Await a bet­ter fu­ture


The out­come of the In­dian gen­eral elec­tions will be known in the next fort­night and one of the top­most agen­das of the new govern­ment should be to strengthen both ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal se­cu­rity, in the light of the sev­eral at­tacks from across the bor­der and from within, par­tic­u­larly by the Maoists. Both the na­tional po­lit­i­cal par­ties – the In­dian Na­tional Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – have spelt out how they would ad­dress the is­sue of in­ter­nal se­cu­rity.

The Congress has re­it­er­ated that it would con­tinue to pur­sue a pol­icy of deal­ing firmly with in­ter­nal se­cu­rity threats. The BJP is a lit­tle more spe­cific, men­tion­ing that it would strengthen the role of the Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) and put in place a sys­tem of swift and fair trial of ter­ror-re­lated cases. The BJP man­i­festo vows to “in­su­late in­tel­li­gence agencies from po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion and in­ter­fer­ence”.

It also prom­ises mod­erni­sa­tion of the po­lice force in a mis­sion mode ap­proach. On the is­sue of Nax­al­ism, the BJP man­i­festo is in favour of talks with Maoists but said it should be “con­di­tional and within the frame­work of the Con­sti­tu­tion”. The Congress states it would con­tinue to ad­dress the chal­lenge of left-wing ex­trem­ism with a firm hand.

The rhetoric dur­ing the elec­tion sea­son is high and un­der­stand­able, but what is ob­jec­tion­able is Pak­istan try­ing to butt its nose in In­dia’s elec­tion. The Pak­istani Army Chief Ra­heel Sharif’s claim that Kash­mir is a ‘jugu­lar vein’ of Pak­istan is highly con­demnable. Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch in no un­cer­tain terms writes that Sharif has no busi­ness pok­ing his nose into the on­go­ing In­dian elec­tions, es­pe­cially when his army and the ISI have con­signed Pak­istan into jaws of rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion and ter­ror in the fore­see­able fu­ture.

An­other view­point high­lights the im­por­tance of un­manned com­bat aerial ve­hi­cles (UCAVs) in mod­ern-day war­fare and has urged In­dia to pick up pace con­sid­er­ing the Chi­nese ca­pa­bil­ity in this sphere.

This is­sue cov­ers the move of the Govern­ment to start semi­con­duc­tor man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in In­dia, al­though de­layed. To leapfrog ca­pac­ity build­ing in this sphere, there is ur­gency to over­haul the sys­tem of ed­u­ca­tion in en­gi­neer­ing col­leges.

Also, in this is­sue, we have an in­ter­view with Re­gional Del­e­gate An­to­nio Bu­droni of WASS, a com­pany which has been as­so­ci­ated with the In­dian Navy in un­der­wa­ter field. While out­lin­ing the com­pany’s roadmap in In­dia, he has as­sured that it would fur­ther in­vest in In­dian in­dus­try and re­search and de­vel­op­ment in in­di­geni­sa­tion ef­forts.

We have some heart­en­ing news of seven In­dian stu­dents bag­ging scholarships un­der the MBDA Pro­gramme for Ex­cel­lence for two-year Mas­ter’s at the In­sti­tut Superieur de l’Aero­nau­tique et de l’Es­pace (ISAE), in Toulouse, France. As re­ported by Neetu Dhu­lia, the Em­bassy of France in In­dia is sup­port­ing the stu­dents and ac­cord­ing to the Am­bas­sador of France in In­dia, Fran­cois Richier, these stu­dents will play their part in pre­par­ing the fu­ture of the re­la­tion­ship of France and In­dia.

We look for­ward to a bet­ter fu­ture as the out­come of gen­eral elec­tions in world’s largest democ­racy will hope­fully get some of the vi­tal is­sues on track.

Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

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