India’s strategic win at UNSC

Inspite of slight tense situation created by our strategic partner Britain, India is able to convince United Nations Security Council that the situation in Kashmir is normal and there is no need to assume any panic.

(Source courtesy : Wikimedia Commons)

Nearly after 54 years, UNSC has Kashmir as a topic of discussion. This meeting was called up by permanent member China and its ally Pakistan claiming havoc in Kashmir after revoking article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has earlier wrote a formal letter to UNSC for a meeting on Kashmir. UNSC declined an open formal meeting but agreed for a meeting close doors where all the details are not to be made public.

With China backing its move to bring in Kashmir as an international dispute, Pakistan made a final attempt to get US buy-in on Friday. However US, Britain, France and Russia has ruled in favour of India saying Kashmir remains a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and this cannot be ‘internationalized’.

An anxious moment raised when Britain agreed China’s proposal that an informal outcome to be notified through UNSC president. This could mean that a statement be issued on Kashmir’s situation by UNSC. However eventually 4 out of 5 permanent UN members denied any intervention on Kashmir. India has been appraising the circumstances and on going normal situation to 5 permanent and 10 non permanent members from the day article 370 was revoked

India’s current foreign relations

The dynamics in global relationships are changing frequently. Some have been favourable to India and others are posing challenges for its growth.

India ensured a clear approach on West Asia policy. A combination of investment, defense and security, counter terrorism was understood with Gulf Arabs and Iran. This is done tactfully, while maintaining a a special relationship with Israel. The crown prince of UAE, will be India’s chief guest for Republic Day 2017. Maintaining a deeper relationship with Gulf countries should help further weaken their current unhealthy relation with Pakistan
Leaders

(image courtesy: Indianexpress.com)

Africa is India’s maritime neighbour separated by Indian Ocean. With huge resources and opportunities evolving, African countries would be definitely a strategic and economic partner to India.

With active participation in Naval exercises and making this years Nuclear deal, India has made a very progress in strengthen the relationship with Japan. It also started passive support to other countries along with Japan in keeping tab on China’s aggression in south China Sea.

Key nations has always been curious about Trump’s strategy. Well, with India it seems to be have positive till now. His ‘remarks’ till now placed India in a comfort zone, also considering his remarks for Pakistan and China. The only thing that is bothering till now is on the visa’s and its impact on IT industry. Experts has given mixed opinions on it, but India need not worry on it immediately.

Relations between Russia and India peaked in October this year after the annual summit held in Goa. Russia has been a reliable partner in defense, nuclear energy. However instances like Russia’s strategies supporting Taliban to check Islamic State would hamper the relationship.

It is quite evident that Pakistan has been one of the biggest threats for India in the area of terrorism. While India can make certain aggressive steps like in Indus Water Treaty, it will have implications. With new man as GHQ, India can wait and see on how Pakistan’s next step.

China has been India’s hindrances for economic growth. At the same time we rely on China on many areas, how India deals with China in 2017 will determine its own global rise.

With alliances and relationships getting complicated globally , India should be cautious choosing its strategies.

(Analysed from Indrani Bagchi, TOI, Stanly John from TheHindu,NILOVA ROY CHAUDHURY, RIR sudanvisiondaily.com)

Is Indian Ocean still India’s Ocean?!

Prime Minister’s visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka has infused fresh energy and support to all these Indian Ocean states. Many of the countries in Indian Ocean are crucial for India’s security and economic concerns. As Hindustan Times rightly mentioned, New Delhi has to ensure that Indian Ocean is, strategically, India’s Ocean! This visit has signaled that India is a security provider in strategically crucial sea lanes for global commerce and geopolitics. India is making its maritime safe and secure for the nation’s interest.

Indian Ocean(Image taken from http://www.marineline.com website)

What PM did in these three countries was to assert India is still a leader with the ability to safeguard and develop these regions and it does not waste its comparative advantages to China and partly US which are trying to influence their presence.

At the same time this does not mean dominance or an ownership, but India would like these countries to consult it before taking any major strategic decisions. Generally small countries lying in the Naval borders of big Nations can feel venerable. For instance China’s revolution in military affairs (RMA) has raised fears of mineral rights, claims over territories, in the nations of East and South China seas. Where as India will never go for a territorial claim, it would strengthen the defense sectors of those countries to eliminate any external powers in those regions.

