India–US relations face hurdles

US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi interact during the India-US business summit in New Delhi, India, 26 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Biswajit Dhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Economic relations between India and the United States seem to be going well. This was recently reinforced in New Delhi with Prime Minister Modi and President Obama endorsing the India–US Delhi Declaration of Friendship. Read more…

Modi’s BJP no longer invincible

A supporter of Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, waves an Indian flag next to a cut-out of party leader Arvind Kejriwal during his swearing-in ceremony as chief minister of Delhi. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Purnendra Jain and Peter Mayer, University of Adelaide

The tale of the recent February Delhi assembly elections shows how quickly political fortunes can decline. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recorded a landslide victory at the 2014 national elections and won a majority of seats in three subsequent state elections. But his party suffered a crushing defeat in Delhi, winning just three of the 70 seats. Read more…

Narendra Modi and the future of Indian politics

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally for his Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of Delhi state election in New Delhi on 4 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Amitabh Mattoo, University of Melbourne

When India opted for constitutional democracy in 1947, few gave it much of a chance. India’s diversity was overwhelming and it was home to some of the world’s poorest. But India’s democracy has succeeded beyond the expectations of even the most optimistic and faired far better than that of similarly placed countries. Read more…

Fresh perspectives needed to boost South Asian connectivity

Indian students travel in a crowded bus during the morning rush hour in Bangalore, India. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ram Upendra Das and Nitya Batra, RIS

One of the easiest ways to boost economic activity is by promoting regional economic integration that facilitates freer movement of goods, services and investment, helping to achieve regional developmental objectives by creating jobs. But in eastern South Asia, this process is being held up by misguided decisions, strategies and outdated ideas. Read more…

Why India needed to cut interest rates

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan listens to a question during a news conference at the RBI headquarters in Mumbai on 3 February 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Ashima Goyal, IGIDR

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has eased its policy stance, cutting interest rates before it was expected to do so. This generated unnecessary controversy from the media and market analysts, who alleged political pressure lowered policy rates. But the case for a cut and change to a more accommodative stance had become compelling.  The fall in trend rates of inflation required this cut. Read more…

India needs a grand design for economic reform

Indian labourers wait to unload goods from trucks at a market in New Delhi on 28 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Rajat Kathuria, ICRIER

India’s new government faces challenges for economic revival, but it also has a golden opportunity to build consensus for strong structural and fiscal reform. Read more…

The India–US Bilateral Investment Treaty will not be an easy ride


Author: Kavaljit Singh, Madhyam

It’s official: India and the US will resume negotiations on a high-standard bilateral investment treaty (BIT). In a recent joint statement Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama affirmed their ‘shared commitment to facilitating increased bilateral investment flows and fostering an open and predictable climate for investment’. Read more…