceful countries have failed to keep themselves safe from the COVID-19 pandemic, North Korea, despite its resource-scarcity, has reported no infections. Foreign nationals who work in the country have said that while there might be a few cases, it does not appear as widespread as in the rest of the world. Contrary to these claims of zero and limited infections, there is also speculation that the real number of infections could be much higher, but have not been registered or acknowledged by the regime. Between these contrarian positions and with little information, is it possible to have a sense of what the pandemic looks like in North Korea?  [Read the full story here]


COVID-19 in Non-GCC countries: An overview

By Nagapushpa Devendra

This backgrounder provides an overview of the economic impact of the pandemic in five Non-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan – facing severe health and financial crisis. The pandemic continues to amplify the crisis, making it hard for the governments to cope with it individually. In the absence of a coordinated effort at the regional level, the road to economic recovery will be long and uneven. It is also difficult to properly assess the full impact of COVID-19 in countries such as Syria and Yemen which remain in a state of civil war. [Read the full story here]


Military manpower cost in India and the United States: A comparative analysis

By Abhay Kumar Singh

Based on budgetary data of Financial Year (FY) 2019 for the US and FY 2019-2020 for India, this special feature provides a comparative analysis of expenditure on active duty military personnel, veterans/ military retiree, and civilians paid from the defence budget. The focus of this feature is the critical evaluation of two key arguments about comparative military manpower cost in the US and India: first, US expenditure on military manpower as a percentage of total defence expenditure is smaller than India’s. Second, relative expenditure on defence pension in the US is low since only 20 per cent of the US active-duty personnel retire with a regular pension. [Read the full story here]



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