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.

An India-Japan- Korea Emergency Communications Network for current and future pandemics

By Siddharth Anil Nair

This article looks at the benefits of establishing an ECN between India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (RoK) for not only the current pandemic but also for forthcoming disasters. India shares a variety of synergies with Japan and Korea in the fields of humanitarian aid/disaster relief (HA/DR), healthcare/pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. Tokyo and Seoul have showcased excellent domestic mitigation strategies in response to the pandemic. As such, a trilateral ECN will act as an early warning system and provide best practices if and when a situation calls for coordinated regional pandemic mitigation efforts. [Read the full story here]


Role of political guidance for self-reliance in defence

By Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Dr. Prakash Menon
During his address to the nation on May 12, the Prime Minister called for a ‘Self-Reliant India’ as the pathway to be adopted as India confronts the COVID-19 pandemic. For the defence sector, ‘self-reliance’ has remained elusive for seven decades and India remains the second largest arms importer on the global stage. Import dependence and consequent strategic vulnerability have long been an area of concern. Despite continuous efforts, indigenisation has remained a losing battle and its turnaround will mainly depend on reforms in India’s military-industrial base, which is the supply side. This comment pertains to the demand side and seeks to examine the issue of alignment of national security objectives with arming of the military. [Read the full story here]

Role of PLA in COVID-19 response

By M S Prathibha
The PLA followed a three-pronged approach to COVID-19 response management. It sought to control the spread of the virus within the military and in outbreak areas, such as Wuhan. It handled emergency operations by deploying its Joint Logistics Support Department that provided supplies and staff to the infected areas. Moreover, it showed its adversaries its resolve to protect its core interests in times of a pandemic by undertaking deterrence operations. This led to more aggressive PLA actions, especially in the maritime domain, in response to a perceived threat from its adversaries. [Read the full story here]
The China factor in Pakistan’s media landscape
By Nowmay Opalinski
Chinese inroads into Pakistan’s mainstream media, and state-level bilateral cooperation on telecommunications infrastructure and surveillance is growing. These developments are taking place against a backdrop of Pakistani state’s growing attempts to censor online content domestically. How does this set of circumstances favour China? Where does China’s big picture media strategy fit into this? [Read the full story here]


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