It is important and a high time for India to strengthen ties with these nations because:

  • Seychelles had previously offered refueling and docking facilities to Chinese warships. Sri Lanka too had hosted Chinese submarines for re-supplying. With the mindset of Chinese to send more and more Naval naval escorts to these places, India should ensure it is the “preferred partner” for these kind of activities.
  • Terrorism through sea is a threat to India

In Summary, Modi has signed two agreements with Seychelles and Mauritius and thus India acquired the infrastructure development rights. By operating and sharing the surveillance systems on these islands, India is slowing ensuring its presence and support in Indian Ocean.

Analyzed from ET and HT.

 

Is China a threat to Indian IT companies?

Studies show that Chinese software outsourcing firms are unlikely to catch up with Indian and other global software services firms anytime in the near future, despite a major policy push towards outsourcing from China’s central government in recent years. Language barrier has also played a huge role in China’s inability to attract large outsourcing contracts at a time of increasing commoditization of IT services. According to a survey 79% of IT services firms in China have been in business for less than 10 years. On the other hand, top US and Indian IT firms have been around for the better part of the last three decades, in some cases, even longer.

software-company-logos-india

China has also faced the problem of attracting the best talent, with the country’s engineering graduates not looking at IT services as a primary option for employment, instead focusing more on manufacturing firms. China currently trains 1.1 million engineers annually, according to a recent report by Kotak Institutional Equities. Since 2006, the Chinese government has tried to build expertise in software outsourcing. It identified 20 cities where such firms could be developed.

 The average profitability of Chinese IT services firms went down from 10-15% to less than 5% over the past two years, while that at most large Indian firms was in the 15-25% range

Experts say China’s focus on the domestic market and Japan may have hindered its ability to gain market  share in other growing economies.

To be sure, China’s IT industry was never considered to be a serious threat to traditional multi-national and Indian outsourcing giants, such as IBM, Accenture, TCS, Infosys, Wipro Etc.

So what is about Micromax..?

Beating Samsung is not easy. The Koreans have good designs and innovations and solid market knowledge.  But by capturing the opportunities ignored by Samsung, Micromax has emerged as a serious challenger in mobile phone market.

MM

Since the first launch in 2008, it has come quite a long way in a successful way. As per records from research companies IDC and CyberMedia, Micromax is the third largest seller in India after Samsung and Nokia.

Initial challenges posed and questions asked – it has no R&D. they eold merely like China phones with cheaper prices, so how can it be a quality product like that of Samsung?

So what made Micromax a success? 

  • Strategy in Software:

The rise of Google’s free Andriod OS was easily the biggest factor in MM success. Though hardware and software are the basic things based on which phone are compared, Android OS Software took the priority for differentiation. Both a 45K and 10K phone has same apps that are running on very similar OS. Nokia and Blackberry greatly lacked in this stream.

  • Strategy in Hardware:

Samsung invests billion dollars in R&D and it has to recover the money. It goes for custom processors like Exynos, while MM simply buys Meditek or Snapdragon processors which is evidently the cheaper way. Though one cannot say the MM processors are better than Samsungs but it is never less in performance.

  • In Simple terms:

MM buys technology (which is cheaper than creating like Samsung does) which is one generation older. In Mobile phones older means few months old. Hence MM simply provides a phone with few months older hardware and latest software. The price is half that of Samsung’s. So why does people prefer MM?

Great Challenge with Micromax:

  • Service is delayed. Its not that Samsungs and Nokias don’t have issues, but they are resolved soom.

 

Facts about Micromax Numbers:

  • Micromax targets one billion dollars in revenue by end of 2013
  • 2.5 million handsets is been sold each month
  • Australian actor Hugh Jackman’s campaign costs 30 crore rupees.

Facts of Smartphone Industry:

  • 18% of Indian mobile phone users are Smartphone users
  • India stands 3rd after China and US in Smartphone usage and by next year likely to be the second in the world after China.
  • Average smartphone user exchanges his phone every 9 months. He can bear 1.5 times than the previous ones.

 

Reference – Forbes india

Indian Defence Strategies – Time to focus

Points highlighted by PM in Combined Commanders Conference lately has some points of concern with respect to national security.

