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Food systems, which encompass networks needed to produce and transform food, and ensure it reaches consumers, are facing increasing pressures globally from volatile climate, geopolitics and rising costs. With persistent challenges around food security, undernourishment, soil degradation and food losses and wastage in the supply chain, there is a ne…
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In this episode of South Asia Chat, Mr Raghaw Khattri is in conversation with Mr Vinod Rai, Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at ISAS, and former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, to discuss the recent cabinet formation following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in on 10 June 2024. The new coalition government includes 71 minist…
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In June 2024, Sri Lanka has secured the third tranche of a US$2.9 billion IMF bailout programme and is expected to finalise its debt bilateral restructuring agreements with key creditors this month. To understand the state of Sri Lanka’s economy, its progress and challenges, ISAS Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Rajni Gamage is joined by Dr Ganeshan Wignaraj…
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The escalating conflict between Myanmar’s military and ethnic armed organisations (EAO) is a matter of concern for both India and Bangladesh as both countries share borders with Myanmar. In the early months of 2024, civil servants and military personnel from bordering areas in Myanmar escaped fighting and crossed the border into Bangladesh. The con…
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In this episode, we delve into the foreign policy outlook of India in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's third term. Unlike previous terms, PM Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has secured 240 seats, falling 32 seats short of the majority mark of 272. This shift means Mr Modi will need to navigate coalition politics for the first time in his career. …
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In this special episode, we are joined by three distinguished experts - Dr Iqbal Sevea, Dr Ronojoy Sen, and Dr Neelanjan Sircar on the outcomes of the 2024 Indian elections. The conversation explores the major factors that influenced voter decisions, such as economic conditions and social dynamics. It examines the distinct strategies employed by th…
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In this episode, Professor Tan Tai Yong reflects on the 20th anniversary of the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) and shares his vision for its future. Emphasising the critical role of South Asia on the global stage, he discusses its profound impact on regional dynamics, including the intricate relations between Singapore, South Asia, and Sou…
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As five phases of polling have concluded in the 2024 General Elections in India, we have seen a plethora of issues being talked about. From welfare and development to accusations of minority appeasement, debates on caste census, wealth redistribution, inheritance tax, unemployment, and Hindutva, this election seems to lack a pan-India narrative, un…
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India’s relations with its Himalayan neighbour Nepal have seen intense diplomatic engagement under Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he initiated in August 2014 the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. What have been the outcomes of this policy? What are the issues that strain mutual ties? What are Nepal’s domestic constraints which affect bilateral rela…
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The increasing frequency of extreme weather events in India, a country amongst the most vulnerable to climate change, should send the alarm bells ringing. Natural disasters induced and aggravated by anthropogenic activities have significantly impacted lives and livelihoods across the country. How have political parties responded to this threat? Is …
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Infrastructure and connectivity have emerged as critical domains of cooperation between China and Nepal. China is engaged in several infrastructure projects in Nepal including the development of hydropower projects, construction of roadways and the recently inaugurated international airport at Pokhra. Nepal’s Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shreshtha…
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The Himalayas, the world’s so called “third pole” are critical for life within and around the cold, mountainous region. They serve as a home for numerous communities and as the source of several water bodies that support large populations. The impact of climate change is very evident in the Himalayas. Melting glaciers are creating new lakes, rivers…
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The Election Commission of Sri Lanka has stated that a presidential election is likely to be held between September and October 2024. If held, these will be the first elections held since the 2022 mass people’s protests which caused the political leadership at the time to step down from power. There are multiple political groups and factions that a…
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Earlier this month, the Pakistani Foreign Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar in one of his interactions in London stated that the Pakistani government is seriously examining resuming trade ties with India. In this episode of South Asia Chat, Ms Devyani Chaturvedi, Research Analyst, ISAS, is in conversation with Prof C Raja Mohan, Visiting Research Profess…
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The World Trade Organization's (WTO) 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) was concluded on 2 March 2024. While progress was made on certain commitments by member states, consensus has not been achieved on certain key long-standing issues. In this episode, Dr Amitendu Palit, Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead (Trade and Economics), ISAS, is in c…
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In this episode, Dr Iqbal Singh Sevea, Director of ISAS, engages Dr S Jaishankar, India's Minister of External Affairs, on India’s priorities in its relations with the major powers such as the United States, China and Russia. Globally, while Dr Jaishankar advocates reforms in multilateralism and highlights the value of minilateralism and regionalis…
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Farmer groups in India have been protesting in New Delhi to demand a legally backed Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops. The government and farm leaders have gone through several rounds of discussions and negotiations but there has been no breakthrough. On 13 February farmer groups launched the “Delhi Chalo” march and for several weeks prot…
