APEC Forum, 2020: Addressing the pandemic and the road to recovery

The 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting was convened on the 20th of November, 2020 with the presence of all 21 members of the organization for the first time in two years, as the annual meeting in 2019 was canceled due to domestic unrest within the host country, Chile. Unlike all the previous sessions, this year’s meeting was a virtual one; the COVID-19 Pandemic resulted in even leaders of nations adapting to online conferences to address international issues. The forum this year was chaired by the Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and was also based on the theme chosen by his country which was ‘Optimising Human Potential Towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity. Pivot. Prioritize. Progress. (more…)

The Rivers of My Home: A take on the MoU Signing of Bangladesh and India, and what it may mean for the future of the two nations

By Twinkle Jaspal, Amity Institute of Anthropology, NOIDA.

(Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi)

On October 5, 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the countries of Bangladesh and India which was a revision and sanctioning of the water ties between the two, including the most attention-drawing decision to release 1.82 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water from the Feni river to India for a drinking water supply scheme for Sabroom town in Tripura. As part of the memorandum, India is also now allowed to monitor the ports of Bangladesh. (more…)

The Land of Serendipity in Communal Trouble

By Samridhi Talwar, University School of Law and Legal Studies, New Delhi.

The land of serendipity, full of immense flora and fauna, enriched with history, an abode to multifarious ethnicities, cultures, and languages, sitting at the heart of Indian Ocean, is the island of Sri Lanka. However, amidst all its beauty and glory, this island nation is blemished with political and racial tensions which lead to hostile conditions in the country. (more…)

Rohingya Deportation Issue: Revamping the right to life?

By Kaushiki Kar, South Calcutta Law College, Kolkata.

Right to life is one of the basic human rights and not even the State has the authority to violate that right. Protection of life and personal liberty in India means: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. In Maneka Gandhi vs UOI, 1978, it was established that Article 21 though couched in negative language, confers on every person the fundamental right to life and personal liberty which has become an inexhaustible source of many other rights. These rights are as much available to non-citizens as to citizens (National Human Rights Commission vs. State of Arunachal Pradesh (1996 ). (more…)

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill: A Summary

By Rabia Mohamed Ismail Abdul Rahim, NUALS, Kochi.

It all went downhill for the “King of Good Times” in July 2015, when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against him, Vijay Mallya, Indian Businessman and Politician, for loan default based on a complaint by IDBI Bank. The 61 year-old Chief of the Kingfisher Airlines who now owes over Rs. 9,000 crores to various Indian banks, fled India, on March 2, 2016 to escape legal proceedings in connection with the loans. And he is not the one to start this trend. (more…)

The Google Tax in India: An Analysis

By Somya Pahi Jena, NALSAR, Hyderabad

The Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech in 2016, announced the imposition of an equalisation levy or the Indian version of a ‘google tax’ to be enforced from the 1st of June, 2016. In furtherance of the same, the Equalisation Levy Rules, 2016 were published in the official gazette; Section 179 of the Finance Act, 2016 authorised the Central Government to make the rules imposing the equalisation levy. (more…)

India Singapore Strategic Partnership: Where Are We Headed?

By Vershika Sharma, National Law University, Jodhpur.

The recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Singapore has once again highlighted the importance of the relations between the two countries. India’s connection with Singapore is not something which has come up very recently. In fact it dates back to the Cholas who are credited with naming the island and establishing a permanent settlement. However the more modern relationship that has emerged between the two nations is attributed to Sir Stamford Raffles who, in 1819, established a trading station on the Straits of Malacca to protect, particularly from the Dutch, the East India Company ships carrying cargo between India and the region, especially China. Singapore was added to their colonial empire by the Britishers for a period starting from 1830 to 1867, as soon as they realised the strategic importance of the location of the nation especially from security perspective. India was among the first countries to set up diplomatic relations after the independence of Singapore on 24 August 1965. (more…)

Heart of Asia: An Initiative to Heal the Heart of Afghanistan

By Sonal Srivastava, Amity Law School, Lucknow.

The “Heart of Asia” provides a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly with a view to encourage security, and political and economic co-operation among Afghanistan and its neighbours. This region led dialogue was initiated on 2nd November, 2011, in the city of Istanbul of Turkey, to expand practical coordination between Afghanistan and its neighbours and regional partners in facing common threats, including counter terrorism, counter narcotics, poverty and extremism. The United States and over 20 other Nations and organizations play the role of “Supporting Nations” to the process. India, being one of the member countries to “Heart of Asia”, has declared, in the recent ‘Islamabad Declaration’, to host the sixth Ministerial Heart of Asia Conference in the later quarter of the year 2016. (more…)

India-Belgium MoU on Energy: Joining Hands for a Greener Environment

By Shalvi Singh, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

The diplomatic relations between India and Belgium were established in 1948. Of late, Belgium has acknowledged the importance of India’s global role in economic spheres. In the past, both the countries had co-operated in the field of trade, investment and education. The Union Cabinet on 5th November 2015, approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Indian and Belgium government authorities at the federal and regional level on energy. The objective of this MoU is “to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity. Both the countries would focus on the development of renewable energy technologies in the field of solar energy, wind energy, biomass, geothermal energy and marine energy. This MoU would help in strengthening bilateral cooperations between the two countries. It would also aid Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the renewable energy sector by bringing in more and more sophisticated technology in India.   (more…)

U.S. funds Pakistan’s Projects: A setback to India’s Relations with the Western Hegemony

Yashika Jain, National Law University, Delhi.

A recent move by the US to mobilise funds for the two major dams that Pakistan has been striving to build has left India unsettled. U.S. hailed this infrastructure project as Pakistan’s “smartest choice” for economic development and has pledged to extend its support in funding the same. The two dams, Diamer-Bhasha Dam and the Dasu Dam are gravity dams, which are still in the preliminary stages of construction due to the series of controversies and lack of funds.  Diamer-Bhasha Dam is proposed to be built on the River Indus in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Its foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan on 18 October, 2011 and majority of the funding is being provided by Aga Khan Development Network. (more…)