New Delhi: India’s world view is set for a makeover with the appointment of the suave and articulate Salman Khurshid to head the Ministry of External Affairs or the foreign ministry. He’s considered the best man for the job who can get policy engines running again. The decision goes to prove the former law minister retains the confidence of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh despite recent allegations of corruption levelled against him. Khurshid’s elevation is expected to bring new vigour to this crucial ministry after the exit of S. M. Krishna.
Two news stories over the last two weeks have reiterated the changing nature of India’s engagement with the outside world, which is no longer spearheaded by New Delhi. First, the UK’s Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire revealed on 11 October that the British government, in a major policy shift last week, has decided to review its decade-long policy with the state of Gujarat and its Chief Minister, Narendra Modi. Swire said that the UK would like to recommence active engagement with Gujarat.
New Delhi: The country's grid managers have been forced to look at rewriting rules in the country's power transmission business, following a formal move by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) to set up base in India. The government-owned Chinese firm - the world's largest electrical utility and ranked seventh in the 2011 Fortune Global 500 list of the largest global companies by revenue - has already conducted a preliminary recce for a transmission link project in the country. It has also put in a bid for another corridor through the competitive bidding route.
New Delhi: The CBI is hoping for significant breakthroughs in two cases of alleged corruption in defence deals. According to officials, the agency has been promised new information by the South African authorities in the alleged bribes paid by defence firm Denel to middlemen for securing an Indian Army contract between 1999 and 2005. The assurance of information was made when CBI director A P Singh was in South Africa to discuss the lack of cooperation from them over the years in the case.
One temptation every sensible columnist must resist is, of course, the urge to generalise from the particular - especially when the particular is anecdotal and trivial. And yet sitting in the stands in Colombo a few days ago, watching India being thrashed by Australia in the World cricket T-20 tournament, was sobering not only to the cricket fan in me [Shashi Thaaroor]. The student of foreign policy was shaken as well, because the Sri Lankan crowd, almost to a man, shouted and cheered and applauded every four and six by the rampaging Australian batsmen.
Mumbai: As India looks to diversify its sources for energy imports and grapples with food security issues, it is looking more towards Latin America. Gateway House interviews Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani to discuss India's prospects with this increasingly significant region. The India-Latin America relationship has gained much momentum over the past decade. What are India’s future prospects in Latin America? Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani, former Indian Ambassador to Venezuela, Cuba and Colombia shares his insights on why a good relationship with Latin America is significant for India’s food and energy security.
New Delhi: What was most significant about the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit that was held in Tehran recently was that almost all of its 120 members gathered there in the face of U.S., allied western nations and Israeli attempts to pressure and isolate Iran to abandon parts of its nuclear programme. Great pressure was even brought on United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon by Washington and Tel Aviv not to attend, but the mild and generally pliant Ban could not bring himself to abandon the precedent set by his predecessors and skip the event.
New Delhi: India is set to seek greater role for itself and another troop-contributing nations in deciding the mandates of the United Nations’ (UN) peacekeeping operations during the high-level segment of the 67th session of the global body. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna is expected to raise the issue in his address to the UN General Assembly on October 1 next. He is expected to stress that mandates of the UN peacekeeping operations should be commensurate with the available resources.
New Delhi: India raised the price of heavily subsidized diesel on Thursday to rein in its fiscal deficit and counter the threat of becoming the first of the big emerging economies to be downgraded to junk. The long-awaited decision follows intense pressure on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to plug one of the biggest drains on the treasury. It was greeted with elation by investors and raised expectations of more reforms to reverse an investment slump and revive a sluggish economy.
New Delhi: India opened its supermarket sector to foreign chains on Friday after months of dithering, pushing ahead with the boldest reforms yet in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government as it tries to revive the country's tottering economic growth. The move allows global firms such as Wal-Mart Stores to set up shop with a local partner and sell directly to consumers for the first time, which supporters say could transform India's $450 billion retail market and tame inflation.