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Social media plays an increasingly important role in elections globally and is expected to be a key feature of the 2024 Indian elections. Campaigns on social media involve utilising the volatile nature of the medium and capitalising on communicating directly with voters. Dr Joyojeet Pal takes us through potential strategies that each party may use …
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World Trade Organization's (WTO) 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) concluded on 2 March 2024 in Abu Dhabi. The declaration shows progress and commitment of the member states on issues like dispute reform and special and differential treatment (S&DT) provisions for developing and least developed countries (LDCs). However, consensus on long standing…
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In this episode of South Asia Chat, Mr Raghaw Khattri, Research Analyst, ISAS, is in conversation with Dr Ronojoy Sen, Senior Research Fellow, and Research Lead of the Politics, Society and Governance cluster at ISAS, to discuss the political landscape in India ahead of the general elections. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assertion of the BJP…
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Bhutan graduated from the United Nation’s List of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in December 2023, making it only the seventh country in the world to be able to do so. In this episode, Ms Ramita Iyer, Research Analyst, ISAS is in conversation with Dr Dil Bahadur Rahut, Vice-Chair of Research and Senior Research Fellow at the Asian Development Ban…
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Pakistan recently held its long awaited parliamentary elections which saw 44 political parties compete for 266 seats in the National Assembly. Over the course of the days following the elections, result have been flowing in and revealing a complicated political landscape in the country. To discuss the elections, its emerging results and the evolvin…
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On 1 February 2024, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her sixth union budget. This interim budget, preceding India’s upcoming general elections, has continued focus on fiscal consolidation while lowering capital expenditure growth and drawing focus on women and youth-centric issues. To unpack the budget and understand its contin…
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In 2024, South Asian countries faced elections and numerous economic stressors. In this context, cities, which have been subject to rapid transformations over decades of development and political projects are an important site of observation in how these developments play out. In this episode of South Asia Chat, Professor Nihal Perera, Emeritus Pro…
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The year 2024 brings with it more developments in strategic technologies, a key issue for countries across South Asia. From artificial intelligence to 5G data networks, states in the subcontinent, especially India, are strategising through multilateral and bilateral cooperation on initiatives like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and the Initiat…
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South Asia is expected to grow between 5.2 and 5.6 per cent in 2024. In this episode, Ms Ramita Iyer, Research Analyst, ISAS discusses the trade and economic outlook for South Asia this year with Dr Amitendu Palit, Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead (Trade and Economics), ISAS. They cover a range of economic issues, including the drivers of g…
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The year 2024 is a major election year in South Asia with countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India going to polls. In this episode of South Asia Chat, Mr Raghaw Khattri, Research Analyst, ISAS, is in conversation with Dr Ronojoy Sen, Senior Research Fellow, and Research Lead of the Politics, Society and Governance cluster at ISAS, t…
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The year 2023 brought about significant geopolitical developments such as the onset of the Israel-Palestine conflict, continuation of Russia-Ukraine war and intensification of the Sino-US rivalry, all of which have had a significant impact on the international order and on South Asia. These geopolitical developments are likely to continue to drive …
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Food insecurity has remained amongst the gravest concerns in the world wherein post-pandemic the global food insecurity rose to 11.9%, with instances of undernutrition, malnutrition remaining higher in certain parts of the world like Africa, South Asia etc. Although 2023 has witnessed certain incremental improvement and steps taken by the United Na…
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Sri Lanka’s foreign relations are influenced significantly by attempts to recover from the national economic crisis in 2022. Its economic situation remains precarious, with a foreign reserve of US$3.6 billion reported in August this year and with foreign debt restructuring still in progress. In this episode of South Asia Chat, Mr A. L. A. Azeez, fo…
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The Assembly election results in five Indian states, which were announced on 3 December 2023, had a few surprises. The set of elections was also the last before the 2024 general elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stormed back to power in Madhya Pradesh, where the election was expected to be close. In Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the BJP def…
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In this episode of South Asia Chat, Professor Sreeradha Datta, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, ISAS, speaks to Dr Imran Ahmed, Research Fellow, ISAS, on the intricate terrain of Bangladesh’s political scene. They examine historical milestones, electoral intricacies, and the geopolitical dynamics influencing Bangladesh’s future. Join us as they unravel …
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The 2023 COP28 in the UAE, Dubai, from 30 November to 12 December 2023 comes at a critical time to assess the progress that has been made towards building a more sustainable future. Delegates from nearly 200 countries will engage in critical conversations on funding and financing for climate action, the global stocktake exercise, energy transitions…