India has to tackle to following challenges

  • Defence acquisitions in light of economic slow down.
  • There are changes in strategies followed by US and China in Asia Pacific region.
  • Recent global crisis has made US gain more control on economies of Asia.
  • There is a significant rise of China in terms of security and economic aspects.

Agni missile

The above issues require our armed forces to regulate strategies accordingly. We have to learn from the mistakes of the Russian and American arms race. Indian and Chinese are in similar situation like that of Russia and US before in terms of defence and arms.

What India has to do?

  • Strengthen nuclear areas and second-strike capabilities (to withstand nuclear attacks)
  • Concentrate on raising elite forces to undertake special operations that can be to strike on terrorist camps or protect national boundaries.
  • Improve in-house technology drive by private sector as partners cutting down defence import bills like that of US – style military industrial complex (an understanding between the national armed forces and bureaucracies). The recent comments by former Army chief General V P Malik mentioning that “India has fractured the policy-making on national security matters and it is guided by bureaucrats who are totally unaware of defence matters” a serious concern at this point.
  • Finally, in the era of globalization, it is very important to note that no security strategy can succeed without an appropriate foreign policy. Pakistan for than matter has maintained a good relationship with US and China to support its defence capabilities.
  • But with the growing global terrorism and China military strength, its very a right time for India to cultivate a good cooperative understanding with US, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia.

Indian Navy gets INS VIKRAMADITYA

Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya will join Indian Navy today. This aircraft carrier is described as a game changer in Naval circles.  Reason?..

A country’s geostrategic influence occurs primarily by its Navy. Say, for example, US, for the matter, plays a dominant role in Middle East, South East Asia and elsewhere because of its high capabilities in its Navy force – with 11 carrier battle groups. China in South China Sea, is dominant because of it strong Chinese Navy presence.

Aircraft-Carrier-INS-Vikramaditya-Indian-Navy-05

India is geographically centered in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).  40% of Indian offshore oil production comes from Indian Ocean. 2/3 rd  world’s oil traffic goes through Indian Ocean making India’s geographic position prominent. Strong presence of Navy in these areas of IOR gives New Delhi with one of the powerful tool – “Foreign policy”.

  • India can’t leave China to increase its footprint in Indian Ocean Region (IOR)
  • South East Asian countries look for help for the Indian Naval presence that will counter Chinese Influence.
  • 77% of China’s oil imports too pass through IOR
  • If India has to have a heavyweight in IOR, it should have intent and ability to provide humanitarian assistance in case of natural disasters and protect the shipping lines like how US Navy generally does.

Some facts on INS Vikramaditya

  • To start with Indian Amy, as always has the lion share in defence budget, this time of 49%. Air force, 28%.  Though Navy is allocated 18% of the defence budget it is already an increased one.
  • Unfortunately this carrier does not have protection against air attacks(neither air missiles nor close in weapons), however it has ability to become invisible on radar through its electronic warfare systems.
  • The Military build-up at Andaman and Nicobar gives India a key geostrategic edge.

Challenges: Solar Power in India

Summary:

Indian Solar Power industry is in deadlock situation.

Can’t import more cheap product from China and US – (Hampers local industry, as well as products are not reliable in long run.)
Vs
Could not manufacture a global standard solar cells and modules.

Details:

Government targets 20GW solar power – locally by 2020 in contrast to 700 MW as of last year. Though the costs of solar power have gone down from ` 18 to ` 7.50 during the recent years, it seems the target is too ambitious.

  • India has been flooded with Chinese panels. Chinese companies get cheap capital, subsidized power and free land for manufacturing these panels. While India these facilities are relatively less.
  • US solar power companies also are exporting thin-film solar panels to India at lower rates.  US banks offer low interest rates (3%) as compared to high rates in India.
  • However one point to be noted. Both Chinese panels and US panels that are been imported are of cheap quality as compared to other types of solar panels been used in developed countries.

Solar-Power-1

Hence the reduction of cost of solar power is not due to technological breakdown, but due to dumping cheap solar cells and modules.

  • US impose dumping duties up to 249% making cheap solar cells barely enter into US. EU also imposes provisional anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar panels.

But imposing these types of duties in India may result in increase in costs of solar power again. Also India too are facing challenges in terms of manufacturing quality solar cells and modules at par with global standards.

Reference: Economic Times, 9th Nov 2o13