Overcoming gender discrimination in India

A woman tends a stall at the Pushkar Fair in the city of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India. (Photo: xile, flickr).

Author: Rajiv Kumar, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi

It is a bitter irony that International Women’s Day came right on the heels of the controversy about the government ban on a BBC documentary about the fatal 2012 gang rape of a young Indian woman known by the pseudonym ‘Nirbhaya’. Read more…

A new era for India–Sri Lanka relations?

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena inspects a guard of honor during his welcome reception at the Indian Presidential Palace, New Delhi. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Geethanjali Nataraj and Richa Sekhani, Observer Research Foundation

After tense ties during the Rajapaksa administration, newly elected Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to visit India on his first overseas trip signifies a renewal in the India–Sri Lanka relationship.

Sirisena and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed four significant agreements, all of which are expected to play an important role in further strengthening India–Sri Lankan relations. Read more…

Pirates, spies, soul-stealers: spirituality transformed

A sadhu performs yoga exercises on the banks of the Sangam in Allahabad. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Shameem Black, ANU

In the past decade the worldwide yoga industry has become a multi-billion-dollar business. Yet, ironically, the one country where yoga does not yet thrive commercially is the very place from which yoga is thought to originate: India. Why should this be? Read more…

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…