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Recently, the United States (US) International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced its investment of US$553 million in the Adani Port Project (Sri Lanka). This comes as a surprise to many, given that it is a rarity for a US government agency to be making such investments. In this episode of South Asia Chat, Ms Devyani Chaturvedi, Resear…
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Climate action is inextricably linked with international cooperation and India has been an active player in this domain. However, navigating this landscape is increasingly complex with rising geopolitical tensions, the proliferation of international forums and the Global North - Global South divide. This episode of South Asia Chat looks at India’s …
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Despite traditional fault lines between Israel and the Arab nations, India has obtained a fine balance in the Middle East. However, the recent Israel-Palestine crisis challenges India's partnerships in the Middle East. In this episode of South Asia Chat, Ms Devyani Chaturvedi, Research Analyst, ISAS, is in conversation with Professor C Raja Mohan, …
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In this episode of South Asia Chat, Dr Rajni Gamage, ISAS, chats with Dr Nishan De Mel, Executive Director, Verite Research, on the key dynamics of Sri Lanka’s ‘crisis recovery’ since the 2022 national economic crisis. This includes identifying key governance-related challenges faced by the Sri Lankan government in carrying out political and econom…
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Maldives’ incumbent leader Mohamed Solih has conceded defeat, paving way for Mohamed Muizzu to take over the presidency in the island nation. Mohamed Muizzu won 54 percent of the votes in an election campaign that ran on issues like corruption, sovereignty and the India-China balance. In this episode, Mr Saeeduddin Faridi, Research Analyst, ISAS di…
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The Indian Parliament, during a special session from 18 to 22 September 2023, passed the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill 2023 to mandate one-third reservation for women in India’s lower house of parliament as well as state assemblies. The bill, which was cleared with near unanimity, also extends the quota to the seats reserved for the Scheduled…
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Green hydrogen is likely to play an important role in the global efforts against climate change. It is also an important element in India’s ambitious plans such as the goal to be energy independent by 2047 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2070. For that, India has launched several projects and policy measures to push the production of green hydro…
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Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism or CBAM has emerged as the latest development within the intersection of environmental sustainability and trade. Its phased implementation will begin on 1st October 2023. CBAM is geared at preventing carbon leakage and encouraging decarbonisation in sectors including electricity, cement, iron and steel, fertiliser…
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India's G20 Summit brought to the forefront a new global governance agenda. In this episode, Ms Devyani Chaturvedi, Research Analyst, ISAS, is in conversation with Associate Professor Iqbal Singh Sevea, Director, ISAS, Mr Vinod Rai, Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow, ISAS, and Dr Amitendu Palit, Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead (Trade …
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The G20 summit held under India's presidency in New Delhi, on 9 and 10 September 2023, brought with it significant geopolitical changes and new opportunities for Indian foreign policy. In this episode, Ms Devyani Chaturvedi, Research Analyst, ISAS, is in conversation with Professor C Raja Mohan, Visiting Research Professor, ISAS. They discuss what …
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The 15th BRICS Summit was held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 22-24 August 2023 where a major announcement was made regarding an expansion in the grouping’s membership. The current BRICS members include Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa while the new entrants who will become full members from 1 January 2024 are Argentina, Egypt, Et…
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The Maldives is preparing for its upcoming Presidential elections on 9 September 2023, a significant event that will shape the country's leadership going forward. This election stands out due to the unusually large number of candidates participating, the highest since the 2008 Maldivian Presidential Election. In this episode of South Asia Chat, Dr …
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It has now been two years since Taliban took over control in Afghanistan, following the US withdrawal and the fall of the Afghan government. Afghanistan has since seen significant changes in most aspects of social, political and economic life. In this episode, Dr Imran Ahmed, Research Fellow, ISAS is in conversation with Dr Haroun Rahimi, Assistant…
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Globally, cities contribute to over 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, cities are also very prone to the effects of climate change and the extreme weather events emanating from it. This makes climate resilience and environmental sustainability a foremost issue in urban policy. In this role, cities emerge as spaces of inno…
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Sri Lanka faced an unprecedented economic crisis in 2022, which culminated in the country declaring bankruptcy and long power cuts and fuel shortages. These led to mass street protests and the incumbent president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, being ousted from power. To discuss the 2023 economic and political situation in Sri Lanka, Dr Rajni Gamage, Postdoc…
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Nearly six years after the Indian Supreme Court declared that privacy was a constitutional right for all citizens, the government is now close to passing the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (2022). The bill was cleared by the Indian Cabinet on 5 July 2023 and will be tabled in the parliament during the ongoing monsoon session. In this episode…
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Feminist and Colonial discourses are key in understanding India’s socio-political landscape. Studying the contemporary operationalisation of these discourses draws from historical contexts, personal experiences and comparative analysis. To discuss these factors on this episode, Mr Saeeduddin Faridi, Research Analyst, ISAS, is in conversation with D…
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